Monday, April 29, 2013

Greg Abbott, another fascist

Here's another reason why you should disown all right-wing acquaintances with all haste (and marry a leftist just to piss them off).

Greg Abbott (not to be confused with the "Shake You Down" guy) is the Attorney General of Texas. A few months ago, a far-right hate group called Texas Values submitted a brief demanding that Abbott nullify laws in some cities and counties that provide benefits for domestic partnerships. And guess what? Now - because Abbott hates gays - Abbott has complied, by declaring that it violates the Texas Constitution for local governments to provide these benefits.

Mind your own fucking business, Greg.

I just hope the cities and counties have the guts to ignore what Greg Abbott says by continuing to provide domestic partner benefits. Talibanists like Abbott like to talk about "states' rights", so why not cities' rights? Quite frankly, I'm tired of cities that want to do the right thing ducking and running when some eliminationist dickhead like Abbott comes along and tries enforcing their will on them.

Greg Abbott is not a good man.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Odor in the court

Have you noticed something sneaky lately about the Tea Party - at least locally?

Notice that just about everything they've done this year is through the court system. They realize it's tough for them to win at the polls, so they go judge shopping to try to win favorable rulings.

You don't see elected officials such as Arnold Simpson or Dennis Keene stomping around and trying to close down the library. Who's going to elect candidates who run against the library? The Tea Party is political poison. Even followers of Jeff Kidwell - who regularly speaks to Tea Party gatherings - go to great lengths to deny that Kidwell has anything to do with the Tea Party.

The Tea Party couldn't elect anyone who'd shut down the library. So they sued.

The Tea Party can't get a redistricting map that pleases them passed by elected officials. So they sued.

The Tea Party can't get Kentucky's elected governor (who won by 20 percentage points) to scuttle health care reform. So they sued.

Reminds me of the political ad in the last decade where actors portraying slick lawyers kept saying, "You can sue!" With the Tea Party, it's always sue, sue, sue!

The Tea Party relies on an undemocratic model to get its way. Whenever their candidates are rejected at the polls, they march into court in the hopes they can find a friendly judge who'll set the big, mean libs straight. Local teabaggers file so many of these preposterous lawsuits that you know they're being bankrolled by some larger organization.

Maddeningly, if the Tea Party wins in its absurd bid to redraw the state legislative boundaries themselves, it wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened. A user of another website says that in Illinois in the '90s, the Democrats and the Republicans each submitted their own redistricting map to a court. Instead of finding a compromise, the judge was a partisan hack who ruled that the state had to adopt the Republican map without changing a damn thing.

All of this highlights the idea that the Tea Party usually can't win in a free and fair election, so they have to rig things in their favor. That's why you see not only extreme gerrymandering but also efforts to split states' electoral votes to favor the Republicans, while there's no parallel instance that would favor the Democrats, let alone the Greens. It's why you also see unconstitutional new voter ID laws popping up. If you can't win fair and square, just rig the election in plain sight or find a judge who'll order things done the way you want. That's the Tea Party way.

GOP politician arrested in ricin case

A couple weeks ago, somebody mailed ricin - a deadly poison - to President Obama and other public officials.

This morning, authorities arrested James Everett Dutschke, 41, of Tupelo, Mississippi, in connection with the case. Dutschke has sought office in that area as a Republican. Dutschke is also under investigation in a child molestation case.

Authorities believe Dutschke tried to pin the ricin mailings on local eccentric Paul Curtis, a longtime Dutschke foe. Curtis was initially charged, but the charges were dropped.

Dutschke's arrest is yet another plume in the criminal cap of the modern GOP.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Tea Party sues for "right" to redraw legislative boundaries themselves

Just because Republicans in the Kentucky legislature keep rejecting every redistricting map that comes out doesn't mean you get to redraw the map yourself. Unless of course you're the Tea Party, which thinks it has a birthright to do anything it wants.

The Tea Party has filed a federal lawsuit asking the court to let them draw the map themselves because lawmakers haven't done so yet. Notice that they skipped the state courts and went plumb to federal. At least if they win their case, it's not Kentucky's doing.

Also, it's hard to see how some of the defendants - such as the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state - have anything to do with the legislature's sloth. I think the Tea Party knows this, but they just don't care.

Why does the Tea Party think it should be allowed to gerrymander our districts? Who elected the Tea Party to anything? And let's ponder exactly what they're asking the court to do. They want a federal court to tell a state it has to let them draw the map. So much for the Tea Party being champions of states' rights, huh?

Actually they support states' rights as long as it benefits them. The Tea Party thinks the federal government shouldn't be allowed to enforce the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act on states that are covered by them, but they think a federal judge should stomp along and tell Kentucky what to do, even though Kentucky isn't among the states covered. The court needs to be clear: It is Kentucky that draws Kentucky legislative maps. Not the Tea Party.

In Kentucky, this could make the difference between freedom and fascism - always a precarious balance. Nobody except the Tea Party wants to log on to the Courier-Journal website in early 2015 and see the headline, "Right-to-work bill approved." This is also an issue of federalism. And I will not fight with my hands tied behind my back.

DO NOT fuck with me. Clear?

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Dr. Phil Fascism"

Tim describes how Dr. Phil takes part in the teen confinement racket...

The police state is a failure. Let's move on.

Much has been made about the failures of the martial law that gripped the Boston area last Friday during the manhunt for one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. The extreme measures that virtually shut down the entire city actually allowed the bombers to get what they wanted. Do you really think terrorists want people to feel less fearful? Terrorism is called terrorism for a reason.

I'm not criticizing law enforcement's overall response to the bombings - but there's clear grounds for criticizing the martial law aspect, which contributed nothing to catching the suspects.

That the police state measures are receiving so much criticism is proof that at least people are coming to their senses. But the American police state is not brand new. Lockstep law in our streets made its biggest strides in the '90s. And it was cheered by The Media.

What good did it do? By the time of 9/11, America was no longer free. It was a right-wing police state. Did that prevent 9/11? By that time, we had less freedom than at any other time in ages. Although corporations were deregulated as never before, personal liberty was only a memory. What did this bring us? There were more fatal terrorist attacks on American soil in only a few years than in a period of decades that came before. Ordinary crime soared to record levels too (the right-wing blogosphere's revisionism notwithstanding).

After the Boston Marathon bombings, New York City's union-busting Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg sniffed that Americans' interpretation of the Constitution will "have to change." Tough shit, Bloomby. You don't get to decide how I interpret the Constitution, especially parts of the Constitution that are thoroughly unambiguous.

The debate is over: The police state has failed. The fact that the Boston Marathon bombings took place at all proves it. Time to live our lives and stop being scared of our own shadows.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Google censors posts because dictatorships tell it to

Remember a few years ago when I lambasted Google because they were making money off my old posts and telling me I needed a court order to remove my own messages? Remember also how they allowed archived posts to be modified by parties impersonating the original poster?

Google won't let people delete their own posts - but they let authoritarian regimes delete people's posts just because they criticize government policies. A new "transparency report" by Google shows that content removal requests by governments around the world rose 26% in the last 6 months of last year. A Google official says, "As we've gathered and released more data over time, it's become increasingly clear that the scope of government attempts to censor content on Google services has grown."

This report wouldn't reflect so poorly on Google except that they actually comply with these requests! The government of Russia, for example, made 114 removal requests during that time frame. Google enforced about one-third of these frivolous demands.

That is so, so dumb.

In addition to protecting people from Google making money off their posts without permission, Congress needs to step in and prohibit them from complying with third-party cancel requests by dictatorships. American companies aren't supposed to give a shit what repressive regimes think.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cincinnati stunner: "right-to-work" fascism rejected!

As the Tea Party tries to ram through a union-busting "right-to-work" law in Ohio, you're not gonna believe what just happened!

Cincinnati City Council just unanimously approved a measure opposing right-to-scab laws. Even City Council's only remaining Republican voted against right-to-scab laws!

"Right-to-work" is now dead in Cincinnati. Cincinnati, of all places! America's onetime hub of belligerent union-busting has now unanimously rejected the biggest union-busting promenade in modern times. How you like that, Tea Party?

Yes, I know, you're saying the cities can't trump state laws. Like hell they can't. As far as I'm concerned, the cities can do any damn thing they want, as long as it protects the right of people to freely bargain in the workplace. In my day, the oldsters had a saying: "It's not the '80s in this house!" Well, Cincinnati has a saying too: "It's not a 'right-to-work' state in this city!"

Hell, if lawmakers in each state cared about public opinion, right-to-scab laws would be utterly scotched in all 50 states and D.C. too. Nobody today wants to be subjected to this horseshit, and I'm not afraid to die for the cause of the American worker.


And I was Scholarin' in Ashland...Scholarin' near that Judd Plaza they built...

A couple weeks ago, I goed all Roads Scholarly in Huntington, West Virginia, and Ashland, Kentucky. That area was the site of one of the biggest roadmeets in history, and I amassed 128 road photos and videos from the event - many of which were from our motorcade throughout the region.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll beg for more! But I only have 128 of them, so you might as well enjoy 'em before the Evil Empire crushes them like a colossal Coke can...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Right-wing Supreme Court upholds concealed carry ban

The right-wing vanguard is now officially on record as opposing gun laws that might actually be effective, while supporting those that aren't. Thus, they continue their long-running streak of getting everything backwards.

I support gun rights. But I think expanded background checks are a regulation that can be put to a good cause - although Senate Republicans defeated expanded checks this week. Is it fair that someone who buys guns at a licensed shop is treated more stringently than someone who buys guns at a gun show (especially since the Tea Party is using gun shows as a conduit for weapons)? I truly believe the gun show loophole lets guns fall into the wrong hands.

President Obama is right: It really is shameful for the Senate to defeat background checks.

But you know what happened Monday? The right-wing Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the state of New York's rigid limits on concealed carry. Unlike many other states, New York requires "proper cause" before issuing a concealed carry permit. This despite the fact that other courts have ruled that concealed carry is a right that can't be arbitrarily limited like this.

Say, aren't conservatives supposed to be the ones who are against gun control? Nah. They're only against gun laws that might actually work.

They'll go to the ends of the earth to protect right-wing creeps who don't want to follow the same rules as everybody else - but they don't seem to care at all if the rights of law-abiding Americans are curtailed. In short, they believe in gun rights for themselves, but nobody else. Their pretense of being Second Amendment champions is one of the most successful aspects of the long-running conservative propaganda campaign, and it's time we clear this up.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "I'll Go Back To Sesame Street!"

Tim regresses hilariously due to all of life's frustrations...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

10 right-wing operatives try to run the whole state

Seriously????? This is what we've come to?????

One of the most enduring claims by the right-wing politburo is their statement that they're just carrying out the people's will. It's a lie. We don't recall the Tea Party ever asking permission to do anything. Besides, they're on the losing side of almost every issue in just about any opinion poll.

Now, a cadre of only 10 right-wing panjandrums wants to set policy for the entire state of Kentucky. Permission? They don't need permission. Why, they're Republicans, dammit, so it's their birthright.

The corrupt Republican Party of Kentucky has hired a field team of 10 staffers for the 2014 campaign - and 5 of them aren't even from Kentucky. Many of them have been involved in Mitt Romney's ill-fated presidential campaign, groups supporting fascist "right-to-work" laws, or Fox News Channel (the channel of record for the lunatic right).

Tough shit, losers. These rotting, reeking zombies don't get to tell me what to do. I so fucking dare them to try to make me. If you think I'm bluffing, ask the Tea Party how their little War on Libraries is working out now that I've helped organize 2 public events to fight it. While we're at it, let's ask Pathway Family Center what I did to them.

If the Tea Party didn't have a media machine repeating their lying propaganda almost verbatim 24/7, we wouldn't forget that all they consist of is about 15 rich people who think they're entitled to get their way on everything.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Library campaign comes to Covington!

The campaign by Occupy Cincinnati and Occupy Campbell County to confront the ridiculous series of Tea Party lawsuits against local libraries has now come to Covington!

There was a rally about this matter today, and I knew I was in trouble when I saw that the Tea Party's bus was already parked across the street waiting for us.

Indeed, the Tea Party held a rally in Goebel Park 3 years ago today. Here's a photo of their tour bus with Minnesota plates parked in front of the park on April 15, 2010...

Here's a photo of a tour bus with Minnesota plates - possibly the same bus - parked at the exact same location today, April 15, 2013...

(Before any armchair skeptics try claiming these photos are on the same day, notice the trim on the gas station in the background is a different color: It was yellow in 2010 but white in today's picture. I shouldn't even have to point this out.)

But no bother! The Occupy event went on as scheduled. I didn't see anybody coming out of the bus to counter us, though I'm sure they were keeping an eye on us. It's actually mighty stupid on their part to think we wouldn't notice we were being watched.

Our event received numerous thumbs-up from motorists. This time, nobody actually argued with us.

But here's the best part: Not long into our demonstration, a police car came tooling along. The officer got out and said somebody had called the cops on us. Gee, I wonder who? Ponder, ponder. We explained what was going on, and the police left. Of course, it would be like the Tea Party to call the law on us, considering their record of political intolerance. Remember, a Tea Party group in Ohio filed a complaint demanding a state investigation of all Occupy groups statewide, so it would have been a shock if they had actually left us alone.

And look for us on Google Street View too! As amazing as it is to believe, the Google Street View car - with its camera fully extended - drove up Philadelphia Street during our rally!

Report from today's library rally coming

I plan to post a report about today's pro-library rally in Covington later. Right now I'm watching the coverage of the series of bombings at the Boston Marathon. The newscasters need to stop doubting whether the bombings were intentional, because it's obvious they were. I'm withholding my suspicions about what may be behind the bombings, but I don't expect that to last.

Plain Dealer lies about Cleveland Five case

This is one of the reasons we have to blackball certain media outlets as a source for this blog. Many "mainstream" media organizations have become either right-wing opinion outlets or - much worse - right-wing made-up-shit outlets.

The latter describes Cleveland's leading newspaper, the Plain Dealer. This right-wing rag has tried for a long time to destroy the Occupy movement; in fact, these lying liars lie about Occupy.

Today, they ran an article saying that most of the Cleveland Five are "all members of the Occupy Cleveland movement." No they are not. None of the Cleveland Five were "members." Especially because one of them lived in Indianapolis, not Cleveland! After all, all 5 men were recruited by the FBI to infiltrate Occupy. They weren't real supporters - or "members", as the Plain Dealer put it.

Shame on the Plain Dealer for lying. Shame, shame, shame.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Funny story about Mr. Elbow Care

I've just been informed of a hilarious story about Mitch McConnell!

Every so often, the scandal-tarred Republican senator visits a Kroger supermarket in Louisville in the hopes that'll show everyone what a normal guy he is. He'll stand around in the store waiting for people to gather around him like he's some sort of superhero.

Now, there's some senators who I'd be thrilled to see in a public place. For instance, I'd be truly impressed if I saw Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders when I go Krogering. But if I saw a dumb loser like Mitch the Glitch, I'd just snicker behind his back.

Anyhow, when McConnell stands around in Kroger waiting for people to give a shit, he has a long wait. He always stands there looking bored. Recently, he was seen just staring at a display full of apples in the hopes someone would come along and show him some love!

Nobody congratulates him about what a swell legislator he is. People just tiptoe away and giggle.

What a miserable Senate career.

FBI now investigating McConnell over scandal


Pro-library rally in Covington tomorrow!

Occupy Cincinnati and Occupy Campbell County are supporting a rally in support of local libraries tomorrow! We must support the libraries against the Tea Party's frivolous lawsuits.

The event begins at noon! It'll be at 6th & Philadelphia in Covington! It'll be kind of like the impromptu event in Newport last Tuesday - but hopefully it'll be even better!

I've actually taken a little bit of heat by a very small number of people who still claim the library used an illegal tax structure. But I stand by the facts of the case: A 1979 state law supports the library's side of things. More importantly, the Tea Party didn't sue just because they didn't like higher taxes. If they were consistently anti-tax, there's plenty of other targets besides the library. Besides, the Tea Party has openly supported a national sales tax in excess of 20%. The Tea Party is suing the library because they don't like libraries. I have no doubt whatsoever about that.

The Tea Party picked the wrong fight by trying to bankrupt local libraries. I used to work at the libe, and I take libraries very seriously.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Have A Gasoline Birthday!"

The Speedway gas station chain comes up with what may be the tackiest gift idea ever...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Another activist ruling against local libraries

If the Campbell County Public Library is on thin ice after a Tea Party judge ruled that its tax structure was improper, then the Kenton County Public Library is in even deeper straits.

Today, Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Summe ruled that the library in that county has been improperly levying taxes ever since the libe was formed way back in 1967. Like the Campbell County ruling, this ruling is another case of far-right judicial activism that lets the Tea Party pick our pockets.

Why don't we just get it over with and pass a law that lets the Tea Party impose a 30% sales tax without putting it to a vote?

Mr. Elbow Care does oppo research on taxpayers' dime

A new recording reveals that noted bubble gum authority Mitch McConnell has been illegally using Senate resources to conduct research on potential electoral opponents. McConnell staffers even mocked Ashley Judd's religion during the February meeting. Naturally, The Media has swiftly turned the scandal around on those who exposed it. The fright-wing press is outraged at the outrage, if you will.

This scandal should sink the McConnell campaign like an anvil - and it should lead to criminal charges against McConnell. We should be eternally thankful to those who exposed it. Some have credited Progress Kentucky with being behind the unearthing of this meeting. But the scuzz-a-luzz media is blaming everybody except McConnell and his staff for the scandal. McConnell even likens Progress Kentucky's supposed actions to Watergate. Mitch, you idiot, do you even know what Watergate was?

Hey, if you don't like the message that McConnell is a crook, don't attack the messenger! Senators don't get to break the law and then cry like a baby when somebody catches them red-handed.

If Progress Kentucky is indeed behind exposing the meeting, Progress Kentucky is 100% right. I fully support what they did. I will go to my grave believing this.

Detroit protesters show how it's done!

Some self-styled activists do nothing but hem, haw, and heehaw instead of getting shit done. They'd rather generate excuses than do anything productive.

But I dig the way people do things up in Detroit.

After a voter referendum repealed Michigan's right-wing emergency manager law last year, the fascist legislature immediately passed the law anew. So folks in Detroit launched a protest against this law!

Protesters have opted to block all 4 lanes of southbound Interstate 75 in Detroit by driving very slowly. They even did this on the day of the Tigers' first home game of the season. Best all, these protests will continue!

Truck drivers threatened to do this in Indiana during Super Bowl weekend last year after the Hoosier State passed an unconstitutional "right-to-work" law. The protest was nixed by union leaders who feared retaliation by government officials. But I know from experience that you can't go through life being afraid of your own shadow. That's why I took the initiative and led Tuesday's Occupy demonstration against the Tea Party's assault on our libraries.

Strength wins. Weakness loses.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tea Partier files frivolous suit over Kentucky health reform

As disappointingly weak as the 2010 health care law is, it's still way too much for the Tea Party thought police to handle.

The law lets states establish a health benefit marketplace. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear did just that - making Kentucky one of 17 states with its own health care exchange. Now some Tea Party nobody is suing, claiming Beshear needs permission from the legislature first.

Nice understanding of separation of powers there, Tea Party genius. Just another teagagger who thinks the legislative branch is the only branch of government.

This controversy could have been avoided though if we had single payer - which the Tea Party also opposes.


Petition fights school uniforms in New Jersey city

"Some are against the uniform policy in Vineland, and some are against it," a TV station reports. Ain't that the truth!

Folks in Vineland, New Jersey, are hopping mad about a new mandatory school uniform policy being imposed by the Tea Party-dominated school board. So mad, in fact, that they're circulating a petition against it.

The school board made uniforms mandatory because - in the words of one right-wing supporter - "you need some conformity." But the petition against uniforms has already gathered about 150 signatures from students and parents.

Having 150 signatures is good, but it's not enough to satisfy me. So have at it, folks. Here's a link to the petition that you can sign online:


Tea Party leader charged in threat

A Tea Party leader in Oklahoma is displaying once again the inability of the extreme right to live in society.

Al Gerhart, 54 - who helped found the Sooner Tea Party and founded the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance - has been charged with blackmail and computer crimes because of an e-mail he allegedly sent to a state legislator. Authorities say Gerhart threatened the lawmaker because he failed to fight Agenda 21, a long-running UN environmental program. The e-mail reportedly told the senator, "We will dig into your past, yoru [sic] family, your associates, and once we start on you there will be no end to it."

Gerhart may face up to 5 years in the slammer.

What a beezweezer.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Library rally photos

Here's a good photo from today's rally against the far-right War on Libraries...

Of course, the Peace Bike was there too. Lately, the 9-year-old Peace Bike has started to resemble an Occupy on wheels. Here's a photo of the rear of the hulking velocipede...

Nifty, huh?

Report from library rally

I attended today's rally against the Tea Party's war on our libraries. This demonstration took place across from the Campbell County Courthouse in Newport, and it was organized by Occupy Cincinnati and Occupy Campbell County.

We got gobs of support. I can't count all the thumbs-up we got from passersby.

Only 2 people argued with us. A man pulled up and said of the library, "Rely on private donations." Another bloke pulled up and declared, "Libraries aren't supposed to be coming from public funds. They're supposed to be coming from private. You know that, don't you?"

They missed they whole point, they did. It just goes to show that the Tea Party's frivolous lawsuits against local libraries aren't about saving tax dollars. If the Tea Party was interested in saving money, why didn't they go after wasteful government spending like Bush's Iraq War? If they expect the library to have to rely on private funding, why isn't that good enough for right-wing pet projects? Imagine somebody making the following statements...

"Illegal wars aren't supposed to be coming from public funds. They're supposed to be coming from private. You know that, don't you?"

"Bank bailouts aren't supposed to be coming from public funds. They're supposed to be coming from private. You know that, don't you?"

"Salaries for do-nothing members of Congress aren't supposed to be coming from public funds. They're supposed to be coming from private. You know that, don't you?"

I also find it interesting that those who attack the Campbell County Public Library praise the county's broken school system. I've seen them doing this on Facebook. They assail the library for levying a tax that was approved by voters in 1978, but they think it's just fine that the Campbell County Schools were allowed to impose a tax on phone bills without bringing it to a vote. That's because the Campbell County Schools are their favorite public school system, since "they don't take crap off punks." This just drives home the point that the War on Libraries is ideological. I've even seen them advocating that control of the library be turned over to the school district. (I wonder if my expulsion would still be in effect if that happened.)

Later, I plan to post a couple photos from today's rally. There may be more events like this as long as the War on Libraries continues.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tim goes to a roadmeet

Most of this blog is about serious current affairs from my progressive populist perspective, but I have a hobby too. I call it Roads Scholaring - visiting roads just because they're roads. Roads are interesting. Every person, animal, and plant who has ever lived in the history of the universe agrees about that.

Over the weekend, there was a meet-up of Roads Scholars centered on Ashland, Kentucky, and I was looking fiveward to attending it. I almost didn't get to go because of a slight change of plans, but at the last minute, I was able to catch a Greyhound bus that left Cincinnati on Friday night. The only bus route to Ashland was via Columbus of all places, and the trip took all night. The trip wasn't particularly expensive considering the prolonged route, but I got a grand total of about 30 seconds of sleep that night.

At the Columbus bus station, a man passed out on the floor. A pile of powdered cocaine emerged from his pants.

The bus got to Ashland around 5:30 AM on Saturday. And it was below freezing. And I needed sleep. And the indoor Greyhound station was closed. One of the locals told us it didn't open until 8 AM each day. So folks who got off the bus were stuck out in the subfreezing weather. But this netted me 6 hours to freely roam around Ashland in an arthritis-tinged daze until the roadmeet got under way.

About 25 people from several states showed up for the event. We had an itinerary, and we carpooled for a humor-filled tour all over the Huntington, West Virginia, area. We peeped a supposedly haunted tunnel, some bridge construction, a covered bridge, and other items that were of at least some Scholaring interest.

Due to another change of plans, this roadmeet turned into an actual vacation. On Saturday night, a group of us tried visiting as many restaurants as possible. This was unfortunate because I already had an upset stomach caused by curvy roads and lack of sleep. I planned on going home that night, but it got to be so late that we ended up lodging in Grayson, Kentucky. That itself yielded an amusing story: Yesterday morning, when I was in the motel lobby getting ready to leave, an aging man went to the front desk and told the clerk, "I know where this place got their mattresses: J.D. Rockefeller." Get it? 'Cause they were as hard as a rock!

One of the other attendees of the Roads Scholar meet drove me home yesterday.

Since I know you're going to ask, I detected a series of SBD bunker blasts at the Cincinnati bus station on Friday night. I detected the uproarious bouquet of another silent-but-deadly while we were on the steps overlooking that old tunnel during the roadmeet. In addition - since I know you're going to ask about this too - a young woman bubbled at the Columbus bus terminal. But no celebrity look-alikes or helicopter hats were sighted on this trip.

All in all, the roadmeet was a memorable event indeed!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Hemp Is Oil"

Tim celebrates the legalization of industrial hemp in Kentucky...

Kentucky legalizes hemp

Here's a stunner from a state where you never thought a story like this could happen...

Kentucky legislators have passed - and the governor is letting become law - a bill that will legalize the growing of industrial hemp, provided the federal government ever lifts its restrictions. Kentucky joins only 8 other states in passing this bold measure.

It could be bolder, of course. I think Kentucky should just ignore federal restrictions and legalize hemp regardless. This bill also does not legalize marijuana in any ingestible form, so we still have a ways to go to banish the failed War on Drugs.

Hemp is oil, hemp is soil, hemp is loyal, hemp is you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tea Party bill would establish poll tax for college students

Now that it's clear that most normal Americans no longer vote for right-wing extremists, the only way the babbling cockheads of the fascist Tea Party can generally win elections is by cheating.

Tea Party-backed Republicans in North Carolina have introduced a bill designed to suppress the student vote. Under this bill, if a college student registers to vote at their college address, their parents would be required to pay extra taxes.

This is clearly unconstitutional. For starts, it's a poll tax. Plus, the Supreme Court already ruled back in 1979 that college students are allowed to register where they attend school.

Leaders of True the Vote - a Tea Party thug operation that intimidates voters at the polls and makes up stories of voter fraud - has praised the measure. There's actually a very real chance of this bill passing. After all, North Carolina Republicans also recently proposed a bill saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply in their state.

Heavens to Murg, they're crazy! The teagaggers filed a frivolous lawsuit to try to bankrupt the Campbell County Public Library (a story that's making national news), and now they want a poll tax? With younger voters moving left, that explains why this tax would apply only to college students' families.

What good is it for us to win in the court of public opinion, when the Tea Party malcontents - who remind me of a broken 78 spinning on a hi-fi - are still allowed to get their way?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Judicial activism destroys local library

You want to talk about legislating from the bench? Here's a big local story for ya...

Three nobodies from the Tea Party sued the Campbell County Public Library because of the library's past tax hikes. Although a 1979 law clearly states that the library is within its power to levy these taxes, Republican Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward ruled today that this wasn't so, and ordered the library to slash its taxes.

The case was a battering ram against the very concept of libraries and literacy. There is a demonic War on Libraries out there. It's been going at least since I worked at the Cold Spring branch back in the '90s. Our local libe isn't the only target. All public libraries are under attack. The Kenton County Public Library is the target of an almost identical lawsuit.

Because of today's ruling, the Campbell County Public Library loses a staggering 61% of its funding. It also sets a dangerous precedent that could stymie libraries throughout the state.

The Tea Party needs to just dry up and blow away already. Everybody hates them anyway.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tim checks up on Waldvogel Viaduct progress

On Friday, I pept, wept, and oggle-bept the progress being made on the Waldvogel Viaduct reconstruction. This outing yielded 9 Roads Scholaring photos and videos...

Also, today I went to the Reds' Opening Day parade in Cincinnati! I saw 3 people who were in such a festive mood that they bubbled. (See what I mean about this blog picking up the slack of my old Pitas blog?)

9th Circus makes woman pay legal fees of bank that falsely arrested her

The right-wing 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has seldom met a major corporation they didn't idolize.

Back in 2008, a woman - who happens to be a prosecutor in San Mateo County, California - went into a Bank of America branch in San Francisco to cash a check. The bank said it was a bad check - but it wasn't. They mistakenly thought the name on the check was that of a customer who had nothing to do with the woman.

The bank - which stupidly thought it was a bogus check - called the cops. Police arrested the woman, took her to the police station, shackled her, and cut her off from her diabetes medication.

She then sued the bank. But get this: U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg said the lawsuit was an attempt to stifle Bank of America's free speech - and ordered her to pay the bank's $50,000 legal bill.

I know it's April 1, but this is no April Fools' joke. Some right-wing judge not only thinks corporations have free speech rights, but that these rights were violated when somebody sued over a false arrest.

Now the 9th Circus has upheld this right-wing ruling.

Oh well. More judges for the impeachment block, I see.