When megalomanic, multibillionaire barons of industry suddenly announce that they are boundless geniuses who must remake society, government and nature, perk up and pay attention! Their grand schemes of social engineering almost always go badly for us nonbillionaires.
Having spent their careers in the top-down, self-aggrandizing, exploitative...Read more
Corporate and governmental hucksters intentionally cloak their schemes in convoluted obfuscations so that we commoners can't really know what they're saying -- or doing -- to us.
That's why our Hightower Lowdown team takes pride in regularly trying to deconstruct their arcane jargon, translating it into plain language. Recently, for example, ...Read more
Last week, I wrote about how Labor Day was created in the 1880s by rebellious workers, but I'm celebrating the spirit again this week because a momentous new energy has been building in today's union movement. Indeed, renewed union rebelliousness has put labor back in Labor Day!
Previously cast as "a day off," it's now a day "on," rallying ...Read more
We human beings sometimes do some terrible things in pursuit of the almighty dollar. But to our credit, one moral line we humans don't cross is to profiteer by gouging sick people on the price of medicines their lives depend on.
Unless, of course, you count executives of giant pharmaceutical corporations as human beings. Gouging patients is ...Read more
Peggy Lee struck a mournful chord with her hit song, "Is That All There Is?"
It was about the vapidity of life, and I found myself subconsciously singing along last week as I pondered the GOP presidential debate. Of course, these made-for-TV spectacles are more akin to mud-wrestling than actual policy debates. Still, I dared hope for some ...Read more
Last week, T-Mobile (my cellular provider) pinged me with a rude message: Henceforth we will screw you out of an extra $5 a month.
WHAT?! Had I done something wrong? No. Would I be getting some added benefit for my five bucks? No. It seems that T-Mobile bean counters have just arbitrarily decided that we customers who use credit ...Read more
Ohio voters scored a big election victory for women's rights last week! It was a tricky vote, too -- deceptively couched as a statewide referendum to approve a little technical change in the procedure for approving statewide referendums. How boring.
But Ohioans figured out that it really was a BIG vote on an underhanded ploy by right-wing ...Read more
How about a little bit of good news for a change? Specifically, good news about news.
The demise of local newspapers has been a very depressing story in the last few years, with several thousand of them gobbled up by Wall Street profiteers. Those money powers loot the publications' assets, then callously shut down each community's ...Read more
Sen. Tom Cotton, a far-out right-winger, is to good public policy what a boll weevil is to a good cotton crop: totally destructive.
But he is politically candid: Rather than disguising his racial bigotry, for example, Tom flaunts it, as he did last month in an open letter to the retail giant, Target. While the senator is usually a devoted ...Read more
As John Mellencamp sings: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." True. And here's and equally true twist on that aphorism: "If you stand for everything, you won't amount to anything."
In a remarkable achievement, a newly formed political party calling itself "No Labels" has managed to fall into both traps, standing up ...Read more
Unfortunately, it's 1984 again in America.
Not the year. The book. George Orwell's classic novel tells of a far-right totalitarian clique that uses "newspeak" and "doublethink" to impose their rigid, antidemocratic doctrine on society. Their regime held power through mind control: They had a "Ministry of Truth" for perverting language and ...Read more
About 150 years ago, Gen. Philip Sheridan was sweltering in the relentless heat of a Texas summer. He was not happy: "If I owned Texas and Hell," he groused, "I would rent out Texas and live in Hell."
Summer has always been hot here, but 2023 has been something else, thanks to a hellish "heat dome" that has been baking us since late spring, ...Read more
Two pieces of good advice: "Never sign nothin' by neon," and "Never negotiate with snakes."
But President Joe Biden violated both rules this year, getting out-negotiated by Senate Republicans (and their tag-along Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin). As a result, Biden completely surrendered an urgently needed program for America: universal child care...Read more