Friday, January 30, 2015

Kroger starts bubbling season early

Today at Kroger, an employee bubbled.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Poop inspection" creates stinky situation

School officials in Gustine, Texas, are out of control.

Recently, piles of shit kept mysteriously appearing on the gym floor at an elementary school. So the school did what anyone who was out of control would do. They conducted a "poop inspection" that involved making the entire class drop their pants so they could "check if they could find anything."


So they hoped to find one and only one student who hadn't crapped their pants instead of on the gym floor???

Hopefully a lawsuit will result.


"Right-to-work" lie exposed in '69

Officials in Kentucky who try enacting unconstitutional "right-to-work" laws at the county level are flat-out kooks. There's no ambiguity about that.

The "right-to-work" Taliban is usually careful nowadays to say the purpose of this law isn't to break labor unions. That's a lie. The law pulverizes unions - even criminalizes unionization - and what happened in South Carolina in 1969 proves it.

Back in 1969, hundreds of hospital workers in Charleston went on strike for months. The workers were trying to fight back against the racism they experienced in the workplace - racism that was ingrained in the city's right-wing, militantly antiunion business leaders. The workers also protested being illegally paid a subminimum wage.

Plus, the striking workers wanted a union, and a local union chapter asked the hospitals for recognition. But then the state of South Carolina stepped in and said that the state's misnamed "right-to-work" law prohibited the workers from joining a union. Many strikers were soon arrested. The National Guard was even called out to fan out through the city and arrest the strikers.

The strike ended with the workers' pay being increased only to minimum wage. They were not permitted to unionize, and the local union chapter folded. Over a quarter-century later, one of the hospitals was still being cited for discrimination and labor law violations.

To this day, South Carolina effectively criminalizes unionization in some industries. The state even bans public school teachers from joining unions. Of course, a ban on unionizing violates the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes - but South Carolina ignores the Constitution.

America can choose one of 2 paths. A stale corporatist path means taking marching orders from ALEC and being confronted with a future guided by a South Carolina-style war on workers. Or we can take a revolutionary path - a path that frees us from corrupt politicians and acts as a safeguard for working people. You know the right path.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kentucky GOPer sentenced to 7+ years

The Republican Party isn't called the party of scandal for nothing.

One of many recent scandals plaguing the Kentucky GOP appears to be drawing to a close, as former Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley has been sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison for extorting kickbacks from a contractor. The punishment is the maximum under advisory guidelines, and Conley will have to serve at least 85% of it.

Conley was defeated for reelection by a 3-to-1 margin by his Democratic challenger.

See, you can beat these clowns if you really try - instead of just trying to "understand" them.


Commish launches war on TANK

It's truly hard to believe that people allow this shit.

Longtime Campbell County Commissioner Brian Painter - a Tea Party favorite - is launching a war against TANK, of all things. Recently, the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky added an east-west bus route along I-275. Now Painter wants to reduce the Campbell County portion of the route and remove service to the Cold Spring park-and-ride.

The job of public officials is to represent the people's interests. But, like always, Painter is doing the exact opposite. Because libertea, don't ya know.

Painter also repeated the stale right-wing trope about seeing empty TANK buses everywhere. Maybe if service could be restored to places like Silver Grove, the buses wouldn't be so empty. Where was Campbell County Fiscal Court when bus service to Silver Grove was cut? Pooing?

We're supposed to tolerate this? C'mon, let's show some pride in our county. Campbell County needs its own SYRIZA - not more force-fed Tea Party slop from the likes of the county Republican machine.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yes, Ox shit his pants

You didn't believe me when I said Ox from Silver Spoons shit his pants?

I've been telling you this for the past 32 years, and you thought I was making it up - even after I gave a pretty good clue where to find it on YouTube. In a 1983 episode of the sitcom Silver Spoons, Rick Schroder's bratty character got in an altercation with another bratty character, named Ox. And Ox soiled his undershorts. You can see it plainly at 4:47 in this clip...

I saw that episode when it first aired, and I declared, "That kid pooped his pants!" But my mom said, "No he didn't. His underwear is just baggy."

Nope. Let's face it. Ox crapped his drawers. There's clearly a bulge in the seat of his boxers.

Also, somebody did a Wright brothers in that episode.

It took me awhile to find that episode on YouTube because I mistakenly believed it was the same one where Mr. T guest-starred. I have no idea why I thought that, because I have a remarkably good long-term memory regarding things I saw on TV.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cincinnati passes law to protect homeless

In an era when authorities will uproot homeless tent cities at the drop of a hat - just because they can - and when The Media cheers it on, it's refreshing to see any city take a progressive step to protect the homeless.

Today, Cincinnati became only the third American city to pass an ordinance to protect the homeless from hate crimes. The measure adds homeless status to the existing criminal intimidation law and imposes enhanced jail time on those who target homeless people.

The real questions though are: Why did it take this long? Why haven't most other cities passed such a law? Who could possibly oppose this law? At least in Cincinnati, City Council approved it unanimously.

Kentucky political figure Wendell Ford dies

It's hard to believe that a Democrat hasn't won a U.S. Senate election in Kentucky since 1992. That was the year Democrat Wendell Ford won his final term in the Senate (with a little help from those bright orange bumper stickers).

The governor-turned-senator died today at the age of 90.

Ford enjoyed strong labor support in general elections, and voted against the disastrous 1991 Gulf War and Clarence Thomas's confirmation to the Supreme Court. One of his most notable achievements was the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 - commonly known as the Motor Voter Act.

The Motor Voter Act directs the states to let people register to vote when they renew their driver's license or apply for various public services. It also says states can't remove voters from the rolls unless certain guidelines are met. The law met strong Republican opposition despite some signs that it's actually not harming GOP registration efforts. For instance, Kentucky - a state with many more registered Democrats than Republicans - reports that some months have had more Republicans than Democrats registering through the Motor Voter Act.

By the end of his Senate career, Ford held the second-highest post among Senate Democrats.

Contrast Ford against Kentucky's current pair of senators. It's mighty sad what's become of Kentucky's congressional representation after Ford's retirement.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Walker's wingnut welfare

Even as Republican voters are aging out of life itself, their public officials tend to be fairly young - because of The Media's double standard. Political candidates on the right don't need experience to be taken seriously by the Really Serious People. Candidates of the left and center may have a respectable career in public office, but their opponents on the right are considered at least their equal even if all they do is mooch off their rich daddy. Youth can be a good thing for a public official - but you should have real accomplishments too.

Wisconsin's slimy right-wing Gov. Scott Walker is 47 but sure as shit hasn't done much. His advancements in life have been given to him because of politics - not because he was qualified. In other words, Scott Walker benefits from wingnut welfare.

Molotov Scott never graduated college, but lately he's been claiming that he has a master's degree. Not being a college graduate shouldn't be a liability for a political candidate - but lying about it should be. He quit college in the spring of 1990 and was hired for a cushy job when he was only 22. He got the job because he had worked in the campaign of extremist Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Spring of 1990? I also had an experience in the spring of 1990 resulting from my political views - only it was a negative experience. That was when I was locked up and tortured for fighting against the George H.W. Bush thugocracy. While Molotov Scott was out partying and living it up, I was wondering if I'd even live long enough to start college.

I didn't finish college, but I have the equivalent of a 4-year degree, because I have 3 years of college and spent 5 years in high school - all difficult. So I went to school longer than Scott Walker did. Where's my easy life and praise from The Media? I've contributed at least as much to society as he has. If he's qualified to be President like The Media thinks, I am too.

I sacrificed much of my youth to get ahead. I worked like a dog to pay for my college textbooks. I busted my ass to finish as much schooling as I did. But Scott Walker partied. Walker doesn't understand the real world, because he's never been a part of it.

What gave Walker the right to act like he's qualified for any public office? After getting elected to the Wisconsin legislature, he proved what an idiot he is when he demanded the firing of a state employee because she was Wiccan. This remains one of the low points of a public career full of low points.

After not getting my degree, I try to improve myself instead of making excuses. I'm even starting an online class in March. What's Scott Walker ever done to improve his disgusting self? In his case though, he's a lost cause.

"Liberal" mayor fires worker over protest

If Boston truly had a progressive mayor, this story never would have taken place.

When Marty Walsh was elected Mayor of Boston, it was heralded as a victory for progressivism. Now Walsh's legacy is falling to rack and ruin. A few days ago, Walsh fired a 25-year-old employee of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families because she participated in a protest against police killings of unarmed civilians. The protest itself wasn't even in Boston, but in the suburb of Milton. Even if it was in Boston, it should have made no difference. The protest wasn't on work time.

That's like if the Campbell County Public Library had fired me from my job because of my involvement with The Last Word. Then again, I was expelled from NKU because of my political views, so I've had a parallel experience.

How many people have been fired from their job for participating in a Tea Party rally? Probably zero, but on the other hand, that's partly because most Tea Party folks are zillionaires who retired before turning 25. Still, you can't use the argument that the Tea Party has never blocked traffic, because I've been an eyewitness to at least a couple Tea Party marches that have done so.

Naturally, The Media's legal eagles have chimed in to defend the Boston firing. One said public employees have fewer free speech rights than the rest of us, even when they're not on work time. Um, no. I don't see anything in the Constitution that limits the First Amendment for public workers. If you had told me when I worked at the library that I had fewer First Amendment rights than everyone else, you would have found your face laughed in - even back then.

Hopefully there will be a lawsuit against the Walsh administration.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kentucky lawmaker opens mouth about poverty

For those who don't want the Kentucky Senate to permanently disband, this story doesn't exactly help their cause.

State Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) is a member of the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus even though he lives nowhere near northern Kentucky. Senate leaders haven't appointed even one Democratic senator from northern Kentucky to that caucus. Now Hornback has launched a war against the federal Community Service Block Grant program - which has assisted hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians just in the past year at finding jobs and other needs.

Hornback demanded that Kentucky send back the federal dollars it receives from this program. He called poverty a choice. "You can't eliminate the causes of poverty. That, a lot of times, is not something that any of us force on anybody. It's a path they choose and a lot of time they're very happy with it," Hornback sniffed. He continued, "You watch those TV programs, on 60 Minutes, a lot of those things about the homeless. That's a path they choose, to want to do those things and there's reasons for that."


Think of how idiotic that statement sounds. "Hey, I really enjoy not having 3 square meals a day. So I think I'll choose to be poor." Seriously, that's the world according to Paul Hornback. This statement also displays Hornback's fascism. A defining characteristic of fascism is victim-blaming.

We can expect this from the Kentucky Senate - which is gerrymandered under a map that violates the "one person, one vote" standard. That chamber has been on the forefront of ramping up the stupid. What America needs is stronger antifascism legislation to clean up this and other legislative bodies.

Without a serious effort to eschew fascists from public office, civil war is only becoming more inevitable. But the ball is in lawmakers' court. It's their choice.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

The enemy within Congress

To paraphrase Pogo (not Poco): We have met the enemy and they is Congress.

Last month, several fascist members of Congress - Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Sen. "Diaper Dave" Vitter (R-Louisiana), and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) - hosted a gathering in Washington of self-styled "constitutional sheriffs." The "constitutional sheriff" movement is a small gang of far-right lawmen who enjoy picking fights with the Obama administration. None of their ideas are actually drawn from the Constitution. Currently they're engaged in an effort to gather supporters to move into a county in Arizona and overthrow its government.

During this meeting, supporters of this movement gathered outside the White House and demanded Obama's lynching. One man declared, "Hang the lying Kenyan traitor terrorist piece of shit!" Another threatened to run the President through a wood chipper. Then they went to the meeting and shook hands with the congresscritters.

But they call me the crazy one because I voted for Steve Beshear?

What has to happen to get more people to realize just how stupidly dangerous and uncivilized the Far Right and much of Congress is? No false equivalence. Both sides are not equally guilty. Our side isn't out there demanding the death of a legitimately elected President.

I've known forever that the Evil Empire has something wrong with them, and this is more proof. You can't talk sense into people who have something as seriously wrong with them as this. Now they're in Congress.

So let's live in denial and ignore it some more.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Poll shows record liberal support

After that bizarre argument with a man with an Elmo-like voice after an Occupy Cincinnati event, I couldn't figure out whether I was a "liberal dumbass" or a "dumbass liberal." According to a new poll by Gallup, a record number of Americans are as much of a "dumbass liberal" as I am.

The survey asked folks if their political outlook is liberal, conservative, or moderate. It didn't use stronger language like "radical" or "leftist." Nonetheless, liberal support is the highest it's been in the survey's 23-year history. It's 50% higher than it was at its low point in 1995 - when The Media was cheering the 104th Reich. The new poll also has the most favorable gap ever between liberal and conservative support.

This is borne out by what I see on the ground. Locally, the mid-'90s appeared to be the high water mark of right-wing public support (though it undoubtedly peaked later in rural areas). It's been a long time since I've met anyone who advocates gunning down workers because they joined a union, so I'm pretty confident that the court of public opinion has spoken. Or maybe it's just because I don't live in Fort Wright.

How does this square with the fact that federal and state legislators have become much more conservative - even reactionary? The legislative branch is the most corruptible branch of government - but it's also become the most powerful, in defiance of the key principles of separation of powers. With lawmakers growing so out of step with public opinion, one thing appears inevitable: civil war.

This war of rightist aggression has actually already started - given the violence that regularly takes place against the Left (despite less public support for this violence). I have the resolve to fight against right-wing violence, and I will fight to the very last breath.


Ag-gag laws face challenge

Animals are protected by federal laws like the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 and Horse Protection Act of 1970, and by state laws throughout this fine land. But in recent years, the right-wing civic arsonists of ALEC have tried to gut these laws by passing what are called ag-gag laws. Ag-gag laws criminalize whistleblowers who expose factory farms that abuse animals.

In addition to protecting criminal behavior at factory farms, ag-gag laws are unambiguously unconstitutional: They infringe on whistleblowers' right to free speech.

But now Utah's ag-gag law is being challenged by the first 4 defendants to be charged under it. The group was charged last year for trying to document alleged abuses at a pig farm in Iron County. They didn't even set foot on the farm. All they did was photograph the farm from the public right-of-way.

Will the court overturn ag-gag laws? The First Amendment makes it clear that they must. But we live in an era where right-wing judges like to make up their own laws, so don't count on it.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Have no fear, the January ish is here!

The Last Word - your road atlas to freedom - enters its 23rd year with its January issue! This edition talks about Sea-Monkeys, other questionable toy purchases, and more...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Presidential fix needed for Social Security crisis

As an openly fascist Congress takes office, should we be shocked when they do openly fascist things? Only if it's something so far beyond the pale as slashing Social Security payments by 20%.

On the very first day of the new Congress, the Republicans instituted a rule change that - if left unanswered - will cut Social Security Disability Insurance checks by 20% by late 2016. This affects millions of Americans with a disability that impairs their livelihood. On average, each beneficiary will lose several hundred dollars per month.

That is commonly known as theft. Social Security is a contract. Everyone who gets benefits from it paid into it. It was bad enough that Social Security was robbed to pay for the illegal Iraq War - but even with that robbery, there's no reason to cut Social Security now, for the program will be solvent for decades even without the rule change. The public isn't clamoring for cutting Social Security. But the 1% is - and that's who the Republicans serve.

This rule change is also illegal, because Social Security is entitlement spending - as opposed to discretionary spending.

How can we stop this crap from hap? The President can and should issue an executive order to reverse Congress's rule change. Furthermore, if Social Security cuts ultimately take effect, human rights tribunals should be set up to place members of Congress on trial for crimes against humanity.

Fascism Advisory System: still orange after all these years

Early in this blog's history, I began using TinyPic to store pictures. But can we expect TinyPic today not to mysteriously lose our pictures and replace them with something completely irrelevant? It is to laugh! Unlike 8 years ago, TinyDick loses pictures regularly now.

If you see an old entry on this blog accompanied by a photo that has absolutely nothing to do with the entry, it's usually because TinyPic lost the picture that went with it and recycled the URL for a picture uploaded by someone else. I've warned TinyPic that if this harms my reputation in any way, there will be unshirted hell to pay, but they don't listen - because most stupid people don't. I don't have the time to go through this entire blog and remove all the TinyPic items.

It even happened to the Fascism Advisory System box on this blog. Today I discovered that TinyDick replaced it with a photo of an old red truck that has nothing to do with this website. TinyPic says that if nobody views a picture in 90 days, it will be subject to deletion, but the Fascism Advisory System gets thousands of views every day.

For the record, the Fascism Advisory System has held at orange (high) since 5 years ago when the scuzzo Citizens United ruling - which Congress hasn't done shit about - was handed down.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Mario Cuomo: a man who could have been President

The Democrats need more leaders like Mario Cuomo - and fewer hacks like the Democratic Leadership Council.

The former New York governor died today at the age of 82. For years, Cuomo was touted as a possible presidential candidate. Granted, the Democrats produced a competent nominee in 1988 in the form of Michael Dukakis, but just think what Cuomo would've done to poor ol' George Bush.

As late as 2000, Cuomo was being seriously thought of by some as a potential presidential standard-bearer. But by that time, the Democratic establishment - let alone The Media - would allow no such talk.

Leadership. That's what the Democrats need more of. If the party today had as many public figures with the leadership skills of Mario Cuomo, think what could be accomplished. Instead, half the Democrats are out there defending Steve Scalise just as stridently as the Republicans are.

One can hope that this will be the year that the Democrats regain their spine, but America has been let down too many times before. The good news is that the panacea - the knockout punch - against Republican obstructionism and hate is out there. I'm confident of that. But this year may be our last chance to unearth it.