On page 8 you’ll see a new monthly feature by Jim Hightower, “Going Down the Road.” Jim’s been called America’s favorite populist. He’s been editor of The Texas Observer, president of the Texas Consumer Association, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, host of a radio show. Nowadays he broadcasts daily radio commentaries, publishes a monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown (jimhightower.com) and makes more than 100 speeches a year. With groups like ACORN and Public Citizen he’s organizing the Rolling Thunder Chautauqua Tour, a series of political/cultural festivals around the country (rollingthundertour.org). He’ll be traveling through America talking to people engaged in grassroots work and new political movements for working people.

Indian novelist Arundhati Roy faces a sentencing hearing in March for contempt of court. She’s being prosecuted for language she used to defend herself against a bogus suit brought against her for speaking at a rally condemning the development of dams in India that will displace thousands of people. The suit was dismissed; Roy could draw up to six months in jail on the contempt charge.