Growing up, I absorbed a lot of values from my Ol' Texas Daddy: a strong commitment to the common good, a healthy work ethic and a lively sense of humor. But one thing about him I've rejected: his determination to have a perfect yard of thick, verdant St. Augustine grass. Lord, how he worked at it -- laying sod, (watering), fertilizing, (...Read more
Let me be blunt: The problem with today's Supreme Court is that it consists of too many 5-watt bulbs sitting in 100-watt sockets.
While most of the nine members are assumed to be brilliant, "smart" is as smart does, and this court's right-wing majority wallows in stupid, consistently pushing plutocracy, autocracy and theocracy over the ...Read more
For people who live in trailer parks, can anything be scarier than the sound of a roaring tornado? Yes: Most frightening is seeing slick real-estate gentrifiers prowling around.
For some 20 million low-income Americans, being able to park a mobile home in a trailer park is their only affordable refuge from homelessness. But while they own ...Read more
If you're trying to enact an extremist right-wing policy, but the public keeps rejecting it, what do you do?
You could try blatant deception, giving the same old policy a new coat of paint, a euphemistic name and a multimillion-dollar political shove. That's the dark path now being taken by the clique of plutocrats and theocrats who're ...Read more
Wow! A couple of Supreme Court justices say they're now starting to think that maybe the court should sorta start thinking about possibly, perhaps, someday adopting some sort of anticorruption reforms.
This nine-member group of unelected, supremely powerful judges is allowed to make up its own rules of ethical behavior. So -- surprise! -- ...Read more
There is nothing quite as pitiful as whiny billionaires. And the whiniest of all is the richest -- Elon Musk. This self-entitled bully runs over anyone in his way, then whines when they protest.
Elon's latest high-pitched screech was prompted by public demands that his profiteering schemes obey clean-water and safety regulations. He owns a ...Read more
Seemingly intractable problems sometimes have an obvious solution standing right in front of them -- our nation's dire shortage of long-haul truck drivers, for example.
Wrangling big rigs across the country is difficult and dangerous work, and the corporate giants that dominate the industry have long been wailing that they can't find people ...Read more
Over time, words with beautiful meanings occasionally get degraded into ugliness. "Gentle," for example.
Originally meaning good-natured and kindly, it was twisted into "gentry" in the Middle Ages by very un-gentle land barons seeking a patina of refinement. Then it became a pretentious verb -- to "gentrify" -- meaning to make something ...Read more
In the mid-1800s, a new political party flared up in American politics, posing as an alternative to both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Xenophobic and nativist, it was extremely secretive with outsiders about its specific structure, motive and agenda. Indeed, members were instructed to say, "I know nothing" when asked about details --...Read more
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