Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Amendment? Not for laid-off workers

The Republicans pretend to be flag-waving superpatriots, sweeping their hairy nutsacks across a relief map of this fine land.

But they lie. The GOP is the party of offshoring American jobs to overseas sweatshops. Plus, they abuse the temporary visa program and exploit foreign workers in America.

I have nothing against immigration in general. But I find it interesting that Republicans build their political machine on attacking immigrants but won't even hire American workers.

And now, workers who were fired because their employer offshored their work or gave their jobs to foreign laborers on temporary visas are no longer allowed to speak out. That's because employers are forcing workers to sign agreements prohibiting them from criticizing the company even when they no longer work there.

This is an outright affront to the First Amendment, and I don't see how any court in its right mind would uphold a clause like this. I can see maybe the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upholding it, since they've rarely met a corporation they didn't like, but no Constitution obeyer would ever uphold it.

Now some members of Congress are taking notice and are threatening to crack down on companies that make workers sign such a clause. But - given this Congress's record of obstructionism - don't hold your breath that anything will be done.

Sounds like Congress needs another sit-in.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Trump runs most racist campaign in modern times

Donald Trump is running the most openly racist campaign among major candidates for President of the United States in modern times. Yes, I remember when the KKK endorsed George W. Bush, but Bush at least tried to hide that.

Trump had right-wing talk show host Howie Carr of WRKO radio in Boston appear at one of his rallies today in Maine. Why Maine, I have no idea, because Trump has no chance of winning Maine anyway. In any event, Carr gave a speech where he mentioned Elizabeth Warren - and made fun of her Cherokee background by launching into a war chant.

The Trump campaign keeps using this outdated meme - just as Scott "Records" Brown did. Frankly, it's racist. Incredibly racist. Racist beyond words.

What would the FCC think about WRKO having a racist talk show? Remember that station in Kansas that got its license pulled because it broadcast racist propaganda?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Drive-by in Fort Thomas

I just heard a report that some hooligans driving around Fort Thomas threw a soft drink cup at pedestrians.

If this shit becomes a regular thing again like it's 1988, my Detroit move might be back on.

Now you know why I support allowing concealed carry.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Jake brakes a mistake in the Belv

Don't look now, but Bellevue may finally be cracking down on wayward construction traffic that threatens the city.

Dayton's rubber-stamping of the unsustainable Manhattan Harbour development has led to noisy construction trucks speeding through Bellevue on Fairfield Avenue. It isn't constant, but it's been occurring on and off for well over a year. It's also nowhere near the same league as the pile driver of a decade ago - or even the sanitation district's 3 AM jackhammer of several months ago - but neighbors have grown tired of it.

The trucks have been seen flying down the street at 50 MPH - twice the speed limit - and have disobeyed traffic lights and almost struck pedestrians. The trucks also have loud, squeaky engine brakes that have kept folks awake in the middle of the night. If I wanted to hear that much squeaking, I'd go buy a rubber duckie like Ernie. The evidence is mighty convincing that this construction firm does this just because they can. There are actually several different companies with construction trucks for this project, but I know of only one to be implicated in this reckless behavior.

Last week, this nuisiential conduct was brung up at a Bellevue City Council session. I wasn't there, but I found a video of the meeting online. Listening through the muffling noise of the video, I learned that the city is dusting off its neglected jake brake ordinance and plans on sending the construction company a cease-and-desist letter.

Do you seriously think Fort Thomas would tolerate this much noise and danger? The working people of Bellevue have as much right to a tolerable standard of living as the aristocrats in Fort Thomas do.

Britain votes to leave EU

In a surprise vote, voters in Britain have just approved a referendum to leave the European Union.

But many of those who campaigned to leave the EU did so for the wrong reasons, and the vote was also dampened by the assassination of Jo Cox. Nonetheless, the EU is largely a potpourri of undemocratic ideas - which unfairly favors corporations, regiments personal behavior, suppresses dissent, and shoves austerity down the public's throats. It seems the EU writes most member nations' laws these days - with minimal public input. Despite the EU"s lip service to democracy, the EU has tolerated right-wing dictatorships like that of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi.

Following the vote, stock markets worldwide plummeted - hurting nobody who isn't an investor.

Britain's vote should also blunt interest in dragging the United States into a North American Union modeled on the EU. At least President Obama is on record as opposing entry into a North American Union.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gun law sit-in: sorting good bills from the bad

While Republicans display unprecedented cowardice, I'm still developing my ideas to combat America's pandemic of mass shootings. Like I said, it will take time.

Congressional Democrats' sit-in has been a winner in the court of public opinion. Republicans have already adjourned Congress to begin their Fourth of July vacation almost 2 weeks early, but the sit-in continued until today. It would serve the GOP right if they caught the flu and it ruined their break.

This sit-in was inspired by congressional inaction on 4 gun-related bills. The press's reporting has gotten so lazy that it's hard to discern exactly what was in the bills, but we'll try to broadly sort good ideas from the bad.

The good: Expanded background checks. If you buy a gun at a gun shop, you already have to undergo a background check. Why should flea markets and gun shows be any different? A disproportionate number of gun purchases by right-wing domestic terrorists have taken place at these venues - not shops with fixed locations. For at least 30 years, the biggest criminal threat to America has been from right-wing domestic terrorism, and this has to become a major focus of legislative and law enforcement action.

The bad:
Using the "no fly" list to deny gun purchases. Another website calls this a "bad, stupid bill" because the "no fly" list is itself irreparably flawed. Our civil liberties support must extend to abolishing the "no fly" list. The list was developed by the thuggish Bush regime and is full of people who have no connection to terrorism or other serious crime. We didn't like the list when it was used to deny people the right to travel, so why should it be used for anything else?

In addition to honing in on right-wing extremism, we should repeal Bush's law that shields irresponsible gun dealers from being sued for customers' crimes.

The sit-in was certainly effective at calling attention to Republicans' inaction. I hope the Democrats have sit-ins on other issues too, like the minimum wage or expanding Social Security.

Dorito dreamin'

Last night, I had a dream that I ate a bag of Doritos from 1977.

Interpret it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Letcher County rejects bathroom stupidity

The talking heads insist rural Kentucky is where the Far Right's future rests - as if it's somehow naturally ordained - but now the region seems to be souring on right-wing social engineering.

Recently, an ordinance was proposed in Letcher County that would have prohibited transgender people from using public restrooms. This has been a right-wing cause celebre lately - kind of like the union-busting "right-to-work" laws everyone hates.

But this week, Letcher County Fiscal Court voted 5 to 1 to reject the measure. This vote followed a fiscal court meeting where about 20 local residents urged the court to reject it.

If Team Tyranny is losing the areas that are thought to be their emerging geographic base, they're losing, period.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Commentator who lied about Sanders supporters throwing chairs loses job

Meet Jon Ralston. He's the "journalist" who started the lie that Bernie Sanders delegates in Nevada threw chairs at the state Democratic convention.

Ralston had a show on several PBS stations in Nevada, and numerous news outlets picked up his claim about the chair throwings. Later, however, Ralston's claim was completely discredited.

Now Ralston's show has been shitcanned.

Bye, liar.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Tea Party drug scandal makes national news

Just think. My hometown of 6,000 is now the site of the most significant Tea Party drug bust ever. And it's made national news...

I caught on to the Tea Party's drug dealing before this scandal broke. Absolutely nailed it.

The Wikipedia entry on Highland Heights, Kentucky, needs to mention this drug bust.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

West Virginia mayor bolts GOP because of all the fascism

If West Virginia was the only state still trending Republican, it looks like that shoe may be about to drop.

Danny Jones is the longtime mayor of Charleston, West Virginia - and was elected repeatedly as a Republican. Now he's announced that he's leaving the party and becoming an independent.

Why? Because it bips. No, seriously, Jones is leaving the GOP because of the party's burgeoning extremism. He cites Donald Trump's nomination and Republican lawmakers' obsession with misnamed "religious liberty" bills as reasons for leaving the party. Jones said, "I'm basically a city guy, and I believe live and let live and stay out of each other's bedroom."

Apparently, the right-wing establishment hated Jones anyway. They called him a "liberal" because of his stance on the local commuter tax and other issues. This despite the fact that he had supported Republican candidates for years.

I bet he's not the last high-profile public official in a place like Charleston to dump the GOP this year.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Boom. Campbell County Tea Party activist arrested for selling opiates.

What did I tell you?

I've said for a year that the Tea Party has been supporting itself by selling drugs. People didn't listen. They just thought it was a left-wing conspiracy theory.

Anyone who doubted me is eating crow now.

John Roth, 60, of Cold Spring is one of Campbell County's leading Tea Party voices. He was a key plaintiff in the frivolous lawsuit against the library and often launches tirades at local government meetings wearing a Donald Trump cap. Now he's been arrested by police in my hometown of Highland Heights for a felony charge of selling oxycodone, a widely abused opiate.

Think I'm making this up? Think again. Even the right-wing Cincinnati Enquirer is covering the story...

So you're saying the Enquirer is making that up?

Roth, incidentally, was at the county government meeting in April regarding heroin programs. His pals ranted that the county was enabling heroin abuse by enacting a needle exchange.

Bevin appointee smoked crack in front of daughter

Matt Bevin can't do a single damn thing right.

Now yet another appointee in Bevin's corrupt administration is under fire for criminal activity. Noelle Hunter - who was appointed by Bevin to head Kentucky's Office of Highway Safety - was once charged with child endangerment for smoking crack cocaine in her car in front of her infant daughter.

This is the person in charge of overseeing drunken and drugged driving programs - and gets paid over $80,000 a year for it - yet she smoked crack in her car with her child inside.

Strangely, the record of this charge had been expunged - while many Kentuckians charged with far less serious crimes have it on their record for decades. The Republican system of favoritism is seen in action yet again.

Oh, and the mandatory Tea Party spamming of news website comment sections to defend Noelle Hunter is in progress.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

British legislator assassinated by man yelling right-wing slogan

It isn't only America where right-wing extremism is a threat. Britain is under siege too.

Jo Cox, 41, of the Labour Party was a popular member of Parliament. Cox has died after she was shot repeatedly and then stabbed outside a library - in full view of witnesses.

The killer - a man named Thomas Mair - yelled, "Britain First!" This is the name of a right-wing political party in Britain.

Acts of violence like this plague many countries and have many victims - but a common denominator is that they are all carried out by right-wing extremists. Without exception. And it's just as relevant to America as it is to Britain.

That's why we need to crack down on the Right.

Strange dream about an Arkansas road trip

Here's another weird dream to interpret.

This dream took place shortly before I woke up yesterday morning. It seems as if the longest, most involved dreams take place late in a sleep session. During this dream, a family member and I were on a road trip across Arkansas or some other predominantly rural state. A state trooper pulled us over for some trumped-up offense and transported us to a local gas station food mart.

We were not cuffed, but we were held inside the store with numerous other people nabbed by the long arm of the law. The trooper ordered us all to stay in the store while he left. He said he'd return later.

After what seemed like about a half-hour, I and my family member simply got up and walked away from the store.

I know it's not as hilarious as the dream with Ronald Reagan walking down a hotel hallway with smoke coming out of his pants, but it still bears interpreting.

A new sampling of Kentucky GOP fail

The Republicans' chances of winning the Kentucky House this year (or ever again) are diminishing as we speak - and it's not just because Matt Bevin and Donald Trump are so unpopular.

Wesley Morgan of Richmond is said to be one of the GOP's best chances at unseating an incumbent Democrat. But this Tea Party favorite shoots his mouth off so much that this chance is sinking into the sunset. Recent posts on his personal Facebook page consist largely of memes praising Donald Trump, idiotic race-baiting, conspiracy theories, and the like. He even has a meme that says, "Islam: contributing not one damn thing to humanity for 1400 years."

Wesley Morgan hasn't contributed a damn thing to humanity for 1,400 years.

Get this: Morgan even posted a meme criticizing the government for enacting age of consent laws.

To run for state rep in a college town (the district doesn't even include the whole county) on a far-right platform that includes slashing higher education funding, in what will probably be a relatively high-turnout election, is not a recipe for victory. But some still insist it's one of the best chances for a Republican pickup. I'm wondering if the GOP will flip a single damn seat.

Why do Democrats have a majority in the Kentucky House but not in legislatures in other states that fit this regional or demographic profile? I think it's because the Kentucky GOP has such a record of violence and corruption that it drives away swing voters. There's no way Republicans in, say, Ohio or maybe Iowa are this bad. You've got to see Kentucky Republicans in action to appreciate 'em. They really are that horrible.

Did I mention Wesley Morgan - although a close Matt Bevin ally - hates Paul Ryan too? He posted on Facepoo an article with a doctored picture of Ryan wearing a turban.

This could be the year that vanquishes the GOP at the national level. But we don't want the Republicans to keep shambling along in Kentucky - even though it's a rural state. Get them out of here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Have no fear, the June ish is here!

It's issue #500 of The Last Word! Can you believe that?!

We have no special activities in store though as we churn along and expose a local county's corruption in refusing to serve the papers in a small claims lawsuit. We also expose how the Get Along Gang was likely part of a right-wing plot, and we talk about how technological unemployment is destroying a right-wing talking point.

So point your pooper here...

Right-wing extremist commits mass shooting in West Virginia

It's happened again.

America has seen yet another mass shooting - this time at the hands of a right-wing extremist in West Virginia. On Monday, Erick Shute ambushed and fatally gunned down 3 neighbors. He then went on the run and was found yesterday in Pennsylvania. He then admitted killing the men.

Shute calls himself a "sovereign citizen" - which is just his way of saying he's a right-winger who thinks he shouldn't have to obey the law like everyone else. The "sovereign citizen" concept isn't based on any real principles - and fails to remedy any real injustice. It's nothing but repackaged right-wing nonsense.

Shute was also a big supporter of Rand Paul's ill-fated presidential bid and Orly Taitz's birther conspiracy theories. Shute also said he'd only support military personnel if they burned down the White House, and he said Michelle Obama is "really a man."


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rodent goes extinct because of climate change

Are the climate change deniers happy now?

For the first time ever, a species of mammal has gone extinct solely because of climate change caused by human activity. A rodent called the Bramble Cay melomys - which had a mouse-like appearance and inhabited a tiny island off the Australian coast - appears to have been wiped out.

One out of every 6 species may become extinct because of climate change.

As recently as 1978, hundreds of Bramble Cay melomys lived on the island. None have been seen since 2009. This beautiful animal became extinct because climate change has caused rising sea levels that have flooded the island. The melomys lost 97% of their habitat in only 10 years.

All because of right-wing obstructionism.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Time to crack down on right-wing hate groups

The Orlando massacre was right-wing domestic terrorism and a hate crime.

The gunman was originally from New York, so this was not international terrorism. Police even confirmed that it was domestic terrorism. The attack certainly wasn't left-wing, because I've never heard of any left-wingers who are militantly antigay.

The problem isn't that people are allowed to own guns. The problem is that right-wing bigots are allowed to own guns. Everyone is afraid to pinpoint this as the issue, because the Far Right has screamed so much about being "persecuted" that people are afraid of being shouted down if they put forth a reasonable proposal to combat domestic terrorism.

America has right-wing hate groups like Alliance Defending Freedom that operate essentially unfettered. The country is also dotted with other entities that promote bigotry as they encourage their followers to become involved in positions of public trust.

Broadly speaking, a crackdown on right-wing hate groups is badly needed. It will take time to figure out more specific actions that should be taken. This should be a serious nationwide discussion - not something limited to this blog.

Meanwhile, right-wing loudmouths already began blaming President Obama for the massacre even before I discovered it had taken place.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Teen program files SLAPP suit against critics

One of my proudest moments was when I helped get a chain of abusive teen residential programs shut down in 2009. I didn't accomplish this feat singlehandedly. I joined forces with people who had been abused by this or other programs.

The industry is itself abusive. I know this firsthand because of the abusive program I was forced to attend for getting expelled from high school for disagreeing with the school's right-wing agenda.

Suppressing dissent still looms large. Anyone who dares to criticize a residential facility for young people risks being sued by the program.

Trinity Teen Solutions in Clark, Wyoming, is an all-female residential program for teenagers who are alleged to be dealing with poor academic performance, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, or other struggles. The program describes itself as a Catholic "youth ranch" and charges as much as $195 a day for each resident. County commissioners recently rubber-stamped an expansion of the facility.

But 3 young women who were in the program as teens have given it bad reviews on the Internet. In response to these reviews, Trinity Teen Solutions is now suing them in federal court in an effort to shut them up. The program says the reviewers "conspired and worked together" to recruit people to criticize it.

That's a lie. The reviewers did not "conspire." They posted their reviews independently of each other.

The reviewers claim on Facebook and in complaints to the Better Business Bureau that Trinity Teen Solutions mistreated them, denied them decent food and medical care, and barred them from telling their family how bad the program was.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Finally! Soda tax expands to diet drinks

Don't look now, but the proposed tax on soft drinks in Philadelphia has been expanded to include diet beverages that are laden with poisonous artificial sweeteners.

The tax hasn't been approved yet, but it has a very real chance of passage. The fact that it has been expanded to diet drinks makes it a much easier pill to swallow.

Target bombed over transgender policy

Well, it's happened.

Retail chain Target has faced right-wing wrath lately because of the retailer's relatively tolerant stance towards transgendered people. I reiterate, it's all relative: Big corporations typically are not giants of tolerance.

As right-wing activists have been harassing Target customers by following them around the store and into restrooms, things have gotten real at a Target location in Evanston, Illinois. Somebody set off a bomb in the women's restroom there.

Luckily, nobody was in the lavatory when the bomb exploded. Otherwise, serious injuries would have been certain.

Now can we call it terrorism?


Monday, June 6, 2016

Clinton clinches Democratic nomination

I don't know how the Associated Press managed to "find" enough delegates for Hillary Clinton to clinch the Democratic nomination a full day before the polls close in California, but they did.

In some ways, this isn't too surprising. I believe it was in the Texas gubernatorial election of 1998 that media outlets managed to post George W. Bush's winning percentage days before the election. Then again, that was a general election, and the press always supports Republicans in those. Just like how they support Republicans in the Democratic primary.

Also, I know superdelegates don't vote until July, but the whole point of superdelegates is to protect establishment candidates, so there isn't much of a window to keep Clinton from being the nominee.

Hope you enjoy your new right-wing President.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chuck Woolery, a hypocrite

Does anyone give a shit what this washed-up has-been thinks?

Chuck Woolery is a game show host from some years back who you may vaguely remember. Lately, all he does is shoot his mouth off on right-wing TV and radio shows.

Recently, in a Fox News appearance, Woolery praised the McCarthy-era practice of blacklisting alleged communists. He also attacked people who want the minimum wage increased.

As it turns out, Chuck Woolery actually left Wheel Of Fortune in 1981 because of a pay dispute. He wanted to be paid $500,000 a year - which was a fortune in 1981 - just to work 30 minutes a day.

Yet he criticizes people who are aren't asking for nearly as much money to work a full-time schedule? What an idiot.

Baste of Newport a yawner

I goed to Taste of Newport today, and it was as boring as it always is.

But I did see a person who was in a festive enough mood that they bubbled.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kentucky police chief faces federal drug charges

It really is time to stop kidding ourselves about this. The fact is that drugs are propping up right-wing corruption in Kentucky. The Bluegrass State is becoming a narcorepublic - perhaps even a narcodictatorship - run by drug lords in high places.

Now Police Chief Jackie Stewart of Lynch, Kentucky, and his girlfriend Rettie Morris have been arrested on federal charges of illegally distributing drugs - including cocaine, meth, and Suboxone. The couple is also accused of selling a gun and ammo to a convicted felon. They may each face up to 60 years in prison and almost $3 million in fines.

It also turns out that there was a burglary at the police department just before the police chief's arrest. Money and evidence were stolen.

And people wonder why we can't trust anyone.


Right-wing revolving door = early retirement

The right-wingers are always whining that everyone else doesn't work - when the right-wingers won't work themselves. They tell everyone else (no matter their age) to get a job in fast food, when the right-wingers have never had to work in fast food.

How come a guy who is only about my age (about 43) who has no disabling physical condition whatsoever able to retire already? I had dealings with this contemptible character once in 2000, so I've kept an eye on him. I know he had an important job then, but he abused his position (in dealings with me and others). He apparently was rewarded with a more lucrative job later. According to his Facebook page, he has 5 tiny tots to raise, so how can he afford retiring in his early 40s?

It seems that even before he officially retired, he stopped doing actual labor. One of his Facebook posts from several years back shows him out having fun on a Friday morning when everyone else was at work. How can he afford this?

No worries. He's got it made. He's part of the right-wing revolving door. They've kept him fed, and they'll continue to do so for the rest of his stupid life. His political views were evident years ago, and were later made public on Facebook. He clearly has a screw loose. He benefited from the local Republican machine, which encouraged his abuse and let him quickly rise through the echelons of society for greater rewards.

Call it wingnut welfare, if you will (or if you won't).

I had to get a job when I was 17, and was repeatedly assaulted on the way home from work. Plus, I've had PTSD for years. You can be a hard worker like me - or you can be someone who beats the system like the guy in this story and gets away with it because of politics. On the other hand, he never should have even been hired for the jobs he had. His right-wing extremism should have been a disqualifying factor. Maybe it's for the best that now he's being kept away from any position of responsibility.

That doesn't make it right. The most fitting justice I can think of at the moment would be the immediate arrest and detention of right-wing public officials who have allowed this to happen. I despise them, and I am quite certain I could break their fucking noses and be grinning the whole time.