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Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
15 Oct 2014
The Scariest Thing About Political Fearmongers Is Themselves

One thing you can say about Rick Perry is that he sticks to his guns. If one of his policy proposals turns … Read More.

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Marriott's Shameful Hotel Tipping Scam

As an old popular song from the 1970s asks, what do you get if you "work your fingers right down to the bone"?… Read More.

1 Oct 2014
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Some people have a myriad of recurring nightmares about being publicly embarrassed, such as rising to give a … Read More.

Who'll Represent Reality?

Comment
Here's a statistic that George W., most presidential candidates and the majority of Congress critters are not aware of, much less dealing with, even though this statistic affects millions of American families: $4 a gallon.

That's not for gasoline. That's what the cost of a gallon of milk is approaching. Milk prices have jumped by more than 20 percent in the past year, eggs are up by 44 percent, and other grocery essentials are rising, as well. Add in ballooning mortgage rates, soaring home heating bills, ever-rising medical costs, and hikes in the other basics of life -- combined with stagnant wages -- and you've got a harsh economic reality that doesn't fit the rosy picture touted by clueless politicians and media barons. A weekly paycheck that used to last a week now isn't lasting more than two or three days.

This is a reality that is now experienced not only by low-income families, but also the middle-class majority -- folks making $35,000 or $40,000 a year. But politicians and media elites don't hang around people from these neighborhoods, nor do they personally experience the stress of living paycheck to paycheck, so they accept the contrived wisdom that somehow or other the economy is booming. They don't ask the essential question: a boom for whom?

The elites running our country mostly dwell in what one economic analyst calls the "plutonomy" -- that's the golden strata of our economy, made up of CEOs, hedge fund managers, Washington lobbyists and other swells who live in a rarified world of luxury homes, private jets and bottles of cognac priced at $200,000 each. So what if milk is $4 a gallon? No one cares about that . . . do they?

This aloofness is why so many working-class Americans are down on both political parties. They wonder where the political party is that'll represent reality, that cares more about $4 milk than catering to the cognac class.

Commander Bush "Wins" One

At last, George W.

can claim a breakthrough in his six-year war in Afghanistan.

Things have not been going well there. Bush has spent $127 billion and lost 469 American lives in this war, but Osama bin Laden is still loose, Bush's handpicked Afghan president is so weak that he can barely venture outside his capital city, and the provincial Taliban leaders that our troops once drove out of power are now back.

Still, the Bushites have made strides in one area: agriculture. Afghanistan is a very poor country, so to make ends meet, farmers there have had to rely on an illegal crop: opium poppies.

Indeed, Afghan farmers account for 93 percent of the world's opium production. This is not good, and it's something that Bush & Company have been trying to change. Now a United Nations survey reports some significant progress: A northern Afghan province has been officially declared poppy-free this year! The U.N. report hails the province as a model "where leadership, incentives and security have led farmers to turn their backs on opium."

That's terrific . . . but to what did these farmers turn? Watermelon, maybe, or sweet potatoes? No, there's no profitable market for these. Instead, the province is flourishing with 10-foot-tall cannabis plants -- the source of the hashish and marijuana trade. In fact, more than half of Afghanistan's provinces now cultivate cannabis, producing a 40 percent increase in the crop this year alone.

Afghan drug dealers buy the farmers' illegal abundance and take it to market in Pakistan, another supposed U.S. ally. From there, it is sold internationally -- with a portion of the profits going to al-Qaeda and others fighting our troops.

Still, this is what counts as success in the wacky world of George W.'s absurdist war policies.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



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