It’s Time C.I.A. Stood for Caring for Illegal Adolescents

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

 “War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.” Also, “I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

  It’s been over 80 years since Gen. Butler’s speech and things haven’t changed. The United States still bases foreign policy on what countries natural resources benefit our nation’s corporations. We still invade countries, fix elections and back (train and arm) brutal right-wing dictators if U.S. business interests deem it necessary. The Reagan administration gave $5 billion in aid to brutal dictator Duarte in El Salvador. That blood money led to 75,000 Salvadoran deaths including Bishop Romero who spoke against Duarte’s immoral war on his people.

 In Guatemala in 1982, General Montt came to power in a military coup.  Reagan declared: “President Ríos Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment….I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice.” Gen. Rios used $10 million in Reagan supplied military hardware to torture and kill the Mayan population of Guatemala. Israel also supplied arms, intelligence and training to Montt’s death squads. Tens of thousands of non-combatants were killed by Gen. Montt’s death squads. In 2013, Reagan’s hero, Ríos Montt was found guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide against Mayan Indians by a Guatemalan court. He was given a sentence of 80 years in prison. In 1944, President Jacobo Arbenz’ was elected on a platform of land reform. That platform conflicted with multinational corporate interest. That led the C.I.A. to facilitate a coup and set up a right-wing military dictatorship, friendly to corporations needs. The next fifty years were filled with political violence. From 1960-1996 over 200,000 Guatemalans were killed with 93% of those deaths at the hands of government forces.

 In Honduras Reagan backed Battalion 316, a CIA – trained military unit that terrorized Honduras for much of the 1980s. Reagan also used Honduras as a camp for his illegal Contra rebels to attack Nicaragua. I don’t want to let the Obama administration off the hook either. In 2009, the Honduran military overthrew the elected government, and the Obama administration accepted the coup over the protests of pro-democracy forces there. He did this in an effort to fight drugs and has sent troops to train Honduran police and military to further the war on drugs. Former Honduran President Zelaya said, “The police are the drug traffickers. If you fund the police, you’re funding the drug traffickers.” The military there is also corrupt. They have had a captured drug smuggling plane and 300 automatic rifles and 300,000 bullets disappeared from a warehouse. The U.S.’s war on drugs in Honduras and other Latin American nations has escalated the violence in all those countries.

 The U.S. has spent decades propping up right-wing dictators throughout Central and South America. These dictators were corrupt and only cared about lining their own pockets while their citizens suffered. This greed filters down to the police, military and central governments in these countries. These corrupt officials and street gangs now see drugs as the path to riches. The criminal drug gangs are the new rulers of nations like; Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. These gangs recruit children in the drug trade and have turned these three countries into the deadliest places in the world.

 The U.S. government and the C.I.A. has done all it can to back multinational corporate interest in Latin America. Nuns, priests, bishops, environmentalists, union organizers, human rights activists, indigenous peoples and all manners of fighters for democracy have all been murdered by U.S. backed right-wing dictators. I am surprised that Latin Americans have never committed a terrorist act on U.S. shores, to pay our nation back for the terror we supported for many decades on their soil. Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans have now asked the U.S. to protect their children. They have sent their children to our nation’s borders to ask us to save them from the murderous climate of their own nations. The U.S. violent history towards those nation’s people demands we help these children. We call ourselves a Christian nation and claim we are the beacon of light in a dark world. We’ve said those things while we’ve not only backed brutal dictators, but trained and armed them. We owe it to these nations to finally do the moral thing and welcome these children with open arms.

Killer Mike: “Reagan”

“Upset the Setup”

“International politics is never about democracy and human rights. It’s about the interests of states. Remember that, no matter what you are told in history lessons.” ~ Egon Bahr

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An Auschwitz for Mother Goose and Air Time For Racists

    In Youngstown’s Mill Creek Park we saw a wild goose chase that ended deadly for 238 geese and goslings. They were herded into a gas chamber and euthanized in an effort to control the population of the nuisance animals. Their excrement is being called the nuisance. Park officials are blaming people who come to the park and feed the geese bread. Not having to travel to find food has messed up the bird’s migratory nature. With all the extra food from park visitors the geese are defecating more and messing up their water and surrounds. This could lead to more diseases for the geese. People who feed the geese bread are doing the birds a real disservice. That is because a diet composed of white bread can cause a bone disorder known as “angel wing” in young birds. This causes their wrist joints to fail to develop, and the affected wings will not lie flat against a bird’s body. Once this happens geese will lose the ability to fly.

  I think the park’s police should have written tickets enforcing the law against feeding the park’s animals. That would have been better than euthanizing, controlling, managing, roundup, gathering or whatever bullshit name you want to call murdering geese. June is said to be a good time to round-up geese. That is because the adults can’t fly because they are molting (shedding), and the goslings haven’t learned to fly yet. In other words they are most defenseless and can’t flee. An article in the Youngstown Vindicator stated, “because of possible heavy metals and other contamination, park officials decided not to donate the meat from the euthanized wild geese.” What are these heavy metals and are they also in the water and air that could harm humans? Are they chemicals from the park’s use of weed killers or contaminates from fracking in the area? We have lots of people who have no problem with opening up our nation’s parks to be fracked. To them killing geese would be a golden egg to make room for fracking wells. Let me mention one such guy.

  That is WKBN radio talk show host Dan Rivers. Dan stated on air that he loved the goose holocaust so much he was now willing to pay twice as much for taxes to fund Mill Creek Park. Dan is a teabagger that has gone with other teabaggers to D.C. to protest illegal immigrants. The gassing of Canadian geese (they are illegal aliens to him) is the kind of welcome Dan would probably like to give to all human illegals. I heard Dan mention an author he was going to feature on his show. The author had written a book about slavery in America. The author’s point was that blacks should have been happy to be slaves in this country because it was better than living in Africa. I was happy to hear a black caller phone Dan, and tell him that is the kind of crap white racists want to believe. I didn’t listen later when the author was on, because I didn’t want my head to explode with rage. Most folks in the media would never give such an author one second of air time. Our local boy Dan I’m sure read the book cover to cover a couple of times, and couldn’t wait to get the author on.

  Could we locally please stop murdering geese and stop the racism and move into the 21st century? The 21st century is also known as the Anno Domini era or the Common Era. Can we all agree that killing helpless animals, promoting racism and spreading hatred towards people who want to become citizens of our country is not something that should be accepted or common in the 21st century?

Next time I wish Mill Creek Park officials would use the “Goosinator” that many other parks are using to chase away geese.

New Castle, PA band: Vito’s Lot

“The law doth punish man or woman that steals the goose from the common, but lets the greater felon loose, that steals the common from the goose.” ~ Unknown Quote

Park police did a better job of enforcing the “no feed” regulations. Issue a few citations – See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/jun/27/more-than–geese-euthanized-at-mill-cree/#sthash.cbAq9yXI.dpuf
“because of possible heavy metals and other contamination, park officials decided not to donate the meat from the euthanized wild geese”. – See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/jun/27/more-than–geese-euthanized-at-mill-cree/#sthash.cbAq9yXI.dpuf
“because of possible heavy metals and other contamination, park officials decided not to donate the meat from the euthanized wild geese”. – See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/jun/27/more-than–geese-euthanized-at-mill-cree/#sthash.cbAq9yXI.dpuf
“because of possible heavy metals and other contamination, park officials decided not to donate the meat from the euthanized wild geese”. – See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/jun/27/more-than–geese-euthanized-at-mill-cree/#sthash.cbAq9yXI.dpufI would ask Mill Creek park police next time to use the humane Goosinator to drive geese off.


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In Sorry Company With a Sorry Assed Company

Do you think practicing racial and gender discrimination is acceptable?

Do you think women should be paid less than men?

Do you think women should be promoted less than men?

Do you think men make better managers than women?

Do you think people should not be paid livable wages?

Do you think people working full-time should make so little they still qualify for welfare?

Do you think it was good to ship U.S. manufacturing jobs to China?

Do you like buying Chinese goods instead of U.S. goods?

Do you agree with trying to pass Chinese made products off as being made in the USA?

Do you think it is OK to have children in China working in sweatshops?

Do you think it’s OK for people to die in fires because the doors were locked in sweatshops?

Do you think it is OK to work employees overtime without paying them anything?

Do you find it acceptable to fire older employees because they have health care problems and replace them with younger workers?

Do you think a company should deny their workers breaks, lunches and bathroom visits?

Do you think it is right to fire employees for trying to start a union?

Do you think it is OK for a company to work towards destroying public education?

Do you think it is right to violate environmental laws?

Do you think cheating on your taxes and bribery are good business practices?

Do you think buying term insurance policies on people who work for you, so you can profit from their deaths is just?

Do you believe that a business should censor what books, movies or music you can buy?

Do you think it is alright to sell anti-Semitic books?

Do you think it is moral to lie and claim you do charity work?

Do you think it is alright to bash public welfare but believe that corporate welfare is a good thing?

Do you think treating people you do business with shabbily is a good plan?

Do you think it is acceptable to wrongfully terminate employees?

Do you think it is alright to fire employees who use their doctor prescribed medications?

Do you believe workers should be allowed to air grievances without fear of retaliation?

Do you think it is fine to hire illegal aliens and pay them off the books below minimum wages?

Do you think it is a good idea to destroy communities?

Do you believe history is unimportant so therefore it is fine to destroy Native American burial grounds and Civil War battlefields and sell them off?

Do you think it is fine for a business to be a predator and destroy other businesses by fixing prices?

Do you believe it is good to sell furniture made from wood from protected forests around the world?

Do you find it alright for a company to bask in good PR claiming they hire veterans and then harass their veteran employees, when they need time off to go to a doctor’s appointment?

You might not verbally agree with these things but you endorse all of them if you are part of the group of millions of Americans

known as Wal-Mart shoppers and Sam’s Club members.

  From 1986 to 1992 Hillary Clinton served as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors. During those years she remained silent as Wal-Mart busted all union attempts to unionize Wal-Mart workers. At a June 1990 stockholders meeting Hillary said, “I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anyone else.” Hillary Clinton held nearly $100,000 in Wal-Mart stock before she and her husband moved from Arkansas to DC. Hillary now tries to distance herself from Wal-Mart policies and says now she knows better than she knew then. Many unions were dumb enough to believe that and endorsed her for president in 2008. I’m sure these same unions will back her in 2016. The unions might believe she has cut ties with Wal-Mart, but I don’t. I say that because the Wal-Mart Foundation has been a major funder of the Clinton Foundation, donating between $1 and $5 million through 2013.  One of the Walton’s who own Wal-Mart, Alice Walton worth $35 billion—donated the max $25,000 to Ready for Hillary (the Super PAC urging Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016). Hillary might have started her recent book tour at Costco but she showed up at a book signing at a Wal-Mart in Little Rock, Arkansas.

  Hillary by still taking money from Wal-Mart is an apologist for Wal-Mart’s immoral behavior on every social justice issue. When you walk through their doors, or join a Sam’s Club you are also an apologist for their immorality. The Supreme Court considers corporations to be a person. These corporations are not people because they lack a heart and soul. The heart and soul of a corporation is profit. The only way to change a corporation like Wal-Mart is to boycott it until it has a coronary profit attack. Wouldn’t you rather be part of the solution, instead of the problem for our children’s sake?

Wal-Mart: Supply Chain

Confessions of a Wal-Mart Hit Man

“At the end of the day, we supported globalization because we wanted to be able to buy cheaper computers, cheaper vehicles, cheaper clothes and cheaper furniture. Wal-Mart parking lots were jammed with North American workers buying bargain-basement-priced goods made in China even if in the process they were shopping themselves right out of their own jobs.”
Jeff Rubin, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Rush to Judge.

  Rush Limbaugh has been blasting Hillary Clinton, on his radio show. That is because she is considered among the front-runners, to be the Democrat contender, for president in 2016. He was also blasting Hillary, because he has a contract that pays $400 million for him to spread hate during his 15 hour work week. Rush has been on a campaign, to say the Clintons are wealthy and thus out of touch with U.S. voters. Rush actually said this, while, he broadcasts his show from his $26 million ocean front home in West Palm Beach, which has 7 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and an elevator. It is a 24,000-square-foot mansion he designed himself, it features architectural influences from Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles to the Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate. His Florida property also features four other homes. He also owns a Gulf Stream jet that cost $54 million, and six $450,000 Maybach limos. He’s doing very well for a guy who mothers said, “he flunked everything” and left college after two semesters. Spreading hate, and pretending Reaganomics worked, pays well if you happen to be thinking of a career change. Though, Rush makes a fortune talking politics, he never voted for Reagan, or anyone else until he turned 35.

  Rush came from a pretty well off family that included lawyers, federal judges and a state congressman. Rush is now said to worth somewhere around $1 billion. The median individual income in the US (according to the 2012 census) is $29,000, meaning half of us make less and half make more. If you made $29,000 a year, and saved every single penny of it, in 34,482 years you would be worth a billion dollars. What do you think the odds are, of you winning half a million dollars at Powerball? The odds, are 1 in 800,000, that is the same odds as your chance of being a billionaire in the United States. If you placed $500 on every single seat, in every professional football stadium, in the U.S. it would equal $1 billion.

  Do you really think a billionaire understands your life, and has your best interest at heart? Well, Rush’s 14 million (down from 22 million) listeners do. People, that listen to 10 hours or more of talk radio a week vote republican 3 to 1. In the U.S. 243 million people (over age 12) listen to AM/FM radio a week. If Rush has 14 million listeners (according to Talkers magazine) that means he has 5% of radio listeners. The good news is 95% of radio listeners tune him out. Rush had the number one talk show in Los Angeles, but has fallen to 37th place in the ratings. In New York, Limbaugh’s rating dropped from fifth to 22nd. Rush’s average listeners, are 66 years old white men. Younger people aren’t turning on their radios to listen to political hate shows. With an audience that is dying off, and advertisers leaving, in droves because of boycotts against Rush’s racist, sexist and homophobic comments, hate talk radios days may be numbered.

  I only heard Rush’s hate speech for a minute while I was spinning my radio dial. I can’t imagine what hearing his hateful rants, on a regular basis could do to people’s minds. Hell, it is probably the real factor that turned Rush to using drugs. It must be hard for Rush, to find peace, when he is paid lavish sums to fester hate. He may be laughing all the way to the bank, but on the way he is swinging by a pharmacy to score some Oxycontin. Rush has repeatedly said drug users should all be jailed. When caught using drugs (and forging prescriptions) Rush begged for mercy. He was able to afford an expensive attorney so, he served no jail time. His case and OJ’s case leads me to ask, something that a friend of mine was asked by someone in prison. That is “would you rather be rich and guilty or poor and innocent?” Being wealthy not only changes the ballgame it puts you in a whole different league that has no umpires. Since, Rush attacked the Clinton for being millionaires while ignoring he is a billionaire I’d call that “a Rush to judge.”

One billionaire who is not out of touch tells his fellow billionaires to wake up and see the writing is on the wall.

“Rush Limbaugh” a folk song.

“We’ve arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage.” –Rush Limbaugh, on President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. Limbaugh’s first, second, third, and fourth wives could not be reached for comment. (May 9, 2012)

 

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The Shot Not Heard in Our Own Backyard

None of you came to see me do poetry at Pig Iron Press the second Tuesday in June. Therefore, I am going to punish you by posting my most recent poem. It is on the same subject as my last post but more serious.

The Shot Not Heard in Our Own Backyard

There’s a democrat in the White House.
Even worse to some he’s a black man.
That is a great thing for the NRA to gain new members
and gun manufacturers and gun shops to sell more guns,
by spreading the fear that the government is going
to confiscate all the public’s firearms.
Today’s paranoia is tomorrow’s profit!
These lies every election about democrats
have created a new arms race
to get to a gun shop and buy
some homegrown “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
Rapid-fire guns with humongous ammo magazines
were designed to hunt humans in war
not a deer or turkey in the woods.

 
What isn’t a lie is that a seven-year old shot
multiple times with .223 rounds
from a 30 round clip Bushmaster assault rifle
at a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut
didn’t even resemble a little girl anymore.
Those who retrieved her body
picked it up in pieces and she was just one of
6 adults and 20 elementary school children
who were killed on killed December 14, 2012
by a 20 year-old insane gunman.

In four minutes, he shot 154 bullets,
making most of the victims shot multiple times
which meant that many parents weren’t able
to “identify” the remains of their little ones.
Ironically, the corporation that manufactures
the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle
is named, the Freedom Group.

The reaction across the country to the Newtown shooting was
that assault rifles and .223 rounds used in AR-15 were sold out
and manufacturers hired to keep up with demand.
There was an outcry for gun control
but congressional Republicans blocked attempts
to enact new federal gun restrictions.
Candidates that ran on a platform of gun control
mostly lost as the NRA supplied the life blood
of huge money transfusions to gun friendly candidates.
Our soldiers are coming home from combat
in Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD’s
and in classrooms in this country
students are suffering from PTSD’s from
all the school shootings.

In the 1950’s as a school kid
I was taught to “Duck and Cover”
under my school desk to protect myself
in case of a Russian nuclear attack.
Today’s kids “Duck and Cover”
is called being in “lock down” mode.
It’s what schools do in case of an attack by lunatics
armed to the teeth with semi-automatic weapons.
NRA member Joe the plumber
echoed many NRA member’s beliefs
when he said, “your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
Does every U.S. family have to lose a child
before we become outraged enough
to speak out against the NRA?

The gun manufacturers owned NRA’s answer to violence
has been saying we need more guns
and to arm teachers and school administrators.
The latest ideas from a money-grubbing corporate bastard
trying to exploit fear to make a buck are from
Massachusetts-based company Bullet Blocker.
They are offering children’s bulletproof backpacks,
bulletproof blankets, and bulletproof iPad cases,
notebooks, and school bag survival kits.
What is next Kevlar school uniforms?

It seems greed is more American
than the right to life and freedom from fear.
Since our so-called, political representatives
get big contributions from the NRA
they represent them and not the public.
This will not change anytime in the near future.
Since the NRA is owned by corporations
that manufacture weapons
they will ever develop a conscience.
If humans are really the dominant species
their only hope of survival
is to evolve and develop bulletproof skin.

There have been incidences of 74 schools shootings since Newtown.

Tell Gov. Chris Christie to limit the size of gun magazines.

Local musician: Dennis Drummond

“Semi-automatics have only two purposes. One is so owners can take them to the shooting range once in awhile, yell yeehaw, and get all horny at the rapid fire and the burning vapor spurting from the end of the barrel. Their other use – their only other use – is to kill people” ~ Steven King

 

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Freedumb

  This is my 333rd post. Over that time I might have written some posts you agreed with or some that ticked you off. I hope I’ve made you either laugh, cry, think or get angry. I’ve spent a ton of hours doing this blog. If you’ve enjoyed my blog (or would like to punch me in the nose) I’d like to ask you to give me a bit of your time. I will be the featured poet this coming Tuesday at Pig Iron Press and I’d love to see you there. I don’t want to do much of my own material so I want you to come and be a part of the open mic. Come and read a poem or short story you’ve written. If you don’t write come and read something that has touched your life. The second Tuesday of the month at Pig Iron is always a monthly reading and we always welcome newcomers.

 Tuesday June 10 Pig Iron Press Open Poetry Reading, begins at 7:30 p.m. FREE and open to the public.

Pig Iron Press Building
26 North Phelps Street
Downtown Youngstown (next to Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts). Use the door next to Pig Iron and we will be on the third floor. I hope to see you there.

  I saw something on the news lately that I find troubling. Its groups of armed people with assault rifles slung across their backs, showing up at places like Sonic, Chili’s, Chipotle and Target. This is happening in Texas by the group Open Carry Texas. Many people who came in contact with Open Carry Texas found this frightening. Those frightened weren’t sure if people coming into a business with guns were good guys or bad guys.  A member of Open Carry Texas said he had a right to carry a gun and if people were frightened they had a right to their fear. He seemed to be mocking people for having fear. I’d make the point that those that think they need to carry weapons are the ones who are fearful. If I shared their fearful minds I’d build a bunker and never leave it. I’d like to tell these gun enthusiasts that the second amendment is not the only amendment. It also does not come before other rights, and we have to protect the rights of our nation’s citizens to life and liberty over Open Carry Texas’s right to be dangerous goofs. I don’t have any issue with people having guns. I do have an issue when people use those guns to infringe on other people’s rights to feel secure.

  The news also had a story of Oklahoma now legalizing bars at gun ranges. I was reading comments online about this. I used some of those thoughts and comments along with my own thoughts to write the following poem. These are the kinds of poems I will be reading at Pig Iron’s monthly readings.  I like to think I write poetry for people who might not necessarily like poetry. I hope to see you at Pig Iron this Tuesday!

 

Freedumb

Oklahoma’s lawmakers ban guns
from entering their legislature
but they have OK’d a bar at a gun range.
Which leads me to ask
“How close is the nearest hospital?”
I imagine a sign saying
“No shoes, no shirt no service
but a gun no problem.”
Liquored up and packing artillery
what could possibly go wrong?
Any sane state’s lawmakers would say
“Liquor, guns and ammo oh no.”
With booze added to the shooting galleries
gun nuts can now thin out their own herd.
Gun ranges with bars will be the perfect location
for conservative candidates to campaign
and to have Republican voter registration.

The Second Amendment says
“Well regulated militia.”
Rednecks think that is merely a code phrase
that means get shit faced and discharge muskets.
South Carolina is also looking into building
giant shooting range complexes to attract tourists.
They will be a mega church where gun owners
can come and worship their god the gun.
After all the holy trinity in the red states is
gun ranges, Wal-Mart and titty bars.

A record number of guns and ammo
have been purchased over the last few years
because a black man was elected president.
Some of the gun ranges have targets featuring
Blacks, Latinos and Trayvon Martin.
Just good ole boy Southern fun.
At least now most of the targets
will be empty beer bottles.
Adding a bar to a gun range
gives new meaning to the term
“a shot and a beer”
and getting loaded.
Should we soon expect fireworks plants
located right next to match factories?
How about pot being sold
as an appetizer at Pizza Hut?

Who would want to work at a bar/firing range?
It would require calm nerves and quick reflexes.
I imagine ear plugs, a Kevlar vest
and lots of insurance are requirements for the job.
It may sound like I’m opposed to bars at gun ranges.
Fact is I actually think it’s a really great idea
and I hope liquor will soon be served
at gun ranges in all the red states.
Drunken gun nuts shooting each other?
Damn that’s fine entertainment
if we keep a safe distance.
See you there and I’ll bring the popcorn!

Area musician: Steve Vuich

“There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons,” said California Gov. Ronald Reagan in May 1967, after two dozen Black Panther Party members walked into the California Statehouse carrying rifles to protest a gun-control bill. Reagan said guns were “a ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.”

 

 

 

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Time to Move On

  Yesterday, I bought some summer swimming supplies at a local business. In another line was a guy in his twenties. He was an anorexic looking white wannabe rapper with a baseball ball cap on sideways. He had a tattoo of Ohio poorly drawn on his neck. He was wearing baggy shorts to show off some tattoos on his calves. Those tats were so poor drawn that they looked like an abstract done by a five-year old. What struck me the most about him was his t-shirt, which just plain pissed me off. It showed a pin striped gangster holding a machine gun, leaning on the gangster was a gangster moll type girlfriend. The T-shirt said, “Youngstown, Ohio Mob Town and Proud of it.”

  No one in our valley is proud of that past. This little punk thinks wearing such a shirt makes him tough. The fact is the mob’s presence in Youngstown ended many decades before this scrawny punk was even born. What we still seem to have is some politicians that take bribes from an always unnamed businessman (starts with a C ends with an O). That is something we have to deal with and end. Our area has moved on from the mob days but some local goofballs want to wallow in a past they weren’t even around for.  Guys that wear such t-shirts only prove their fear, weakness and sense of inadequacy. They show they are unprepared to compete in the modern world. The modern world is here and now scrawny rapper wanna be boy so it is high time to face your demons. Time marches on so get in step.

This brings me to reposting a poem I wrote about looking ahead and not backwards for the Youngstown area.

Youngstown on the Today Show

My alarm clock noisily rings
like every work day at 6:45 am.
I sit up in bed and click on the TV.
I view the local news,
followed by the Today Show.
The local news features a story
about the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI).
Reserve Data relocated from the Silicon Valley
and has moved their office into the YBI.
There is no mention of this good news
on the Today Show that follows.
On the following Sunday I shopped at
the Four Seasons Flea Market in Youngstown.
A vendor was selling T-shirts
picturing an AK-47 assault rifle.
Below the gun was the word, Youngstown.
I ask the vendor if he had any T-shirts
picturing the Youngstown Business Incubator.
He replies, “Just these” pointing
to the AK-47 shirts.

On another morning the local news
happily reports Youngstown’s V+M Steel is expanding.
The owner is spending $650 million on the project.
There was no word of this event
on the Today Show that followed.
While getting fresh fruit and vegetables
on my weekly Four Seasons Flea Market trip,
I again see the Ak-47 Youngstown T-shirt vendor.
I ask him, “Do you have a shirt with a V+M Steel picture?”
He replies, “Just these AK-47 Youngstown  T-shirts.”

Sometime later I awoke to more good news,
the local TV station was talking about an area business.
The Lordstown GM plant’s Cruze automobile
was being heralded, by automobile magazines,
as one of the best new cars
in its class and price range.
No mention of the Chevy Cruze
on the Today Show that followed.
My Sunday’s Four Seasons visit
did not turn up any Chevy Cruze T-shirts,
just the AK-47 Youngstown standby model.

This past Monday’s local morning TV news
started its broadcast on a very sad note.
One YSU student was shot and killed
and eleven others were wounded
at an off campus fraternity party.
The Today Show followed and this time
they had found a Youngstown event
that they didn’t want to ignore.
I suspect the Four Seasons Flea Market vendor
was watching the Today Show.
I’m sure he smiled widely
picked up his phone
and called his supplier
and ordered a big batch
of AK-47 Youngstown T-shirts.

Local Musicians: John Resse Project

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” ~ LBJ

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