You Can’t Retire From Being an Activist

  I really don’t care much for sports at all. I’d like to go as far as saying football should be declared illegal. I don’t say that just because I don’t like to watch it. I say that because of the brain damage happening in football. The most recent case I’ve noticed concerns Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkington. Fran was a hero who played the “people’s sport.” He is now a retired senior citizen 1%er whose main concern is making sure the wealthy don’t get any tax increases. He is now making money doing radio commercials saying he is frustrated with the liberal organization, AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).

  The AARP is an organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life for people age 50 and over. It has 40 million members and is non-partisan and does not support, oppose or give money to any candidates or political parties. The AARP’s is focused on hunger, income, housing and isolation of those over 50. Their vision is “a country that is free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable.” That vision I suppose is way too liberal for conservatives (and football players like Fran who have suffered brain damage). That is why we now have several conservative senior citizen organizations as alternatives to AARP. The organization Tarkington is promoting is AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens) it has various claims of anywhere from 330,000 to 1,000,000 dues-paying members. It was founded by Dan Weber a retired insurance agency owner. Weber feels our present government is now socialist and he is opposed to safety nets and any talk of social inequity. They are a Christian “family values” organization that is anti-choice, pro gun, and wants to fix Social Security by privatizing it. Their Social Security reform proposal calls for extending the retirement age. The AMAC is promoted by Townhall.com and other far right media organizations.

 Then we have ASA the Atlanta-based American Seniors Association. This organization has 60,000 members who they claim are targeting the “radical agenda” of AARP. Their main concerns are privatizing Social Security, opposing immigration reform and overhauling Medicare which they call the most abused and wasteful federal program. The ASA’s website says, “We are not some big liberal bureaucracy here to try to scare you into going along with Big Government.” ASA claims 200,000 members

  The 60 Plus Association is another right-wing alternative to AARP. This group was started by Jim Martin, a former political reporter who went on to work in the conservative movement. 60 Plus spent $3.5 million on an advertising campaign featuring singer Pat Boone that targeted Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and four other Democratic legislators, claiming their support of the health-care act would result in Medicare cuts. Nelson won his race and later was appointed chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The 60 Plus Association have been a front for the pharmaceutical industry since its beginning. About 91% of their multi-million dollar revenue comes from Big Pharma. Jim Martin, the 60 Plus President, acknowledged this in interviews saying, “I wish it was more.”

  The American Family Association (AFA) urged its supporters to call the AARP and cancel their memberships and join the American Seniors Association (ASA). Just 15 percent of the people who called AARP to cancel membership were actually even members. Perhaps, a touch of senioritis? The American family Association is a fundamentalist Christian organization founded in Tupelo, Mississippi. They are an anti-union, anti any religion except Christianity and anti-gay organization that owns 200 radio stations. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has listed them as a hate group for the “propagation of known falsehoods” and the use of “demonizing propaganda” against the LGBT community.

  Generation America, a conservative Texas-based group started by a restaurant entrepreneur claims former game show host Chuck Woolery as a spokesman. The above senior organizations and many more exist to promote conservative American values over really caring about seniors. Even when you become elderly these organizations that represent big pharma and the 1% are not through trying to divide and weaken you along partisan lines. You might be retired but these corporate owned conservative organizations are not going to retire from attacking your earned benefits.

  The GOP loved the AARP when that organization backed President G W Bush’s 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act, which created Medicare Part D. The GOP ended their love affair in 2009 when the AARP supported President Obama’s initiative for U.S. health care reform. It is funny that anyone would consider AARP liberal when they have many conservative corporate sponsors like; Walmart, Pepsi and Proctor & Gamble. The GOP will never cease trying to either destroy Social Security or handing it over to Wall Street. We now have all these conservative organizations opposing the AARP because it is the one organization that can be counted on to protect Social Security.

Social Security is Under Attack

Robert Wyatt: “At Last I Am Free”

“A Beautiful War”

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” ~ Bette Davis

 

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Long-Term Health or Short-Term Greed?

  Every time I think we need a third-party I am reminded we need a Democrat president. That is because we can’t let another Republican be elected president and appoint Supreme Court justices. The conservative 5 to 4 majority we now have on the court is giving the country away to wealthy corporations. Then again I ashamed of Democrats when I see ones like Youngstown Mayor John McNally and Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras. I say that about them because they are members of the Mahoning Valley Coalition on Job Growth and Investment. That organization is a front for Tom Humphries, president and CEO of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber. The Regional Chamber is the organization that was all for busting public sector unions in Ohio. The Regional Chambers around the country are no friend of labor. Here in the Valley they claim they are all about bringing us jobs in the fracking (“fracking” is short for “hydraulic fracturing,” a process whereby fluid is injected underground at high pressure to fracture rock and release oil or gas trapped inside the formation) industry. They are just tools of the oil & gas industry. They have no regard to damages to our land, air or water that fracking could cause. We can’t have enough oil & gas industry caused earthquakes to get the chamber’s head out of the ass end of the energy companies.

  I think religious leaders should install in their parishioners a sense of humans as God’s caretakers for his planet, Earth. In that aspect shame on New Bethel Church Pastor Rev. Kenneth Simon who has gotten in bed with these environmental wreckers of God’s gift of a home for us and our children. Much like the loan sharks in the temple in Jesus’ time Pastor Simon let the Mahoning Valley Coalition on Job Growth and Investment. (in which he is a member) into his church for a press conference. Shame also to Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 Business Agent Butch Taylor, and Jaladah Aslam, staff representative for AFSCME Ohio Council 8 for being members of the Mahoning Valley Coalition on Job Growth and Investment. They have let union members everywhere down by being in an organization with union busters like the Regional Chamber.

  Thanks to all those “fracktivists” from FrackFree Mahoning Valley for getting the Community Bill of Rights charter amendment slated for the city’s May 6 primary. The charter would ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing and deep well injection in the city. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that when it comes to oil & gas workers, “Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009. In fact, the fatality rate among oil and gas workers is now nearly eight times higher than the all-industry rate of 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers.” That should be something for Butch Taylor and Jalah Aslam to think about if they really cared about their union brothers and sisters.

  Here’s hoping the voters in Youngstown vote yes on the Community Bill of Rights. That will show they’re invested in putting the long-term health of their city before the short-term greed of the Mahoning Valley Coalition on Job Growth and Investment.

Fracking gone wrong: finding a better way.

Ry Cooder: “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?”

“The Very Thing That Makes Her Rich”

“For greed all nature is too little.” – Seneca

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All Kinds of Crutches

  I haven’t been getting out much as it’s hard getting around on crutches. The few times I have ventured out I noticed something that hadn’t occurred to me before. I couldn’t believe how many people went out of their way to hold doors open for me. I even had a man twenty years my senior ask me if he could carry a package I had to my car. I’ve always tried to help those I’ve seen on crutches or in a wheelchair. I guess that means I shouldn’t have been amazed at how kind and thoughtful people can be. I think a small idea to make a better world would be to treat everyone like they could use some little bit of extra help. It couldn’t hurt so think about giving it a try.

  I want you men to listen to this song that you’ve probably heard before. Really listen to the lyrics and think about that woman in your life that has made all the difference. The woman who changed your life for the better could be your wife, girlfriend, mother or sister. After hearing the song see if you don’t want to thank this wonderful woman for all she has done for you.

  I’ve been thinking for sometime now how I should join the Green Party. I’m more and more convinced our two-party system just doesn’t represent working class people. The Democratic Party is the party that is supposed to represent us workers and the little guy. Can we Democrats make the Democratic Party represent us or is it truly time to join a third party? I’m tired of conservatives believing liberals want big government. I’m tired of that boring rhetoric and only want government to be efficient, effective, representative and protective what ever size that makes the government.

  The government should also be investing in our education system and crumbling infrastructure. Those are things that are going to advance the future growth of our nation. Conservatives love having businessmen as politicians. I would think that was a good idea if today’s businessmen were smart enough to think long-term and invest now for tomorrow’s future. Sadly, today’s businessman only thinks about today’s bottom dollar and pleasing stockholders short-term. Conservatism after all means being complacent and opposing change. It seems funny to me that conservatives hold the Founding Fathers in such esteem. The Founding Fathers weren’t complacent men afraid of change. This country was built on risk and setting challenges and meeting them. Complacency and being afraid of change is a crutch that will stop us all from walking into a brighter future.

The Unthanks: “Last”

Free Will and Testament”

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

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A Fat Knee and a Rerun

I am trying to recuperate from some knee surgery. It is difficult for me to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes. I recently watched some of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on CSPAN.  My reaction was much like one I had in 2009 so I thought I’d just do a rerun and elevated my knee. This piece will also show you some of my “beliefs”

  Watching CSPAN this weekend I caught part of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I get a big chuckle out of hearing speakers like Newt Gingrich who has been married three times address conservative so-called, “family values” types. The last CPAC speaker was Rush the “Stoner” Limbaugh. For years Rush has said, drug users should be jailed but was hypocritical when he was caught. I just love seeing the do as I say not as I do conservatives.

  When Rush spoke at CPAC he said, “Liberals can’t tell you what they believe.” Most liberals I know could easily give you a long list of beliefs. They also could tell you they believe in living those beliefs unlike conservative hypocrites.

  Limbaugh here are just some of my beliefs. I believe  that supporting our veteran’s means giving them the best medical care we can. I believe that soldier’s parents should not have to buy them body armor the government should.  I believe we shouldn’t  sacrifice our young in wars to benefit the military industrial complex and Wall Street. I believe that presidents who used any excuse not to be drafted and have never seen the carnage of war should not be commander-in-chief during times of war.

  I believe that energy company lobbyists shouldn’t write our energy policies; drug company lobbyists shouldn’t write out health care policies and credit card company lobbyists shouldn’t write our bankruptcy policies. I believe our representatives should represent us not global corporations. I believe that all work should have dignity, be creative,  valued and done with pride. I believe that jobs for Americans should not be exported in bad trade policies. I believe that giving all our jobs to China is not a good idea.

  I believe that higher education should be a priority. I believe that it is stupid for politicians to propose budgets that cut college loans. I believe we should not violate people’s rights that are established in our constitution. I believe that we should not help brutal Third World dictators just because they will be “friendly” to global corporations.  I believe that we should not train these dictators’ death squads at Ft. Benning Georgia. I believe that after we supported these dictators for years it is hard for us to then say we want to bring democracy to Third World peoples and have them believe us. I believe American cannot tell the rest of the world how to live because we have money and guns on our side. I believe that U.S. corporate interests should not drive foreign policy.

  I believe in destroying the divisions that the powers that be love to exploit, especially those based on class, gender, race and culture. I believe in a just and pluralistic society where diversity is cherished, freedom is secured, and power is shared.

  I believe that a basic American ethical value should be caring for the poor and vulnerable. I believe that federal and state budgets should be moral documents that include: fairness opportunity and security for all. I believe budgets should show we care more about people’s welfare and less about warfare. I believe our elected leaders are responsible to listen to our calls for justice – and to stand up for moral priorities for the common good. I believe in legislation that is pro-worker and pro-family. I believe we are caretakers of the Earth and should work towards a clean planet for our children. I believe we should listen to scientific research not corporate research that denies corporate responsibility

  I believe we should have the best health care in the world for all our citizens. I believe in a whole lot more but I believe I’ll stop here. These are not extremist, ultra-liberal ideas and beliefs unless like Rush your bread is buttered by corporations.

The Staves: “Mexico”

‘Tongue Behind My Teeth”

“Patience is the glue that binds hard work and faith.”
Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life

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Let it Shine

Every-single human being is hardwired
for fear, selfishness and greed.
The wealthy revel in and worship these things
and they want to protect and expand all three.
The wealthy Koch brothers
became scared that Americans
were talking about inequities and fairness

and might actually seek economic justice.
To cure those kinds of ideas
the brothers invented the Tea Party
and chartered buses
and rented rednecks
to run interference
for their selfish plot
to exterminate the middle class.
The brothers want you to know that
when you’re living in America,
you’re completely on your own.
There will be no entitlements,
no welfare, unemployment money
or any manner of social safety nets.
That money is reserved so the wealthy
can get entitlements in the form of
corporate welfare, tax breaks, zero interest loans,
bank bailouts, hedge fund manager tax breaks
and subsides for corporate jets and second homes.
Corporate lobbyist write the laws

and pay politicians to pass them.

These laws cut social welfare
and expand corporate welfare.
It’s about taking care of the greedy instead of the needy
because America’s not a country.
It is a business and as GM goes so goes the nation.
Hey wait, wasn’t GM bailed out so they didn’t go bankrupt?
The taxpayers saved Lehman Brothers
from the greed of their collapsed Ponzi schemes.
Bernie Maddoff was the only Wall Streeter jailed.
That’s because he stole from the 1%
not America’s taxpaying 99%.
All these bailouts and corporate welfare
shows capitalism is a failed system.

Why does anyone believe that unregulated capitalism
can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people

 on a planet with finite resources?
The wealthy appear to be able to buy anything.
That is anything but a heart and soul.
The wealthy want recipients of social welfare

 to be tested and prove they aren’t using drugs.
Money is a controlled substance
and the taxpayers should no longer
give it to corporations and the wealthy
until they can prove they’ll use it responsibly.
Bailing out banks only to see
their CEO’s take huge bonuses

and use the taxpayer’s money
to go on luxury vacations
is not being responsible.
The 1% wants to keep what they own
and accumulate everything else.
They will destroy anything they can’t own.
The 1% have cultivated a loyal little teabag army
of unthinking foot soldiers motivated by greed.
Many years ago John Steinbeck said,
“Socialism never took root in America
because the poor see themselves

 not as an exploited proletariat
but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
That is exactly what the Teabbagers think of themselves.
They are also “Slam the Door Behind Me” Americans.
Their ancestors arrived here and now
they’ve got their share of the American dream.
They believe they deserved to be born here
but want to slam the door on those moving here now.
They say there is no more room for anyone else
after all who could possibly be as special as they are?
When they see many of those coming are not white
they not only want to slam the door they want
to padlock it and get out the barbed wire and cement.
While people are working hard to get more people to vote
the 1%ers and their lemming teabaggers
are working to make sure those votes don’t count.
The 1% robber barons are the ones destroying
this country and using the Tea Party to do it.
Yet, they want to blame the poor and what’s left of the middle class.
It’s like a mass murderer bemoaning how violent society has become

I’m just one person and so are you.

But if we each commit to doing our part
to shine a spot light on these people who are the real problem
they will scurry away like a cockroach when a light comes on.
This little light on mine, I’m going to let it shine,
let it shine let it shine, shine shine.

  Traitor and hypocrite of the week is Sarah Palin. “Look, the perception of Obama, of him and his potency across the world is one of such weakness,” Palin told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.” I guess Palin can see shirtless Russian President  Putin from her porch in Alaska wrestling bears. Chikenhawk war loving conservatives like Palin love dictators because they hate democracy.  I’d suggest to Ms. Palin since she hates this democracy and the USA she should move to Russia. Palin feels President Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are all so week they’d never stand up against Putin. Palin would have you believe that if she had been elected vice-president she would have the guts to go toe to toe with Putin. I guess Sara Palin has forgotten her own history. After she became mayor of Wasilla, Alaska she soon fired the police chief, a museum director and a librarian because she told folks these people intimidated her.  Palin’s father Chuck Heath said in his book “Our Sarah left college in Hawaii because she was intimidated by the natives.” Palin is pathetic and needs to go away (again I suggest Russia).

Dick Gaughan: “The Worker’s Song” 

“Tom Paine’s Bones”

“Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.” ~ Thomas Paine

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A Wolf Speaks Out

  I think one of the biggest problems facing this nation is inequity. I don’t care if you want to call me a “class warrior” for pointing it out. We have tons of people in the media who are owned by the 1% and get paid to run interference for them. FOX NEWS is a whole network that does the bidding of the 1% twenty-four hours a day. When I look at my local newspaper the Warren Tribune Chronicle I see like most newspapers they have syndicated columnist. These columnists are paid by the 1% and their conservative think tanks. In the Warren Tribune that includes columnists; Cal Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Michele Malkin, George Will and Bill O’Reilly.

  Frank Robinson the editor of the Tribune Chronicle puts his spin on issues to protect the interest of the owner of the newspaper. The owner also owns many other newspapers as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates. The biggest sad sacks are those lowly conservatives who defend the interest of the 1%s. They don’t do it for pay; they do it because they worship the wealthy 1%. Locally that includes frequent writers to the Warren Tribune like; Patrick M. Liste and Daniel Moadus who like to attack the poor over social welfare but will never mention the wealthy corporations that get corporate welfare. They are all about taking care of the greedy and bashing the needy. I note both men are from Girard, Ohio which makes me think something toxic is in the water in that city. I’m sure your local newspaper and local radio talk shows also have frequent writers and callers who protect the wealthy for zero pay.

  I could go on and give you plenty of statistics that show the inequity in this country. I think a better idea to emphasize the greed of the 1% would be to use the words of a 1%er that I saw on Tavis Smiley’s show. This 1%er is a former Wall Street wolf named, Sam Polk. Here he confesses about his greedy life as a 1%er in this New York Times Letter to the Editor. 

  “A Native American grandfather talking to his young grandson tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear, greed and hatred.” “Which wolf will win, grandfather?” asks the young boy. “Whichever one I feed,” is the reply.

  Sam Polk decided to no longer feed the wolf of fear, greed and hatred. Do you really believe the other 1% ers that feed that wolf of greed will see the same light like Sam? How long do you want to wait until these wolves devour us all?

  Hypocrite of the week is a tie. First up is radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh who makes $30 million a year for working fifteen hours a week. Millionaire Rush has criticized New York City Mayor Blasio for wanting to raise the minimum wage in his city. Besides being a drug addict Rush is one of the biggest hypocrites on the planet.

  Then we have Joe the Plumber from Toledo, Ohio. Joe is actually named Samuel Wurzelbacher and was the unlicensed plumber who confronted presidential candidate Obama in 2008. He asked Obama, “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year. Your new tax plan’s going to tax me more, isn’t it?” The company he was talking about was his bosses. The truth is his boss wasn’t interested in selling the company. Joe has called President Obama a socialist, spoken out against unions and was opposed to the Chrysler and GM bailouts. Joe is now a member of the UAW and is working for Chrysler at the Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. Sam McAlinden chief economist for the non-profit Center for Automotive Research has said the Jeep plant would have been closed without the bailouts.  Joe was hired this February and already claims he’s been called a “Tea Bagger” by  fellow union co-workers. “I’m a Republican who was cast into the limelight for having the temerity to confront Barack Obama on the question of redistributing wealth,” Joe says. “But I’m a working man, and I’m working.” Joe is working despite opposing the bailouts and the President who supported those bailouts. Joe easily earns hypocrite of the week if not the century. To union members who work with Joe at the Jeep plant I’d say you need to keep your eyes on this guy as he is certainly destined to become a company snitch.

Passenger: “The Wrong Direction”

“Holes”

Man has responsibility, not power.” ~ Native American proverb.

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Aren’t They Hypocrites Don’t You Think?

 

This is my take on rewriting the Alanis Morissett song. “Ironic.”

   

Hypocrite

Hey yiah yiah

Yiah yea yea

Hey yiah

 

Rush Limbaugh always full of hate

stated drug users should be imprisoned without delay.

When caught with oxy we found he didn’t mean him in his communique

as he felt a pardon should be his fate.

Isn’t he a hypocrite?

Don’t you think?

 

It’s like a man married three times opposing a gay couples wedding day.

It’s the free ride given to GE who made $14 billion and had no taxes paid.

It’s the corporate welfare that all companies take.

Who would have thought they’d cut children’s welfare, it figures.

 

Mr. Politician has the best health care the taxpayers can supply.

Yet he voted against health care that his poorest constituents could afford to buy.

He used all efforts including shutting down government to fight that fight.

As he waited for an MRI he didn’t have to pay for he thought

Well, isn’t this nice.

But isn’t he a hypocrite?

Don’t you think?

 

It’s like a man married three times opposing a gay couples wedding day.

It’s the free ride given to GE who made $14 billion and had no taxes paid.

It’s the corporate welfare that all companies take.

Who would have thought they’d cut children’s welfare, it figures.

 

The state legislature did what the NRA paid them to do

gave the concealed carry permit the green light, light

and did a funny when no one was looking at them

ruled the only place exempt from carrying a gun was into the state legislature.

 

An energy corporate lobbyist is writing environmental laws

which means that a fox is guarding the hen-house.

It’s the buy American flag bumper sticker on your PT Cruiser made in Mexico.

It’s like millions of union members shopping at Walmart.

It’s like armies fighting for peace.

And aren’t they all hypocrites?

Don’t you think?

A little to hypocritical

Yeah I really do think.

 

It’s like a man married three times opposing a gay couples wedding day.

It’s the free ride given to GE who made $14 billion and had no taxes paid.

It’s the corporate welfare that all companies take.

Who would have thought they’d cut children’s welfare, it figures.

Hypocrites have a funny way of being oblivious.

And life has a funny, funny way of  pointing them out

pointing them out.

 

Queen Omega: “Hypocrites and Parasites”

“Take Control”

“Think of how it all started: America was founded by slave owners who informed us, “All men are created equal.” All “men,” except Indians, niggers, and women. Remember, the founders were a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding slave owners who also, by the way, suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. To my mind, that is what’s known as being stunningly–and embarrassingly–full of shit.” ~ George Carlin

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