Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kentucky launches court-ordered voter suppression

If Matt Bevin manages to survive the election even though he's trailing by 10%, now we'll know why.

Kentucky is being forced to remove 250,000 "inactive" voters from its rolls. This is in response to a settlement resulting from a frivolous lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a far-right group that has sued climate scientists and has made numerous false claims that have been picked up as media talking points.

Judicial Watch falsely claimed that Kentucky had more voters on its rolls than citizens who were at least 18. This is untrue. The group also claimed that failure to remove voters violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. That too is a lie, for this law actually limits voters from being removed.

California must remove 5 million voters from its rolls.

It's unclear how these states are being forced to remove all these voters, for Judicial Watch doesn't have an army. This sounds like yet another case where public officials are caving to irrational right-wing bullies who have a megaphone.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Bubbling season is upon us!

Summer is bubbling season! That doesn't mean bubbling is any less hilarious at any other time of the year. But the warm weather does make it easier.

Today, I went to the pool at Ziegler Park, because I knew it would be one of approximately 3 days this year I'd be able to use it. While I was there, some woman bubbled.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ohio GOP strips PTSD coverage from first responders

The unchecked evil of the modern Republican Party is endless.

Republicans are stripping PTSD coverage from Ohio's budget for worker's comp for first responders - such as police, firefighters, and paramedics. The GOP claims to be such big supporters of police, but now they've let the mask slip. It's not like we should be surprised, as some of America's biggest criminal enterprises are aligned with the Republicans. After all, it wasn't the Green Party that led that standoff in Oregon a couple years ago.

The official position of Republicans in recent years seems to be that PTSD is a hoax made up by military and civilians to game the system. This stance goes at least as far back as Sally Satel's right-wing attacks against war veterans who sought benefits for PTSD. Donald Trump made similar attacks during the 2016 campaign.

It's a fact that Republican leaders at the state and federal levels don't love their country. They have a history of praising anti-American foreign dictatorships. They also do not love humanity. Many of those in leadership positions within the party are simply bad people.


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Far Right spreads bunk about bunk bed price-gouging

We all know there's a sucker born every minute, and that's why corporations can charge confiscatory costs for housing. And of course the right-wing media cheers it on.

Someone shared a story from CNN on a local Facebook page about how people are now spending $1,200/month for not an apartment or even a room - but just a bunk bed inside a cubicle. CNN laughably claimed this was affordable housing. And you know what? People are going to lap up this claim like toilet water. I pay only about one-third of that for a whole efficiency apartment, but CNN is trying to manipulate public opinion by making people think $1,200/month for just a bed is a big bargain.

It gets sillier. Some right-wing extremist responded to the post, saying, "Those who are looking for the charity of others really should not have a say as to what form the charity takes. All subsidized housing should be dormitory-type housing. If a person wants a place of their own, they should earn it through education and hard work."

What an idiot! He thinks someone who spends $1,200/month for just a bunk bed is receiving charity!

I checked his profile, and I assume he's a paid right-wing troll because of the lack of activity. He's probably paid by either the Putin regime or a right-wing church, since so many online trolls are. Then I blocked him so I wouldn't have to read his classist defenses of price-gouging.

Another person correctly pointed this out: Everyone always used to talk about how communism was bad because people would have to share their homes. Well, how is this bunk bed squalor any different? The "sharing economy" gets endless praise from the media as long as it's under capitalist auspices. And it truly is squalor. And it's statist.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Kentucky GOPer accused of selling drugs

Because this is a day ending in y, there's yet another scandal in the Republican Party of Kentucky.

Jerry Cox was a Republican magistrate in Knox County. Now he's been indicted on 6 charges of selling pain pills while the 2018 primary campaign was going on. Cox won the Republican primary but lost the general election.

What? A Republican in Kentucky selling drugs? Naaaaawww!

Earlier, Cox had faced a federal charge of misappropriating county property.


Republican bill would make Daylight Wasting Time year-round in Kentucky

As if Kentucky doesn't have enough problems these days, a new bill by Republicans would put the state on Daylight Saving Time year-round.

Bowing to pressure by Big Business, State Reps. Bart Rowland and Brandon Reed have introduced a bill that would extend this time change throughout the year as soon as the federal government green-lights it. The Trump regime has already announced support for year-round Daylight Saving Time.

This bill would actually be harmful to most of Kentucky, which is near the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone. It's also unlikely to produce gains for the part of the state on Central Time. If it passes, you'd think it would hasten our move to Central Time, but don't count on it. Big Business wants us on Eastern Time because it aligns with the New York Stock Exchange. But for that, we'd already be on Central Time. There's simply no good reason for us to be on Eastern Time - especially with Daylight Wasting Time added to it.

Florida and Tennessee have already enacted similar Republican bills. A bill to change the whole country to Daylight Saving Time year-round has been introduced by far-right Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida). The good thing about that though is that at least it gets Rubio's mind off his bills to slash Social Security.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Have no fear, the July ish is here!

Lean back, relax, and bubble a bub or two as you enjoy the July edition of The Last Word - your road atlas to freedom!

This ish talks about the nuisances created by a luxury housing development, right-wing sabotage of bicycling routes, guests vandalizing Airbnbs, environmental benefits of bubble gum, a possible pirate radio station of the '80s, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

All along, along...There were incidents and accidents...

Shh! It's for adults!

One of the most gnawing trends in recent years has been swimming pools that are open to the public but also limit some swimming time to adults only. Pools began doing this because a few grownups whined that letting kids use the pool at those times was hurting their precious little fee-fees.

Even Ziegler Park began doing this (apparently a 3CDC policy). As with many other pools all over America these days, the last 15 minutes of each hour are reserved for adults 18 and older. They call it "adult swim" - as if it's X-rated or something.

Uh, the pool was designed for adults and children alike. Why should anyone give a shit if kids use it? If a pool wants to be family friendly, why do they prohibit kids from using it for 15 minutes of every hour?

When I went to Ziegler Park today, I didn't see any kids committing any major misbehavior. They certainly behaved better than the spoiled brats I went to high school with. Whoever shit the pool was probably only about 2 - not 16 like my high school classmates were when they soiled themselves. One person on the Internet said the real reason for the "adult swim" is to give kids a chance to go to the bathroom so they don't foul the pool. Obviously, that didn't work.

A 2016 article in the Chicago Tribune says the "adult swim" rule is actually illegal - even at a pool that belongs to a private condo complex.

While the pool was being cleaned after the "fecal incident", a funny thought popped into my head. As it was closed for a half-hour, it completely subsumed the 15 minutes that had been scheduled for "adult swim." It kind of serves self-righteous adults right. I can't count how many times my favorite TV shows have been lopped off by sporting events that nobody watches running too long or a breaking news bulletin about the stock market that nobody except rich investors cares about.

The joke's on all the people who demanded an "adult swim" at a pool designed for both kids and grownups.

Be still my beating heart! I found a public pool!

I don't need to hear some right-wing millionaire who won't work richsplain about how rotten I am because I think swimming facilities are important. These aristocrats can afford to swim every day. I have life-threatening health problems, and swimming is important not just because I want to goof off but because it's healthy.

A few days ago, I asked folks on a Bellevue-based Facebook group if they knew of any good places around here to swim. Some of their ideas were completely unrealistic - like Kings Island's Soak City, which would bust any Bellevue budget. But someone said most folks in Bellevue go to the pool at Ziegler Park.

Ziegler Park is owned by the city of Cincinnati and is on Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine. It was almost 100 degrees today, so guess where I went?

The pool at Ziegler Park is eminently usable. It's surprising to find a good public pool like that these days. Boone County recently closed theirs because the Tea Party told it to. But Ziegler Park has a rather large pool with varying depths. And the cost of admission was low enough that it didn't wipe that smile away.

My day of basking under that giant, orange ball in the sky that recently emerged from behind the permacloud was nearly (keek!) ruined before I left. This morning, the drawstring fell out of my swim trunks. But I rectified this crisis by attaching my trunks to my underpants with safety pins, so I got to enjoy that fine pool.

The only low point while I was at the pool was when somebody had a "fecal incident." This forced the pool to be closed for a half-hour so it could be cleaned.

Also, I did see a celebrity look-alike. I saw some woman who strongly resembled Annie Lennox in the "Would I Lie To You?" era.

Will I return to Ziegler Park any time soon? It's tempting to say if poo, but I don't want that taken literally after the pool-clearing episode today.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Another Bellevue bubbling

Earlier, a young woman walking up the street bubbled.

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Kroger LAP!

Today at the friendly commune Kroger, I was in the section along the back looking for the garbage bag aisle, when I detected the unmistakable audio of a loud-and-proud bunker blast! There were lots of people standing around, so nobody could be indicted for this crime against humanity.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rob Braun leaves Channel 12 because of its right-wing bias

Rob Braun - longtime news anchor at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati - appears to have grown tired of the far-right bias of Channel 12 owner Sinclair Broadcasting. Not long ago, he was forced to humiliate himself in front of TV viewers by reading a controversial commentary written by Sinclar bosses. Braun tried to rewrite this statement, but Sinclair brass rejected the changes.

Now he's leaving the station despite a generous contract offer. Braun said, "I don't feel I fit well with the Sinclair News model." In other words, he's leaving because of Sinclair's extremism.

Since last year's controversy, 4 other longtime reporters have also left the station.


3CDC again violates First Amendment

3CDC - the secret society of big corporations that has been given free rein in most of Cincinnati's urban core - no longer thinks it owns only Fountain Square and historic buildings that it tears down. Now 3CDC thinks it owns everything.

This organization forced antiwar activists to buy a prohibitively expensive insurance policy to speak on Fountain Square - even as the Tea Party got to use the square for free (and left litter all around). 3CDC's hatred for free speech continues as now it is removing racks that distribute free newspapers from all over downtown and Over-the-Rhine. This includes free publications like the popular CityBeat.

This is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and it may lead to a legal challenge by CityBeat - which receives a significant portion of its readership from these boxes. In a similar case, a Cleveland newspaper won a First Amendment suit after its boxes were removed. Even a right-wing paper at Oregon State University won a similar suit, even though it wasn't even being singled out like the other papers were. In fact, the Supreme Court in 1993 struck down a Cincinnati ordinance that forced the removal of racks that contained commercial handbills. If commercial speech can't be restricted, newspapers can't either.

There's also the question of whether 3CDC - a private group - can determine what's allowed on the public right-of-way. Here's a hint: It can't.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders look-alike sighted at UC Hospital

Bernie Sanders is one of my political heroes. I've been a fan since I was 17. Why can't Kentucky have senators like him, like we have a right to have?

But I've just received an urgent text message informing me that a guy who resembles Bernie Sanders was sighted at University of Cincinnati Hospital. According to legend, he looks just like him!

Bernie Sanders is cool!

Extremist calls Bevin opponents "traitors to Christ"

I can't count how many times people have told me to be the better person when confronted with right-wing fanatics. I won't even try, because they can't be reasoned with. I know this from experience after the old Law Talk BBS.

With Matt Bevin trailing in general election polls (PPP has him down by 10%) and barely surviving the Republican primary (with only 52%), someone has created a "GOP for Beshear" Facebook page to support his Democratic opponent Andy Beshear. This fails to enchant the right wing that dominates the Republican Party.

The Far Right is so devoid of any constructive response that one Bevin follower said that group is "a bunch of traitors to Christ himself."

For one thing, the Far Right's ideas are un-Christian, but the more important point is that this statement shows their fanaticism. If they've brainwashed themselves into thinking they're doing God's work, how far will they go to carry it out?

We could accurately say that the Far Right is "a bunch of traitors to science itself." Not only does that sound less extreme, but it's a fair statement. Why is it different from the frenzied comment above? Because science is provable. It's not just a set of beliefs like religion that varies from person to person. As dissenters from the right-wing order, we believe in science, and that's why we have a right to live in a society modeled on our ideas. Science should have the privilege of guiding public policy because it's provable.

I'm not here to please or entertain fanatics who deliberately derail progress. If they support holding society back, that should be their problem and nobody else's. You don't get to use public office to fight a culture war to fulfill authoritarian policy goals that trample economic security and personal autonomy.

Let this sink in. Perhaps the biggest policies enacted by Donald Trump and Matt Bevin have been to cut taxes for the 1%, give taxpayer-funded handouts to corporations, and rob workers of their pensions. But while their followers hide behind religion, these policies defy Jesus's teachings - and they run afoul of basic, self-evident economic and social facts.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lawsuits loom after UMG fire cover-up

Record companies like to control every aspect of musicians' work. But while record labels demand ownership of performers' master recordings, they don't even take care of these masters, and they let them become carelessly destroyed.

After Universal Music Group was allowed to take over gobs of other labels, the company stored irreplaceable master recordings at its warehouse at Universal Studios Hollywood. This building burned down in a massive 2008 fire.

UMG said at first that the fire was no big deal because nothing irreplaceable was stored there. UMG said only films were kept there, and that these works had duplicates stored elsewhere that were safe and sound. But this was an out-and-out cover-up. Lately, it's come to light that perhaps 500,000 master recordings were kept there - and that they included masters by hundreds of major artists ranging from Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty.

The artistic losses from this fire are incalculable. Master recordings contain elements and documentation that no copy contains. Many of these recordings were never even released - so no copies exist.

The economic losses to musicians are steep too - because now these masters can't be used for future releases.

Now some lawsuits are expected against UMG for the 2008 blaze. A high-profile Los Angeles law firm is representing many unspecified recording artists in the upcoming legal actions.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A person bunkerooed at 7th & Race

Today I again went Roads Scholaring with the help of Red Bike's new electric bicycles. It's great exercise! After going out to Lower Price Hill, I went back downtown. At 7th & Race, a young man who walked past squeaked out an LAP bunker blast.

I had lunch at Piatt Park again and then shivered for a while because it was about 40 degrees outside. While I was there, I noticed that people were riding the new electric Red Bikes all over the place - proving the electric bikes are an incredibly popular addition.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Red, Red Bike...Stay close to me...

Last night, I made a major purchase. I buyed a year-long pass to use Red Bike - Cincinnati's popular bike-sharing program.

The cost of this pass worked out to only about $6.67/month. And it allows an unlimited number of 1-hour bike trips - for a whole year. Yes, I already have the Peace Bike, but Red Bike recently began offering electric bikes - which comes in handy after the Road Ruiner's motor blew.

My cellphone costs about $50/month, my Internet is $70, and electric probably averages about $80 (for an efficiency apartment, no less). All 3 of these services are owned by large corporate monopolies. And quality of these 3 services ranges from average to terrible. I've also had bad luck with intercity travel companies like Greyhound (also a monopoly) and Delta (which has a monopoly at the Cincinnati airport). But Red Bike - which is a nonprofit, according to its website - costs less than $7/month. So far, my experiences with Red Bike have been positive. This should ream a gaping chasm through the unceasing cries of those who claim that only for-profit services should exist.

Today, I used Red Bike to ride around Cincinnati. Although the pass allows each trip to last an hour before additional charges accrue, you may restart your hour by docking the bike at a Red Bike stand and undocking again. There's a limited number of these stations, and most are clustered together in small areas, but it sufficed for today.

Here's a detailed itinerary for today. The Red Bike stand near my place in Bellevue didn't have any electric bikes when I left this morning, but I found one at the next station - on Riverboat Row. I easily took that across the Purple People Bridge. The end of the bridge had a stand where I restarted my hour. Then I braved the construction gauntlet on US 52 east of downtown.

The only hill I had trouble with today was Collins Avenue. But the bikes I used today were more efficient than the Road Ruiner ever was. I zipped up to Avondale and dropped off the bike at a station. I got a snack and then returned to the station. I think I ended up with the same bike.

I absolutely flew downtown. I shut the motor off on much of Vine Street, since it's steeply downhill. I dropped the bike off at the stand in front of the library downtown. Then I foraged for lunch and rested at Piatt Park for a while.

When I left there, the electric bikes at the library station were gone, so I walked around the block to the stand on 7th and got one there. The battery was very low on this bike. I tried to swap it out at the aforementioned stand at the Purple People Bridge, but there were none available. But this bike managed to make it all the way to the stand where I left from this morning.

Later, I logged on to my Red Bike account, and it estimates that today's trips covered 15 miles and have already saved me $18.45.

Red Bike has so far been usable, and hopefully it'll be allowed to expand outside the few small areas that have it.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


This is usually a serious blog, but are you ready for some humor, 'Pail style?

I made another of my humorous videos for you to peep, weep, and oggle-beep...

Monday, June 3, 2019

Recent celebrity look-alikes!

Last night, I received an e-mail describing several celebrity look-alikes. According to this e-mail, someone who strongly resembled John Bolton - the right-wing extremist who serves as national security advisor - was seen at a hotel breakfast room in Pennsylvania. Plus, 2 women bubbled at a zoo in New York. Best all, someone put paper towels in a urinal at a truck stop.

The same e-mail said a Willie Nelson look-alike was seen mowing his lawn in Sharonville yesterday. He even wore a red bandana!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A person bunkerooed at a festival

Are we entering another golden age of bunker blasts? One can hope! Recent signs have been promising.

Last night, I goed to a small festival in the alley across the street. As I was strolling down the alley, I detected the scent of an ever-popular silent-but-deadly. Best all, it was in the presence of a local elected official. There was a group of people standing nearby, and I recognized one of them as an occupant of a local public office.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Have no fear, the June ish is here!

June wouldn't be June if I didn't fill it with the June edition of The Last Word, that fanzine of food, folks, and fun!

This ish talks about the gross purloinage of a wallet, the ruinment of valuable 8-tracks, Kmart baseball cards, MTV's idiotic license promotion, people getting expelled from college, gum, GoFundMe scamming safe space donors, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Monday, May 27, 2019

A person bubbled

This morning at the parade, a person bubbled.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Kentucky farmer exposes right-wing blacklisting

It's hard work to be a small farmer, and some have had their fill of the political blackballing that makes it even harder.

This op-ed by retired farmer Jim Pat Wilson in the Louisville Courier-Journal describes how Kentucky farmers are facing increasing retaliation by big banks for refusing to support Republicans...

This piece reveals that Republican bankers and landowners are blacklisting Kentucky farmers because of their political views. Farmers have criticized the Trump regime for its bungling of its tariffs, its far-right tax law, and its proposed slashing of flood insurance subsidies - putting farms at risk from more flooding caused by the climate crisis. But these farmers have faced retribution for speaking up. One who wrote an article about the loss of farm income and the rise of farmer suicides lost 300 acres of land when it was discovered that he was a Democrat.

Banks that make loans to farmers no longer rely on just their financial data. They also call other locals about farmers' "general character." If farmers anger their neighbors by supporting the "wrong" candidates, it's used against them.

I know it isn't just Kentucky. And it isn't just farmers. Want a good job? Better hope your boss doesn't see the Occupy pages you've liked on Facebook. Want to finish your degree? Hope your school doesn't find that article criticizing "Newtzi" you wrote in 1994. Right-wing blacklisting is out of control, and that's not what America is supposed to stand for.

Trump's FAA probes San Antonio in Chick-fil-A flap

Some of the most basic charges of the Federal Aviation Administration include airline safety, making sure flights aren't delayed, and preventing passengers from being stranded on the tarmac for hours on end. But instead of these tasks, Trump's FAA is getting involved in policing social issues. In conservaworld, allowing bigots to sell their products to a captive customer base is more important than ensuring safe skies.

Recently, San Antonio City Council voted to disallow Chick-fil-A from opening at the city's main airport. One of the reasons is that Chick-fil-A donates to antigay hate groups. Giving discriminatory companies a contract to use city property isn't what the city is supposed to stand for. In fact, it would violate a municipal antidiscrimination law.

Now the FAA is interfering and is investigating the city of San Antonio for its decision. Right-wing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is also investigating. They claim the city is infringing on Chick-fil-A's religious liberty. Well, if Chick-fil-A is a religious group, then why should a city contract with it at all, regardless of its beliefs? For a city to contract with a religious group would seem to be a violation of separation of church and state.

Is Chick\-fil-A a business or a ministry? If it's a ministry, it can't get government contracts. It it's a business, it can't claim its religious beliefs are being trampled. It can't be both just to suit the purpose at hand.

The FAA's probe threatens millions of dollars in federal grants to the airport.

The "secure" areas of airports have a captive audience. Passengers can't leave, and must use the businesses that exist there. Another reason San Antonio voted against Chick-fil-A is that the restaurant is not open on Sundays. Having an empty storefront on Sundays would reduce choices for travelers.

The FAA is also probing a situation like this in Buffalo, where officials also canceled a proposed Chick-fil-A at the airport. Of course, the Cincinnati airport apparently has a Chick-fil-A. That should be no surprise, because the airport (although it's in Boone County) is run by Kenton County, where county commissioners recently approved a white supremacist resolution.

What the FAA needs to do is crack down on airport boards that are stacked with Tea Party patronage appointees - like in Cincinnati, where the elected city council is deprived of any voice on the airport board.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Gentrification and climate crisis causing rat infestations

We know most of our leaders do absolutely nothing about the climate crisis, but they do just as little about gentrification - the process by which wealthy investors invade urban areas, artificially jack up housing costs, and force out residents.

Now both of these crises are leading to rat infestations in New York City; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Los Angeles; and Seattle.

One New Yorker said he counted perhaps 30 rats just walking down the block. Complaints of rats in D.C. have tripled in only a few years. Rats have gnawed away at car engine wiring, jumped into playground sandboxes, and spread diseases that have killed at least one person.

Gentrification has fueled construction projects that have uprooted rats from their habitat and released them onto city streets and into homes. The climate crisis is another leading factor.

Chicago has new laws requiring developers to have a rat control plan before starting new projects, but politicians in many other places do nothing. Zero. Zip. Community leaders have suggested ways to catch rats, but nobody dares to suggest halting gentrification.

In the meantime, those who have contributed to gentrification or the climate crisis should face stiff lawsuits for causing these rat infestations.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dick Clark look-alike sighted

I just received an e-mail declaring that a Dick Clark look-alike was seen at Kroger.

Also, this same e-mail said a young woman was seen bubbling as she prepared to cross a street. It's bubbling season, comrades!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Auditor candidate vows to expose Wall Street corruption

Kentucky - like many other states - has an elected office of auditor, which has some important fiscal responsibilities. Christopher Tobe is a candidate for auditor in next Tuesday's Democratic primary, and he's promised to expose Wall Street corruption that plagues the state's public pension system.

Tobe, a financial adviser, says he wants to use the auditor's subpoena power to open the books on the pension system. This would expose the system's reliance on private equity and hedge fund investments that have allowed investors to gamble with workers' hard-earned money.

For several years, the pension crisis has been trotted out by Republicans and the right-wing media as an excuse for trying to slash pension benefits or replace pensions with a 401(k)-style program that would give workers' earnings to wealthy investors. At the same time, Kentucky's crooked Republican machine wasted taxpayer money compiling a report demanding the federal government slash Social Security benefits, so it isn't only pensions they're trying to cut.

By opening the books of Kentucky's pension system, other states may be encouraged to do the same. This scares the living dickens out of Wall Street and Republicans. Kentucky's system is worse than most states though because it actually farmed out some of its work to a Wall Street investment firm.

Now more than ever before, Republicans have promoted hate crimes, passed laws to trample bodily autonomy, and fostered unchecked militarism. But the GOP is also ear-deep in Wall Street - an industry that has robbed workers in Kentucky and elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Another celebrity look-alike!

This morning, I received an e-mail saying that a Guy Fieri look-alike was seen driving around in a van. (I didn't know who Guy Fieri was until today.)