Sunday, December 28, 2014

New GOP whip attended white supremacist events

Here's another bruise on the disgraced Republican Party name - a story that's sure to be swept under the rug by The Media.

After Eric Cantor was upset in the GOP primary, House Republicans have now selected Steve Scalise - a Louisiana congressman who cosponsored the hated SOPA - as Majority Whip, one of the party's top posts.

But Scalise has some GOPsplaining to do. In 2002, users of Stormfront - a white supremacist website - boasted that Scalise, who was then a state representative, had attended "productive meetings" with them. Scalise was also an "honored guest" at a neo-Nazi convention in New Orleans. Other attendees were still praising him years later.

This really happened.


Scholarin' it up again!

In recent days, I've posted 2 - count 'em, 2 - batches of Cincinnati area Roads Scholarin' photos!

The first set looms our way from our November outing focusing on downtown and neighborhoods to the northwest...

The second set hovers from a Scholaring that took place on Friday and covered the city's east side with extreme fluency...

You're gonna peep, you're gonna weep, and if you're lucky, you might even oggle-beep! But only if poo.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Right-wing bill would close town's gas station

So much for lawmakers representing the communities that elected them, huh?

A few months ago, the town of Somerset, Kentucky, fought back against oil industry price-gouging by starting its own municipally owned gas station. Although the station doesn't have a food mart and offers only 87 octane, it's popular for miles around because it's able to compete fairly against privately owned stations and sell gas at a lower price.

But the Kentucky GOP wants none of this - because libertea, dammit!

State Sen. Chris Girdler - a Somerset Republican - plans to introduce a bill that would effectively shut down Somerset's municipal gas station. Girdler cries that the gas station is an improper government intrusion on private business. It's the principle, don't ya know.

Principle? Do the people need principle, or do they need what works? That's one of the problems with all the people yelling out "free market!" constantly. They support private monopolies just so they can say there's less regulation. They don't care what benefits their constituents. They don't even care anymore that the public knows what benefits them. With gerrymandering turning so many elections into closed Republican primaries, why would they?

Girdler groans that municipal fuel sales encourages government to also start selling other goods. As long as price gouging in other industries continues, why shouldn't government sell other goods?

But Girdler presses on. "This is about free enterprise, capitalism, and celebrating entrepreneurs," he told the Lexington Herald-Leader. We don't want free enterprise! We want what works! Understand?! The people are supposed to have more rights than the market.

A recipe for disaster is a legislature that is completely out of touch with the people's wants and needs. That's how civil wars start. We're way past the point of no return.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

People bunkerooed on Christmas Day too!

Like always, it's been a holiday season full of flatulence.

Today, at another important family gathering, someone released an SBD bunker blast. Cries of accusation sprang up throughout the room, but no suspects could be indicted. It must have lingered, because people reported smelling it for minutes after I thought it had dissipated.

And on Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

People bunkerooed on Christmas Eve

Today at an important family gathering, the unmistakable audio of a series of LAP bunker blasts was detected. It happened thrice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Photos from Guadalupe Mountains trip posted!

My photos are back! (Circus Vargas, Circus Vargas!)

As a holiday gift to you, I've posted 228 photos and videos from my road trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park that I took back in October. As a holiday gift to me, I'd like you to peep, weep, and oggle-beep...

Anti-police chant a hoax

WBFF-TV in Baltimore has blood on its hands.

In response to the nationwide plague of police killings, peaceful protests have sprung up all over America. I attended the rally in Covington, Kentucky, on December 13. The event was as peaceful as can be (unlike Tea Party rallies), and nobody urged violence against police.

Enter WBFF. WBFF is owned by the far-right Sinclair syndicate, and they're the station that sent a reporter to try to break into an Occupy Baltimore tent without permission. When they couldn't get into the tent, the WBFF crew drove away and displayed their middle fingers at the Occupy participants. Recently, WBFF repeatedly aired a clip from a march in Washington, D.C., in which protesters appeared to be chanting, "Kill a cop!" My initial reaction was that it was a hoax. Nobody had said anything about killing police at the Covington protest, and I already knew WBFF couldn't be trusted after the scene they created at Occupy.

True to form, the clip did indeed turn out to be a hoax. The Mediaite website has exposed this fraud.

Did WBFF broadcast this hoax before or after a Baltimore man traveled to New York to kill 2 policemen there? Sounds like Sinclair Broadcast Group did more to encourage this deadly shooting than anyone else did.

As a matter of basic journalistic ethics, Sinclair needs to fire some of its reporters. But they won't, because it's Sinclair, which has long been dedicated to being a propaganda organ. I myself have been the victim of enough public corruption - including police misconduct - to last a lifetime. But the right-wing media is as much of a warrior for the forces of doom as anyone.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Louisville minimum wage tied to inflation

Louisville is cementing its stance as Kentucky's booming progressive giant - which is the pattern more and more lately in America's major cities.

When officials in Louisville (now merged with Jefferson County) passed a minimum wage increase yesterday despite obstructionism by Mayor Greg Fischer, it came with an extra goody. Every 4 years, the minimum wage will automatically increase to keep pace with (whoosh...whoosh) inflation. Thanks to this, it will be much tougher to block a wage hike in future years.

Tying the minimum wage to inflation is relatively uncommon among American municipalities, but at least Louisville is encouraging other Kentucky cities to take notice.

Kentucky county ignores AG, passes right-to-scab law

Warren County Fiscal Court proved today that the confines of law mean nothing to them.

Yesterday, Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway ruled that cities and counties cannot enact misnamed "right-to-work" laws. That's the law. The National Labor Relations Act is clear on this, as are numerous court rulings in Kentucky and other states.

At least Conway is finally making himself useful, because Warren County officials sure as shit aren't. Today, the Bowling Green-based bailiwick ignored Conway's ruling and passed a right-to-scab law anyway.

Imagine if you can what Warren County Fiscal Court's reaction would be if a city in their county passed its own law opting out of "right-to-work." They're all for local control as long as it suits them.

The good news though is that Louisville's Jefferson County voted yesterday to raise the minimum wage, and they're a much bigger county. They're going to stay the bigger county as long as this keeps up. Naturally, those who are defending Warren County's work-for-less law are the same ones saying Louisville shouldn't be allowed to raise the minimum wage.

Newport schools waste money on decorations

Thirty years ago, the Campbell County school district was the laughingstock of northern Kentucky. Lately, the neighboring Newport school district has seized this dubious distinction.

In the latest Newport school scandal, the school board has displayed its propensity for unchecked wastage. Somebody donated a large sum of money to the school system to be used on amenities for students. But the school board squandered the entire donation on decorations for administrative offices.

That's like the time at Cline Middle School when we had to sell candy and they spent all the revenues on a sign.

If you don't understand why this is wrong, ask an adult.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sanitation District loses $235K

This is what happens when we put the Tea Party in charge of anything more complicated than a toy ant farm or a game of Walk Along Sesame Street.

Northern Kentucky's Sanitation District #1 is unable to account for $235,000 in taxpayer money that seems to have magically grown legs and walked away. Now they may have to hire a forensic investigator to track down the missing money. But that might not do any good either, because their records are so incomplete.

Another day, another Tea Party "oops!"

The real question is: Was there mere incompetence, or was it deliberate theft? If it was the latter, what sort of Tea Party causes are being funded with the money that was stolen from the taxpayers? We taxpayers already pay for everything the Tea Party liars do, so I guess they think nobody will miss another $235,000.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The greatest Wisconsin-related animated GIF ever!

Let's get the revolution under way with this hilarious animated GIF...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The '87 NFL strike and antiunion violence (a blast from the past)

As unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws have become one of America's gravest threats to liberty, it's time for a trip down Memory Lane about the evils of antiworker violence.

Newspaper comment webpages are rife with paid right-wing trolls accusing union "thugs" of violence of all sorts. But not once in my 41 years have I ever experienced union violence. I've worked in everything from conventional workplaces to freelancing to the brink of dying, but not once has a union representative even threatened me with physical violence or economic ruin.

But I have been threatened by antiunionists. I even got in a brawl during Occupy the Super Bowl in 2012 started by an antiunion hooligan.

This brings to mind the antiunion thuggery associated with the NFL players' strike of 1987. A lot of you think pro football players make too much money, but it's really only star players who have multimillion-dollar contracts. Most players don't get rich - and the average NFL player doesn't even live to be 60. Even NFL greats like Jim McMahon have joined a lawsuit against the league for its mishandling of concussion-related injuries. Thus, the NFL strike was viewed by many as sort of a proxy for the troubles faced by the average worker.

The league's refusal to fairly negotiate with players put a diaper on the entire 1987 season. For weeks, the NFL fielded teams made up of scabs. A few big names like Steve Largent selfishly crossed the picket line, and they were joined largely by players who had been cut during training camp. Naturally, the networks were happy to help the antiunion cause: They broadcast the scab games as if they were legit, even though ratings dropped by 20%.

Meanwhile, the strike encouraged labor rallies to pop up all over America. These events brang out the best in the labor cause - and the worst in antiunion ruffianism. I was 14 at the time, and one day, I was in the living room while my parents were watching the news. The news did a story on the labor rallies, and they showed some footage from one such event. In this footage, an antiunion thug strolled up to a bearded labor activist and sucker-punched him squarely in his unsuspecting kisser.

Needless to say, this isn't the only instance of antiunion thuggery in modern American history. Around the same time, one union-busting specialist had his henchmen scratch up cars outside a nursing home and blame it on the union. And it isn't just in modern times. In 1917, labor leader Frank Little was murdered because of his union support. And there have been few antiunion events as violent as the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado. And it isn't just America. Back in 1984, for instance, a suitcase bomb at a union office in New Zealand killed the building's caretaker.

With all this in mind, which brand of thuggery is much more prevalent: union or antiunion? Imagine if you can what the reaction would be if union activists committed that much violence.

The media and legislators should open a comprehensive investigation into antiworker violence. They need to do this yesterday.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kentucky GOPer lies about "right-to-work"

How do we know when a supporter of right-to-scab laws is lying? When their mouth is moving.

As Bowling Green's Warren County is about to become the only place in Kentucky with its own work-for-less law - but be on the lookout, for the corporate criminals of ALEC are sure to drag other counties into that cesspit - Republican Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon is rubbing his paws together in excitement. In an op-ed in the far-right Bowling Green Daily News - which has long cheered right-to-scab laws - Buchanon says workers in "right-to-work" states have 4.1% higher personal incomes than those in free bargaining states. He cites no sources.

That is a lie. The Economic Policy Institute has determined that wages in right-to-scab states are actually 3.2% lower. So Buchanon lied, and the Daily News printed his lie without challenging it.

Buchanon also says "right-to-work" means workers don't have to join a union. That's another lie. Workers can choose not to join a union even in states without a right-to-scab law. "Right-to-work" means unions can't collect fair share fees from workers who receive their services. That's not the same as union membership.

All this lying for a law that the Kentucky Supreme Court has already ruled unconstitutional.

There's no guarantee that "right-to-work" won't backfire right in what laughably passes for the Far Right's faces - at least if labor or Occupy brings down the hammer - but it wouldn't even be an issue in the first place if the media would just do its job and call out the Far Right's nonstop lies. With public opinion U-turning against Big Business, it's hard to see how suppressing workers' constitutional right to freely bargain won't ignite a war that will burn the Far Right.


For those unawares, Topix is a website with message forums purporting to cover countless small towns all across this fine land. But Topix is largely overrun by meth-heads arguing and gossiping about who is sleeping with who, or who the sexiest cashier in town is. Never anything important. I posted on Topix years ago - I don't even remember what it was in regard to - but then I abandoned it because most of the folks who posted there reminded me of people filing frivolous lawsuits on court shows over years-old grudges.

I guess it's only fitting that if people are going to talk shit about me over something that happened at least 25 years ago, Topix is the place to do it. What's surprising is that they started bumping their gums about it on Topix 3 years ago, and I just now discovered it.

Back in 2011, someone posted this message asking about my whereabouts:

"does anybody remember him? he graduated in 91 i think.

"does anybody know what he does now?"

This was followed by a few somewhat sympathetic or neutral replies by several different people, including a Latonia resident who said I should sue Cline Middle School.

But then there's this garbage posted in January 2012 from someone using the handle BasketLaw:

"Tim Brown does not have grounds for a lawsuit against his former school, but his former school clearly has grounds for one against him.

"Schools are dependent on support from the community to survive. KRS 158.030 defines a 'common school' as 'an elementary or secondary school of the state supported in whole or in part by public taxation.' A private or parochial school, on the other hand, must rely on tuition or on donations by alumni and parents. Both public and private schools need community support. If it does not have community support, how does a public school justify asking the taxpayers to pony up?

"Mr. Brown has been on a 'crusade', if you will, against schools that allegedly 'wronged' him as an adolescent. There are legal channels for relief against a perceived wrong. Mr. Brown elected not to pursue these remedies. His answer instead was to write a web page and a book detailing the 'harassment.' One does not have to name persons to be guilty of libel. Accusing an organization (e.g., a school) is sufficient to be sued for libel. In Mr. Brown's case, multiple schools clearly have cause to act in their corporate capacity to sue him.

"Mr. Brown's malicious words have cost his former schools their reputation in the community and, by extension, tax intake and donations. A school cannot pursue its mission without this needed revenue. In light of this, I believe strongly that relief is due Mr. Brown's former school, and it is the duty of the school's representatives to go after this libel with everything they've got. The school is not the only victim of Mr. Brown's campaign; the children and the taxpayers have been victimized as well. In addition to this, Mr. Brown's web page has encouraged current students of area school systems to break school rules that they do not like. I believe this makes him liable to be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Like it or not, a person eighteen years of age (but not yet nineteen) is a minor in the Commonwealth of Kentucky if he or she has not yet graduated from high school.

"They say it takes a village to raise a child. A school's job is to teach and uphold the community's values. Society cannot permit a disgruntled party to obstruct a school's pursuit of its calling."

That is positively one of the most ridiculous messages I've ever seen posted on any Internet forum. It sounds like the ramblings of someone who thinks they're pretending to be a lawyer. Every single thing in it is objectively wrong. Particularly absurd is the overarching premise that schools I attended should sue me for exposing them because bad exposure makes voters less likely to approve their tax levies. If a school sued me, any judge would just laugh the case right out of the courtroom. Also, the statement that the age of majority in Kentucky is 19 for those without a high school diploma is erroneous.

Deservedly, however, 6 different people voted to label that post as "nuts." Plus, someone replied:

"Translated into English this means 'Tim Brown hurt my feelings, boo hoo hoo hoo'"

But there's something else funny I noticed. I had to look closely to find it. This BasketLaw clown appears to be somewhat well-connected, and this individual says my "malicious words" already have "cost" donations to my former schools. That shows what I've been doing works. So I'm gonna keep doing it. Either I'm pretty damn effective, or BasketLaw is a paranoid maniac.

Usually it's pointless to argue with idiots, so I won't. Nobody has posted on that thread in 2 years, so there's no use. The real story here is that some moron was actually still ranting in 2012 about events that occurred 4 Presidents earlier. I've said it before: They can't seem to get over it. They never get it out of their system. It's like how the Contract With America wasn't enough to satisfy the Tea Party, so they keep coming up with even dumber ideas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GOP fraud in Maine reversed!

After the Republicans blatantly rigged a Maine Senate election, they've now fallen flat on their stupid faces.

I am of course talking about the election in which Democrat Cathy Breen initially appeared to have defeated Republican Cathy Manchester - only to have the result reversed when 21 ballots for Manchester from the town of Long Island suddenly surfaced out of nowhere. Republicans in the Maine Senate went ahead and seated Manchester despite the obvious fact that the GOP won the seat fraudulently.

But now a special legislative committee has discovered that somebody - certainly a Republican - actually counted 21 ballots for Manchester twice. As a result of this discovery, Breen was declared the winner after all.

This after it was reported that those 21 votes actually surfaced on separate ballots. So now the question is what happened to these extra ballots. They disappeared just as mysteriously as they appeared, so now it's clear that the GOP has destroyed the evidence of the fraud they committed, and allowed their ballot box stuffing to be dismissed as an accidental case of double counting.

That part won't be reported, of course.


ACLU wants Bush regime pardoned for torture

The once-great American Civil Liberties Union is continuing its hard right turn, which has already been underscored by their recent support of the Supreme Court's bogus Citizens United ruling.

Now they're asking President Obama to pardon George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other Bush regime officials for allowing torture. ACLU executive director Anthony Romero says a pardon would actually show torture to be unacceptable - but he doesn't really say how. Romero talks about how the ACLU once demanded accountability for the Bush thugocracy's crimes - but that ACLU is gone.

As best as I can tell, the argument seems to be that pardons would make clear that crimes were committed by the Bush regime. Of course crimes were committed. Bush was a criminal dictator. Criminals commit crimes. When serious crimes are committed, there should be accountability - not a pardon.

When dictator George H.W. Bush pardoned traitors involved in the Iran-Contra scandal, it sent a message to America's youth that they could break the law and get away with it. Why repeat this mistake?


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Have no fear, the December ish is here!

So you can poo your pants, the December ish of The Last Word is finally pub!

This edition of this fanzine of freedom details lots of amazing topics, such as spoiled milk, more local graffiti (and Facebookers' threats of corporal punishment), and a scammer's attempt to not pay me for my work.

You can peep it all, by pointing your pooper here...

Theocracy comes to Mesa schools

Mesa, Arizona, is a Mormon theocracy where separation of church and state is trampled flat. Nowhere is this more evident than in the city's so-called public school system.

Three Mesa students were recently kicked off the school softball team because they refused to conduct Mormon prayers. The prayers were instituted by demand of a few local Mormons who wanted to impose their religion on everyone else.

These same religious fanatics had also demanded punishment of softball players who dared to listen to modern popular music. They also monitored their social media postings and reported them to the coach.

Now the school system is being sued. Hopefully the judge will throw the book at the school district, but who knows how far that will go, with a rogue Supreme Court and a media that props them up.


The decline of a respected call sign

How bad has American radio become thanks to the gutter greed of consolidation?

When I was in high school, I was an avid listener of the now-defunct WLAP-FM in Lexington (which reached northern Kentucky). But now the WLAP call letters are found only on the AM station, which has become a brimming water closet since the NAMBLA-backed Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed Clear Channel to take it over.

WLAP became such a disaster under Clumpy Channel that a commenter on Daily Kos called it "one of the most strident and irrational right-wing hate radio stations in America."

If the Power Van was alive today, it would be spinning in its grave.

I'm sure radio's 3 remaining listeners are interested in WLAP's downfall.

Friday, December 5, 2014

"Right-to-work" thought police doubles down on the stupid

After Kentucky lawmakers rejected an unconstitutional "right-to-work" bill by a vote of 15 to 4 early this year, things don't appear to be getting any better in the Bluegrass State for the union-busting Gestapo, after the Republicans failed to make a net gain in the Kentucky House in last month's election.

But the "right-to-work" corporate criminals have what they think is an ace in the hole. Now they're openly encouraging cities and counties in Kentucky to pass their own local "right-to-work" laws. Kenton County's new Judge-Executive supports the plan. This despite the fact that the Kentucky Supreme Court already ruled that "right-to-work" is unconstitutional after Shelbyville passed its own ordinance.

The "right-to-work" crowd's latest argument centers on a 1978 law that gives counties home rule powers. But at the same time, they've argued that counties can't increase the minimum wage. In other words, they support home rule only when it suits them. The home rule statute actually says the exact polar opposite of what they think it says: It clearly allows minimum wage increases, but nowhere does it permit laws like "right-to-work" that are unconstitutional.

They're pulling the same shit in neighboring Illinois, with the backing of newly elected Tea Party Gov. Bruce Rauner. (To be fair, Pat Quinn would've been reelected if he hadn't picked a hack like Paul Vallas as his running mate.)

Imagine if you can what their reaction would be if a city or county in a so-called "right-to-work" state passed its own law to nullify the state's right-to-scab law. I do of course believe that these places should nullify "right-to-work", but the howls from the Far Right would be deafening.

This would all be moot if the President would issue an executive order that says labor unions don't have to represent employees who won't pay their fair share fees.