The Hightower Report

A magazine for the people outside the CEO suite; and drug companies get Bush to help them kill babies.


Not in Our Name

Sometimes I roll my eyes at the antics of our corporate and governmental "leaders," sometimes I get mad at them, and sometimes the only thing to do is laugh at their clownishness. Then there are days when I'm just totally embarrassed that these goobers are in charge, horrified that they are speaking in your and my names. This is one of those days.

I don't know about you, but I draw the line at baby killing. Yes, believe it or not, our so-called national leaders have crossed that line, all in the name of corporate profit. It happened just before Christmas, when George W. Bush's top trade negotiator blocked an agreement by the WTO to provide life-saving drugs to poor countries presently being ravaged by baby-killing diseases, from HIV to malaria. The agreement would have allowed generic versions of these drugs to be made and shipped into the impoverished nations.

But the Bushites squealed that the deal was "an assault on the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies." Hello. Property rights? Tell that to Zanelle Mngadi, a 29-year-old South African mom whose infant son was born HIV-positive. Explain to her that the lives of hundreds of thousands of children like hers are at stake, yet Bush and company are rushing to protect the property rights of Pfizer, Merck, Schering Plough, and the other superrich global greedheads that pushed to squelch the deal. Their claim is that the WTO agreement might allow the poor, disease-ridden countries to get more medicines than are "necessary," and that some of these countries might even abuse the deal to get generic versions of drugs like Viagra.

Good God Almighty! Babies are dying, and these scurrilous scoundrels are wailing about the far-fetched possibility of pinching the profits on Viagra sales! They can call it what they want, but it's baby killing -- being done in the good name of us Americans. To say no, not in our name, call Doctors Without Borders at 212/679-6800.


A Magazine for the Top Echelon

There are slick, specialty magazines that cater to the professional pursuits of CEOs, investors, bankers, and other wealthy elites who work at the top of America's economic pyramid. So, thought Richard Fabry, why not us ... why not a magazine for another group that works at the top?

Thus was born American Window Cleaner magazine. OK, so window cleaners work on the outside of the top executive suites, but they're still level with the big shots, and I don't think you'll find many big shots with the right stuff to wash their own windows, especially at 20 to 120 stories above the ground.

With a mission of informing, inspiring, entertaining, and communicating with window cleaners worldwide, Fabry puts out a bimonthly, 48-page, glossy mag to some 9,000 subscribers. He knows of what he writes, for he "did windows" professionally for years, going door to door in residential neighborhoods. He told the Oakland Tribune that he got started with the door-to-door bucket-and-squeegee work because, "It was easy to get jobs, it was a fun, low-stress, easy lifestyle. I wish I knew about this when I was a teen instead of doing stupid jobs. You make very good money. To me, it was a way to have my own business."

While he says he actually enjoys heights and admires the handiwork and derring-do of the skyscraper crews, Fabry prefers homes. "If you notice," he says, "on all high rises, the windows are the same size. That would be boring. I like a variety of windows." His magazine, however, covers every job in the trade, and it features stories about the latest cleaning gear, add-on services like gutter cleaning, and even has such send-ups as an article about movies that show window cleaners in them, reviewing the character's cleaning performance. "I like to make people laugh," he says. "I want to make window cleaners feel good about what they're doing."

Martha Stewart couldn't have said it better. Check out American Window Cleaner magazine online at www.awcmag.com, or call 510/233-4011.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Richard Fabry, American Window Cleaner, World Trade Organization, WTO, disease, HIV, malaria, George W. Bush, Zanelle Mngadi, Pfizer, Merck, Schering Plough, Doctors Without Borders

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