Thanksgiving a Holiday Celebrating Terrorism

I sat in a classroom hearing the teacher give a lesson about the history of Thanksgiving. It was the typical B.S. story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. That annual phony story of Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a dinner in harmony together. The only real part of the story was that the Pilgrims would have died, if the Native Americans wouldn’t have shown them how to farm. I wanted to shout, “The Pilgrims were actually a bunch of drunks that hung an Indian body and an Indian head on their fort. They did that to symbolize, “white power.” I didn’t want to frighten children but they should know the truth.

We will smell a kitchen full of the scents of a delectable feast but that is not the whiff of what Thanksgiving represents. The original smells would have been the putrid scent of barbecued Indian flesh.

Here is a historic description behind the massacre of Indians, which is the real reason the Pilgrims, gave thanks: This by William Bradford, an early settler, on Captain John Mason’s attack on a Pequot village.

“Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword, some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived that they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.”

While we have genocide against turkeys for Thanksgiving our fore fathers had a genocide against Native Americans.

R.I.P. Chloe we will miss you.

Thanksgiving history: Facts

Robbie Robertson: “A Native American Thanksgiving Song”

William S. Burroughs: “A Thanksgiving Prayer”

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ~ W.T. Purkiser


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Cretin Parental Opus

Truth is always stranger than fiction. I wrote the following from a recent strange news story.

Cretin Parental Opus

According to a recent Reason-Rupe poll.
an estimated 57% said “only winners” in kid’s sports
should receive a trophy for their participation.
63% of conservatives said only winners should get the prizes.
Men also favored trophies for winners only over women, 62 to 52 percent.
Glenn Beck is a conservative commentator and radio talk show host.
He has described himself as a “borderline schizophrenic.
Glenn has stated, “I hate those damn participation trophies.”
He instructs parents to go into their children’s bedrooms
and confiscate them and smash them in front of their child,
to teach them a lesson about how the real world works.
How Glenn Beck’s real world of losing was demonstrated by him
in 1983 when he lost in the Phoenix, Arizona top 40 morning radio show ratings.
He called his competitors wife while she was on the radio and mocked her recent miscarriage.
Even if kids don’t win at a sport at least they learn teamwork,
sportsmanship, losing with grace, and finding joy in an endeavor,
even when you know you won’t be the best player or team.
Leaving with a symbol of those things doesn’t seem so bad to me.
Unfortunately, we have a bunch of couch sitting wannabee NFL quarterbacks,
who say stupid things to kids like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
I have a new hero for these would be Glenn Beck he man types.
That is Arizona grandfather 53 year-old Paul Armand Rater.
His pickup truck broke down in the desert and he walked to get help
leaving his five-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert,
with a loaded and cocked .45-caliber handgun
and the instruction to “shoot any bad guys.”
He ended up walking for quite a few miles until he came to a bar.
Instead of asking for help to rescue his granddaughter and truck,
he sat down and had a cheeseburger and a few beers.
This may sound strange to some but after all this is Arizona,
a stand your ground state where you protect your personal property.
Basically, Grandpa Rater left his five-year old granddaughter to guard his truck.
Leaving a five-year old with a cocked and loaded 45 in modern-day Arizona
is like a Spartan warrior test to see if an infant can survive in the wild by itself.
This does not mean that some Arizonans were not completely shocked.
Many found it outrageous to leave such a young child alone with a 45 caliber pistol.
Given her small size they felt that a 25 or 22 caliber pistol would be more appropriate.
The child’s mother hadn’t heard from grandpa so she called the police.
The fire department and Sheriff Joe Arpaio found the little girl.
You might recognize Sheriff Joe’s name because FOX NEWS considers him a god.
He is the Maricopa County sheriff who has cost Maricopa County taxpayers
$142 million in legal expenses, settlements and court awards.
He’s been found guilty of abuse of power, misuse of funds, racial profiling,
failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases,
unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, and election law violations.
Joe has failed to follow-through on at least 32 reported child molestations
even though the suspects were known in all but six of the cases.
That is because the victims were children of undocumented Hispanic immigrants.
All of that means that in Arizona Joe has gotten elected over and over
for 25 years and can’t get kicked out of office no matter how much he cost the county.
Lucky for the little girl she was white and not brown
or Joe wouldn’t have mounted a search and rescue.
At this point I am reminded that the little girl did not listen to Grandpa Rater
when he gave her the 45 and had instructed her to “shoot any bad guys.”
Had she listened Sheriff Joe would have been her first dead bad guy.
She just needed some more experience with bad guys
before knowing which ones to shoot on sight.
I’d suggest she start with Grandpa Paul Ratner.
All of this macho shit really is part of the conservative cowboy type image.
Never mind, most cowboys couldn’t afford a sidearm as they cost a month’s pay.
Never mind, most cowboys wore bowler style hats not
what we think of as cowboys hats today.
Never mind, Mexico had cowboys 400 year before the U.S.
or that one of four cowboys was African-American.
Facts don’t matter to conservatives
and that is a whole other poem.
Grandpa Ratner has a few options out of this incident.
#1. Sheriff Joe might deputize him for trying to make sure
that the five year-old girl grows up to be a tough conservative Arizona woman
instead of being a wimpy kid who expects a trophy for participating in a sport.
#2. Grandpa might be the next president of the NRA.
#3. He might be the next republican candidate for governor of Arizona.
I’m sure the NRA would bankroll the whole political campaign
if he picked Sheriff Joe for his Lt. Governor running mate.
Their slogan could be, “Have a little more confidence in our kids.
Don’t give your preschool kids participation trophies
give them loaded and cocked 45 caliber handguns.”

Tom Hambridge: “Upside of Lonely”

“I Keep Things”

Parenting: “Affection without sentiment, authority without cruelty, discipline without aggression, humor without ridicule, sacrifice without obligation, companionship without possessiveness.” — William E. Blatz

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Forever Young: Staughton Lynd at 85

I have been friends with Staughton and Alice Lynd for a couple of decades now. They have been mentors and an inspiration to me. If you know them I’m sure you feel the same way. They are the kind of people who Mrs. E says I am a better person for knowing. Andy Piascik sent me the following piece which I am more than happy to share about my friends Alice and Staughton.
 Versions of this article have appeared in various publications and on various websites.
 Peace and Solidarity,
                               Forever Young: Staughton Lynd at 85
                                                                                                               by Andy Piascik
            Suddenly Staughton Lynd is all the rage. Again. In the last several years, Lynd has published a number of new books as well as new editions of classics such as Rank and File, plus a memoir co-authored with his wife Alice. In addition, two books about his life as an activist have been published, one on the years through 1970 by educator Carl Mirra (The Admirable Radical: Staughton Lynd and Cold War Dissent, 1945-1970) and another about his work since 1970 by historians Mark Weber and Stephen Paschen, Side by Side: Alice and Staughton Lynd, the Ohio Years.
            In an epoch of imperial hubris and corporate class warfare on steroids, a Lynd revival could hardly have come at a better time. Soldier, coal miner, Sixties veteran, recent college graduate – there’s much to be gained by all from a study of Lynd’s life and work. In so doing, it’s inspiring to discover how frequently he was in the right place at the right time and, more importantly, on the right side.
During the tumultuous summer of 1964, Lynd was invited to coordinate the Freedom Schools established in Mississippi by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The schools were an integral part of the Herculean effort to end apartheid in the United States and became models for alternative schools everywhere. That August, Lynd supported the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) at the Democratic Party convention. Led by Fannie Lou Hamer and Bob Moses, the MFDP had earned the right to represent their state with their blood and their extraordinary courage. Instead the party hierarchy supported the official, illegal delegation, a pathetic band of reactionaries who – the irony is too delicious – supported not the candidate of their own party Lyndon Johnson but his opponent and their ostensible enemy, Republican Barry Goldwater, for president. This back-stabbing was carried out by liberal icons Hubert Humphrey, Walter Reuther and Walter Mondale and endorsed, alas, by Reverend Martin Luther King.
In early 1965, Lynd spoke at Carnegie Hall in one of the first events organized in opposition to the U.S. invasion of Vietnam. A short time later, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) asked him to chair the first national demonstration against the war, where he was again a keynote speaker. That April 17, a crowd of 25,000 that was five times larger than even the most optimistic organizers had anticipated turned out in Washington, and what would become the largest anti-war movement in US history was born.
That summer, Lynd helped organize the Assembly of Unrepresented People in Washington. Timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the murder of tens of thousands of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the gathering also included a rally at the White House where peace with the people of Vietnam was declared. Lynd has recalled the bemusement with which the relatively small band of demonstrators was received by those charged with protecting the government from its people. In reply, he told a military police officer that they were the first of what would eventually be millions, a statement that sooner than anyone could imagine proved prophetic. By 1967, a majority of people in the U.S. had declared peace with Vietnam.  
Movement Contributions
            Lynd would continue as one of the seminal figures of the 1960’s. He was both a tireless organizer and the author of numerous articles in important movement publications like Liberation, Radical America, the Guardian and Studies on the Left. With Michael Ferber, he documented the movement against the military draft in The Resistance, one of the best books about Sixties organizing.
            Lynd was an enthusiastic supporter of the New Left and embraced precepts like participatory democracy and decentralization. Ex-radicals of his generation like Irving Howe, Bayard Rustin and Michael Harrington, by contrast, spent much of the Sixties attacking SNCC and SDS. He spoke for many when he mocked their enthusiasm for  Johnson and the Democrats as “coalition with the Marines.”
This, too, proved uncannily prophetic. Within a year of being elected in 1964, Johnson 1.) ordered a massive escalation in Vietnam; 2.) sent an  invasion force to the Dominican Republic to support military thugs who had overthrown a democratically elected government; and 3.) armed and funded an incredibly violent coup in Indonesia in which over a million people were killed. The Peace Candidate indeed. 
Blacklisted From Academia and Beyond
            At the end of 1965, Lynd made a fateful trip to Hanoi where he witnessed the carnage inflicted by US bombers. Up to that point, he was one of the most promising new scholars in the country. Upon his return, however, his career in academia was essentially at an end. A tenure track position at Yale suddenly disappeared. Department heads at other universities enthusiastically offered teaching positions, only to be overruled by higher-ups.   
            Lynd never looked back. He became an accomplished scholar outside the academy and one of the most perceptive and prolific chroniclers of “history from below,” with a special interest in working class organizing. From a series of interviews, he and Alice produced the groundbreaking book Rank and File, which begat the Academy Award-nominated documentary film Union Maids.
Lynd moved to Ohio in 1976, became an attorney and, when the mills in  Youngstown began to close, assisted steelworkers in an unsuccessful attempt to take them over. In a book he wrote about the effort, The Fight Against Shutdowns: Youngstown’s Steel Mill Closings, Lynd explored the biggest little secret of all, one that people everywhere would do well to heed: We who do the work can build a better world, and we can best do it without the parasitic Super Rich who contribute nothing and weigh us down like a monstrous ball and chain.
            Lynd is eighty-five now. The step is slower and his eyesight isn’t the best. Ten years ago he had open heart surgery – “an affair of the heart,” he calls it. “My cardiac surgeon said I came as close to becoming permanently horizontal as one can come without actually doing so.”
            He talks of how deeply he misses dear friend Howard Zinn. He recalls driving through Mississippi late at night, hopelessly lost, just days after civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner had been abducted and murdered. He talks of his remarkable life’s work with great humility and not at all wistfully, but in search of lessons it might hold, especially for the young. A teacher extraordinaire, he is guided by the principle that a teacher is also a student and all students teachers. And he writes and writes, as prolifically as ever, one book after another  as well as articles and book reviews for Z, Counterpunch, the Industrial Worker and numerous other periodicals and websites.  
            Lynd has seen more than his share of colleagues come and go. Some flamed out after a brief period of frantic busyness; others moved on to different lives and nice-paying gigs. Still going strong, Lynd offers long-term commitment (“long distance running,” as he calls it) and accompaniment –  professionals living alongside workers and the unrepresented and contributing much-needed skills to the struggle for freedom, all the while walking side by side as equals – as alternatives. He also believes as passionately as ever that a better world is indeed possible.
Andy Piascik is a long-time activist and award-winning author who writes for Z, Counterpunch  and many other publications and websites.
Pete Seeger: “Forever Young”
“The things I was allowed to experience, the people I was able to call friends, teammates, mentors, coaches and opponents, the travel, all of it, are far more than anything I ever thought possible in my lifetime. ~ Curt Schilling

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A 15,000 Year Old Relationship

The last week in September was National Dog Week. I’m late on honoring dogs but here is a poem I wrote last week.

There are 400 different breeds
of dogs around the world.
The relationship between man
and dog is over 15,000 years old.
Man has been able to train dogs
to sniff out bedbugs, to find drugs,
to be tracking dogs, pointing dogs,
hunting dogs, sled dogs, racing dogs,
truffle hunting dogs, guard dogs,
search dogs, rescue dogs,
seeing eye dogs, ears for the deaf,
all manner of assistance dogs,
cancer smelling dogs,
drafting dogs that haul loads and
therapeutic dogs that help spread calm
among the elderly in nursing homes.
Australian research has shown dog owners
have a lower risk of heart disease,
lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
British research demonstrates that dog owners
have fewer minor health complaints such as
headaches, stomach-aches, colds, sore throats,
flu and also less back pain.
The benefits of owning a dog cannot be overestimated,
and it is east to see why the dog has achieved
a place of honor in the human community
as man’s best friend and companion.
I have a cat.

Dedicated to the memories of Sheba and Alfie.

Brendan Bioandi: “Song My Dog Wrote”

“The Love of Dogs”

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” ~ Christopher Hitchens


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Weekly Genocide

“I’ll tell you who shouldn’t have guns, let alone CONTROL over our gun rights and that is the government. Nearly every single shooting SINCE Columbine has been staged by the government. Call me a conspiracy kook all you like, but no parent forgives the fucking murderer of their child THAT soon after losing their child, nor do they set up a donation page that same day. Every fucking parent of Sandy Hook acted this way, it was a complete and utter joke and INSULT to any real parent whose suffered such a loss. If you think this behavior is normal you are either a player in the game or out of your fucking mind. And don’t get me started with the Boston smoke bombing hoax.  I would also like to know why the “victims” haven’t yet sued the government and the medical workers for their incompetence? Because had this been real, they clearly would have and would have been successful at doing so! This goes for the fake Sandy Hook parents as well, because had this shooting been in fact real, the faculty, law enforcement and the medical workers would have a lot of explaining to do. Gun control wouldn’t be the priority, but CLEARLY, that is the AGENDA and the reason behind the staging of all these hoaxes.”

Those are the comments of a twenty something woman (I’ll just call her A H) on Facebook. She posted them opposing a post someone made calling for gun control after the latest mass shooting. Not surprising to see on A H’s Facebook page that she is a 9/11 denier, a Holocaust denier, anti-Semitic and a conspiracy freak. She states that most conspiracy theories aren’t conspiracy theories at all but rather, conspiracy truths. She believes the New World Order and the Illuminati have been killing doctors who have found cures for autism and cancer. She mentions a crash caused by a drunk driver. He survived but killed a grandfather and 3 children. People were giving money for the funeral expenses of the children. She had no outrage for the drunk driver that had 12 DUI’s. She did have angry outrage for those raising money to help bury the children. She doesn’t like pleas from concerned people for monetary support after such a horrible event. D H says this shows that the horrible event is a hoax and thus a conspiracy. Her Facebook page also promotes violent video scenes from movies.

My very first thought about her is that she is the type of person that needs mental help, not easy access to guns. On the plus side, she lives in Ontario, Canada so we can all breathe a little easier. Sad to say, there were hundreds of crazy comments supporting gun ownership on the Facebook page that questioned easy access to guns. These mass shootings are not moving any of our cowardly politicians to take on the gun manufacture owned NRA. I don’t see anything being done about mental health or access to guns. I guess I am at the point I tend to almost think of each shooting as part of American culture. I have taken notice in each how fast people want to know about the shooter. I heard this wanting to know, on local talk radio this week immediately after a man shot nine people to death in Oregon. White, right-wing talk radio callers were pissed that Oregon officials were not releasing the shooters name right away. They suspected that was because the shooter was of the Islamic faith. They were so praying that he had an Islamic sounding name. I hear the same comments suggesting Islamic terrorists after each mass shooting. FOX News pundits like Sean Hannity were suggesting right away that the killer was a jihadist. Hannity was hoping it was true so he could claim President Obama was protecting domestic Islamic terrorists.  Of course when the latest shooter turns out to be one in a long line of white, right-wing gun nuts Hannity will no longer be interested in the story. Hannity was in love with anti-government rancher Clive Bundy. When Clive made racist comments against blacks, Hannity left the ranch faster than an Ohio retired snowbird heads to Florida at the first sight of a snowflake.

It seems the latest shooter is a right-wing white guy by some of the things posted on his social media. The right-wing whites who call talk radio are trying to put a spin on that. I’ve already heard a couple claiming this shooter had Islamic leanings. They claim he was picked up by the Russians for trying to distribute guns to the Taliban. I’ve heard two callers say this is true because they heard it on the internet. I am wondering if the sick individuals that initially make this crap up have guns.

What are we to tell students and our children when they ask why their safety is of less importance than the “rights” of gun owners? Melissa Duclos a teacher at a community college in Oregon in an open letter to lawmakers states what she will tell children, “I could tell them that your thoughts and prayers are with us. I could tell them we have your deepest sympathies. But I am teaching a class on argument, instructing my students on the importance of facts. So instead I will tell them the truth: They have to be prepared to hide out of the line of fire, and I to fight for our survival, because you, our lawmakers, haven’t done your jobs. I will tell them that their rights, my rights, the rights of my 5-year-old, to attend school without fear of facing senseless slaughter by machine-gun fire, are not important to you, that we must be prepared to fight tooth and nail, stapler and whiteboard marker, because you refuse to fight the gun lobby in this country.”

We have had shootings of elected politicians. We have had mass shootings at schools, theaters, military bases, churches and even elected politicians. How high will the bodies have to be stacked before politicians do something? Will it take a mass shooting in the congress or senate? Add up all the gun deaths and we have a genocide on our hands that is being ignored.

71 mass shootings in the last 3 decades and most of the killers got their guns legally.

Jim Carrey: “Cold Dead Hand”

Lynyrd Skynyrd: “Saturday Night Special”

“Semi-automatics have only two purposes. One is so owners can take them to the shooting range once in a while, 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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Ashes as Fertilizer

Wednesday I attended a poetry reading at the Trumbull Art Gallery. It was put on by he Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County, the Trumbull County Brownfield Coalition and Rust Belt Poets and Writers. The theme of the reading was revitalizing nine brownfield sites in Trumbull County. This is the poem I read:

I have no poetic skills. I am only a poet by the necessity to account for these times.
Ashes as Fertilizer
110 years ago the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was founded.
Their union’s preamble said, “The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
That surely became apparent when factories closed up,
displaced workers and left chemically wasted brownsites behind
in places like Detroit, Flint, Gary, Chicago, Youngstown, and Warren.
When the corporations came to communities
they demanded all manner of handouts,
like corporate welfare and lower utility rates.
They are the real entities who get “entitlements.”
No matter who says it corporations are not people.
They don’t have the soul, conscience or morals
that makes up a working-class human being.
Corporate CEO’s have limited minds
as they’re limited by their only goal……profits.
They put profits before people and the downside
of capitalism is that people are expendable.
Our newest valley industry is fracking and storing
600 chemical toxic waste water from fracking wells.
These are temporary jobs at best and the whole process
is a slow motion holocaust against the Earth.
There is no dignity in being a dumping ground.
If you’re waiting on a bailout from Columbus
They’ve taken our pulse and consider us flat lined.
They have designated us as the region to house the state’s prisoners.
The other recent businesses in our area are Rent A Centers, check cashing stores,
pawn shops, used car lots financing people with bad credit
at some horribly high interest rate and dollar stores everywhere
because we are down to our very last dollar.
They all fall into the category of poverty pimps
and they arrive when your community is down and out.
Then we have drug stores on every corner to serve our aging population.
What jobs do we have for the next generation?
I’m not happy that my two kids had to move away to find jobs.
How about you? Did your kids move elsewhere to find jobs?
We’ve got enough bike trails, parks and community gardens.
Those aren’t things that will keep our next generation here.
So my suggestion is down to three familiar words jobs, jobs jobs.
Let’s quit treating these brownsites like we are absentee landlords
and look around and get ideas for them that are working,
in the rest of our big wide world dealing with abandoned facilities.
Argentina has something that is working and growing.
It’s their worker-ownership model (called The Take)
The movement of taken factories gained enormous momentum
after the Argentine economic collapse of 2001.
Workers at some of these factories thought it was crazy
to let their former workplaces stay vacant while they were out of work
and already knew how to run the businesses and operate the machines.
They began to occupy their factories and demand the right to work,
and to re-start production as a worker-owned cooperative.
This resulted in more than 180 cooperative factories with 10,000 workers.
Chicago is the home of the first worker cooperative takeover
of a factory in the US, New Era Windows.
It seems like a better investment than more taxpayer-funded
pro sport stadiums for billionaire owners.
Workers would gain self-esteem by having self-determination.
Brownsite’s reuse should be decided by
the communities they are located in.
Our children should serve as a major voice in the process
by telling us what kind of jobs would keep them in our valley.
The first step in utilizing brownsites is awareness,
then add in involvement and it equals a movement.
The site, the area’s needs, resources and local skills
should all be factored into a democratic vote
by the community on what the site should be utilized for.
If it could based not on short-term greed
but on looking to our children’s future
our area could be an inspiration for the nation by building
cooperatives on these abandoned factory sites as a social movement.
One hundred years ago Ralph Chaplin an IWW member
wrote the song, “Solidarity Forever.”
It’s ending chorus states that with solidarity,
“We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old.

If our community could come together

in solidarity to build that better world

from the ashes of brownsites

all of us parents could have some gentle pains of hope
that our children will see they could have a future here.


Killer Mike: “Reagan”

Keller Mike on Ferguson.

“Why can’t we, with a more intelligent policy,
actually have houses that are affordable,
built at higher densities than they are at the moment
and built on brownfield sites.” – John Prescott


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Fracking Helps Build Community (Common Unity)

I just want to say that fracking can do some good for a community. It can help build community and join people together. Why fracking has been bringing members of my town of Vienna, Ohio closer together since April of 2015. That is when one of our residents had his pond and wetlands polluted. This chemical spill was courtesy of his neighbor at the Kleese farm. The farm contains five injection wells operated by KDA (Kleese Development Associates). KDA wasn’t willing to share their profits with their neighbor but they did share the leak from their wells. The leak is thought to have been going on for six months. It has not been established exactly how many gallons of chemicals leaked into the pond and wetlands (2,000 gallons was the first guess). This from the Youngstown Vindicator will give you an idea of how much chemical waste comes to the Kleese farm for storage, “In raw numbers, the five Vienna wells injected about 19 million gallons underground during those six months, according to Vindicator calculations based on about 454,215 barrels of waste the EPA said KDA wells received.

The Western Pennsylvania counties Butler, Lycoming and Armstrong and a few others have decided to build community with Vienna, Ohio. They do this by sharing the chemical waste from their Marcellus wells. Their semi tanker trucks travel across the state line and create a lot more traffic in our little township. While PA. shares their waste and traffic they don’t share any of the profits from their Marcellus wells with the citizens of Vienna. Well, (pun intended) they do make the Kleese family rich but they were already one of the wealthiest families in Vienna.

This spill was able to bring the residents of Vienna together in a township meeting. Hundreds of residents attended and got to share with their neighbors. What they were sharing was fear. None the less, fracking was helping build community. Tremors were also recorded last September near injection wells in Weathersfield Township. That is another example of the fracking industry bringing one of our neighboring communities together. I could also say the same about the dozens of earthquakes reported in the Youngstown area. The fear of fracking in our valley did some good as it helped establish FrackFree Mahoning, The good folks at FrackFree Mahoning have been unsuccessfully trying to pass an area bill to ban fracking in Youngstown. All those earthquakes have not been enough to get the voters of Youngstown to join together in a community to protect their hometown against the fracking industry. Fracking has been able to build community between the pipefitters union and Regional Chamber. Those two are strange bedfellow because the Regional Chambers around the country are made up of businessmen who tend to be anti-union. Locally, they were able to put that aside and come together in a common cause to put profit before people and support fracking.

Because of the April leak, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered five injection wells operated by Kleese Development Associates, Warren, to cease operations. While the wells at the Kleese farm are not operating KDA is beginning to drill a new injection well a couple miles from their farm in another Vienna location. This location is near the Youngstown Airport on Rt. 193. Once again the fracking process was able to bring Vienna residents together. Last week protesters came together on Monday near the Rt. 193 drilling site, to speak against an injection well being located there. Once again fracking can be thanked for creating community. This time it created it between Vienna residents and members of FrackFreeMahoning. This organization had also come to help Vienna residents in April at the spill site and at our township meeting. I had to work last Monday so I could not attend the Vienna protest on Rt. 193. The day after that I was not working so I was able to participate as part of a national day of action called Hands Across Our Land. There was a nice turnout of people who held hands and signs beside the Spring Common Bridge (Mr. Peanut Bridge) near the B-and-O Station in Youngstown, Ohio. Most of those who turned out on that Tuesday were members of FrackFreeMahoning. They held signs against fracking expansion in our area. They expressed their concerns about fracking being a threat to public health and safety.

I joined those at the bridge because I believe in their cause of ending fracking in our valley. I talked to a few people at the bridge that had been at the protest in Vienna the day before. I thanked them and had some who lived in Youngstown thank me for coming from Vienna to join them. I felt like FrackFreeMahoning had done plenty of reaching out to Vienna residents since April so it was high time some of us Vienna residents should give back. It was also nice to get together with other like minded environmentalist at an event that wasn’t a spill or quake. Many at the Youngstown event left when it was over and went to another protest against fracking in Pulaski, PA. See there, fracking is once again helping to build community after community.

Jesse Colin Young: “Ridgetop”

“Grey Day”

“Only when the last tree has died,? the last river been poisoned,? and the last fish been caught? will we realize we cannot eat money.” —Cree Proverb




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