Friday, October 30, 2015

Bevin causes another national laugh fest

As electoral victory for Matt Bevin slowly sinks into the sunset, he was due for another of his weekly scandals, and now he's living down to expectations.

The Republican candidate for governor tried to save his flailing campaign by sending out a letter to Kentucky's public school teachers soliciting their support. He somehow got a hold of the teachers' work e-mail addresses - which suggests that one of his campaign operatives infiltrated the schools and got their addresses somehow. The letter blames the Democrats for the teacher pension crisis - even though it was the Republicans' fault.

In any event, the letter violates Kentucky election law by directly soliciting contributions from public employees. That's not to mention laws that were broken by his campaign workers who work for school districts who obtained the e-mail addresses. And yes, from my experiences, I would believe that Kentucky school districts would hire Bevin operatives.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hastert convicted in hush money case

As Tea Party Republicans are about to anoint the laughable Paul Ryan as the new House Speaker, a GOP House Speaker from the past still haunts.

The disgraced Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty today to a federal charge of making numerous bank withdrawals to pay off an unidentified person to keep quiet about Hastert's sexual misconduct. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, but the prosecutor is seeking a lighter sentence of up to 6 months.

This is a plea deal that may keep other embarrassing details about the case from being revealed.

But Hastert is gone and in disgrace.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kentucky elections loom, and GOP is as idiotic as ever

I'm about to utter some words I thought I'd never say...

Gee, I can't wait to vote for Jack Conway!

As Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General inches towards a near-certain victory in the gubernatorial election on Tuesday, November 3, the Republican field is every bit the cavalcade of stupid we've come to expect. Conway is one of several statewide Democrats with clear leads in polls, and the Republicans deserve to lose as never before.

I've been urged to consider each race individually instead of voting a straight ticket. Despite this, I'm voting Democratic in each race. Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin - a Tea Party fave - has averaged a scandal a week, and lies every time he opens his mouth. Independent candidate Drew Curtis ruined his credibility by endorsing the laughable Donald Trump for President. (These days, independent candidacies often seem to be merely fronts for a precleared agenda, so why should we be surprised that an independent would support a right-wing billionaire?)

The GOP is also in shambles downballot. The Republicans run on hate, bigotry, and "right-to-work" fascism. They offer nothing positive. Not one damn thing. They offer much that is negative, which includes their ongoing corruption and crime.

Democrats this time do offer something positive - even if only timidly. Jack Conway says he'll support Kentucky's successful implementation of health care reform and oppose right-to-scab laws. Incumbent Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes plans to introduce online voter registration. Democratic Agriculture Secretary candidate Jean-Marie Lawson Spann supports allowing medical marijuana and is a leader in the popular effort to require labeling of genetically modified frankenfoods.

Hopefully, Kentucky won't emerge as another Kansas or Texas on election night.

Paper adds...In your mailbox...


I paid pretty close attention to local pop radio in my youth, and I've found some old articles in the trade magazines about paper adds. A paper add is a record that a station claims to have added to its regular playlist, even though the station actually seldom if ever plays it. Some of the trade papers said they would drop a station from its reporting panel if the station had paper adds - and would monitor stations to make sure they accurately reported their playlists. There was even talk of bringing wire fraud charges against offending stations.

WKRQ (Q-102) in Cincinnati used to be the local top 40 giant. But playlists there were narrow, and Q-102 was usually late in adding new music. A song could hit #1 nationally but not receive regular play at Q-102. I know this, because I heard this station enough to know.

And whaddya know, 30 years later, I've discovered Q-102 was reporting paper adds. For example, the record added at #30 on Q-102's playlist of September 21, 1984, was a paper add...

I never heard "The Lucky One" on Q-102 outside of American Top 40. Everything else on that playlist seems accurate to the best of my recollection - because I remember things like that. Yes, Q-102 really loved Chris de Burgh (even if he did look like Dr. Shrinker). But make no mistake, Laura Branigan was a paper add. Other Q-102 playlists on that website reveal "Run Runaway" and "Send Me An Angel" as likely paper adds - unless those songs were relegated to ungodly dayparts.

Conversely, Q-102 added "Borderline" by Madonna very late and began playing it constantly, but the song doesn't appear on any Q-102 playlists on that site.

None of these songs had any lyrical controversy that I know of. The station simply deemed these songs popular enough to report as an add but not popular enough to actually play - or vice versa.

I worked in radio later, and I know how this stuff works. In pop radio, there's usually a method to the madness of what a station plays. Most stations don't just take a big stack of records and play them randomly. Music flows are supposed to be carefully balanced. If you listen to a station enough, you can sometimes detect a pattern.

Somehow, I don't think Billboard is going to go back in time and correct its record charts from 30 years ago just because a station with paper adds was on its panel.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Right-wing dictatorship coming to Portugal?

Many of the world's leading nations are rejecting right-wing tyranny. Canadian voters, for instance, just ousted Stephen Harper's Conservative Party following 9 years of Harper's authoritarian temper tantrums. And in Greece, the left-leaning SYRIZA has emerged victorious on repeated occasions this year.

But now that a left-leaning coalition has cleaned up in Portugal's parliamentary elections, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva is barring the coalition from taking power because he doesn't like its views. He says the conservative minority should be allowed to stay in power just to appease the European Union, its authoritarian austerity program, and Big Business. He objects to the new coalition's support of Portugal dropping the euro as its currency.

All this in "democratic" Europe. The EU's stated policy says member nations must have democratic governments, but we know that's a sham, after the EU tolerated Italy's right-wing dictator Silvio Berlusconi. And make no mistake, Berlusconi was a dictator. If, say, Russia or China had a leader like that, people would admit it was a dictatorship. Why is it any different for an EU country? And why should it be any different if it happens in Portugal now?


Friday, October 23, 2015

Colonel Sanders likes Cincinnati chili

Yesterday, the Peace Bike and I went Roads Scholaring in Sedamsville, and on the way home I detected a celebrity-look alike!

I went downtown and picked up a cheese coney at Skyline Chili near Occupy Cincinnati's Piatt Park. While I was in the restaurant, I noticed there was a guy eating in there who strongly resembled Colonel Sanders!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Obama vetoes wasteful defense bill

Today, President Obama vetoed a defense bill passed by Congress.


For a very good reason: The bill was wasteful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Media "coaxed" Gulf War support (a blast from the past)

The right-wing media's manipulation of public opinion isn't new, and sometimes it lingers for years after an event takes place.

As late as 2001, Gallup still polled Americans about their support for the 1991 Gulf War, and Gallup's own 2001 synopsis is very revealing. The summary reads in part, "Despite the eventual popularity of the Persian Gulf War, Americans had to be coaxed into support for that effort." It says that in August 1990, a majority of Americans "opposed the United States' initiating military efforts to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait." By November, opposition stood at an astounding 51% to 37%.

But this report reveals that after the George H.W. Bush regime beat its war drum, public opinion swung by 27 points to favor this campaign.

Plus, right before the war began in January, Gallup showed that public opinion had made a 16-point swing towards Bush's position just since December because "the Bush administration had made considerable progress in persuading the public about the importance of forcing Iraq out of Kuwait." Support apparently increased much more during the war.

Nonetheless, in February, Americans still opposed a ground war by 74% to 17%. But after this phase of the war was launched and The Media's "rally effect" took hold, Americans ostensibly supported it by 84% to 11%.

I blame The Media because it was they who gave the Bush regime the soapbox to wheedle support from the public. If the press wasn't so one-sided, most people would have never relented in their opposition to the war.

In the ensuing decade, support for that war never declined much. This helped encourage the later Iraq War.

If public officials insist on basing their actions on polls, they should base them on what the polls said before The Media opened its billering trap. Not like the Bushes ever cared much about public opinion. When the people weren't on their side, the Bush crime family would feed their talking points to the press until they were.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tea Party now committing elder abuse

For decades, it's seemed like northern Kentucky has been on the cutting edge of looting public assets to pad corporate and personal profits, and the shutdown of Northern Kentucky Senior Services drives home this point.

Thanks to Tea Party misrule, Northern Kentucky Senior Services - a nonprofit that has served local seniors for a half-century - will be closing down this week, leaving your parents and grandparents to their own devices. The agency has run out of operating funds.

This nauseating news comes just after local counties have reauthorized an unconstitutional program that lavishes taxpayer funds on private schools that can afford to pay for their own transportation. It also comes while Boone County is spending badillions defending its unconstitutional "right-to-work" ordinance in court. And, as far as I can tell, Campbell County is still giving public money to a luxury high-rise development by exempting it from property taxes. If local governments have money for luxury high-rises and defending ideological pursuits like "right-to-work", certainly they should have money for senior services. That's part of what living in a society is all about.

The Tea Party should be charged with elder abuse lickety-split.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

School uniform rightists caught stuffing ballot box

Listen to what happened in Volusia County, Florida!

In the wake of a Tea Party-backed effort to require students in public schools to wear uniforms, the school district posted a survey on the Internettage about it. According to the final results, 49% of principals, teachers, and parents favored uniforms, while 47% opposed them.

That seems a little off, since most surveys in other communities show overwhelming opposition, but a report from WMFE-FM makes things a little clearer. It says, "Results showed more principals took the survey than the number of principals there are in the district."

In other words, uniform supporters stuffed the ballot box. As usual, facts aren't on their side, so they cheat to win.


Drug warriors fiddled while northern Kentucky burned

If you support the War on Drugs in the manner it's been carried out, you're soft on crime, and this story proves it.

In recent months, I've been the victim of a classic cancer scam - a scam that everyone falls for, without exception. I eventually discovered beyond a shadow of a doubt that the con artist was actually buying illicit drugs. I have probable cause to believe this includes heroin - the scourge of northern Kentucky in the 2010s. The police now know about this swindler, and I've filed a lawsuit in small claims court in a long shot effort to force reimbursement.

As things stand right now, it's not important for me to publicly identify the defendant just for the sake of doing so. The greater crime was committed by the drug warriors who have spent the past 35 years mortgaging civil liberties, demonizing dissidents, destroying careers, promoting prejudice, and padding the prison industry's profits.

Remember a few years ago when the right-wing media wanted to enact laws to require a prescription to buy over-the-counter allergy medicine, saying it would completely eliminate meth labs? Except there have never been any meth labs in Campbell County. In a county with 90,000 people, no meth labs have ever been found. Not one. And places that did enact such restrictions saw an increase in meth labs. Kentucky was teetering on the brink of passing such a law, but finally settled on a so-called "compromise."

The battle in Kentucky - and elsewhere - took everyone's eye off the ball. The press was trying to make criminals out of anyone who found a booger in their nose, but heroin abuse was skyrocketing and nobody was even noticing. I'm not interested in throwing the book at someone for using heroin. Addiction is an illness - and shouldn't be considered a crime on its own. If anyone must be prosecuted, I'd be more interested in going after the big drug pushers - the organized criminals who never get caught because the drug warriors are too busy going after people who smoked a little weed 15 years ago.

Recently, it came to light that Republican county officials in northern Kentucky rejected an offer from the federal government that would have designated the region as a high-priority heroin area and provided some money to fight this plague. Some said local officials rejected it simply because they didn't want to work with the Obama administration. Rejecting it for that reason would have been bad enough, but the real reason is that they didn't want their Tea Party donors caught for their heroin dealing.

Lastly, some in high places have been shooting their mouths off about what they think is behind the rise in opioid abuse, when anyone familiar with northern Kentucky demographics should know better. Not only did these statements possibly fan the fires of bigotry, but they too have taken people's eye off the ball.

I'm shocked that a drug-linked case that I'm personally familiar with fell right into prosecutors' laps, and nothing is being done about it - after 35 years of people doing hard time for offenses that weren't nearly as bad.

I don't expect to win my lawsuit, but I'll make sure justice is served. I will make sure other local voters know of my experiences, and how public officials are going to amazing lengths to cover their cronies' asses. I also think the actions of the defendant are fair fodder for an e-book.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Far Right doesn't like it when I Kro for it

I've been faced with another encounter with the same type of ultra-right-wingers who attacked Occupy.

This morning, I posted here about how I was forced to abandon a cart full of groceries at Kroger last night. It wasn't anything against the Kroger chain in particular. It was because I wasn't getting any service at that location. In fact, I went to another Kroger afterward and got fine service. I also posted this morning's entry on Facebook - which used to be automatic, before Facepoo abolished that feature - and it was shared to at least one Facebook group.

Facebook later deleted it from the group where it was shared - which isn't too surprising, because they've deleted my posts before. (Way to privatize Usenet, Facebook!) But not before the unexpected deluge of right-wing venom that I received in response!

This is how the Tea Party thought police acts. When they see someone challenging an established corporation, they will try to ruin the person's life. Just like what they did to the guy who made the video of himself ordering water at Chick-fil-A. When he posted that clip, he instantly became a villain in the minds of the right-wing media. He fielded countless threatening phone calls, received shit in the mail, lost his job, and found himself being rejected for new jobs. The reaction to last night's Kroger incident has been no less vitriolic. (Never mind that the abandoned cart contained no perishable items - and even if it did, it was the store's fault if they spoiled. I waited a good 20 minutes before I had to abandon the cart.)

In response to my entry, a person replied...

"I guess you are an asshole and proud of it. Good luck with karma."

Another said...

"Next time shop elsewhere Kroger dont need your business or want it."

Still another declared...

"I think this guy needs a serious psychological evaluation. No one in their right mind would think this is funny. I wonder what high school this criminal attended."

Hahaha, a "criminal"? The county won't prosecute someone who wrote me a series of bad checks, yet I'm the one who's a "criminal"? But the upside-down manner in which incidents involving me are handled is not new. It goes back decades. I've been the victim of many crimes that have gone unpunished, but authorities wasted absolutely no time in catching me for "trespassing" for using a university library that was open to the public, or nabbing me for the "crime" of using washable sidewalk chalk on a sidewalk (just because they didn't like the message).

If the heroin dealers in the Tea Party lay one finger on me, they get broken bones. End of story.

I goed Krogering the cool people way

Last night, I did a funny at Kroger because they didn't have the mill-mill I like.

I regularly go to the Kroger supermarket in Bellevue, and I seek whole chocolate milk each time. I have hypocobalaminemia, so I'm supposed to drink whole milk. But lately, this store has been out of this moo-moo - even though they always have several shelves of watered-down skim milk staring down at me.

Last night was no exception. The shelf for whole chocolate milk has been empty for a couple weeks now. Recently, store employees have told me that people always buy up all the whole milk but someone in the dairy room keeps canceling the orders to replace it. When I Krogered last night, I could see that they actually had some in the dairy room behind the shelves where I couldn't reach it. But there were no employees anywhere in sight to fetch it for me.

I seriously considered barging into the dairy room - a restricted area - and getting it myself, but it looked like I'd need a key. Now, by that time, I had already filled my cart with several items. So instead I pushed my cart to near the front of the store and just abandoned it, with all the items still in it. I trudged up to the Kroger in Newport instead.

Kroger in Bellevue must have pooped a hole in its pants when the abandoned cart full of groceries was discovered just sitting there!

'Twas kinda neat!

Monday, October 12, 2015

War on Halloween comes early to Connecticut this year

Once again, dominionist whack-a-doos get their way.

In Milford, Connecticut, school officials have already announced their intent to cancel Halloween activities this year. Why? Because some right-wing Bible-thumpers told them to cancel it.

There really is no limit on how far people will go to accommodate these extremists, is there?

A person just plain old bunkerooed

Last night, at an important family gathering, an SBD bunker blast was detected. It was what we call a standard stinker. Outdoors, no less! This is all the more notable, because usually the wind blows the stink away.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A person bunkerooed at the libe

For once, I thought I'd make it through a visit to the library without detecting the uproarious audio of a loud-and-proud bunker blast.

But who was I kidding? Ronald Reagan.

Today I went to the Newport libe. I was almost done there as I was walking towards the shelves near the back, when I heard it. Yes, a backdoor breeze. An air biscuit. Someone cut the Colby! I thought it was a person walking behind me, but this has not been proven, so no suspects can be indicted for this hilarious wafto.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fox News, tear down this wall!

Oh the stupid. It burns.

Monica Crowley is a far-right commentator for the white supremacist Fox News Channel. And because Fox News has unrealistic ideas about everything, Fox News supports the costly and unpopular wall being built along the Mexican border.

Today, Monica Crowley highlighted this point by sending out a text blast saying, "At the Berlin Wall last week. Walls work." It was accompanied by her standing in front of a brightly painted wall.

She was at the Berlin Wall last week? Uh, hate to tell you this, Monica, but the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. The wall she was standing at damn sure wasn't the Berlin Wall.

And even if it was, how do "walls work"? I guess they really do work - for a dictatorship.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Scientists want climate change denial industry busted under RICO

The worst criminals in America are climate change deniers.

But if there's even a shred of justice left in this land, the climate change denial industry will be prosecuted under RICO. A group of 20 scientists has penned the Obama administration, urging the government to prosecute the industry for racketeering under the RICO law.

The climate change denial racket is a practitioner of organized crime and fraud. The petitioners have likened the industry to Big Tobacco - which was also targeted under RICO. A RICO probe got the tobacco industry to stop deceiving consumers about the hazards of smoking.

Corporations that are part of the denial racket must be prosecuted to the fullest. The list of Gestapoey actions the denial industry has committed goes on and on. For years, they've faked data in an attempt to enrich itself. Not only have they profited from their deception, but they've also threatened violence and economic ruin against those who challenge them. They've even engaged in a long-running conspiracy to commit perjury.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) has already backed an effort to investigate the industry under RICO. RICO is meant to punish people who conspire to harm other people - which is exactly what the denialists have done.

Do we actually expect RICO to be unleashed on the denial racket? Don't count on it, considering my high school was never prosecuted under it. RICO is one of the most underused laws on the books, but would be one of the most effective if it was used more. If the Tea Party's heroin dealing is prosecuted under RICO, I'll have more faith in RICO being used against other corporate thugs.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Oregon college shooter was right-wing Republican

The shooter in the Umpqua Community College massacre has been identified as one Chris Harper Mercer.

On a dating website, Mercer had listed his political views as "conservative, republican."

Is anyone at all surprised?

Bill Straub blasts Massie

This is hilarious!

You're gonna love the latest Bill Straub column at the Northern Kentucky Tribune. In this piece, Straub blasts local far-right congressweirdo Thomas Massie for his ongoing complain-a-thon...

Notice how Massie acts like every general election is a Republican primary (even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in the 4th District despite Boone County gunking things up). Massie's definition of "the people" includes only the Tea Party.