Sunday, July 29, 2012

Malicious prosecution against Occupy costs taxpayers

How much of the taxpayers' money has been wasted by cities and counties going after Occupy protesters for clearly trumped-up offenses? I'm not blaming Occupy, of course, because I live, eat, and breathe Occupy. I blame prosecutors.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, prosecutors just squandered 8 months on a case stemming from a flash mob protest by Occupy Lincoln at a mall this past November. Think how much taxpayer dough it cost to drag out this case for so long. The judge even called the case "a huge waste of time and money" and scolded the city for it.

There's also the case of Hamilton County, Tennessee, suing Occupy Chattanooga - not because Occupy Chattanooga was accused of any actionable behavior, but to force them to defend the right to protest.

Right-wing blogs gloat that some defendants in Occupy-related cases around the country have simply pleaded no contest instead of fighting their charges. The sidewalk chalk case against Occupy Cincinnati is no exception. This is because Occupy is a working people's movement, and not all defendants can afford to take time off work to go to trial. Prosecutors know this. So it's malicious prosecution - if not in the legal sense, it is in the literal sense.

My sidewalk chalk trial will be in the early morning hours of Monday, August 6. I plan to act as my own attorney. This case should be a slam-dunk for me, but all indications are that the city of Cincinnati plans to throw the book at us. The city solicitor's office has a fantastically insane vendetta against Occupy, and they're out for blood. We have a fighting chance, but don't count on the acquittal we so richly deserve.

The only certainty is that by the time the case is over, the city will have frittered away an untold amount of police, court, and legal resources. All to prosecute several people who used water soluble sidewalk chalk - much of it packaged in the childlike Crayola motif - to protest Wall Street, which has committed some of the gravest crimes in modern history and has not been punished.

No wonder the Tea Party supports the UnfairTax. It's to pay for malevolent prosecutions like this.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bush law protects irresponsible gun dealers

If we're serious about halting murderous rampages without infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, we can start by repealing the misnamed Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

This is a law enacted by the Bush regime that shields gun dealers from being held liable for crimes committed with the wares they sell. The law was ruled unconstitutional in an Indiana case, but other courts have inexplicably upheld the law.

We don't know all the facts surrounding James Holmes, but it is known that Bush's law aided and abetted Jared Loughner. Loughner was known throughout Tucson as a serial troublemaker. I'm not talking about just minor run-ins with police like his charge for defacing a traffic sign. I'm talking about a pattern of more serious misconduct indicative of something far more sinister.

But a sporting goods shop sold him a gun anyway. Plus, Wal-Mart sold him ammo. While background checks didn't disqualify Loughner from buying a gun, his activity that was known throughout town should have been enough for stores to refuse to sell to him. A different Wal-Mart location had refused to sell him ammo, so it's not as if Wal-Mart didn't know about him.

Because of Bush's shielding of those who sell weaponry irresponsibly, victims and their families can't sue the retailers who sold guns or ammo to Loughner. They would have had recourse if not for that law. More importantly, maybe the stores would have thought twice before selling to Loughner if they knew they could be sued.

Once again, Big Business gets to stick out its tongue at its victims who have no remedy against irresponsible practices.

It was easier for a man with a known history of troublemaking to buy a gun than it is for most folks to buy beer!

Why is this law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act? Jared Loughner's shooting spree was not "lawful commerce." This is yet another example of right-wingers misnaming their policies to reflect the exact opposite of what they are - not unlike "right-to-work" laws.

Repeal this law. But leave the Second Amendment alone.

GOP pollster has Obama up by 8% in Ohio

Let's face it: Obama will probably win the election, and I think the Republicans may actually be better off because of it. If the gaffe-o-matic Romney wins, we'll see the type of backlash Iceland saw a few years back. Fact is, Americans don't have the tolerance for bullshit that they had 10 or 15 years ago.

Some folks are skeptical of Obama's reelection prospects, but Republican pollster We Ask America now has the President leading by 8 percentage points in Ohio, of all places. Obama won Ohio by less than 5 points in 2008.

Maybe what this really shows is that the Bain attacks are working, since Ohio is one of few states where they've received some play. Or it could be just the lingering disgust over the Republicans' anti-worker S.B. 5, which was overpoweringly rejected in a voter referendum.

Keep in mind that no Republican has ever won a presidential election without winning Ohio, and the Buckeye State has been a bellwether since 1964.


Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Watch Where You Walk 'Cause The Sidewalk Chalk..."

Tim talks more about the celebrated sidewalk chalk citations and provides photos of some of his artwork!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Uh-oh, the 1% got their feelings hurt

What's that sound? It's getting closer! Why, it's the WAAAAAAAAAAHmbulance again!

In conservaworld, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and even the popular Occupy revolution hasn't yet penetrated the Far Right's bulky skulls. Recently, a seemingly new right-wing plen-T-plaint emerged in response to a speech by President Obama about how businesses are built. Obama's speech was quoted out of context by the Mitt Romney campaign, as anyone who listened to it knows, but the 1% hasn't abandoned their response: They continue to whine that Obama is out of step with business owners.

The media-fueled hullabaloo hasn't dented public support for Obama, but that seems to be lost on the embattled Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Brown - a Tea Party fave - has already run America's most race-baiting electoral campaign in years (a spirit of bigotry fanned by the far-right Boston Herald), and now he's falling flat on economic issues as well. Brown is trying to make hay over challenger Elizabeth Warren's statement that "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own."

Warren is right, of course. We've all heard the inspiring stories of self-made millionaires, but it's customers who generate their wealth. I've dabbled in small business, and I know that without customers, a business fails.

Pundits gloat of the attention Scott Brown is receiving and they're hyping this meme. They truly think he's Mensa material for attacking Warren on this. But it's Brown, Romney, and their band of sycophants who are out of touch. The only people offended by the statements of Obama and Warren are the Wall Street 1%. Who cares if you can't win the support of the 1%, as long as you get more of the 99% behind you with remarks like this? I'm glad Warren and Obama said what they said - regardless of outcome.

This is nothing but a case of hurt fee-fees among the very wealthy. That's all it is. Waaaaah waaaaah waaaaah. Those meanies Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama made a rich person cry, so America has to listen to it for the next 4 months.

I've got news for the right-wing intelligentsia: Nobody but the 1% cares. Their talking point isn't new though. I was forced to listen to the Far Right's shit-caked little mouths way back in high school 25 years ago. One of the favorite themes harped on by these entitled brats was their claim that everybody except themselves was a bunch of lazy, unsophisticated scamps who refused to work. They espoused the belief that if they got rich off their daddy's money, it was because they earned it. I guess it's nice for spoiled babies to be able to take solace in the idea that somebody else will take care of them their whole lives and they'll never have to do any real work for it.

The right-wingers' class warfare is fool's gold for them - especially now. That they pound this meme is proof of their inability to understand or adjust to what Americans today think. Inability to adapt to changing situations has been described as an Achilles' heel of dictatorial systems. If the right-wingers' arrogance ends well for them, I'll eat my hat.

GOP bungles their own job-killing bill

Lemme give you an idea of what a bunch of useless fartpipes congressional Republicans have become...

The House GOP has been touting a bill that would gut the President's power to enforce regulations on businesses. They call it a "jobs bill" even though regulations often create jobs. So this bill would actually be a job killer - like everything else the Republicans do.

The gist of the bill was to freeze regulations until unemployment eased to 6% or lower. But the GOP clown car that drafted the bill accidentally referred to an employment rate of 6%, not an unemployment rate of 6%. So the bill as it was written was actually pushing for 94% unemployment (which is probably what we'll end up with if Tea Party idiocy is allowed to continue).

When the error was exposed, House Republicans approved a rule that would have fixed it. But then they made another moronic mistake: This rule refers to the bill in question as House Resolution 783 - when it's actually House Resolution 738. There's no such thing as House Resolution 783.

Today, the GOP-ruled House passed an apparently corrected version of the bill. But it's still going nowhere, because the Senate won't approve it, and President Obama would have just vetoed it anyway. It's nifty how that "checks and balances" thing works.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bill would gut animal cruelty laws

The right-wing bowel trust never misses an opportunity these days to show just how mean they are. And it extends to the abyss of Congress.

Fascist Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has sponsored a measure that would nullify the states' laws against cruelty to animals. Then he gloated about it.

Numerous states have specifically outlawed cruel factory farming practices. Some of the banned practices (such as adding arsenic to chicken feed) were also bad for consumers' health. In some instances, these laws were passed by a voter referendum. But Steve King doesn't care about the will of the people any more than he does about the welfare of animals. That's how sociopaths are.

The electorally endangered congressman is also Congress's biggest opponent of laws to combat dogfighting.

What a disgrace.


GOP plan would make allergy drug law go national

Requiring a prescription for over-the-counter pseudoephedrine allergy drugs hasn't been effective at fighting meth in the states where it's been tried. So naturally, Republicans now want to make it a federal law.

Far-right Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) is demanding federal legislation to make these drugs available by prescription only. He's holding hearings to promote this useless idea.

(Similar efforts in recent years have been a bipartisan scourge, though the Republicans have always been much more supportive of it. This is particularly gnawing in light of the GOP's lies about being for limited government.)

Now do you know why I support the Tenth Amendment (just like I support the rest of the Bill of Rights)?


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bill would name oceans for Reagan

My goodness, they really are nuts!

When I first saw this story, I thought it had to be satire. But the story is as real as the sky and sun. Far-right Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) now has a bill that would name the oceans after Ronald Reagan. This legislation would rename all oceans and seas within 200 nautical miles of the American coastline to the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone.

No, I'm not making this up.

If the bill passes, government-printed maps would be required to label oceans with ol' Ronnie's name.

This bill ranks right up there in its stupidity with congressional efforts to add Reagan's likeness to Mount Rushmore and other national landmarks.

How about Congress do something constructive instead of this shit? Where's the jobs bills they promised? Don't they realize this bill might delay their 37th symbolic vote to whine about Obamacare?


Friday, July 20, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Calxophobia"

Tim talks about his citation for using sidewalk chalk...

Romney gets rich off torturing kids

Well, well, well, what do we have here?

Salon reports that Bain Capital owns the embattled Aspen Education Group - which runs for-profit residential "treatment" programs for teens and others. Programs like those of Aspen are based on a long-discredited, cult-like model - and there have been at least 6 preventable deaths in Aspen programs during the time Bain has owned it. One of the deaths involved a teenager with a form of high-functioning autism who became ill from a bowel disorder but received no attention from staffers until it was too late.

Salon's investigation has found new allegations of abuse in at least 10 of Bain's youth facilities.

Bain only purchased Aspen after Mitt Romney retired as Bain's CEO. But Romney remains a limited partner in Bain and gets a share of its profits.

Of course, I was informed a long time ago that Romney was making money off abusive programs. Even years before then, I was trying to expose programs like this. The response from the media was usually the same each time: deafening silence. On the other hand, one of the most effective tactics I've seen to get places like this shut down is public protests. Just ask Pathway Family Center what this did to them.

Why is this story so important in the long run? It's because the residential "treatment" racket is largely based on the same authoritarian right-wing ideology as the campaigns of Republicans like Romney. This ideology is a rootkit that has been installed on the American landscape and must be extracted.


Romney superPAC busted for misusing military logos

Nothing is above politicization in the Bizarro World of Mitt Romney.

Romneybots have set up a new right-wing superPAC called Special Operations for America. This monstrosity's specialty has been attacking President Obama for taking down Osama bin Laden. (After all, Romney has stated that he wouldn't have gone after bin Laden.)

This superPAC has used the insignias of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines on its websites. And there's an Allowed Cloud against that, for each branch of the military has a trademark on their logos and prohibits their usage by partisan groups. Military officials have now ordered the superPAC to remove the insignias - or face legal action.

Why is this organization using military symbols to endorse Romney? The Mittster isn't exactly the embodiment of military bravery. He refused to be drafted into a war he supported, of course.

Wouldn't it be funny if Romney lost the election?


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Romney fundraiser arrested for rape

The party of ruin strikes again.

Meet Greg Peterson - a high-profile Republican fundraiser and Mitt Romney operative in Utah. Big Republican, that Greg Peterson is.

Now Peterson, a Republican, has been arrested for 23 felony counts including the rapes of 4 women, some of which allegedly occurred at a cabin where he hosted Republican shindigs. Authorities say Peterson raped one of the women after meeting her at a church function and forcing her to go to his cabin.

In the 2008 campaign, Peterson led a fundraiser for Romney, also a Republican. Peterson's most recent entry on his Facebook page attacks President Obama, who is not a Republican, for his recent speech in which he hurt the feelings of wealthy industrialists.

Are there still people who actually support this party?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Police kill Occupy activist

It was only a matter of time before either police or civilian assailants intentionally killed an Occupy protester - and now it's happened.

Today, San Francisco police gunned down a man in cold blood during an Occupy event. The man was already in cuffs when an officer shot him twice in the back - which killed him.

This clip features a witness's account of the incident, so I don't want to hear a damn thing about it being "made up"...

This is an open-and-shut case of murder. Simple as that.

What's going to be the right-wingers' excuse for this?


Limbots go ballistic when station drops show

One of the reasons this blog isn't as meaty as it used to be is that the right-wing brain trust has gone so far off a cliff that we usually just take it for granted when they act like the fools they are. But every once in a while, they outdo even theirselves.

Recently, a radio station in Florence, South Carolina, dropped Rush Limbaugh's show because of minuscule ratings. The station had carried El Rushbo for over 20 years.

To be sure, this was enough to make Rush's followers bunk gaping perforations through their pantaloons. They responded by calling not only the station's offices but also its local call-in shows. It gets funnier: They also wrote letters to the region's major newspaper threatening to cancel their subscriptions, even though the paper has absolutely no affiliation whatsoever with the station. Their rationale for canceling their newspaper subscriptions is their claim that the station's cancellation of Limbaugh is part of a conspiracy by the "liberal media" to silence conservatives.

They're really doubling down on the crazy lately, aren't they? When most people have a belief that gets disproven, they accept the facts and move on. But when members of the right-wing thugosphere find their views challenged - such as their goofy notion that the media has a liberal bias - they double down and become even more strident. It's been called the "smart idiot" syndrome - because they're imbeciles who think upping the ante for discredited ideas makes them geniuses. They lack the stability to cope any other way.

Meanwhile, the newspaper is reporting no decline in its circulation numbers in recent days - proving once again that the Far Right may be loud but is also very small in its amount of popular support.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Proof of collusion between Tea Party and Fiscal Court

Campbell County Fiscal Court has a critical case of Stockholm syndrome that inexplicably endears them to the Tea Party.

The Campbell County Tea Party has a whopping 6 members on its Facebook page, yet they command the county's entire fiscal and legislative policy. In fact, the Fiscal Court even attends Tea Party meetings to get their approval for all their decisions. The teaburglars even admit it in this notice on their website...

In that piece, the authoritarian Tea Party gloats that the meetings are their "opportunity to influence the outcome of the budget" and other county policies.

Even though the Tea Party despises Judge-Executive Steve Pendery (and has run candidates against him), Pendery still chooses to meet with them! Wikipedia defines Stockholm syndrome as "a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them." The phenomenon is named for the site of a 1973 bank robbery in Sweden in which the victims exhibited such feelings. For Pendery to ask the Tea Party for approval for fiscal decisions is like if I'd asked Bishop Brossart High School for input on my book.

The Campbell County Tea Party - made up of 6 unelected weirdoes - is in effect writing the budget for an entire county of 90,000 peeps. And it's because the Fiscal Court lets them. That's why the county can always come up with the money for handouts for wealthy developers and discredited causes but can't seem to find enough for Lakeside Terrace or our libraries.

I don't see the Fiscals asking Occupy what they think about the budget - even though the Occupy Campbell County page on Facebook has 4 times the number of fans that the local Lipton Losers do. They've had many chances to ask, but won't.

Campbell County isn't unique among local counties in doing everything the Tea Party says. Remember when Boone County canceled its greenway plan because the Tea Party told it to? And now Kenton County has appointed the president of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party to the sanitation board. As a result, Covington now has no board members, even though Covington has the most residents in the sanitation district and has already been forced to accept sewage produced by the suburbs, which refuse to limit sprawl.

The Tea Party gets what it wants because our public officials let it. Even if not all our officials adhere to the Tea Party's unbending code, they might as well, because they allow the Tea Party to bully them.

Six people. They're running the county.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chalk up a Pyrrhic victory for the 1%

Woo-hoo! I got a citation today for participating in Occupy Cincinnati!

For the past couple days, we in the Occupy coalition have been conducting an event called Chalk the Walk - where we put our art skills to work by writing our messages on the sidewalks using sidewalk chalk. We were repeatedly informed by Cincinnati police beforehand that this was perfectly legal, as chalk is wa soluble.

But since we started last evening, we've learned the hard way that it must not be legal, considering authorities' reaction once we started. I guess they must have changed the law just within the past 2 days.

I got to Piatt Park today as police were hassling Food Not Bombs. This has been the favorite pastime of Cincinnati police lately, for I'm told that Food Not Bombs was kicked out of Washington Park last week. Later, a group of us Occupy peeps broke out the chalk and started chalkin' away.

We were walking away from Piatt and made it to 7th Street when a cop on a bike zipped up behind us. He launched a lengthy lecture, and he called in 6 other cops just for us. While the police were lecturing us, a young woman approached them and asked to speak to them because somebody had just stolen her cell phone. But the police ignored her so they could continue haranguing us.

Three Occupiers - including me - received a citation because of our chalk art. One of us was arrested, which appeared to be because he didn't have an ID. That's in addition to one other Occupier who was arrested over Chalk the Walk last night. The fuzz also threatened to throw a 9-year-old girl in juvenile detention for using sidewalk chalk.

It's bad enough that the laws on chalk are being selectively enforced - as the Tea Party used sidewalk chalk by the barrelful and the cops never batted an eye at them. What's thoroughly fascist is the idea of requiring folks to have an ID just to be anywhere. That's fascism of the "papers please" sort, and it runs roughshod over our constitutional freedoms.

And isn't sidewalk chalk called sidewalk chalk for a reason? Why is it called sidewalk chalk if we can't use it on sidewalks?

Police also said somebody had chalked the James Garfield statue at Piatt Park. Either the person who reported this was lying, or somebody chalked the statue to frame us. We never chalked the statue.

That the police had told us earlier that sidewalk chalk is legal was of course a trap. But it will backfire once the public learns of today's events. Just think how bad this makes the police look. And I don't mean "bad" in a good way like how everybody in my day used the term. Today's events helped our cause a great deal, so it's a Pyrrhic victory for the Wall Street 1%.

Let's look at the big picture: The Occupy revolution fights Wall Street's criminal behavior. Yet while the authorities ticket and arrest Occupy, Wall Street walks free. Whose cause does this help?

One more observation: The cop who caught us today said that if we want to get our message out, we should buy a billboard. While a dominionist church made up of 12 millionaires might be able to afford billboards, we can't. Occupy is made up of working people who don't have that type of money.

We need to have constitutional government.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "When Bananas Get Wasted"

Tim goes bananas with his idea for a new reality show...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tea Party group admits buying positive coverage for GOP

Damn, that Online Lunchpail guy sure is paranoid! He actually says right-wing groups are paying news outlets for positive coverage, and he says it's mostly because of the Citizens United ruling. How's that for - hey, what's this?!

Now a Tea Party group has admitted to doing what amounts to nothing less than that.

Meet the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. The Franklin Center is a Tea Party-linked outfit staffed by folks affiliated with the right-wing Koch brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party. Funded by right-wing foundations and think tanks, the Franklin Center claims to have come into existence to provide "news" to media outlets to fill the gaps created by newsroom layoffs. In fact, the Franklin Center gloats that they now provide 10% of all news coverage nationwide.

As far as I know, they don't buy coverage with huge sums of cash. But they do allow news outlets to use their stories for free - unlike regular news services. In essence, the Franklin Center buys positive coverage for Republican candidates and right-wing causes by giving news organizations free stories instead of making them pay for them.

Why is this so bad? Not only are the Franklin Center's stories biased but many of them are made up out of whole cloth. For instance, it was the Franklin Center that planted the now-debunked story about the Obama stimulus package allocating money for nonexistent congressional districts. That was even before Citizens United - so just think how much the Franklin Center expanded its activities afterward.

Indeedity-doodledy, the Franklin Center stage-managed most political coverage in Wisconsin during the recent recall fight. Plus, they planted stories in the Wall Street Journal (which has gone stone to hell since Rupert Murdoch took it over) and other news outlets demonizing labor unions and falsely accusing the Democrats of election fraud.

I saw in 2010 the way Republican campaigns fed stories to news outlets, which republished them without changing a colon. An example of this was from Linda McMahon's Senate campaign in Connecticut, which fed media outlets a bogus story that falsely claimed Richard Blumenthal exaggerated his military record. (The story failed to include the first part of Blumenthal's speech.) The meme was repeated endlessly. It's not known that the McMahon campaign paid for this coverage, but the discovery about the Franklin Center sure raises a red flag.

What about all the mainstream news websites that print Tea Party press releases verbatim while ignoring Occupy? Are these also purchased stories?

Don't expect the pop-up media to expose the Franklin Center, after the Franklin Center gave them 10% of their material for free. The press is completely purchased.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another "oops!" moment for anti-Occupy media

Here's another reason to kick The Media's fucking face in.

The right-wing media had a field day this morning when New York City police reported that DNA samples from a chain that was supposedly used at an Occupy protest matched samples found at the scene of an unsolved 2004 murder of a young woman. Every major national news outlet reported this story just the way the NYPD told it.

Now it turns out that was completely wrong.

Officials reported later that the reason the DNA matched was that somebody from the medical examiner's office had handled both items, and it was their DNA.

So far, only the New York Times has reported the correction. Other outlets continue to report the original version of the story even though it's been discredited.


Time Warner defies "must carry" rule

The Bush regime can raid trillions of dollars from the Social Security trust fund to pay for an illegal war, and nobody notices. But when a cable company takes everybody's TV access away, you can be damn sure people notice!

Time Warner Cable - which has a monopoly on cable TV in most of the Cincinnati area - has refused to carry Channel 5 in recent days because of a compensation dispute. In doing so, Time Warner is violating the FCC's "must carry" regulations that require cable companies to carry local over-the-air stations. No exceptions to "must carry" apply to Channel 5, the local NBC affiliate.

In theory, you can just hook up an antenna to receive Channel 5 instead of getting it on cable. But with digital TV, the over-the-air signal now barely covers the central city, let alone surrounding counties. That's one of the beauties of "must carry" that makes it so important to the viewing public.

Time Warner has replaced Channel 5 with the NBC affiliate in (of all places) Terre Haute, Indiana. That was the wrong fight to pick, because now the Terre Haute station is after Time Warner for not getting consent to carry the station outside its home market.

Meanwhile, the Campbell County Cable Board is negotiating with Time Warner to extend its monopoly. With county officials being as spineless as they are lately, I don't expect them to hold Time Warner accountable for this debacle. The county needs to either get a better cable company or allow competition. The right-wing brain trust is always talking about the "free market", but they won't even permit competition in the cable TV business, opting instead to grant monopolies to single corporations.

Stop deleting posts, Facebook

Facebook is deleting links to articles about a ghastly act of discrimination at a park in Richmond, Kentucky.

Just thought you'd like to know that Facebook hasn't relented in its long-running efforts to suppress dissent. It's not unlike how they deleted one of my comments a few years back when the Campbell County Schools told them to.

More 1-percenter excuses

Because the Wall Street 1% hates gays, the Wall Street 1% hates gays.

In Richmond, Kentucky, a lesbian couple and a professional photographer were thrown out of a park on Saturday just because the couple are lesbians. A park employee reportedly told the photographer, "If you come back and bring those type of people, you will be removed from the park."

That's bad enough, but the excuse concocted by the 1% to defend this discrimination is just as silly. They boasted that it's legal to expel gays from the park because there's no local or state law specifically protecting gays. Wrong. As members of the public, gays have as much right as anybody else to use city parks. Period. End of story.

Occupy groups have been notified.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mexican protesters show how it's done

We can learn a thing or three from the Mexican citizenry's reaction when elections in their country are rigged in plain sight.

Tens of thousands of people are marching in Mexico City to protest widespread vote-buying and fraud that determined the outcome of Mexico's recent presidential election. Among other offenses, operatives with the PRI (the party that won) paid media outlets to give them favorable coverage. It's not unlike how the Citizens United ruling allowed right-wing superPAC's to pay off U.S. media organizations for good press - which is exactly what happened in 2010.

In fact, Republicans in the United States have rigged elections for decades - but what's been the usual response from the public? Crickets. Where were our marches?

What did the American public's inaction bring? In case you didn't notice, nothing good. When things finally started to change, the superPAC's were allowed to kick us down again. And it's all because people had sat on their hands and expected the system to fix itself.

Listless inaction was the rule in modern America until just last year. Although Occupy is nonpartisan, it's a fact that many folks were prodded into joining Occupy because of the Tea Party's electoral jailbreak of 2010. The question is: why did it take that long? I wanted to see Occupy in 1988! You can't languish in a catatonic state for years and expect the task of restoring democracy to get easier.

The lesson here: action gets results. If Mitt Romney steals the election, we will have these choices: 1) protest until he is held accountable; or 2) do like we did before Occupy - i.e., nothing. We know all too well what the second option nets us.

Cowards will cut and run. I, on the other hand, will fight.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why the Occupy mask is laughing

Gandhi has been quoted as saying, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." I don't know which of these stages denial belongs to, but The Media is mired in it.

Lately, The Media has had a prolonged field day in which almost every mention of the popular Occupy coalition is in the context of the movement's supposed decline. That is denial at its most extreme. The pop-up press wants us to go away, so they're trying to wish us away. They are so wrong.

The belief that Occupy is dying or even declining is at odds with provable facts. It's true that the Department of Homeland Security's coordinated nationwide campaign to close down Occupy encampments has hurt the movement - but only in cities where Occupiers have chosen to fold like a cheap suit. Everywhere else, Occupy continues to expand as supporters either hold their ground or indulge in other forms of dissent.

That's remarkable because Occupy was so big right from the giddy-up that it's hard to see how it could gain any more support. But Occupy Wall Street's main Facebook page has just swelled to 386,000 fans, and the page's activity is at a record high. In just the past few weeks, Occupy Chicago's NATO protest drew 10,000 participants and Occupy Montreal led demonstrations opposing tuition hikes that attracted an amazing 500,000.

Occupy has almost a Midas touch, succeeding at almost everything it tries. The only times I've personally seen it fail is when its supporters don't try. When I have to beg at general assemblies to get folks interested in something, it's not a good sign. But when people get it, they get it.

With all the support Occupy has, don't you think there's at least one participant somewhere who is determined not to let it die? The Media has deceived themselves by thinking every Occupier out of millions is going to surrender.

The Media also deceived themselves when they thought their steady stream of right-wing hit pieces could kill us - like when they absurdly blamed Occupy for a bridge bombing plot near Cleveland. Occupy was largely immune to this barrage of hostile coverage because almost everybody has family or friends in Occupy. Are people going to believe the press instead of their beloved nephew involved in Occupy?

Occupy is not a popularity contest, but the right-wing media is even in denial about our level of appeal to the rest of the public. Early polls showed a majority of Americans supporting Occupy.

It's hard to say Occupy is near death when its main Facebook page has 400,000 fans and growing, and when even Occupy Campbell County has just launched a new website. I don't bluff. The dinosaur media is fooling themselves if they think we're going away. Remember, media moguls also declared the Civil Rights Movement dead right after it started. They sure got that wrong, didn't they? Also remember that Pathway Family Center acted like they were winning right up until the very end.

In addition to Gandhi's quote, I think the 5 stages of grief might also apply here. Denial is the first, and that's where The Media seems to be stuck. Watch for the 4 remaining stages: anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Someday - maybe someday - they'll accept that Wall Street's day is over.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Occupy Campbell County's New Website"

Occupy appears in the unlikeliest of places...

1% church wastes money on banner

If you run a church with fewer than 12 congregants, what would you spend money from the collection plate on? Probably not what the church in this story squandered it on.

A few days ago, Lexington held its annual gay pride festival. But a church from Scott County with fewer than a dozen members tried to spoil the event by circling it with an airplane pulling a banner referencing a Bible verse about Sodom and Gomorrah.

This display cost the church $2,200. This follows the church sponsoring an antigay billboard in Lexington.

This church must have some mighty wealthy adherents to be able to afford to spend money on hogwash like this. The banner alone works out to more than $183 for each member. I'll admit it's been a number of years since I've been to church, but I sure don't remember seeing anyone at my church put $183 in the plate when they passed it around.

I don't wish to judge, but because the church in this story chooses to judge others, it's only fair that I judge this church. You can bet your bottom dollar they'd be among the first to demand that the IRS abolish its rule on revoking the tax-exempt status of religious bodies that engage in partisan activity. Not like the IRS ever enforces it anymore. We taxpayers are in effect subsidizing churches that support Wall Street politicians. America's poorest families are paying hundreds a month just for housing, but right-wing churches can afford to spend thousands just to try to ruin a gay pride festival - and these churches don't have to pay taxes!

Americans who work hard are frustrated with checkbook clergy that just want a handout. That's as bad as the big banks.

Luckily, folks who attended the festival didn't let the Taliban destroy their day. Anyone who saw the banner thought the church accomplished nothing except to discredit itself.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Romney brownshirt tries waterboarding labor activist

This is how Mitt Romney's followers act. They're brownshirts on par with those of Hitler. We discovered this in May when they attacked Occupy Cincinnati, and now folks in northeastern Ohio are learning it too.

An altercation broke out at a pro-Romney rally today in Parma, Ohio. When a labor activist showed up to protest against the candidate, a man approached him from behind and shoved a water bottle and dirty handkerchief in his mouth.

If the assailant wasn't 77 years old, and if he attacked me like that, I would have knocked him clean to the ground. And I would have stepped on his skull a few times for good measure.

The attacker is also a big donor to the Republican National Committee.

Please tell me the police are going to pursue charges.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith fights Tea Party

I bet the kid in this clip is in the Tea Party now...