Thursday, March 21, 2019

Newport Police under fire for '17 incident

Channel 9 has been investigating a 2017 incident involving Newport Police officers' use of force against a group of men in a car...

The men only spoke Spanish, but the police kept giving commands in English.

What's particularly chilling is this statement in the news report: "Newport officers delivered more blows to the head than any other local department since January 2016."

That statement doesn't exactly boost my confidence in police. Is it considered a regular thing for police to go around slugging people in the head?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bevin refused to get kids vaccinated

I've said it before: We have a right to insist on maximum safety standards in vaccinations. But you don't get to be an irresponsible clod about it.

So-called Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky said in a radio interview yesterday that he refused to get his 9 children vaccinated for chickenpox. There seems to be no defensible reason for his decision. It seems as if he did it just to make a point about what he considered government overreach - even though some of his own public policies are overreach.

Instead of the vaccine, Bevin found a neighbor who had chickenpox and exposed his kids to them. "They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it, and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it," Bevin said.

Why??? The vaccine has been available since 1995, so why be unnecessarily exposed? There have been a few fatalities from chickenpox, but the only reported death from a chickenpox vaccine was that of a child whose immune system was already compromised by leukemia. I think we can feel pretty confident that the vaccine is no more dangerous than the disease itself. Nobody knows more than I do that there have been some major cover-ups in medicine - for instance, I know Ritalin is a scam - but I'm pretty satisfied that the chickenpox vaccine is safe and Bevin is being his usual Flat Earth Society self. Shame on me if I'm wrong, but at least I look at science before I draw conclusions.

Bevin never looks at science. He always shoots his mouth off instead of trying to do anything productive.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Local student sues health department over vaccines

I'm adamant that if there's even a hint that vaccinations pose any danger to health, it must be confronted and remedied.

But my view is based on science - not religion. I'm just as unwavering in my view that religious exemptions from vaccines should be abolished. This story shows why. These exemptions endanger the general public.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy is a right-wing Catholic school in Walton that allows religious exemptions for the chickenpox vaccine. This school is now experiencing a chickenpox epidemic that has sidelined 32 students.

Because of this outbreak, the Northern Kentucky Health Department has ordered any unvaccinated student at this school to stay home for 21 days. This order also bars them from school sports.

Now a high school senior who plays basketball for this school is suing the health department over this directive, claiming a vaccination violates his Catholic beliefs. "For the health department to say we have to get vaccines in order to go to school, that's infringing upon my First Amendment right," he groaned.

The judge ought to laugh this case right out of the courtroom. No real legal theory allows one to use a religious exemption to directly endanger the public. But I'm not confident that the suit will be tossed, because Kentucky courts have a history of making up special religious rights that are not constitutionally protected - even allowing people to force their religious beliefs on others.

Friday, March 15, 2019

A bunker blast trilogy!

The past week has seen a whole series of ghastly blasts!

A woman reports that she's detected 3 - count 'em, 3 - rock snakes in the past week. The first occurred when she went grocery shopping with her husband at Kroger. The supermarket stank of soiled britches. At the end of this trip, her husband admitted that he had released SBD air biscuits throughout.

A few nights later, the woman called the parents of her son's school pal to see what was going on at school. When she was leaving a voicemail, her husband cracked a good ol' LAP.

Today, the woman was at a waiting room at the doctor's office. A man fell asleep in a chair and released an LAP while he was snoozing.

Lori Loughlin likes gum (Bubble Gum Weekend)

Lori Loughlin - an actress best known for her role on Full House - is one of dozens of rich and famous people accused of involvement in the college admissions bribery scandal. Authorities believe wealthy parents paid millions to bribe college officials to get their kids into the best schools.

Surprised by this scandal? Favoritism like this has been going on in my area for decades. The only difference is that my area doesn't have many good schools.

Lori loves bubble gum. She discusses the zesty goo every chance she gets, and she even blows bubbles in front of nationwide TV audiences. Recently, she appeared on Live With Kelly And Ryan and fed the hosts some beegee as she bubbled...

Lori bubbled repeatedly, and the studio audience cheered - because after all, bubble gum is the most knee-slappingly funny stuff ever invented.

One of the show's hosts, Kelly Ripa, is known for playing Hayley on All My Children in the early '90s. I'm aware of this because my mom always taped All My Children off TV and watched it while I was in the living room doing my homework. Hayley often gummed, but I don't remember her ever bubbling. She started out as a hilarious character who got in trouble all the time and got yelled at by her uncle (whose voice sounded like Crank from The Electric Company).

Meanwhile, Lori Loughlin - who gave such an upbeat interview in the above clip only a month ago - is now finding her own career in ruins.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Facebook fascism continues

I am this close to leaving Facebook altogether. I am fed up with Facebook deleting my posts and my friends' accounts just because of their opinions.

And yes, it is Facebook - not group admins - deleting my posts. When an admin deletes your posts, you get a notification from Facebook. When Facebook deletes them, you don't. Besides, Facebook recently deleted 2 posts I made on my own Facebook page. I know it was Facebook that deleted them, because why would I delete my own posts?

The Kentucky tax hike you never hear about

The 2019 session of the Kentucky legislature is every bit the right-wing cavalcade of stupid we expected, but 2018 may have been even worse.

The Far Right claims to be for lower taxes. They lie. Last year, not only did Republican lawmakers expand the 6% sales tax to more services, but they also raised the personal income tax so they could give more money to billionaires. Because this was during their malicious efforts to steal from teachers by slashing their pensions, most folks were paying attention to that instead.

Kentucky - like a vast majority of other states and like all First World countries - used to have a graduated income tax. But last year, they raised the income tax for most workers from 2% to 5%. At the same time, they lowered taxes for the rich from 6% to 5%. The ultimate goal is to abolish this tax altogether and replace it with a head tax - levying the same actual amount of taxes on each person, not the same percentage.

Not only does Kentucky's recent tax increase cost most workers, but it's another handout to the rich and big corporations. Kentucky has become a kleptocracy.

Progressive taxation is a foundation for civilization. Without it, we have no society. But Kentucky is now one of very few states without a graduated income tax.

Why did lawmakers raise taxes on the working class? The Campbell County GOP's now-defunct Tumblr blog provided a clue. That page said last year's tax "reforms" were "Biblical taxation." They provided no Bible verses to back it up though.

In other words, the Republican Party of Kentucky seems to think that by raising taxes and lying about it, they're on a mission from God. They think they're the Blues Brothers!

It's nice to know Kentucky is ruled by a dominionist party. It's hard to see how Republicans expect to win votes by raising taxes just to give billionaires free money. No wonder they lost so many seats in the Kentucky House after this happened. It's a shock that they still have any.

It's time for a federal constitutional amendment against regressive taxation. I doubt the Kentucky GOP would obey it, because they hate the Constitution, but other states might be encouraged to balance out their tax systems. Progressive taxation is a must to maintain the living standards common to modern democratic societies.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Fake "anti-tax" group shakes down Cincinnati taxpayers over made-up scandal

COAST is a so-called "anti-tax" organization in Cincinnati that supported the tax increase to fund the Reds and Bengals stadiums.

In recent months, COAST has played up the "Gang of Five" nonstory surrounding Cincinnati City Council members. The investigation was politically motivated. While COAST's allies in the press accused 5 Democratic council members of violating Ohio's Open Meetings Act, it has ignored the secret communications, backroom deals, and outright crime by Republican elected officials in suburbs on both sides of the river.

Now city taxpayers are on the hook for $101,000 to settle a frivolous lawsuit filed by COAST against council members. This comes after the city paid COAST $600,000 to settle frivolous suits they filed years ago.

In brief, an organization that claims to oppose government waste just cost the city - i.e., the taxpayers - hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the same time, the right-wing media fails to report on local government officials who are involved in real corruption.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Amazon goes Krogering

I just received an urgent e-mail about yet another celebrity look-alike. According to this major headline news bulletin, someone who strongly resembled Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was sighted at Kroger this morn.

This same report says the Windows 10 news app showed a photo of a man bubbling at the New York Stock Exchange. The caption awkwardly said, "A trader blows a bubble with a chewing gum."

Friday, March 1, 2019

Have no fear, the March ish is here!

As The Last Word shuffles along after 26 years, the March issue is pub, and it's a beaut!

This ish blasts 'The Bachelor' and talks about a ruined Morton Downey Jr. poster, people ruining records by playing them on a Victrola, the "cheaters edition" of Monopoly, a terrible East German car, and more!

Thy pooper should be pointed plumb-bob here...

If that doesn't work, you can find the latest Last Word here...

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Draft ruled unconstitutional

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller ruled that the Selective Service system - which requires young men to register for the military draft - is unconstitutional, because it applies only to men even though women may serve in combat roles.

Whatever the reason for the ruling, it's hard for me to shed any tears if Selective Service is abolished. For years, I've opposed the draft - during peacetime and during recent wars that the right-wing media supported. Mandatory conscription brings about increased militarization and infringes on liberty. Can we truly say we're defending freedom if we force so many into harm's way?

I do support mandatory national service for young adults who receive at least $1 million from wealthy parents and grandparents. I think that's pretty fair, since this money is an unearned gift - not anything they had to work for.

Selective Service was supposed to be abolished some 20 years ago, but right-wing members of Congress blocked this effort.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

GOP mayor gets in gunfight with SWAT team

Dale Massad is the Mayor of Port Richey, Florida - and he's a big Republican donor, a fact that media reports leave out.

Today, a SWAT team came to Massad's beachfront mansion following an investigation alleging that he has been practicing medicine without a license by ordering drugs online and treating patients at his home. One patient had to be hospitalized. Massad lost his medical license years ago over human experimentation and the death of a 3-year-old patient.

During today's raid, Massad fired repeatedly at deputies using a pistol. The sheriff said Massad is lucky he wasn't killed. Deputies think Massad was on drugs.

A few months ago, Massad was arrested for domestic battery - after a series of nearly 50 police incidents at his home.

North Carolina to have new election for disputed House seat

You can only rig so many elections without eventually being caught.

In the November election for a U.S. House seat in North Carolina, far-right Republican Mark Harris appeared to have narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready - though McCready had been leading in polls. But then it was discovered that Republican operatives stole absentee ballots from voters. In fact, the Harris campaign hired an operative who already had felony fraud and perjury convictions and had been suspected of mishandling ballots in 2014.

Because of this scandal, North Carolina's bipartisan Board of Elections refused to certify the election. Now the board has voted unanimously to conduct a whole new election. This is the first time in 44 years that a revote has been ordered in a U.S. House race. It appears as if the parties will have to conduct new primaries too, and Harris might not even win that - though it would serve the GOP right if he did. You break, you buy, Repubs.

Meanwhile, Harris has blamed the "liberal media" for the entire debacle.

It sounds like the Republicans picked the wrong election to rig this time, because not only did they get caught, but North Carolina has procedures for holding new elections.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Major radio stations to go religious

What ever happened to some of America's biggest radio stations of 30 years ago like WPLJ in New York City and WRQX in Washington, D.C.?

They're pooing, that's what.

These and other stations are now owned by Cumulus Media - but WPLJ and WRQX are among 6 that Cumulus is selling to Educational Media Foundation, which broadcasts religious music only. In Cincinnati, EMF already broadcasts on WNLT and WORI, but at least those stations had no historic importance.

WPLJ and the others will switch to EMF's formats when the deal closes in early summer.

Let that sink in for a moment. We're talking about WPLJ here.

The president of EMF not-so-humbly stated, "These are legendary stations that will enable us to enter new markets in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Savannah; and Syracuse and expand our footprint in New York." If they're legendary stations, why is EMF allowed to gut them?

Response from both of radio's remaining listeners is universally negative. They correctly point out that this is why nobody listens to radio anymore. They observe that this will give EMF 3 overlapping signals with the exact same content near D.C. But they also point out that EMF is America's only major radio station owner that's still profitable. That's because it's considered a ministry, so it's tax-exempt - and because they offer no local programming on any of the 500-plus stations it owns. A money maker perhaps, but it doesn't offer much to listeners.

For folks in D.C., it's a feeling of deja vu. In 1992, another of D.C.'s biggest stations - WAVA - was sold to Salem Communications, which switched it to religious. One of Salem's founders has co-chaired what Wikipedia calls "a religiously based Republican electoral campaign." Salem's founders also donated heavily to the George W. Bush campaign and an antigay referendumb in California.

Meanwhile, the FCC leans back and bastes as it rubber-stamps these station sales.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Silver Grove school district to be swallowed by Campbell County

The school district that thinks it owns everything - Campbell County - claims more prey, as the Silver Grove Board of Education has voted to disband the Silver Grove school district and join the county school system.

Sadly, if the Campbell County Schools are trying to improve from the disaster that they were in 1986, they sure haven't made much progress. For one thing, it appears as if the county school district is refusing to leave Silver Grove's school open as part of the merger. In addition, the Campbell County Schools are refusing to offer jobs to Silver Grove teachers. The county school district has demanded complete control over all terms of the merger.

Most countries around the world are building new and better schools. But Trumpism means tearing down schools.


Friday, February 8, 2019

GOP effort to steal Kentucky House seat fails

Ever since a Republican incumbent lost by one vote in the November election, Republicans had been trying to steal that Kentucky House seat. But after lawmakers seated Democratic Rep. Jim Glenn, the only people still trying to overturn the election were those whose brains were irretrievably broken.

Today - in a surprise move - the defeated incumbent Rep. D.J. Johnson finally realized he had no case and withdrew his challenge to the election result. But only after he ruined an incalculable amount of taxpayer money on this ill-fated challenge.

Johnson had faced the humiliating prospect of the election being decided by a coin toss.

Today's development keeps Republican losses in the Kentucky House at a hilarious level instead of merely a funny level.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Virginia GOPer was editor of racist yearbook

It's all crashing down for Republicans in Virginia.

Tommy Norment - a Republican - is the Majority Leader of the Virginia Senate. Now it turns out that when he attended Virginia Military Institute, Torment was the editor of a yearbook filled to the brim with racist photos and ethnic slurs.

The photos include students in blackface, and the words include slurs against blacks, Asians, and Jews.

People are right to criticize Virginia's Democratic leaders if they appeared in photos like this even 40 years ago. But Republicans have no leg to stand on, because their record of racism is unending. In 40 years, the GOP hasn't progressed.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

GOP on verge of stealing Kentucky House election

What do you do when you lose a Kentucky House election by one vote? What if the county recounts the votes and the result doesn't change? What if the state certifies the result as final? What if the House seats the winning candidate and assigns him to committees?

Well, if you're a Republican, you throw a big temper tantrum about the result and leave it to a panel full of Republicans to decide what to do about it.

That's exactly what happened in an Owensboro-based House seat, where Democrat Jim Glenn upset Republican incumbent D.J. Johnson.

After Glenn was seated, a GOP-led House panel ordered the seizure of ballots in that election and had them transported to the Republican House Clerk's office in Frankfort. State law requires the ballots to be kept in a box with 3 locks, but they were transported unsecured - with no box. An Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer photo showed the ballots sitting on a desk in the open. Glenn's lawyer filed a motion claiming the ballots were "spoiled evidence."

After House Republicans tampered with these ballots, what do you think happened? They ordered the ballots sent back to Owensboro - again unsecured - for yet another recount, which took place yesterday. According to yesterday's tally, the race ended in a tie. Glenn actually was ahead at first, but Johnson personally hounded vote counters into counting rejected ballots. These included one for Johnson on which the voter signatures did not match, and another on which the voter had originally filled in a circle for a straight Republican ticket but then came to their senses at the last minute and crossed it out.

State law says tied elections shall be decided by drawing lots. In this case, regardless of how that turns out, it will still be up to the Republican-led Kentucky House to decide what to do after that. But they have one big problem. Glenn has already been seated, and the only legal way to remove him would be impeachment. They can't impeach him unless he breaks the law. Glenn has promised to sue if they try this.

So Republicans are out of luck, right? Voopvoopavoop wrong! Certainly, they have no legal basis for removing a seated House member from office without evidence of wrongdoing. But they also had no basis for the Citizens United ruling. They just make up their legal theories as they go along.

I don't understand how the Kentucky GOP is any different from an overseas dictator who just ignores election results and declares themselves the winner. This wouldn't even be the first time in recent years that Kentucky Republicans have done this very thing, for it has happened at least once in a county race.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Lexington bishop threatened with lawsuit for criticizing CovCath students

The Covington Catholic scandal shows the litigious nature of spoiled bullies and those who blindly side with them.

Bishop John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington wrote an op-ed criticizing the students' racially and politically charged actions - though he didn't mention the students by name. Now a lawyer representing a student is threatening to sue the bishop for defamation.

This proves that the lawsuit threats stemming from this incident are about silencing critics.

A school in Stowe's diocese - Lexington Catholic High School - recently began a campaign of inclusiveness, after that school was sued in 2016 for sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Somehow, I don't expect any school in the Diocese of Covington to take any steps towards improving its ways.


Friday, February 1, 2019

People chewed gum outside Aladdin's Castle (Bubble Gum Weekend)

Usually, a Bubble Gum Weekend - a time-honored feature of this blog - talks about a hilarious old gum commercial. But this time, the clip is not an ad - just some gum nostalgia!

Aladdin's Castle was a chain of video game arcades found in shopping malls. We famously got kicked out of an Aladdin's Castle once in my day. Aladdin's Castle also figures prominently in a clip about bubble gum that appears to have been filmed in the early '80s...

That video features several teenagers talking about bubble gum and appears to have been made for a cable TV access channel. Of course, people bubbled - as distorted music plays.

The Izod-shirted teenage host stands in a mall corridor just outside Aladdin's Castle and interviews several young people about beegee. He also samples a couple brands of gum but chews each for only a few seconds - thereby wosting them. The best part is that he discards them by simply setting them on the right-hand side of the screen - making it appear as if they stay suspended in midair instead of going into a trash can.

I don't know what city or locale this clip was filmed in, but I swear I know the last interviewee, who is about 50 now.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Campbell County GOP's Tumblr blog gone

For about a year, the Campbell County Republican Party appeared to run a blog on Tumblr that periodically flaunted the party's growing extremism. At first, I was skeptical that the blog was even real, but let's not kid ourselves. The Campbell County GOP really is that extreme.

I know the blog was real, because local GOP leaders aren't alone among Republican brass in their extremism. The Facebook page of the Republican Party of Kent County, Delaware, is one of the leading sources of similar material. And the GOP in Harris County, Texas, recently observed Holocaust Remembrance Day by posting on Facebook, "Leftism kills."

After the Campbell County GOP's Tumblr blog groaned that "liberals" took over county government in November, I had planned on discussing the blog in detail. But now I've noticed it's been taken down. What a shame, because it was pretty damn funny.

For one thing, when they claim "liberals" took over the county, nothing can be further from the truth. They're just angry because they hoped the Democrat would be relegated to third place in the judge-executive race - which would threaten the Democrats' ballot access. But that didn't happen - despite the hype by the River City News.

How madcap was this blog? The first entry included the party's usual complaints about the "liberal media", and it was all downhill from there. The blog claimed America is a "Christian nation" and endorsed electing county officials who would outlaw same-sex marriage. That's not the only time the blog thought Campbell County government bodies could overrule the U.S. Supreme Court. It also said the school board should "immediately reinstate" compulsory school prayer.

The blog listed instituting a property requirement for voting as a top Republican priority. It also echoed the cries of right-wing talking heads who laughably claim 'Net neutrality violates the property rights of telcoms. Plus, this blog said phone companies should have a right to eavesdrop on customers because the phone company owns the phone lines. It argued that if customers don't want to be wiretapped, they can just find another phone company - even though phone companies have a monopoly on landline service.

The blog boasted that Donald Trump got more votes than Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - which is false. Clinton won the popular vote handily, and Sanders was not on the general election ballot.

This erupting fount of stupidity endorsed the government selling titles of nobility to pay off the national debt - which it repeatedly claimed was run up by "liberals." Although it's unconstitutional for the government to grant noble titles, the blog said it would be permissible in this case, arguing that the Constitution only forbids granting these titles for free - not selling them.

The blog gloated that a Republican tax bill in Kentucky would institute "Biblical taxation" and claimed that regressive taxes like the expanded sales tax are supported by the Bible. A later post said the Bible "bans" progressive taxation.

I'd love to see what local Republican politicians would say if they were asked about their membership in a party that supports the above nonsense. How would, say, Wil Schroder respond if it's pointed out to him how idiotic his party is being?

But with the right-wing media's Republican protection agenda, would it even have an impact?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Have no fear, the February ish is here!

The February issue of The Last Word is published, and it's a biggie - perhaps the meatiest in a couple years!

This ish talks about the ruination of National Geographic magazines, our hilariously bad student media, my scuttled plans to return to college, my bungling of a standardized test, people spitting out bananas, the inevitable disposal of a 'Sesame Street' calendar, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find the latest Last Word here...

Monday, January 21, 2019

Nazi apologist strings words together on Facebook

I received this classic earlier on Facebook...

"Tim Brown and more stupidity from your mouth"

That's not even a complete sentence, idiot.

Nazi threatens violence against Antifa

Carter Braxton is on Facebook threatening to beat up Antifa supporters at an upcoming event in my area. Chris Levi is encouraging him.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

CovCath students taunt Indigenous Peoples March

I guess this means Brossart isn't the only racist high school in the Diocese of Covington.

New videos have surfaced showing students from Covington Catholic High School - wearing pro-Trump hats - taunting a drummer at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. The videos have already created a nationwide outcry - and yet another black eye for local Catholic schools.

But hey, let's pretend we're surprised, since it's only about the millionth time something like this has happened in this diocese.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

West Virginia GOP wants to waste state money on Trump's wall

It doesn't take a genius to see how impractical Donald Trump's border wall is, but modern Republicans' penchant for wastage bastage isn't limited to the national party.

Republicans in West Virginia are proposing spending $10 million of state money on this border wall. Three lawmakers will be introducing this bill in the West Virginia legislature in the coming days.

What does the border wall have to do with West Virginia - a state that is hundreds of miles from the border?


Friday, January 11, 2019

Massie opposes back pay for workers during shutdown

How useless is our congressmoron Thomas Massie?

The House just voted 411 to 7 to make sure federal employees receive back pay for work that the Trump shutdown forced them to miss. Guess who one of the 7 who voted against it was?

What a big tyrant.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


September! Or as I call!

I performed 2 - count 'em, 2 - Roads Scholarings in September involving the Peace Bike! They yielded a few photos, and they must be pept with extreme dispatch!

The first was in Dayton, Kentucky, where I investigated the KY 8 rerouting...

The second was in Covington, where I took a look at Pershing Avenue, which is threatened by gentrification...

Peep these photos now before they peep you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

As de Blasio enacts healthcare plan, media silence stuns

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the city is enacting a new program to guarantee healthcare to every resident. This is the first program of its kind anywhere in America.

So New York finally has a mayor with a major positive accomplishment - and the media falls silent. New York of 20 years ago was saddled by right-wing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who racked up one negative achievement after another - and the media constantly fell over itself to praise him.

Let's sum this up. Giuliani was known for growing law enforcement misconduct and other tyranny, and the media made him a national star. But de Blasio is known for making sure people get healthcare, and the media largely ignores him. How often do you hear about de Blasio compared to Giuliani?

Meanwhile, I posted a link to an article from another website about New York's healthcare upgrades on Facebook, and some right-wingers complained about it until it was taken down. I didn't even add any of my own commentary to it. But at the same time, Facebook has made it harder to report posts that actually violate its stated policies.

A person bubbled at Kroger

Today at Kroger, some woman bubbled repeatedly.