Sunday, September 29, 2013

Newport ranks last after adopting uniforms

Kentucky has about 175 school districts, and the state has just released its report card ranking them by overall performance.

Guess which school system has dropped to dead last after it began requiring middle and high school students to wear uniforms? That's right, peoplefaces. Newport is now officially ranked as the worst school system in the state.

Kind of reams a giant Bazooka hole through the babblings of the right-wing thought police who thought uniforms were a cure-all, huh?

It's unclear whether Newport has dropped the uniform requirement this year. So many folks pulled their kids out of the Newport schools over uniforms (after all, uniforms are less popular in the cities than elsewhere) that there's barely enough left who'll notice.

How Greece deals with its Republicans

America has the Republicans. Greece has Golden Dawn.

Both parties sport the same right-wing ideology. Both have engaged in criminal violence. During one episode, Golden Dawn used Tea Party-style tactics to disrupt a conference that promoted a bilingual dictionary. But Golden Dawn has only 18 of the 300 seats in Greece's Parliament - not enough to shut down the government.

Yesterday, 5 high-ranking Golden Dawn members were charged with membership in a criminal organization with intent to commit crimes - as part of an investigation into a fatal stabbing widely blamed on a Golden Dawn supporter. Other party members had also been arrested and will face trial soon.

Greece deals with Golden Dawn not as a political group but as the criminal racket that it is. As in the U.S., Greece can't ban a political party just because of its views. So Greek authorities have focused on Golden Dawn's criminal behavior - not its beliefs.

You don't think there's enough cause to go after the Republicans on similar grounds? Then what about all that violence against Occupy that I've documented? What about all those Tea Party rallies that turn violent? True, the GOP hasn't always been this bad. They started out as a noble party. Today, however, they're a white supremacist criminal gang.

I'm not talking about small bands of Republican operatives like those responsible for earlier crimes. Lately, the criminal element has guided the whole party. The latest developments in the Tom DeLay case prove it even more.

On the other hand, the Republicans have done such a fine job of self-destructing during the ongoing government shutdown controversy that we can't count on the party lasting much longer anyway. Some say the GOP's permanent collapse is inevitable in the near future. We should be so lucky.

Still, America should take a cue from Greece on how to respond to criminal political parties.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Walgreen's?

Last week when I was on vacation in Colorado, I had another interesting dream.

I dreamed I was at a drugstore in Newport with another Occupy Cincinnati regular, along with Diff'rent Strokes actor Gary Coleman. The 3 of us were inspecting the refrigerated foods and we noticed that all the milk was past its expiration date.

As we were inspecting, the cashier threw us out of the store.

What does this dream mean? Unlike the dreams where I fled Brossart and secretly enrolled at CCHS, the meaning of the drugstore dream is unclear. Quite like the hilarious Manfred Mann dream.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Down Underpants"

Tim regales you with yet another of his amazing recipes...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kids suspended for using toy gun at home

The right-wing extremism of "zero tolerance" continues unchecked!

In Virginia Beach, a 7th-grader was seen harmlessly playing with a toy gun (that uses plastic pellets) in his own yard with a friend. Upon learning of this, the youngsters' school suspended both of the boys - even though the "misbehavior" took place at home.

At a hearing today, school officials decided to suspend both students for the rest of the school year - even though it's only September! Their school also charged them with "possession, use, and handling of a firearm" (but police have refused to charge them).

"Zero tolerance" Nazis claim their policies are designed in part to avert lawsuits. They lie. The original purpose of "zero tolerance" was to create excuses to punish victims of school harassment because the assailants had too much clout. There actually have been some lawsuits over "zero tolerance." Maybe this garbage will stop when the lawsuits step up - or when we elect political leaders who have the guts to break the backs of the "zero tolerance" otyughs.


Yes! California lets kids delete old 'Net posts!

After I discovered Google was Making Money off ancient Internet posts that were made either by me or someone illegally impersonating me with an anonymous remailer, I began demanding a law allowing people to delete their old messages.

I knew our few decent legislators were bogged down by other issues, and our many shitty legislators didn't give a damn anyway, but I pressed on. Now these efforts have paid off in California.

The Golden State has a new law that says anyone under the age of 18 can require Internet companies to remove their online postings - simply by requesting that they do so.

California is widely a considered a trendsetter for other states - and since Poopypants Pete Wilson left office, that's usually a good thing. Other states need to follow suit.

Hopefully they'll expand the law so it protects not just kids but adults too. We own our data. Corporations like Google do not. Internet giants don't get to hide behind 30 pages of disclaimers to make folks surrender the rights to their own data. 'Tis tragic that 'Net firms kowtow to the entertainment industry on anything that has to do with copyright (like letting Disney remove any mention of Bert because Disney owns other Muppets), but they won't let individuals exercise control over what they produced themselves.

Monday, September 23, 2013

City may give bailout to Brossart

Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria, Kentucky, is perhaps the biggest, most bullshit-laden scam I've ever encountered - and the school's treacherous ways continue a quarter-century after I was forced to deal with it.

Now the city of Alexandria may give a bailout to this small Catholic high school so it can expand yet again. At its October 3 meeting, City Council will vote whether to issue $3,000,000 in bonds to pay for the school's palace-like expansion.

What are they smoking? After the way Brossart treated me, how can the school have the unchecked audacity to ask the taxpayers to pay for its excess? How can any public officials even consider giving in? Brossart picked a fight decades ago for no reason at all, and government officials are too addicted to mollycoddling Brossart's corruption to stop doing whatever the school tells them to do.

What makes anyone think the city can afford to spend like a stoned gnome to finance corrupt, Red-baiting private schools like Brossart, when there's not even enough money for public schools?

Moreover, Section 189 of the Kentucky Constitution specifically prohibits tax money from being used for religious schools. It reads, "No portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school." Of course, the U.S. Constitution prohibits it too. (Then again, the county violates this protection by funding private school transport.)

I've had enough experience with Brossart to know that the school needs to be shut down - not bailed out.

Coloradoin' is Coloradobelievin'

I was on vacation at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado last week, and now I've returned to find society in the same shambles it was in before I left. Well, maybe slightly better, since it looks like the Republican Party's approval numbers have declined even further, but other than that, it's the same old place.

While I was at the park, I detected several LAP bunker blasts emanating from other vacationers. On the way home, I even stumbled upon an SBD loominsky at a restaurant. Also, I noticed that somebody plopped a water bottle at a Phillips 66 station.

Hilarious celebrity look-alikes included Robert Byrd, Don Meredith, Avril Lavigne, Denver Pyle, Dustin Hoffman, Barry Goldwater, and Leslie Nielsen.

I plan to report on this trip in uproarious detail in the next Last Word (at a cost of your entire life savings of 99 cents), but I don't know if I'll be able to do an October ish at all, because now I'm violently, seriously ill due to the filthy conditions at a hotel late in the trip. (This inn had shit smeared on the wall.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tea Party thugs assault videographer

Now you know why I'm pro-Second Amendment...

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Another Bunker Blast Review"

Tim critiques the stench of flatulence he detected on a recent road trip...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SPLC fights school uniforms...and wins

Here's a story from a few months ago that I just now learned about.

I didn't think fighting against school uniforms was a high priority of the Southern Poverty Law Center, but the SPLC has now proven to be one of the most effective voices against these sumptuary laws.

The story unfolded in Mobile County, Alabama, where school officials had developed a tragic habit of illegally suspending students for failing to wear a uniform. The SPLC represented 7 plaintiffs who sued the Mobile County Public School System after being suspended over this or other offenses. Some of the suspensions caused students to miss so much school that they couldn't graduate. It wasn't only uniforms: One student was kicked out of school for the rest of the year for arriving late to lunch. In June - in a dramatic conclusion to the case - the school district agreed to stop suspending students over uniforms and similar infractions.

In short, the Mobile County schools can never again suspend a pupil for not wearing a uniform.

The right-wing media must have had a ragesad when they heard the news.


Astroturf group wants to tax orange juice

Why are we seeing so many simultaneous efforts to tax beverages while exempting poisonous additives like Nutra-Sweet? How much is FreedomWorks funneling to these campaigns? It's too big of a coincidence that these efforts are all cropping up right around the same time and are generally worded the same.

In Telluride, Colorado, a mysterious organization has gotten a referendum on the ballot that would place a special excise tax on not only sugar-sweetened soda but also orange juice and iced tea. Naturally, it would exempt diet soft drinks - even though diet beverages contain cancer-causing chemicals like aspartame.

We're almost at the point where we need to just start dumping diet soda when we see it at the store. Might as well have some laughs while we're fighting this toxin.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time to charge NRA under RICO

You heard it first from a man who supports the Bill of Rights - including the Second Amendment - in its entirety: It's time to charge the National Rifle Association under the RICO law.

The NRA has become a racket. That's not just hyperbole. Lately their actions have fit the legal definition of racketeering.

They're a fraud. Let me explain how: The NRA intimidates public officials into supporting them. At the same time, the politicians the NRA supports rarely deliver anything that benefits responsible gun owners. For example, Bush (who the NRA endorsed) grabbed guns from Hurricane Katrina victims and Iraq War vets.

All we need is to find a smart, brave prosecutor with the guts to pursue RICO charges against this corrupt partisan group. Officials in some regions can get away with criticizing the NRA, but this is something where we need action, not just talk.

NRA must go

I'm a staunch Second Amendment supporter, but the National Rifle Association has proven once again that they have to go.

We were raised with the idea that our political system works. We're supposed to have checks and balances. Now we know it's a lie.

Why was the NRA able to spend unlimited money on a successful recall election against 2 Colorado legislators? The lawmakers had done exactly what they told voters they were going to do in the regular election campaign. If the NRA doesn't like it, tough toilets. The NRA no longer cares about the rights of the average gun owner. They care more about heightening the gun industry's profits and expanding the swollen police state. After the Newtown massacre, for instance, they demanded armed guards in our schools - instead of coming up with a sensible solution.

You might not get worked up over a recall election for state legislature with 0.000001% turnout, but limitless out-of-state money flooding an election like this is simply unacceptable, and everyone is scratching their heads after seeing the results. (Some folks have raised the possibility of election fraud by the Republicans, but GOP election fraud isn't anything new.)

On Saturday, I went to Occupy Cincinnati's rallies against the bombing of Syria. Afterward we had a meeting at Piatt Park where each of us got to speak briefly about why we got involved in Occupy. During the meeting, a serious question occurred to me that relates to our political system in general and not just the Syrian crisis: What in the hell is going on here?

In the meantime, I think it's time for a progressive version of the NRA.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

102 new Scholarin' pics!

Time to put on your Scholaring ears again, as I've posted 102 new road photos and videos from last month's trip to Milwaukee (where I saw the Eddie Money look-alike)...

Peep my pictures now before they peep you!

How to get Vince Gill to use the f-word

Some celebrities can be expected to utter the word fuck fluently. It's second nature to them. But Vince Gill??? The clean-cut singer and musician Vince Gill, husband of Amy Grant and alleged Republican????? Gasp! What is this world coming to?!

It happened Sunday outside a concert in Kansas City. Gill's show was being picketed by Fred Phelps's far-right Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Congregants claimed the singer is an adulterer because he is divorced and remarried.

A bespectacled Gill confronted the Westbozo adherents. He declared, "Don't you know that you fuckers are lucky that you don't have a sign that says something about my wife?" He also called one of the picketers "a big dipshit."

Best all, a video of this confrontation has cropped up on YouTube...

With all the turbulence of the Occupy era, it's easy to forget that I too encountered the Westboroists once. It was last year during Occupy the Super Bowl in Indianapolis - when I saw Phelps's cultists carrying signs attacking Occupy. (You know the Occupy coalition is big when it was deemed more of a target than the Super Bowl was.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Indiana "right-to-work" law ruled unconstitutional!

As of today, America has one more free-bargaining state than it did yesterday.

Last year - under fascist Gov. Mitch Daniels, who acted at the urging of the Tea Party - Indiana enacted a union-busting "right-to-work" law that required unionized workers to subsidize nonunion labor. The Hoosier State joined a swath of states - largely in the South and West - where "right-to-work" laws had already suppressed wages and kept workplace safety standards low.

But today - in a victory for workers - a state judge threw out Indiana's work-for-less law. He citied a provision in the Indiana Constitution that prohibits receiving services without compensation.

But don't uncork the libations just yet. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller plans to appeal the ruling - because he has lots of taxpayer money to burn on cases like this. He has to use Daniels's sales tax increase on something, I guess.


Katie Stine won't run again

Campbell County's long national nightmare is over...

Never saw that coming, did you?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lawn Chair Quarterback: "Mark Goodman Is Cool"

Tim talks about MTV's original countdown host...

Have no fear, our September ish is here!

The latest edition of the revived Last Word is now pub, and you can download it for only 99 cents! (Cheap!)

It's the Back-to-School issue, folks, and this ish talks about such nifty topics as...

• A hilarious trip to Milwaukee.

• Why I didn't go to the Occupy National Gathering.

• Minnesota fights school calendar changes.

• The Federal Porn Allotment.

• When people drank beer at school.

• Bad hotel reviews.

• More funny YouTube clips.

• PayPal woes.

• The latest in my war against ad servers that cheated me out of my revenues.

And remember, if I can ever find an ad server that I believe is honest, I'll be able to offer The Last Word for free again. Hope springs eternal.

For the latest edition of The Last Word, point your pooper here...

Best all, The Last Word is a supporter of the Occupy movement.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Virginia school won't pay for students' transport

Weems Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia, has apparently never heard of the concept that public schools are supposed to be open to all.

Recently - amid much oohing and aahing by The Media - the school introduced mandatory uniforms. Their rulebook says repeated violations of the uniform policy will result in "reassignment" to a Manassas public school that doesn't have uniforms. That sounds like just a euphemism for "expulsion", but they don't want to use the dreaded e-word because it makes the school sound too much like the bloated police state that it is.

If someone doesn't want to wear a uniform in a public school, why would they object if they were sent a different school instead? I'd be thrilled to pieces. Except for one little thing: The school system refuses to pay for transportation.

Isn't there a law that says schools have to cover transportation if you live more than a certain distance from school? In my day, that was the rule. I can't imagine Virginia or any other state in 2013 doesn't require public schools to provide transport. I do know Virginia has a law that lets public schools provide transport for students at private schools, even when the school can pay for it themselves, so why wouldn't public school students be covered too?

If a public school insists on requiring uniforms, they better damn well be prepared to pay for kids who believe in freedom to attend another school.

GOP can't make up their minds on Syria

After President Obama announced plans for a "limited" military strike on Syria, the Republicans are in a bind. They can't decide what they like more: Do they like war, or do they like dictatorships such as that in Syria?

They've proven they like both, but this time you can't have both. One faction of the GOP establishment says Obama isn't going far enough. They want a full-fledged ground war. Because libertea, don't ya know. But the other faction of Republicans says Obama should just leave Syria alone - not because they don't like war or imperialism, but because they think Bashar al-Assad is just a swell guy. Rand Paul even praised him outright. Because libertea, don't ya know.

The Republicans can't evolve, because they've already fossilized.

Antiwar progressives are on the right page. The Republican thought guardians, on the other hand, can't even make up their minds.

Never trust a party that acts like the Benghazi talking point hasn't been discredited.

Tea Party loses Obamacare suits in Kentucky, but appeal looms

There is hope. And in the immortal words of Big Bird, where there's hope, there's birdseed.

The Tea Party's action against Kentucky participating in Obamacare isn't just one legal case. It's a pair of frivolous lawsuits. One suit challenged the Beshear administration's expansion of Medicaid. The other fought the state's creation of its new health care exchange. (Some sources say Kentucky is the first state to establish an exchange.)

It was clear the suits had no merit. In fact, Kentucky should have been sued if it didn't expand Medicaid. Kentucky has a state law from the days when Medicaid was first created that requires the state to accept expansion of programs like Medicaid. This law is thoroughly unambiguous. There's also the matter of public opinion. I know the federal health care law is a weak effort, but who in the world could possibly be against Medicaid expansion?

Hypocritically, the Tea Party argued that Beshear bringing Kentucky into Obamacare violated separation of powers, for they claimed only the legislative branch could do it. Yet by filing these suits, they expected the judicial branch to adopt the powers of the other 2 branches.

Well, eventually the bottom had to drop out, I guess. Yesterday, a judge threw out both of the Tea Party's suits.

But the Tea Party plans to waste more taxpayer money by appealing the court's ruling all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Now that's fiscal responsibility, Tea Party style!

Meanwhile, yesterday's ruling stands as one of the most important decisions so far against Tea Party tyranny and elitism in Kentucky.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Texting while driving? Don't do it!

I'm glad a court has affirmed what should have been considered common sense - and what would have been a given if cell phones were widespread 30 years ago.

Long story short: If you send text messages to someone you know is at the wheel, and another motorist is injured as a result, you can be sued. A New Jersey court has just ruled on this.

Is this ruling fair? You bet it is!

The suit was filed by a couple that was seriously injured when another traveler crossed the centerline of a road while answering a text message. Both victims lost a leg in the resulting crash.

One of these days, some rogue debt collector is going to call someone while they're driving and cause a wreck. I hope this lawsuit has set a powerful precedent that will wipe the smug smirk off the bill collector's face when the gavel drops.

This is also why I've tried to make it clear as pee to family and friends that my cell phone is for my convenience - not for them to play with. People should know better than to expect me to fumble around for my cell phone when it would be dangerous to do so.


Monday, September 2, 2013

School district supports racist event

The Online Lunchpail wants to know why the Boone County school system has given approval for a white supremacist organization to place flyers on cars during athletic events advertising a racist gathering.