Locals Turning Tricks for the Koch Brother Pimps

The Koch brothers have targeted public education on their list of things they want to make extinct. To do this big game hunting they founded Americans for Prosperity and invested $5 million in it. One thing Americans for Prosperity does, is spend money to get conservative members on school boards and try to stop schools districts from passing school levies. Americans for Prosperity allied with racist in Wake County, North Carolina that wanted to make sure diversity wasn’t taught in local schools. They also wanted to segregate the schools. The Americans for Prosperity school board candidates took the Koch brothers money, read scripts provided to them and won seats on the school board. They then set about segregating the schools and pushing towards privatization.

David Koch won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for vice president in 1980. Its platform stated, “We advocate the complete separation of education and state. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.” To see that platform carried out Charles Koch founded Youth Entrepreneurs in 1991. Youth Entrepreneurs says their goal is to provide kids with “business and entrepreneurial education and experiences that help them prosper and become contributing members of society.” The underlying goal is to indoctrinate teenagers with Koch’s radical corporate free-market ideology. The Koch’s have been successful in getting this class taught at public high schools around the country. The Huffington Post obtained materials and lesson plans from the class. After reviewing them Huffing Post said they teach that, “The minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper. Public assistance harms the poor. Government, in short, is the enemy of liberty.” In other words, profits before people and social welfare bad, corporate welfare good.

The Koch brothers want a world where people work for minimum wage and corporations pay no taxes. They want a world where we chastise the poor, call those getting any social help leeches who want entitlements, and where we are all prostitutes who whore ourselves out to corporations that have become our pimps. Locally we just witnessed some of these whores who served their pimps the Koch brothers. They are members of ACT NOW which stands for Accountability, Clarity and Transparency. They helped defeat the recent South Range School levy. ACT NOW was funded by Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity is a national conservative advocacy and anti-tax group funded by David and Charles Koch.

The Youngstown Vindicator on May 6, 2015 had a photo of five ACT NOW members. They were at a local tavern celebrating their victory at defeating the South Range levy. The photo shows Jim Shaw, Greg Sorley, Jeff Curry, Richard Ferenchak and Joe Alessi. I was left wondering which one of them made the phone call after the election. The call to their pimp the Koch brothers to thank them for the money that helped chip away at destroying public education in South Range. These five guys and the rest of ACT NOW can keep telling themselves they are trying to make South Range an accountable school system. The truth is they don’t want to pay any more taxes, no matter how accountable the school board is. Someone paid for the education of these five but I guess they don’t believe in paying it forward. The saddest part of all is that one of ACT NOW’s spokesmen against the levy was, Taylor Christian a 2014 graduate of South Range who was their valedictorian. Taylor earns my Koch brothers pawn of the month award. Really sad to see the Koch brothers evil national agenda invited into our valley by locals who want to be whores for them.

The Koch Brothers sink to new low to undermine public education.

A Republican Florida State Senator takes on Americans for Prosperity.

For the South Range ACT NOW members: Nick Woodland and “Little Puppet.”

“Low Man”

“Because my family has no money, I’ve decided to become a prostitute. That’s right, I’m going into politics.” ~ Jarod Kintz

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The Payoff/American Excrementalism

Taco Bell participated in an annual event
they brought 6,000 tacos to congressional staffers
because congressional staffers will work for food.
The staffers convince the congressmen they work for
to propose and pass legislation to benefit corporations.
Taco Bell wanted to thank congressional staffers
for helping fight against raising the minimum wage
and keeping the fast food industry union free.
The also wanted a bill already in congress
hurried along and passed to benefit fast food corporations.
The bill would strike down an Obamacare measure
that stated workers who work 30 hours are considered full-time.
If they are full-time fast food franchises
would have to pay for their heath care.
Statistics show that political spending by corporations
to lobby congress has a 1,000 to 1 return.
Therefore, a 6,000 taco bribe was really a cheap date.
An actual congressman would have been offended
by such a cheap low-level bribe.
It takes family golfing vacations on private jets
cash and hookers to buy a congressman.
Anti-immigration conservative congressman’s staffer’s creds
were not damaged as Taco Bell isn’t really “Messican” food.
Taco Bell’s meet and greet
contained no real meat.
Research has shown their food has no beef.
That will all change next year when congress passes
the new bill Taco Bell has drawn up
that rules that pink slime silica is meat.
I know Taco Bell at one time used meat
because the Taco Bell Dog disappeared.
That is when they featured chihuahua chimichanga.
I suspect Taco Bell was one of the sponsors of some recent legislation.
That is all the state laws we are seeing legalizing marijuana.
Taco bell wanted these laws as they are open 24/7
to serve the only people who actually eat there
poor college kids, stoners and late night drunks
who are the only people who will risk
shoving this food down their tacoholes.
I wonder how 6,000 methane exploding devices
were able to get past congressional security.
Isn’t Homeland Security supposed to prevent terrorism?
6,000 tacos entering any kind of building
must violate some kind of fire code.
I wouldn’t think that giving congressional staffers the shits
was a good lobbying strategy on the part of Taco Bell
but then again staffers work for the worst shits in the country.
6,000 tacos the gift that keeps on giving.
I’ll bet congressional bathroom stalls
were crowded and clogged.
At least congress can now claim
they created jobs for more plumbers.
Will next week’s lunches be served by multi-billionaire Papa John
with his burnt cardboard kibbles and bits topped pizzas
whose sauce is made from the blood
of his abused minimum wage workers?
Will gay bashing holier than thou Chick-Fil-A
be the delivery boys the week after Papa John?
Ever notice there just aren’t as many
pigeons in the park as when we were kids?
Sounds like lots of more weeks of work for the plumbers.
Perhaps the landlords of the government the Koch Brothers
could lend a hand by supplying some of their products
like Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
Will we ever see minimum wage workers treated fairly
by the greedy fast food corporations?
Not if these corporations continue to write the laws.
In the meantime fast food workers have no health care
and cannot afford to take a day off of work.
That means they come to work with runny noses,
stomach flu, measles, colds and coughs.
Did you want fries with that burger?
If congress ever decides to put people before corporations
Taco Bell, Papa John’s et all
will punish congressional staffers
by sending 12,000 tacos
and doubling the pizza order.

R.I.P. B.B. King

B.B.: “The Thrill is Gone”

“You’re Going to Miss Me”

“Politicians are like warts on the body of society. And the only thing worse than warts are lawyers and lobbyists.
”
Jarod Kintz, Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life

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IMBY (In My Back Yard)

Citizens United gave the 1% free rein to buy our politicians. They hire lobbyist to write legislation favoring the 1%. They turn race against race, the middle class against the poor and private sector workers against public sector workers. As the middle class has become poorer their only way to hang on to some of their money is to vote against levies that help them locally. This voting against our own self interest is destroying communities across America. This is my personal observation on just that.

IMBY (In My Back Yard)
Less than a mile down the road from my house
and the Vienna, Ohio high school building
a few fracking wells were pumping away,
until a leak polluting a nearby pond
temporarily closed them down.
Local citizens cried out at a township meeting after the leak,
why were citizens not consulted and asked if they approved
of such a dangerous business being located in their community?
Had I been a township official I would have said,
“We didn’t think you cared about your safety.
After all it took many years to close the 100 year old
Jr. high school that was full of lead paint, asbestos and rot.
Those kids were then jammed into the 100 year-old high school,
which also features lead paint and asbestos.
It is now overcrowded and having
bathroom and septic problems.
You local Taxpayers nixed the idea of a new school building
by voting against any school levy that would have built one.
To further endanger students
a tall cell phone tower was set up
in the high school’s backyard.
It matches another one less than a quarter mile away.
No local citizens squawked about the danger
of such structures to our students and citizens.
Our local police force is made up of mostly
part time employees with no benefits.
They are paid $10 and hr. and have to buy
their own guns and bullet proof vests.
The Warren Tribune’s editor Frank Robinson
wrote an editorial telling Vienna citizens
to vote against a levy that would have paid
our local Vienna police better wages.
The Vienna voters bought his conservative
anti-union and public sector worker hating BS
and voted against the police levy.
That message says Vienna citizens
think that paying police $10 an hr.
to put their lives on the line for us
is all the lives of these police are worth.”
If I was a township trustee I would have summed it up
by saying, “Perhaps as I look at this list what the citizens
of Vienna are really saying is all our local children and citizens
lives aren’t really worth a nickel.”

Paul Thorn: “Mediocrity is King”

“What the Hell is Goin On?”

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

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The Spirit of an Activists Never Dies

Getting old is definitely not for sissies. I sit down for breakfast and I hear snap, crackle and pop. That would be fine if I was eating a bowl of cereal but I’m not. To deal with arthritis pain I eat Aleve as if they were M&M’s. The thing I hate more than physical pain is the emotional pain I get from time to time. I have it worst on those days when I feel fatalistic. I feel that way when I open the newspaper and see obituaries of people who aren’t as old as I am. I worry that I am not going to be around to see that better world I want for my kids.

What really saddens me is when I see obituaries of activists I know who were working hard to make that better world. I feel an emotional loss I can’t begin to express when these activist who were filled with a passion to right the world’s wrongs pass on. I have a hard time going to calling hours or attending funerals for these people. That is because how do you even begin to thank these activists families for their deceased loved one who fought for social justice and put other people’s needs before their own? These are irreplaceable people and they are rare and to be cherished. People like me who wish they were more of an activist look up to these activist as people to emulate. We of course all fall short as while we have their passion we lack their drive and stamina. We are afraid to fail and that causes too many of us to be spectators in life. These true activists believe their failure in life would be to not get back up once they have been knock down. We of course should have told them that they enlightened us by their examples while they were alive. I met a remarkable local woman activist a number of years back named, Martha Katz. She was the type of person who kindled the passion of fire in other activist for many different causes. So many different causes that it almost seems impossible for one person to have covered in a lifetime.

You can see what I mean about her devotion to so many causes, if you go to Vindy.com and search for the obituary tribute of Martha Hodges Katz (I’m sorry I was for some reason not able to link it on this blog).

I feel lucky to have stood on some picket lines over the years with Martha and her friend and life-mate Ray Nakley. Activist like Martha are now in a perfect place called Heaven. They are now rewarded with the peace, justice and tranquility they were seeking to create for all on Earth. I know that activist like Martha, and my late friends, Bob, Marty, Greg, John and Michael are now partying with Gandhi, MLK, Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, Susan B. Anthony, Joe Hill and Abbie Hoffman. It would not surprise me if they couldn’t be happy in Heaven because there were souls suffering in Hell. I can see these angelic activists putting on comfortable shoes, painting some signs and booking a bus to go on a field trip protest to give the Devil a piece of their mind. I imagine such activists cannot be at peace until everyone is at peace. That is why we feel their spirit every time we walk a picket line or fight to right a wrong. Tonight, I will raise a glass of Jameson to Martha and all the activist who have come and gone. I thank you and my children thank you for all you’ve done and how your spirit continues to inspire us. Their spirits keep on keeping us, even after they’ve reached that higher ground.

Jesse Colin Young: “Peace Song”

“Get Together”

“Great mentorship is priceless.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

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This Isn’t Woodstock it’s Laughingstock

Once again the city of Warren, Ohio has decided to do these concerts with tribute bands. I am saddened that talented musicians have to pretend they are some other musicians to make a living. I suppose if you are a musician who lacks imagination and creativity forming a tribute band is a good gig for you. Most of these shows will be at the Warren Amphitheater. On April 25th, the Moody Blues tribute band Time Traveller performs alongside the W.D. Packard Band. The location is the Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Avenue at 8pm. Tickets range from $13 to $29 for the concert. If you’re interested perhaps you can pay in tribute money instead of real money. If you love the Moody Blues you should have paid more money and seen the real thing live at the E. J. Thomas Hall show in Akron, Ohio on 04/07/2015.

It seems Warren is going to continue this terrible tradition of tribute bands annually. I have posted my thoughts on this waste of concert space twice in the past on this site. I will rerun it again for 2015 and every year in the future that Warren decides to run this waste of time tribute band concert series. Here goes:

I have never  attended any of the tribute band shows in Warren as I’d much rather hear the worst band in the world as long as they were playing originals. Here’s where I make enemies. The truth is I wouldn’t have gone to seen many of the above classic rock acts even if they were the originals band. The only thing sadder than being in a tribute band is being someone who pays to hear them. People of Warren, please, please demand better.

I have never ever been a Queen fan. I could never understand how they could play a Nazi goose step beat and sing, ‘We Will Rock You.” Not with that beat you won’t Fred. And what in the hell is that “Bohemian Rhapsody” about? “Galileo you’re a boy scout he will not let you go.” What the F. As far as Pink Floyd the beat to “Another Brick in the Wall” is just as bad. I’ve heard enough Floyd and Led Zeppelin over the years that I never want to hear it again. I do miss Floyd’s, Syd Barret though. I tend to agree with a friend of mine who stated, “The best thing Skynyrd did was the plane wreck.” I thought that was way harsh until the millionth time I heard, “Free Bird.” “I’m as free as a bird who cannot fly.” Wow that’s tenth beer profound. Jimmy Buffett, ever notice how dunk people at his concerts are? I can’t get that drunk to appreciate him. I also hate mixed drinks. Alcohol should be able to stand on its own without a mix or it ain’t shit. You’re drinking the wrong stuff if you need to cut it with a mix so try a shot of Jameson. “Aerosrud” wrote “Love in an Elevator” and “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” If you didn’t know it from those lame ass songs they were using heroin. Those songs in themselves should be enough reason for kids not to do drugs. Just say no to “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” Aeroscrud has always been a third-rate Rolling Stones. Who needs a third-rate Rolling Stones? If we do we’ve got the last 35 years of the Stones third-rate career. Don’t “Start Up” Jagger it’s too late. I saw Journey at the Tomorrow Club years ago. It was when they had their first album out. They were very jazzy and quite good. They soon added Steve Perry and became a boring chic band. Kiss is not a band it is capitalism exploited to the max. Is there anything Kiss related that Gene Simmons isn’t having made by 8 year-olds at sweatshops in China? What genius wrote, “Hot, hot she looked hotter than Hell?” Probably the same genius in Foreigner that wrote, “She’s as Cold as Ice to Me.”

If you went to the concerts at the amphitheater you couldn’t have used enough drugs to reach any amount of groove quotient. In the old days at a concert folks took enough drugs they thought they saw God. At today’s tribute band concerts you just look at your watch and think God when is this going to end. If I sat through such concerts I could only get a smile on my face thinking about the Quran. You know that passage where 72 virgins are promised to martyrs. Truth is I’m not enough of a martyr to sit through such tribute crap. I don’t really care for that Ecstasy drug kids now use as at my age cortisone is my ecstasy.

The real thing. Moody Blues: “Question”

“In Your Wildest Dreams”

and just because you can’t get enough of the real thing….. “Tuesday Afternoon”

“Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.” ~ Erica Jong

 

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An Accident That Was Waiting to Happen

You’ve all heard, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That is bad but now we have something even worse. That is the rich getting richer at the cost of the poor being put at health risk, and even death. The rich have always gotten richer from war and the poor were the ones who were maimed and killed in those wars. Now we have corporations that pollute jeopardizing the health of people and the planet. The richest family in my community has put our whole township in danger. They are Kleese Development Associates (KDA) a family run and operated oil and gas company.  They now have waste water injection wells on the site of their former family farm. They are located about a mile from my house. Some of the neighbors have complained about the semi trucks that bring waste water to the site. The trucks are destroying the roads and causing potholes. Potholes are the least of my worries compared to spills and leaks that could contaminate our community. Many people in the area have private wells for their water supply; they are worried about contaminated wells.

The worst of my fears has happened: Chemical spill in Vienna.

This from WKBN TV News, “Sources with the Ohio EPA said at least 2,000 gallons were spilled into a tributary of Little Yankee Run on Thursday. State officials said oil traveled 3,000 feet downstream. The state says the problem might have been going on for some time, but winter ice and snow hid the issues.”

Here are some photos taken by a member of Frackfree Mahoning Valley of the spill from the Protect Youngstown Facebook page.

When this waste water fracking injection started some people in my community of Vienna, Ohio had concerns. Many people think the EPA and other such agencies have lots of oversight and won’t let anything harmful happen. A Youngstown fracktivist called me today because this spill happened in my neighborhood. I went to the site of the spill to join several fracktivists and meet John the homeowner whose pond was polluted. John said he called the Ohio Environmental Agency Hotline in Columbus on Monday about the spill (in the link above). He informed them he was concerned because he lived across from an injection well. He was also worried because he has a well instead of city water and feared contaminated water. The Columbus EPA seemed in no hurry to help John so a few days later he called local Ohio EPA officials. They claimed they were powerless to do anything as these kinds of problems are handled by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. On Thursday John finally had officials come and see the problem. While these agencies were slow to react I want to thank some local activist that came to give John and his family advice and support. I want to thank; Susie Biersdorfer, John Williams, Doug Fowler and other members of Frackfree Mahoning Valley for doing that.

Valley residents were told that fracking was going to be a big boom to our area. It seems now wells in our valley are being capped off and not developed on the land that was purchased to drill on. Vallourec that makes pipe used in the fracking process has had major layoffs.

Under the layoff link is a comment by oldstown. He says, “Beginning of the end…thanks so much to the war on fracking. I swear the environazis in this country won’t be happy until every last job is gone.” I note when I went to John’s polluted property today I didn’t see oldstown. I did see “environazis” Susie, Doug, John and other members of Frackfre Mahoning Valley. Oldstown has made 239 comments on Vindy.com (the Youngstown Vindicator webpage). I note all of the comments are negative about our area. Oldstown and his conservative ilk are what is holding back progress in our area. We have had earthquakes and spills from fracking and oldstown thinks anti-frackers are the problem? Folks like oldstown have all kinds of time to complain but not one second to lend a hand. Can I steal the conservative banter and say, “Love it or leave it oldstown?”

The boom seems over and here in Vienna we are stuck with the bust. By that I mean the busted pipe that has polluted a pond owned by John the neighbor of the waste water injection site.

My son who lives in Texas sent me some interesting info on fracking. He noted, “On Huston radio, they had a longtime oil man saying a lot of these Fracking companies were running more debt than revenue, even before oil prices dropped.” He added, “Fracking is ridiculously unprofitable, especially if you subtract the government subsidies they get. A barrel of oil, worth $35 now, costs $88 to produce.” That means we taxpayers are shelling out $53 to let the oil company make $35. This makes no economic sense and at the same time is destroying our planet. I say fracking is a war on the people for the greed of the corporations. We taxpayers are subsidizing fracking while it is destroying our health.

I want to thank all of the fracktivists that came out in June of 2012 to protest the dangers of the wells at Kleese’s farm in Vienna. I did not know of the event at the time or I would have attended. After the demonstration KDA put up no trespassing signs. It is Easter and I am reminded Jesus gave up his life for our sins. I am not willing to give up my life or my families so that wealthy families like; the Walton’s, Koch Brothers or the Kleese family can get wealthier. We shouldn’t have to pay for their sins of greed.

I’m left wondering what the Vienna Township officials are planning on doing to keep our community safe. Their monthly meetings are held the first Monday of every month at 7:00 pm at the Vienna Town Hall. This Monday the meeting will instead be held at Mathews High School. It will begin at 6pm with the first hour being a talk about the spill. The regular 7pm meeting will begin after that.

I’ll be there this Monday and I hope I see some of you there also.

Happy Easter!

The economics of fracking.

The fracking bubble is over.

Nebraska farmer silences oil and gas committee.

Keiser Report: “Fracking Flop”

“Fracking Song”

Leo Sayers: “No Fracking Way”

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” —Chief Seattle

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Not There Yet

After work Thursday I stopped at the Salvation Army. I was dropping off some items I no longer needed. I then went inside to do some shopping. As a member of the working poor I often shop at such thrift stores. While inside I saw a stout woman in her thirties with two girls that were about 8 and 10 years old. The eight year old walked towards her mother holding up a pink t-shirt. The mother said, “Look at the letter o in the word love printed on it.” The letters were different objects with the o being a peace symbol. The woman said, “You know you’re not allowed to wear anything with a peace symbol on it.” I was puzzled by this comment and had to ask what the heck gives. I said, “What is wrong with a peace symbol?” She replied, “It is evil anti-Christian and the symbol for the New World Order.” I replied, “It represents peace and originally meant ban the bomb. It has been hijacked by a few organizations to try to mean something else but it boils down to symbolize people who want a peaceful world.  Wasn’t Jesus all about peace?” She replied, “We all have our own beliefs and I am sorry if I offend yours. That is all I have to say.” I did not reply I just finished shopping and left. On the drive home I noted that I went in the Salvation Army at about 2:50 pm. That made me wonder why these two school age girls were not in school. I then realized I had probably just encountered a homeschool mom. Perhaps they were shopping as a substitute for math class.

I have been running into quite a few of these homeschool moms and former homeschool moms. Many of these women have told me they were homeschool moms as their minister told them the Devil was in the public schools. We have a couple of churches in the valley that promote this idea. The irony is these former homeschool moms are looking for jobs since their kids are now grown. Many of them are getting jobs in the public schools as assistants, janitors, bus drivers and cafeteria workers. They don’t get the hypocrisy of now working where the supposed Devil lives. I wonder if their ministers have spoken against them working in the public schools. He is probably happy they are getting a paycheck and donating to the church. I have met a few women working in public education that are still homeschooling. I guess the homeschool kid is learning on the afternoon shift. I really don’t understand these Christian fundamentalist who only see the bad in public education and symbols and don’t care to look for all the good. I also don’t understand how they can’t see their own hypocrisy.

In the newspaper was an interesting story on Friday. It was about the Pine Bush, New York High School. For National Foreign Language Week, the school’s foreign language department came up with an idea. Every day that week the Pledge of Allegiance would be read in a different language. The intent was to promote the fact that Americans who speak a language other than English pledge to this great country. The idea was a hit until an Arabic speaking student read the pledge in Arabic. Catcalls from many students started immediately.  Students went home and complained to parents. Then parents called the school saying they had lost family members in the Afghanistan war. When these veterans were killed, weren’t they fighting to free Afghanistan citizens from the Taliban and their fundamentalist view of Islam? Sadly, the school apologized to students, staff and community members who took offense to the pledge being recited in Arabic.

In 2013, the parents of several Jewish students attending Pine Bush schools said their children were the targets of anti-Semitic harassment from classmates. I note that Jewish parents called the school complaining about the pledge being read in Arabic. They had no concerns that Arab students were now facing harassment in school. I guess they didn’t notice their own hypocrisy. I agree with what Sadyia Khalique spokesman for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had to say. He said, “When a simple student activity designed to promote mutual understanding receives such a negative reaction and the school in which it takes place is forced to apologize, all Americans who value our nation’s history of religious and ethnic diversity should be concerned.”

This week I heard some interesting programming on WYSU our local NPR radio station. They were doing a feature on the 50th anniversary of the Selma, Alabama civil rights march. I heard a Japanese-American (who along with his family was interned during WW II) and a Jewish rabbi interviewed.  They had gone back to attend the march they had been in 50 years ago. They talked about how the African-Americans in the first march influenced them with their courage. They were proud to have been such a part of history that helped change this country.

After the things I read and experienced this week I wondered if there had been much change. This week in Austin, Texas someone pasted “Exclusively for white people” stickers on storefront windows. The stickers called for no more than 5 black customers to be in a store at a time. It is being investigated to find out who did this. Sadly, this happened in Austin which is the most progressive city in Texas. This month a video came forward about the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. They were happily seen chanting racist remarks about African-Americans. The same evening that University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon came under fire for a racially charged viral video, a Confederate flag was visible hanging in a window of Oklahoma State University’s SAE house. The SAE fraternity at Oklahoma and in other states have a history of racism. I’d point out that racism at these universities could be your real “Devil in the schools.” That racism could filter into society in a big way once these students graduate. I say that because of a study published last year in The Atlantic. That study showed that, “Fraternity men make up 85 percent of U.S. Supreme Court justices since 1910, 63 percent of all U.S. presidential cabinet members since 1900 and, historically, 76 percent of U.S. senators [and] 85 percent of Fortune 500 executives.”

Topeka Kansas resident, Rev. Fred Phelps died recently. He was the anti-gay minister who along with his followers disrupted burials of veterans who had died in the wars in the Middle East. They held up signs saying, “God hates fags” near the funerals. Phelps stated he believed veterans were dying in wars because so many in the U.S. support gay rights. Rev. Phelps has also used anti-Semitic language in the fliers and tracts he distributed at his church. I find all of this very strange given Fred Phelps background. He was a highly intelligent civil rights attorney who in the 1960s would take on racial discrimination cases that no other lawyers would. He passionately fought for the rights of blacks, and then turned his passion to hate condemning gays until he died in March of 2014.

It was Civil Rights leader, Bayard Rustin a gay man who introduced Martin Luther King to Gandhi’s teachings about peaceful protest. I’m sure many other gay men and women of all colors and faiths (and secular people) helped African-Americans in the Civil Rights struggle. Yet today, most black Christian churches lash out against gays fighting for their rights. I am left wondering if we have really come very far at all in the last fifty years. I also have to wonder if religion and some of its hypocrisy has helped or hindered our journey to that better world for our children.

 Oklahoma vies for most racist state.

The Roots: “Can’t Turn Me Around”

“Now or Never”

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” ~ MLK

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