Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another batch of weird dreams

The weird dreams have been stacking up like Tinkertoys, and I've yet to make any attempt to interpret the latest batch. So here's a list of the latest (but this list doesn't include the one where Stevie Nicks ran for President)...

• I had a dream that I visited a restaurant with a giant TV screen that was showing an old MTV clip from the '80s featuring VJ Carolyne Heldman. This restaurant's specialty was that each table had a remote control with a keypad that allowed customers to write insulting things on the TV screen about the person who appeared onscreen.

• Later I had a dream where I moved to Massachusetts and rode a bike to Maine to buy groceries. The path on the way back went through a building that had a big ditch, and I was required to remove my pants and throw them in the ditch to be allowed to continue.

• Just a few days ago I had a dream in which I lived back at my childhood home, and I was watching TV in the den with my family. For some reason, Oscar the Grouch was in the room with us (surrounded by his trash can). Somebody kept ripping silent-but-deadly bunker blasts, and whenever they did, Oscar scowled.

I think I've learned one lesson from these dreams: The ol' Osk doesn't like it when people fart.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Yet another celebrity look-alike???

Today at Kroger, I saw a George Michael look-alike walking across the parking lot.

A summer full of Scholaring!

I have 23 Roads Scholaring photos and videos from the Cincinnati area covering my boring exploits in June and July!

The June set is primarily Covington and features a cute little gopher to top it all off...

The July set focuses predominantly on downtown Cincinnati...

But only if poo.

Right-winger says paying people to work is "welfare" (a LOLapaloozer)

Damn, nothing brings out the zany in right-wing Internet trolls like the topic of raising the pay of fast food workers. Our first LOLapaloozer installment was about this very subject, and now that the fast food strikes are kicking up again, so is the right-wing vitriol against restaurant employees.

Today the RNC-bankrolled right-wing troll brigade has been bombarding Fast Food Forward's Facebook page. They're even insisting that paying people to work is the same as welfare. One indignant whiner said in part...

"Paying $15 an hour for fast food labor is another form of welfare. ... The bedrock of America consists of people who strive to better themselves. The burden of America are those who don't. Someone who prefers to put out the least amount of effort possible should not be rewarded just because he is 'a man'."

How is it "welfare" to pay people to work? Is anything other than slavery a form of "welfare"? How can someone "put out the least amount of effort possible" when they have one of the most grueling jobs around?

When I pointed out that the page was being invaded by right-wing foot soldiers, one replied...

"prices are set by the market tim not you ..."

What do you think "the market" consists of, genius? Isn't "the market" supposed to be guided by consumers?

Not for the first time, the right-wing brain trust just doesn't get it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another celebrity look-alike

Now I've been told that a Rod Stewart look-alike was seen at Kroger.

More reports of celebrity look-alikes

I hear a rumor that several hilarious celebrity look-alikes were sighted in public places lately.

I'm told that a Billy Joel look-alike and a Reese Witherspoon look-alike were spotted at a Meijer store recently. And a George Clooney look-alike and a Kay Bailey Hutchison look-alike were observed at a park.

Energy industry wants its own state

Oh, the stupid. It burns.

The oil and gas industries have begun a serious campaign to break off several sparsely populated counties in northeastern Colorado and form the 51st state. They plan to call it North Colorado.

This state would have far fewer people than any other, but county commissioners in corrupt Weld County support the proposal - as does the Tea Party as well as far-right congressman Cory Gardner. They complain that Republican areas like their own are underrepresented in state and federal legislative chambers.

Seriously, they said that. Even after gerrymandering netted the GOP another 2 years of controlling the House. Even after Gardner won his seat because the Republicans rigged the election.

Weld County commissioners even conducted a public meeting about North Colorado. They invited Tea Party followers to pack the room to voice their support for it - though many local farmers opposed the measure. The Tea Party is also pushing a plan that would remap the Colorado Senate so each county gets one and only one senator - which would be clearly unconstitutional thanks to the "one person, one vote" doctrine.

Of course, forming a new state from an existing state requires not only consent from Congress but also from the legislature of the state you're seceding from. Then again, the rest of Colorado might actually want North Colorado to split off, simply because Coloradoans are tired of their tax dollars going to the counties that would form North Colorado - which already receive much more tax money than they pay out.

In any event, North Colorado would be the first state founded by corporations.

Here's an idea: Just join Wyoming and shut the fuck up.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Fi Sauce"

Tim shares another one of his delish recipes...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hockey arena approved for "broke" Detroit

This story proves it's time for Detroit's Republican-appointed emergency mangler to pipe down about how the city can't pay workers' pensions.

As Michigan's GOP administration tries filing bankruptcy for Detroit so it doesn't have to pay workers, the same administration has now approved the city spending almost $300,000,000 in tax money on a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings.

The Republicans can't pay workers, but they can buy a hockey team a new arena?


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cincinnati Tea Party posts racist, antigay propaganda

The Cincinnati Tea Party - which has hardly any members in Cincinnati but is pushing a referendum to rob the pensions of Cincinnati city workers - needs to flush itself down the nearest johnnypot.

I've been calling them out on their Facebook page the past couple days because of their fascism, and they just keep digging themselves in deeper. Today they posted a link to a white supremacist propaganda piece that dealt with HUD housing programs. Later they posted a tirade equating gays with pedophiles.

This is the organization behind the pension referendumb. A vote for this measure is a vote for bigotry.

Bank burglarizes home, steals everything

Imagine if you can what the reaction would be if someone tried using the castle doctrine against home invaders like this.

In McArthur, Ohio, a woman found her house burglarized by First National Bank of Wellston. The bank stole all her possessions. The bank was trying to foreclose on a house across the street but hit her house by mistake.

The stolen belongings were then sold, given away, or thrown out by the bank. The bank refuses to reimburse her for this theft.

Because the town of McArthur is corrupt, the police refused to bust the bank.

This is another reason we need to ban foreclosures. Every foreclosure has a risk of trampling the rights of folks who have nothing to do with the house being foreclosed upon - a risk that far outweighs any benefits to the community. Let the banks whistle.


GOP bill would end home mail delivery

After a public outcry (by Occupy and others) killed the Postal Service's proposal to end Saturday mail service, some in Congress still don't get it.

A new bill by fascist Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) - the car thief and serial liar who played up the bogus Obama "scandals" in May - would not only end Saturday service but also end home mail delivery altogether. The bill would require people to pick up their mail at a communal mailbox at the edge of their neighborhood.

Critics say this would be bad for the elderly and disabled who won't be able to easily get to the mailbox. Of course, congressional Republicans don't give a shit.

Then again, I haven't had home pickup of mail since 1993, because of GOP mismanagement.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Impeachment group doesn't know what they're doing, risks humiliation

The Evil Empire is about to step in it, and they better damn well hope I either come down with the plague or come up with some plans for August 6 besides watching them.

A right-wing website is leading a nationwide campaign to post banners on highway overpasses demanding President Obama's impeachment. This is laughable on its face, considering Obama just got handily reelected - and the trifecta of manufactured "scandals" in May or even the PRISM disappointment didn't dent his approval ratings one iota. They say impeachment is justified because Obama made recess appointments, passed health care reform, issued a moratorium on offshore oil drilling, failed to approve the entire Keystone XL pipeline, and other reasons. The website also accuses Obama of advocating the overthrow of the federal government. (They're saying he wants to overthrow himself?)

It woulda been smart if these sore losers had coordinated with the rest of the right-wing brain trust, because then they'd know to stay the hell out of my part of town. In 2009, the Tea Party canceled a rally in Wilder because they knew I'd crash it. If the overpass clods had coordinated with the the Tea Party first, they'd know better than to stomp into town and make plans without asking.

They're planning to appear on the Kyles Lane bridge over I-75 in Fort Wright, but the appearance I'm interested in is the one on the Highland Avenue overpass above I-471 in Fort Thomas. Their Facebook pages are mostly just a few people from out of town talking about how they're going to send some folks our way to participate.

I so fucking dare them. I might find something more important to do that day than watch them, like build a model airport out of Paul Carrack cassettes, see what happens when I put bubble gum in the microwave, or work (unlike them). But if I don't, and I stumble upon their Fort Thomas event, there will be trouble.

Tea Party wants to rob Cincinnati workers of pensions

The Tea Party needs to learn to butt out where it's not welcome.

If you think it's bad that the Tea Party sticks its nose into people's business too much in, say, Kenton County, think how arrogant it is for the Tea Party to go poking around in Cincinnati itself, where nobody supports them.

The Tea Party is trying to get a referendumb on the ballot this year that would rob Cincinnati municipal workers of their hard-earned pension money and replace it with a privatized plan. It also slashes cost-of-living increases for those who already get a pension. In other words, it's yet another instance of Tea Party theft.

The Tea Party says their plan will cost the city less. They lie. Actually it would cost the city more - since the city shored up its pension plans 2 years ago.

We are at war. War against evil. War against kleptocracy. War against right-wing criminals with a sense of entitlement - that's the Tea Party.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Judge smacks down Detroit bankruptcy, but appeal looms

After Detroit's unelected emergency manager tried to file bankruptcy so the city wouldn't have to pay workers, a judge now says not so fast.

During a hearing about the planned bankruptcy, Judge Rosemary Aquilina issued an order to halt the manager from illegally stealing workers' pensions. Aquilina noted the Michigan Constitution's protections against pension theft, and she added that the bankruptcy is "cheating good people who work."

Hahaha, the judge has got 'em on that one!

But the state plans to waste taxpayer money by appealing the judge's ruling.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "HMO Hires Charlie Brown's Teacher"

In Kentucky, greedy HMO's have a monopoly on health care, and Tim describes the red tape that ensues when you try to change your doctor back to what it was before your HMO changed it without even asking. But Tim fought the HMO and Tim won...

Incidentally, I might have survived if I'd accepted my HMO's decision to change my doctor without asking. But that's not the point. The point is that they did it without asking me first. I'm 40 years old and I'm old enough to choose whether to keep my old doctor without a faceless HMO making my choices for me. The 2013 Tim doesn't tolerate bullshit like this.

Kentucky ag commish wastes taxpayer money on trip

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer is the only Republican to win a statewide office in 2011 - and he's living down to expectations. Which of course is why The Media is pushing him to run for governor. After all, aren't the Republicans morally entitled to win every election they set their sights on?

Recently, Work-for-Less Jamie was sent on a state-funded trip to Washington, D.C. That itself wasn't wasteful, since he had state business. But he ran up a huge bill for lodging and meals and stuck the taxpayers with the excess. The hilarious thing is, nobody would have even noticed if the Republican blogosphere hadn't defended Comer for it even before it became a story.

On the night before flying to D.C., Comer lodged at a fancy Crowne Plaza in Louisville. If he had to stay overnight that night at all - which is doubtful - couldn't he have used a Super 8? And in D.C., he spent over $200 a night on lodging.

Instead of eating inexpensive meals, Work-for-Less Jamie devoured a costly steak dinner on at least one occasion.

Comer might have had cause to spend a little more if he had boogly-wooglums dripping out his nose and had to seek medical care. But there's no evidence that was the case.

Something tells me we're gonna have fun with this Tea Party idiot in '15.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life expectancy lower in "right-to-work" states

I usually don't use CBS as a source for this blog anymore, but in the rare moments when they're not attacking Occupy, CBS can actually be marginally useful.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that folks in states with union-busting "right-to-work" laws have a significantly shorter life expectancy than in free-bargaining states.

Gee, color me shocked.

This isn't even the first study that showed this correlation. In May, a report by the United Health Foundation showed the same thing.


Right-wingers bankrupt Detroit so they can steal pensions

First, fascist Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan placed control of the city of Detroit under an unelected emergency manager - stripping the mayor and other elected officials of all their powers.

Then - after the emergency manager law was repealed in a referendum - the scuzzos in the state legislature passed the emergency manager law anew.

Now the state-appointed emergency manager is filing for bankruptcy - making Detroit the largest American city ever to go bankrupt. Detroit never had to file for bankruptcy until the incompetent idiots in the Snyder administration mismanaged it. But the more important point is that now the city may be absolved of having to pay the pensions of municipal workers.

The unelected manager declared bankruptcy so the city wouldn't have to pay workers what the city owes? That's commonly known as theft. Indeed, the Michigan Constitution unambiguously protects public pensions - but Snyder's band of clowns just ignores it.

Kleptocracy is how the Michigan GOP - like the Republicans in every state - governs.

I'm 40, I can do what I want!

I'm 40, I can do what I want! I'm 40, I can do what I want! I'm 40, I can do what I want! I'm 40, I can do what I want! I'm 40, I can do what I want! I'm 40, I can do what I want! And yooouuuuuuuuuu can't!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mitch Daniels tried to censor college courses

Remember Mitch Daniels? He's the lying, frothing galoot who served as right-wing Governor of Indiana and now heads Purdue University.

Even the Associated Press has had their fill of Daniels's extremism, and a new AP story reveals that Daniels tried censoring college courses when he was governor. Daniels aimed his most severe suppression at the writings of historian Howard Zinn. Referring to Zinn's excellent A People's History Of The United States, Daniels asked, "Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?" Daniels also gloated about Zinn's death. The governor wrote in a memo, "This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away."

When Daniels discovered that Zinn's work was being used at Indiana University, Daniels wrote, "This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state. ... Which board has jurisdiction over what counts and what doesn't?"

Simply put, Daniels tried to censor what was being taught in universities and replace it with his own propaganda.

It's a shame this didn't come out before Daniels was hired to lead Purdue. On the other hand, maybe we're lucky it didn't, because he might have had other plans if he'd been kept out of that post. Chillingly, Daniels was often touted as a possible candidate for President of the good ol' U.S. and A. This story would have actually helped him among the right-wing zillionaires and meth-heads who make up the Republican base these days.

Daniels also demanded cutting the funding of an education program because it was headed by someone who had criticized his education policies.

Sounds like Mitch Daniels would fit in mighty well at NKU, considering that school's dedication to advancing right-wing ideology and suppressing those who disagree.


Kentucky cracks down on quack therapist

Never write off Kentucky. After all, the Bluegrass State is the first to crack down on John Rosemond's right-wing quackery.

Rosemond is a North Carolina-based parenting columnist and radio host known for dispensing bad advice. One of his favorite causes is the misnamed Parental Rights Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment designed to gut state laws and other policies against child abuse.

The thing about all this is that John Rosemond is a psychological associate - not a licensed psychologist. But his column regularly identifies him as a family psychologist. This is a no-no in Kentucky, which has a law prohibiting calling yourself a psychologist without a license. As a result, therapists have complained to the state psychology board about Rosemond, and Kentucky officials have sent a cease-and-desist letter ordering Rosemond to stop claiming credentials he doesn't have.

Now Rosemond is filing a federal lawsuit against Kentucky accusing the state of trying to "censor" his column.

Tough luck, John. If you want to call yourself a psychologist in Kentucky, then get a damn license.

I only wish Kentucky was as aggressive the rest of the time at busting frauds like Rosemond. It's a shame social service agencies keep using the services of utter charlatans, but old habits die hard. The real problem is that Kentucky usually licenses quacks!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rain ruins Kentucky farmer's crops

So what do the climate change deniers have to say about this?

Also, I hope it's many years before I hear anyone say we're in a drought, after the rain we've gotten so far this month. Fourth of July was a total washout as usual.

The debate is over. Climate change is real, and is caused by human activity.

Will Kentucky vote for the party of climate change denial after this phenomenon has destroyed local farmers' livelihoods?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Once again, crime pays

So another killer walks free.

But let the streets have him. Hopefully he won't last long.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Court rejects '96 website shield law!

To be frank, I didn't pay hardly any attention to the Sarah Jones defamation lawsuit until today, when I read about the verdict. And the court very plainly got at least one part right.

The job-killing Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Adolf's Law) includes a NAMBLA-backed provision that shields websites and Internet providers from being held liable for defamation and other acts committed by users - even when the sites know that these acts are taking place. The weaklings who run the states haven't done shit to remedy this congressional tyranny, so there's no state laws to restore the protections that the public once enjoyed. I can understand shielding a website if they didn't actually know that users were defaming someone - but this law goes further by shielding sites that know about users' defamation.

I was the victim of online defamation after this law passed, and when I dared to complain to ISP's about it, they often replied by boasting about how this law shielded them. Case dismissed - as they stick out their tongues. We were out of luck for years, because right-wing activist judges kept upholding this law.

But now the Evil Empire's luck has run out.

In the Jones case, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman issued a precedent-setting ruling that says this part of the '96 telcom law doesn't shield websites in cases like this.

Yep. That's what I've been saying for 17 years. The right-wing media wouldn't zip its lip and listen.

Naturally, following the Jones verdict, the right-wing Cincinnati Enquirer has been trotting out its "legal experts" to disagree with the court's ruling. Tough toilets, Enquirer.

The attorney for the website that Sarah Jones sued groaned, "Bloggers everywhere hate that kind of thing." Hahaha. No. That statement ranks right up there with the bogus claim that blue-collar guys supported Bush. The ruling doesn't stifle free speech one iota.

Now that a legal precedent has been set, there may be grounds for impeachment of any judges in the future who uphold the part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that protects websites from lawsuits resulting from their spoiled babies' misconduct.

As an extra precaution, the states need to pass laws allowing people to sue websites that knowingly tolerate defamation. This is hardly radical, as it merely restores the sensible laws that were in force until only 17 years ago.

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Bob Newhart Goes Krogering"

Tim talks about hilarious celebrity look-alikes - including the Bob Newhart look-alike sighted today at Kroger...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Anti-abortion speaker threatens to call cops on those who disagree with him

Damn, I wish I had the Eyewitness Cam rolling when this was going on!

Today, Fountain Square was invaded by Created Equal, a cult-like Columbus-based anti-abortion organization. They set up large signs and a huge video screen featuring graphic photos about abortion.

You can respect anti-abortion folks, as long as they try to use sound arguments and don't foist nonsense like the above onto unsuspecting bystanders. You might not agree with them 100% of the time, but at least you can respect them. But the scoundrels from Created Equal are a different story altogether.

In addition to flooding Fountain Square with nauseating pictures while many families and workers were eating lunch on the square, Created Equal also displayed their intolerance of any dissenting views. A headline in CityBeat said, "Anti-Abortion Group to Show Graphic Video on Fountain Square: Created Equal cites First Amendment rights for protest." But the group showed no regard for others' First Amendment rights. A man from Created Equal gave a speech on the east side of Fountain Square. During the speech, gobs of folks peppered him with powerful questions. But he didn't always answer them. Instead, he boasted about how he could call the police and have the questioners removed from Fountain Square.

I don't think so, mister. It's a public space. End of story.

That's not to say 3CDC - which manages the square - hasn't tried to muzzle dissent. During the illegal Iraq War, 3CDC forced antiwar protesters to buy a prohibitively expensive insurance policy. 3CDC later forced Occupy Cincinnati off the square. But the Tea Party and Created Equal have faced no restrictions whatsoever. Fact is, 3CDC is as intolerant of free speech as Created Equal is.

One of the arguments put forth by Created Equal is that abortion is a form of ageism. Yet the speaker spoke about his own parental rights as if they were absolute. Judging by his behavior today, he doesn't sound like someone who should be trusted in a position of authority.

What would have happened if Created Equal had called the police? If cops had arrested or expelled the questioners, wouldn't that be a First Amendment lawsuit against the police right there?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brossart defender starts flamewar

I've always been flabbergasted how people expect me to heap praise upon Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria, Kentucky - after the way the school treated me when I attended school there. It's almost as mind-numbing as the actual cover-up of the events in question.

And you're never, ever supposed to criticize the school. Why? Because shut up, that's why.

A few days ago, someone posted an old photo of a school building in a local interest Facebook group asking if people could identify it. As "luck" would have it, the building was part of Brossart. The structure is gone now, because the school replaces buildings faster than major league sports teams replace stadiums - and most of the new classrooms end up sitting empty because of sluggish enrollment.

A Brossart grad responded to the photo. He said of the building, "I think it was demolished sometime in the late 80's."

I replied, "It's too bad the rest of Brossart wasn't demolished along with it."

Whoa, man! He didn't like that! He responded, "Go back under your bridge troll." Sorry, but I don't happen to have a bridge troll.

I replied, "Make me."

And the rest as they say is history.

You know, the Brossart thought police would be a lot more interesting if they had better material, if they had any material that was less than 25 years old, or if most of their right-wing codswallop like the above wasn't soaked in classism. This is what Brossart teaches. This isn't the first time I've noticed their classist bullying even on Facebook.

Another Brossart graduate observed, "I'm sure Tim Brown is jesting with all of us since this site promotes fond memories for Campbell Countians, right Tim?" If it promotes fond memories, why are we talking about Brossart?

Truth is, the school's actions that I witnessed as a student can't be defended. Utterly, completely indefensible.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

America's new lowest-numbered Interstate

There's an Interstate 2 now???

Indeedity-bumbledip, my friends, I-2 is now officially designated along the US 83 freeway from Mission to Harlingen, Texas.

Nice to know they keep building new freeways even though fewer and fewer people can use 'em.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Taking The Ru Back Out Of Rubik's Cube"

Tim fixes his Rubik's Cube that was widely written off as irreparably ru...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Police harass young man until he commits suicide

Heads need to roll over this - and pronto.

Andrew Cain, 19, was a young man from Pullman, Washington. Recently, he fell on the radar of authorities in Latah County, Idaho, because he failed to appear in court over a minor drug charge.

A Latah County sheriff's deputy assigned to the case posted a photo of Cain on the Facebook page of the sheriff's office calling him "Wanted Person of the Month." The deputy then began harassing Cain with private Facebook messages and spreading false rumors about Cain all over the Internet.

These rumors accused Cain of crimes he didn't commit. Following these false allegations, other local residents also began harassing Cain.

As a result of this harassment, Cain took his own life.

The deputy needs to be charged with murder. In my day, we had a free country, and murder would have been the charge without hesitation. Why should an out-of-control drug warrior get to drive a person to his death and walk free?


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Last Word is back! (Circus Vargas, Circus Vargas!)

I have a new job.

Celebrate the Fourth on the 3rd with a fifth by poppin' open a keg or three and relaxing with The Last Word! The Last Word has returned after a year-long hiatus. The Last Word was once a free publication, but I have to eat just like you earthlings do, so now I've brung it back and am selling it for a cost of 99 cents. (Cheap!) It's 99 cents for the 99%!

What is The Last Word? That's a question any child may ask you, but it is not a childish question. The new incarnation of The Last Word is a hybrid of a left-wing bulletin, a hilarious comic book, and a collection of personal stories. You'll read it and peep!

The latest edition talks about sorting through old broken toys, Indiana's busted school system, some uproarious poo-poo stories, and more! You can download it here...

And remember, The Last Word is a supporter of the Occupy movement.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cities reinvent New America

Remember New America?

New America was my breakaway republic of old. Ignored by the right-wing media, New America was a serious ongoing response to attacks on our constitutional liberties, the cavalcade of fail that was the 104th Congress, and not being counted in the 2000 census.

These days, I wouldn't even get to the New America stage, because anyone who lays a hand on me now finds themselves spitting teeth. At some point, I had a Kenny Rogers moment and started letting the Evil Empire have it for real. If someone starts shit with me, I fight back. Fair is fair.

New America's spirit lives on in America's cities and a few rural communities. And they're having success with it.

While the Far Right runs on a platform of "states' rights", the primary purpose of this today seems to be the "right" of states to run roughshod over the cities and small communities. So some cities, towns, and counties are passing their own laws to push back against the states' limitless tyranny. It's called the community rights movement. Many of the cities' new laws are against chemical trespass and other acts by corporations that spoil the environment.

Pennsylvania is the site of an unusual number of these efforts. Pittsburgh, for instance, fought back by outlawing fracking within city limits. But other places are fighting back too - from New Hampshire to New Mexico.

Why wait for the state or federal government to pass new laws that protect you, when you know they're not going to do it any time in the foreseeable future?

But the cities need to fight harder. I'd love to see cities nullify state "right-to-work" laws and create a safe harbor for workers' rights to freely bargain. The states don't get to decide what we in the cities do.

And has there been any real test yet of the cities' self-rule powers? If a state tries enforcing its will on the cities, I hope I don't see the cities folding like a cheap pair of underpants. The cities must marshal their police forces and the citizenry to arrest and jail invaders who try shoving the state's will down their throats.

The community rights movement is long overdue, and you can read more about it here...

Ohio budget disaster

The Ohio legislature has become a bandstand of ALEC-inspired extremism. And far-right Gov. John Kasich digs it all.

Kasich has just signed Ohio's new budget into law, and it's rife with social and economic engineering that only the Tea Party could love. For starts, this budget - written by "low tax" Republicans - increases the sales tax to 5.75%. In Ohio, the governor has the power to issue a line-item veto to strike down budget items - but Kasich opted not to do so for this and most other items in the budget.

Much has been made of the budget's abortion restrictions - but the budget also requires a forced ultrasound for some forms of contraception. Not just abortion. I'm talking about contraception - something completely different. It even redefines pregnancy to effectively outlaw intrauterine devices.

The budget also rewards low-performing charter schools - but provides nothing for charters that perform well.

Ohioans will be pleased to know they're paying a higher sales tax to help bail out failing charter schools. Then again, that's not a completely new concept in the Buckeye State, because Ohio has long been one of the most spendthrift states regarding the funding of failing private schools.

Time for the cities to stand up and nullify these toxic budget items.