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There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos: A Work of Political Subversion

Hightower is at it again, this time taking aim at those bedrock institutions that drive the economic and cultural life of the country. As the man himself says, “I am an agitator, and an agitator is the center post in a washing machine that gets the dirt out.” In this lucid, viciously funny, downright refreshing book, Hightower argues that government, the media and corporate conglomerates have put us smack-dab in the middle of the mess we’re in today.

Leaving almost no contemporary issue unscathed, he lays bare the dirty politics behind the new global economy, exposing how these three institutions have undermined basic American values like justice, fairness, tolerance and opportunity; how they’ve steamrolled the common people, ignoring their needs; how they’ve created an oppressive and oppressing machine that keeps the downtrodden downtrodden.

Author, radio commentator, public speaker and political sparkplug, Hightower doesn’t gripe and whine, he offers commonsense solutions to controversial issues. In language everyone can understand, he tackles big issues and proposes strategies that are easy to implement. Calling on the poor and middleclass, the groups he claims represent a true populist majority, he shows how an already strong grassroots movement can be made even stronger. Arguing for change on the local level, Hightower demonstrates exactly how this can be accomplished.

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  1. Sherry B. says

    History Repeats – Again

  2. Harold W Dozier says

    Jim Hightower could have written his book just prior to …

  3. Schtinky says

    Good grief! Don’t let morality interfere with profiteering! Nobody is safe from the sharpened teeth and wit of this political watchdog, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.Though “Armadillos” is an older book, published in 1997, it is still valid today. And those of you who think he’s swinging too hard at Pres. Bush will enjoy watching his energy focused on Clinton, who was Pres then.This is what I mean when I say Jim Hightower is not necessarily anti-Bush; he is anti corporateering and pro working-citizens. He will aim his sights at anyone, regardless of partisan politics, and expose their greedy, pork-filled underbellies.”Armadillos” is divided into five basic sections; Class War, The Media, Pollution, and Politics.In Corporateworld, Hightower exposes such big-money deceptions as Corporatized Medicine. While we sit back and debate whether or not socialized medicine is a worthwhile route, the HMO’s and Corporations have taken over our health care to line their own pockets and serve no one but themselves. Also note his timeline comparisons to the old Robber Barons, and the similarities of today’s working place. And watch out NAFTA, Hightower is on to you!In Class War, Hightower emphasizes the growing chasm between the filthy rich and the working-class right here in America. Fortunately, anything this top heavy must eventually topple over, especially when their supporting base becomes unstable. (translate to unhappy and no longer willing to hold them up) Of particular note in this chapter is Hightower’s revisiting the origins of our holiday, Labor Day; by itself this makes the chapter Class War shine.In The Media, Hightower exposes the media bias long before “Out-foxed” was ever made. Anyone remember the 1994 “Telecommunications Deregulation” bill that was supposed to create more competition in the telephone and cable choices we everyday citizens have? How many choices do you have now? If you are like me, there is One Mega-Monster provider that services your area and that is that. I still have no choice and I’m paying 10 times what I used to.Pollution is the best chapter in the book. Here, Hightower charges in, no holes barred, and shows up the corporate greed, incompetent government agencies, and fat-belly back scratchings that are keeping this country polluted and compromising our health everyday. From meat-packing to organochlorines, no polluter is safe. I have recently read a very disturbing book called “Slaughterhouse” by Gail Eisnitz, and here in “Armadillos” Hightower proves that what Ms. Eisnitz exposed has been going on for a very long time.Taking a huge risk here, Hightower even stands up against the “feel good” events such as the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How dare he attack such a noble and gentle association? Because the sole funding source of BCAM is Zeneca Group, a huge multibillion-dollar corporation named in a 1990 lawsuit for dumping DDT and PCB’s into Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors. What, you say? Zeneca produces cancer causing, chlorine based pesticides, most of which are dumped into our environment, then has the nerve to tell us women that its our “fatty diets” or our “lifestyles” causing our illnesses. To put icing on top of this putrescent cake, Zeneca also owns a pharmaceutical company that produces a treatment drug for breast cancer. Give it to `em, then charge `em to try and cure it.During the next BCAM campaign, watch to see if any mention is made to organochlorines and their links to cancer. You won’t find any.The last chapter, Politics, sounds more volatile but is actually a gentle sliding out of the book. Making more and more sense, Hightower warns us that instead of being so partisan, we need to question the ethics of each and every candidate, especially where their monetary interests are.”Armadillos” is still in tune with the problems of this country, and what I really like about him is that he points out ways for the reader to fight back, so you are not left all riled up with no comb in your hand.His humor is both sharp and refreshing, and he infuses it heavily into his written works, making palatable even the most horrible of subjects. One of my favorite ideas of his is the Candidate Stickers; just like racecar drivers wear patches and stickers showing their sponsors, so should our politicians. Hightower paints a very funny picture of a debate with sticker-covered candidates, the only part that is not so funny is that while we argue party against party, the candidates are wearing the same corporate logos on their 1K suits.Hightower uses extensive reference to real occurances here, naming bills and corporations, providing dates, and showcasing the organizations that are making a difference. This is a great book for those just becoming politically aware, and for old veterans of the partisan wars alike. Hightower’s witty prose and…

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