Category Archives: Unemployment

Hot Air

C’mon, Dems, Brag A Little!

For all our own mental and emotional well-being, I urge each and every one of you to thoroughly enjoy the lowest gas prices in four years. Acc’d’g to those who monitor such things, a gallon of gas costs, on average, $3.00 in these thirsty United States.

The link, BTW, updates itself weekly so if you go there in, say, a month, it may read something else. Here’s s screenshot of today’s reading:

EIA Gas Prices 20141031

US Energy Information Administration Report, October 31st, 2014

Now, allow me to dump of a bucket of ice water over our collected heads: Just think how gas prices are going to rebound over the next few weeks. Does four skins a gal. sound crazy? I’m no expert in how the energy racketeers strategize the systematic emptying of our wallets but based on the utterly unscientific and fairly undependable evidence of my memory, big dips in motion lotion prices generally are followed by even bigger soars.

So save those pennies, kids.

Oh, and today’s relatively cheap gas reminds me of something else. The Republican Party is clearly the superior of the two major political cliques in our holy land when it comes to self-congratulations. This is no bad rap: I respect and envy the ability of GOP-ers to scream to the world Hey, look what I did for you!

Had the Republicans been fully in charge of Congress today and had they somehow been able to wrest the White House from that notorious Muslim plant from Kenya in 2012, they’d have been singing hosannas to themselves for the low gas prices. And scads o’folks across the land would be telling each other how fabulous the Repubs. are for getting that gallon down to three bucks. Hell, you’d think Prez Mitt Romney himself had barged in to the CEO offices of the world’s oil giants  to demand they drop gas prices.

The Democrats? Well, y’know.

Political Science

Dems in 2014 could have run in this mid-term election on the three-pronged platform of health care, unemployment, and gas prices. They could have shouted from the mountain tops that millions and millions more of our fellow citizens now have health insurance under Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act. They could have robo-called the populace about how unemployment has dipped below six percent a mere six years after the greatest global economic trauma since the Great Depression. And, natch, they could have simply given stump speeches underneath gas station signs.

Gas Station

Nary a one of these things has been done. The dopes.

Instead, acc’d’g to political hall monitors, Dem candidates from sea to sea are too busy pretending they’ve never heard of this chap Barack Obama.

Fighting By The Rules

Some Democrats here in and around Bloomington are aghast that local Republicans are planting yard signs where they shouldn’t be! The horror.

Party precinct captain Pam Davidson was busted the other day by a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy for swiping Republican yard signs that she swears were planted illegally on public lands. The Richland Township precinct 3 party operative was allegedly witnessed pulling out a sign and tossing it in her trunk at the intersection of Curry Pike and SR 46.

The sheriff’s deputy took her into custody. No word yet on whether or not he slapped the bracelets on her.

GOP Yard Sign

Here’s my question: Why wasn’t Davidson planting her own yard signs — ones that say something simple like 5.9% Unemployment? You’re Welcome! or Obamacare, Like America, Works — right in front of those Republican signs?

You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. The Dems, it seems — both nationally and locally — have forgotten that simple rule of street fighting.

 

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Majority rule only works if you’re also considering individual rights. Because you can’t have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.” — Larry Flynt

HERESY

I ruffled a lot of feathers Saturday when I wrote that I hadn’t swallowed the September unemployment figures like a good boy taking his cough medicine.

Responders called me both cynical and a conspiracy theorist.

I prefer the term skeptic.

Search Me

The outrage, naturally, came from Barack Obama supporters. All of them who voiced displeasure with that post know I am as eager as they are to see the president be reelected in four weeks. Nevertheless, they viewed me, at least for the moment, as if I’d stepped in dog shit.

Just to show that I’ve cleaned my shoe off and am ready to be accepted back into polite society, I’m going to voice doubt for a set of stats once again.

This time Willard Romney on the receiving end of my sharp pen. I heard this morning that Romney’s lead over Obama in one poll suddenly is 4 points. Not even a week ago, Obama led Romney by four points. So, that’s an eight point swing, attributable only to Obama performing in the first debate as if his high school girlfriend had just dumped him.

I don’t buy it.

Margaret, who owns the Book Corner, asked me yesterday if I was getting tired of the presidential campaign.

Man, am I!

And it’s still inconceivable to me that a significant number of people haven’t decided at this late date whom they’re going to vote for.

If opinion polling is a science, it’s the softest of the soft sciences. And that includes such alchemies as economics and psychology.

Early voting in Monroe County begins today in the Curry Building, 214 W. 7th St. The polling place is open most days from 8am to 6pm. Click here for more Monroe County voting info. Also, click here to find out who your elected officials are.

The Curry Building

I’m going to vote today. Here are my choices (I live in Monroe County, Perry Township, Precinct 22):

  • President & Vice President: Barack Obama & Joe Biden
  • Senator: Joe Donnelly
  • Governor & Lieutenant Governor: John Gregg & Vi Simpson
  • 9th District Representative in US Congress: Shelli Yoder
  • Indiana Attorney General: Kay Fleming
  • Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction: Glenda Ritz
  • State Senator, District 40: Mark Stoops
  • State Representative, District 60: Peggy Welch
  • County Commissioner, District 2: Julie Thomas
  • County Commissioner, District 3: Iris Kiesling
  • County Council At Large: Geoff McKim & Cheryl Munson

I’ll leave about a dozen offices blank either because I don’t know enough about the candidates or the opponents are both full of crap.

Now, here are my winners:

  • Obama/Biden
  • Stoops
  • Welch
  • Julie Thomas
  • Kiesling
  • Geoff McKim & Cheryl Munson

Just Win, Baby!

The GOP statewide will make a clean sweep. Indiana also will go for Romney/Ryan but the President will be reelected nonetheless. And, as always, the People’s Republic of Bloomington will go solidly Democratic.

It’s a real mixed bag for me this year but as long as Obama makes it in for a second term, I’ll be happy. What with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hanging on to life by her fingernails, I shudder to think what this holy land will become under another president in hock to the right wing theocrats of America. A Romney administration would be salivating for Ginsberg to at last turn in her lunch bucket and nominate a jurist who thinks corporations are people and the Earth is only 6000 years old.

In any case, go vote. If you don’t you’re a jerk.

CRAZY IN LOVE

The woman’s haircut was a cross between Moe Howard’s, an Afro, and a mullet. Swear to god.

Plus, she had vacant eyes, which was fitting because, well, once you hear why she was on the talk show, you’ll understand that her cranium was as empty as a Republican’s promises to the Middle Class.

I don’t remember which talk show the woman was on. It could well have been Oprah. I did a tiny bit of research and found that she’d also appeared on Morton Downey, Jr.’s show. And if you remember him, you ought to dash out and get an emergency lobotomy because your brain is tainted.

Her name was Sue Terry and she made the rounds on national television to proclaim to the world that she was in love with John Wayne Gacy.

Sue Terry: The Most Whacked-Out Fangirl Of All Time?

That’s the John Wayne Gacy who was found in 1978 to have buried the corpses of at least 33 young boys and men in the crawlspace beneath his Northwest Side Chicago home.

Gacy was one of the maddest hatters this holy land has ever produced. His defense attorney probably considered it a monumental triumph that he convinced judge, jury, press gallery, and gawkers not to string up his client immediately after the prosecution’s opening statement.

Nevertheless, the woman with the improbable hairdo pledged her undying love to Gacy years after he’d been locked up and was awaiting execution. If memory serves me correctly, when pressed as to why she’d feel so strongly about a man who murdered more frequently than other men clean out the garage, she replied, “Well, he never done nothin’ bad to me.”

Which, come to think of it, is as Tea Party-ish a thought as has ever been uttered.

Anyway, I was reminded of this woman in an article I read about the fearsome nature of girl crushes. The author, Rachel Monroe of the Awl website, begins the story by laying out the crush roster she and her teen pals had: Monroe was smitten with Gavin Rossdale, friend Mary was into Leonardo DiCaprio, and Emily was all about Paul McCartney.

She Loves Him, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

The three made their respective idols the absolute centers of their lives, which is not so terribly fearsome. But the extent that other young girls go to vis a vis the likes of, say, Justin Bieber often is. And then there are those who carry their crushes into adulthood — yick — or whose idols are less than savory characters — even more yicky.

For instance, Monroe reveals, there’s a whole interwebs community of girls who, still to this day, are head over heels for the boys who committed the Columbine shootings. And, natch, there’s now a population of teen girls who are gaga for the loon that shot up the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado earlier this year.

Monroe explores the frightful nature of these and less extreme examples of girl crushes. She writes, “A girl with a crush is also capable of crushing.”

She cites the worries that authorities had about the Beatles when that rage was at its hottest. There was real fear that the Fab Four might eventually be injured or killed by the mobs of shrieking girls that followed them.

Beatlemaniacs surely were not psychotic and if they had harmed the boys, it wouldn’t be because they had malice in their hearts. But those who, like Sue Terry or the Columbine fangirls, are mad for vicious murderers even have a psychiatric handle, hybristophilics.

Can This Be Love?

The piece gets into sexual repression, expression, and double standards. Check it out and explore the hairline border between love and violence.

[h/t to Roger Ebert for the original link to the story.]

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

WORKSHOP ◗ Ivy Tech-BloomingtonSolving the Credit Mystery: Credit Counseling Expert Panel, experts from Fifth Third Bank, IU Credit Union, & Regions Bank offer info and advice on credit scores, credit cards, etc.; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Latino Cultural Center — “Dancing to Fidel’s Tune: Revolutionary Cuba through Alma Guillermoprieto’s Memoir ‘La Habana en un Espejo’,” Presented by Latino Studies Dissertation Fellow, Silvia Roca-Martinez; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Woodburn Hall — “From Food to Fracking: Human Health and the Environment,” Presented by ecologist & author Sandra Steingraber; 4-5pm

MUSIC ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsThe Art of the Harpsichord, Presented by Beth Garfinkel; 5:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “The Lives of Others”; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudent Recital: Clarinet Studio Concerto Competition; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleRichard Groner; 7-9pm

WORKSHOP ◗ BloomingLabsIntro to Arduino Programming, Arduinos on hand but guest must bring own laptops; 7-9pm

DISCUSSION ◗ Monroe County History CenterCivil War Roundtable: “Hoosiers in the Mexican War Who Became Leaders in the Civil War“; 7-9pm

POLITICS & DISCUSSION ◗ First United Methodist Church — “Health Care Reform and Medicare: Are You Confused?” Bob Zaltsberg of the Herald-Times moderates, 9th District Congressional candidate Shelli Yoder and numerous experts expected to attend; 7-8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoJeff Isaac Trio; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallContemporary Vocal Ensemble, Dominick DiOrio, conductor, performing Chen Yi, Sandström, Muhly, Cage, Tormis, & DiOrio; 8pm

GAMES ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm BloomingtonTeam trivia; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopRingo Deathstarr, Secret Colours; 9pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

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