If Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was alive today, he wouldn't be spinning in his grave, because he'd still be alive. But he is spinning in his grave.
Regnery Publishing - a far-right publishing house known for a complete lack of scholarship in any of its recent books - has now licensed Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts kick-ass crew to hawk right-wing propaganda to children. Regnery plans to use Peanuts characters for a set of right-wing children's books called the "Little Patriot" series.
Somehow I doubt Schulz would have authorized his comic strip to be abused in such a manner.
What's ironic is that one of the main themes in Peanuts was repeated defeat. Kind of like what conservatism represents. So the joke's on Regnery.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
If Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was alive today, he wouldn't be spinning in his grave, because he'd still be alive. But he is spinning in his grave.
Posted by Bandit at 8:56 PM
Sad news today. South African human rights activist Nelson Mandela has died today at the age of 95:
After being detained as a political prisoner for 27 years, Mandela went on to become President of South Africa.
If anyone thinks we should just give up at all the work we've been involved in, Mandela's experiences should prove otherwise. The only way we're going to win the fights we've been fighting is to keep at it.
Posted by Bandit at 5:11 PM
Monday, December 2, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Meet Kurt Lowe, 47, of Union, Kentucky.
A few months ago, Lowe allegedly threatened to kill his neighbor - Republican State Sen. John Schickel - for not being right-wing enough. Lowe then reportedly led police on a high-speed chase through the neighborhood in which he drove through lawns.
Lowe is a Tea Party activist who has launched bizarre rants at meetings of the Tea Party and Boone County Fiscal Court (wait a minute, they're the same thing). Lowe claims he's a victim of a conspiracy by public officials.
This month, Lowe was indicted on 2 counts of fleeing or evading police, 2 counts of wanton endangerment, and 2 counts of terroristic threatening. He remains in jail.
Back in 2008, following a different incident, Lowe was convicted of resisting arrest and fleeing and evading.
Posted by Bandit at 11:34 AM
Given the successful rollout of Obamacare, I know it sounds hilarious right now to even be entertaining the thought of repealing it. But it won't be so damn funny if they do it - and replace it with the same broken system that came before.
The Affordable Care Act appears pretty safe by most standards. Single payer would of course be better, but nobody wants to go back to the old way. The insurance exchanges are actually helping millions of Americans already, so why would these millions allow the clock to be turned back?
You wouldn't think they would, but if that's the case, then how did almost the entire New Deal end up being gutted in the '90s? AFDC was much more popular then than Obamacare is now, and look what happened to it. You had thuggish governors like Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson pulling their states out of AFDC (even though the state had participated in AFDC for decades), and before long, AFDC was scrapped nationwide.
Opposition in the '90s to earned benefits like AFDC was based on a lie: Widespread welfare abuse was a hoax, not a reality. The horror stories about Obamacare are also lies. Lies and propaganda are powerful. The extreme right has a 24/7 messaging machine. Although a new CNN poll says 55% of Americans say Obamacare is either just right or doesn't go far enough, this 55% aren't who matters to the right-wing media.
And it's certainly not who has the electoral power. The Republicans have lost the nationwide popular vote in every House election in recent memory, yet the GOP has controlled the House in all but 4 years since 1995. Don't count on a Congress like that to leave the Affordable Care Act alone or replace it with single payer. I'm sure President Obama will veto efforts to repeal it, but he only has 3 years left in office. Lord only knows which member of the GOP clown car The Media will try to install in '16.
And believe me, they will try. O, will they ever try!
Posted by Bandit at 3:42 AM
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Earlier I received another amusing report of celebrity look-alikes being sighted in public places.
This batch of celeb doubles that I've been informed of includes Darius Rucker, Bob Barker, and Rob Reiner.
They're weird ones indeed.
Posted by Bandit at 11:11 PM
Friday, November 22, 2013
In this latest episode, Tim talks about how a brown marker he needed for a sign for an Occupy event fell to rack and ruin after only a short time.
Incidentally, I didn't bother to go to the event - namely, the March Against Mainstream Media last Saturday, which was part of a nationwide day of action organized by Occupy. That's because the Tea Party co-opted the Cincinnati version.
A Tea Party bloke told me I was uninvited because I had a "biased view." You read that right: A Tea Party guy - who nobody had ever seen at any Occupy event before - was trying to uninvite Occupy folks from an Occupy event. I opted not to come - not because I take orders from the Tea Party, which hates our guts, but because I didn't want to be seen near Tea Party doofuses who did in fact co-opt the event (largely so they could complain about "fiat currency", which has absolutely nothing to do with protesting against The Media).
Anyway, here's how the brown marker fits into the saga...
Posted by Bandit at 3:25 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Be still my beating heart, a major news outlet is actually exposing the right-wing media war against Obamacare!
Today, the New York Times ran a detailed piece about collusion between Republican officials and The Media to spread propaganda against the Affordable Care Act...
GOP leaders in Congress have been issuing memos to their foot soldiers that include discredited right-wing talking points like, "Because of Obamacare, I lost my insurance," and, "Obamacare increases health care costs." (This despite new data showing that the 2010 health care law has actually given us the lowest increase in health care costs in a half-century.)
Most of The Media stenographs these talking points without changing a colon. That's why the Repubs put these memos out. If the press wasn't so right-wing, the memos wouldn't be effective.
The secret Republican strategy sessions have even produced a "House Republican Playbook" that provides sample opinion pieces to flood newspapers with. The real story though is the outright conniving by The Media.
Does this scandal have legs? If poo. More pessimistically, the New York Times also exposed a Chris Christie corruption scandal just before the recent election, but the rest of the media never picked up on it. At all. (I guarantee you though that if Christie ever goes head to head against a Tea Party candidate in a general election, this scandal would mysteriously come back to haunt him.)
Posted by Bandit at 12:43 PM
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Everybody's a druggie except the Republicans, right?
Today it was revealed that Rep. Trey Radel (R-Florida) has been arrested for possession of cocaine. The arrest occurred 3 weeks ago but was covered up until now.
Radel is also known as the founder of a right-wing media relations firm. Because everyone knows right-wingers are underrepresented in the big, mean media.
Posted by Bandit at 4:33 PM
It's hard to believe most of the Really Serious People in the press are so frightened by the Affordable Care Act after the law implemented some ideas that were actually generated by conservatives. But that's the state of today's pop-up media.
I guess they don't like it that something - anything - was enacted in an attempt to straighten out what was previously the most broken health care system of any industrialized nation. And for those who doubt how bad American health care was before, notice that no other countries were trying to mimic it.
I know we can't excuse the fact that Congress killed the proposed public option - or that we still don't have single payer despite the fact that most Americans support it. But Obamacare is the law, and we have a right to expect The Media to tell the truth about it instead of making up shit, like their now-debunked folktale about Oregon not having any sign-ups.
Now, however, even some in the press have apparently had their fill of The Media's right-wing propagandizing. At the Los Angeles Times - hardly a progressive organ - business columnist Michael Hiltzik put out a piece yesterday headlined "The myths of Obamacare's 'failure.'"
Hiltzik said right-wing criticism of Obamacare is by and large out of step with the facts. He says...
"Don't buy the hype. The numbers tell an entirely different story. What they also demonstrate is that the myth of Obamacare's 'failure' is a product of the same Republican noise machine that has been working to undermine this crucial reform since Day One. It's assisted by news reporting about canceled health policies that typically ranges from woefully misinformed to spectacularly ignorant, and even at its best is incomplete."
The whole column is here...
When we assail the Affordable Care Act from the left, it's a fact-based endeavor. But to attack it from the right involves the same exaggerations and outright lies as has defined other Far Right causes in recent years.
And believe me. If it wasn't for the Obamacare website taking more than 5 seconds to load, or 2% of Americans losing their $500/month junk insurance, The Media would find some other aspect of Obamacare to gripe about. That is a guarantee.
Posted by Bandit at 11:16 AM
This piece is less of a commentary on organized labor than it is another warning of the ongoing right-wing bias of our local media.
As you may recall, Campbell County got its first known Tea Party rally back in August when 3 members of the Road Atlas Brigade held signs on the Highland Avenue overpass in Fort Thomas. Not only did The Media cover it extensively, but the Cincinnati Enquirer gave a list of contacts to participants so they could recruit more followers. (This has failed to generate any more Tea Party interest.)
But last week, labor union supporters held a rally only a block away from where that took place. They were picketing a health care facility that hired a nonunion construction firm. This rally drew gobs of supporters. In Fort Thomas, no less.
But did the right-wing media cover it? Of course not.
The Tea Party did hire meth-heads to spam Facebook with antiunion drivel attacking the event. But - as far as I know - the rally got no newspaper or TV coverage. Zero.
(Incidentally, I did not attend the March Against Mainstream Media on Saturday, because the Tea Party co-opted it. Naturally, after it was co-opted, the local media did cover that event a little bit - even after repeatedly ignoring Occupy events that weren't co-opted. Yet another example of right-wing media bias.)
Posted by Bandit at 12:58 AM
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The booger-eaters can't accept that Obamacare is here to stay - unless it's replaced by something they hate even more. So they lash out.
On the comment section of the far-right Las Vegas Review-Journal, one Michael C. Stephenson posted this threat of physical violence against the Affordable Care Act's backers...
"Maybe the time for talking has past. Maybe it's now time to physically accost Democrats and their minions (meaning the media) who have foisted this fraud on us. I don't think they understand anything other than force."
Also notice that as part of the life of delusion Stephenson leads, he claims the media backs Obamacare - even though all the press has done in recent weeks is gripe about nonexistent problems with the Obamacare website or the law's failure to allow junk insurance policies.
My response to Stephenson...
"You bedwetters can call it a threat. I call it education. I think you can justify physical correction for every spineless lefty who has made blankets racism accusations, By rough estimate, that's in the millions."
I'm picturing a guy with a tricorne hat with teabags hanging from it walking down the street carrying a giant paddle.
And who accused anyone of racism? This is typical race-baiting from the Far Right. Nobody on the comment page who supports Obamacare said anything about racism.
Team Tyranny is publicly advocating violence against opponents? Well, then I say this: GO AHEAD AND TAKE YOUR VERY BEST FUCKING SHOT!!! The Evil Empire will lose.
Posted by Bandit at 4:05 PM
Friday, November 15, 2013
Seattle's right-wing media and the Democratic establishment sure have egg on their faces right now.
In last week's election for Seattle City Council, it initially appeared as if longtime DLC incumbent Richard Conlin would be reelected against Kshama Sawant, the candidate of the Socialist Alternative party. (The Republicans are a third party in Seattle now, so don't even ask about them.) But after Sawant conceded, it turns out she won after all, now that all the votes are counted.
Can someone explain why the local Democrats endorsed Conlin? Sawant's platform includes a much-needed minimum wage hike, unionizing service workers, boycotting standardized testing in schools, making the rich pay their fair share, and labeling genetically modified frankenfoods. And the Democrats rejected that? No wonder the Democrats are only leading the Republicans in the generic congressional polls by 9 points instead of 30.
Sawant's council seat is an at-large seat covering the entire city - not just some "isolated" neighborhood where residents get laughed at when they go on BBS's and find out people aren't as progressive as they are. Except now it turns out they are. Let's act like it - instead of worrying about what paid right-wing trolls say.
Posted by Bandit at 12:12 AM
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Another day, another rape case involving a Tea Party politician.
Meet Idaho State Rep. Mark Patterson. Big Tea Party guy. Recently it came to light that Patterson was involved in a bizarre rape case. According to a police report, Patterson violently forced a woman into his home and tried siccing his dog on her if she didn't have sex with him. Then, Patterson boasted that he was part of a tough biker gang who'd get after the woman if she reported the incident.
Patterson was convicted of assault with intent to rape - though he accused the police of making the whole thing up.
Sometime later, Patterson was charged with rape in a separate incident, but acquitted.
Because of the earlier conviction, Patterson is not supposed to have a gun. So he has lied on his gun permit application at least twice - by failing to mention the case.
When the long arm of the law discovered Patterson had lied on his application and was a convicted criminal, the sheriff's department came to his home and confiscated his gun permit. Patterson says it's all a big conspiracy against him by the sheriff.
Now here's the amazing part. Despite losing his gun permit, Patterson is still allowed to carry a concealed firearm. That's because Idaho law lets lawmakers - but not ordinary people - carry concealed weapons without a permit. Idaho is the only state that exempts legislators from gun laws.
But does Idaho let criminals serve as legislators?
Posted by Bandit at 2:52 PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Obama administration expected 500,000 to enroll under the Affordable Care Act in its first month.
Well, they didn't get 500,000. They got 1,500,000. It's 1,509,883 to be exact - 993,635 on the federal exchange plus 516,248 on the state exchanges.
A Daily Kos blogger broke down the numbers for us...
Hey, I thought there was supposed to be zero in Oregon. At least that's what the Associated Press said.
This 1,500,000 is not the number that any major media outlet led with today, of course. The only conclusion is that the pop-up media is simply lying about it. Considering the extent to which the actual numbers contradict what the press reports - The Media doesn't even have the right number of digits - there's just no other conclusion we can come up with it.
Maybe the reason The Media is lying about the numbers is because a lot of the enrollees use Medicare or Medicaid, so it's turning out to be closer to a single payer system than it first appeared. Some people in high places don't like that. I like it. They don't.
Posted by Bandit at 9:52 PM
Friends, Bellevuans, Highland Heightsians, lend me your ears; I come not to bury Amazon, but to bury the big box retail industry.
About a month ago, I buyed a box of ArtSkills markers at Kroger so I could make a poster for an Occupy rally. I got this brand because they're the only kind of multicolored permanent markers Kroger has.
Today I used these markers to start on a poster for Saturday's Occupy rally against right-wing media bias. The brown marker - which was absolutely essential for some of the lettering - promptly fell apart. The ink column fell out of the marker, rendering the marker useless. And it's not as if the other markers are praiseworthy either, since they start to run out of ink the very first time you use them.
I checked all the other stores in the area and couldn't find any permanent markers at all. The grocery up the street only has babyish washables. Try using those for a poster in a rainy climate. See what happens.
Now, when I talk about checking other businesses "in the area", I mean that literally. I don't mean within driving distance. I mean within biking distance. That's what "in the area" means. Our cities are poor, our public transit is broken, and people don't always have cars anymore. "In the area" means accessible to a majority of residents.
So the only place I could get a permanent brown marker was to order it off Amazon. And since I had to have it by Saturday, I had to pay extra for shipping. Shipping cost more than a box of markers. It's $15 just for shipping.
I wouldn't have had to pay shipping if we were still able to buy things locally. And we can't buy it locally because the big box retailers have set up shop 15 miles out of town and undercut the stores in the cities. So our stores fold. And people starve. Some built-up areas no longer have any grocery stores, period. It's not just office supplies we have to worry about. It's also food, medicine, toothpaste, and other goodies. I've known for years that our food choices were already somewhat limited because of Corporate America's unchecked greed.
In my day, there was a crazy little thing called zoning. It said you couldn't build things willy-nilly if it infringed on someone else's rights. This wasn't just to safeguard against immediately visible woes like soil erosion, but also economic vagaries like food deserts and predatory monopolies. But these days, anything goes - just as long as you're not trying to buy Sudafed.
This is why we need to halt construction of big box stores - from now into eternity.
Posted by Bandit at 4:33 PM
CBS's once-respected 60 Minutes hasn't been seen in my home in years - largely because of CBS's defiance of network ownership caps, and the Scott Brown debacle that was the fault of the media in general. But lately, I've heard that 60 Minutes has been on a right-wing rampage that makes one wonder if Fox News hasn't taken it over. These days, however, you can say that's just CBS being CBS: Outside of 60 Minutes, the network has broadcast several questionable or downright made-up stories about Occupy and Obamacare over the past year or two.
60 Minutes recently aired a one-sided story that portrayed the disabled as lazy loafers who bilk the taxpayers to get disability benefits. They didn't bother to interview anyone who was actually receiving these benefits. And a couple weeks ago, 60 Minutes broadcast a piece that stenographed Tea Party talking points about the Benghazi attack.
A week after the latter segment, 60 Minutes suddenly brang back its long-abandoned mail feature just so they could broadcast mail from right-wing viewers praising the piece. This shameful act of self-congratulation didn't go unnoticed by progressive bloggers.
In the following episode, 60 Minutes finally ran a correction about the Benghazi story. In this so-called apology, they admitted their source was bogus. But they buried this correction at the end of the show.
Well, here's a real sign that progressive bloggers aren't just imagining CBS's sordid journalistic lapse. PBS NewsHour has even gotten on the case. NewsHour's website has a shockingly honest headline: "Did 60 Minutes do enough to regain viewer trust after false Benghazi report?"
That's right. The 60 Minutes report was false. In other words, it was full of lies. A regular media outlet like NewsHour even said so. Not a liberal blog, not some conspiracy theorist, not Cousin Filbert who always launches political tirades at family barbecues - but PBS NewsHour. Sedate, dignified NewsHour.
What other proof do you need that CBS is now officially full of bunk gas? What's the point in living in denial that the American public has been lied to again and again by The Media? The sooner we confront the problem, the sooner we can start solving it - if it's not too late. We need to start on it now. We needed to start on it, like, 30 years ago.
Posted by Bandit at 3:04 AM
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It's amazing the stuff the Associated Press says with a straight face and expects people to believe.
The AP ran a story yesterday about Oregon's implementation of Obamacare. The story said Oregon "has yet to enroll a single person in health insurance." That's right - zero.
I was skeptical of that because over 100,000 have signed up nationwide, and because I signed up immediately. What would make Oregon different from anywhere else?
Welp, lo and behold, this article last month from the Portland Business Journal - titled "Oregon Medicaid enrollment growing like gangbusters" - proves the AP is lying...
As of mid-October - which was weeks ago - 56,000 people in Oregon had signed up for the Medicaid portion of the Affordable Care Act. Not the zero the AP had claimed. And that 56,000 is just the Medicaid part, not the other Obamacare sign-ups.
Mao Zedong was once quoted as saying that if you want people to believe you, don't tell just a small lie - tell a real whopper. Apparently the AP believes that.
How much more evidence do we need that The Media is so singularly dedicated to gutting health care reform that they'll lie for the cause?
Posted by Bandit at 6:18 PM
Monday, November 11, 2013
Just as I suspected.
The self-anointed armchair sleuths on the Internet scapegoated every housing project within miles for the recent robberies in Fort Thomas - but it turns out they were wrong and I was right.
Several juveniles from Fort Wright and Park Hills have now been charged in the incidents. Considering the part of town where they live, I think it's safe to say they don't live in public housing - and probably aren't poor, period. Neo-Nazis on the Internet had insisted the assailants must have lived in public housing in Southgate - an odd conclusion, considering the housing in question isn't even that close to where the attacks occurred. Another bogus claim was that the attackers lived in public housing at a certain busy intersection in Fort Thomas. That claim was also bizarre, because there's no public housing anywhere near that junction.
I hope the police were smart enough not to listen to the right-wing scoundrels who almost ruined the whole investigation by blurting out nonsense theories everywhere.
I knew the robbers would turn out to be spoiled rich kids causing trouble.
Posted by Bandit at 2:06 AM
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
The Last Word is at it again this month - and it's FREE again like it was the olden days!
This ish talks about several fi things...
• How cool people play Dungeons & Dragons.
• The disaster that is Outlook.com.
• A surprising break in the case of the Great Bike Theft of 2001.
• Magna Doodle memories.
• How people cheating in school is nothing compared to Rand Paul's plagiarism scandal.
• And more!
So point your groove thing here....
And remember, The Last Word is FREE!!!
Posted by Bandit at 12:00 AM
Thursday, November 7, 2013
The local media is finally catching on to the fact that it's not the inner cities that have all the problems.
Police in Fort Thomas are investigating a series of assaults that have occurred over the past week or so. The attacks have been carried out by a gang of youths walking around town, who punch victims in the face and rob them. They've also sexually harassed a woman and assaulted a passerby who intervened. The attacks have spilled over into Southgate.
It turns out that street robberies like this aren't new to Fort Thomas. Internet commenters say this has been occurring regularly there since at least 1995. But it's only just now getting media coverage.
1995? Well, I'd investigate the luxury subdivisions that were cropping up in this county back then. It's fascinating how organized public violence always seems to follow the construction of housing for the rich. The kids behind the attacks in Fort Thomas lately are probably spoiled brats who never had boundaries set for them.
Maybe they should bulldoze some of the newer subdivisions and replace them with parks or libraries that our hard-working families can enjoy.
Posted by Bandit at 2:09 PM
I'm still receiving results from Tuesday's elections, and something truly amazing has occurred in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The Working Families Party - a progressive third party - has managed to win control of the city's board of education. They did this by forming a coalition with Democrats who oppose the right-wing DLC machine that's tainted the local Democratic Party.
This is also a challenge to embattled Superintendent Paul Vallas - a demigod of right-wing education "reformers" who had already helped ruin school systems in other cities. Vallas had been appointed in 2011 in a move plotted behind closed doors, in violation of open meetings laws.
Schools are among the most difficult institutions in America's big cities to wrest from the Far Right. The Evil Empire hangs on to our schools for dear life. And why wouldn't they make a special effort at it? If they can control our impressionable children, the fix is in for another generation.
Posted by Bandit at 1:52 AM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
So it isn't just the big cities that came through for us?
The town of Telluride, Colorado, reportedly has a huge sign declaring itself a "Civil Liberties Safe Zone." And in yesterday's election, Telluride seems to have lived up to its slogan, as voters there handily rejected a "soda tax" that didn't even apply to poisonous additives like aspartame.
I put "soda tax" in quotes because it would have placed a tax on orange juice but not Diet Pepsi. By exempting diet beverages, the tax was a sham from the start and should have never appeared on the ballot.
This comes on the same day that voters in several cities in Colorado justifiably voted to outlaw the deadly, job-killing practice of natural gas fracking.
But the "soda tax" made Telluride perhaps the most-watched small town in America yesterday - except for Coralville, Iowa, where the Tea Party made a big show of running a full slate of candidates, all of whom lost.
Posted by Bandit at 2:16 AM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
As the oil and gas industries have pursued an effort to split off several counties in Colorado to form the 51st state because their fee-fees are hurt, the move is proving to be unpopular.
As of now, only 5 of the 11 counties involved are voting to secede - and they're tiny ones that are heavily Republican.
Just join Wyoming already.
Posted by Bandit at 10:56 PM
Since we're on the topic of New Jersey, voters there approved today a referendum to increase the state's minimum wage. This measure sailed to a smashing win - much to the chagrin of the Tea Party.
Kentucky lawmakers, are you listening?
Posted by Bandit at 9:13 PM