Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kentucky launches court-ordered voter suppression

If Matt Bevin manages to survive the election even though he's trailing by 10%, now we'll know why.

Kentucky is being forced to remove 250,000 "inactive" voters from its rolls. This is in response to a settlement resulting from a frivolous lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a far-right group that has sued climate scientists and has made numerous false claims that have been picked up as media talking points.

Judicial Watch falsely claimed that Kentucky had more voters on its rolls than citizens who were at least 18. This is untrue. The group also claimed that failure to remove voters violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. That too is a lie, for this law actually limits voters from being removed.

California must remove 5 million voters from its rolls.

It's unclear how these states are being forced to remove all these voters, for Judicial Watch doesn't have an army. This sounds like yet another case where public officials are caving to irrational right-wing bullies who have a megaphone.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Bubbling season is upon us!

Summer is bubbling season! That doesn't mean bubbling is any less hilarious at any other time of the year. But the warm weather does make it easier.

Today, I went to the pool at Ziegler Park, because I knew it would be one of approximately 3 days this year I'd be able to use it. While I was there, some woman bubbled.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ohio GOP strips PTSD coverage from first responders

The unchecked evil of the modern Republican Party is endless.

Republicans are stripping PTSD coverage from Ohio's budget for worker's comp for first responders - such as police, firefighters, and paramedics. The GOP claims to be such big supporters of police, but now they've let the mask slip. It's not like we should be surprised, as some of America's biggest criminal enterprises are aligned with the Republicans. After all, it wasn't the Green Party that led that standoff in Oregon a couple years ago.

The official position of Republicans in recent years seems to be that PTSD is a hoax made up by military and civilians to game the system. This stance goes at least as far back as Sally Satel's right-wing attacks against war veterans who sought benefits for PTSD. Donald Trump made similar attacks during the 2016 campaign.

It's a fact that Republican leaders at the state and federal levels don't love their country. They have a history of praising anti-American foreign dictatorships. They also do not love humanity. Many of those in leadership positions within the party are simply bad people.


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Far Right spreads bunk about bunk bed price-gouging

We all know there's a sucker born every minute, and that's why corporations can charge confiscatory costs for housing. And of course the right-wing media cheers it on.

Someone shared a story from CNN on a local Facebook page about how people are now spending $1,200/month for not an apartment or even a room - but just a bunk bed inside a cubicle. CNN laughably claimed this was affordable housing. And you know what? People are going to lap up this claim like toilet water. I pay only about one-third of that for a whole efficiency apartment, but CNN is trying to manipulate public opinion by making people think $1,200/month for just a bed is a big bargain.

It gets sillier. Some right-wing extremist responded to the post, saying, "Those who are looking for the charity of others really should not have a say as to what form the charity takes. All subsidized housing should be dormitory-type housing. If a person wants a place of their own, they should earn it through education and hard work."

What an idiot! He thinks someone who spends $1,200/month for just a bunk bed is receiving charity!

I checked his profile, and I assume he's a paid right-wing troll because of the lack of activity. He's probably paid by either the Putin regime or a right-wing church, since so many online trolls are. Then I blocked him so I wouldn't have to read his classist defenses of price-gouging.

Another person correctly pointed this out: Everyone always used to talk about how communism was bad because people would have to share their homes. Well, how is this bunk bed squalor any different? The "sharing economy" gets endless praise from the media as long as it's under capitalist auspices. And it truly is squalor. And it's statist.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Kentucky GOPer accused of selling drugs

Because this is a day ending in y, there's yet another scandal in the Republican Party of Kentucky.

Jerry Cox was a Republican magistrate in Knox County. Now he's been indicted on 6 charges of selling pain pills while the 2018 primary campaign was going on. Cox won the Republican primary but lost the general election.

What? A Republican in Kentucky selling drugs? Naaaaawww!

Earlier, Cox had faced a federal charge of misappropriating county property.


Republican bill would make Daylight Wasting Time year-round in Kentucky

As if Kentucky doesn't have enough problems these days, a new bill by Republicans would put the state on Daylight Saving Time year-round.

Bowing to pressure by Big Business, State Reps. Bart Rowland and Brandon Reed have introduced a bill that would extend this time change throughout the year as soon as the federal government green-lights it. The Trump regime has already announced support for year-round Daylight Saving Time.

This bill would actually be harmful to most of Kentucky, which is near the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone. It's also unlikely to produce gains for the part of the state on Central Time. If it passes, you'd think it would hasten our move to Central Time, but don't count on it. Big Business wants us on Eastern Time because it aligns with the New York Stock Exchange. But for that, we'd already be on Central Time. There's simply no good reason for us to be on Eastern Time - especially with Daylight Wasting Time added to it.

Florida and Tennessee have already enacted similar Republican bills. A bill to change the whole country to Daylight Saving Time year-round has been introduced by far-right Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida). The good thing about that though is that at least it gets Rubio's mind off his bills to slash Social Security.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Have no fear, the July ish is here!

Lean back, relax, and bubble a bub or two as you enjoy the July edition of The Last Word - your road atlas to freedom!

This ish talks about the nuisances created by a luxury housing development, right-wing sabotage of bicycling routes, guests vandalizing Airbnbs, environmental benefits of bubble gum, a possible pirate radio station of the '80s, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

All along, along...There were incidents and accidents...

Shh! It's for adults!

One of the most gnawing trends in recent years has been swimming pools that are open to the public but also limit some swimming time to adults only. Pools began doing this because a few grownups whined that letting kids use the pool at those times was hurting their precious little fee-fees.

Even Ziegler Park began doing this (apparently a 3CDC policy). As with many other pools all over America these days, the last 15 minutes of each hour are reserved for adults 18 and older. They call it "adult swim" - as if it's X-rated or something.

Uh, the pool was designed for adults and children alike. Why should anyone give a shit if kids use it? If a pool wants to be family friendly, why do they prohibit kids from using it for 15 minutes of every hour?

When I went to Ziegler Park today, I didn't see any kids committing any major misbehavior. They certainly behaved better than the spoiled brats I went to high school with. Whoever shit the pool was probably only about 2 - not 16 like my high school classmates were when they soiled themselves. One person on the Internet said the real reason for the "adult swim" is to give kids a chance to go to the bathroom so they don't foul the pool. Obviously, that didn't work.

A 2016 article in the Chicago Tribune says the "adult swim" rule is actually illegal - even at a pool that belongs to a private condo complex.

While the pool was being cleaned after the "fecal incident", a funny thought popped into my head. As it was closed for a half-hour, it completely subsumed the 15 minutes that had been scheduled for "adult swim." It kind of serves self-righteous adults right. I can't count how many times my favorite TV shows have been lopped off by sporting events that nobody watches running too long or a breaking news bulletin about the stock market that nobody except rich investors cares about.

The joke's on all the people who demanded an "adult swim" at a pool designed for both kids and grownups.

Be still my beating heart! I found a public pool!

I don't need to hear some right-wing millionaire who won't work richsplain about how rotten I am because I think swimming facilities are important. These aristocrats can afford to swim every day. I have life-threatening health problems, and swimming is important not just because I want to goof off but because it's healthy.

A few days ago, I asked folks on a Bellevue-based Facebook group if they knew of any good places around here to swim. Some of their ideas were completely unrealistic - like Kings Island's Soak City, which would bust any Bellevue budget. But someone said most folks in Bellevue go to the pool at Ziegler Park.

Ziegler Park is owned by the city of Cincinnati and is on Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine. It was almost 100 degrees today, so guess where I went?

The pool at Ziegler Park is eminently usable. It's surprising to find a good public pool like that these days. Boone County recently closed theirs because the Tea Party told it to. But Ziegler Park has a rather large pool with varying depths. And the cost of admission was low enough that it didn't wipe that smile away.

My day of basking under that giant, orange ball in the sky that recently emerged from behind the permacloud was nearly (keek!) ruined before I left. This morning, the drawstring fell out of my swim trunks. But I rectified this crisis by attaching my trunks to my underpants with safety pins, so I got to enjoy that fine pool.

The only low point while I was at the pool was when somebody had a "fecal incident." This forced the pool to be closed for a half-hour so it could be cleaned.

Also, I did see a celebrity look-alike. I saw some woman who strongly resembled Annie Lennox in the "Would I Lie To You?" era.

Will I return to Ziegler Park any time soon? It's tempting to say if poo, but I don't want that taken literally after the pool-clearing episode today.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Another Bellevue bubbling

Earlier, a young woman walking up the street bubbled.

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Kroger LAP!

Today at the friendly commune Kroger, I was in the section along the back looking for the garbage bag aisle, when I detected the unmistakable audio of a loud-and-proud bunker blast! There were lots of people standing around, so nobody could be indicted for this crime against humanity.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rob Braun leaves Channel 12 because of its right-wing bias

Rob Braun - longtime news anchor at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati - appears to have grown tired of the far-right bias of Channel 12 owner Sinclair Broadcasting. Not long ago, he was forced to humiliate himself in front of TV viewers by reading a controversial commentary written by Sinclar bosses. Braun tried to rewrite this statement, but Sinclair brass rejected the changes.

Now he's leaving the station despite a generous contract offer. Braun said, "I don't feel I fit well with the Sinclair News model." In other words, he's leaving because of Sinclair's extremism.

Since last year's controversy, 4 other longtime reporters have also left the station.


3CDC again violates First Amendment

3CDC - the secret society of big corporations that has been given free rein in most of Cincinnati's urban core - no longer thinks it owns only Fountain Square and historic buildings that it tears down. Now 3CDC thinks it owns everything.

This organization forced antiwar activists to buy a prohibitively expensive insurance policy to speak on Fountain Square - even as the Tea Party got to use the square for free (and left litter all around). 3CDC's hatred for free speech continues as now it is removing racks that distribute free newspapers from all over downtown and Over-the-Rhine. This includes free publications like the popular CityBeat.

This is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and it may lead to a legal challenge by CityBeat - which receives a significant portion of its readership from these boxes. In a similar case, a Cleveland newspaper won a First Amendment suit after its boxes were removed. Even a right-wing paper at Oregon State University won a similar suit, even though it wasn't even being singled out like the other papers were. In fact, the Supreme Court in 1993 struck down a Cincinnati ordinance that forced the removal of racks that contained commercial handbills. If commercial speech can't be restricted, newspapers can't either.

There's also the question of whether 3CDC - a private group - can determine what's allowed on the public right-of-way. Here's a hint: It can't.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders look-alike sighted at UC Hospital

Bernie Sanders is one of my political heroes. I've been a fan since I was 17. Why can't Kentucky have senators like him, like we have a right to have?

But I've just received an urgent text message informing me that a guy who resembles Bernie Sanders was sighted at University of Cincinnati Hospital. According to legend, he looks just like him!

Bernie Sanders is cool!

Extremist calls Bevin opponents "traitors to Christ"

I can't count how many times people have told me to be the better person when confronted with right-wing fanatics. I won't even try, because they can't be reasoned with. I know this from experience after the old Law Talk BBS.

With Matt Bevin trailing in general election polls (PPP has him down by 10%) and barely surviving the Republican primary (with only 52%), someone has created a "GOP for Beshear" Facebook page to support his Democratic opponent Andy Beshear. This fails to enchant the right wing that dominates the Republican Party.

The Far Right is so devoid of any constructive response that one Bevin follower said that group is "a bunch of traitors to Christ himself."

For one thing, the Far Right's ideas are un-Christian, but the more important point is that this statement shows their fanaticism. If they've brainwashed themselves into thinking they're doing God's work, how far will they go to carry it out?

We could accurately say that the Far Right is "a bunch of traitors to science itself." Not only does that sound less extreme, but it's a fair statement. Why is it different from the frenzied comment above? Because science is provable. It's not just a set of beliefs like religion that varies from person to person. As dissenters from the right-wing order, we believe in science, and that's why we have a right to live in a society modeled on our ideas. Science should have the privilege of guiding public policy because it's provable.

I'm not here to please or entertain fanatics who deliberately derail progress. If they support holding society back, that should be their problem and nobody else's. You don't get to use public office to fight a culture war to fulfill authoritarian policy goals that trample economic security and personal autonomy.

Let this sink in. Perhaps the biggest policies enacted by Donald Trump and Matt Bevin have been to cut taxes for the 1%, give taxpayer-funded handouts to corporations, and rob workers of their pensions. But while their followers hide behind religion, these policies defy Jesus's teachings - and they run afoul of basic, self-evident economic and social facts.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lawsuits loom after UMG fire cover-up

Record companies like to control every aspect of musicians' work. But while record labels demand ownership of performers' master recordings, they don't even take care of these masters, and they let them become carelessly destroyed.

After Universal Music Group was allowed to take over gobs of other labels, the company stored irreplaceable master recordings at its warehouse at Universal Studios Hollywood. This building burned down in a massive 2008 fire.

UMG said at first that the fire was no big deal because nothing irreplaceable was stored there. UMG said only films were kept there, and that these works had duplicates stored elsewhere that were safe and sound. But this was an out-and-out cover-up. Lately, it's come to light that perhaps 500,000 master recordings were kept there - and that they included masters by hundreds of major artists ranging from Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty.

The artistic losses from this fire are incalculable. Master recordings contain elements and documentation that no copy contains. Many of these recordings were never even released - so no copies exist.

The economic losses to musicians are steep too - because now these masters can't be used for future releases.

Now some lawsuits are expected against UMG for the 2008 blaze. A high-profile Los Angeles law firm is representing many unspecified recording artists in the upcoming legal actions.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A person bunkerooed at 7th & Race

Today I again went Roads Scholaring with the help of Red Bike's new electric bicycles. It's great exercise! After going out to Lower Price Hill, I went back downtown. At 7th & Race, a young man who walked past squeaked out an LAP bunker blast.

I had lunch at Piatt Park again and then shivered for a while because it was about 40 degrees outside. While I was there, I noticed that people were riding the new electric Red Bikes all over the place - proving the electric bikes are an incredibly popular addition.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Red, Red Bike...Stay close to me...

Last night, I made a major purchase. I buyed a year-long pass to use Red Bike - Cincinnati's popular bike-sharing program.

The cost of this pass worked out to only about $6.67/month. And it allows an unlimited number of 1-hour bike trips - for a whole year. Yes, I already have the Peace Bike, but Red Bike recently began offering electric bikes - which comes in handy after the Road Ruiner's motor blew.

My cellphone costs about $50/month, my Internet is $70, and electric probably averages about $80 (for an efficiency apartment, no less). All 3 of these services are owned by large corporate monopolies. And quality of these 3 services ranges from average to terrible. I've also had bad luck with intercity travel companies like Greyhound (also a monopoly) and Delta (which has a monopoly at the Cincinnati airport). But Red Bike - which is a nonprofit, according to its website - costs less than $7/month. So far, my experiences with Red Bike have been positive. This should ream a gaping chasm through the unceasing cries of those who claim that only for-profit services should exist.

Today, I used Red Bike to ride around Cincinnati. Although the pass allows each trip to last an hour before additional charges accrue, you may restart your hour by docking the bike at a Red Bike stand and undocking again. There's a limited number of these stations, and most are clustered together in small areas, but it sufficed for today.

Here's a detailed itinerary for today. The Red Bike stand near my place in Bellevue didn't have any electric bikes when I left this morning, but I found one at the next station - on Riverboat Row. I easily took that across the Purple People Bridge. The end of the bridge had a stand where I restarted my hour. Then I braved the construction gauntlet on US 52 east of downtown.

The only hill I had trouble with today was Collins Avenue. But the bikes I used today were more efficient than the Road Ruiner ever was. I zipped up to Avondale and dropped off the bike at a station. I got a snack and then returned to the station. I think I ended up with the same bike.

I absolutely flew downtown. I shut the motor off on much of Vine Street, since it's steeply downhill. I dropped the bike off at the stand in front of the library downtown. Then I foraged for lunch and rested at Piatt Park for a while.

When I left there, the electric bikes at the library station were gone, so I walked around the block to the stand on 7th and got one there. The battery was very low on this bike. I tried to swap it out at the aforementioned stand at the Purple People Bridge, but there were none available. But this bike managed to make it all the way to the stand where I left from this morning.

Later, I logged on to my Red Bike account, and it estimates that today's trips covered 15 miles and have already saved me $18.45.

Red Bike has so far been usable, and hopefully it'll be allowed to expand outside the few small areas that have it.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


This is usually a serious blog, but are you ready for some humor, 'Pail style?

I made another of my humorous videos for you to peep, weep, and oggle-beep...

Monday, June 3, 2019

Recent celebrity look-alikes!

Last night, I received an e-mail describing several celebrity look-alikes. According to this e-mail, someone who strongly resembled John Bolton - the right-wing extremist who serves as national security advisor - was seen at a hotel breakfast room in Pennsylvania. Plus, 2 women bubbled at a zoo in New York. Best all, someone put paper towels in a urinal at a truck stop.

The same e-mail said a Willie Nelson look-alike was seen mowing his lawn in Sharonville yesterday. He even wore a red bandana!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A person bunkerooed at a festival

Are we entering another golden age of bunker blasts? One can hope! Recent signs have been promising.

Last night, I goed to a small festival in the alley across the street. As I was strolling down the alley, I detected the scent of an ever-popular silent-but-deadly. Best all, it was in the presence of a local elected official. There was a group of people standing nearby, and I recognized one of them as an occupant of a local public office.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Have no fear, the June ish is here!

June wouldn't be June if I didn't fill it with the June edition of The Last Word, that fanzine of food, folks, and fun!

This ish talks about the gross purloinage of a wallet, the ruinment of valuable 8-tracks, Kmart baseball cards, MTV's idiotic license promotion, people getting expelled from college, gum, GoFundMe scamming safe space donors, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Monday, May 27, 2019

A person bubbled

This morning at the parade, a person bubbled.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Kentucky farmer exposes right-wing blacklisting

It's hard work to be a small farmer, and some have had their fill of the political blackballing that makes it even harder.

This op-ed by retired farmer Jim Pat Wilson in the Louisville Courier-Journal describes how Kentucky farmers are facing increasing retaliation by big banks for refusing to support Republicans...

This piece reveals that Republican bankers and landowners are blacklisting Kentucky farmers because of their political views. Farmers have criticized the Trump regime for its bungling of its tariffs, its far-right tax law, and its proposed slashing of flood insurance subsidies - putting farms at risk from more flooding caused by the climate crisis. But these farmers have faced retribution for speaking up. One who wrote an article about the loss of farm income and the rise of farmer suicides lost 300 acres of land when it was discovered that he was a Democrat.

Banks that make loans to farmers no longer rely on just their financial data. They also call other locals about farmers' "general character." If farmers anger their neighbors by supporting the "wrong" candidates, it's used against them.

I know it isn't just Kentucky. And it isn't just farmers. Want a good job? Better hope your boss doesn't see the Occupy pages you've liked on Facebook. Want to finish your degree? Hope your school doesn't find that article criticizing "Newtzi" you wrote in 1994. Right-wing blacklisting is out of control, and that's not what America is supposed to stand for.

Trump's FAA probes San Antonio in Chick-fil-A flap

Some of the most basic charges of the Federal Aviation Administration include airline safety, making sure flights aren't delayed, and preventing passengers from being stranded on the tarmac for hours on end. But instead of these tasks, Trump's FAA is getting involved in policing social issues. In conservaworld, allowing bigots to sell their products to a captive customer base is more important than ensuring safe skies.

Recently, San Antonio City Council voted to disallow Chick-fil-A from opening at the city's main airport. One of the reasons is that Chick-fil-A donates to antigay hate groups. Giving discriminatory companies a contract to use city property isn't what the city is supposed to stand for. In fact, it would violate a municipal antidiscrimination law.

Now the FAA is interfering and is investigating the city of San Antonio for its decision. Right-wing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is also investigating. They claim the city is infringing on Chick-fil-A's religious liberty. Well, if Chick-fil-A is a religious group, then why should a city contract with it at all, regardless of its beliefs? For a city to contract with a religious group would seem to be a violation of separation of church and state.

Is Chick\-fil-A a business or a ministry? If it's a ministry, it can't get government contracts. It it's a business, it can't claim its religious beliefs are being trampled. It can't be both just to suit the purpose at hand.

The FAA's probe threatens millions of dollars in federal grants to the airport.

The "secure" areas of airports have a captive audience. Passengers can't leave, and must use the businesses that exist there. Another reason San Antonio voted against Chick-fil-A is that the restaurant is not open on Sundays. Having an empty storefront on Sundays would reduce choices for travelers.

The FAA is also probing a situation like this in Buffalo, where officials also canceled a proposed Chick-fil-A at the airport. Of course, the Cincinnati airport apparently has a Chick-fil-A. That should be no surprise, because the airport (although it's in Boone County) is run by Kenton County, where county commissioners recently approved a white supremacist resolution.

What the FAA needs to do is crack down on airport boards that are stacked with Tea Party patronage appointees - like in Cincinnati, where the elected city council is deprived of any voice on the airport board.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Gentrification and climate crisis causing rat infestations

We know most of our leaders do absolutely nothing about the climate crisis, but they do just as little about gentrification - the process by which wealthy investors invade urban areas, artificially jack up housing costs, and force out residents.

Now both of these crises are leading to rat infestations in New York City; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Los Angeles; and Seattle.

One New Yorker said he counted perhaps 30 rats just walking down the block. Complaints of rats in D.C. have tripled in only a few years. Rats have gnawed away at car engine wiring, jumped into playground sandboxes, and spread diseases that have killed at least one person.

Gentrification has fueled construction projects that have uprooted rats from their habitat and released them onto city streets and into homes. The climate crisis is another leading factor.

Chicago has new laws requiring developers to have a rat control plan before starting new projects, but politicians in many other places do nothing. Zero. Zip. Community leaders have suggested ways to catch rats, but nobody dares to suggest halting gentrification.

In the meantime, those who have contributed to gentrification or the climate crisis should face stiff lawsuits for causing these rat infestations.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dick Clark look-alike sighted

I just received an e-mail declaring that a Dick Clark look-alike was seen at Kroger.

Also, this same e-mail said a young woman was seen bubbling as she prepared to cross a street. It's bubbling season, comrades!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Auditor candidate vows to expose Wall Street corruption

Kentucky - like many other states - has an elected office of auditor, which has some important fiscal responsibilities. Christopher Tobe is a candidate for auditor in next Tuesday's Democratic primary, and he's promised to expose Wall Street corruption that plagues the state's public pension system.

Tobe, a financial adviser, says he wants to use the auditor's subpoena power to open the books on the pension system. This would expose the system's reliance on private equity and hedge fund investments that have allowed investors to gamble with workers' hard-earned money.

For several years, the pension crisis has been trotted out by Republicans and the right-wing media as an excuse for trying to slash pension benefits or replace pensions with a 401(k)-style program that would give workers' earnings to wealthy investors. At the same time, Kentucky's crooked Republican machine wasted taxpayer money compiling a report demanding the federal government slash Social Security benefits, so it isn't only pensions they're trying to cut.

By opening the books of Kentucky's pension system, other states may be encouraged to do the same. This scares the living dickens out of Wall Street and Republicans. Kentucky's system is worse than most states though because it actually farmed out some of its work to a Wall Street investment firm.

Now more than ever before, Republicans have promoted hate crimes, passed laws to trample bodily autonomy, and fostered unchecked militarism. But the GOP is also ear-deep in Wall Street - an industry that has robbed workers in Kentucky and elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Another celebrity look-alike!

This morning, I received an e-mail saying that a Guy Fieri look-alike was seen driving around in a van. (I didn't know who Guy Fieri was until today.)

Governor candidate fought Wells Fargo and Big Pharma

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is a candidate in Tuesday's Democratic primary for governor - and he's been on the forefront of fighting against the Bevin administration's right-wing extremism. But he's fought against corporate tyranny and greed too.

A few months ago, Beshear announced a $2.8 million settlement against banking giant Wells Fargo. We've talked for years about how Wells Fargo made harassing phone calls to people who never even had a Wells Fargo account. But this settlement resulted from Wells Fargo's violations of Kentucky consumer protection laws. Among other things, Wells Fargo opened millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolled customers into services they didn't want.

Beshear has fought against makers of prescription opioids who have fueled the pandemic of opioid abuse - a pandemic that has cost the state many lives and millions of dollars. Meanwhile, Bevin has tried to block Beshear's efforts.

Also, as monopolistic utility companies have filed a record number of demands for rate increases, Beshear has opposed many of these money grabs. This has saved Kentuckians almost $1.2 billion. He also wants to audit utility companies that want rate hikes.

Beshear's office has also cracked down against online predators and human trafficking. This includes one of the most shocking cases in Campbell County in modern times. He has also fought against price-gouging by Marathon Petroleum.

If Beshear becomes governor, will this positive record continue? One can hope. For decades, we've been the target of confrontation and bullying, and it long ago wore on us. A fight against corporate greed would help move Kentucky forward from its shameful political impasse.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Kentucky primary looms

Kentucky has the most corrupt and ideologically driven statewide political machine in America - bar none. Kentucky Republicans - led by so-called Gov. Matt Bevin - have presided over an era of ballooning unemployment, assaults on civil liberties, attacks on workers, and rising bigotry.

In November, voters in the Bluegrass State will have a chance to end this humiliating cavalcade of stupid. But next Tuesday - May 21 - Kentucky's major parties will hold primaries to select their candidates for governor and some other statewide offices. Even Bevin has challengers in the Republican primary.

I will not issue direct endorsements. I've been betrayed after endorsing candidates in Democratic primaries - and I was really betrayed after one of the few times I issued an endorsement in a Republican primary. The good news is that the Democratic Leadership Council isn't heard from much these days, so we're not required to write in Michael Bloomberg or Zell Miller for all the Democratic races.

The DLC is the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. In the 1990s and 2000s, this right-wing pressure group was responsible for much negativity and bashing. If the DLC's dominance of the party had been allowed to continue in the last midterm, things would be worse than they are today.

I plan on posting a few articles about the upcoming primary in the coming days. This may include a couple positive pieces. That's hard to do, considering Wil Schroder's horrible race-baiting campaign, but there's some issues we need to cover.

Incidentally, a new poll by Public Policy Polling says Bevin now trails an unspecified Democrat by 10%. If the Democrats prevail in November, hopefully the DLC will be such a distant memory that we won't end up regretting a Democratic win.

Monday, May 13, 2019

WebMD humiliates itself by endorsing bad programs

Why should I ever trust WebMD again after this?

Technology addiction can be a very real thing. But now WebMD is endorsing sending teenagers to wilderness and other residential "treatment" programs to break their technology habit.

I guess WebMD hasn't read a word of the websites that have fought against programs like this for years. Residential "treatment" programs are a racket and a thoroughly discredited industry. We can't find a single exception.

We have a right to expect a medical website to be based on science - not on quackery like this.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Man with no math degree finds fatal flaw in haversine formula

This story isn't very political, but it shows the value of old-fashioned common sense and tinkering.

The haversine formula is a very complicated formula that computes the great circle distance between two points on this fine planet. I've copied it for use in FreeBASIC programs, but I don't actually understand it. The highest level of math education I have is lower college level. I had to take calculus as a high school senior, but I don't remember any of it. In fact, I don't remember anything I learned in college math either. I don't remember anything I learned in math class after I was a high school sophomore, even though math was by far my best subject. We never studied the haversine formula.

Nobody today appreciates people like me who tinker with their work and learn from trial, error, and experience. Nowadays, you're expected to be a people person instead - which I'm not. But for over a decade, I've tinkered with FreeBASIC programs I wrote that attempt to link every county in the U.S. with a nearby urban area.

Now I've discovered something weird. When computing the distance between a certain point in Greene County, Illinois, and a point on the outskirts of nearby Springfield, the haversine formula gives a distance that's way off. It says it's about 36 miles when actually it's about 44 miles.

It's not a bug in the way FreeBASIC or my computer does trigonometric functions. I visited 2 different websites that compute great circle distances using this formula, and the same thing happened.

I notice that the line between these two points crosses the 90th meridian. I used this formula to figure out other distances in Illinois that also cross the 90th meridian, and those were also way off. The formula works out fine as long as the line doesn't cross the 90th meridian.

The Internet is full of techies and math geniuses. But I can't find any mention anywhere of this flaw in the haversine formula.

I just discovered something that the world's greatest mathematicians have never even discovered - even though it's staring us in the face!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Right-wing judge forces Kentucky school districts to name teachers in sickout

Not long ago, many teachers in Kentucky participated in a sickout to protest against the Kentucky GOP's ongoing war against their profession.

So-called Gov. Matt Bevin illegally demanded that school districts provide names of teachers who participated, and he threatened to fine them $1,000 for each day of the sickout. When Bevin issued a subpoena for the names, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear sued the Bevin thugocracy.

But now right-wing U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves - who was appointed by crime boss George W. Bush - has ordered school districts to comply with the subpoena and reveal the teachers' names. Reeves's ridiculous ruling says the sickout constituted an illegal labor strike.

Strikes are illegal??? Who knew? Last I checked, Kentucky is a part of the United States of America. In a free country, we don't ban strikes.

The corrupt Bevin administration actually went judge shopping in this case.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Diocese of Covington files SLAPP suit because its feelings got hurt

Aw, poor babies.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, is known for being a very litigious organization. It even used corporate law to try to dodge penalties resulting from the diocese's many instances of sexual abuse. Now the diocese has filed a federal lawsuit because someone dared to start a Facebook page criticizing it.

This suit demands that Facebook remove the page. Facebook won't remove hate speech posted by alumni of the diocese's high schools, so why should it remove that page?

The page includes a disclaimer saying that it is not affiliated with the diocese, is not an official diocesan page, and is not endorsed by diocesan officials. So what's the prob?

The diocese can dish it out, but they sure can't take it.

We need stronger laws to curtail frivolous SLAPP suits like the one filed by the diocese.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Charter Communications is biggest Kentucky GOP donor

Looks like it's time for you to find a new cable TV provider. Wait, it's a monopoly. Sorry.

It's been revealed that Charter Communications - which goes by the name Spectrum as it owns cable TV and Internet service here - is the biggest donor to a Kentucky political party building fund since building funds were created in 2017. This monopolistic corporation has donated $150,000 to the Kentucky Republican Party Building Fund in less than 2 years.

This reams a massive Bazooka hole through those who claim corporations can't donate to political parties. Obviously, they can, because they've done so for decades. This is where the $70/month that Spectrum charges for Internet is going. Next time some Nazi blibbers about how the government gives too many handouts to the poor, point out how the government awarded a monopoly to a company that overcharges and gives customers' money to the hug-a-thug Republican Party of Kentucky - which is in effect a handout to the Kentucky GOP.

We need to ban corporations from donating to political campaigns.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Have no fear, the May ish is here!

Time to do your monthly pooper pointing with another action-packed ish of The Last Word!

This edition talks about a criminal refusing to get a job after leaving prison, damning evidence against NKU in the expulsion case, more ruinment of celebrity autographs and comic books, the cable company ruining our TV speaker, bubble gum getting gunked with gravel, people soiling playground equipment at Lunken Airport, Pete Rose chewing stale gum, and more! It's not sold in any store!

You can find the latest issue of this fanzine of food, folks, and fun here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cincinnati gets several more religious radio stations

It's become impossible to quantify how much religion there is on the Cincinnati radio dial - but to be fair, Cincinnati isn't alone in this regard.

On Sunday, the ClassX simulcast group switched its format from classic rock to "Christian classic hits." The stations consist of noncommercial FM's in Miamitown, Crittenden, and Waynesville, plus 2 low-power FM's.

The stations' owner had said that ClassX would be switching to a format that no other Cincinnati stations had - but there were already too many religious stations to count. Some of them air music, and some of them air right-wing garbledygoop, but in total, there were a surprisingly high number of religious stations for there being such a limited amount of space on the dial.

This reams a gargantuan Bazooka hole through the bleatings of those who claim the far-right 1996 Telecommunications Act made broadcast content more diverse.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Dude looks like a celebrity look-alike...

Today I went to the Bubble Gum Doctor, and in the waiting room, I saw a guy who strongly resembled Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bevin booed off stage at Hillbilly Days

Matt Bevin is an absolute buffoon.

At the annual Hillbilly Days festival in Pikeville this weekend, Bevin - now ranked as the most unpopular governor in America - gave a speech during which the crowd booed him throughout.

As the audience jeered, Bevin kept comparing himself to Jesus.

You're an idiot, Matt.


Friday, April 12, 2019

New York City bans testing job applicants for marijuana

It's about damn time!

When the Reagan regime began strongly encouraging drug testing by employers, some said it would be only a matter of time before states and cities would pass a law against it. Now it's finally happened - to an extent.

In New York City, City Council has just approved by a vote of 40 to 4 a measure that would prohibit most employers from requiring job applicants to be tested for marijuana use. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign it into law. Experts can't find any other places in America with a law like this.

This law will affect public and private employers, though a few sensitive occupations are exempted. It also doesn't apply if workers appear to be under the influence at work.

But the law is broad enough to protect many workers - perhaps millions.

Still, Big Business groups complain that this bill is "overreach." As if drug testing isn't?


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Metric system hypocrisy

Something just occurred to me.

For decades, there was a serious push to force the United States to switch over to the metric system. The closest it came was under a now-revoked executive order implemented by George H.W. Bush.

The costly metrication effort was pure Wall Street. Nobody except Big Business supported it. Absolutely nobody. It had even less support than making Daylight Saving Time year-round does - because at least some places aren't already an hour off from the right time zone.

Why did Corporate America try to foist the metric system on us when they didn't practice it themselves? Decades after this campaign began, the New York Stock Exchange still reported stock prices in sixteenths of a dollar. Not all stocks were switched over to cents until 2001!

If they don't like LeftMaps printing elevations in feet, why did they still give stock prices in sixteenths long after they started their crusade? I can picture Bush going around and repainting speed limit signs with the new speed limits in sixteenths of a kilometer.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Workers lose jobs over politics, but right-wing businesses remain

Anyone who thinks that those who might possibly be on the political left aren't being persecuted can shut their fucking mouths now.

There's a clear double standard, but nothing is being done about it. In California, a woman was fired from her job because she was involved in an argument with a Trump follower at a local business. The incident did not take place at the woman's workplace and had no connection to her job, and she did not commit any violence. Yet she was fired anyway.

But the city of Bellevue, Kentucky, allows a man who is not a resident of the city to operate a business even though he has endorsed right-wing violence on his Facebook page. If the California woman can be fired over an incident that had nothing to do with work, why can't this man lose his business license?

If Bellevue wants to keep touting itself as a welcoming, forward-thinking city, why does it permit this double standard while California officials allow a business to fire a worker over much less? This persecution against the left in modern America is not new under Trump. It's been going on for at least as long as I've been old enough to care about it. But it's generally gotten worse over the years.

Monday, April 1, 2019

More rudeness and celebrity look-alikes!

This is the second entry like this in the past few days!

I've been told that a Gene Siskel look-alike was sighted at the Miami airport. Also, a flight attendant was a Wanda Sykes look-alike.

Later, a man walked into a BMV office in Ohio with his trousers falling down to his knees. And guess what? He was wearing Underoos! I hope they weren't poopy!

Cops will patrol CovCath

"Butbutbut aren't you glad you go to a suburban private school instead of one of those inner-city public schools where they need police in the halls? Oh, wait."

When I attended Holmes - a public school - in the early '90s, the school had so few discipline problems that we didn't need police in the school, and I don't remember seeing any. But Covington Catholic is a different story.

CovCath is now placing a Park Hills police officer in the school to quell discipline woes there. The school will be paying 97% of the cost to have a uniformed officer on campus daily. Similar talks are in the works for Notre Dame Academy.

Officials call this a "model project" for other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Covington.

I know firsthand that if any schools around here need cops, it's the Catholic schools. After witnessing such an unexpected breakdown of discipline at Bishop Brossart, it would be hard to convince me otherwise.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Rudeness and celebrity look-alikes!

I've just been informed that several celebrity look-alikes have been seen on an international trip - both in the U.S. and abroad. As an added bonus, tourists from a host of different countries have engaged in all sorts of hijinks!

I'm told that a C. Everett Koop look-alike was seen emerging from the terminal building at the Cincinnati airport. Later, a "Weird Al" Yankovic look-alike was spotted strolling down the street in Lima, Peru.

On an international flight, a man behaved in a hilariously rude fashion, watching Bohemian Rhapsody on his phone without using an earpiece - so everyone around him could hear it. The flight attendants twice scolded him, but both times, he stopped for only a few minutes and then started back up again. Then he cleaned out his ears and sprinkled the wax onto the seat and passenger in front of him. (When I took a Megabus to Indianapolis for an Occupy protest outside the Super Bowl in 2012, a passenger watched a stand-up comedy act full of R-rated jokes on his laptop - also without an earpiece. But the driver and all the other passengers thought it was funny.)

Also during this trip, an Australian tourist released a premeditated bunkeroo in the entryway of a hotel. Her air biscuit could be heard 40 feet away in the breakfast room.

At a different hotel breakfast room, an elderly German visitor oafishly smashed a ceramic plate.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Have no fear, the April ish is here!

April wouldn't be April if the April issue of The Last Word didn't loom!

This edition is rather nondescript by our standards but a dynamo nonetheless! In this installment, we talk about a flood that destroyed rare baseball cards, glue being wasted in 8th grade, decorative soap, people stealing from Kroger and UDF, musical farts, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find it here...

Kentucky GOP faces ethics charges over attempt to steal election

Remember when Republicans in the Kentucky House tried to steal that seat in Owensboro and landed on their asses with a thud?

Now the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has agreed to hear an ethics complaint filed against Republican leaders over it. It seems Republicans used state resources including a staff lawyer to help prepare the challenge to the election results. Such misuse of taxpayer funds is illegal.

The commission can impose civil fines of up to $2,000 per violation. But here's the best part: It can also recommend expulsion of offending legislators.

And I hope it does.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Right-wing media has egg on its face after Smollett's exoneration

Hate crimes are real. No doubt about it. They happen because hateful people who commit them are allowed out in society - unfortunately.

In January, actor Jussie Smollett claimed to be the victim of a racist, homophobic, politically charged assault in Chicago. At first, I had no reason to think it was a hoax - because I couldn't think of any hate crimes that turned out to be hoaxes. The right-wing media claims hate crime hoaxes are an everyday thing, but you'd be hard-pressed to name even a single one. I remembered one racist hate crime years ago in which the victim was charged with faking it, but it turned out to be real, and the victim was cleared - though right-wing commentators continued to claim it was a hoax.

Later, some evidence emerged that appeared to suggest Smollett had faked the attack. But he insisted on his innocence. The evidence didn't seem to work in his favor, but I was one of the last people on this Earth who thought there was a chance - however small - he might be innocent. Evidence is not solid proof. Modern America has a long enough record of hate crimes - and cover-ups - that I thought there was still a possibility the attack against Smollett was real.

Now it's been announced that Smollett has been completely exonerated of all criminal charges that accused him of faking the attack. Cleared. Charges dropped. He is completely innocent. In fact, the charges were completely expunged from his record.

In other words, corrupt police officials and the right-wing media just spent 2 months trying to frame an actor for faking a hate crime. This shows once again we can't just rely on evidence without waiting for facts that contradict it. This time, the false narrative was more effective than usual at manipulating public opinion.

It's unclear whether Smollett is planning any legal action against the Chicago Police Department for its bungling of the case. I think Congress needs to open an investigation into the media's repeated lying about cases like this. Media executives and commentators need to be hauled before legislators to answer some tough questions.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Harvard study says Ritalin increases risk of psychosis

It's pretty bad when I have to cite CNBC because the rest of the media won't pick up an important story like this.

Yet another study has proven that popular ADHD drugs increase the risk of psychosis. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital say that the drugs - including Ritalin, Adderall, and others - raise the potential of developing psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and major depressive disorder.

The study covered people ages 13 to 25 and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The use of these toxins has tripled in the past 20 years - and was already outrageously high 20 years ago.

Now watch the lying shitsack right-wing media sweep this story under the rug - like they do with every study that discredits ADHD drugs.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Newport Police under fire for '17 incident

Channel 9 has been investigating a 2017 incident involving Newport Police officers' use of force against a group of men in a car...

The men only spoke Spanish, but the police kept giving commands in English.

What's particularly chilling is this statement in the news report: "Newport officers delivered more blows to the head than any other local department since January 2016."

That statement doesn't exactly boost my confidence in police. Is it considered a regular thing for police to go around slugging people in the head?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bevin refused to get kids vaccinated

I've said it before: We have a right to insist on maximum safety standards in vaccinations. But you don't get to be an irresponsible clod about it.

So-called Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky said in a radio interview yesterday that he refused to get his 9 children vaccinated for chickenpox. There seems to be no defensible reason for his decision. It seems as if he did it just to make a point about what he considered government overreach - even though some of his own public policies are overreach.

Instead of the vaccine, Bevin found a neighbor who had chickenpox and exposed his kids to them. "They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it, and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it," Bevin said.

Why??? The vaccine has been available since 1995, so why be unnecessarily exposed? There have been a few fatalities from chickenpox, but the only reported death from a chickenpox vaccine was that of a child whose immune system was already compromised by leukemia. I think we can feel pretty confident that the vaccine is no more dangerous than the disease itself. Nobody knows more than I do that there have been some major cover-ups in medicine - for instance, I know Ritalin is a scam - but I'm pretty satisfied that the chickenpox vaccine is safe and Bevin is being his usual Flat Earth Society self. Shame on me if I'm wrong, but at least I look at science before I draw conclusions.

Bevin never looks at science. He always shoots his mouth off instead of trying to do anything productive.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Local student sues health department over vaccines

I'm adamant that if there's even a hint that vaccinations pose any danger to health, it must be confronted and remedied.

But my view is based on science - not religion. I'm just as unwavering in my view that religious exemptions from vaccines should be abolished. This story shows why. These exemptions endanger the general public.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy is a right-wing Catholic school in Walton that allows religious exemptions for the chickenpox vaccine. This school is now experiencing a chickenpox epidemic that has sidelined 32 students.

Because of this outbreak, the Northern Kentucky Health Department has ordered any unvaccinated student at this school to stay home for 21 days. This order also bars them from school sports.

Now a high school senior who plays basketball for this school is suing the health department over this directive, claiming a vaccination violates his Catholic beliefs. "For the health department to say we have to get vaccines in order to go to school, that's infringing upon my First Amendment right," he groaned.

The judge ought to laugh this case right out of the courtroom. No real legal theory allows one to use a religious exemption to directly endanger the public. But I'm not confident that the suit will be tossed, because Kentucky courts have a history of making up special religious rights that are not constitutionally protected - even allowing people to force their religious beliefs on others.

Friday, March 15, 2019

A bunker blast trilogy!

The past week has seen a whole series of ghastly blasts!

A woman reports that she's detected 3 - count 'em, 3 - rock snakes in the past week. The first occurred when she went grocery shopping with her husband at Kroger. The supermarket stank of soiled britches. At the end of this trip, her husband admitted that he had released SBD air biscuits throughout.

A few nights later, the woman called the parents of her son's school pal to see what was going on at school. When she was leaving a voicemail, her husband cracked a good ol' LAP.

Today, the woman was at a waiting room at the doctor's office. A man fell asleep in a chair and released an LAP while he was snoozing.

Lori Loughlin likes gum (Bubble Gum Weekend)

Lori Loughlin - an actress best known for her role on Full House - is one of dozens of rich and famous people accused of involvement in the college admissions bribery scandal. Authorities believe wealthy parents paid millions to bribe college officials to get their kids into the best schools.

Surprised by this scandal? Favoritism like this has been going on in my area for decades. The only difference is that my area doesn't have many good schools.

Lori loves bubble gum. She discusses the zesty goo every chance she gets, and she even blows bubbles in front of nationwide TV audiences. Recently, she appeared on Live With Kelly And Ryan and fed the hosts some beegee as she bubbled...

Lori bubbled repeatedly, and the studio audience cheered - because after all, bubble gum is the most knee-slappingly funny stuff ever invented.

One of the show's hosts, Kelly Ripa, is known for playing Hayley on All My Children in the early '90s. I'm aware of this because my mom always taped All My Children off TV and watched it while I was in the living room doing my homework. Hayley often gummed, but I don't remember her ever bubbling. She started out as a hilarious character who got in trouble all the time and got yelled at by her uncle (whose voice sounded like Crank from The Electric Company).

Meanwhile, Lori Loughlin - who gave such an upbeat interview in the above clip only a month ago - is now finding her own career in ruins.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Facebook fascism continues

I am this close to leaving Facebook altogether. I am fed up with Facebook deleting my posts and my friends' accounts just because of their opinions.

And yes, it is Facebook - not group admins - deleting my posts. When an admin deletes your posts, you get a notification from Facebook. When Facebook deletes them, you don't. Besides, Facebook recently deleted 2 posts I made on my own Facebook page. I know it was Facebook that deleted them, because why would I delete my own posts?

The Kentucky tax hike you never hear about

The 2019 session of the Kentucky legislature is every bit the right-wing cavalcade of stupid we expected, but 2018 may have been even worse.

The Far Right claims to be for lower taxes. They lie. Last year, not only did Republican lawmakers expand the 6% sales tax to more services, but they also raised the personal income tax so they could give more money to billionaires. Because this was during their malicious efforts to steal from teachers by slashing their pensions, most folks were paying attention to that instead.

Kentucky - like a vast majority of other states and like all First World countries - used to have a graduated income tax. But last year, they raised the income tax for most workers from 2% to 5%. At the same time, they lowered taxes for the rich from 6% to 5%. The ultimate goal is to abolish this tax altogether and replace it with a head tax - levying the same actual amount of taxes on each person, not the same percentage.

Not only does Kentucky's recent tax increase cost most workers, but it's another handout to the rich and big corporations. Kentucky has become a kleptocracy.

Progressive taxation is a foundation for civilization. Without it, we have no society. But Kentucky is now one of very few states without a graduated income tax.

Why did lawmakers raise taxes on the working class? The Campbell County GOP's now-defunct Tumblr blog provided a clue. That page said last year's tax "reforms" were "Biblical taxation." They provided no Bible verses to back it up though.

In other words, the Republican Party of Kentucky seems to think that by raising taxes and lying about it, they're on a mission from God. They think they're the Blues Brothers!

It's nice to know Kentucky is ruled by a dominionist party. It's hard to see how Republicans expect to win votes by raising taxes just to give billionaires free money. No wonder they lost so many seats in the Kentucky House after this happened. It's a shock that they still have any.

It's time for a federal constitutional amendment against regressive taxation. I doubt the Kentucky GOP would obey it, because they hate the Constitution, but other states might be encouraged to balance out their tax systems. Progressive taxation is a must to maintain the living standards common to modern democratic societies.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Fake "anti-tax" group shakes down Cincinnati taxpayers over made-up scandal

COAST is a so-called "anti-tax" organization in Cincinnati that supported the tax increase to fund the Reds and Bengals stadiums.

In recent months, COAST has played up the "Gang of Five" nonstory surrounding Cincinnati City Council members. The investigation was politically motivated. While COAST's allies in the press accused 5 Democratic council members of violating Ohio's Open Meetings Act, it has ignored the secret communications, backroom deals, and outright crime by Republican elected officials in suburbs on both sides of the river.

Now city taxpayers are on the hook for $101,000 to settle a frivolous lawsuit filed by COAST against council members. This comes after the city paid COAST $600,000 to settle frivolous suits they filed years ago.

In brief, an organization that claims to oppose government waste just cost the city - i.e., the taxpayers - hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the same time, the right-wing media fails to report on local government officials who are involved in real corruption.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Amazon goes Krogering

I just received an urgent e-mail about yet another celebrity look-alike. According to this major headline news bulletin, someone who strongly resembled Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was sighted at Kroger this morn.

This same report says the Windows 10 news app showed a photo of a man bubbling at the New York Stock Exchange. The caption awkwardly said, "A trader blows a bubble with a chewing gum."

Friday, March 1, 2019

Have no fear, the March ish is here!

As The Last Word shuffles along after 26 years, the March issue is pub, and it's a beaut!

This ish blasts 'The Bachelor' and talks about a ruined Morton Downey Jr. poster, people ruining records by playing them on a Victrola, the "cheaters edition" of Monopoly, a terrible East German car, and more!

Thy pooper should be pointed plumb-bob here...

If that doesn't work, you can find the latest Last Word here...

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Draft ruled unconstitutional

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller ruled that the Selective Service system - which requires young men to register for the military draft - is unconstitutional, because it applies only to men even though women may serve in combat roles.

Whatever the reason for the ruling, it's hard for me to shed any tears if Selective Service is abolished. For years, I've opposed the draft - during peacetime and during recent wars that the right-wing media supported. Mandatory conscription brings about increased militarization and infringes on liberty. Can we truly say we're defending freedom if we force so many into harm's way?

I do support mandatory national service for young adults who receive at least $1 million from wealthy parents and grandparents. I think that's pretty fair, since this money is an unearned gift - not anything they had to work for.

Selective Service was supposed to be abolished some 20 years ago, but right-wing members of Congress blocked this effort.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

GOP mayor gets in gunfight with SWAT team

Dale Massad is the Mayor of Port Richey, Florida - and he's a big Republican donor, a fact that media reports leave out.

Today, a SWAT team came to Massad's beachfront mansion following an investigation alleging that he has been practicing medicine without a license by ordering drugs online and treating patients at his home. One patient had to be hospitalized. Massad lost his medical license years ago over human experimentation and the death of a 3-year-old patient.

During today's raid, Massad fired repeatedly at deputies using a pistol. The sheriff said Massad is lucky he wasn't killed. Deputies think Massad was on drugs.

A few months ago, Massad was arrested for domestic battery - after a series of nearly 50 police incidents at his home.

North Carolina to have new election for disputed House seat

You can only rig so many elections without eventually being caught.

In the November election for a U.S. House seat in North Carolina, far-right Republican Mark Harris appeared to have narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready - though McCready had been leading in polls. But then it was discovered that Republican operatives stole absentee ballots from voters. In fact, the Harris campaign hired an operative who already had felony fraud and perjury convictions and had been suspected of mishandling ballots in 2014.

Because of this scandal, North Carolina's bipartisan Board of Elections refused to certify the election. Now the board has voted unanimously to conduct a whole new election. This is the first time in 44 years that a revote has been ordered in a U.S. House race. It appears as if the parties will have to conduct new primaries too, and Harris might not even win that - though it would serve the GOP right if he did. You break, you buy, Repubs.

Meanwhile, Harris has blamed the "liberal media" for the entire debacle.

It sounds like the Republicans picked the wrong election to rig this time, because not only did they get caught, but North Carolina has procedures for holding new elections.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Major radio stations to go religious

What ever happened to some of America's biggest radio stations of 30 years ago like WPLJ in New York City and WRQX in Washington, D.C.?

They're pooing, that's what.

These and other stations are now owned by Cumulus Media - but WPLJ and WRQX are among 6 that Cumulus is selling to Educational Media Foundation, which broadcasts religious music only. In Cincinnati, EMF already broadcasts on WNLT and WORI, but at least those stations had no historic importance.

WPLJ and the others will switch to EMF's formats when the deal closes in early summer.

Let that sink in for a moment. We're talking about WPLJ here.

The president of EMF not-so-humbly stated, "These are legendary stations that will enable us to enter new markets in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Savannah; and Syracuse and expand our footprint in New York." If they're legendary stations, why is EMF allowed to gut them?

Response from both of radio's remaining listeners is universally negative. They correctly point out that this is why nobody listens to radio anymore. They observe that this will give EMF 3 overlapping signals with the exact same content near D.C. But they also point out that EMF is America's only major radio station owner that's still profitable. That's because it's considered a ministry, so it's tax-exempt - and because they offer no local programming on any of the 500-plus stations it owns. A money maker perhaps, but it doesn't offer much to listeners.

For folks in D.C., it's a feeling of deja vu. In 1992, another of D.C.'s biggest stations - WAVA - was sold to Salem Communications, which switched it to religious. One of Salem's founders has co-chaired what Wikipedia calls "a religiously based Republican electoral campaign." Salem's founders also donated heavily to the George W. Bush campaign and an antigay referendumb in California.

Meanwhile, the FCC leans back and bastes as it rubber-stamps these station sales.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Silver Grove school district to be swallowed by Campbell County

The school district that thinks it owns everything - Campbell County - claims more prey, as the Silver Grove Board of Education has voted to disband the Silver Grove school district and join the county school system.

Sadly, if the Campbell County Schools are trying to improve from the disaster that they were in 1986, they sure haven't made much progress. For one thing, it appears as if the county school district is refusing to leave Silver Grove's school open as part of the merger. In addition, the Campbell County Schools are refusing to offer jobs to Silver Grove teachers. The county school district has demanded complete control over all terms of the merger.

Most countries around the world are building new and better schools. But Trumpism means tearing down schools.


Friday, February 8, 2019

GOP effort to steal Kentucky House seat fails

Ever since a Republican incumbent lost by one vote in the November election, Republicans had been trying to steal that Kentucky House seat. But after lawmakers seated Democratic Rep. Jim Glenn, the only people still trying to overturn the election were those whose brains were irretrievably broken.

Today - in a surprise move - the defeated incumbent Rep. D.J. Johnson finally realized he had no case and withdrew his challenge to the election result. But only after he ruined an incalculable amount of taxpayer money on this ill-fated challenge.

Johnson had faced the humiliating prospect of the election being decided by a coin toss.

Today's development keeps Republican losses in the Kentucky House at a hilarious level instead of merely a funny level.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Virginia GOPer was editor of racist yearbook

It's all crashing down for Republicans in Virginia.

Tommy Norment - a Republican - is the Majority Leader of the Virginia Senate. Now it turns out that when he attended Virginia Military Institute, Torment was the editor of a yearbook filled to the brim with racist photos and ethnic slurs.

The photos include students in blackface, and the words include slurs against blacks, Asians, and Jews.

People are right to criticize Virginia's Democratic leaders if they appeared in photos like this even 40 years ago. But Republicans have no leg to stand on, because their record of racism is unending. In 40 years, the GOP hasn't progressed.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

GOP on verge of stealing Kentucky House election

What do you do when you lose a Kentucky House election by one vote? What if the county recounts the votes and the result doesn't change? What if the state certifies the result as final? What if the House seats the winning candidate and assigns him to committees?

Well, if you're a Republican, you throw a big temper tantrum about the result and leave it to a panel full of Republicans to decide what to do about it.

That's exactly what happened in an Owensboro-based House seat, where Democrat Jim Glenn upset Republican incumbent D.J. Johnson.

After Glenn was seated, a GOP-led House panel ordered the seizure of ballots in that election and had them transported to the Republican House Clerk's office in Frankfort. State law requires the ballots to be kept in a box with 3 locks, but they were transported unsecured - with no box. An Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer photo showed the ballots sitting on a desk in the open. Glenn's lawyer filed a motion claiming the ballots were "spoiled evidence."

After House Republicans tampered with these ballots, what do you think happened? They ordered the ballots sent back to Owensboro - again unsecured - for yet another recount, which took place yesterday. According to yesterday's tally, the race ended in a tie. Glenn actually was ahead at first, but Johnson personally hounded vote counters into counting rejected ballots. These included one for Johnson on which the voter signatures did not match, and another on which the voter had originally filled in a circle for a straight Republican ticket but then came to their senses at the last minute and crossed it out.

State law says tied elections shall be decided by drawing lots. In this case, regardless of how that turns out, it will still be up to the Republican-led Kentucky House to decide what to do after that. But they have one big problem. Glenn has already been seated, and the only legal way to remove him would be impeachment. They can't impeach him unless he breaks the law. Glenn has promised to sue if they try this.

So Republicans are out of luck, right? Voopvoopavoop wrong! Certainly, they have no legal basis for removing a seated House member from office without evidence of wrongdoing. But they also had no basis for the Citizens United ruling. They just make up their legal theories as they go along.

I don't understand how the Kentucky GOP is any different from an overseas dictator who just ignores election results and declares themselves the winner. This wouldn't even be the first time in recent years that Kentucky Republicans have done this very thing, for it has happened at least once in a county race.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Lexington bishop threatened with lawsuit for criticizing CovCath students

The Covington Catholic scandal shows the litigious nature of spoiled bullies and those who blindly side with them.

Bishop John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington wrote an op-ed criticizing the students' racially and politically charged actions - though he didn't mention the students by name. Now a lawyer representing a student is threatening to sue the bishop for defamation.

This proves that the lawsuit threats stemming from this incident are about silencing critics.

A school in Stowe's diocese - Lexington Catholic High School - recently began a campaign of inclusiveness, after that school was sued in 2016 for sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Somehow, I don't expect any school in the Diocese of Covington to take any steps towards improving its ways.


Friday, February 1, 2019

People chewed gum outside Aladdin's Castle (Bubble Gum Weekend)

Usually, a Bubble Gum Weekend - a time-honored feature of this blog - talks about a hilarious old gum commercial. But this time, the clip is not an ad - just some gum nostalgia!

Aladdin's Castle was a chain of video game arcades found in shopping malls. We famously got kicked out of an Aladdin's Castle once in my day. Aladdin's Castle also figures prominently in a clip about bubble gum that appears to have been filmed in the early '80s...

That video features several teenagers talking about bubble gum and appears to have been made for a cable TV access channel. Of course, people bubbled - as distorted music plays.

The Izod-shirted teenage host stands in a mall corridor just outside Aladdin's Castle and interviews several young people about beegee. He also samples a couple brands of gum but chews each for only a few seconds - thereby wosting them. The best part is that he discards them by simply setting them on the right-hand side of the screen - making it appear as if they stay suspended in midair instead of going into a trash can.

I don't know what city or locale this clip was filmed in, but I swear I know the last interviewee, who is about 50 now.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Campbell County GOP's Tumblr blog gone

For about a year, the Campbell County Republican Party appeared to run a blog on Tumblr that periodically flaunted the party's growing extremism. At first, I was skeptical that the blog was even real, but let's not kid ourselves. The Campbell County GOP really is that extreme.

I know the blog was real, because local GOP leaders aren't alone among Republican brass in their extremism. The Facebook page of the Republican Party of Kent County, Delaware, is one of the leading sources of similar material. And the GOP in Harris County, Texas, recently observed Holocaust Remembrance Day by posting on Facebook, "Leftism kills."

After the Campbell County GOP's Tumblr blog groaned that "liberals" took over county government in November, I had planned on discussing the blog in detail. But now I've noticed it's been taken down. What a shame, because it was pretty damn funny.

For one thing, when they claim "liberals" took over the county, nothing can be further from the truth. They're just angry because they hoped the Democrat would be relegated to third place in the judge-executive race - which would threaten the Democrats' ballot access. But that didn't happen - despite the hype by the River City News.

How madcap was this blog? The first entry included the party's usual complaints about the "liberal media", and it was all downhill from there. The blog claimed America is a "Christian nation" and endorsed electing county officials who would outlaw same-sex marriage. That's not the only time the blog thought Campbell County government bodies could overrule the U.S. Supreme Court. It also said the school board should "immediately reinstate" compulsory school prayer.

The blog listed instituting a property requirement for voting as a top Republican priority. It also echoed the cries of right-wing talking heads who laughably claim 'Net neutrality violates the property rights of telcoms. Plus, this blog said phone companies should have a right to eavesdrop on customers because the phone company owns the phone lines. It argued that if customers don't want to be wiretapped, they can just find another phone company - even though phone companies have a monopoly on landline service.

The blog boasted that Donald Trump got more votes than Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - which is false. Clinton won the popular vote handily, and Sanders was not on the general election ballot.

This erupting fount of stupidity endorsed the government selling titles of nobility to pay off the national debt - which it repeatedly claimed was run up by "liberals." Although it's unconstitutional for the government to grant noble titles, the blog said it would be permissible in this case, arguing that the Constitution only forbids granting these titles for free - not selling them.

The blog gloated that a Republican tax bill in Kentucky would institute "Biblical taxation" and claimed that regressive taxes like the expanded sales tax are supported by the Bible. A later post said the Bible "bans" progressive taxation.

I'd love to see what local Republican politicians would say if they were asked about their membership in a party that supports the above nonsense. How would, say, Wil Schroder respond if it's pointed out to him how idiotic his party is being?

But with the right-wing media's Republican protection agenda, would it even have an impact?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Have no fear, the February ish is here!

The February issue of The Last Word is published, and it's a biggie - perhaps the meatiest in a couple years!

This ish talks about the ruination of National Geographic magazines, our hilariously bad student media, my scuttled plans to return to college, my bungling of a standardized test, people spitting out bananas, the inevitable disposal of a 'Sesame Street' calendar, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, you can find the latest Last Word here...

Monday, January 21, 2019

Nazi apologist strings words together on Facebook

I received this classic earlier on Facebook...

"Tim Brown and more stupidity from your mouth"

That's not even a complete sentence, idiot.

Nazi threatens violence against Antifa

Carter Braxton is on Facebook threatening to beat up Antifa supporters at an upcoming event in my area. Chris Levi is encouraging him.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

CovCath students taunt Indigenous Peoples March

I guess this means Brossart isn't the only racist high school in the Diocese of Covington.

New videos have surfaced showing students from Covington Catholic High School - wearing pro-Trump hats - taunting a drummer at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. The videos have already created a nationwide outcry - and yet another black eye for local Catholic schools.

But hey, let's pretend we're surprised, since it's only about the millionth time something like this has happened in this diocese.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

West Virginia GOP wants to waste state money on Trump's wall

It doesn't take a genius to see how impractical Donald Trump's border wall is, but modern Republicans' penchant for wastage bastage isn't limited to the national party.

Republicans in West Virginia are proposing spending $10 million of state money on this border wall. Three lawmakers will be introducing this bill in the West Virginia legislature in the coming days.

What does the border wall have to do with West Virginia - a state that is hundreds of miles from the border?


Friday, January 11, 2019

Massie opposes back pay for workers during shutdown

How useless is our congressmoron Thomas Massie?

The House just voted 411 to 7 to make sure federal employees receive back pay for work that the Trump shutdown forced them to miss. Guess who one of the 7 who voted against it was?

What a big tyrant.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


September! Or as I call!

I performed 2 - count 'em, 2 - Roads Scholarings in September involving the Peace Bike! They yielded a few photos, and they must be pept with extreme dispatch!

The first was in Dayton, Kentucky, where I investigated the KY 8 rerouting...

The second was in Covington, where I took a look at Pershing Avenue, which is threatened by gentrification...

Peep these photos now before they peep you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

As de Blasio enacts healthcare plan, media silence stuns

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the city is enacting a new program to guarantee healthcare to every resident. This is the first program of its kind anywhere in America.

So New York finally has a mayor with a major positive accomplishment - and the media falls silent. New York of 20 years ago was saddled by right-wing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who racked up one negative achievement after another - and the media constantly fell over itself to praise him.

Let's sum this up. Giuliani was known for growing law enforcement misconduct and other tyranny, and the media made him a national star. But de Blasio is known for making sure people get healthcare, and the media largely ignores him. How often do you hear about de Blasio compared to Giuliani?

Meanwhile, I posted a link to an article from another website about New York's healthcare upgrades on Facebook, and some right-wingers complained about it until it was taken down. I didn't even add any of my own commentary to it. But at the same time, Facebook has made it harder to report posts that actually violate its stated policies.

A person bubbled at Kroger

Today at Kroger, some woman bubbled repeatedly.

Right-wing amendment would make Kentucky judicial elections partisan

Very few states have partisan judicial elections. But right-wing Kentucky State Rep. Myron Dossett wants to gut Kentucky's tradition of an impartial and independent judiciary. He has proposed an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that would eliminate nonpartisan judicial elections and have candidates for judgeships run on a partisan ballot.

All this after the Republicans kept complaining that "liberal" judges were "politicizing" Kentucky's judiciary.

This would seem to violate judicial codes relating to impartiality. The real purpose of the proposed amendment is to expand Republicans' power over Kentucky politics by letting judicial candidates appeal to right-wing activists' partisanship and rake in money from partisan special interest groups.

Alexander Hamilton opposed selecting judges based on partisan labels, because partisanship worsened cronyism. In fact, the long-term trend in other states has been towards nonpartisan judicial elections - for precisely that reason. But don't tell that to the Kentucky GOP - for they support cronyism. The amendment is a naked power grab.

If this amendment passes, can it backfire right in the Republicans' faces? If poo. GOP voters are aging, and the youngest voters are overpoweringly Democratic. But by the time this trend sways more rural counties, it may be too late.

Like all right-wing power grabs, this proposal must be fought with gusto.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Covington! Piner! Independence! It's a great place to start!

Countin' down the 40 hottest Roads Scholaring photos!

Back in August, I embarked (arf-arf!) on a small automotive Scholaring to southern Kenton County. This event yielded 40 Scholaring photos, and you're gonna peep 'em until a giant robot arm comes down from the sky and pulverizes us all...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Bellevue! Wilder! Newport! It's a great place to start!

My proud tradition of Roads Scholaring continued throughout 2018, and my July expedition - the one in which the Road Ruiner's motor blew - yielded several photos and videos. As an added bonus, this photo shoot contains a couple miscellaneous items from May!

So point your pooper here...