Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Funniest headline of the season!

You want to know the funniest headline on any news website so far this election season?

CNN's site says this about the Republican standard-bearer:

"With nomination clinched, Romney seeks working-class connection"

Now that's funny!

Republicans want hotels to charge them less

The Republican National Convention slogs on, and the reviews aren't getting any better. (A commenter on another website observed, "If I was a Republican, I'd be embarrassed and humiliated.") Here's a story from months ago that provides another reason why it's long past time to run these losers out of our political landscape.

The St. Petersburg (Florida) Times reported that Tampa area hotels were refusing to lower their rates for GOP convention guests. The real story though is that the Republican conventioneers are spoiled enough to demand a discount. And these are fancy hotels too!

What makes the Republiklan Party so special that they think they're entitled to get 5-star motel rooms at a discount? Were they afraid the pay-per-view porn service would be out of order?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

School tries forcing deaf child to change name

Does anybody still deny that the "zero tolerance" Nazis are pure evil? At what point does the fascism that pervades America's schools become unacceptable enough for the country to take decisive action?

The so-called public school system in Grand Island, Nebraska, is trying to force a 3-year-old deaf preschooler to change his name because the sign language version of his name - Hunter - supposedly resembles shooting a gun.

I swear I am not making this up.

The school then said the whole story is just a "misunderstanding" - but still they press on.

Legal action now looms.

And yes, website comment sections have already been freeped by right-wingers defending the school. Stay classy, conservabots.


Stop whining, Repubs

Why the fuck am I watching this garbage?

Everybody still talks about how bad the Republican National Convention in 1992 was, but I think this year's is the worst ever.

The entire evening has been nothing but entitled rich people whining about how hard it is to be rich. Whine, whine, whine. Plus there's an occasional line about how everybody else needs to shut up and accept their lot in life. Now the bigot Bob McDonnell is up on stage lying his ass off like the serial liar he is.

If the Republicans think that's how you win elections these days, let them think it. I dare them. Watch how it turns out for them in November.

Miners forced to attend Romney rally

Remember a couple weeks ago when the faltering Mitt Romney had a campaign photo op with a large gathering of Ohio coal miners? Romney was up on stage with dozens of tough, hard-working miners standing behind him in full mining gear and skin coated with coal dust - and The Media was happy to spread this image. Miners being willing to show their support for the Mittster was one of the top stories at almost every national news outlet for days.

I knew the event was a sham, but you wouldn't believe me if I didn't confirm it, would you?

Now we've got confirmation: It turns out the mining company - Murray Energy - required the miners to appear with Romney. Not only that, but the miners had to lose pay because the company had to shut down the mine while all their workers were at this event! The miners told WWVA radio in Wheeling, West Virginia, that attendance at Romney's speech was mandatory - but Murray's CFO responded that managers "communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend."

So it was mandatory but not forcible? Murray Energy expects people to buy that doublespeak? Of course, the Republicans have had a tough time lately distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate, so who's surprised?

Romney's rally didn't even highlight the miners' work. The embattled Republican candidate used the event to talk about how great their bosses were but said nothing about miners' contributions to America's energy resources.

No wonder he's losing.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Teabagger posts Facebook image of Obama being hanged

Disgust is spreading today after a Tea Party member posted a drawing on Facebook of President Obama being hanged, above the word "ROPE."

The picture was posted on July 30 but is just now becoming known. Facebook has refused to delete it despite the many complaints.

The account from which the picture was posted is also responsible for a website connected with Dr. Laura's radio program.

Secret Service has reportedly been notified.

So who's the violent movement?

A Taliban member speaks

Remember when I started going around calling everybody Satan worshipers? Me neither.

But of course, that's what the Taliban calls everybody else.

One of my fave hobbies of late is to troll right-wing Facebook pages telling them what I think. Yesterday I stumbled upon the page for the misnamed Alliance Defending Freedom, a scuzzo legal foundation known until recently as the Alliance Defense Fund. In short, the ADF is a bunch of anti-American Nazis. They're known primarily for legal terrorism.

I posted on their Facebook page calling them Taliban. Later, one of their fans posted this reply:

"The taliban would have your head satan lover."

Hahaha, what a Nazi.

The guy who posted that posts some craaaaazy shit on his own Facebook page too! Here's the most menacing part: It turns out he's a corrections officer in Texas - or at least claims to be. Nice to know the Texas Department of Criminal Justice hires people like that.

Doesn't the state of Texas require a psychological evaluation before becoming a corrections officer? If I was this guy's boss and I saw the drivel he posts on Facebook, I'd fire him on the spot. I bet his job gives him access to weapons. Does he sound like somebody who should be carrying weapons or be allowed to work in a place like a prison?

Folks like that are why prisons are so ineffective at rehabilitating criminals. When exposed to guards who are catatonically confrontational, prisoners don't learn shit about how to act once they rejoin society, and they emerge from prison much angrier than before. Thus begins a vicious cycle of crimes that just become worse and worse.

This story also highlights the fact that the Far Right is engaged in a civil war against America. What's there to "understand" about an ideology that makes followers constantly pick fights? I wouldn't be calling them out if I wasn't familiar with their propensity for violence and thuggery. Trust me, I learned a long time ago what they're capable of.

I've seriously suggested that Congress should make it illegal for attorneys to collect fees if they gum up the courts with the type of agenda-driven frivolous suits that have been the ADF's hallmark. I think that if we do this, these suits would slow to a trickle.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

North Carolina GOPer shows how to lose votes

If you're running for office, never run against Occupy.

This blog is not an official Occupy organ, and I don't claim to speak for the entire Occupy coalition, but I will call out politicians who lie about us. And I will bask in the electoral demise that it brings them.

North Carolina's Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall faces a challenge from Republican Ed Goodwin, and they squared off in a debate on Thursday. Near the end of the forum, Goodwin whined that Marshall supports Occupy Raleigh. Goodwin claimed in his distinctive Southeastern drawl that Occupy advocates the overthrow of the federal government - which is a lie.

A woman in the audience took issue with Ed Goodwin's lying. "No they don't," the woman declared. Goodwin then insisted on arguing with the woman from the stage.

It hurts politicians enough to criticize Occupy - especially Occupy Raleigh, which appears to be one of the more popular Occupy chapters - but to lie outright about Occupy is just inviting defeat at the polls. With Occupy's reduced visibility since the authorities' coordinated campaign to break up our campsites, the public has been asking nonstop when the camps are going to be back. As much as we lament lack of participation at general assemblies, we still gain adoring spectators, as shown by the ongoing rise in our Facebook numbers.

Much as the hostile media doesn't understand viewers, Ed Goodwin doesn't understand voters.

This misunderstanding of Occupy's reach also underscores another Goodwin fallacy. He attacked Occupy as a "redistributionist organization", but the day for this demagoguery has passed. It just so happens that people like the idea of sharing wealth. Real populism works. Economic justice is one of the basic precepts of a society.

It's why we Occupy! And it's why people love us.

And it's why you don't run against Occupy.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "The Box Sculpture"

When I attended NKU, one of the groovymost things to do was gather on the grassy area with the giant metal box sculpture. It was like Occupy before Occupy was cool! Campus graybeards came to detest these gatherings, but the memories live on.

One day, some students began beating on the sculpture as if it was a drum. (That wasn't the only music people made involving this hollow sculpture, if you know what I mean.) Tim reminisces about it all...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Right-wing judge lets TransCanada seize Texas farm

What do the surrenderbots have to say about this?

Although the job-killing northern portion of TransCanada's unpopular Keystone XL oil pipeline was rejected, the southern third was approved - leaving farmers, environmentalists, and the Occupy family to do the job of keeping watch over the project. TransCanada wants to use eminent domain to seize land from a Texas farmer to use for the pipeline - even though TransCanada is a corporation, and corporations are not supposed to have eminent domain powers.

Now a right-wing judge has allowed TransCanada to go ahead with its plans.

TransCanada isn't merely trespassing by laying a pipeline across somebody else's farm. This is an outright case of theft - an unconstitutional land grab. Farmers must defend their land and livelihoods from these corporate goons. I should make no apologies when I say this.

Given the fact that the Bill of Rights was intended to prohibit eminent domain by corporations, we shouldn't have to ask legislators to intervene. But because of activist judges, we must. Congress should pass a law making it illegal for corporations to use eminent domain.

Also, the Keystone XL pipeline is designed to pump oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico to be shipped abroad. None of the oil is slated for the American market. I believe that as long as any part of the pipeline is built in the U.S., the U.S. should take the oil as a price for building the pipeline. Fair is fair.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GOP candidate supports shooting abortion doctors

Honestly, what in the holy high hell has happened to the Republican Party lately? I know they have less real support than at any other time since the late '70s (thanks largely to the Occupy revolution), but I've never seen so many utter idiots scampering around in the GOP clown car as I have lately.

Frank Szabo is a Republican candidate for sheriff in New Hampshire's heavily populated Hillsborough County. Szabo says that if he's elected sheriff, he'll arrest abortion doctors. "There is a difference between legal and lawful," he said.


He also says he wouldn't rule out shooting abortion doctors.

I already thought Todd Akin was enough of a blunderbuss to dash any significant gains the Republicans might have posted this November, but Szabo just underscores the point.

Long story short: I don't think the GOP can be rescued.


Taxpayers bail out NFL union-busting

Nothing like being taxed to subsidize nonunion labor, is there?

In the NFL preseason now in progress, the league has been using scab referees - instead of negotiating with the referee union. By employing inexperienced officials, this will affect football's integrity if it continues another 2 weeks through the start of the regular season. In fact, it's already led to several humiliating incidents in the preseason. In at least 2 games, the scab refs have managed to botch something as simple as the coin toss.

And who's paying for these scab refs? U! That's who!

In Cincinnati and many other NFL cities, the taxpayers were forced to fund construction of the stadiums just to appease greedy team owners. Considering what we're paying, we should at least get experienced refs. Instead, we're being forced to pay for the NFL's union-busting.

The NFL is a pile of steaming fail.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1994 vs. 2010

If the "election" of 1994 was like chickenpox, 2010 was the shingles.

Adam Carolla, what a comedian!

Since you're on the cutting edge of culture, I'm sure you've heard of comedian Adam Carolla.

Now Carolla's got a new joke he wants us to hear.

In an interview with the Bradenton (Florida) Herald this past weekend, Carolla was asked about performing for attendees of the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa. Carolla volunteered his opinions about the Occupy movement. He declared, "I got news for the 99%. Rich people are smarter and harder workers, sorry."

Now that's a funny guy!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Has-been rewarded after endorsing child abuse

Is CBS aware that one of its Survivor contestants has a history of endorsing child abuse? Almost certainly - because it doesn't take much digging to find it.

The network has announced that one of the competitors on the next season of Survivor will be Lisa Whelchel, the actress who played Blair on the now-defunct NBC sitcom The Facts Of Life. Whelchel is well-known for her articles advocating child abuse. One of her most infamous crusades is her support of hotsaucing, which presents a choking hazard and has been condemned by secular and religious parenting groups.

My blog gets attacked by milquetoasts for "violent nonsense" because I support Occupy activists fighting back against assaults by right-wing goons, yet when one of the big 4 networks mollycoddles a washed-up TV star known for sadistic views on parenting, that's considered "art." Stay classy, SeeBS.

It's all part of Wall Street's program of control.

In my day, America had values. Ours was a land that produced industrious, thrifty people who knew the difference between right and wrong. I'm sure Corporate America knows the difference too but thinks they're just too cool to care.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Freeper parenting skills

Denizens of right-wing website Free Republic enjoy attacking others' parenting skills. If a story emerges of some miscreant's wrongdoing, they like to talk about how the wrongdoer's parents must have been liberal hippies - even after proof to the contrary appears.

Now the son of some Freeper nobody in the Omaha area is the subject of a story that sure doesn't bode well for Freeperland's parenting practices. A 21-year-old man - a Freeper offspring - is accused of sending nude photos of himself to 13-year-old girls. He's been arrested on multiple counts of child enticement. Authorities say 4 girls received these lewd photos.

One of the victims is moving out of the neighborhood because of this sick behavior.

Of course, not all children of Freepers are going to grow up to be perverts. America's education system is almost uniformly right-wing, yet most folks work through it. This story is about one right-wing trust fund baby who was destined for a high-paying, cushy job just because of his family's clout - yet he threw it all away.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Paul Ryan Lies"

Tim talks about one of the biggest liars in American politics...

Show me what an Occupy page looks like...

We in the Occupy coalition can often be found chanting, "Show me what democracy looks like." But Occupy Campbell County shows what an Occupy webpage ought to look like.

One of few things that dissatisfies me about Occupy is that sometimes our minds are so open that our brains fall out.

Time and time again, I've seen Occupy pages on Facebook cluttered with right-wing spam assailing Occupy with stock attacks originated by the far-right politburo. But Occupy admins rarely delete it. Something about how we must be understanding even of our enemies. In fact, some Occupy pages are more likely to delete posts criticizing this garbage.

I'm not saying posts should be erased just because they disagree with Occupy. I believe posts should be deleted only if they contribute nothing to the group. Spam like this has already rendered some Occupy pages almost unusable.

And you bet I understand enemies. I know full well that not deleting their spam hurts us. Our foes know it too, and that's why they do what they do. They take advantage of the weakness of some Occupy admins. If one side of a dispute is wishy-washy, while the other side is aggressive, who gets their way in the end?

Occupy Campbell County though is different from Occupy's Old Guard. OCC's Facebook page reads:

"Some other Occupy chapters play nice. We don't. If we think something is wrong, we will say so.

"We are a nonviolent movement, but nonviolent does not mean pushover."

OCC lives up to this mantra. Today, some right-wing nobody posted a rambling boilerplate attack on OCC's Facebook page. Within only a minute, OCC deleted this harangue, barred this user, and posted that he "is now banned from this page. We don't put up with crap here."

Folks unfamiliar with the Occupy revolution might expect to see this decisive attitude from Oakland or New York - not a suburban Kentucky county. But if OCC can show strength, so can other Occupys.

Hopefully, those who think we should be more understanding of violent bigots who want to kill us become just as wishy-washy about having their vision dominate Occupy. Occupy didn't become effective by being weak, and it will be more effective if we become stronger.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cheerio arsonist dies

Michael Leisner - who set a box of Cheerios on fire as part of a Tea Party-backed protest and touched off a grass fire in front of the General Mills headquarters - has now died of an unrelated heart attack:

Local Tea Party organizer busted for drugs

The Tea Party is the same rotten mob of violent bigots who have been trying to shout down everyone else for 20 years - even before they were called the Tea Party. I've never seen this media-fed movement behave like anything other than bullies and punks. Like other bullies, they won't stop until somebody finally drops the hammer.

Why must we fight them? Because freedom.

As you may know, local teagaggers have filed a frivolous lawsuit against the Campbell County Public Library in an attempt to make the libe pay back all tax monies dating back to 1978 - even though the 1978 library tax was approved by voters. Now one of the Tea Party leaders who is a plaintiff in this suit has been charged with 3 drug charges after police were called to his house during a domestic dispute. Oxycontin was among the drugs found by cops. He has been sentenced to a diversion program.

Yet everybody except the Tea Party is a bunch of stoners and "dry druggies", huh?

Tea Party followers are always saying we should require people to take a drug test to get Social Security, but the Tea Party can't even keep themselves clean. I remember a song from the '70s that declared, "He can't even run his own life, I'll be damned if he'll run mine." I think that lyric applies here.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Massachusetts GOPer allegedly rigged election

With another Republican politician being suspected of rigging an election, how many are out there who just haven't been caught? More importantly, what scandal is out there that would bring down the entire party if it became known? I'm telling you, it's out there, but the nature of it is anybody's guess.

In East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, GOP selectman Enrique John Villamaino III is accused of committing electoral fraud in the election for Massachusetts House he's running in. According to authorities, the Villamaino campaign orchestrated an effort to change the party registration of hundreds of voters and cast absentee votes in their names.

This scheme was uncovered when some of the voters said they had not changed their registrations and had not requested absentee ballots.

Book 'em, Danno.


Kentucky lets Operation Rescue field out-of-state candidates

Rules don't apply when you're part of the terrorist group Operation Rescue.

In 2 congressional districts in Kentucky - including our own 4th District - Operation Rescue is now fielding U.S. House candidates who don't even live in the state (which is against the Constitution). The nobody who they've put up in the 4th District lives in Ohio and already ran against John Boehner in the Republican primary in that state earlier this year. In the 2nd District, they've put up an Indiana resident who was previously known for shredding a Quran in front of the White House.

Both candidates plan to run graphic TV ads.

At least they'll siphon votes away from the Republican nominees.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Texas shooter was Tea Party member

Another murderous massacre today, this time near the campus of Texas A&M. The gunman killed 2, including a police constable. Plus, the shooter himself died in the rampage.

Now the gunman has been identified as a nearby resident named Thomas Caffall. Lo and behold, Caffall's Facebook page is full of "likes" for the usual slate of Tea Party and other right-wing kook-a-loon sites. This factoid is completely ignored even by news outlets that have discussed in detail the rest of the contents of his bizarre Facebook page.

Caffall's stepfather said that months ago Caffall had "vowed never to work again" - which is particularly ironic in light of the Tea Party's pretenses of being models of industriousness.

It's time for authorities to bring the hammer down on right-wing domestic terrorism.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney picks Paul Ryan as running mate

Really??? Paul Ryan???

You mean far-right Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan???

You mean smug class-baiter Paul Ryan???

Whatever, Mitt.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Far Right invents superPAC's, then complains about superPAC's being used against them

SuperPAC's were made possible by the right-wing Citizens United v. FEC ruling of 2010. But maybe the Far Right should have been more careful about what they wished for.

Now a pro-Obama superPAC is running devastating ads against Mitt Romney. Simply devastating! And it shows, judging by the new poll numbers.

And the Romneybots are THROWING A FIT!!!!!

File this under "TOUGH SHIT!!!!!" The Far Right wrote the rules, so they have no business complaining when somebody uses their rules against them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chalk case not first Bandit bust

Which bust was stupider? My recent sidewalk chalk citation or my university library arrest 17 years ago? I can't decide which is sillier.

Here's a fact we can savor like a good shit: I was convicted of the Occupy-related sidewalk chalk "crime" based on the facts of the case, but I received the lightest punishment possible. I only have to pay $29 in court costs, with no additional fine. What does this suggest? Unless I misread the court's intent, it says to me that I've established that using sidewalk chalk doesn't even rise to the level of real punishment and isn't worth the city's effort to prosecute. Most remarkably, I accomplished this precedent by acting as my own attorney against the army of professional legal eagles mustered by the city of Cincinnati. The legal precedent is much more important than my finances.

But this wasn't my first bust. These days, it seems rare to meet young adults who haven't had frequent law enforcement contact. But I came of age in the olden days - before the later waves of criminalizing everything. For my previous police citation, we have to go back to August 1995.

One day when I was 22, I was arrested for third-degree "trespassing" for using the Steely Dan Library at NKU. According to campus graybeards, the libe was open only to students of that particular institution. Actually, I was using the library because I planned on enrolling again that day, and because I wanted to look at the local employment guide - which was stored at that library, for that was the only official federal book repository for the entire congressional district. Plus, I remember seeing high school kids with Brossart jackets at that library, so I know it's a lie when NKU said the libe is open only to NKU students.

It was immediately clear that I was singled out because of my political views - which were well-known by the campus community. It is a fact that I wouldn't have been arrested if I was conservative.

I was jailed until roughly midnight - which was illegal because Kentucky law does not allow one to be detained for third-degree trespassing. At the arraignment, I blinked: Before I could plead not guilty, the judge told me I could instead choose "diversion" and the entire case would be completely expunged from my record. I accepted.

"Diversion" made a hassle of the next several months, as I was forced to make repeated treks to the Newport courthouse just to prove I was staying out of trouble. I could have been at school or work, but this dashed the whole fall semester. Plus, about 15 years later, I saw that the case wasn't expunged.

I should have insisted on pleading not guilty and let the case go to trial. These days, I would. But in 1995, I had yet to learn a valuable lesson: Either fight back or lose. I was taught in my youth never to fight back. Good citizenship meant total compliance.

Caving wasn't worth it. If I'd been convicted, the maximum punishment would have been only a $250 fine. What jury in their right mind would have fined me that much?

Win or lose, the case proved one thing: America was a police state. We lived under an oppressive system. Constitutional republics do not single out people for their political views to be arrested for using public resources.

That wasn't my first bust though. The first was a generally forgotten incident in 1992 when I was a high school senior. At the time, I attended what amounted to an alternative class, which was an absolute joke. One afternoon, the school called the Covington police because I refused to go to in-school suspension for something I didn't do. The cops arrived, tackled me, arrested me without telling me what I was charged with, and drove me to the psych ward at St. Elizabeth Hospital. The hospital laughed in their faces and sent me home.

This raid was a warning of the looming expansion of the fascist command state. But what was I supposed to do? Sue them?

With all these police run-ins, it's hard to decide which ranks as the most outrageous of all. Meanwhile, Wall Street roams free.

Freepers insult coal miners (more Freeper Madness)

Right-wing website Free Republic has been irrelevant of late, but it's as madcap as ever, and they still let the mask slip every now and then.

No form of bigotry seems to go unpracticed by Free Republic's membership, and that includes attacks against Appalachians. For example, Freepers have a history of stereotyping Appalachia's residents as drug-addicted yokels. Today, the elitist attacks continue, as Freepers claim the region's coal miners are "stupid" because they support President Obama. One Free Republic denizen declared:

"Why in the world were the coal miners stupid enough to support The First Dictator when he ran in '08 ... ?

"They deserve to be unemployed."

Meanwhile, the right-wing bowel trust continues to flood other websites with demands that working-class folks get jobs. This while they boast about making miners unemployed because they don't like their political views.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fox blasts Obama for not suppressing Occupy

When our political leaders do us wrong, The Media either defends them or ignores the story. But when our leaders appear to do us right, the press goes after them with red-hot pokers.

We all know there's been a nationwide campaign by the Department of Homeland Security to suppress the Occupy revolution, but Judicial Watch - a far-right legal foundation - says they've found documents saying the Obama administration has actually urged authorities to go easy on Occupy. Fox News is happy to help Judicial Watch's cause, calling Judicial Watch a "watchdog group" and amplifying its complaints.

Fox reports that Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton said of this discovery, "We now have a new GSA scandal - one that involves the Obama White House."

Fox and Judicial Watch call this a "scandal"? That's not a "scandal." It's an honor, not a "scandal." If the White House has urged lenient treatment of Occupy, it's because Occupy is perfectly legal and is a nonviolent movement. When peaceful protesters gather, democratic governments are supposed to go easy. That's part of what makes a democratic republic.

The real scandal is the ongoing suppression against Occupy. If the President said to be soft on Occupy, the DHS and other agencies sure haven't paid heed to what he said. Plus, we know damn well that if Bush was still king, he would have sent in federal troops to bust Occupy within weeks of it starting. Let there be no doubt about that.

Fox News Channel has a history of broadcasting outright lies about Occupy. Now they've created a "scandal" where there is none.

Journalist faces 21 years for exposing police brutality

It's bad enough that America's schools have become prisons.

If you think our schools are anything short of adult jails that happen to be filled by kids, an incident at West High School in Manchester, New Hampshire, should kablammo that notion plumb out of your conscience. Actually, this event shows they're often even worse than prisons. Late last year, a video appeared that showed a police officer yanking a student out of his seat in the cafeteria and slamming him face-first into a table.

Adam Mueller - a journalist who founded, a website that exposes illegal police activity - reported on the incident. Now Mueller is facing 21 years in prison just for reporting it. Right-wing authorities have charged Mueller with 3 counts of wiretapping for posting the video, carrying 7 years each.

Mueller has been offered a plea deal of a 2-year suspended sentence, but he's refusing it, because the charge is patently ridiculous.

Meanwhile, there is no indication that the cop has been punished at all - even though his brutality was caught on video.

Naturally, the RNC-funded right-wing troll posse has freeped website comment sections to defend the police officer and criticize Mueller.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Right-wing idiot burns self in Cheerio fire

It's yet another entry from the files of the party of stupid!

Recently, the Tea Party organized a protest against General Mills because the company fails to support an effort to ban gay marriage in Minnesota. But the protest seems to have drawn only one participant - who promptly made a complete spectacle of himself.

The centerpiece of the protest was his attempt to burn a box of Cheerios on the lawn of the headquarters of General Mills. But somebody forgot to tell him that Minnesota has experienced a searing drought lately. And it was windy. So you can imagine how this ended.

He tried lighting the cereal box ablaze, but all he accomplished was burning a bowl and the General Mills lawn. He tried stomping the flames out - to no avail. Then he burned his hands trying to pick up the burning bowl. As the fire expanded, he appeared to be trying to flee, as bystanders laughed at him.

A video of the incident has cropped up on YouTube...

Chalk case ends in whimper


We all remember the irritating radio ads for Value City in which a baby kept saying, "Twenty-nine." The unruly infant must have been referring to how many dollars the city of Cincinnati would get in return after squandering more than 3 weeks and an untold amount of taxpayer dough on my sidewalk chalk case.

My trial for using sidewalk chalk as part of an Occupy Cincinnati protest took place this morn, and the outcome was better for me than what I thought I could reasonably hope for. Some folks thought I should have surrendered by pleading no contest at the arraignment a couple weeks back. But once again, fighting back paid off. Some people just don't seem to realize that the 2012 Tim can't be intimidated.

I guess the prosecution didn't realize it either. I did my homework on this case, and I had no fear whatsoever about acting as my own attorney. The city called my bluff and got only $29 for its troubles.

I got to court early today and sat through 2 hours of tearful testimonies by defendants in the other trials that were on the docket. It became obvious during these hearings that the prosecution enjoyed dropping the hammer on unsuspecting defendants. The prosecuting attorney resembled Patricia Richardson with Mr. Hooper glasses, and her demeanor only drove home the point that there's an entire system in place that's stacked against us.

My trial was brief, and the only witness was for the prosecution. The witness was part of a downtown cleaning crew, and she brang in her digital camera that held the evidence of the chalkings.

That's all fine and dandy, of course, because I wasn't denying the facts of the case. My primary defense was that the case involved only sidewalk chalk - not spray paint. Yet the prosecution repeatedly referred to my art as "graffiti" that was "egregious."

I don't think the judge was buying the prosecution's demagoguery, but I had to remind myself of the limits of the law. Even when the judge acknowledged his own interest in constitutional rights, what do constitutional rights mean? Courts had already narrowed the scope of basic rights well past the permissible level, so the foundation was set for the city's case. The judge also gave a brief speech about balancing individual rights with the public good (which these days means pretty much whatever the city says it means).

But the prosecution expected me to give up - like a sheep. In thinking this, they stumbled - and badly. I had made sure that even if I got the maximum sentence, it wasn't going to be without a fight.

My punishment for the sidewalk chalk episode? The judge remitted the real fine and required me to pay a grand total of only $29 - which includes $23 for the main court costs plus $6 for the subpoena for the witness.

For all the effort the city put into throwing the book at me, it got only $29. They sicced professional attorneys on a backyard amateur like me who doesn't even have a college degree (and barely made it out of high school), and still they got only $29.

Twenty-nine dollars. That's got to be absolutely humiliating for them.

If I'd pleaded no contest, it would have been almost $200 including court costs. By fighting back, I saved myself a 3-figure sum. Was it really worth it for the city to keep the case alive all the way to its end? If some other Occupy denizen breaks out the sidewalk chalk in the future, maybe the city will think twice before ticketing them.

This was Cincinnati's version of the Scopes trial. Although John Scopes was convicted, the case hurt the creationist cause. Today's sidewalk chalk trial absolutely demolished the 1% cause.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Nasty!"

Tim describes the proper way to react to spoiled milk...

City blasts phone outsourcing

When every decision made by a monopolistic utility corporation is rubber-stamped by state regulators who won't do their jobs, this is what it comes down to.

As if Cincinnati isn't already among the places hit hardest in each of the many recessions of the past 30 years, Cincinnati Bell - which owns all landline phone service in the area - now plans to ship about 140 local jobs to Denver. As a result, Cincinnati City Council unanimously approved a resolution to oppose this outsourcing.

This resolution is appreciated, of course, but it's time to play hardball. The city needs to be bold enough to say you can't outsource. Period. If the phone company ships jobs away, the city should use eminent domain to condemn and seize all its phone infrastructure within city limits.

Maybe then Zoomtown will be faster than dialup like it used to be.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eat mor fascism

Sorry, Chick-fil-A, but you're not a victim.

Today marks a national day of action against Chick-fil-A. The fast food giant is under fire for a series of controversies: The company has included materials from the disgraced Focus on the Family in kids' meals and has donated to the far-right Family Research Council, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The hullabaloo was fanned further recently when Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy made an incendiary statement about gay marriage.

At minimum, the Family Research Council is fascist, and Chick-fil-A has no regrets about supporting these extremists. This alone would be enough to blackball Chick-fil-A. I think it's also fair to say that some of Chick-fil-A's other controversies also fuel serious danger for a segment of the American public.

Chick-fil-A is practicing the cheap elitism that defines the extremes of social conservatism. But cheap elitism is never as cut-rate as it appears: Chick-fil-A seems to think its views matter more than those of the average person, simply because Chick-fil-A is a large company owned by a very wealthy family. Social and economic conservatism are often associated with different interests, but they are both part of a single intertwined right-wing code of behavior that Big Business has smuggled onto the American landscape.

Chick-fil-A is crying victim over the backlash, but the fast food chain is not a victim. The company accuses critics of violating its First Amendment rights by engaging in Chick-fil-A boycotts and public protests. But last I checked, the First Amendment said nothing about protecting companies from the consequences of bankrolling hate groups.

The only negative reaction to Chick-fil-A that might seem questionable is that of several mayors who threatened to stop the chain from coming to their cities. Even then, the mayors have a leg to stand on: Although Chick-fil-A is not a publicly traded firm, it is a large company. Its website refers to it as CFA Properties, Inc. - which makes it a corporation. While individuals have rights, corporations do not. Does a town's citizenry have a right to expect that corporations don't fund hate groups? States have justifiably passed selective purchasing laws that bar state agencies from buying from companies linked to human rights abuses. Would it be a stretch to say the same principle applies here?

The Chick-fil-A thought guardians are quite adroit at making themselves look like the victims, and The Media has of course been happy to help their cause. But nope. They're the perps. They'll try to cash in on their supposed victimhood, for if there's one thing the Far Right knows how to do, it's making the most of their self-inflicted losses. And they are unmerciful when they get the upper hand. Their braggadocio when they win elections is only the foundation for the ensuing policies.

It's long past time to shatter the Far Right's intertwined program of social and economic control.