Monday, September 30, 2019

Marianne condo plan dead

Good news, good news, Boss!

Remember that ridiculous plan to turn the Marianne Theater in Bellevue into luxury condos? It's dead. Deader than a dinosaur. After a firestorm of criticism by local residents, the developer has withdrawn the proposal.

With the glut of luxury housing all over greater Cincinnati, the last thing we needed was more high-end condos to artificially inflate housing costs.


Supreme Court case may force states to fund religious education

Taxpayer funding of religious schools is banned under the Constitution's safeguard of separation of church and state. This little factoid is often overlooked by our scuzz-a-luzz gaslighting media and right-wing jurists.

Taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend religious schools? The Constitution says they're illegal. Period. End of story. It shouldn't even be subject to debate, because the Constitution means what it says.

But now the Far Right wants the Supreme Court to give free Toy Money to private religious schools even if the state and its voters don't want to. Not long ago - in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue - the Montana Supreme Court ruled that it violates the Montana Constitution to underwrite religious education with taxpayer funds. That was Montana's decision.

Petitioners laughably argue that the U.S. Constitution not only permits the government to fund religious schools but also requires it. They say they're being "discriminated" against because Montana won't give religious schools money.

Don't laugh too hard. This is a serious matter. The Supremes rightly ruled over a decade ago that states were allowed to limit funding religious schools in programs like this. But the Supreme Court has shown growing disregard for constitutional law in the years since. That's why petitioners are instead citing the court's outrageous 2017 ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer - in which the state of Missouri was forced to buy a playground surface for a church. Even then, the petitioners don't seem to have a case - unless of course a rogue Supreme Court once again makes up its own laws.

Another example of "sates'' rights for me, not for thee."


Saturday, September 28, 2019

A person wore a Trump cap to Kroger

After Donald Trump's awful, no-good, horrid week, who would want to humiliate themselves by wearing anything Trump-related in public? I don't think I've seen anyone wearing Trump gear in 2 years, but now that he's been disgraced worse than ever, I guess his cultists are doubling down.

Today, I goed to the friendly commune Krogie-Wogie, and there was a man wearing a red Trump cap shopping in there. When I walked past him, I made a funny noise that sounded like a gag mixed with a belch. He got really mad and scowled!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Have no fear, the October ish is here!

The coming of October means the October issue of The Last Word is pub, and it's a big one!

This ish talks about a looming gentrification disaster, a trip to Shenandoah National Park and the accompanying bonfire, a person spitting out gum at Oktoberfest, wastage and filth at Chick-fil-A, a dine-and-dash at Big Boy, the cable company blaming sunspots for its own incompetence, a photo album ruining baseball cards, a person running records through a dishwasher, antique Christmas ornaments and wedding china being destroyed, the Franklin Mint's bad instructions for its coin sets, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, bubble over here...

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Impeachment inquiry makes right-wing media look dumber than ever

A few weeks ago, when the latest allegations against dictator Trump were coming out, analysts said that if they appeared to be true, Congress would jump right into impeachment - and Trump would be removed. But this talk was quickly swatted down - supposedly because too few people were making the allegations - and any journalist who dared to report on them was forced by their bosses to get down on their knees and retract them.

Those were the days, huh?

Because of this groveling, impeachment may be less likely than it would have been, but at least an impeachment inquiry was finally announced yesterday. If Congress follows this process to its condign end, it will be yet more egg on the face of the media, which has cheered right-wing public figures and causes for at least as long as I've been old enough to care.

Monday, September 23, 2019

People bunkerooed at Kroger

Today at the friendly commune Krogie-Wogie, I detected the hilarious audio of 2 - count 'em, 2 - LAP bunker blasts.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Water bottles, beer cans, Pepsi, oh my!

Folks, it's finally happened...

Today, I went to Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, and - in response to years of people putting things in toilets - that sign had been posted in at least one of the portable restrooms.

Not like it stopped the fun! In fact, Ploptoberfest was a total bore except for the fact that the sign was ignored.

The first restroom I used didn't have this sign, but I noticed 5 - count 'em, 5 - ploppings in the same toilet bowl. The toilet contained a water bottle, a Pepsi bottle, 2 beer bottles, and a beer can. When I used a different portable outhouse later, it did have the sign - but somebody had plopped a big plastic bag.

Other than people putting things in toilets, the festival was dead. Crowded (because they packed it into a smaller space), but dead. Ploptoberfest was killed off when the city moved it away from 5th Street to appease 3CDC's incessant crying.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

When you return, it's the same old place...

Today, I returned home from a brief fact-finding mission to Shenandoah National Park. After reading that the Bevin dictatorship has appointed Tea Party favorite Charlie Coleman to the board of directors of Gateway Community & Technical College, now I know I shouldn't have returned.

This proves once again that the whole Kentucky higher education system isn't worth shit.

If you want to read about all the celebrity look-alikes and instances of flatulence I detected on my Shenandoah trip, the next issue of The Last Word isn't far off. Wilford Brimley, Jim Hightower, Don Imus, Paula Abdul, and Terry Bradshaw look-alikes were seen.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Elizabeth Warren wants bold plan for expanded Social Security

Of the entire field of Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are wiping the floor with the others in terms of policy and effectiveness. I know the right-wing media will cry and whine if they form the national ticket, because they think the President and Vice-President can't be from adjacent states (even though they were just fine with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney both residing in the same state). As far as I'm concerned, that's too damn bad.

Notice that the Republicans' response to every situation is always the same: cut Social Security. A gnat gets in your house? Cut Social Security. Your TV acts up during your favorite show? Cut Social Security.

For years and years, it's always been cut, cut, cut Social Security. They've done it too, and it's still not enough for them. It sure would be nice to have legislators who do their fucking jobs. Plus, many recipients rely on Social Security as their only source of retirement income, and the situation is only going to get worse because of stagnating wages for today's workforce.

But polls show a vast majority of Americans support increasing Social Security. This includes not just for retired seniors but also disability payments like SSI and SSDI. Now Elizabeth Warren wants to expand Social Security payments to fight rising costs of basics like healthcare, food, and housing.

Warren's plan would immediately increase Social Security benefits by $200 a month. It would allow even more increases for low-income workers and the disabled. It would have a fairer method of computing cost-of-living increases. It would ease the backlog that prevents applicants from receiving the benefits they've paid for. And it would reverse Trump's illegal order that turns administrative law judges into political appointees. It would accomplish the increased payments by making the richest 2% pay their fair share into the program.

In the long term, Warren's plan would reduce the federal budget deficit by over $1 trillion in 10 years.

With a media and ruling party that have done nothing but cut this vital program for 30 years, it would be mighty refreshing if a plan like Warren's was enacted. Hopefully, whoever defeats Trump next year will enact something like it.

Comcast files frivolous suit over Maine cable law

Comcast - the hated cable TV giant that has a monopoly on service in many regions - has teamed up with network muckety-mucks to file a federal lawsuit against the state of Maine because of a new state law regulating cable.

This law requires cable companies to offer a la carte access to channels. This saves viewers from having to pay for garbage like Fox News Channel. When a cable company claims you get 500 channels when all but 10 of them are home shopping and right-wing propaganda channels, it's price-gouging.

Comcast and the cable industry are laughably arguing that the law violates the First Amendment. That's like saying newsstands have a First Amendment right to collude and not let you buy the New York Times unless you buy the Washington Times too. The suit also argues that federal law preempts state laws like this. No, it cannot, as that would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.

It's not surprising that Comcast would cry that the law violates the First Amendment. Any time the Far Right can't cause as much grief as possible, they always claim it's a First Amendment issue.

Comcast thinks Baskin-Robbins should be required to sell Neapolitan ice cream to customers who only want strawberry and force them to throw away the chocolate and vanilla layers they're allergic to.

The FCC appears to be on Maine's side. The FCC once issued a statement that says there's no federal law prohibiting a la carte cable pricing. That doesn't mean some right-wing activist judge won't make up their own law and gut Maine's regulations. The Supreme Court makes up its own laws all the time.


New York City caves to right-wing hate group

The Alliance Defending Freedom is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. That didn't stop the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod from teaming up with it to write a legal guide for its congregations. But a right-wing hate group the ADF is.

Now City Council in New York City plans to repeal its ban on harmful conversion therapy - all because the ADF told it to. The ADF is suing the city over the ban - though the ADF has no case.

By repealing the ban, New York City Council is now officially on record as being antigay. If City Council had any guts, they'd tell the ADF to fuck off. Would they cave to the Ku Klux Klan too? New York has a state law against conversion therapy - but it's not as broad as city law.

It's mind-boggling that hate groups are allowed to commandeer public policy. It's as mind-boggling as hate groups teaming up with churches to write legal guides - though given the growing hatred by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's leaders, I'm not surprised by that. The ADF commits legal terrorism. The group has also been responsible for legal cases forcing public tax dollars to fund religious activities and gutting Obamacare's birth control coverage. The ADF even sued Arnold Schwarzenegger!

A leading ADF attorney in New Hampshire was convicted of federal charges for talking her own 14-year-old daughter to Canada to have sex with an adult man.

It's time to say, "Hasta la vista, baby," to the ADF's hate.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Theater may be ruined by luxury condos

There goes the neighborhood!

The Marianne Theater is an old movie theater that has served as a Bellevue landmark for almost 80 years. As recently as the late '90s, it was still showing movies, though by that time it was mostly just Spice World and the like. It certainly did not show first-run movies by then.

The city purchased the building some years back and solicited proposals from developers for a new use for it. Now a developer has stepped forward and is threatening to fill it with - are you ready for it? - yet more luxury condos.

City officials are expressing disappointment, because they wanted the Marianne used as a public space. Then don't approve the condos. It's that simple.

But do you really expect the city to not rubber-stamp this project? Nah, Bellevue would never rubber-stamp a useless development that serves only developers and the 1%. That's just a myth. Just joking! They would.

Why is this plan so bad? There's several reasons. This plan is yet another element of gentrification - a process that not only directly steals affordable housing but drives up housing costs. The condos would also generate traffic on already strained roads. And, by changing the city's character, it would weaken the political voice of the poorest residents. That's not to mention the fact that there's not even an actual need for more luxury housing. There is however a need for more public space.

Bellevue needs to welcome the 99% - not continue to roll out the red carpet for developers.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Someone put a Kroger bag in the toilet

We don't call it Ploptoberfest for nothing!

Today, I went to the Covington Oktoberfest. We call it Ploptoberfest, because of the long-running tradition of people clogging toilets in the portable outhouses with various household items. I don't think it'll ever match the greatness of Cincinnati's Ploptoberfest of perhaps a decade ago, when people used to put pants and phone books in the toilets. But I did notice today that someone put a plastic grocery bag from Kroger and a Reese cup wrapper in the toilet. The Kroger logo bobbed up and down in the abysmal depths of the dumper.

That plastic bag is gonna do a number (like 5) on the toilet cleaning equipment. Toilets are designed to accept pee and poo - not plastic bags. It's no different for a portable outhouse than it is for a latrine at a fixed location.

I left Ploptoberfest early because it was boring. But some woman was in a festive enough mood that she bubbled. Also, A Person Chewed Gum And Thought It Was Funny. But that's Last Word material, not really 'Pail material.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dayton approves climate crisis resolution

Dayton, Kentucky, is utterly thumping other local communities lately - but it's not much more than empty words unless the city truly clamps down on the long-running Manhattan Harbour disaster.

In a 5 to 1 vote, Dayton City Council has just approved a resolution supporting policies to fight the deadly climate crisis. The resolution noted that Dayton was at special risk from climate change because of its proximity to the Ohio River.

During discussion of the measure, it was noted that Manhattan Fubar's construction trucks continue to drag mud and dust through the city and damage its streets. This comes after the discovery that the construction was polluting the city's water.

But this resolution doesn't do much good unless Dayton holds the developers and contractors accountable for the project's ongoing environmental damage. If that means canceling the rest of the project, so be it.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Pepsi smuggling, blocked cellphone networks, fights, oh my!

For years, Riverfest has had a rule prohibiting people from bringing beverages (no matter how G-rated) into this outdoor street festival. A few years ago, I saw them hassling someone about it. This is a stupid rule, so I violate it year after year. This year, I smuggled in Pepsi.

I've been breaking this rule for years, but as late as last year, everyone acted shocked that I'd do this. I think now it's finally sunken in that I'm serious about it.

This year's Rip-off-fest had other notable events too! Once when I was growing up, around 1980, we went to see the fireworks, and there was a group of teenagers or young adults right behind us arguing the whole time. It was hilarious! This year, something just like that happened. But instead of arguing about the blankets and pillows like the other time, they argued about what appeared to be a broken smartphone - for hours on end! Best all, unlike the incident some 40 years ago, there was a lot of cussing!

Remember about a year ago when some kid threw a profanity-filled tantrum at Kroger? Think what that kid will be like when he's 20, and that's what this argument was like.

It turns out though that the smartphone wasn't broken. The entire cellphone network had been shut down for the event. Cellphone networks were never shut down back when the only people with cellphones were yuppies who used them to show off, but now that normal people have cellphones, they shut down the network. Because it was shut down, an important text blast I sent out was delayed.

When I was walking home, a fistfight ensued! A luxury SUV almost hit a group of people, and the people in the SUV jumped out and began fighting them. It was brutal!

Also, during the fireworks, some woman was in such a festive mood that she bubbled.