Commandants at the Guantanamo Bay death camp have a strange obsession with Sesame Street.
Now it's been revealed that this U.S.-run prison - where detainees have been held for a decade without trial - has been misusing songs from the popular children's TV show as a torture technique. Prisoners are forced to don headphones while songs from Sesame Street are blared at top volume for days on end.
This abuse of Sesame Street music has been going on for years, but only now is it becoming known.
Your tax dollars at work, folks.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Commandants at the Guantanamo Bay death camp have a strange obsession with Sesame Street.
Posted by Bandit at 12:46 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
If you live in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, and want to send your kids to a public school, you're out of luck.
A state-appointed manager for the Muskegon Heights school district has just converted the entire school system to charter schools - which are, in essence, private schools that receive public funds.
For a district to abolish all its public schools is of course illegal under federal law, as all students are entitled to a public education. It echoes a failed experiment in Hartford, Connecticut, in the '90s that was equally illegal: Hartford briefly gave its public schools to a for-profit corporation before that deal collapsed. (It's also reminiscent of Campbell County, Kentucky, of my youth, which was de facto charter, as the Campbell County Schools unlawfully excluded anybody they felt like excluding. But that's another story.)
When Muskegon Heights became charter, the school system did of course fire all the teachers - which is surely illegal as well.
Posted by Bandit at 2:28 PM
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I know it's a futile endeavor in northern Kentucky, but I scour the want ads daily for employment opportunities to supplement my book royalties. I've even begun collecting cans, and pretty soon, I'm going to start growing edible houseplants. (That's the stuff our schools didn't teach.)
But here's a story that's a perfect reason for anyone to just quit looking for work. When America's economic gatekeepers act like absolute dicks, who the hell wants to work for them?
A few months after the unstoppable Occupy Wall Street campaign began, a New York businessman hosted what he called a job fair located right in the heart of Occupy's flagship protest. A job fair wouldn't be a bad thing, except that this endeavor was nothing but a slick personal attack against the Occupy coalition. This came after he held a counterprotest against Occupy that drew only a handful of participants.
He called his phony job fair Occupy a Desk. He said, "We're hoping to end the Occupation by left-wing vagabonds with a fragmented message and bring professional people who are trying to engage in a positive endeavor."
So he's assailing not only your industriousness but also your politics. Why would Jo and Joe Sixpack want to work for anybody who attacks them for their political views? When I worked at the library, I wouldn't have put up with the head librarian playing an endless loop of Rush Limbaugh's audiobook and aiming the speaker at my desk. So why should anybody else have to tolerate being called "left-wing vagabonds" when they go to work?
Several companies sent representatives to Occupy a Desk - making these firms just as guilty as the privileged fussbudget who started the program, as they clearly weren't serious about employing anybody from Occupy.
People take it as a personal attack when you insult their desire to work. It's like how when I attended Bishop Brossart High School, I had a teacher who told a classroom full of students they were "too damn lazy." At that school, attacking one's productivity played on class-based and region-based canards.
The takeover of the American economy by right-wing authoritarians is by design. For decades, our public officials have created policies that have allowed the business world to be largely monopolized by a few people who possess a deep hostility to laborers. Why work for somebody else when they only pay a pittance and call you a "left-wing vagabond"? But if you want to be self-employed, prepare to be confronted by a gauntlet of legal and economic barriers that make self-employment almost impossible if you weren't born into wealth. That's all part of the seemingly bottomless right-wing conspiracy to keep you poor. The economic system of modern America is nothing short of slavery. There's simply no other word for it. If you want to argue with me about it, I've had enough experiences to prove it. (Remember when my radio station got shut down?)
The 99% has determination. The 1% has excuses and whines.
Posted by Bandit at 2:08 PM
Monday, May 28, 2012
Are the Republicans even trying to hide their own extremism anymore?
Now the Republican Party of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania - the same organization that produced racist congressman Lou Barletta - has elected known neo-Nazi Steve Smith as a committeeman. Smith is a founding member of a racist organization called the Keystone State Skinheads and has been active in the Ku Klux Klan and other unsavory groups. In 2003, Smith was jailed because he was one of 3 thugs involved in throwing a brick at a man because of his race. (The trio was dumb enough to stay around until police arrived.)
Smith has worked closely with Barletta on his racist pogroms, and he's participated in the Scranton Tea Party. He also allegedly sent nude photos of himself to somebody posing as an under-age girl.
Steve Smith is today's GOP.
Posted by Bandit at 4:29 PM
Sunday, May 27, 2012
I've mentioned a couple times before that there's a moron on the loose who has publicly stalked Occupy Cincinnati in a serial manner. And today he struck again in a big way.
The Occupy fam was down at Piatt Park again today, and not long after I got there, I noticed our serial stalker stealing our "WE ARE THE 99%" sign from in front of the James Garfield statue.
He walked south on Vine Street, so 3 of us chased him down. We grabbed the sign back from him, and he grunted something about signs not being allowed in the park. (Ooh, an Allowed Cloud!)
This reminds me of a similar occurrence during one of the protests I participated in against the far-right Pathway Family Center cult back in 2008. During that event, a PFC employee stole one of our signs we were displaying. This prompted the gent who made the sign to declare, "My sign didn't do drugs!"
Posted by Bandit at 11:27 PM
The child killers who want to shut down the Occupy movement are full of shit again.
A week ago, the Occupy coalition led 10,000 protesters against the NATO summit in Chicago. This was one of the biggest Occupy events to date - though it's since been dwarfed by Occupy's student rally in Montreal that's attracted 500,000 (roughly 1 in 8 residents of the Montreal metropolitan area).
A new assault by NATO provides more proof that the Chicago protest was justified. A NATO air strike has just killed 8 members of a family - including 6 children - in eastern Afghanistan. The family had no known connection with any terrorist group.
NATO's murder of the Afghan family has been covered by the BBC - but the shit-eating American media has of course ignored it.
Time for America to pull out of NATO, methinks.
Posted by Bandit at 4:34 AM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
When President Obama signed the STOCK Act into law last month, it was another victory for the Occupy coalition - the same movement that The Media despises with all its gusto. That's why you hardly heard anything about it.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act is designed to fight corrupt insider trading by members of Congress and other federal employees by barring them from using info they gained from personal business for their own profit. It also says all congressmorons must publicly disclose on their websites all their transactions in stocks and bonds within 45 days. And it says members of Congress have to make public the mortgage terms of their homes and denies pensions to members convicted of felonies that involve public corruption.
In other words, members of Congress are now required to follow the same tough laws as everybody else. If you misbehaved on the job, would you still get a pension? I think not indeed.
We in Occupy pushed for this law. And we got it.
When was the last time a progressive movement has been able to score such consistent policy victories in America? Wall Street is scared shitless of us, and they know they can't hide it.
Posted by Bandit at 12:12 PM
Friday, May 25, 2012
We at The Last Word remember the '90s when the city of Covington needlessly expanded the golf course at Devou Park - which deprived the public of many park features. Hilarity ensued when some folks who were angry about the course's expansion took some of the golf carts and crashed them - but the city's wastage is no laughing matter.
It turns out the city has been losing money on the golf course throughout the 17 years since the expansion. This boondoggle has cost the city $120,000 each year.
Perhaps worse, it also encouraged the city to try to defray the cost by ruining the park's famous overlook with a high-end reception center they could use for revenues.
Plus, expanding the golf course violated the agreement the city entered into when it first received the land for the park.
When are the Tea Party's self-anointed budget guardians going to go after this? Is this like how they grandstand against big spending even after they supported costly wars in Iraq?
Posted by Bandit at 4:20 PM
Fans of The Dukes Of Hazzard may recall Boss Hogg posting giant billboards with his own picture all over the countryside. Who can forget the scenes of cars crashing right through his grinning face? Well, the "small government" Missouri legislature is just as irresponsible with squandering money on likenesses of questionable individuals.
Recently, Missouri lawmakers spent taxpayer money buying a bronze bust of Rush Limbaugh to be put on public display in the Hall of Famous Missourians. When they unveiled the sculpture of the has-been broadcaster's head, they did so at a closed ceremony to keep away protesters.
Now they're spending over $1,100 on a security camera just to protect Limbaugh's sculpture. No other statue in the hall gets its own camera. The hall also has statues of Harry Truman, Walt Disney, and other well-known Missourians - but none of these works are protected. (A pointless observation I can't fit anywhere else: A photo of Disney in his 30s strongly resembles a man who's been stalking Occupy Cincinnati for months. This stalker once conducted a one-man counterprotest against us where he used a sign smeared with fake shit.)
To give you an idea of what this is like, it's about on par with an impoverished county somewhere cleaning out its entire treasury by building a giant statue of Bush at the county line that has a robotic arm that masturbates.
Posted by Bandit at 2:16 PM
Tim explores the hilariously bad wardrobe sported by Mitt Romney's followers...
Posted by Bandit at 1:38 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Is the Mitt Romney campaign going to make assaulting protesters a regular thing, or was that just for today?
This evening, the Romney droids conducted the grand opening of their Cincinnati campaign office. And Occupy Cincinnati was of course on hand to protest against ol' Scissorhands. Since the 99% is on the receiving end of a class war, it should come as no surprise that yet another right-wing attack against Occupy broke out today. It should come as even less of a surprise considering the Republican Party has a history of violence against dissidents. (Remember when the Bush campaign practically started a riot at Devou Park in 2000?)
The Romney campaign and the Tea Party both lied when they said they had no involvement with each other, because the Tea Party's 5 remaining followers were among the few folks who showed up to support the opening. Even local Tea Party operative Mike Wilson - the man who falsely accused me of deleting his comments from this blog - was there. But this entry focuses more on the actions of 3 Romney followers who I call Fascist Red, Fascist Blue, and Fascist Yellow (from the colors of their shirts).
Fascist Red was a woman in a red polo shirt who showed up at the beginning of the event and started arguing with us. I figured out she was crazy 30 seconds into the conversation when she claimed President Obama was eating dogs.
But she didn't actually assault us like Fascist Blue did. Fascist Blue was a man who emerged near the end of the program. He began taunting us, so I told him what I felt. This prompted him to charge towards me with his fists clenched - right there on Main Street, no less! A full-scale brawl was averted only because some of the other Occupiers stood between us.
Fascist Yellow was a woman in a yellow polo (they love the '80s, don't they?) who appeared a few minutes later and also started taunting us. I told her what I thought too, and she didn't like what I said either. Tough shit. We weren't there to try to persuade extremist idiots. We were there to make our case to the 99%. We were obviously successful in that endeavor, judging by the thumbs-up we kept getting from passersby.
When right-wing morons start an argument with us, I'm not going to apologize for ending it. Unfortunately, there's a few folks in the Occupy fold who - for reasons entirely unknown - think I was wrong for telling the Romney bots what I think. But the Tea Party clods - who have had everything handed to them without ever having to work for it - have no business telling Occupiers they're lazy after the Occupiers have worked hard their whole lives. As Occupiers, we have a duty to support each other in matters like this. Plus, ask yourself this: When did I accomplish more? Was it in the days when I ignored bullies, or after I began standing up to them?
The Romney camp wants to kill us. Remember, we are at war, and at the rate things are going, I truly fear that some of my fellow supporters of Occupy Cincinnati will end up dead by November - unless we can step up security at our events.
Posted by Bandit at 11:44 PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Here's yet another story that shows how the European Union stomps across Europe and micromanages what sovereign countries are allowed to do.
Not long ago, France banned Monsanto's genetically modified corn following public protests and the discovery that this mutant maize was ruining the environment.
But, wouldn't ya know it, the all-powerful European Food Safety Authority has overturned the ban - ordering France to open the floodgates for this frankenfood. Gee, when did French voters vote for that? (They didn't.)
It's a bit like the Bush regime's undemocratic "preemption" policy. As yet another gnawing example of that discredited principle, when the state of California removed a toxic additive from gasoline, Bush required the state to reimburse the additive's distributor. (The distributor was based in Canada, so Bush's act saved no American jobs.)
"Preemption" means surrender to Big Business, which always has a hand out saying, "Gimme gimme gimme!"
Posted by Bandit at 2:19 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Here's more of the newses that the Cincinnati Enquirer seems to loses...
Ohio's fascist Gov. John Kasich (who won a rigged election in 2010) is now under investigation by the FBI for bribery. The right-wing fartpipe is accused of threatening the jobs of folks who failed to help him illegally fire other people from important government positions and replace them with his crooked cronies.
The probe follows complaints by several different political figures and other peeps against Kasich.
The Governor of Ohio is probably about to be indicted, but it's crickets from The Media.
Posted by Bandit at 5:45 PM
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Yay for Republican Michael Bloomberg, as he defends individual freedom and small business against the burgeoning tide of - hey, what's this?!
Now the unpopular right-wing New York City mayor has shut down a hardware store because it failed to make customers show an ID when they purchased spray paint.
Doesn't this destabilize the Republican Party's claim that they're for smaller government? What's next? Is Mayor 1% going to sue Johnny Bench for appearing in Krylon commercials? Note that Bloomberg targeted a stand-alone hardware shop instead of a national big-box retailer. Maybe it's because huge national chains usually comply with Bloombergesque diktats like good little sheep. These big corporations are never targeted.
This is also a case of entrapment. The store in this story was caught when undercover cops purchased spray paint there. This illegal sting wasted countless taxpayer dollars and it diverted police resources away from fighting real crime.
The affront to civil liberties is the nitty-gritty of the story. This isn't just a case of businesses not being allowed to sell spray paint, but also of individuals not being allowed to buy it. This tyranny is far more than an inconvenience. It has very sinister roots. It's a fact that the moral panic over graffiti vandals and the ensuing laws against spray paint were orchestrated by the Far Right as a means of deflecting attention away from the pandemic of student harassment that was sweeping our schools. The facts on school harassment weren't on their side, so they had to trot out a fabricated crisis to take everyone's eye off the ball. We know this, because their personal war on graffiti was one of the topics they began harping on whenever anyone tried alerting them about what went on in our schools - even though it was almost entirely unrelated to it.
Freedom for the individual must reign in America.
Posted by Bandit at 1:38 PM
Saturday, May 19, 2012
A few more stories like this - and trust me, they're out there - and we may see the total, irreversible collapse of the Republican Party. I can't see how they'd survive it.
As right-wing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker faces a recall election on June 5, a strange thing has happened: In upstate New York, a retired teacher tried buying groceries, but her credit card was declined. Turns out her card was flagged over a donation to a Republican group called Friends of Scott Walker.
But she never donated to Friends of Scott Walker. The charge was fraudulent.
The Walker administration is already mired in a scandal that's seen 2 of Walker's cronies charged with felonies for allegedly embezzling money from a veterans' group. Walker says he knows nothing about this incident - but that's a lie, because it was he who was in charge of transferring the money. RNC head Reince Priebus has also been implicated in this scandal.
The Republicans think they'll get away with all of this because they suffer from arrogance of power. Some years back, a much-loved athlete boasted that the government wasn't going to nab him for tax evasion, just because of who he was. But things didn't work out well for him. Similarly, the GOP thinks they're immune from having to pay for their crimes just because of who they are.
Posted by Bandit at 2:04 AM
Friday, May 18, 2012
Broadly speaking, the Occupy coalition is everything I've wanted in a protest movement since I was 15 - except it's arrived much too late.
Now there's a new Occupy chapter called Occupy WFNX - which aims to save a legendary Boston area radio station from a takeover by the hated Clear Channel. The FCC has just rubber-stamped Clear Channel's WFNX purchase, and observers speculate that Crap Channel plans to change WFNX's format from modern rock to right-wing talk - adding to the smorgasbord of far-right talkers that already pollute Boston airwaves. This despite Boston's reputation as a liberal market and the fact that WFNX is FM.
Occupy WFNX wants to stop this stampede. But - as with everything else Occupy - this protest should have been going on in 1996, when a right-wing Congress passed the telcom law that enabled WFNX's takeover. Don't get me wrong: I support Occupy WFNX. But isn't it a little late to save WFNX and other legendary stations that have been murdered by Congress's 1996 bailout of corporate radio?
If Occupy was around in the mid-2000s to halt the demise of 97-X just outside Cincinnati, it might have been just in the nick of time. But that ship has sailed. People sat on their hands, and as a result, American radio at this stage likely will never be rescued. Radio could have survived competition from the Internet, but serial inaction let the industry self-destruct.
Radio is dead.
Posted by Bandit at 5:23 PM
Indeed he did...
Posted by Bandit at 2:23 PM
Although much of The Media has ignored the revelation that Mitt Romney led a brutal attack on a schoolmate, the story has prompted enough of an outcry to likely doom the Romney campaign.
A new Ipsos poll says that - although 47% of Americans still haven't heard of the incident due to The Media's cover-up - many of the remaining 53% have soured on the Republican candidate because of it. The poll says 28% of those who heard of the assault have a less favorable view of Romney because of his thuggish behavior - while 5% have a more favorable view.
Now we know what percentage of the population is made up of serial bullies - it's 5%. It's higher at schools where administrators openly train their charges in such delinquency and purge from their ranks those who don't submit. But in the normal world, it's 5%.
For the record, Romney was 18 when he assaulted his schoolmate, so he wasn't just some kid. He was an adult. I turned 18 the summer before my senior year, and I guarantee that if I'd done what Romney did, I'd be facing adult prison. I'd still be locked up today. But not W. Mitt Romney of Bloomfield Hills.
Not everybody is as spoiled as the Mittster and can stumble through life without being held accountable. Like Bush, Romney has spent most of his adult life getting free money for his business ventures - and getting rewarded with more dough when they fail.
Even at 65, Romney comes across as a spoiled brat who blames hard-working people for his many failures. He sounds as bad as his fellow Tea Party followers who have been coddled since they were born and got everything they wanted without having to work for it. One of the primary aims of this guild of 1-percenters is to make sure workers are gouged so their earnings are given to the wealthy. Not unlike how Republican states already receive more federal money than they pay in taxes.
Posted by Bandit at 3:23 AM
Thursday, May 17, 2012
You mean the prohibitionists who tried to ban cold medicine were wrong?! Imagine that!
Oregon and Mississippi are the only 2 states anywhere in this fine land that require a prescription to buy any amount of allergy or cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine. This bill was passed by undeclared drug lords who (like their corporate masters) support the failed War on Drugs. They claimed it would stop people from making meth.
But while abuse of meth and other hard drugs has declined nationwide over the past 3 years, meth abuse continues to escalate in the few states that have this prescription law. Now it's been revealed that a staggering 23% of men arrested in Portland, Oregon, last year were high on meth - the second-highest rate of any big city in America.
Of course, inept drug czar Gil Kerlikowske (one of few flies in the ointment of an otherwise competent Obama administration) says it's because of surrounding states not adopting a law like Oregon's. Seriously, he said that.
Go ahead, drug warriors. Keep sticking to discredited ideas. It's a surefire recipe for disaster.
Posted by Bandit at 4:36 PM
Well, so much for a democratic EU.
In Frankfurt, Germany, the city's Municipal Department for Public Order (now that's a phrase that evokes freedom!) has ordered a ban on an Occupy-affiliated protest that had been scheduled for this week. The protest - known as Blockupy Frankfurt - is supposed to be going on now against a gathering of greed merchants from throughout the continent who are meeting to promote their failed austerity policies.
Indeedity-doodledy, there have been arrests of Occupy peeps who defied the ban.
No wonder the European Union is on the brink of collapse. The EU has long been a gloomy burgoo of undemocratic, corporatist ideas. Whether it's suppressing free speech, expanding Big Business's power, or persecuting religious minorities, the EU has done it all.
Posted by Bandit at 4:26 PM
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
This is what's become of the Republican Party?
Disbelief almost kicks in when you see stories like this, though I guess in some ways it shouldn't, for the modern GOP seems to be built entirely on making life rough for everybody else. Now it turns out that Mitt Romney - while attending high school at an elite prep school - assaulted a schoolmate because he thought he was gay.
During the 1965 incident, Romney led a cadre of students who ganged up on the victim. The group tackled the victim and pinned him to the ground while Romney cut his hair with scissors. Five different people have confirmed this story.
The victim died of liver cancer in 2004 - while Romney was Governor of Massachusetts.
If Romney doesn't lose the election by at least 20 points after this revelation, it'll be a miracle.
Posted by Bandit at 1:55 PM
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Tea Party is dead - except of course in the dwindling Republican Party, where it flourishes without any limits.
It's one last pecan pie in the face for longtime Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana. In a stunning upset, Lugar just lost the Republican primary today to the teagaggin' Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
What's uproarious about this is that Lugar would have had a safe seat in the general election. Now the Democrats are probably going to wrest yet another important Senate seat away from the GOP - all because the Tea Party didn't know when to cool their choppers.
Posted by Bandit at 8:00 PM
A few of my fellow members of the Occupy family have urged me not to be so hard on the Tea Party, since they seem to think the teaburglars are just like us except they wear Paul Revere hats instead of Occupy masks. But I've known from the giddy-up that the Tea Party was against us, and now it shows more than ever.
For example, the Tea Party is planning a rally in Hendersonville, North Carolina, with the specific objective of opposing Occupy Hendersonville. (It does not appear as if Hendersonville has its own Tea Party, yet the town has an active Occupy. It's a bit like how Campbell County has had 3 Occupy rallies so far but never a single Tea Party protest.)
It gets sillier. Meet the misnamed Ohio Liberty Coalition - a parasol group for Ohio teagaggers. The Columbus-based OLC is the gang of 1-percenters who are campaigning for a work-for-less law in the Buckeye State. Now they're demanding that The Media, law enforcement, and the Ohio Attorney General collaborate on an official investigation of every Occupy group in the whole state.
The OLC's public statement comes in the wake of the Cleveland Five arrests - even though the Cleveland Five aren't Occupiers. Occupy Cleveland folks have reported that their only encounters with the fivesome was when they saw them wandering through the crowd at the Occupy camp and stomping off once they learned Occupy has a nonviolence pledge. But even before the Cleveland Five story, the OLC had been trying to get officials to launch an official probe of Occupy. Last month, they gave paperwork to the Ohio Attorney General's office demanding such an investigation.
The OLC also charged that Occupy was conspiring with the United Auto Workers and others to promote a "big government agenda." Uh, if the Cleveland Five are anarchists, and if Occupy supports them (which they don't), then how can Occupy be for big government? Gotcha, OLC!
After reading this, do any Occupy peeps still think we should be best buds with the teaburglars?
If the Ohio Liberty Coalition wants to pick a fight with all Buckeye-based Occupy groups, my message to the OLC is this: GO AHEAD AND TAKE YOUR VERY BEST FUCKING SHOT!!!!! That's a fight the OLC will lose - and lose big. Occupy is unusual in that it gets more popular each time its enemies in the press or the government launch a salvo against it. After the Cleveland Five story broke, Occupy Cleveland received many words of support from passing motorists. The Media can't take down Occupy, because nobody believes a word they say when they attack us. The blowhards who make hay over negative press about us know it's bullshit but they're too dumb to realize everybody else knows it too.
If the Tea Party had actually supported smaller government instead of being a safe haven for every racist clown and right-wing class warrior in America, an Occupy/Tea Party coalition would have been absolutely unstoppable. But the Tea Party is nothing but the thuggish "values voter" cult under a different name. The Tea Party should have been investigated even before it was the Tea Party.
Posted by Bandit at 5:33 AM
What do you call it when government props up a corporate near-monopoly, gives it an outright bailout just for the asking, and rubber-stamps its takeover of a competitor - and then this corporation does the bidding of a right-wing hate group? I call it stupid.
Recently, Bill Donohue's Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights - an extremist group that has defended pedophile priests - demanded that Delta Airlines pull ads from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. The Catholic League was angry that the satirical cable show poked fun at Fox News for supporting the Republicans' war on women. This comes on the heels of Donohue comparing pro-choice groups to Nazis.
How did Delta respond to the Catholic League's ultimatum? With total, unquestioning compliance, of course.
Since Delta sides with an organization that supports pedophiles, shouldn't its monopoly be broken? And what are the implications of a company that got bailout money - public funds - favoring such a group and discriminating against those who oppose it? It was bad enough for the government to award air routes only to a single airline even when an airline didn't take such fetid stances as this.
Posted by Bandit at 3:28 AM
Friday, May 4, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
After the Occupy coalition led successful May Day protests all over the world (including Cincinnati) in recent days, the 1% is as scared shitless as they've been for the past 8 months. (It shows, by the way.)
I just found an uproarious satire of how the 1% media "thinks." This piece manages to embody so well how the 1% has been arguing against the Occupy movement from the giddy-up but hasn't even made a dent against our public support...
Posted by Bandit at 3:29 PM
The right-wing war on the poor and students continues full speed ahead in Arkansas.
When college grads end up earning less than their parents who never went to college - and every penny they make until they're 40 goes to paying off college loans - I think it's fair to say college is a scam. Now right-wing Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell wants to expand this indentured servitude.
Bell - a Tea Party fave from Mena - was previously known for quoting Mein Kampf on his Facebook page. Now he plans to introduce a bill that would require students who receive state scholarships but don't finish college to pay back the scholarship money they got.
This is absurd on so many levels that it busts our bip bone. For starts, there's the class warfare aspect: The rich need the scholarships the least, so this bill won't hurt them. (Big surprise.) For another, there's a host of factors - such as family illnesses, harassment, and other misfortunes - that may prevent completing college. Thirdly, isn't some college better than none?
Nate Bell's bill represents stale memes that should have never been allowed to escape ridicule in the torrid decades gone by.
Posted by Bandit at 1:10 PM
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
So it isn't just Kentucky where the Republican machine is suddenly on the verge of collapse?
For a decade, somebody answering to the name of Bobby Thompson collected millions of dollars for a supposed charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association (USNVA). This group claimed to provide support for America's fighting men and women.
But now it turns out the whole thing was a scam. Authorities now believe the charity was a fraud that actually gave all the money it raised to Republican politicians like George W. Bush and John McCain. Virginia's far-right Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli begged for funds from this fake charity - which became one of his biggest contributors. Those who donated to USNVA (who had no idea it was a GOP front) were scammed to the tune of $100,000,000.
Last night, federal marshals finally caught Thompson - but still haven't determined his real name. All they know is that he attended countless Republican fundraisers and the 2008 Republican National Convention.
And Cuccinelli is probably in a heap of trouble!
Between this scandal and being called out by the Occupy coalition, the past 8 months have been a bit challenging for the right-wing intelligentsia.
Posted by Bandit at 10:08 PM
Another laughable bill courtesy of the Wall Street 1%.
Vanderbilt University - a private institution - has a nondiscrimination policy that quite properly requires student groups to admit any interested students. But now the Tennessee legislature has just passed a right-wing bill to require the school to exempt religious groups.
Politicians are trying to tell a private school what to do? I guess that means Brossart has to put my name back on the student council ballot, right?
Isn't this the silliest thing you've heard since - well, probably yesterday when one of the latest right-wing media hit pieces against the Occupy movement was debunked.
The bill now sails to right-wing Gov. Bill Haslam's desk - opening the possibility of yet more well-deserved ridicule for Haslam if he signs it.
Posted by Bandit at 8:06 PM
Right about now, Kentucky's Republican machine has got to be so over.
Richie Farmer - a Republican who served as Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and ran for lieutenant governor last year - had already come under fire for stealing a refrigerator. He improperly used a state account to buy the fridge for his own home. That's called stealing from the taxpayers.
Now a state audit has unearthed more details of Farmer's waste. It turns out Farmer took items purchased by the agriculture department on the taxpayers' dime and gave them to his family for Christmas. Farmer also improperly used state employees on state time to build a basketball court at his house. He even had a state worker remove the organs of a deer that he illegally shot from a state vehicle.
Farmer's office reserved hotel rooms at the Kentucky State Fair in the names of state employees - even though the rooms were for Farmer's family and friends. Then - because the inn didn't allow dogs - he had state workers schlep his dog back and forth between his home and the fair. And Farmer wasted over $70,000 in taxpayer funds paying a personal friend to do almost nothing. Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen called it a "toxic culture of entitlement" and a "real culture of fear and a hostile work environment."
It also turns out that tens of thousands of tax dollars meant for wildlife conservation were squandered on buying 8 gas-guzzling SUV's.
The revelations of this damning audit have been turned over to the Kentucky Attorney General, the IRS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agencies for possible prosecution.
Meanwhile, some of the items Farmer lost while he was in office are finally resurfacing. One of the items is a refrigerator purchased with taxpayer funds - though it doesn't appear to be the same fridge Farmer stole. Three laptops have also finally been returned. However, 6 rifles purchased by Farmer's staff still have not reappeared, and one laptop is still missing.
This pattern of unchecked wastage exhibited by the Kentucky GOP has gotten real old. It isn't only Republicans who have let hard-working taxpayers like you and me down like this, but the GOP stands alone in their amount of graft and waste. No other party in modern America has produced such a seamless culture of self-enrichment.
Posted by Bandit at 2:34 PM