Friday, June 29, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Into The Fire!"

Fond memories of things we used to burn on the Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Occupyin' for Lakeside!

If you want to just sulk and hold meetings, there's plenty of organizations out there. But when you're part of Occupy, you Occupy, dammit!

The region baked under record-smashing 104° F heat today, but Campbell County Fiscal Court's decision to close the Lakeside Terrace senior home was cryin' out for a protest. So I invited Occupy Campbell County and Occupy Cincinnati to join me for a rally at 4th & York in Newport - across from the Campbell County Courthouse.

This has to be the longest I've spent standing along a street in Campbell County without garbage being hurled at me from cars since about 1986. Passersby loved my sign's message!

Nobody but nobody believed I'd go out in the heat today. And I'm damn sure the Republicans on Campbell County Fiscal Court didn't expect it. I sure called their bluff, didn't I? That's what Occupy is all about, man.

Fighting to save Lakeside Terrace is a matter of fairness. If the county truly didn't have the money and if it hadn't mismanaged our tax dollars so mammothly in years past, I might just accept Lakeside's fate. But no. The county can do better - and it must.

Scott Walker refuses to obey health care law

Let's face it: The Far Right fell smack-dab on their mugs today.

They were so hostile to any condign regulation of health insurers that they tried using the insurance mandate as a rationale to have the entire 2010 health care law ruled unconstitutional (even though the mandate was originally their idea). Well, that didn't work, as we saw today.

Now their precious fee-fees are hurt.

But that's no bother to Wisconsin's fascist Gov. Scott Walker. He's refusing to follow the health care law despite the Supreme Court ruling that the law is constitutional. Walker decrees that the law doesn't apply in Wisconsin and that Wisconsinites shall not receive the law's benefits.

Yeah, sure they won't, Scott.


Supreme Court upholds health insurance mandate

Of course they did. You didn't really think they were going to throw out what was originally a Republican plan, did you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When a right-winger dodged taxes (a blast from the past)

Delusion springs eternal in conservaland, and here's another story that shows how the Evil Empire can't even grasp the world that real America lives in.

The Tea Party didn't just spring from whole cloth when President Obama took office. It had existed for years, though not under the Tea Party name. The teabumblers crying about having to pay taxes like everyone else is nothing new either.

About 15 years ago, a local right-wing activist was charged with federal tax evasion because he refused to pay his income taxes. He hated the government, don't ya know. After all, the federal government was full of a bunch of leftists, because somebody on the Internets said so.

His defense was bizarre. He thought he was sockin' it to The Man and that the jury would sympathize with him. That was his whole defense.

Back when the trial was going on, I showed this story to members of my family. We all had a good laugh. If you want to shake your fist in the air like the defendant did, you better have a damn good reason. It was justifiable for us to be angry at the government, as the government's right-wing policies did us irreparable harm. But the defendant in this story railed against the government and refused to pay taxes. That didn't go over too well among the general public who rightly believed he had as much duty to pay taxes as everybody else.

The jury quickly convicted him.

The case underscored the level of fantasy harbored by his political guild. Right-wing society doesn't see how real people think. They expected us to see things their way, and they're still in denial that nobody does.

What does the future hold for the Far Right? They think their viability can continue forever, but they're so delusional that they don't realize it's unsustainable. How they will meet their irreversible fall is the only question. A scandal? An election? A revolution? It's going to be one or more of the above - and probably soon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sorry, Grandma. The Tea Party took your home.

Campbell County, Kentucky! My home county!

Campbell County Fiscal Court has long been held by right-wing Republicans, and it's coming home to roost once again. The county now plans to close Lakeside Terrace, the local seniors' home. Elderly residents will have only until February to find a new place to live.

The 6-story building in Highland Heights needs $5,000,000 in renovations, but it strains belief to think a county of 90,000 peeps can't afford it. Campbell County is one of only 3 counties in Kentucky that spends taxpayer money on transportation for private schools. The county also gives handouts to developers to build swanky new riverfront housing for the rich. Certainly, it can afford to renovate Lakeside Terrace. Anyone who says otherwise is full of flatus.

What's more is that the renovations wouldn't be needed now if the county had properly maintained the home to begin with.

The vile Phil Gramm liked to boast of what he called the "Dickey Flatt test." Mr. Flatt was a Texas businessman who Gramm tried using as a gauge of whether government spending was justifiable. "Is it worth taking it out of Dickey's pocket?" the useless Gramm liked to inquire - not caring about whether spending was actually beneficial. Campbell County Fiscal Court seems to have a "Tea Party test." They spend only what the Tea Party tells them to. But despite the Tea Party's austerity mantra, the teaburglars have no objection to spending tax dollars on their pet projects that have been known for years to be failures.

In essence, the Tea Party is taking Grandma's home to pay for their own wasteful spending. I don't claim to be conservative, but I didn't know fiscal conservatism was supposed to be about deliberate mismanagement.

Brand new ADHD study discredited

The drug lords who hand out Ritalin in our schools appeared to get a boost today when the right-wing Reuters syndicate hyped a study encouraging earlier druggings of kids diagnosed with ADHD - a spindrome invented by the pharmaceutical racket.

But buried deep in the article is this little tidbit:

"One of the other researchers on the study has received funding from pharmaceutical companies, including those that make stimulant drugs for ADHD."


Why should anybody believe a word the study says after seeing that?

Supremes tighten corporate personhood screws

Surprised? Knowing this rogue Supreme Court, I'm not.

The Citizens United case in 2010 was a battering ram for fascism, as it declared that corporations are people and allowed them to make unlimited political contributions. And we've seen the result of that. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court drove the knife in even further by declaring that this ruling is binding on the states. Today's ruling was 5 to 4, with the usual quintet in the majority. They were of course the same 5 responsible for the 2010 decision.

Aren't these Justices part of the same political clique that's always babbling about "states' rights"? This is yet another case of "states' rights for me, not for thee." The Tenth Amendment was pulped by the Supreme Court today.

Today's ruling arose from the state of Montana's attempt to enforce its 1912 law against corporate campaign spending. The Montana Supreme Court had ruled 5 to 2 that the state law was intact. The 2 dissenters said they would have voted with the majority if the U.S. Supreme Court hadn't been breathing down their necks. Approximately half of the states (including Kentucky) rightly joined Montana in the resulting federal case.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has predictably gutted Montana law, Montana and the rest of the states should defy today's ruling. It's a fact that the U.S. Supreme Court presently is not duly constituted, for the Bush crime family stacked it. Submission is cowardice.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vatican goes Fox News

Lately, it's seemed like the leadership of the Catholic Church has become a subsidiary of the Republican Party. Indeedity-doodledy, one of few forums where people praise the church's increasingly conservative direction is Free Republic - a once-thriving right-wing website that is now on the brink of irrelevance.

It's not like the church's institutions were a mainstay of liberality previously. But under Pope Benedict XVI, it sounds like the entire church has become like my high school.

The Vatican has now hired Fox News Channel correspondent Greg Burke as its senior communications adviser. Burke is a member of the ultraconservative Opus Dei - a fact that highlights the relationship between the church's conservative elements and right-wing American media organizations.

Opus Dei has helped stage-manage much of the debate about issues that are important to folks all over America (if not the world). Now right-wing media figures get to help control what gets disseminated by the Vatican.

The Vatican acts as if the church's woes are due only to bad PR. Some church leaders even blame the media for the church's scandals. But that's far from reality. In fact, the press has actually given relatively little coverage to scandals within church institutions. I know this firsthand, because the local media engaged in a total cover-up of the financial malfeasance and other corruption at my former high school. And trust me, the local press knew about it, because I made sure they knew.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tea Party follower injures self in failed bombing

It's just a matter of time.

Sooner or later, a Tea Party cultist will blow up somebody you love. And the pundits will say they never saw it coming.

But when we see stories like this, we know what looms. In Plano, Texas, a man was critically injured when he tampered with a gas line in the middle of the night. Investigators believe he had attached a bomb to the gas pipe - and the bomb misfired, showering him with shrapnel.

Experts say that if the bomb had gone off the way it was planned, the entire neighborhood would have disappeared in a mushroom cloud.

Turns out the suspect is a Tea Party supporter who uploaded a paranoid rant to YouTube. In a speech seemingly inspired by right-wing talk radio propaganda, the man grumbled about having to pay taxes like everybody else and tore up an income tax form.

We got lucky - this time. But what about next time?

The Department of Homeland Security has already vowed not to investigate homegrown right-wing terrorists - even though far-right domestic terrorism poses a far greater threat than any other type. The DHS made this pledge because Republican officials told them to. Refusal to probe the biggest threat to America's domestic security renders the DHS worse than useless. All the DHS does now is try to close down peaceful events like Occupy marches - which is no surprise, because the DHS was designed to be Bush's personal army to deploy against dissidents.

It's just a matter of time.

But the Department of Homeland Security doesn't want to hear it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Pee Existed In 1943"

Perhaps the most obnoxious LCQ to date...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obama leads by 13%

You can argue until you're blue in the ears about President Obama, but a new Bloomberg poll indicates that if the election was held today, he'd crush his leading challenger - the hated Mitt Romney - by 13%.

This 53% to 40% lead may be Obama's widest yet in any major poll. From what I see on the ground, I can't believe it's not wider.

What's amusing about this is that it comes only a couple weeks after The Media hyped a bad jobs report just so the despicable Romney would be elected.

What bodes even iller for the poor Mittster is that this poll is of likely voters - not of registered voters in general. This survey also oversampled Republicans.

People are mighty smart when they have access to the facts.


Diocese starts 1% propaganda site

Because this is a day ending in y, the right-wing intelligentsia is again living in Bizarro World by claiming to represent the precise opposite of what they really stand for.

A few days ago, I saw a sign in the front yard of a northern Kentucky mansion that depicted the Statue of Liberty and a website address that seemed to allude to religious freedom. When I got home, I logged on to this site and found it to be a sham. The site - which is a department of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington - featured a lengthy dispatch against religious liberty.

The text attacked the Obama administration's popular policy on insurance coverage of contraceptives by calling it a "restriction on the free exercise of religion." In reality, the policy does nothing to crimp religious freedom. In fact, a majority of the states already had such a policy.

The website also claimed Obama's policy covers contraceptives that induce abortion. That is false. By definition, contraceptives do not induce abortion. If they did, they would be abortifacients, not contraceptives. The President's policy does not cover abortifacients.

If contraception is a form of abortion, abstinence is too.

The diocese's website is not about religious freedom. It's about imposing beliefs on everybody else - and playing on partisan politics. It also embodies both the economic and the social dimensions of political conservatism: Not only does it attempt to police personal behavior, but it also tries to minimize health care as a public function. By endeavoring to control what individuals do in private, this campaign ultimately serves the Wall Street 1%.

The right-wing brain trust doesn't whip up each of their ideas independently of one another. All of their memes are part of an intertwined program that seeks to codify a stance on every issue - serving the rich and powerful. The movement against the White House's contraception policy is part of this system. The forces of conservative extremism have lost the public opinion battle and perhaps the electoral battle. But - by losing those fights - the Far Right thinks they can get more out of it in the long run as they seek to replace human aspirations with their rigid code.

We can talk about the magic of freedom because it truly is magic. Liberty works! Freeing your mind is a process that can transform you from a fearful wreck into a thinker to be reckoned with. Plus, constitutional liberties such as freedom of religion are a must in our democratic system. It's a shame the Diocese of Covington's latest webpage claims to promote it but doesn't.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tea Party AWOL after vandalizing Fountain Square

It seems like every time more than 3 followers of the faltering Tea Party get together, it becomes a "let's bust shit up" riot.

While Occupy Cincinnati continues to draw at least a few dozen people to its many demonstrations, the last known public event by local teagaggers was over 2 months ago. That was the day I heckled the Tea Party bigots while they stank up Fountain Square with their stale authoritarian chatter.

Later, on the way home, I zipped past Fountain Square, and I discovered that the Tea Party had predictably left it a mess. Paper cups and other rubbish littered the square. Since then, they haven't been heard from - except when the statewide Tea Party demanded that the Ohio Attorney General launch an official investigation of all Occupy gatherings. They've largely dropped from sight. (Keep an eye on them nonetheless.)

The city needs to bill the Tea Party for their vandalism. The next time the teaburglars want to deface something, it should be their own belongings - like when a Tea Party leader on the West Coast recently vandalized his own car so he could blame it on gay rights activists.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Former Highland Heights police chief indicted for wire fraud

Highland Heights, Kentucky! My hometown!

Campbell County isn't exactly known for clean government, and now it may be coming home to roost. Former Highland Heights police chief Carl Mullen has now been indicted on federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. Authorities say Mullen used credit cards issued in the names of other cops and the Highland Heights-Southgate Police Authority to steal about $115,000 from the department. The indictment says Mullen falsely claimed the money was for police investigations.

If convicted, Mullen may face 20 years in the federal pen.

The case was launched when the mayor asked the FBI to investigate a suspicious accounting discrepancy in the police department's budget.

In years past, local public servants have been charged with serious crimes only to have the charges turn out to be questionable. Plus, because Mullen hasn't been convicted, I can't assume he's guilty. On the other hand, the area has long been plagued by impenetrable public corruption (a vast majority of which is at the hands of the Republican Party). Who can forget the time a neo-Nazi avoided punishment for vehicular assault because his daddy was a bank president?

No wonder Occupy Campbell County is so popular.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Local youth home probed for abuse

Our local media has a history of covering up abuse in programs for young people, but I guess even the Cincinnati Enquirer has decided they've had their fill of it. (I stopped using the Enquirer as a source for this blog when they began deleting website comments to appease a local school system, but I'm making an exception for this piece.)

Campbell Lodge Boys' Home in Cold Spring is a home for troubled boys aged 10 to 18. When I attended Cline Middle School, I had numerous classmates who lived at Campbell Lodge, but I didn't really know what Campbell Lodge was. I didn't know it was like the teen programs I've tried to have shut down. Now Campbell Lodge is being investigated by the state of Kentucky for mistreatment.

According to the probe, Campbell Lodge failed to provide 3 square meals a day. If kids got too rowdy, staffers force-fed them ADHD drugs that they hadn't been prescribed. The facility improperly disposed of medical records in violation of federal privacy laws. Staffers also forced children to wear dirty clothes to school and physically abused them to such a degree that they received rug burns and black eyes. Kids were even forced to drink water from the same cup, and one of the youngsters said an employee kept harassing him about his weight. (Some of the above problems were also known to exist at the CPH concentration camp in Covington, which to my knowledge has not been investigated yet.)

Children abused at Campbell Lodge complained to the home's officials, but their complaints were brushed off.

Now - because of the investigation - all residents have been moved out of Campbell Lodge. But the facility is threatening to resume its operations if state officials let it.

Later reports reveal that Campbell Lodge was actually exposed by 4 employees who reported the facility to authorities.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Obama schools The Media

Today, President Obama hit a home run!

At a press conference about the President's new immigration reforms, a so-called reporter for the right-wing Daily Caller website began rudely interrupting Obama by yelling out questions. When the reporter refused to pipe down, a confident Obama said to him, "The next time, I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question."

But the questioner still didn't shut up. So the President warned, "I didn't ask for an argument. I'm answering your question." The reporter then stormed off like a big baby.

A video of the incident can be found plumb here...

The Media has done its worst to manipulate public opinion, and Obama called them out on it. That's what the American people want to see from their President! Folks are tired of elites in the press telling them what to think. The Media is not our boss.

That may be my favorite moment yet from an Obama speech. For a long time, I've wanted a President who fights the right-wing media droids, and now I have one. That speech rivals a press conference he gave last summer during the debt ceiling debacle in which he similarly schooled Congress by telling them they couldn't go home until they got their act together.

I don't expect Obama's new immigration policy to be politically popular, but it was the right thing to do. The old policy was unproductive. If Sun Myung Moon is allowed to stay in America after being convicted of filing bogus tax returns, it's only fair that high school honor students who have something positive to contribute should be allowed to stay too. What's amusing is that today's Daily Caller outburst squandered any political gains the right-wing brain trust might have made against Obama. I maintain that if you want to win an election, you run against The Media.

Meanwhile, Congress hasn't learned shit. Fascist Rep. Steve King of Iowa is now suing Obama over the immigration changes. King cried that Obama is trampling "the Constitutional authority of the United States Congress." Poor Congress. I mean, all Congress ever does is trample everybody else. Congressional Republicans have a "unitary Congress" theory that attempts to shower Congress with executive and judicial powers that are supposed to be reserved for the other branches of government. Tough toilets, Congress. The President gets to decide how to enforce the laws; Congress doesn't.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "My Dog Shredded A Highland Heights City Newsletter"

Indeed he did...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Romney's car trouble (a poopyism)

The Media is only months into its perennial right-wing election narrative, but the 2012 campaign has already netted a poopyism to be reckoned with.

Mitt Romney likes to talk about how in touch he is with autoworkers, but he always manages to fall right on his stupid face every time he opens his mouth. Early this year, he produced an advertisement that featured a photo of himself in his youth, standing with his dad at an outdoor venue and overlooking a giant car. Romney claimed the photo was at the Detroit auto show - in his native Michigan. But that turned out to be another Romney lie. The picture was actually taken at the 1964 World's Fair in New York.

More significantly, the photo wasn't taken among the crowd of regular folks. Romney and his pa were actually looking down upon the fair from a helipad. It appears as if the Romneys arrived at the fair via a special helicopter that was chartered just for them.

Not long after this misleading ad, Romney boasted at a Tea Party rally that he remembered going to the auto industry's Golden Jubilee when he was roughly 4 years old. At that event, 750,000 peeps crammed Detroit's streets to celebrate the car industry's 50th anniversary.

But he was lying about that too. That event took place 9 months before Romney was born.

Is there anything Mitt Romney doesn't lie about?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Romney sports fake Southern drawl

Hahaha, check out Mitt Romney's new phony Southern accent in the first segment of this new Obama campaign video...

Contrast that with his lack of accent in the rest of the video. His Dixie drawl seems to be something new he's acquired just in the past few days.

In fact, in the first few seconds of that clip, his voice sounds exactly like Bush's fake Southern accent, except Romney does a much better job of it. Romney was raised in Michigan and served as Governor of Massachusetts, but in those few seconds, he certainly sounds more Southern than almost anybody you'd hear in northern Kentucky.

He reminds me of how I once had a teacher from the Northeast who adopted a fake twang because she thought that's how folks in Kentucky talked.

Trade talks would let companies disobey laws

Free trade usually means you can kiss your job goodbye, as work is outsourced to countries that have weaker labor and environmental laws and where bosses can beat workers at will. But under trade talks now under consideration, it may not matter, because companies may now be allowed to violate even American laws.

Trade rep Ron Kirk has been in trade negotiations with 8 other countries, including the terrible dictatorship in Singapore. Kirk seems open to approving provisions that would let corporations appeal American laws to an international tribunal - which would then have the power to nullify the law. While American corporations wouldn't have this appeal power, foreign firms that do business in America would.

Using that argument, that means I can go to Singapore and chomp on a big wad of bubble gum in defiance of their laws, since I'm not a Singaporean citizen. That's about what this is like, except we're talking about corporations breaking laws - not people.

If these provisions are enacted, America's trade policy will be moving in the precise opposite direction of where it should. The U.S. of A. should require that its labor laws be obeyed by foreign factories that make goods that are to be sold in America. These trade talks seem to be aiming for the opposite.

Romney censored anti-harassment booklet

One thing is unmistakable about Mitt Romney: He likes to attack people.

Now it turns out that he censored a booklet on school harassment while he was Governor of Massachusetts - and then he lied about it. In 2006, when school officials produced a guide to fight school harassment, Romney blocked the brochure's publication.

At the time, Romney said it was because the document was too big and needed more review. But e-mails obtained by the Boston Globe prove that Romney blocked it because he didn't like the content. That means he lied. Again.

How could anyone actually disagree with the booklet's content?

Romney's fascism delayed the brochure's publication until after he left office. This delay may have put countless lives at risk.


GOP loses bid to take over Giffords seat

"You had a bad day...The camera don't lie..."

Yesterday was like a diarrhea sundae for the Republicans, and the results from the special election in Arizona are like the strawberry on top.

To the surprise of nobody except the Tea Party brain trust, the Democrats have maintained their hold on Gabrielle Giffords's congressional seat following yesterday's vote. As of now, the margin is a decisive 8%.

The Republican campaign for this seat was sleazy from beginning to end. This after the GOP should have had the decency to sit it out, considering the circumstances.

Yesterday's election came after the Republicans bluffed over the Wisconsin recalls (in which they lost the Wisconsin Senate) and the jobs report backfired in Mitt Romney's face (as President Obama expanded his polling lead).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Double whammy for North Dakota teabaggers

If you live in North Dakota, and if you know any Tea Party followers, it might be best to stay clear of them for the next few decades - because they're apt to launch a low-budget Incredible Hulk imitation after seeing the results of today's voting.

In addition to the Tea Party's referendum on property taxes that was defeated, the Tea Party also placed at least one other measure on the North Dakota ballot today that was just as preposterous. Disguised as a "religious freedom" measure, the misnamed Religious Liberty Restoration referendum would have allowed zealots to hide behind religion to violate any law that they didn't feel like obeying. The measure would have stymied enforcement of laws on domestic violence, workplace discrimination, forced marriages, and other matters, for offenders could simply claim they were just following their religious beliefs.

I thought for sure this patently idiotic referendum would pass, simply because it was falsely cloaked in "religious freedom." But North Dakotans must be a smart bunch, because this measure has now failed just like the property tax measure did. It's losing by a stunning 64% to 36%.

Incidentally, the referendum was also backed by the state's Catholic dioceses - which raises serious questions about the church's IRS tax-exempt status.

Tea Party tax referendumb loses in North Dakota

Although Occupy is not an electoral movement, electoral politics has been one of the lifebloods of The Last Word throughout its 19-year history. Today I've been keeping an eye on a Tea Party-penned referendum in North Dakota that would have abolished property taxes throughout the state.

By making North Dakota the only one of the 50 states ever to prohibit property taxes, this measure would have gutted public services. While Tea Party activists complained of having to pay property taxes, they had the money to drive all over the state campaigning for this referendum, so I can't feel sorry for them.

Well, voters today just rejected this measure. As of now, it's losing by a smashing 78% to 22%.

Tea Party sues states to make them disfranchise voters

Fascist Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has generated much ridicule lately for illegally purging folks from the voter rolls and disobeying the Justice Department when they told him to stop. But now a Tea Party group wants to sue states in an effort to make them follow the embattled Max Headroom look-alike's "lead."

A Tea Party arm called True the Vote is suing Indiana and plans to sue other states to force them to disqualify voters. The far-right Judicial Watch is also a plaintiff in the Tea Party's courtroom stampede.

Meanwhile, Florida's voter purge has disqualified 2 aging World War II veterans and countless others from voting.


Arizona may institutionalize hoarders

The Republican-led Arizona legislature was recently ranked as the worst of all 50 states, so you can bet your bottom dollar they're itching for new ways to appease the psychiatric industry - which is already rolling in cash.

Now a group called the Arizona Hoarding Task Force is urging lawmakers to pass a bill to force hoarders to seek psychiatric "treatment." It's a fact however that psychiatry is a pseudoscience - and even major media outlets are likely to view psychiatry as discredited in the coming years.

The task force defines hoarding as "the acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value." But there's a flip side that's swept under the rug: As much as you hear about compulsive hoarding, nary a peep is raised about compulsive wasting - which I define as "the acquisition of, and failure to save, a large number of possessions that are valuable beyond our wildest dreams."

I cringe when I see perfectly good items being thrown away. I've lived a lean existence my whole life, and I could not stand to see schoolmates who were born into privilege squandering food, paper, and other resources. Are they suffering from a psychiatric disorder just because they think the planet has enough goodies for them to waste? We grew up with "We Are The World", so you'd think they'd know better.

These wastrels need a big ol' institutionalization right between the eyes, dammit! I'm not gonna rest until the guys in the clean white suits come to their house and shove a case full of Trilafon down their throats! That'll show 'em not to waste stuff!

But seriously. I have little doubt that - if this bill is passed - it'll be used to imprison dissidents without a trial. Not like that's anything new, because that's already the most common use of America's psychiatric facilities.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Romney illegally impersonated cop

Another day, another Romney scandal.

If it turned out that President Obama had impersonated a police officer - which is probably considered a serious crime in all 50 states and D.C. to boot - you can bet your bottom dollar that would be the end of his campaign. But when Mitt Romney does it, it's considered True Free Speach Now (tm).

When Romney was in college, he boasted to schoolmates that he liked to put on a police uniform and impersonate a cop. A school chum even remembers Romney showing him a state trooper uniform he got from his dad, who was Governor of Michigan. Romney then talked about how he used the uniform to pull over motorists. He even installed a red flashing light and siren on his car.

Mitt Romney committed a serious crime - just like when he attacked a teenager and cut his hair off. If that's Romney's idea of a "prank", nobody except Romney thinks it's funny. In fact, impersonating police was a felony if it was a repeat offense.

The next uniform Romney should wear is an orange jumpsuit.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Holiday Inn conquers David Irving

Even the topsy-turvy world of Corporate America sometimes realizes the 1% makes such a nuisance of theirselves that action has to be taken to combat it.

After Occupy Cincinnati protested an appearance by Holocaust denier David Irving yesterday, the hotel that hosted the event now reportedly does not want Irving back. According to these reports, the Eastgate Holiday Inn has now banned Irving - even after hotel management threatened to call cops on us for protesting him. (I believe police came because Irving called, not because the hotel called.)

These reports also say the hotel never would have allowed Irving to hold a meeting there if they had known what he was up to. On the other hand, they should have known once they found us protesting.

I guess even a faceless corporation like Holiday Inn realizes the 1% can't always win like it has for so long - at least not when the 99% stands up for themselves.

This is what democracy looks like!

#1 in people Occupyin'

As you know, when I was about 6 years old, I invented a game called Holiday Inn conquering - in which I went through all the Holiday Inns in the hotel chain's official directory and pretended I was "conquering" each one using urban warfare. Holiday Inns in those days were easier for America's working families to afford, and that's what piqued my interest in this chain.

That game was merely fiction. But I didn't know until last night just how good it feels to "conquer" a Holiday Inn in real life!

My Occupy Cincinnati pals discovered that a conservative publishing house was sponsoring a visit to the region by David Irving, an Englishman known as one of the world's most infamous Holocaust deniers. One of the main themes of Irving's visit was his claim that Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler wasn't such a bad guy.

The Occupy coalition was just itching to protest Irving's appearance. After all, Wall Street bankrolled Hitler - so there's clearly a connection between the 1% and Irving's extremism. (It's also worth noting that Hitler probably had the world's first so-called "right-to-work" law.) But Irving's babysitters didn't publicize the exact site of the event, because they knew we'd protest it. Nonetheless, we were able to figure out that it was at the Eastgate Holiday Inn.

So Occupy organized a carpool to protest at that hotel. There were about 20 of us. When we pulled into the inn's parking lot, we noticed several cars with Tea Party bumper stickers. The assumption was that they were David Irving's supporters. We decided to file into the hotel carrying our protest signs and confront the event.

We outnumbered Irving's followers, as he only drew about 10 supporters. They gathered in a meeting room at the hotel. And they were absolutely stunned to see us coming down the hall with our signs! Holiday Inn once used the slogan, "The best surprise is no surprise." Well, David Irving sure got a surprise, and he probably thinks the best surprise would have been no surprise!

We mic-checked Irving, and he immediately got on his cell phone to call the fuzz. As we heckled the dour neo-Nazi, the manager of the hotel showed up and said that if we didn't leave, he'd call the police too. So we upped the ante by marching through the inn's huge atrium with our signs, in full view of numerous travelers.

Cops were already waiting for us when we got outside. In all, no fewer than 9 police cruisers would arrive. Police directed us to vacate Holiday Inn's property, but when we moved up the roadway, a manager at the nearby O'Charley's restaurant stomped towards us and began yelling at us. He too threatened to call the cops - who were already on the scene.

I didn't see it firsthand, but it turned out that 2 of the attendees of Irving's speech assaulted one of the Occupy folks by grabbing a sign from him and shredding it. This is just the latest in a long series of right-wing assaults against us.

We were forced to move our rally to a main highway. When we were there, we got countless thumbs-up from motorists passing by!

The reaction to us by the Eastgate Holiday Inn speaks volumes. That particular Holiday Inn can choose to keep us off their land, but why didn't they do the same to David Irving? Surely, they have a right to not let him hold a meeting on hotel property - so why do they let him use their property, but they won't let us use it? Why do they favor a Holocaust denier over us? If Kemmons Wilson was alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave.

Why did the O'Charley's up the road go ballistic on us? We weren't even in the restaurant, and it's doubtful we were even on restaurant property. Why did that eatery go after us but not the Nazis who were meeting nearby?

And why did Eastgate Mall chase us out of the vicinity altogether? That's a matter that merits further discussion.

The 1% is powerful, but their pushback against us only hurt them, as we were chased to where we received a wider audience.

Idiot Scott Walker survives recall

And now for the bad news...

Wisconsin's fascist Gov. Scott Walker has narrowly survived yesterday's recall election.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 60% of Wisconsinites say a recall is justified only if a public official is accused of misconduct. Uh, have folks been reading the news lately?

Republicans lose Wisconsin Senate

Yesterday was recall day in Wisconsin, and the question this morning is, which do you want first: the good news or the bad news?

Before you tear your hair out, here's the good news: In a stunning upset, it has now been confirmed that the Republicans have lost control of the Wisconsin Senate.

This leaves Wisconsin Republicans in slightly worse shape than before and likely dashes their hopes of passing a work-for-less law.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Is advertising a form of panhandling?

America has turned into one big commercial, and I don't like it one bit. The fact that PBS threatens to insert commercials in the middle of its shows, and lawmakers seriously consider selling naming "rights" for roads and putting ads on school buses, means our goose is damn near cooked.

Many cities have ordinances banning aggressive panhandling - or any panhandling. These laws have some appeal to folks who just don't want to be confronted by panhandlers, but I have a soft spot for people in need. I'm a real-life Robin Hood. If panhandling is so bad, what about advertising? Isn't advertising a form of panhandling?

Some of my own projects are ad-supported. And advertising is often so stupid as to be entertaining. Few people have been able to hold back laughter over the commercials with the "Dristan breathing bag test" or the woman who seethes about the shampoo that "makes your hair smell like medicine." Nobody is going to outlaw advertising altogether, as there are some legal protections for commercial speech.

But if we ban panhandling, how do we respond to advertising?

Did you know the FCC used to limit the amount of ads radio and TV stations could air? Oldsters like me can remember when there was no such virus as an infomercial. This is a day we should return to.

And what's with the billboards along I-471 in Newport that were erected in violation of the Highway Beautification Act?

Conversely, wouldn't the Citizens United ruling protect panhandling if it protects corporations' "right" to spend limitless dollars on political campaigns?

I guess panhandling is only legal if you're a superPAC, a billboard company, or the operator of a fraudulent pyramid scheme.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Q-Tips Are Notorious Toilet Cloggers"

Indeed they are...

Rich Republican gets BadgerCare

It's yet another scandal involving Wisconsin's right-wing Gov. Scott Walker - who faces a rare recall election on Tuesday.

Walker recently cut 22,000 poor and working-class children off of BadgerCare, a statewide health care program. This was designed so Walker's corporate donors could profit - even though the move created no jobs.

Now it turns out that the 3 children of a multimillionaire businessman have begun receiving BadgerCare. This despite the fact that this guy refuses to pay his state taxes. Of course, it also turns out that he has donated gobs of campaign dough to Walker and other Republicans.

So when are the indictments coming?


Activist judge guts housing law

Once again, activist courts are where progress goes to die.

Two years ago, the city of San Jose, California, passed a new law that said 15% of housing in new developments has to sell for a reduced cost. This ordinance was designed to alleviate the behind-the-scenes price-gouging that has driven up housing prices.

But now a county court has struck this law down, calling it unconstitutional. The judge said there was no relationship between overpriced housing and housing shortages - and that such a relationship had to be shown in order to uphold the law. But the judge's dictates are faulty: The notion that making homes too expensive creates a shortage of affordable housing needs no elaboration. Plus, even if that link couldn't be made, the city still has a right to place regulations on developers. Such a rule might not be ideal if the link can't be made, but that doesn't make it unconstitutional. The purpose of courts is not to second-guess legislators.

In other words, the ruling is yet another exercise in right-wing judicial activism that favors the Wall Street 1%. America has become a dictatorship in robes.

Now get this: The developers who fought San Jose's law said the ruling is a win for homebuyers. Seriously, they said that. This statement only serves to highlight the phony populism that marginalizes the working poor. Whenever Wall Street talks about "the people" or any subgroup like homebuyers, it's always to the exclusion of those at the lower end of the economic scale. Modern America may be the only society that's ever had mob rule by the financially secure.