Local Rags

I like the feeling when someone tells you that you were right about something. I had that happen very recently. When the Youngstown Vindicator closed, I had a guy tell me it was no loss, as it was a corporate biased right-wing rag. I stated that he had no idea what a corporate biased right-wing rag was. At that time the Vindicator was being bought by the Warren Tribune. I said that he would now have a clear idea what a corporate biased right-wing rag looked like. A week after the new Vindy/Tribune debuted this same guy let me know that he now understood what I meant.

On January 3, 2020 the Vindy/Trib published a racist political cartoon on its editorial page. It featured Minnesota Rep. Ilham Omar in a drawing. It insinuated that she had no problems with Muslim radical terrorists. It should have come as no surprise considering some of their racist syndicated columnists. Racist columnists like; Pat Buchanan, Michelle Malkin, Walter Williams, Cal Thomas etc.

I also think the Vindy/Trib should fact check some of their Letter’s to the Editor. They should call the writer and explain that they might want to research their “facts.”  I’m not for censorship but I don’t want to see the Letter’s to the Editor section turned into the same kind of nut bag lies and conspiracies you hear on talk radio.

I’m talking about things like a letter published on Jan. 5, 2020. An angry Trump supporter stated that George Soros funds Antifa. Had she spent a minute of research she would have found that Soros, Hillary Clinton nor anyone else funds Antifa. It has no official members and is just a grass roots group of activists. Their mission is fighting Fascism. Is the letter writer pro-Fascist? The writer finds the Democrats have no ethics, morals or standards. She says we expect our children to have these standards. I am baffled that this writer thinks Trump is a role model for children. Surely, this woman is crying out for mental help (that is why I did not include her name). If the Vindy/Trib had any morals they would have reached out to this letter writer. They would have got her some mental help, instead of publishing her letter.

I’m sure the Warren Tribune will soon get tired of putting out the Youngstown Vindicator. It is after all just the Warren Tribune anyway. They only went to the expense of buying the Vindy to get its subscribers. At this point it doesn’t matter which version of the newspaper you get. They both make good bird cage liners.

Jackson Browne: “Lives in the Balance”

Jackson Browne: “For America”

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
― Mark Twain

 

 

 

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Being  Thankful for Smart Men not Smart Phones  

I love my TV, stereo and other convenient electronics.

But I’m glad these things weren’t invented 200 years ago.

The USA would never have had the Boston Tea Party

if TV had been invented in our nation’s early history.

Those fake Indians wouldn’t have been at the docks

if the Celtics or Bruins were on TV that same evening.

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

would have contributed nothing to this nation,

if they would have had access to a TV in their day.

They would have sat competing against each other

every night watching Jeopardy with host Sir Alex Trebek.

They’d of probably also loved the History Channel.

If George Washington had a 60” TV with surround sound,

he would have reclined in his leather Lazy Boy

warmly indoors at Mount Vernon drinking cappuccino

with Martha, binge watching Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

George and Martha would have shaken their white wigs

wondering why anyone would want to get involved in politics.

Which means he wouldn’t have been at Valley Forge,

on that 1777 record cold snowy December winter

in a tent with colonial troops freezing to death.

Which means today we’d still be owned by England

and be speaking English (ha, ha) and be eating kidney pie.

Founding Father, Ben Franklin is credited with drafting

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

He created the first political cartoon and wrote many books.

He also discovered electricity and made lightning rods,

invented bifocals, swim fins, the odometer and the flexible catheter.

He also sadly, gave us the concept of Daylight Savings Time.

It sounds like a ton of accomplishments in one lifetime.

If he’d of had a telephone he wouldn’t have accomplished

a fraction of these things that benefited our country.

He’d of had the phone ringing off the hook in his print shop

being pestered by French girlfriends and telemarketers.

I do  imagine that Ben would have loved watching “Star Trek.”

Not to leave women out of our nation’s founding,

I want to note that Abigail Adams was very influential

in the decision making of our second president, John Adams.

If John would have had a computer he might have gotten

on eHarmony or Match.com and married someone else.

That means John and Abigail wouldn’t have created

John Quincy Adams our nation’s sixth president.

John Quincy oversaw the purchase of Florida from Spain.

In 2000 the hanging chad election in Florida

ended up giving us GW Bush for our 43rd president.

Which makes me wish John Adams had found a wife

on “Go Fish” or some other computer dating site.

For the most part we are lucky our Founding Fathers

did not have the distraction of our modern electronics.

They got off their asses and accomplished historic changes

that made our nation the great country it is today.

The very least we can do today is to turn off our electronic devices

one day a year and get up off our keisters and go and vote.

 

The Voting Song: “You Got to Vote”

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

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Embracing Laughter & Tears

Does anyone want to worship an angry god?

 

Like that kind in the Old Testament of the Bible.

 

New Testament Jesus was called the “Prince of Peace.”

 

Yet, he displayed violent anger when confronted

 

by the greedy money lenders in the temple.

 

I’d rather follow a prophet or god

 

that was known for a sense of humor.

 

The New Testament doesn’t mention

 

Jesus laughing, giggling or even smiling.

 

I’d say the creator must have a sense of humor.

 

After all, he created the duck-billed platypus,

 

the panda ant, the red-lipped batfish and the seahorse.

 

Or maybe he ran out of ideas and mixed a few species.

 

He created falling leafs, snow and growing grass.

 

These are things that keep humans busy year round.

 

So I’d say he didn’t want us to have

 

a lot of free time to worship him.

 

An hour on a Saturday or Sunday

 

on your knees or in the case of Catholics,

 

bow, genuflect, sit, kneel, stand repeat

 

seems to satisfy worship time for most religions.

 

Socrates tried to establish an ethical system

 

not based on theological doctrine

 

but rather on human reasoning.

 

While Jesus never laughed it’s said

 

that Socrates never once cried.

 

Which makes me think Socrates understood

 

the world around his fellow man

 

but nothing about the world within man.

 

As babies we are born crying.

 

That is before the world tries

 

to drown us in unending sorrows.

 

I believe that the ability to laugh or cry

 

makes us the strongest species on Earth.

 

Laughter and tears are gifts we were given

 

by the creator and are meant to be used.

 

As for me I’d rather laugh than cry

 

but I’ve learned both can be renewing.

 

And now enjoy a song on the same topic from singer, Nancy Wilson: “The Laughter and the Tears” 

 

“Laughs are exactly as honorable as tears. Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion, to the futility of thinking and striving anymore. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

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Sharing Foxholes

Local Lordstown, Ohio GM workers had joined other GM plants for the strike that just ended. These local workers manned five picket gates at their plant. They did that even though their factory was slated as one of the plants GM has closed. A local group of non-violent peace activists including members of Occupy Youngstown and the Youngstown Workers Solidarity Club spent a few hours a week on the line with them. GM workers were happy to see folks from the community joining them in solidarity. It was also nice to see so many area restaurants bringing the striking workers food. It was informative to talk to the strikers and interesting to hear their individual stories. Stories about families being in disarray because so many workers had to relocate to other GM plants across the country. Then there were the stories of workers who didn’t have enough time to retire or transfer.

These stories weren’t at the heart of what national newspapers and other media wanted to hear. The national media wanted to know why some of these workers had voted for Trump. They wanted to know how these workers felt now that Trump had not been able to save their plant. These are the same “big city” media that arrived in Trumbull County after the 2016 presidential election. They wanted to know why Trumbull County had voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton. After all, this was a county that could be counted on to always back the Democrat candidate for president. Now, the national news media was at the Lordstown GM gates asking strikers about Trump once again.

The Boston Globe is one of these “big city” newspapers that came to talk to striking Lordstown workers. They hit their pay dirt when they talked to disabled GM retiree, Bob Meyer who is loyal to Trump. Bob told the Globe that, “Trump is a welcome antidote to the political correctness he loathes.” He continued, “So many people are getting offended by anything and everything. It wasn’t a bunch of wusses that made this country great.” A good follow up might have been asking Bob why working-class voters like him are buying into a culture war, instead of problems of economic inequity and the need for an affordable healthcare system for our citizens? Surely, a disabled retiree like Meyer should care about healthcare. As far as a wussie, I’d ask Bob, “Why would you consider any president who verbally mocked people like; a reporter with arthrogryposis, (a condition which limits the movement of joints), POW John McCain and a Gold Star soldier’s family anything but a  lowly wussie coward?”

The Boston Globe talked to Lisa Himes, a former GM worker, and her brother, Bill Brown, 61, who is retired from the plant.  Both of them voted for Trump in 2016. They said their votes for Trump were not just about the economy. They stated, “Gun rights, you’ve got these guys that want to be girls, girls that want to be guys,” Brown said, ticking off the reasons for Trump’s cultural appeal. “He’s trying to make the US a better place; he’s trying to build that wall.” Himes added, “She and her brother were Americans, “born and raised here.” The NRA has been saying that the Democrats are coming for your guns for decades now. I’d say if that is true the Democrats have been doing a really slow and bad job of it. Bill and Lisa have also bought into the culture war. They might be Americans now but I guess they forgot that their relatives emigrated here from some other country at one point. They both talk of their privileges. I guess they forgot that GM is the one closing factories and taking away jobs not illegal immigrants. Banks are “too big to fail” and immigrants are coming here willing to work hard so they don’t fail. As far as bashing gays, some of the community activists that joined striking workers on the picket line are gay. You never know where your help might come from. It’s sad to see the Lisas and Bobs of the world be so easily divided like the powers that be want them to be.

Brown made better sense when he stated he voted for Trump because Trump opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. It was Bill Clinton who helped pass this bill that was wanted by GOP politicians for years. Workers opposed to NAFTA as strong as Brown weren’t about to vote for Hillary Clinton who supported it and other such trade bills. Perhaps, he should have voted for Bernie Sanders who opposed such trade deals. That wouldn’t be the case for workers like, Tim Schwanger. “I don’t think things have gotten better here under Trump,” said Tim Schwanger, a former employee of the plant who voted for him 2016, and said he was open to doing so again. “I cannot vote for a socialist government,” he said.

Tim needs to also know that a good many of the community protestors who came to support strikers would consider themselves socialists. These socialists would point out that it was the capitalist CEO’s at GM that closed the Lordstown plant. They might also point out that it was a socialist bailout by taxpayers that saved GM to begin with. I wish that we could have extended that socialism into giving the auto plants to the workers. Better them than the CEO’s that drove the companies into bankruptcy to begin with. I believe workers would think about long-term ideas and not be focused on short-term profits.

How do we get there from here?  We need to remember that only 30% of GM workers at Lordstown voted for Trump. That seems to be the only percent of workers that “big city” newspapers want to come here and talk with. The answer to getting that 30% to want something better than Trump was provided by the Boston Globe.  It was in something they noticed in Meyer when they interviewed him.  The Boston Globe stated, “Meyer talks economics like Warren or Sanders, his loyalties are now firmly ensconced with Trump.”

We need to get workers like Meyer to see their very own words. That is when they will understand that candidates like Sanders and Warren are the ones aligned with their thinking, not Trump. They also need to remember that Trump said he was going to save their jobs at the Lordstown plant. Instead of pointing fingers at immigrants, gays, minorities etc. workers need to be like the military. By that I mean we need to realize that we are on the same side in this economic war. We need to put our differences aside and realize we are all in the same foxhole.  That’s the kind of solidarity that wins not just battles but wars.

The Nightwatchman: “Union Song”

Mike Stout: “Time to Build a New World”

The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings. Albert Schweitzer

 

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Another Day of Wonder. 

Part 1: Yesterday

The Q in Q-tips stands for quality.

They were originally called Baby Gays.

Kool-Aid was originally marketed as “Fruit Smack.”

Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful

were also names considered for Disney’s Seven Dwarfs.

Lighters were invented before matches.

The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.

Vending machines kill 4 times as many people as sharks.

Hydrox cookies are an not an Oreo knock-off,

they were invented in 1908, four years before the Oreo.

The string on boxes of animal crackers was

so the container could be hung from a Christmas tree.

In the early stage version of The Wizard of Oz,

Dorothy’s dog Toto was replaced by a cow named Imogene.

The truth is that cats do not have nine lives,

but the turritopsis nutricula a species of jellyfish

has been deemed to be “immortal” by scientists.

I know politicians all talk out of their ass

but I did not know turtles breathe out of their butts.

These are all things I was able to learn yesterday.

 

Another Day of Wonder

Part 2: Today

Yesterday is history.

Today, I woke up to another day on the planet.

Which means I was given another gift

and a chance to live and discover.

Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” was penned by

beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein.

Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a book using

no more than 50 different words.

The result is “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking

a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State.

Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israeli military.

Roger Ebert and Oprah Winfrey went on a couple dates in the mid-1980s.

It was Roger who convinced her to syndicate her talk show.

In 1939, Hitler’s nephew wrote an article called “Why I Hate My Uncle.”

He came to the U.S., served in the Navy, and settled on Long Island.

Charlie Chaplin came in third in a contest

for “Charlie Chaplin look-alikes.”

Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can.

When he died in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

Researchers have found that sitting looking forward

makes it easier to recall negative memories,

while sitting upright and looking upward

makes it easier to recall positive, empowering memories.

I say we should sit upright and look upward

and also look forward to learning something new

on as many of the fresh gifts of tomorrows

as we are lucky enough to be given.

 

Song: “Knowledge is Power”

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”― Henry Ford

 

 

 

 

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Wacky Weed or Planet in Need

Our government just released a long hid video.

At 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the filming

a UFO zooms into the view of Navy jet pilots.

Is four minutes and twenty seconds. a coincidence?

I think it means Navy pilots are smoking weed.

This raises more questions than answers.

Why are such videos finally being shown to the public?

Are the alien watchers trying to keeping Earth in check?

Have aliens heard about Trump

and had to see him for themselves?

Can they rid us of our corrupt governments?

Can these aliens save us from ourselves?

Trump said that he doesn’t believe in aliens,

but he does believes that the British had airports in 1775

and he thinks Fredrick Douglas is still alive today.

Trump’s statement could have been a lot worse.

He could have said, “I’m not a fan of outer space aliens.

They are very bad people, murderers, rapers and gang members.”

If aliens are visiting our country and don’t look like us,

speak our language or aren’t God fearing Christians

will we separate their offspring and cage them?

Will Trump build a wall or dome in space to keep aliens out?

Will he say that the aliens will pay for the wall or dome?

His campaign is busy printing up hats and bumper stickers

saying, “The dome is gonna be huge – Trump 2020.”

Perhaps, he will he ask the space aliens to collude

and get dirt on his presidential opponents

and help him fix his next re-election?

Aliens can’t come for our natural resources

as we are busy destroying those resources.

We are trying to reach other planets to steal their resources.

That is why Trump is so intent on having a space force.

Some people say we need more women running our government.

I’m wondering if we shouldn’t let space aliens run it for awhile.

I’m betting they believe in universal healthcare.

I’m hoping I can soon meet a space alien.

I’d ask, “Can I catch a ride back with you for a little while?”

CCR: “It Came Out of the Sky” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuPtOtGF4TY&list=PLsUPHQSWJR7PikWJGPjplqIwFv2-IJq_w

“I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.” ~ Stephen Hawking

 

 

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Far too Tolerant

Genocide of Native Americans, slavery,

and child laborers all poor souls who died

to make rich men’s dreams come true.

Then there’s the Great Depression,

racism, 2 million people imprisoned,

poverty, economic inequity,

failed trickle down economics,

bank bailouts for banks too big to fail,

rising productivity yet stagnant wages,

tiered wage systems and loss of pensions,

right to work laws destroying unions,

women paid less on jobs than men,

inadequate expensive healthcare,

deregulation, melting ice caps,

Love Canal chemical dumpsite,

Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown,

Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill,

hazardous Flint water, climate change,

corporate owned and controlled media,

corporate Imperialism and never ending wars

for natural resources fueled by corporate cartels.

The late Senator John McCain,

the maverick man of the people

didn’t know how many homes he owned.

Mitt Romney became wealthy by buying companies

with borrowed money then running up their debt.

He left banks and taxpayers paying all the bills,

while his workers lost jobs and pensions.

He ran for president with the centerpiece of his campaign

being his skills at being able to end our nation’s debt.

Hewlett Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina tripled her salary,

bought a million dollar yacht and five corporate jets.

This while she fired 30,000 employees

and asked many of those she let go

to train their outsourced replacements.

She retired with a $42 million severance package.

Carly the poster girl for corporate greed

ran for president bragging about her CEO skills.

Now we have wealthy actors bribing college educators

to enroll their kids that don’t qualify for enrollment.

The wealthy love their corporate socialism

and tell us capitalism is best for the rest of us.

They love that poor schmuck taxpayers

will bail them out when their businesses and banks fail.

The poor and middle-class are much too tolerant,

complacent and have turned a blind eye

to how the wealthy own our politicians

who write the laws to serve the wealthy.

Given this the rich rub our faces in their wealth.

They do this on reality TV shows daily.

One would think that just an hour watching

The Kardashians, Real Housewives,

Million Dollar Listings

and Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

is all it should take for our citizens

to become hardcore Marxists.

Stay complacent and poor my fiends

while the wealthy laugh at us.

 

Lew Dite: “Complacency Blues”

“Can’t You Hear Me Crowing”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”~ MLK

 

 

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