Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flushing out 3CDC

I attended Tuesday's protest against 3CDC's removal of restrooms at Cincinnati's Washington Park. It was a lovely event, with a row of about 7 sparkling-new toilets lined up along the street across from 3CDC's HQ.

I notice that if you want to get The Media to cover your rally, make sure it's about toilets. Usually The Media ignores protests I'm involved in, but since The Media knows mentioning toilets garners ratings, they couldn't resist this one. Channels 5, 9, 12, and 19 were all on the scene, and I know that at least 5, 9, and 19 aired a report on it.

I take it seriously when public facilities lack restrooms. I've had kidney stones and irritable bowel syndrome, and my underpants budget doesn't allow me to go without access to that awesome beast that we call the tinkletorium.

Ironically, I encountered a problem strikingly similar to the Washington Park woes on the way over to the event. After getting lunch, I stopped at Fountain Square on the way to the protest. Fountain Square was left in ruins by 3CDC when they rebuilt it several years ago. I can't find a single improvement they made. All they did was close it down for a year, move everything around, and post signs listing the many things people aren't allowed to do. They also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not giving wheelchairs comparable access.

I tried using the restroom on Fountain Square on Tuesday - only to discover the doors were locked. There were dozens of people out on Fountain Square that day, but not a single open restroom. Another day, another 3CDC failure.

I attempted using the lavatory at Arby's on 6th Street, but it required a special token. And the restroom at the swanky Westin Hotel (where the Tea Party thugs stayed) required a room key card - and they look at you funny for being beneath their station. I seriously considered urinating inside the hallway of the building connecting Fountain Square with 6th Street. If I knew I wouldn't have gotten caught, I would not have hesitated. It would serve 3CDC right.

So that's Fountain Square - the bustling center of one of America's largest metropolitan areas. It is to Cincinnati what Times Square is to New York. And it has not a single known restroom in working order anywhere within a reasonable distance. Gee, thanks a billion, 3CDC.

In the meantime, folks are defecating in the street because 3CDC won't reinstall the bathrooms at Washington Park.

This blog is pro-choice

This blog is pro-choice - because I believe in the Constitution.

Many of you assumed as much, because you already knew you'd be hard-pressed to find a blog as progressive as this one in 2011. Some of you had doubts, because you noticed that abortion rights is the one issue I've never directly dealt with on this blog or in the 18 years I've had my newsletter.

I guess I've avoided the subject because of the Campbell Countian in me. But now the truth is out.

One of the great things about America is that you can be personally opposed to something but still support others' rights to make their own choices. And I will support your right to make your own choices.

Why? Because the Constitution says. It's called the right to privacy. The right to privacy formed the basis of Roe v. Wade.

What if abortion is necessary to save the mother's health? I've noticed there's been an unusual glut of anti-choice bills in state legislatures lately. Authors of these bills don't give a damn that the bills place women's health at risk. In fact, I know Nebraska already has a very restrictive law in force that not only flies in the face of Roe v. Wade but has also damaged the health of women. I know this because I've seen recent accounts written by women who were endangered by this law.

As an American taxpayer, I have a right to see that the Constitution is followed.

I'm not saying a state can't have some regulations in place - as long as it doesn't violate Roe v. Wade or endanger women's lives. And I also believe abortion should be as rare as possible. Unfortunately, many folks in the anti-abortion movement have done nothing to make it rare. In fact, the abortion rate in the U.S. skyrocketed under Bush.

Though I'm an economic populist first and foremost, this blog is pro-choice.

Democratic Blunderground

What political website has experienced all of the following in the past month or two?

1) One of its regular users expressed joy at the possibility of Hugo Chavez dying.

2) Another user praised nuclear power and attacked Andrew Cuomo for trying to stop a dangerous nuke plant.

3) Another member supported expanding the disastrous War on Drugs - namely the failed laws that punish law-abiding people by requiring prescriptions for over-the-counter pseudoephedrine. (Ironically, this was in response to an article showing that a law like this in Oregon increased meth-related deaths.)

4) The website adopted a policy of deleting users' posts if they defend Anthony Weiner.

What website am I talking about? Free Republic? Nope! The Cincinnati Enquirer? Wrong again! Usenet? Come on, this isn't 1997!

No sirree! I'm talking about...Democratic Underground.

DU used to be a somewhat partisan but respected website that welcomed progressives of all parties. It was one of America's news giants, as members contributed gobs of news stories that otherwise were receiving only very limited play.

But now DU is CRAP.

When I read Democratic Blunderground these days, I have to keep glancing up at the browser header just to make sure I didn't log on to Michelle Malkin's site by mistake. Any time a user on DU nowadays says anything intelligent or insightful, they're just as likely as not to be contradicted by some smartass who sounds like they've been grabbing talking points straight off of a Gex Williams campaign flyer.

Hell, Ronald Reagan wouldn't be conservative enough for DU these days!

One of the most gnawing examples lately of DU's squalid attempts to imitate Free Republic appeared a few days ago after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered a health scare. After somebody posted a pertinent article, a DU regular replied, "I'm not going to lose any sleep if Chavez croaks!!"

They're cheering the death of a democratically elected leader who has empowered the poor and helped restore economic justice to his country? What is this? Facebook? I can just picture the person who posted that remark putting on headphones and cradling back and forth with their eyes closed, thinking they can use sheer will power to make a TV set magically fall from the sky and land on Hugo Chavez.

I'd hate to dampen the enthusiasm of those who think that garbage belongs on a supposedly progressive website, but the person who posted that comment is a nut. And on DU lately, it's not out of the ordinary.

On today's DU, people like that aren't lone crazies. They're running the show. This became evident when the site adopted a policy of deleting messages that defended Anthony Weiner after the congressman was forced out of office by a media-fueled flap.

While the thought policing and shameless extremism described above might be incompatible with principled progressivism, it unfortunately rules the roost in the modern Democratic Party. Today's Democrats aren't the same party I registered with when I attained voting age 20 years ago. I asked so little from them - and have gotten so much less. And DU is actually an attractive nuisance that only emboldens those on the right who have already disfigured the party.

One thing is for sure: Democratic Underground isn't getting a dime from me. Ever.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Toilet protest tomorrow!

Sorry for the short notice, but I'm either gonna be there or I'm gonna be square...

Toilets are cool. They're curious devices.

And now 3CDC - the same cadre of know-it-alls who ruined Fountain Square and the Metropole - is going to be the target of a toilet protest tomorrow! As you may know, 3CDC is a confederation of corporate panjandrums that has micromanaged development projects in Cincinnati. Next on their hit list is Washington Park. While "renovating" the park, 3CDC has removed the restrooms and is neglecting to install new ones.

The lack of tinkletoriums forces folks to walk many blocks all the way to the library or other public buildings just to drain the main vein.

So locals are conducting a protest in front of 3CDC's swanky digs! This rally will "theatrically display the need for a public restroom", and it's gonna show a toilet! You know, those things people pee and poop in.

It's all happening at roughly 5:15 PM tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1413 Race Street - in front of 3CDC's lair!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Local township doesn't want you moving in

Imagine an America where - if you're poor or working-class - you're considered a trespasser just for being. And when the police handcuff you, wealthy locals are allowed to hurl any dirty insult they can at you. And - as a punishment for your "trespassing" - you must hold a sign in public admitting your "crime" and be subjected to more abuse by passersby.

The community in this story is far from being at that point. But if it continues at the rate it's going, it will be someday.

Anderson Township outside Cincinnati has joined the list of local suburbs with policies in place to keep out the poor. It's what I call a twilight township. Although Anderson is far from being alone among local communities in this regard, the excuses that this Ohio township's public officials use as an attempt to justify it are mind-boggling.

In the past few years, the township has accepted almost $700,000 in public housing grants. However, township trustees have now voted unanimously to pull out of the agreement to build public housing.

Look, if you're gonna take the money, at least build the housing. Where is all that money going? It's turned out to be really just a handout for a jurisdiction where most folks are at least middle-class.

In rejecting public housing, the trustees listened to the voices of elitists in the community. One resident sniffed, "There are so many wonderful things about Anderson that would be diminished very quickly by an increase in public housing." No specifics were offered as to what would be "diminished." Just elitist hyperbole.

Anderson Township Trustee Peggy Reis boasted that public housing is a no-no because "we tried to put into place mechanisms that will keep our property values high."

Thanks for the admission that you don't like the poor moving in, Peggy. Federal laws protecting the housing rights of the poor are much too weak, but Reis's statement is enough for the federal government to sue the township back to the Stone Age.

My city doesn't have laws to keep skyscraper condos for the rich from sprouting up with no limits (and pricing everybody else out of town), so what gives a township the right to have laws designed to keep homes for the poor from being built?

I don't wish to pick on Anderson Township exclusively. Lately, right-wingers in Green Township have been flooding the Cincinnati Enquirer's website with truly vile hate speech against the poor - in protest of efforts to build public housing there. And I've had my own experiences with hateful, petty public officials in my own county. Fifteen years ago, significant lumps of Campbell County were already like the America described at the beginning of this entry where the poor are publicly humiliated. Last thing we need is for that obstacle course to be reintroduced. If it comes here, I will fight.

Class warfare rules the roost in modern America.

Latest on CleanerGate

I'm another step closer to recovering the money stolen in the Cleaned Guard (CleanerGuard) scam! But if I don't get back every penny, it's yet another illustration of the misplaced priorities that guide America's 1½-party system.

The Kentucky Attorney General's office sent me a letter in response to my official complaint. I can't possibly say with confidence that they know what they're doing. Although they did enter my complaint into their "files" and refer me to the FBI's Internet fraud website, they said they couldn't find CleanerGuard engaging in a "pattern" of "unfair, false, misleading or deceptive" acts.

A "pattern"? So the Attorney General has to wait until Cleaned Guard is caught ripping off somebody else before it's considered a crime? Of course, CleanerGuard defrauds everybody it comes into contact with. It's just that hardly anybody else reports them.

At least entering the complaint into the database beats attending idiotic Operation UNITE rallies.

I found the FBI's Internet fraud site. I had to spend a few minutes hunting for it, because the Kentucky Attorney General's office gave me a broken link. I filled out the requisite consumer complaint form on that site against Cleaned Guard.

The FBI claims to have notified other law enforcement about my complaint, but I have even less confidence in this claim. By the '90s, the FBI was already mangled beyond hope by right-wing patronage employees. I learned this when I tried reporting a different series of Internet crimes. Nothing was done, because the perps had clout.

I'm entitled to be made whole. If the government refuses to get an innocent person's $50 back that was stolen by a con artist, the victim is morally entitled to hold $50 worth of government property as collateral or inflict $50 in damage to a facility such as a public restroom. Fair is fair. If the government won't do its job, the public is entitled to recoup its losses. If you have any better ideas on how fraud victims can be made whole if authorities sit on their hands, I'd love to hear it.

In the meantime, I'm pretty sure I've figured out exactly who is behind the CleanerGuard scam. It's interesting how her name is the lone common denominator I keep seeing mentioned in regard to this ongoing fraud. Judging by her blog, it looks like she's been traveling around the world on my dime. So I posted a little comment on her blog: "Hey, how is the Cleaned Guard business going?"

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Big Mac Attack"

I had a teacher in grade school who spoke of students "having a mac attack."

I could never figure out what that meant, and I don't ever remember hearing that expression anywhere else. However, a later McDonald's ad campaign talked of folks experiencing a "Big Mac attack" - so I guess the phrase caught on.

Maybe it was just an '80s slang term like 'fi' or something.

Our latest 'LCQ' explores mac attacks, Big Mac attacks, and events of that nature...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

GOP bill would gut postal service

After successive Republican administrations mismanaged the U.S. Postal Service almost beyond recognition, who can truly trust the GOP to fix what it broke?

Now who else but right-wing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) has introduced a bill to thoroughly gut the Postal Service. Issa's bill would eliminate Saturday mail delivery altogether. And it would close post offices and mail sorting centers.

Abolishing Saturday mail has been a goal suggested by right-wingers for years now. In conservaworld, it's always pay more for less service. They completely bypass obvious solutions like charging more to send out junk mail (which just clutters up living spaces).

The bill would also endanger postal employees by renegotiating bargaining agreements - a step that would likely slash their wages and benefits.

Here's an equally silly part of the bill: Under Issa's bill, the Postal Service would be governed by a congressionally appointed committee modeled on the District of Columbia Financial Control Board. The D.C. Financial Control Board was created under the Contract With America to micromanage everything the city of Washington did. It could even override decisions made by D.C. City Council. And it was an out-and-out disaster.

The Financial Control Board left the nation's capital in much worse shape than before. It wasted money and pursued an agenda shaped by right-wing members of Congress who had no stake in the city's doings.

Do we really want to repeat this mistake with the Postal Service? The last thing the Postal Service needs is to be hamstrung by even more political appointees - especially considering Congress's culture of corruption.


ALEC vs. the American worker

If you've ever had to do real work for a living, ALEC hates you.

As you may know from past reports here, ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council - a nationwide secret society of right-wing legislators and corporate big shots. They write much of the legislation introduced in statehouses from coast to coast, for roughly 25% of America's state lawmakers are members.

When ALEC came to Cincinnati in April, I was among the hundreds who participated in the public protest and march against ALEC.

ALEC tries keeping the text of its bills a secret. But did you know that ALEC is behind efforts to completely gut the minimum wage? It's true, it's true, it's all true!

One of ALEC's "model bills" is called the Starting (Minimum) Wage Repeal Act. It would not only repeal minimum wage laws, but it also "preempts localities" from enacting a minimum wage of their own.

See, ALEC isn't for big government. They're for GIGANTIC government! Conservatives' babblings about "states' rights" notwithstanding, ALEC proves with this bill that they're against local autonomy.

This is the same ALEC that has backed legislation to expand workplace drug testing and prohibit workers from suing over it. This despite the fact that a majority of workplace drug tests have been ruled unconstitutional.

Let's get this straight once and for all: A higher minimum wage does not worsen unemployment. The notion that it does was debunked decades ago. States with minimum wages higher than the national minimum actually have less unemployment. Perhaps an equally important issue here though is ALEC's calculated disdain for the basics of federalism. Local control is alien to ALEC. It has to be their way or the highway.

It also typifies how ALEC thinks they're better than everybody else.

If ALEC's "model bill" to bar the cities from having minimum wage laws passes in any state, that would justify swift and tough police action by the cities. The cities should continue to enforce the minimum wage, and subject to arrest any official within their borders who tries to prevent it. Legislators who would try to rob the cities of the power to shore up the duties neglected by Congress or the states are the most wicked of criminals. They are as bad as almost anybody on death row.

I also find it rather interesting that Anthony Weiner's so-called scandal broke at just the right time to divert attention away from both the takedown of Osama bin Laden and the exposure of ALEC. The Media choosing that particular time to make an issue of Weiner's travails is another indicator that The Media doesn't have your interests or those of the country in mind.


GOP lawmaker steals SUV

This blog has been slow of late, because criminal behavior by the Republican thought police is hardly news these days, for they break the law so much. It's actually news when they DON'T commit a crime!

And if it's not news, it's not interesting, is it?

But here's a story I couldn't resist...

Meet Idaho State Sen. John McGee. A rising Republican star, that McGee is. He was even thought by some to be a frontrunner for governor!

But over the weekend, he got busted for stealing an SUV and driving it while drunk. The theft charge is a felony.

It all went down after an alcohol-laden golf outing. McGee stumbled up to the SUV, climbed inside it, and went for a little joyride. While trying to turn around, the trailer attached to the SUV jackknifed. McGee then got out of the vehicle and walked up and down the street in a haze. A group of kids who witnessed the episode called the fuzz.

That's one of the state's top Republicans for ya!

Since John McGee likes stealing cars so much, maybe someday he can join Darrell Issa in Congress.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Orlando's war on homeless worse than we thought

More of the newses the right-wing media seems to loses...

The arrest toll in the city of Orlando's right-wing war against the homeless was recently reported to be 12. But it's actually up to at least 21.

And while the police may have had the decency to wait until everybody was fed before making arrests at an earlier incident, now this video proves that they no longer afford the public the "luxury" of being able to eat first:

You want desperation? I don't think it gets much more desperate than the way the city has behaved lately against feeding the homeless.

It's high time the federal government prosecute the city of Orlando for its war on the downtrodden.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Congresscritters Are Human"

There's a consensus that Anthony Weiner should not have had to resign based on anything currently known about his sexting scandal. In fact, everybody is already looking forward to him running in the special election to replace himself.

Weiner is that popular - especially after he voted against extending the far-right Patriot Act. Had the Democratic "leadership" not thrown him under the bus, the Weiner story would be a true rarity: a Democratic scandal that would actually help the Democrats politically.

If he ran in the special election, he wouldn't be running as a Democrat though - because party bosses choose the candidates in New York special elections. On the other hand, he can't be redistricted out without a constitutional crisis that flies in the face of the "one person, one vote" doctrine. (Based on the census, New York should lose seats in the upstate, not New York City.)

Honestly, who would you rather have as your congressperson: Anthony Weiner or Geoff Davis?

Enough yakking. Here's this week's 'LCQ':

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An absurd incident at a public pool

It's interesting how bigotry and ignorance of the Constitution always seem to go hand in hand. And every time there's a story like this, it seems to be many times stupider than the one before it.

A city-owned swimming pool in Hazard, Kentucky, is under fire after ejecting 2 disabled men. Why did pool officials eject them? Because the men just happen to be (gasp!) gay. (Keep in mind that the men weren't doing anything that would be improper in a public place.)

The men were informed that gays aren't allowed using this public pool - because, according to pool officials, the Bible says so.

Um. Remember when the civics books in 7th grade talked about separation of church and state? This is a public, taxpayer-funded pool I'm talking about here. Even if the Bible did command public swimming pools to eject disabled people for being gay, why is the city interpreting and enforcing a religious text?

As far as I know, the only action the city has taken so far in response to this ridiculous abuse is a vague statement from the mayor about the pool welcoming all. The city hasn't actually apologized - even though the episode reportedly violated the city's own antidiscrimination ordinance.

What's really going on here is cheap elitism. By banning gays, pool officials - who are supposed to work for the people - are imposing their beliefs on everybody else. They act like their views are more valid than yours. Of course, these public servants aren't the only folks who have been guilty of this brand of elitism over the years - for right-wingers in general have been doing this for ages now. In the world of the right wing, it's always their way or the highway. There's only one view that counts: theirs. Anybody who fails to adhere to their right-wing orthodoxy 100% of the time is persona non grata to them.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

12 arrested for feeding homeless

Whoever thought of this ordinance is instructed to do the following:

1) Grab the nearest pistol.

2) Place barrel in mouth.

3) Pull trigger.

4) Die.

There is perhaps nothing in the world as vicious, mean-spirited, and morally bankrupt as making it illegal to feed homeless people.

But the city of Orlando has done just that. In recent weeks, a grand total of at least 12 people (including at least one juvenile) have been arrested for violating a clearly unconstitutional city ordinance that bans feeding the homeless. Those arrested were from Food Not Bombs.

This law - which carries penalties of 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both - unconstitutionally restricts freedom of assembly.

Luckily, the police (on one occasion at least) had the civility to wait until Food Not Bombs was done feeding people before making the arrests. That's more than I can say for whatever right-wing fuckwipe wrote this ordinance - who has absolutely no civility or humanity at all.


Media doubles its pleasure with double standards

The dinosaur media is journalistically bankrupt.

It's a fact that The Media has a right-wing tilt, and now it shows more than ever. If Americans have a higher tolerance for real political corruption than 30 years ago, and less tolerance for silly sex scandals that aren't even criminal, you've got The Media to thank for that. The Media spends more effort manipulating public opinion than reporting facts.

Just ask Anthony Weiner. Unless Weiner's so-called scandal is significantly more far-reaching than what we know now, it's about on par with looking at softcore porn - much like the romance novels that the library gave away for free at its book sale. The Media has refused to demand resignation of Republican lawmakers involved in sex or corruption scandals that are far, far worse. But since Weiner's a Democrat, they're calling for his head.

And did you know that Republican operatives organized an anti-Semitic demonstration outside Weiner's office over the weekend? This follows the GOP falsely accusing us of bigotry over the work we've done over the years. They know such accusations are false. In other words, they lied. I spend countless hours cleaning up each individual mess they make defaming the work that goes on here, and that's part of why they use this strategy. It not only makes opponents look bad, but it also wastes time that we could spend on something else. Yet right-wing activists spew bigoted crap in public places and on websites, and nobody calls them out.

Plus, did you know that right-wing hatchet man Andrew Breitbart committed a crime by blackmailing Weiner?

Not like the Democratic "leadership" is much better. They're tougher on Weiner than they ever were on Bush. To them, softcore smut is worse than authorizing torture or lying as an excuse to start an illegal war. It's no wonder I made the Democrats fuck off not long after the Republicans got the same Tim treatment.

One thing is for damn sure: The Media is not very patriotic. Patriotism means putting the country's interests ahead of twisted political goals. If they had the nation's interests at heart, they'd devote more time to reporting the details of Osama bin Laden's takedown than they have to Anthony Weiner's troubles. The American media loves America about as much as the North Korean government does. The Weiner story has been hyped by bad patriots and bad people.

There are times when The Media has even more of a duty to do the right thing than usual. We're living in one of those times. But the right-wing media is in effect partying while the country burns.

Monday, June 13, 2011

FTC asked to investigate virus

As of now, the Federal Trade Commission has been asked to probe the CleanerGuard virus (which also uses the stupidly awkward name Cleaned Guard) that hit my computer recently.

Unlike some organizations, which don't seem to believe in the rule of law, we are taking this money-stealing virus very seriously. This follows the complaint I filled out yesterday with the Kentucky Attorney General's office. That complaint will be mailed today.

I just filled out the requisite complaint form on the FTC's website. Because we seem to have a real President now, unlike when the Swen virus hit, I am confident the FTC will at least initiate an investigation.

I am also seriously considering a lawsuit against CleanerGuard. (Remember, they masquerade as a legitimate firm and have a deliverable address.)

The punishment for computer viruses and scams like CleanerGuard should be life in prison. Unfortunately, I don't know of any laws in the U.S. that prescribe such a penalty. It's time our legislators write one. Unfortunately, they're too preoccupied right now with looking at photos of their colleagues' underpants.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The wheels do move...

I don't blog here as much as I used to, ever since Google stole hundreds of dollars in AdSense revenues from me, but trust me, the wheels do move.

The wheels move against right-wing talking points on other websites. I'm making sure of it. My eye is on the ball, and things are working out very badly for the Evil Empire on other sites right now. The wheels also move against scammers of all sorts.

Last month, as you know, I was confronted by CleanerGuard - a computer virus that forced me to spend big bucks just to keep using my computer. I've seen other folks complain about CleanerGuard on other websites. One hundred percent of people confronted by CleanerGuard pay up - because they think it's Microsoft selling a mandatory virus protection update. CleanerGuard's scare screen uses a perfect replica of Microsoft's antivirus program and even uses Microsoft's name (without Microsoft's permission).

Your computer will not run unless you pay up. It's truly the highway robbery of the 21st century.

CleanerGuard is a fraud based in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia. But not one person scammed by CleanerGuard even knows what CleanerGuard is until it's too late.

Well, I've gone to the bank to dispute my credit card payment to CleanerGuard - on the grounds of CleanerGuard being fraudulent. But this isn't enough. So I'm also making a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General's office using the Consumer Complaint Form. Here's proof of the complaint:

The form has a line asking, "What action will resolve your complaint?" My answer: "A full refund, plus prosecution of CleanerGuard." As a Kentucky taxpayer, I have a right to both.

The sad thing is that those who giggle at the notion of complaining to the Kentucky Attorney General would never laugh if it was New York or California. Kentucky could have gained respect if it had asserted its sovereignty by annulling the Contract With America's initiatives, but unfortunately, backbone isn't always in ample supply. Anybody who thinks Kentucky has less reason to go after CleanerGuard than other states do is an elitist and a nut.

If I don't get every penny refunded, there's hell to pay. Last person who fucked with my friends to any greater extent than this ended up becoming financially ruined and having to file for bankruptcy. I made sure of that. I'm the wrong guy to be fucking with.

The wheels may move slowly. But move they do.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Don't Waste Your Money!"

Long story short...

Yesterday, I ordered a $92 printer from one of Amazon's outside sellers. Then I got the $40 printer I had working, so I didn't need the $92 one. So I canceled the order.

Today, they sent out the $92 printer anyway - and charged me for it.

Um, no. It doesn't work that way. I canceled the order, so I'm not paying for an order I canceled. Understand?

This is like when AT&T charged me for a bunch of phone services I didn't order - all because I made one toll call.

I didn't pay AT&T, and I ain't payin' for a printer I don't need.

Our latest 'LCQ' talks about this apparent scam and pays tribute to a local TV news personality...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Boo hoo hoo, entrapment just got too expensive

Kentucky recently passed a smashingly splendid criminal justice reform law. Among other things, this bold new law loosens the state's draconian penalties for some minor drug offenses.

And now the drug warriors are complaining because the new law is making it too expensive to frame people for drugs.

Before this law, possession of any amount of cocaine or heroin was a felony. This law reduced it to a misdemeanor for very small amounts. The thoughtcrime guardians who support the failed War on Drugs cry that this means authorities will have to obtain more drugs in order to set up decoy drug deals to entrap folks for felonies.

Seriously. That's their complaint.

Why aren't the teabaggers up in arms about frame-ups like this not only destroying lives but also wasting the taxpayers' money?

Madison still gettin' shit done!

We've GOT to bring Madison, Wisconsin, to every city in America!

A week from now, the ongoing protests in Madison that have drawn hundreds of thousands will turn 4 months old. This makes it one of the longest and most well-attended rallies in recorded history, hands-down.

And - despite the media blackout - look what it's accomplished. It's not only helped expose the Evil Empire's many failures, but it's also led to upcoming recall elections against several right-wing legislators. In Wisconsin, the GOP is a sitting duck that will not recover in the foreseeable future, thanks to these protests.

To repeat, Madison has to come to every city. Has to. If we saw nationwide protests like this in 1995, America would be a very different country today.

So listen up, Cincinnati folks. I want to see a Madison-style protest in ol' Losanty. Blogging is great and all, but we can't forever rely exclusively on blogging. You have to take ACTION!

The protests against ALEC and especially the Pathway Family Center cult were effective. Pathwaste in fact was driven out of business by these rallies. If a rally with 10 people could shut down a very powerful multi-state chain of phony "rehabs", think what 100,000 could do.

I hate to belabor the point, but at this stage, this could make all the difference about the country's direction. And besides that, protests are just fun to go to!

Which would you prefer? Freedom or fascism?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Fun With Scissors"

Scissors are a nifty invention. Don't you agree? I'm sure you do, because that's what cool people do, and since you read this blog, you must be cool.

Our latest 'LCQ' explores scissors fun in a big way:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

War on the poor expanding in Chicago?

There's two Americas: the poor America and the rich America.

In which America do folks get more free stuff from the government? Not the poor America. The rich get new taxpayer-funded streets and favorable zoning policies, for instance. Almost every new subdivision for the well-off does in effect receive a bailout, as nearby roads, schools, and other public facilities require much more upkeep.

But in the poor America, folks receive far less - and have to submit bodily fluids just to get it. Or they will if today's army of class warriors gets its way.

Some nobody who runs the Chicago Housing Authority - which is in charge of Chicago's public housing - now wants to force every adult resident (including senior citizens) to take a drug test. Failed drug tests would result in immediate eviction.

It's unconstitutional, of course. (Naw, really?!)

Much as the ACLU is suing over workplace drug testing, the ACLU has also warned of a lawsuit over drug tests for public housing. You can't accuse the ACLU of a double standard here. The thought police on Facebook - who are mostly self-employed business owners - have been arguing that, because some workplaces require drug tests, why not public benefit programs too? Well, the ACLU is going after both. So there goes the right-wingers' argument.

Bigotry in all its forms is unacceptable, but in the America of the past 20 years, perhaps no form of bigotry has become as widely tolerated as classism. I don't see how the poor could have even been perceived as a threat, so that can mean only one thing: Class warriors are carrying out this war just because they can. It's time to make sure they can't.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bam! Lawsuit filed over Florida drug tests

When far-right assholes like Florida Gov. Rick "Max Headroom" Scott are allowed to serve in important elected offices, it eventually comes crashing down for them. And with the current bumper crop of losers like Scott, it's been a matter of mere months, not years.

Now the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit against one of Scott's forced drug testing policies - not his welfare drug testing law, but his perhaps equally outrageous executive order that forces all state workers to take a drug test. The order regarding state workers is every bit as unconstitutional as the law on welfare recipients is. In fact, courts struck down a similar workplace drug testing policy in Florida in 2004.

The suit over the welfare law is still forthcoming. The Scott regime holds the Constitution in contempt, and has already been responsible for a mound of fascist legislation so deep that the ACLU is hiring several more lawyers just to handle it all. This includes a new Scott-backed law designed to suppress voter turnout. Several counties are already refusing to enforce that law, because it's unconstitutional.

Rick Scott is a thriving example of what ought to be the Republicans' slogan: "The Republicans. Giving you shit because they can." The GOP is like the schoolyard bully who you may remember, and the Citizens United ruling is like schools' "zero tolerance" rules that were designed to keep you from fighting back.


New commenting policy!

It's new! It's blue! But it ain't bubble gum!

This blog has a brand bippus-bustin' new policy on commenting. Now - as in the days of old - anybody can post even if they don't have a Google or OpenID account. Isn't that magnificent?! But don't fret if your remarks don't show up right away - because I've enabled moderation of comments.

This is designed to cut back on the abuse that's plagued the comment feature lately.

Our other main commenting rules remain the same. Anybody caught impersonating or harassing other users will be banned for life from posting. This has been the rule since I started this blog 4 years ago. I know a few people will scream "free speech!" even though they've never lifted a finger to oppose actual free speech violations like using censorware on library web terminals. But to them I say this: Tough toilets.

If a person can't act right, that's not my problem. I have to wonder what life must be like for these individuals in the offline world. Do they act this way in person? Obviously, they're living off their rich daddies, because not too many workplaces would tolerate their behavior. That is, unless they're from somewhere like some of the suburbs in my county where social pathology like that is normalized. Mad Dog Bush gave a green light to these freaks when he pardoned the traitors involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, for that showed that actions didn't have consequences.

Enjoy this blog, folks, and remember that this is the blog that fights for you - the common people.