Jim Hightower from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 21 Apr 2021 02:46:56 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Jim Hightower from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/jim-hightower-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower 9ec9b55c1faee48c7ef79048f93c0005 Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day? for 04/21/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/04/21/why-do-we-celebrate-earth-day Wed, 21 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Here it comes again," grump the barons of Big Oil and other corporate plunderers of our natural resources: another damn Earth Day. After 51 years, they gripe, this global hoorah is outdated; time for people and the media to move on from the old Save-the-Earth hoopla.</p> <p>Do they think we have sucker wrappers around our heads? First, Earth Day is not a hoorah but a call to action. Second, "Save The Earth" is not hoopla but an imperative cause for human survival. And third, the persistence of the movement is directly related to the persistent greed of the plunderers. After all, this day doesn't celebrate a planet but the feistiness of the human spirit, the tenacity of millions of everyday people committed to the ethic of good stewardship &#8212; people like Diane Wilson of Seadrift, Texas, a fourth-generation shrimper on the Gulf Coast. <p>Updated: Wed Apr 21, 2021</p> 5c5fd9bdd2872d586c9918f9fadeb1bb To Bust Monopoly Power, Start With Dinner for 04/14/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/04/21/to-bust-monopoly-power-start-with-dinner Wed, 14 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>No longer just a parlor game, monopoly is what's for dinner. Practically every commodity and every step in producing our families' most essential consumer purchases is in the tight grip of four or fewer global conglomerates:</p> <p>&#8212; Four chemical conglomerates &#8212; Bayer (German), BASF (German), ChemChina (Chinese) and Corteva (U.S.) &#8212; control more than 60% of the world's commercial seeds market.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 14, 2021</p> 1cead2b4502fd63337f437b710cede61 Is America Big Enough to Go Big Again? for 04/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/04/21/is-america-big-enough-to-go-big-again Wed, 07 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's time for America to go back to the future &#8212; a future of true greatness created by a people united to build a strong nation for the Common Good.</p> <p>From the start of our United States, rather than shrinking at the right-wing bugaboo of "Big Government," Americans have backed leaders who dared to do big public projects: Abraham Lincoln's fight for a transcontinental railroad and a land-grant college network to serve small farmers; Teddy Roosevelt's establishment of our national park system; Franklin D. Roosevelt's electrification of rural America, creation of social safety nets and conservation initiatives; Dwight Eisenhower's interstate highway system; Harry Truman's GI Bill; John F. Kennedy's moonshot; and Lyndon Johnson's anti-poverty and civil rights achievements.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 07, 2021</p> 5143d4db1301029a52865a1d72943a09 Follow the People for 03/31/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/03/21/follow-the-people Wed, 31 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Usually, the Powers That Be swat away the kind of big-ticket reforms our country needs by haughtily asserting a few hoary economic fables they dress up as immutable "truths." </p> <p>"We don't have the money." <p>Updated: Wed Mar 31, 2021</p> bb4f39df4a91e99eee41d9c7d2e39600 Can GOP Autocracy Outlaw American Democracy? for 03/24/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/03/21/can-gop-autocracy-outlaw-american-democracy Wed, 24 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Hey, you, get away from those polling places! No trespassing! We don't want your kind here! Scram!</p> <p>How's that for a winning political message? It is stupid, shameful and ultimately self-defeating, yet being blatantly anti-democratic and anti-voter is the official electoral strategy being enthusiastically embraced nationwide by Republican officials and operatives. Admitting that they can't get majorities to vote for their collection of corporate lackeys, conspiracy theorists and bigoted old white guys, the GOP hierarchy's Great Hope is crude repression &#8212; rigging the rules to shove as many Democratic voters as possible out of our elections.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 24, 2021</p> b9c2a0d22621e60803ac0a0afc12496e Is Your Job in the Robot Kill Path? for 03/17/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/03/21/is-your-job-in-the-robot-kill-path Wed, 17 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Some people find hunting for sport to be abhorrent, so hunters have come up with euphemisms to make what they do sound gentler on the ears of the nonhunting public. For example, animals aren't killed; they're "harvested." And dead prey is not gutted but "processed."</p> <p>Corporate America has taken note of this verbal ploy and is now adopting it, for CEOs urgently need euphemisms to soften the image of their constant hunt for ways to kill jobs and funnel more money to themselves and top investors. Their urgency is that they're now pushing a huge new surge in job cuts &#8212; this time targeting college-educated, white-collar professionals! Their weapon is the same sort of neutron bomb they've used to dispatch millions of blue-collar workers: robots. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 17, 2021</p> 8af12d592271dd42b1e18a637be79144 Give Nature a Right to Self-Defense for 03/10/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/03/21/give-nature-a-right-to-self-defense Wed, 10 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There was a white oak tree in Athens, Georgia, that was so treasured by the locals it was not owned by anyone, not even the city. It was an <i> autonomous entity </i> known as the The Tree that Owns Itself.</p> <p>Around the 1820s, William Jackson, owner of the property where the oak resided, wrote a formal deed in which he proclaimed, "(I)n consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides." <p>Updated: Wed Mar 10, 2021</p> 02577a6635765a3f16f7f1ee9d301b36 The GOP's Shameful War on Voters for 03/03/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/03/21/the-gops-shameful-war-on-voters Wed, 03 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As a general rule, I don't agree with Republican lawmakers, since they're generally wrong. But after looking into one of their main issues, I have to agree with them: Our elections <i> are </i> being rigged.</p> <p>Anyone who takes an honest look can see that the electoral process all across the country is being stolen in broad daylight &#8212; by Republican lawmakers. In state after state, GOP governors and legislators are on a rampage to rig the system so you can't vote. By "you" I mean African Americans, Latinx voters, Asian Americans, indigenous peoples and practically all other nonwhite citizens. And seniors, union members, poor people, students, immigrant families and others with a tendency to vote for Democrats. By fraudulently shouting that "you people" are engaged in massive, orchestrated campaigns to vote illegally, GOP officials insist that they must steal your democratic right to vote in order to protect the "sanctity" of the vote!<p>Updated: Wed Mar 03, 2021</p> dba54c560ffc89b729f71c632644339b What the Texas Deep Freeze Revealed for 02/24/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/02/21/what-the-texas-deep-freeze-revealed Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's written that Nero, the debauched ancient emperor, fiddled while Rome burned. Whether or not that's true, it certainly is true that Ted Cruz, the self-indulgent Texas senator, fiddled around while his state froze.</p> <p>While Ted fled Texas for the sunny clime and luxury of the Ritz-Carlton resort in Cancun, Mexico, dozens of his constituents died in the five-day deep freeze, and millions more suffered physically and financially. They had no heat or water, thanks to the 25-year failure of Texas Republican leaders like Cruz to protect the state's electric grid from such a predictable weather crisis. This deadly, frigid, multibillion-dollar chaos in energy-rich Texas was not the result of a polar vortex but a small-minded vortex of right-wing political hokum that puts the interests of a few corporate profiteers over the well-being of the people.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 24, 2021</p> 9eae53c0f30c5044ad74a5fb5bfbc0d2 Rural Does Not Equal Red for 02/17/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/02/21/rural-does-not-equal-red Wed, 17 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>To say that President Joe Biden lost the rural vote is to sugarcoat the dire situation Democrats face out beyond the suburbs. Why? Well, scoff too many lazy politicos and pundits, rural America is indelibly red, filled with white rubes and racists, so Dems should write them off and concentrate resources where the big numbers are.</p> <p>Aha! Might it be a problem for a political party to dismiss an entire diverse constituency of millions as a block of static numbers in some consulting firm's big-data computers &#8212; rather than, say, as human beings to be courted and won over? The national Democratic Party is a myopic, data-driven operation, as was inadvertently admitted two days after the presidential election by Rep. Cheri Bustos, head of the party's congressional campaign arm. According to The New York Times, "'Something went wrong,' Ms. Bustos said, blaming incorrect modeling of the electorate in polling."<p>Updated: Wed Feb 17, 2021</p> 092bf878003718afd1f18cb860c67228 We Can Push Biden for Fundamental Change for 02/10/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/02/21/we-can-push-biden-for-fundamental-change Wed, 10 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>We've put Joe Biden in the White House ... but what do we get back for that? We get a real possibility of winning some progressive policies. Not that he will turn into a fireball of democratic populism, but unlike in 1992 and 2008, when then-President Bill Clinton and then-President Barack Obama fleetingly raised hopes that progress was possible, respectively, <span class="column--highlighted-text">two new factors give progressive proposals a greater chance this time.</span></p> <p>One: Biden himself. Despite a long career representing Delaware, the home state of corporate America, a core part of Biden's political makeup is that he's Joe Labor. He comes to the job with a genuine affinity for working stiffs. He's comfortable in union halls and working-class bars, and he unabashedly campaigned as "a union guy." Neither Clinton nor Obama had that in them. For Biden, labor rights are about showing gut-level respect for working families, caring a bit less about the wealth of Wall Street and more about the well-being of workers.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 10, 2021</p> cd426d6586b286f5e55713c1caaaaa79 Why Billionaires Are Detested for 02/03/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/02/21/why-billionaires-are-detested Wed, 03 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Bob Wills, the renowned leader of a classic Western swing band, would joyously call out mid-song, "Take it away, Leon!" bringing on a crowd-pleasing instrumental solo by steel guitar maestro Leon McAuliffe.</p> <p>But now comes another Leon who's such an off-key, screechy Wall Street billionaire that crowds are shouting, "Go away, Leon!" He is hedge fund huckster Leon Cooperman, who gained public notice nearly a decade ago when he compared Barack Obama's election to Hitler's rise to power, claiming Obama's criticism of tax breaks for the rich was fomenting class war.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 03, 2021</p> 6800706a154e9888329244bea5f0d55f Hey, Joe, Be a Democrat! for 01/27/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/01/21/hey-joe-be-a-democrat Wed, 27 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The Democratic Party establishment of don't-rock-the-corporate-boat congressional leaders and their hired political operatives keep trying to purge progressive activists and policies from the party. Even when the candidates of these old-line forces win, as Joe Biden did, they can't seem to stop assailing grassroots progressives who supply the new ideas, energy, organizing &#8212; and votes &#8212; that are the party's future. They're furious that we upstarts are making gains and pushing Democrats to be ... well, DEMOCRATS! Their latest hissy fit asserts that we are scaring voters with "wild-eyed" proposals like "Medicare for All," a Green New Deal and criminal justice reform.</p> <p>Just hours after polls closed on Nov. 3, a group of timorous congressional Democrats joined in a game of "pin the tail on the progressives," wailing that demands for such egalitarian policies had nearly cost Biden the presidency and were to blame for eight centrist Dems in swing districts losing their House seats. One of the leading complainers, Rep. Jim Clyburn, even insisted that those pushing a people's democratic agenda would be the death of the Democratic Party. If "we are going to run on Medicare for All ... socialized medicine, we're not going to win," he proclaimed.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 27, 2021</p> 09fef3d15b20caa9e93cfe12465c2f06 The Problem With Plastic ... Is Plastic for 01/20/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/01/21/the-problem-with-plastic-is-plastic Wed, 20 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What do your toothbrush, a fish dinner and your running shoes have in common?</p> <p>Plastic. For roughly 4,499,999,900 years since our planet was formed, plastic was not a presence on Earth, much less a problem. But in the last few decades, this manmade petroleum polymer has become a dominant element in nature. We now live on Planet Plastic, and it's definitely a problem. Billions of tons of waste from everyday products made of these chemical contaminants are strewn literally everywhere &#8212; on the highest mountaintops to the deepest sea beds, in dense tropical jungles and all across barren deserts. It's estimated, for example, that in less than 30 years, the gross volume of plastic in our oceans will outnumbers fish! <span class="column--highlighted-text">From ubiquitous carry-out bags to shower curtains to almost-invisible microplastics, the vast tonnage of this trash increases every minute and has an afterlife lasting centuries, wreaking havoc on ecosystems; destroying species; and infusing our water, air, soil, food ... and us.</span> Consider just three products trashing our Earthly nest:<p>Updated: Wed Jan 20, 2021</p> df172f3d3abc513c59c2f9c2f694d316 Who's Really Behind the Desecration of Our Capitol? for 01/13/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/01/21/whos-really-behind-the-desecration-of-our-capitol Wed, 13 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What exploded in our nation's Capitol on Jan. 6 is an outrage, a desecration of America's democratic ideals!</p> <p>But I don't merely mean the ransacking and terrorizing of Congress by violent Trumpeteers who were deluded by the lying, megalomaniacal president into thinking they could throw out the votes of 81 million citizens. Rather, let's also shine a light on those pious establishment peers who've practically knocked one another over in their rush to the microphone so they could assail the mob and call for decorum and healing of the angry political division in our society. For example, the GOP's Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, called the invading horde "thugs" and prissily lectured, "Self-government ... requires a shared commitment to truth and shared respect for the ground rules of our system" <p>Updated: Wed Jan 13, 2021</p> 0ac5dc0a38ad4eb9d90a4fe22225e9eb We Are All Still Animals for 01/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/01/21/we-are-all-still-animals Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>You animal, you! Well, yes, we homo sapiens are animals, as dour scolds of human behavior ceaselessly point out. They reduce our existence to the nasty and brutish law of the jungle, insisting that selfishness and survival of the strongest is the natural order. The noted philosopher of animalism, Professor Donald Trump, expressed this soulless view in a book he titled "Think Big and Kick Ass": "In a great deal you win ... You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself."</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">But the animal kingdom itself suggests a better route to winning than crush-your-opponent competition: cooperation.</span> While animals do eat other animals, the species that are the most successful survivors are not the strongest but the ones that work together in a sharing society. From ants to elephants, animals in the wild organize to hunt together, build family and group homes, nurture and teach their young, spread their available food throughout the community, mourn lost ones, etc.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 07, 2021</p> 5a55c7f3181147210e942ba4129ab8ec 'Lord of the Flies,' Revisited for 12/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/12/20/lord-of-the-flies-revisited Wed, 30 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Many of us read William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" in high school &#8212; and it's still being taught. The 1954 novel depicts the gradual descent into barbaric darkness by a group of English schoolboys shipwrecked on a small, deserted island. Its portrayal of innate human depravity was hailed at the time for its unblinking "realism." Only ... it was total bulls&#8212;-.</p> <p>In his superb 2019 work "Humankind: A Hopeful History," Dutch historian Rutger Bregman documents that Golding had no knowledge of behavioral science and was hardly an impartial judge of children's propensities. Rather, he was an alcoholic prone to depression who beat his kids. "I have always understood the Nazis," Goldman once said, "because I am of that sort by nature." So, he made up the story, and it wasn't about children's dark nature, but his own.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 30, 2020</p> abd272ea6b2e4d4ae26f1a31f689a5e2 Special Gifts for Special People for 12/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/12/20/special-gifts-for-special-people-e9d65 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Ho-ho-ho, wait till you hear about the gifts I gave to some of America's power elites for Christmas. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">To each of our Congress critters, I sent my fondest wish that from now on, they receive the exact same income, health care and pension that we average citizens get. </span>If they receive only the American average, it might make them a bit more humble &#8212; and less cavalier about ignoring the needs of regular folks. <p>Updated: Wed Dec 23, 2020</p> 928a83af8b2f71289cb2cc7e8f724987 Timeless Truths for Trying Times for 12/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/12/20/timeless-truths-for-trying-times Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In a spoof of country music's sad songs of heartache and woe, the old "Hee Haw" TV show periodically featured a couple of its regulars dejectedly wailing a song of total anguish:</p> <p>"Gloom, despair, and agony on me<p>Updated: Wed Dec 16, 2020</p> 45adc71e0b017ec4cc78543e495f577e Thinking of Amazon Workers This Holiday Season for 12/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/12/20/thinking-of-amazon-workers-this-holiday-season-3d603 Wed, 09 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>During the hectic holiday shopping season, Jeff Bezos' Amazon may seem like a great option, especially for us procrastinators. Anything you want can be shipped directly to your doorstep. All it takes is a few clicks on the Amazon website &#8212; and, of course, some of your hard-earned money. </p> <p>The media sings the praises of Bezos' concept and business. But <span class="column--highlighted-text">what you may not know is that, as head of the Amazon beast, Bezos is hard on his labor force</span>. In fact, he was awarded a less-coveted prize by the International Trade Union Confederation in 2014: "World's Worst Boss." <p>Updated: Wed Dec 09, 2020</p>