Category Archives: Tom Hayden

Hot Air

Huston, You Were A Problem

I understand a fellow named Tom Huston spoke at Indiana University last week. Huston, the Herald Times (paywall) informs us, was an IU student back in the early 1960s. He became a 1960s campus activist and later went on to become a White House advisor.

Some reformed hippie, you’re probably thinking. Someone like Tom Hayden, say, or even on a grander level, John Kerry.

You’d be wrong.

Any student of the Nixon Administration’s secret, anti-democratic machinations knows the name Tom Charles Huston. He was recruited by the Nixon mobsters after he’d set up the Young Americans for Freedom chapter here at IU and had had established a career for himself as a provocateur, dirty-tricks player, and pathological anti-communist.

After Huston settled in at the White House, he became known among many administration staffers as “Secret Agent X-5,” a mocking reference to his purported obsession with cloak and dagger stuff. In fact, he penned the notorious “Huston Plan,” a scheme that would allow Nixon et al to spook the citizens of this holy land so that he and his cronies could carry out their doomed Vietnam War in peace, among other vital foreign policy objectives and pastimes.

Spy vs. Spy


The United States in 1970, Nixon and Huston believed, was under assault by wealth redistributionists, radical black nationalists, and anti-war terrorists. Mind you, many among those groups indeed were wild-eyed loons but the Nixon crowd’s panic caused them to shiver over the specter of, in Mike Royko‘s colorful characterization, little old ladies in tennis shoes who met in church basements to pray for peace. Something had to be done to stem the breakdown of our beloved society. Before you’d know it, strapping young black bucks would be co-habitating with Iowans’ daughters, the women of Wyoming would be forced to work in hard core porn films, the sons of New Jersey-ites would be pouring LSD over their breakfast flakes, and the Soviets would be chuckling aboard their submarines as they waited off the coast of the the Carolinas for their orders to invade our soft, hedonistic land.

Nixon that spring called for a meeting of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the National Security Agency head, the CIA director, a high-level representative of the Army, and Huston to discuss what could be done. The various attendees were directed by the president to coordinate their efforts against civil rights activists and anti-war protesters. Huston was charged with crafting a set of marching orders for the group.

Here are a few strategic and tactical recommendations Tom Huston called for:

  • Increased use of phone taps
  • Increased use of planted listening devices
  • Break-ins to offices of targeted organizations and individuals
  • Mail intercepts
  • Using underaged college students as paid informants
  • Intercepting international communications of American citizens
  • The creation of mass detention camps in isolated areas of the country for protesters

In other words, Tom Charles Huston would have made Stasi and the KGB proud.

Huston’s recommendations were part and parcel of Nixon’s paranoiac reign which included plans to firebomb the Brookings Institute, the break-ins at the Watergate office complex, an elaborate spying operation on the Democratic Party, G. Gordon Liddy’s “Gemstone” plan to kidnap anti-war protesters and use prostitutes in an effort to catch Democratic officials in compromising positions, hush money paid out to Watergate break-in defendants, destroying evidence, ordering the FBI and CIA to stand down in their investigations into administration wrongdoing, and other delights.

Much of Huston’s plan scared the bejesus even out of J. Edgar Hoover, who was not known as the nation’s foremost champion of civil liberties. Some parts of Huston’s plan were scrapped but much was implemented.

Huston never went to jail for his sins, although I can’t think of a better place for him. Since the Nixon downfall, he has become a noted international corporate real estate attorney, now semi-retired from the the Barnes & Thornburg law offices in Indianapolis.

Yesterday, he told IU students how swell Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were and how today’s political climate was born of the modern conservative movement’s awakening in the mid-’60s.

Ick. I think I need to go outside, breathe some fresh air and gaze at the sunny, blue sky in order to purge myself of such toxins.

Higher Ed

The Loved One and I attended a nice little dinner party last night, Several of the guests were academics from IUPUI. The dons were old vets of the pedagogy rackets and, as such, have seen big changes in the student body lo these many years.

For instance, one of the profs, a hard scientist we’ll call Jack, told us the tale of an Indianapolis car dealer he knew who said that some of the Chinese students coming to town for a college education have more pocket money than can be found in a small town’s bank vault. One newly arrived student, the dealer related, walked into the dealership one day and fished out a mighty wad of cash from her purse. She proceeded to lay out a hundred thousand USD on the dealer’s desk. “Can I buy a car with this?” she asked. No word on whether the dealer has regained consciousness.

The dealer had more. Another student bought a luxury car from him and, surprisingly, a couple of months later came in to buy another car. As if that weren’t enough, the same young man returned another couple of months later to buy a third car. The dealer learned that the young man was being given a $30,000 a month allowance by his parents. The kid confessed he wasn’t creative enough to blow thirty G’s a month so he simply decided to buy a new car every couple of months.

The other academic, a soft scientist we’ll call Adam who has also taught at Indiana University here in Bloomington, went on to describe how the campus parking lots in both places are rife with BMWs, Porsches, Lotuses, Maseratis and other chariots of the gods. The high end rides, he added, most assuredly were not owned by teachers and professors.


Student Transportation

Jack wondered what possible work that awaited such privileged young folk after graduation could possibly excite and challenge them. Adam remembered how he dreamed of one day owning a car that didn’t threaten to collapse in a heap of rusty parts in the middle of the road after he would graduate from college. And, he said, he remembered being overjoyed in those all too rare months when he’d have enough money left over to buy an album or two.

Both academics agreed that one of the prime motivators that got them through four years of slogging and cramming was the dream that their real world work would elevate them from student poverty. “What,” Jack asked, “keeps these kids going now?”

The two old birds also agreed that IUPUI and IU both are specifically marketing themselves toward the scions of the uber-rich worldwide. And they’re not alone; pretty much every U. around this holy land is lusting after kids for whom $30,000 is a monthly allowance.

There’s no dearth of such privileged princes and princesses. The fast rise of China’s economy in the last couple of decades has produced a mini-club of families richer than your average oil sheik. South Korea, too, is crawling with obscenely nouveau riche families. Those Middle East oil sheiks also are shipping their spawn off to America to book-learn how to run daddy’s biz when the time comes.

It all makes me wonder what their care packages look like.

Hot Air

Union News

One very prominent Bloomington citizen who is a long-time union supporter told me this morning that yesterday’s rally outside the Bloomingfoods on 6th Street rang a little too us-vs.-them-ish. This person said B-foods Board Chair Tim Clougher was portrayed by one or more speakers as something on the order of a mouthpiece for corporate America, a charge my source says is ridiculous.

“It seemed,” my source says, “that it was too confrontational.”

Union Logo

Nevertheless, this source has advised B-foods general manager George Huntington that he should welcome the coming of a union. It would, my source says, simplify and streamline relations and negotiations with employees. He is, this person claims, taking the workplace complaints of pro-unionists personally.

Should 30 percent of B-foods employees sign organizing cards, a general election would be held in which the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 700 would have to gain a simple majority of voters to represent employees of the co-op.

Seeking Hayden

The Chicago 7 — originally, 8 — was, in every sense of the word, a motley crew. The Mobe guys thought the Yippies were showboaters, the Yippies thought the Mobe guys were fussy old aunts, and Bobby Seale never really had much of anything to do with most of them.

This, then, was a group the feds and Mayor Richard J. Daley tried to pin an interstate conspiracy rap on. Naturally, the prosecutors lost.

Perhaps the most famous Chicago 7 (0r 8)-er turned out to be Tom Hayden, which, I suppose, would have crushed Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. For, in reality, Hoffman and Rubin were indeed showboaters, although Abbie managed to hold true to his radical ideas until he died in 1989. Rubin reinvented himself as a stockbroker and multi-level marketer before he died five years later.

Hayden, of course went on to marry Jane Fonda and become a long-time California state legislator. He’ll turn — believe it or not — 75 this year.


Hayden: Then & Now

Anyway, Hayden must be sensing that the end is in sight because he has donated all his personal papers to the University of Michigan. He attended UM in the late 1950s and early ’60s. While there he wrote the Port Huron Statement — the charter document of the Students for a Democratic Society. Later, he became a Freedom Rider and then a tireless activist against the Vietnam War.

His papers include 22,000 pages of FBI files compiled during the Bureau’s 15-year spy-op on him.

Hayden told Al Jazeera America, “I can’t wait until after I’m dead,” regarding his pre-mortem donation of material to the University.

Hayden was the advance guard of a youth revolt back in 1962. Man, that’s more than half a century ago. The end is indeed in sight for many of us. That’s why, for my part, I’m savoring every day I can now.

Switch Hitters

People have been jumping out of the woodwork saying that raising welts all over a four-year-old’s body with a switch is no big deal at all. The line goes That’s the way my parents disciplined me and look at how wonderful I turned out to be.

Which is a towering pile of horseshit.

Peterson Child


The thrashing of pre-schooler with what is essentially a wooden whip has become an issue since the indictment of football star Adrian Peterson for bloodying and scarring the fruit of his loins a week ago today.

As if the rational among us needed an argument against such intellectual fuckery, sports commentator Jeb Lund wrote in Wednesdays’ Guardian that, no, those of us beaten bloody by our parents did not turn out okay.

He observes:

The pernicious, toxic and inescapable lifelong effect of being disciplined physically – either to the point of abuse, or to the point that the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable blurs in your mind – is that you almost have to say you turned out fine, just to redeem the fact of being who you are. That you “turned out fine” is the only way to make sense of having once felt total terror or uncontrollable shaking rage at the sight of one (or both) of the two people expected to care most for you in the world. The thought that you might have ended up relatively OK or perhaps even better without all that fear is almost unbearable: the suffering only doubles if you admit that it truly had no purpose.

Read the whole thing, please.


Early Thursday evenings without bloomingOUT seem empty these days.

Producer Carol Fischer and host Helen Harrell’s syndicated one-hour weekly gabfest aired for the last time on August 28th.


Fischer (L) & Harrell

They did their part for 11 years (acc’d’g to the program’s Wikipedia page). Now it’s time for someone — anyone — to get going and pick up their banner.

Lotus Fest Friday

Here’s your Lotus Fest 2104 lineup for tonight:


  • Buskirk Chumley Theater 114 E. Kirkwood Ave.
  • First United Methodist Church 219 E. 4th St.
  • First Christian Church 205 E. Kirkwood Ave.
  • First Presbyterian Church 221 E. 6th St.
  • Ivy Tech Community College Tent 6th St. between Walnut & College
  • Old National Bank/Soma Tent 4th & Grant streets
  • The Bluebird 216 N. Walnut St.
  • 3rd St. Park 331 S. Washington St.

Friday, September 19th

● 6:30pm: Söndörgó First United Methodist Church

● 6:45pm: Catherine MacLellan First Christian Church

● 7pm: Kaia First Presbyterian Church

● 7:15pm: Vanesa Aibar & Company Buskirk Chumley Theater


Flamenco Dancer Vanesa Aibar

● 7:15pm: Mames Babegenush Ivy Tech Community College Tent

● 7:15pm: The Revelers Old National Bank/Soma Tent

● 7:45pm: Catherine MacLellan First Christian Church

● 8:05pm: Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line First United Methodist Church

● 8:50pm: Nagata ShachBuskirk Chumley Theater

● 8:50pm: Van-Anh Vanessa Vo First Christian Church

● 8:50pm: FullSet First Presbyterian Church

● 8:50pm: Tsuumi Sound System Ivy Tech Community College Tent


Tsuumi Sound System

● 8:50pm: Aurelio Old National Bank/Soma Tent

● 9:50pm: Söndörgó First United Methodist Church

● 10:10pm: Banda Magda Buskirk Chumley Theater

● 10:25pm: Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line First Christian Church

● 10:25pm: Erkan Ogur’s Telvin Trio First Presbyterian Church

● 10:25pm: Orkesta Mendoza Ivy Tech Community College Tent

● 10:25pm: Movits! Old National Bank/Soma Tent

The Pencil Today:


“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.” — Helen Keller


I voted in my first presidential election 35 years ago. I pulled the lever for Jimmy Carter over Gerald R. Ford. That November, 1976, I felt heady and powerful, having helped sweep the stink of Dick Nixon out of Washington.

I looked forward to a future that would include peace, a home and plenty of food for all my fellow citizens, affordable higher education for all, unfettered access to birth control and abortions, legalized marijuana, and, of course, jet packs.

What A Cool Future!

So here we are in 2012, fighting a war that makes Vietnam look like a historical hiccup, hunger and homelessness rampant, yearly college tuitions reaching $50,000, still no legalized pot, and anti-abortionists in charge of one of the two major political parties of this holy land. Oh, and no jet packs.

Anti-abortionists gathered outside the Monroe County Courthouse yesterday afternoon to proclaim to the world how much they love, love, love every human being on this planet — as long as those human beings are not comprised of any more than several hundred cells.

“We Love You.”

The annual Rally for Life has been going on for more than a decade around Courthouse Square. Yesterday, the anti-abortionists were met with counter-protesters who shouted, waved signs, and painted slogans on their bellies.

The fun came to an early halt when the so-called Lifers decided it was too windy and misty to testify about their adoration for embryos any longer.

My fave sign at the rally? One guy held a placard proclaiming, “My sperm is not a person.”


So, Mitt Romney and his super PACs used TV advertising to knock the hell out of Newt Gingrich in November and December. Then Gingrich used TV ads to knock the hell out of Romney this past week.

Now nobody knows who the Republican candidate for president is going to be. Nor can anybody figure out why the primary race so far has been such a roller coaster ride.

Has it occurred to anybody that Republicans just might be more dedicated TV watchers than anybody else in these Great United States, Inc.? Couldn’t it be that — despite their protestations to the contrary — if they see it on TV, it’s gotta be real?

Of course, the only things Republicans don’t trust on TV are science shows and the news (except for you-know-which channel).


Joe Paterno, we learned yesterday during the sickening post-mortems following the child-sodomy-tolerating football coach’s death, used to lead his teams in prayer before every single game.

Answered Prayer

So prayer, we must conclude, is a worthy activity when one hopes to score more touchdowns than Ohio State but ain’t worth the effort when trying to decide if one should call the cops after being confronted with eyewitness evidence that a pal was busy anally raping a ten-year-old boy in the shower room.

And prayer certainly didn’t help JoePa decide to bar Jerry Sandusky from using Penn State facilities for further May-December trysts (oops — I meant February-December).


If you live in one of a dozen or so primary election states, the prayer set is going to shove gory images of fetal body parts in your face in a couple of weeks. That is, should you decide to waste several hours of your precious life by watching Super Bowl XLVI.

The Puppy Bowl: A Better Usage Of Your Time

Yep, extremist Randall Terry, who is running for president (he’s expected to come in first in the Martian primary) has bought ad time in 13 primary-state TV markets during the big game broadcast on February 5th.

Terry, you may recall, founded Operation Rescue, the terrorist organization whose Kansas branch greased the way for the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

The Terry “campaign” is running the explicit ads in response to pro-choice blogger Sophia Brugato, whose 10fortebow Twitter page donated $10 to abortion rights groups every time Denver Broncos quarterback (and prayer fanatic) Tim Tebow scored a touchdown this past season.

So, What Is It With Football And Prayer?

The “candidate” says if Brugato can raise dough for “killing babies” then he and his fellow mobsters must “fight fire with fire.”

BTW: Does it come as any surprise that a fellow like Terry might be averse to homosexuality, so much so that he has essentially disowned his son for the sin of being gay?

You know, family values, and all that.


Parents these days are afraid to let their teenaged kids walk to the convenience store, right? Soccer moms (remember that term?) today must drive their precious spawn a block and half to the Circle K for their weekly supplies of Red Bull, condoms, and rolling papers.

That’s why this 16-year-old Laura Dekker chick’s just-completed excellent adventure is so jarring.

With the blessings of her parents, little Laura took a solo, around-the-world trip in her sailboat. She’s the youngest person ever to do such a thing, which may or may not help her advance in the business world when she becomes an adult — a landmark, I remind you, that is still some five years in the future.

Laura Dekker Got To Break Curfew 517 Nights In A Row

I’ve beaten this horse time and time again but it refuses to die. These narcissistic “accomplishments” are of zero value to anyone on this good, green (for the time being) Earth.

Celebrating these deeds and honoring their perpetrators as if they’d discovered a cure for autism is flat-out nuts.

I have a suggestion for the next pre-teen who wants to climb Mt. Everest or newlywed couple who wants to spend their honeymoon bonking high above the ground in a trans-Pacific hot air balloon ride: How about volunteering to work in a food bank or helping bring bedpans to elderly patients in your local hospital for a few weekends instead?

Now that’s heroic.


Mortgage banker Kathe Elliott-Doremus (one of the good ones — yes, such creatures do exist) FBed a fascinating nugget from the vault, Chicago’s “Dialogue, Part 1 and 2.”

Amazing, isn’t it, how nearly great that band was for a tantalizingly brief moment in time?

In fact, it was a Chicago Transit Authority (its original name until the real CTA threatened to sue) song that first introduced this aspiring teen radical to the term, “The whole world is watching.” The band’s eponymous debut album featured the twin-track “Prologue, August 29, 1968” and “Someday, August 29, 1968” which begins with raw audio from the Battle of Michigan Avenue. I stared at that convulsive event, rapt, on television when I was 12 and dreamed I could be there at Michigan and Balbo, in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel, slugging it out with Mayor Daley’s cops.

Wishing I Was There

I was too young to make that scene. I would have had my skull dented, sure, and who knows where I would have headed after that. I could have become just another drug casualty or I might have been the next Tom Hayden.

Anyway, CTA seemed a harbinger of everything good and cool about pop music in the very early 70s. Lots of horns, a healthy dose of jazz, a political echo seemingly in each of its songs. But then — and I have no idea why — they turned to saccharine. It’s said Chicago is the second-most successful American pop band in terms of record sales after the Beach Boys. Most of those sales were of the treacly crap from their endless succession of unnamed, Roman-numeral-designated albums issued after that first release.

And then lead singer Peter Cetera struck out on a solo career, the output of which made Chicago’s pablum sound like the Dead Kennedys.

Chicago Transit Authority, Before They Turned Rancid

“Dialogue Part 1 and Two,” strangely enough, comes from Chicago V, showing that the band’s members still entertained a hint of the notion that music could be exciting.

Appropriately, Cetera’s is the voice of the Dialogue’s apathetic college student. He and co-lead singer Bobby Lamm talk about the state of the nation. “Don’t you ever worry,” asks Bobby Lamm, the socially-aware student, “when you see what’s goin’ down?”

“Well, I try to mind my business; that is no business at all,” Cetera responds.

Later, eerily presaging our times, Lamm asks, “Don’t you see starvation in the city where you live, all the needless hunger, all the needless pain?”

“I haven’t been there lately, the country is so fine. My neighbors don’t seem hungry ’cause they haven’t got the time,” blathers Cetera.

Finally, Cetera advises Lamm, “Well, if you had my outlook, your feelings would be numb. You’d always think that everything was fine. Everything was fine.”

And isn’t that the perfect crystallization of what passes for thought in the this holy land in the year 2012?

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