Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Laughing all the way to Red Bank

My latest batch of Roads Scholaring photos is up, and it focuses on my recent Peace Bike jaunt to Red Bank Road on the east side of Cincinnati. You'll peep, you'll weep, you'll beg for more (except there aren't any more)...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Now the Bengals won't even use the stadium they made the taxpayers pay for

It's bad enough when sports teams fleece the taxpayers for new stadiums, but this is totally ridiculous.

A new agreement with Hamilton County commissioners says the Cincinnati Bengals won't even have to play all their home games at Paul Brown Stadium - after taxpayers have been forced to pay for the stadium for years. Under this deal, the Bengals now only have to play 7 home games per year in Cincinnati. They get to play the other game in an overseas location, most likely London.

Playing in London is their idea of a "home" game? Seriously? What good does that do for the long-ailing Cincinnati area economy? Supposedly, the new agreement lets General Electric build nearby, but much of the economic gain from GE would be offset by the Bengals moving their games abroad.

Then again, Hamilton County commissioners always give the Bengals whatever they want, so is this really surprising?


Friday, April 18, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "WRFN Memories"

Tim reminisces about the radio station at NKU, which was obsessed with Rick Springfield and Kenny Loggins (before it became obsessed with Air Supply and Neil Diamond)...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Charges dropped against South Fayette student

After right-wing officials in Pennsylvania's South Fayette School District filed bogus wiretapping charges against a high school student who secretly recorded harassment he suffered - charges that were later reduced to disorderly conduct, for which he was convicted - the case has now taken a turn for the better.

After he decided to appeal the conviction, authorities have now dropped the case altogether. The DA's office said, "The behavior does not rise to the level of a citation." That's their way of saying the student never should have been charged in the first place.

Democratic State Rep. Jesse White plans to introduce a bill that would specifically allow students to record the harassment they endure.

America's schools are largely run by right-wing fascists who connive with the prison industry and other mucketymucks to destroy kids' lives.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

St. Louiseein' is St. Louibelievin'

You'll peep.

You'll weep.

If you're lucky, you might even oggle-beep!

I've posted 146 Roads Scholaring photos and videos from last month's roadmeet to end all roadmeets in St. Louis (which Greyhound almost ruined). I've divided them into 6 parts, and you're gonna view every last smidgen of them if it's the last thing you ever do...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Religious freedom lawyer dies

Sorry to report the death of Edwin Kagin, a local attorney who championed religious freedom cases. Kagin died late last month at the age of 73.

Kagin ran for Kentucky Supreme Court back in 1998 against a conservative incumbent. He also ran for Kentucky Senate in 2000. In his later years, he continued to be a strong advocate of separation of church and state.

Although he lived in Union, Kentucky, the local press did not cover his death - though the New York Times did:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The only law in Bunkerville

Tea Party wunderkind Cliven Bundy and his followers are now effectively the only law in Bunkerville, Nevada. Why? Because the Bureau of Land Management has surrendered to his self-righteous temper tantrum.

For 21 years, the wealthy Bundy has refused to pay grazing fees for his huge ranching operation on public land - fees that other ranchers are also legally required to pay. In other words, he thinks he shouldn't have to obey the law like everyone else. If I wanted to start a ranch on public land, I'd have to pay grazing fees too. It's not as if Cliven Bundy was a victim of selective enforcement.

Recently the BLM tried to auction off some of Bundy's cattle to cover what he owes. This prompted a Tea Party complain-a-thon in which a handful of right-wing legislators and 1-percenters came to Bunkerville to show support for Bundy. The story was forwarded through right-wing mailing lists and websites, and some parts of the story were complete fabrication.

The BLM didn't handle everything perfectly, so there's no completely innocent parties in this story. But when one of the "peaceful" protesters supporting Bundy kicked a dog, all bets should have been off.

After a few days of this nonsense, the BLM surrendered completely to these violent right-wing bullies. Bundy started a range war - and won, because the BLM raised a white flag.

It's more than just a range war. It's literally a coup d'etat. The Tea Party stamped their feet until the federal and state governments agreed to stop enforcing the law around Bunkerville. The only law there now is Tea Party law.

One of the hallmarks of government is its ability to enforce the law. I support civil liberties, and I will fight to the death for my rights. But I also have a right to expect the government to carry out its basic charges - which it won't do in Bunkerville. The government has given up its powers in an entire town to a small gang of right-wing fanatics.

Cliven Bundy's antics would have never been tolerated in the Old West. What would the Gum Fighter in the old Hubba Bubba commercials think if some rancher decided he should be exempt from the laws that everyone else has to follow?

What message is the BLM sending by surrendering? Now any statist lunatic anywhere in the entire country can gather 5 right-wing thugs together, kick a dog, and yell about how they refuse to obey the law - because they now know that the government will just let it go. And presto! Once that happens, they run they show. And they know it.

A Tea Party coup. Coming to a town near you.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kmart is your bubbling store...Where your bubbling buys you more...

Now that the Kmart in Newport is closing after 35 years, I don't know of a single Kmart remaining in the area. So I just had to use the above headline now, since it's unlikely that I will ever again witness anyone bubbling at a Kmart (and haven't in years, or else I would have used that headline by now).

Bush ripped his paintings off Google

Right-wing former dictator George W. Bush ran the most tyrannical, corrupt, and scandal-ridden administration in American history. No question about it.

Not long ago, it was revealed that Bush spends his retirement years producing paintings of world leaders. This revelation was a slap in the face to the many veterans of the Iraq War (which Bush started) who lost their arms or legs or even their eyesight in battle.

Now - as Bush's paintings are being displayed in Dallas - art critics note that all he did was just copy his paintings off Google. Usually, the paintings were copied from the very first result on Google Images. He even copied a picture of his own daddy, right-wing former dictator George H.W. Bush, instead of getting ol' Pops to pose for him.

Nice to know Bush has mastered paint-by-numbers. I guess he hasn't mastered copyright law. Or any law. It's a shame that waste of carbon isn't in prison for his war crimes.


Harassment victim charged with wiretapping

Sounds like a school shooting might be justified.

You won't believe what happened in the South Fayette School District in Pennsylvania.

There have been several students around the country who have secretly recorded harassment they've suffered at school. Once in a while, the attackers are even punished when the recorded evidence comes to light. But this may be the first time that the victim was actually charged with a crime for recording the abuse.

In the South Fayette case, a high school sophomore with a learning disability kept getting harassed at school. Someone even tried to burn him with a cigarette lighter. So he used an iPad to secretly record the harassment that was taking place in the classroom.

On the recording, classmates are heard attempting to pull down his pants and hit him with a book.

When the boy's mother took the recording to the principal, it wasn't the harassers who were punished. Instead, the principal called the police to interrogate the boy who made the recording and charged him with felony wiretapping.

Police later reduced the charge to disorderly conduct, but - outrageously - he was found guilty by some right-wing judge. An appeal is in the works.

Naturally, the harassers were never punished. Of course.

The Nazis' excuse for charging him with wiretapping was that the students he was recording had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Yet they also claim there's no reasonable expectation of privacy where one actually exists - e.g., when confronted with warrantless automobile searches while parked at school. In other words, reasonable expectation of privacy is respected only where it doesn't truly exist, but it's disrespected where it does exist.

School officials actually committed a crime - not just by refusing to punish the perpetrators. They also deleted the recording - thereby illegally destroying evidence.

The serial bullies in this story are damn lucky that nobody has smashed them right in their stupid little faces - at minimum.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Luis Is Cool"

Tim praises a long-running character on 'Sesame Street'...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Have no fear, the April ish is here!

Once again, The Last Word is busting its butt to churn out another issue, and this is a special one. It's a "PLANES, TRAINS, AND BUSES" edition!!!

That's right, peepos! This ish is all about mass transport - including a recent bus trip from hell! While much of this edition is a mind-blowing critique of the likes of Greyhound and Delta, there's so much more! There's even another hilarious poo-poo story!

So point your pooper here...

Millionaire who abused welfare gave to GOP

Welp, here's this hour's Republican scandal.

Colin Chisholm III and his wife Andrea Chisholm are a wealthy Minnesota couple who fraudulently collected welfare although they didn't need it. Over a period of 7 years, these con artists took $167,000 in welfare from 2 different states. They even collected welfare from both states at the same time! This despite the fact that they had over $3 million in the bank and lived a life of luxury.

When there's smoke, there's fire. It turns out that Mr. Chisholm has donated $1,250 to Republican campaign funds, including the hated National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Of course, the pop-up media has not covered this. It'll spoil the narrative, you see.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Another "family values" congressman caught in extramarital encounter

This guy's been in office for only 5 months, and he's already proving what a hypocrite he is.

Right-wing Rep. Vance McAllister (R-Louisiana) campaigned on a "family values" platform in a special election last year. Now he's been caught in an extramarital encounter with a congressional aide.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Diet soda linked to heart disease

Here's another story that The Media is never going to touch ever again after today.

Yet another study has found ill effects from diet soft drinks. This study says that women who drink 2 or more diet sodas a day are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack or cardiovascular event - and 50% more likely to die. It also says that those who drink the most diet beverages were more likely to get diabetes or high blood pressure.

NBC reports, "The findings, being presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, don't suggest that the drinks themselves are killers." Uh, yes they do, NBC. That's exactly what the findings suggest. Literacy is the key to many doors.

Remember this the next time some zillionaire wants to pass a beverage tax that exempts diet soda and acts like it's some great public health revolution.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wisconsin GOP covered up sex assault claim

Sen. Ron Johnson and the Republican Party of Wisconsin are in trouble deep. That is, unless this scandal gets swept under the rug by the shit-eating media like most other recent GOP scandals.

Johnson and the Wisconsin GOP covered up sexual assault allegations 3 years ago. That was when State Rep. Bill Kramer was accused of sexually assaulting a Johnson aide. Johnson and other Republican officials were informed of the incident, but they refused to report it to police.

Now more allegations against Kramer have surfaced - resulting in felony charges against him. But in the meantime, Republicans (many of whom already knew about the earlier accusation) chose Kramer as majority leader.

In the original allegation, Kramer is accused of shoving the victim against a car, forcibly kissing her, and putting his hands up her shirt. Then - while inside a car - the lawmaker allegedly locked the doors, kissed the victim again, grabbed her groin, and tried looking down her shirt.

Ron Johnson needs to be expelled from the Senate over the cover-up. That, plus he stole the election, so he never should have been seated in the first place. It's not too surprising that Johnson would cover up an incident like this, because he once testified against a Wisconsin bill that would have required religious bodies to pay damages for sexually abusing children.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Library Farts"

Tim celebrates National Library Week (April 13-19) by reminiscing about the hilarity of people passing gas at the libe...

This is bubbling season

Today at Kroger, a person bubbled.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tim zings USA Today!

Boom goes the bubble gum. The Affordable Care Act has now met the original prediction of 7 million sign-ups on the private insurance exchanges.

Here's an amusing little story I intentionally sat on for months - because I knew there'd be better days ahead to spring it.

Back in November - during the darkest throes of The Media's complain-a-thon against the ACA website - USA Today ran an article titled "Obamacare credibility going up in smoke." I responded to it, saying, "I think USA Today's credibility just went up in smoke."

Who's laughing now? Not USA Today. The government had originally predicted 7 million private insurance enrollees. This was a forecast, not a requirement, but it was perceived as a goal to measure the law's success. Later, the prediction had to be scaled back to 6 million, because the right-wing media squandered the entire first month of the exchanges' rollout by incessantly whining about it. But now it's reached 7 million after all, and may reach 8 million once all the sign-ups are counted.

I knew the day would come in which I could rub USA Today's noses in their own fetid excrement. I had absolute confidence in it. This must be humiliating for them.

I still hope the next step is single payer health care. Remember, the ACA was a disappointment when it passed - only because it didn't go far enough.

It's the Cincinnati Reds playin' basteball again!

Now that the bleeding from Friday has halted for now, I went to the Opening Day parade in Cincinnati today!

Dave Concepción was there, and his presence brang back a fond memory of the 1988 Reds season. That was when Concepción became so angry during an away game in San Francisco that he uprooted first base and threw it. Following his tantrum, Concepción said of his own actions, "I think a lot of people enjoyed it. I think a lot of people think it was a classic."

Celebrity look-alikes abounded today. During the course of the parade, I saw people who resembled Glenn Beck, Morgan Freeman, Debbie Harry, Abe Vigoda, and John Edwards. I'm pretty sure a couple of the aforementioned celebrity look-alikes had been sighted at other events like this.

Also, I saw 2 people who were in such a festive mood that they bubbled.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Archie ruins a mink

Since many folks don't seem to understand anything on this blog that doesn't have to do with TV shows in which a valuable object gets destroyed in a hilarious manner, I thought I'd oblige.

I was told a long time ago that there was an All In The Family episode in which an expensive mink cape got ru by spaghetti sauce. I later confirmed that this was indeed a real episode. But you still don't believe me, so now I'm presenting the proof...

That episode first aired in 1972. I can't help but notice that Archie Bunker strongly resembled an old man who lived in the house next door to me when I was growing up.

The ruinment of Edith's mink resulted in an absolutely uproarious argument between Archie and a houseguest! That might be even funnier than the actual destruction of the mink, if you can believe that! You've got to see that part!

And yes, the magic word does get used a couple times in that episode.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hitler preferred the Brossart era

This is uproarious!

I've spent much of the day on the johndola because of a personal health issue, so I didn't have time to do a Lawn Chair Quarterback. But I found something on YouTube that's just as funny, and folks from Campbell County who are familiar with the Tea Party's statism will adore it...

Tea Party defeat brings good press to Cincinnati

You may remember the days when Cincinnati was the subject of more bad publicity than any other American city, but the Occupy coalition has helped restore the city's good name. The 78% to 22% defeat recently of a Tea Party-backed pension referendum has resulted in the most positive attention the city has had since the Big Red Machine...

The piece is titled "How Cincinnati Beat The Tea Party." Twenty years ago, this would've been the equivalent of seeing an article called "How Alexandria Shut Down Brossart."

The CIA-backed Tea Party is so extreme that even Cincinnati's hyperconservative business community feared what Team Tyranny's pension referendumb might do. It's pretty bad for the Tea Party when even such a corrupt and oppressive corporate culture has abandoned them. Who does the Tea Party have left to support them?

If Cincinnati can break the fascist Tea Party's back, any other big city can. It's strange that Oakland had a Tea Party group that formed just to try to shut down Occupy, when Cincinnati can defeat Team Tyranny by a 3-to-1 margin at the polls.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kentucky GOP's slasher budget

Lately, we've seen one far-right power grab after another by the Republican-led Kentucky Senate.

These chortling sore losers have tried expanding the official reach of the legislative branch - which already has disproportionate power in Kentucky. They've pulverized a popular measure that would've restored basic voting rights to people convicted of nonviolent crimes who've served their sentences. They've gutted an effort to let schools more easily make up snow days. They haven't even acted on a bill passed by the Kentucky House months ago that would raise the minimum wage. And they've tried to mandate the teaching of creationism in public schools, and have jeopardized a bill that would settle the Tea Party's frivolous library lawsuits.

Now the Senate GOP has passed a budget that slashes funds for community colleges. At the same time, it retains funds for the state's increasingly right-wing universities - presumably because of the universities' propensity for hiring officials who spend their time hobnobbing with the Tea Party instead of treating the movement as the sick joke it is.

The budget also threatens community colleges' building program. It would even slash inspections of coal mines by two-thirds.

Everybody else is talking about progressive ideas like guaranteed employment, single payer health care, eminent domain reform, green energy, the continuing rise of Occupy, and the community rights movement. But the Kentucky GOP slogs along and embarrasses the whole state. It's not just in the state legislature. It's at the county level too. Take Kenton County, for instance, where county government won't even accept responsibility for maintaining roads in Latonia Lakes. Instead, county officials keep arguing with residents about whose responsibility it is.

If only they were more like the "ZZ Top Republicans" of the late 19th century, people might actually give a shit what they think. Instead, the modern GOP chooses to be a party of unmitigated fucking nonsense.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Religious fanatic sentenced for beating boy

John Kelley - a Cincinnati area man - has just been sentenced to 3 years in prison for repeated beatings of his adopted son, who was 9 when the abuse occurred. The prosecutor said it was the worst case of physical abuse he'd ever seen.

It turns out that Kelley is a religious fanatic who was encouraged to beat the boy by other members of his church. When he was arrested, Kelley arrogantly declared, "You have to spank a child until you see the resistance is broken." Kelley had also taken the boy to a Kroger supermarket and made him wear a sign saying, "I pee on my family if I don't get my way."

Why did any adoption agency place the youngster with a man like this? I don't know if they knew of the man's background, but the unfortunate fact is that many agencies favor zealots like this. Religious extremists are a privileged class in the America of today.

Religious liberty is a constitutional guarantee. But this doesn't give anyone the "right" to abuse children. Adherents of churches that condone outright child abuse should be automatically barred from adopting kids. It's that simple. The well-being of children should be of utmost importance.

We're now seeing the results of a media and government that for many years has willfully mollycoddled extremism. There is blood on the hands of talking heads and public officials who have allowed child abuse to take place.

We are at war. A war against right-wing extremism. A war we cannot afford to lose. We are naturally endowed with the obligation to fight this war at all costs.

In the meantime, I hope John Kelley is beaten bloody in prison.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Knox County GOPer indicted

The party of wire fraud strikes again.

Because this is a day in which the sun rose in the east and will set in the west, we have another new story about a scandal stinking up the Republican Party of Kentucky.

David Jorjani is a Republican former county attorney in Knox County who is now seeking that office again. But yesterday, Jorjani, his wife, and one other individual were indicted for tampering with physical evidence. The indictment says the trio knowingly submitted faked evidence for an official proceeding.


This is the party that thinks it's owed control of both houses of the Kentucky legislature - and has a friendly media that's always happy to help 'em.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Meet Me In St. Louis"

Tim talks about last weekend's roadmeet in St. Louis and the bunker blasts that came with it...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fred Phelps dead at 84

Fred Phelps Sr. - the far-right Topeka-based pastor known for picketing funerals of celebrities and soldiers - died last night at the age of 84. Details here:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Amazing roadmeet, shitty bus service

If Greyhound had pulled a stunt Saturday like they did yesterday, it would've ruined a roadmeet 14 years in the making. Indeedity-doodledly, it would've spoiled what may be the greatest Roads Scholaring session in the hobby's long history. And there would've been unshirted hell to pay.

On Saturday, I attended the nationwide roadmeet in St. Louis, which drew almost 30 people. Nobody but nobody disputes that it was one of the best roadmeets ever - for a variety of reasons.

I arrived early enough to roam around downtown St. Louis for hours. But the actual meet began with a luncheon at 11 AM. When I read beforehand that baked beans would be on the menu, I had a hunch that one of the highlights of the roadmeet would have nothing to do with roads. I wasn't disappointed. Two silent-but-deadly bunker blasts were reported during lunch.

That wasn't even flatulence's first cameo of the day. An SBD had also wafted that morn at the Indianapolis bus station - where I also noticed that someone had thrown a penny in a urinal. (I dared not remove the coinage, for fear of a hepatitis outbreak.) In fact, an SBD was reported even before I left for the meet: Another Roads Scholar notified me that a stinker erupted on his flight to the event.

Oh yes, the roads. Roady highlights include a bumpy, forgotten street near the St. Louis riverfront, a spang-new I-70 span, and the Chain of Rocks Bridge. Decent all. This turned out to be a "choose your own adventure" event, for several cars in our motorcade opted to deviate from the itinerary.

But the air biscuits weren't done wafting yet! Someone let loose with a loud-and-proud during dinner. Another LAP trouser sneeze bombarded the premises right when I was getting ready to go home.

The unprecedented success of the meet itself contrasts with my experiences with Greyhound - which were miserable both to and from the meet. If someone had cracked a loominsky on the bus from Cincinnati to Indianapolis, nobody would have noticed, because the stench of the restroom filled the coach all the while. Worse, I got no sleep whatsoever on the trip there - primarily because a sleeping passenger next to me on the route from Indianapolis to St. Louis seemed to slowly conquer my seat. Also, this bus was late arriving in St. Louis.

That was nothing compared to the unmitigated disaster that defined the trip home. The departure of my first Greyhound bus home was initially delayed 2 hours, even though the bus was idling at the platform long before it was even supposed to leave. The reason for this was never explained, as there were no weather delays whatsoever. After we got moving, we made it 20 miles outside St. Louis when we noticed the heater in the bus was broken - which forced us to return to St. Louis for a different bus. This wosted another 40 minutes - plus another half-hour waiting at the terminal for the replacement bus, even though it was sitting there the whole time.

We got to Indianapolis 3 hours late. Then there was another half-hour wait - even though the scheduled layover had already been completely eaten up by the earlier delays. After the bus to Cincinnati got moving, the driver told us we were being rerouted through Dayton, Ohio. For no apparent reason.

I got no sleep on the way home, because by this point, I was so angry that I was just too animated to sleep. Most of the other passengers felt the same way. I haven't heard so much cussing in years. The only sleep I got during my outing was a couple brief snoozes as we gathered right before I went home. (Does this trip count as a mish because these unplanned naps were on the floor of a hotel room? I'm going to have to consult the mish judges.)

When we got to Dayton, the bus let us off. Greyhound then said it would be another 4 hours, then a different bus would take us to Cincinnati. I decided I was better off calling a family member who lived near Cincinnati to pick me up in Dayton.

Greyhound tried to put a diaper on my trip, but even the hopelessly delayed route from St. Louis to Indianapolis yielded some amusement. Other passengers kept complaining because there was no toilet paper in the restroom on the bus - on a 4-hour route, no less. A young woman on the bus stood up and gave a speech about her personal health problems - and appeared to be ready to drop her pants in front of everyone to underscore the point. Also, the scent of a bunker blast was detected - which was so strong that other riders were heard discussing it. Since the bus was moving, I can only conclude that we drove into a fart.

But nobody bubbled.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Have no fear, the March ish is here!

The Last Word is back! (Circus Vargas, Circus Vargas!)

That's right, peoplefaces. The March edition is now pub, and it talks about these amazing topics...

• A Catholic elementary school's support of far-right websites.

• The decline of Brossart's approval ratings.

• The coolness of old cartoons.

• A sheriff's ongoing erratic behavior.

• People eating supermarket food without paying for it.

• The best cities for Road Scholaring.

• The bugs that afflicted Atari BASIC.

So beep, meep, and oggle-peep...