The city of St. George, Utah, is one of the Tea Party's strongholds.
Tea Party public officials there support "limited government" so much that they've banned dancing.
A few days ago, police broke up a Halloween party there because the party allowed dancing. The owner of the venue was forced to announce over the loudspeaker that no dancing was to occur for the rest of the evening. "It was the strangest thing I've ever seen," he said.
Over the past 3 years, the city has come under increasing fire for its heightening stance against dancing. The city has gone after other venues too. One resident reports being kicked out of their own birthday party at a club because they couldn't hold still during the music. Plus, the nearby town of Washington has also shut down dances.
This story has implications even outside Utah. In just the past few weeks, I've noticed the Tea Party is starting to revert to its culture war appeals that have been largely absent since they were wrapped in the soiled "values voter" banner a decade ago. For example, Wisconsin's embattled Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker now wants to ban X-rated pay-per-view movies. The culture war is coming back here too - in elections for Kentucky Supreme Court, Campbell County Fiscal Court, and other offices.
Let it. I'm not afraid of it, because that's not how you win public support in 2014. Plus, it proves that the Tea Party's claim to support "limited government" is a lie. Moreover, when you start doing things like banning dancing, the rules are easy enough to break. The 2014 Tim can't be controlled - and you know that, after I smuggled soft drinks into Riverfest year after year. On the other hand, some Tea Party social controls are a real life-and-death matter, so keep an eye on the situation.
Friday, October 31, 2014
The city of St. George, Utah, is one of the Tea Party's strongholds.
Posted by Bandit at 2:10 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2014
I'm convinced Kentucky Republicans can no longer win seriously contested elections without cheating. But nobody stops 'em.
Except this time, now that there's at least a few people who are making an effort to rein in the ongoing election fraud. The Kentucky Attorney General's office says it has received a complaint of voter intimidation in the town of Berea. A right-wing group called Concerned Citizens of Berea has placed a full-page ad in a local newspaper threatening college students if they try to vote.
There's a law that lets students who live on campus vote from their school address. But the ad tells students that their vote is "subject to be challenged" and that they "could face significant penalties" if they try to vote. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has asked the Attorney General to investigate the ad's threats.
Make no mistake: The Senate election in Kentucky hinges entirely on turnout. Bad turnout means 6 more years of Mr. Elbow Care. To suppress turnout is a form of cheating.
Posted by Bandit at 11:07 PM
I realize that if you're a Republican candidate for public office in Campbell County, you're probably not going to take advice from me, but I'm a fair man, so I'll offer some advice anyway.
Today I received a mailer from a GOP incumbent in a certain elected office in Campbell County. It touted his endorsement from - of all people - my former gym teacher who physically assaulted me and caused me to get expelled from middle school. There were numerous complaints against this teacher over the years by many students and parents. More recently, I've discovered that this man has amassed a criminal record in a nearby county. This instructor is positively one of the most evil individuals I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. I could drop a fucking bowling ball on his head and be grinning the whole time.
So here's my advice: If you're a political candidate, don't accept endorsements from criminals like my former gym teacher. At minimum, don't send me mail bragging of this endorsement.
Posted by Bandit at 8:14 PM
Ohio's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is still being blasted by The Media for having at most a limited driver's license for several years. But to the best of anyone's knowledge, FitzGerald never drove drunk.
Meanwhile, Jeff Jobe - a far-right Republican candidate for Kentucky House - got busted for driving drunk on an expired license. He was convicted and jailed. Months later, Jobe was busted for DUI again!
Of course, there's been no negative press for Jobe over his recklessness. Maybe it's because he owns a newspaper in his district, which he has used to repeatedly make excuses for his careless behavior. In fact, the second arrest occurred after Jobe hemmed and hawed in his paper about how sorry he was for the first incident, so it's clear he didn't learn his lesson the first time like he claimed to. But that doesn't excuse the rest of the media for ignoring the story - after they destroyed FitzGerald for much less.
This is the party that the press wants to have in control of the Kentucky House?
Hey, if it's fair to go after Ed FitzGerald, it's more than fair to go after Jeff Jobe. So tough toilets, GOPstapo.
Posted by Bandit at 7:14 PM
I need to dig up one of my trademark sayings of the late '90s. Ready for it? Here it comes...
I used to do lots of voopings to correct others' misunderstandings or erroneous information, and the redistricting of Kentucky House seats forces me to revive this mothballed saying.
To comply with the redistricted map promulgated by legislators, Campbell County had to form a new voting precinct that - according to census figures - has no residents. The precinct is called Fort Thomas T and stretches for several miles along the Ohio River between Dayton and Silver Grove. But that's not the real problem in this story. The problem is what would occur if someone actually moved to this precinct and tried to vote.
The strip of land in this precinct generally isn't considered habitable, but one could set up a houseboat on the river. The problem is that county officials said that if a person does this, it doesn't count as a real address.
Then what does count as the person's real address? Voting is a duty and a right - not a privilege. If I set up a houseboat there, the first thing I'd do is update my voter registration and find out where my local polling place is - exactly like I did immediately the other 2 times I've relocated.
Where you live is where you vote. There's a few exceptions - for instance, U.S. military personnel who live overseas may vote as a resident of the American locale where they lived most recently. For a civilian who meets all the voting requirements and lives on American soil, there should be little question about where they vote. As with our fighting men and women, there should be no question at all about whether they can vote. I wouldn't want soldiers serving abroad to be denied their right to vote - and the same goes for civilians living on a houseboat.
Even if a person is homeless altogether, they have a right to vote. If I became homeless, I would insist on it and would fight to the bitter end for this right. Some already have: Voter turnout among the homeless is 10%. Voting is as much of a right for the homeless as it is for everyone else, and official sources back me up on this: The state of Colorado, for example, has a website that says a homeless person may use a park or vacant lot as their address when they register to vote. I'd also have no objection to electing a homeless person to public office.
Incidentally, here's a little hint: A houseboat in Fort Thomas T would likely have an address of Mary Ingles Highway, 41075. I checked the LinkGIS map. Much of that stretch has no house numbers, but it's still a valid address. (Grove & Jefferson didn't have a number either until recently.)
Voting and serving in public office shouldn't be reserved just for nobility like some folks think it should be or accept that it is.
Posted by Bandit at 12:41 AM
Sunday, October 26, 2014
The buffoonish morons of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in northern Kentucky yesterday, and they wound up looking like buffoonish morons.
According to reports, the event took place on Houston Road in Florence, and the Klanscritters were decked out in their trademark robes. You know there's a Klan presence in Boone County judging by election results there lately. At about 6 PM, the KKK began waving guns at passersby in the parking lot of Steak 'n Shake. They thought they could scare people. Witnesses say one person was arrested.
Guess they were bored because Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was over.
Posted by Bandit at 1:25 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Did you know that there's an election for the Kentucky Supreme Court seat in northern Kentucky coming up on Election Day? Sure. Sure you did, boys and girls.
Incumbent Michelle Keller faces a far-right challenger by the name of Teresa Cunningham. Cunningham - who has no judicial experience - was hand-picked by the Tea Party and shows not even a pretense of supporting an independent judiciary.
Judicial races are supposed to be nonpartisan. But Cunningham has turned this election into a Republican freak show. In addition to her claims to be a "constitutional conservative", another Cunningham talking point is that she's a Republican - as if she's running in a GOP primary instead of a general election. The Boone County Republicans have also gone all in for Cunningham despite this being a supposedly nonpartisan contest.
Even though Cunningham claims to support "limited government", she (with the help of far-right Campbell County Commissioner Brian Painter) keeps attacking Keller for a ruling that actually placed a limit on government overreach. This is just further proof that the Tea Party hasn't outgrown fighting over culture war issues where they're on the losing side of history.
A commenter on a local website even called Cunningham "the scariest judicial candidate I have ever seen."
The average American is moving left, but Teresa Cunningham's Tea Party just pulls our rulers further right. It's a surefire recipe for disaster, and that's why we have to be on guard - and not wuss out like the appeasers do. Meanwhile, a candidate who claims God speaks through Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson is about to become Lieutenant Governor of Texas. Somehow, we don't think that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
Posted by Bandit at 5:48 PM
The Democrats have disappointed me before - even when there was no political or moral justification for them to do so. But, with Kentucky's credible third parties missing in action during this election cycle, some of the state's Democrats have taken some baby steps to reclaim the mantle of progress, and we have more confidence in their policies than at any other time in years. The Tea Party jailbreak of 2010 flushed out much of the Third Way dead weight that had been holding the Democrats back, and nobody here misses it. The current election has become an uphill climb, thanks to The Media doubling down on their Republican bias after Occupy scorched them in 2012, but that doesn't put a diaper on our voter enthusiasm.
The Democratic candidates could be much better, of course. Only a fool would deny this. But what do you expect when we have a media that has spent decades inching the center of debate to the right? In 2014, a vote for the Democrats is a vote against an arrogant right-wing media that thinks it has a right to set the agenda.
We will vote for Alison Lundergan Grimes for U.S. Senate - thanks to her support for labor and a higher minimum wage. We'll also vote Democratic for Kentucky Senate and even for Campbell County races. Democratic candidates for Campbell County Fiscal Court have helped moved the party from the right back to the center with a unified stance against the regressive 911 tax that was enacted by the court's Tea Party Republicans. In doing so, the Democrats have also proven that the Tea Party doesn't get to monopolize anti-tax sentiment. Meanwhile, Joe Fischer - far-right Republican state representative for southern and central Campbell County - continues to endorse increasing the sales tax.
As more proof that the Tea Party's claims to support limited government ring hollow, local Republicans have doubled down in their support for unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws that require workers to subsidize nonunion labor and infringe on the right to freely bargain. "Right-to-work" laws are modeled after laws passed in Nazi Germany and supported by the KKK. Tea Party Republicans are even trying to repeal Kentucky's popular 2011 correction reforms that have helped reduce crime and ease the region's longstanding heroin epidemic.
All the Republican candidates for Campbell County Fiscal Court are backers of the authoritarian Tea Party. Most notably, GOP candidate Charlie Coleman is a key plaintiff in the Tea Party's frivolous lawsuit to shut down local libraries. Local Republicans provide no solutions - just extremist garbage. The Democrats at least have a plan to pay for a new library without hiking taxes. Coleman has also stated that you should be required to own real property to be able to vote - a requirement that would be unconstitutional.
The Republican Right is also responsible for the scandal enveloping the airport board. Plus, they've gutted a popular domestic violence bill in the state legislature. They want to repeal prevailing wage laws and pass an ALEC-backed bill that would allow phone companies to stop offering landline service (even in areas where cell phone coverage is weak). They want to make Kentucky the first state to repeal Medicaid expansion since the Affordable Care Act passed. And local Republicans have been cavorting with a convicted sex offender and have accepted his support. (That criminal proudly posts pictures of himself with GOP bigwigs on his Facebook page.)
We're not going full Hillary for 2016, because the former First Lady is much too far to the right. Thankfully, despite some flaws, local Democrats in 2014 are not Hillary.
We reiterate: Because of right-wing media bias, this cycle is an uphill battle. Just as important as this election is the militancy we must show afterward in fighting against right-wing extremism. We must be prepared to take America back the hard way. Otherwise, decent Americans just don't stand a chance against the 1%.
Posted by Bandit at 12:18 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Ebola epidemic has seen enough blood on the hands of the conservative movement to create all the red ink for all of their lie-filled campaign mailings. First, they defunded federal health agencies - agencies that would have produced an Ebola vaccination by now if it wasn't for this defunding. Now they want the government to stop new efforts to make Ebola vaccines - because these efforts involve stem cell research.
A Religious Right group called Children of God for Life accuses the Obama administration of being "completely irresponsible" for approving and fast-tracking these projects. This group is urging its Tea Party followers to bombard the government with demands that it halt work on this program.
I don't care to hear another word ever again accusing us of being "anti-vaxxers" for opposing dangerous chemicals in vaccines, when the Far Right is trying to stop vaccines altogether. If Team Tyranny forces this project to be scuttled, and the Ebola outbreak worsens because of it, there ought to be murder charges against Children of God for Life.
Posted by Bandit at 2:27 PM
"Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
Those are Jesus's words (Matthew 22:21). The Republican Right and the Tea Party claim to be messengers of God, but the conservative movement contradicts what Jesus taught.
The above saying refers to separation of church and state, and the necessity of taxation. Jesus also said that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24). Taken together, these well-known sayings show the rectitude of a progressive tax system - which the Far Right opposes. (Similar translations of these sayings appear in other gospels.)
To "give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" limits some aspects of government while expanding others. The problem for the conservative movement is that it limits the parts they want expanded - while expanding the parts they want limited. Jesus's phrase is more or less diametrically opposed to the Far Right's agenda.
Have the self-anointed holy sentinels of the right wing even read anything that's in the Bible? Perhaps, but they just don't care what it says. It's just like how I'm sure their legislators have read the Constitution - because anyone who's taken 7th grade civics has - but they don't care about it.
Christians really are being persecuted - but by the Right, not the Left.
Posted by Bandit at 11:04 AM
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Today I returned from a 9-day-long road trip across this fine land - centered largely on Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. I also visited a couple of official presidential museums on the way home.
I saw many ruined restrooms on this trip - including at least one plopping! I also detected a couple of bunker blasts. But the only celebrity look-alikes I saw were Judge Mills Lane and Madeline Kahn. Spoiled food was devoured too! Details loom in the next ish of The Last Word.
Also, a young woman who worked at a Pizza Hut in Kermit, Texas, was seen bubbling. It is also rumored that a visitor of the Harry Truman museum in Missouri bubbled, but I did not witness this timeless act.
Posted by Bandit at 9:35 PM
Friday, October 3, 2014
My mish plans, the looming election, and my other work activities brang an abbreviated edition of The Last Word this month, but it's still enough to peep and weep.
This ish talks about TV shows evading the censors, the world's dumbest crime-fighting technique, toilet lid covers, and other stuff about toilets and farting.
So read The Last Word before The Last Word reads you...
Posted by Bandit at 12:23 PM
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Ba-de-ya, folks! Ba-de-ya!
Several days ago, I posted a batch of new Roads Scholaring photos - focusing primarily on September's Peace Bike Scholaring in Newport.
So do what millions have already done, by pointing your pooper here...
Posted by Bandit at 12:04 AM