Judging from their first volley in this fall's election, Bloomington's business-knows-best bunch has learned absolutely nothing from the burgeoning citizen movement that now threatens their hold on power, at least at the county level.
With all the attention that has understandably been focused on the devastation that the proposed new-terrain I-69 highway will wreak upon thousands of acres of farm and forest land in its path, another, equally dramatic impact has been lost in the outrage.
George W. Bush was too busy raising money and delivering the world from evil to listen to Indiana environmentalists during his visit to South Bend on Sept. 5. But he and other crony capitalist politicians - like Joe Kernan and John Fernandez - had better be listening. Their political futures may hang in the balance.
Those who were listening closely on Sept. 11 detected the faint murmur from what progressive thinker Tom Hayden calls the "prophetic minority," the small group of Americans who recognize the ultimate futility of the Bush administration's "open-ended, blank-check, undefined war on terrorism."
One evening recently, I sat down with pen and paper to list all the great ways Gov. Frank O'Bannon has made Indiana a cleaner, healthier place to live. The next morning, still at my desk, I awakened slumped over a blank sheet of paper.
Another national big-box retailer with tentacles in the Bloomington retail market has been exposed for unsustainable business practices. The San Francisco-based ForestEthics' Paper Campaign last week charged that Staples Inc. has been misleading shareholders and the public about its role in the continued destruction of old-growth and endangered forests.
Joshua Martin, Bridgitte Lee, and Mandy Skinner could have returned home from South Bend last Thursday frustrated and angry. They had driven four hours to gather with others on the banks of the St. Joseph River to tell George W. Bush what they think about his policies on our environment and our world. But all they got to see was the faintest glimpse of his motorcade and his jumbo jet silhouetted against a darkening Indiana sky as he whisked back to Washington to plan World War III.
The first week in September is traditionally the time when America's power structure pays lip service to the American worker, lavishing praise and gratitude upon those whose backs serve as the foundation of our extravagant lifestyles. And so it was last week on Labor Day 2002.