Monthly Archives: December 2009

Holiday Humor

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all! Best wishes to you! Whatever holiday you celebrate may it be your best ever.

As for Christmas the holiday is about the birth of Jesus. There are also songs, movies or stories that to each of us exemplify what the spirit of Christmas is about. The story about the World War I Christmas Truce is my favorite story, about the power of Christmas. To me Christmas is about peace on Earth and that is why this story means so much to me. You can read all about it in the book, “Silent Night: The Story of the WWI Christmas Truce.” If you’re not much of a reader check out the 2005 movie, “Joyeux Noel.” For me this story shows the potential for humanity to be the real solution to peace. Isn’t it high time we put all our children (every nations soldiers) before war profiteers?

Don’t you think the world needs more humor?  Here is some  R-rated humor for Christmas: William Shatner

Bishop TuTu

Taxi Cab Confessions

The Dan Band: Ho Ho Ho

Dan Band: Christmas Flip Flop

Marry an orphan: you’ll never have to spend boring holidays with the in-laws. ~ George Carlin

Enjoy the holidays!


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Worshipping Satan at Christmas Time

Mrs. and Mr. Elecpencil and our friends Patti and John went to New Castle’s Scottish Rite Cathedral yesterday evening. We experienced B.E. Taylor’s annual Christmas concert tour. We went last year and loved it so much we have decided to make it an annual Christmas tradition.

B E included local special needs adults who join him singing and dancing on stage. He also had a local high school drum section and a church choir. All in all two and a half hours worth of great Christmas music with some very talented musicians. I guarantee you if you go once you’ll be hooked.

See info on B.E. here.

While in New Castle we stopped for dinner at Mary’s Middle Eastern Restaurant located at 131 E. Long Ave. I have visited Mary’s many times and always have the Chicken over rice with onions, peppers  with Syrian garlic sauce. This chicken dish is my favorite all time Chicken dish. Mary’s is small and it was packed but service, meal and price were all top-notch! Two ice teas, the health food appetizer (Tabbouli and Hummus)  and two great Chicken dinners for about $20.00 is even in the Elecpencil’s budget range!

Some questions for you:

Do you think women who do the same job as men should be paid the same? Do you think men should be promoted more than women? Do you think someone who has a family should be paid more than someone who is single but does the same job? Do you believe it’s right to discriminate against hiring the handicapped? Do you think it is right to keep most employees part-time so you can deny them health care. Do you think it’s right to not pay a livable wage and then offer health care that if  workers want they can’t afford to pay their share of? Think it’s acceptable to fire employees for wanting a union?

Do you think it’s OK to have trade laws that send U.S. jobs to sweatshops in China? Do you think it’s OK for China to have a minimum wage of  $.39 an hour? Do you think it’s OK for a U.S. company to violate that and only pay $.19 and hour? Do you think it’s right for Chinese citizens to work in dirty dangerous conditions? Do you think it right to have 9 year-old kids working in Third World sweatshops making products for U.S. consumers? Do you think it is fine if a company has 80% of their good made in China? Do you think it is alright to do business and be in debt to Communist China? Are you willing to let your children be poisoned by lead based toys from China?

Do you complain about illegal aliens taking U.S. jobs? Do you care if a U.S. companies employees (the working poor) make up the largest part of many states welfare ranks? Think it’s fine that just one companies low wages cost taxpayers up to $2.5 billion a year in the form of federal public assistance programs? Do you think that one company locating in your area should cost taxpayers $420,000 a year? Do you think it’s justified for one company locating in your area to ask for 1/3 it’s building cost to be picked up by taxpayers despite it making $12 billion in profit a year? Do you think it is right for the same company to have gotten out of paying $2.3 billion in taxes between 1999 and 2005?

Do you think it’s acceptable that only 6% of the money made by this company stays in the community it’s stores are located in? Do you care that this company destroys mom and pop businesses? Are you concerned that this company denies their responsibilities when their customers or employees are injured on site? Do you think it is alright if a company buys a term life policy on employees and profits by their death? Do you think we need to protect our ports?

The company I am talking about is Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club. They are on the wrong side of every one of these issues. So I’m asking, “Why in the fuck would you shop at this soulless company?” Does the cheapest price really wash away so many sins? Where would Jesus shop for Christmas? Isn’t shopping at Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club like worshipping Satan at Christmas time?

Ammo for the fight against Wal-Mart

A B.E. Taylor Christmas

Mary Did You Know

If I think too much about all of those Chinese factories where all the stuff in a Wal-Mart is made, I get that woozy feeling you get when you see ducks covered in crude oil. ~ Doug Copland


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Local Christmas Shopping

Mrs. Elecpencil and I took a ride over to Sharon, Pa. this morning. We stopped on the West Hill at an art gallery/gift shop called, 29 Logan Ave. We then walked down the hill to the Walnut Lodge at 80 S. Irvine Ave. The lodge had about twenty artists set up selling handmade and fair trade wares.  Both places have items that would make great Christmas gifts. They will both be open tomorrow also from 12-4. The Walnut Lodge also gives yoga and dance lessons too.  They seem like great folks who help make our corner of the world a little better.

Tomorrow also check out the display of over 200 nativity sets from around the world. The display is from 12-4 at the Sisters of  Humility – Villa Maria, PA. Talk about making our world better the Villa Maria has some great classes and retreats that are well worth looking into to. Check out their gift shop for some nice Fair Trade items.

I was sad I couldn’t make the Youngstown demonstration against the School of the Americas (SOA) event, as I think it is a very important issue. A special note of thanks to Terry and Vicki Vicars for organizing the PAX Christi USA protest against the SOA. The SOA is a disgraceful place  that every American should know about.  The SOA makes for one of the reasons our country is hated in the world.

This months Catholic Exponent did a nice piece on the new Dorothy Day House in Youngstown. Check out one of our fine libraries for a copy. I went to the Newport Library for the first time last Tuesday and it is a really nice addition to our community.  They were nice enough to invite us Pig Iron Poets to do our open monthly reading which went very well. Join us the second Tuesday of January at Tomasino’s Pizza in downtown Youngstown for next months open reading.

When shopping for Christmas it’s important to not shop at the Satan store. Of course I’m talking about the soulless Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. Instead try shopping local small businesses. Get a gift card for one of our local non-chain restaurants. Put together a gift basket of local products. You could do a basket of things like: Gia Russa pastas and sauce, Guys BBQ Sauce, Rulli’s olive oil or cheese, White House Fruit Farms produce, Haus Orchards cider,  Miller’s Horseradish sauce, Dirusso Sausage, Rust Belt Brewing beer, Mastropietro wine, Myrddin wine, L’uva Bella wine, Maggie’s Magic Muffins, Schwebels Bread, Handel’s ice cream gift card, Jimmy Chieffo’s  Pasta, etc. Feel free to comment about all the great local products I missed.

Since I mentioned wineries let me tell you about one Mr. & Mrs. Elecpencil visited last Friday for dinner. We went to dinner at the Old Mill Winery in Geneva, Oh. It’s a very old building that is favorite of local folks from Geneva. The Alan Greene Band from Cleveland was playing and they churned out some great blues tunes!  Otie (who resembles George Carlin)  filled in for missing singer, “Mr. Stress” and did a yeoman’s job. Alan is a former guitarist for “Humble Pie” and is as good as it gets on the axe. He is not into 15 minute boring guitar solos but rocks out within the frame work of a tune. This is a real blues band not one of those yuppies through the week blues on the weekend bands.  Mrs. Elecpencil had ribs in a wine infused bbq sauce she said were quite good. I had a wine burger which I’d highly recommend. We enjoyed some red sangria and took home a bottle of Grindstone Red which is a nice sweet wine. We are not wine snobs so we enjoy sweet wines. I have no use for snobby wines that taste like oak or stainless steel.

Cheap wines are just as good as expensive ones in a blind test.

For a holiday green gift that matters see here.

Alan Greene Band: High Cost of Loving

Alan Greene Band: Stagger Lee

[Wine is] poetry in a bottle.”
– Clifton Fadiman

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They’re All Gay

This 9/11, 2009 held a different sadness for me, other than remembering the terrorist attacks of 9/11 2001. That is because on 9/11 2009 poet/singer Jim Carroll died of a heart attack. You might know about Jim from his 1978 autobiographical book, “The Basketball Diaries.” In 1995 it was made into a film of the same name starring, Leonard DiCaprio as Jim Carroll. I loved Jim’s book, poetry and especially his first album, “Catholic Boy.”

I thought about Jim last week when I read an article on November 12, 2009 in the Washington Post. The article said, “The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.” Under the bill,  religions don’t have to perform same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

From 2006 through the present, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, to care for the needy. To be fair the church has spent millions of its own dollars also. The church doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t take public money and still be able to discriminate against people. Doesn’t the bible say something about being judged by what you do for the least of my people (the poor/ the down and out)?

I thought about Jim Carroll when I read this for a few reasons. First because Jim was Irish Catholic and attended Catholic School. Also because Jim had been a down and out Heroin addict. Jim also was a bi/sexual who prostituted himself to gay men for drug money.

Here is Jim’s biggest hit, People Who Died:

In honor to Jim and as a message to D.C.’s Catholic Church I give you,

Theses are People Who are Gay (or bi-sexual)

Famous politicians and leaders that are gay: Alexander the Great, Edward II King of England, Barbara Jordan congresswoman, King Richard the Lionhearted, Desiderius Erasmus Sultan of Egypt, King Frederick the Great, Julius Caesar, Augusts Caesar, King James the I, Queen Anne, Marie Antoinette, Peter the Great, Montezuma II, Baron Von Steuben  German General at Valley Forge, Eleanor Roosevelt and Saladin Sultan of Egypt. These are leaders that are gay.

These are writers who are gay: Writers: James Baldwin, William Burrows, Truman Capote, Casanova, Allen Ginsberg, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, Alice Walker, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Langston Hughes and Hans Christian Andersen. They’re all gay.

These are actors that are gay: Tallulah Bankhead, Drew Barrymore, Alan Bates, Dirk Bogarde, Raymond Burr Perry (Mason/Ironsides), Joan Crawford, Richard Chamberlain, Ellen DeGeneres comedian Marlene Dietrich, Fannie Flagg, Jodie Foster, Great Garbo, Will Geer, John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter,Angelina Jolie, Sal Mineo,  Kathy Najimy, Cynthia Nixon, Laurence Olivier, David Hyde Pierce, Robert Reed Actor Cesar Romero, Dick Sargent,  David Ogden Stiers, Lily Tomlin, and Clifton Webb. They’re all gay.

These are singers who are gay: Clay Aiken, Billie Joe Armstrong, Joan Baez, Long John Baldry, Josephine Baker, Dave Davies, Ani DiFranco, Melissa Etheridge, Marianne Faithful, Fergie, Rob Halford, Janis Ian,  Elton John, Janis Joplin, k.d. Lang, Sinead O”Connor, Michael Stipe, Rufus Wainwright and Bessie Smith. They’re all gay.

These are composers who are gay: Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Noel Coward, Steven Sondheim, Cole Porter and  Tchaikovsky. They’re all gay.

These are people who are gay: activist Angela Davis, David Geffen record producer, Malcom Forbes publisher, Yves Saint Laurent designer, Anne Liebovitz photographer,  Rudolf Nureyev dancer,  Suze Orman finance author, Felice Schragenheim WWII Resistance fighter,  Liz Smith Gossip Columnist, Wanda Sykes comedian Daniel Tammet Autistic Savant, Paul Vogel Holocaust Survivor, Jann Wenner Rolling Stone Magazine Publisher, J. Edgar Hoover FBI director, Aristotle, Socrates and  directors, Clive Barker, Rainer Fassbinder and  John Waters. They’re all gay.

These are sports figures who are gay:  Nigel Owens Rugby Referee,  Pat Patterson, Orland Jordan, both wrestlers, Dave Pallone Major league Umpire Bob Paris Bodybuilder, Otto Peltzer record holder runner, Roy Simmons, Jerry Smith, Esera Tuaolo all former NFL players, Billy Bean and Glenn Burke baseball, Joey Fisher hockey, Mark Leduc boxer and Chris Morgan powerlifter. They’re all gay.

These are conservatives who are all gay: Horatio Alger author,  Tammy Bruce conservative radio host, Roy Cohn lawyer/conservative activist, Nicky Crane Neo-Nazi activist, Terry Dolan GOP operative, Mark Foley GOP Florida congressman, Mary Cheney, Candice Gingrich Newt’s sister, Andrew Sullivan conservative journalist, Larry Craig, Bob Allen, Glenn Murphy Jr. and Jamie Ensley. They’re all gay.

These are gay religious leaders: Bishop Sheehan, Rabbi Lionel Blue, Otis Charles Episcopal minister, Jeannie Deckers the “Singing Nun,”Peter Gomes Baptist preacher, Chris Glaser Christian Minister,  Laud Humphreys priest/writer, Mychal F Judge Catholic Priest Percy Jocelyn Anglican Bishop, Paul Moore Episcopal Minister, Marsha Stevens Christian Singer, Irene Stroud Methodist Pastor, Robert V. Taylor Episcopal Priest, Rembert Weakland Catholic Archbishop, Rev Mona West Southern Baptist Minister, Monk Francis Bacon, Pope Julius the III, Pope Benedict the IX, Pope John the XII, Rev. Ted Haggard, Rabbi J.B. Sacks and James Melville White speech and  ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Billy Graham. They’re all gay.

Do you know who else is gay? Members of your friends and relatives that are still in the closet. These are folks you have loved a long time for many good reasons. Should the fact that their sexuality is not the same as yours outweigh every other aspect you have come to love about them?

in 1989, when the proposal to legalize marriage between gays was proposed in Denmark, the majority of the clergy were opposed. Now, after having seen the benefits to the partners and to society, they are overwhelmingly in favor. It’s high time our clergy and citizens legalize gay marriage. This post is for you Jim Carroll my brother!

“I’m a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being… by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.” ~ Paul Newman




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