Monthly Archives: March 2010

Purgatory or Paradise?

You’ve heard people in our area say, “The problems we have around here are because we have too many democrats and not enough republicans.” There was an article in the Warren Tribune on March 23, 2010 entitled, “Officials react to reform.” It featured comments by local officials about the passage of the new health care bill. Craig Bonar, former chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party said, ”The voters obviously decided they wanted socialism when they voted Obama in. So, they’re getting what they voted for.”

Of course this bill that gives insurance companies more customers has nothing to do with socialism. The truth is millionaire ranks rose in 2009 by 16% under President Obama. Only a political hacks like, Bonar would think that makes Obama a socialist. Does Bonar really believe people want to be part of a political party, that would have someone like him as a leader?  Truth is neither party can afford to represent the people, when they are bought and paid for by big business. That is not going to change until we get campaign finance reform. When businesses want tort reform to limit laws suits against them and want to bury auto safety problems like Toyota, do you really believe businesses put people before profits?

I want to believe that many of the folks that are part of the Tea Party Movement are at heart good people. The problem is that the Tea Party Movement is very misinformed. This is because of the lies they have been told by the conservative, corporate owned media. Such lies led to a counter protester with Parkinson’s disease being mocked by Tea party activists. I reported on this in my last post. In this post I am happy to say, that the bully that taunted and intimidated the man with Parkinson’s disease has apologized. I want to take his word that it is out of regrets and not fear of retaliation.

I am not being naive, I know there are still plenty of these kinds of hate mongers around. Here is another vile hate monger who has nothing to contribute to make our children’s future brighter. Someone tell her that her 15 minutes of fame are up and she can go back to keeping an eye on her neighbor, Russia.

In my last post I talked about a lesbian girl in Mississippi, who was denied being allowed to attend her prom with her female date. I am happy to report a positive outcome.

I have stated before that my goal in life is to do my best to make this a better planet for my two kids. I know I am far from alone in this goal and most parents feel as I do. I think we have the power together to make this a heaven on Earth. There are lots of people and organizations motivated by pure greed, that stand in our way. They feel that life on this planet is some kind of purgatory and we will be rewarded with Heaven, after we are dead. I like to play the cards in my hand not wonder what is in the deck. How about you?

I’d rather use this blog to spotlight the wonderful things that encourage me that we can be a heavenly world. It’s not always easy to see the rainbows, when we daily see so many dark clouds. The fact is it first takes a storm to give birth  to a rainbow. Maybe my head is up in the clouds but I see and hear daily glimpses of miracles. I see them at my workplace, I see them in my community and I see them around the world. Sometimes I may have to squint to block out the blackness, that tries to hide them but they shine through like a lighthouse if you put up your periscope and believe.

I heard about a miracle just today on the radio. Go to this site and scroll down to: Medical Students Raise Funds for a Fellow Student. Spend 18 minutes listening to this and see if it doesn’t touch your heart.  Maybe the next generation like these kids, have a lot to teach us about miracles being all around us.

This world can be  a purgatory or a paradise. Drop the Elecpencil a comment and tell me which one you see our children inheriting.

Sade: Paradise

If we all put our kids future first can anything really come between us?

Nothing Can Come Between Us

“For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” ~ African Proverb

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At Least the KKK Had Shame

As someone who is Irish on every side of his family, I beg you a favor. Please do not ask for a “Black and Tan” to drink on St. Patrick’s Day. Call that drink a 50/50 if you drink it. All Irish Catholics who know their history are offended when Americans ask for a Black and Tan to drink. That is because the “Black and Tans” were English supported brutal terrorists, who tried to stop the Irish Catholics  of Ireland, from gaining independence. In other words it would be like going into a bar in Israel and asking for a drink called, Auschwitz Ale.

Truth is my great grandfather from County Cork refused to drink that swill, Guinness Stout. That was because Guinness refused to hire Catholics for hundreds of years. He drank Jameson whiskey  and refused to drink Bushmills, or as he called it, Protestant piss. He would be turning over in his grave today to hear people ordering Black and Tans. “Irish Car Bombs” is also another disgusting name for a drink. Does the USA have a drink called, “Native American Holocaust?”

I want to thank Dennis Kucinich for exposing that the healthcare reform bill is a gift to the insurance industry. How teabaggers and republican politicians see that as a takeover by government shows how stupid they are. In the end Kucicnich backed the bill, as at least a place to start. I tend to agree and think Michael Moore tells it better than I can here.

Moore is from Flint, Michigan, a former industrial city much like Youngstown was. When GM and other companies closed up shop in Flint it was devastated, like when steel left Youngstown. I’m sure Flint has conservatives, who call local talk radio shows and say, ‘The unions destroyed Flint. We have to get over our auto making mentality. ” Of course the unions of Flint took major concessions, only to realize concessions only delay the closings. Instead of the conservative mentality of bashing, a progressive mentality was needed. Local politicians who give every manner of corporate welfare for Wal-Marts to locate in their area, should have given the money to the auto and steel workers, to buy and modernize and run their plants.

The anonymous callers trashing unions and the community they live in are the types who contribute nothing to make their community better. Lots of local organizations and people have come forward to make Youngstown better. Flint I’m sure has the same kinds of people trying to change things for the better. The truth is that Flint and Youngstown were not 40 years behind the times. They were 40 years ahead of the times. We have now seen the banks and Wall Street fail, though they were bailed out. Flint and Youngstown were not deemed “to big to fail” so the country did not come to their rescue.

I will tell you what was better 40 years ago. In those days people had some shame. When they wanted to practice racism they at least put on a sheet. Now a days they join the Tea party Movement, wear no masks, and carry racist signs.  It is just the latest in a white power movement. These are the kinds of signs the more bold of them carry. At some of the bigger get togethers you will see the, “Next time we bring our guns” signs.

For now they have settled on calling members of congress “niggers” and “faggots” and spitting on them.

I think an objection to anything sounding socialistic is rooted in racism. Musician, James McMurtry explains it better here.

How much lower can the teabaggers sink? How about mocking a man with Parkinson’s disease. Here are two videos about the incident and his reason for standing up to this tea bag trash.

Trashing the handicapped is not low enough, as now right-wing pundits  have targeted a 11 year-old child, over healthcare.  We can forgive Rush as he was probably high when he trashed the 11 year-old. Glenn Beck can be excused as no one takes him seriously as he is insane. Though I must make a mental note for the next time Mormons come to my door trying to save me. I will say, “Save your brother Mormon, Glenn Beck as the Devil has his mind and soul.” I will not make an exception to forgive that hate hag “journalist,”  Michelle Malkin. Malkin has attacked kids who spoke up for social justice in the past. She has even written a book about how it was good to intern Japanese Americans during WW II. Michelle is so vile she makes Ann Coulter look like, Mother Teresa. After her book on the internment of Japanese Americans, Malkin has no credibility. Any newspaper that carries her column is no more than a comic book (attention Warren Tribune). I can never finish her columns in the Tribune as they are so hate filled. I have to run right to the sink to wash the venom from my hands that fills her editorials. The one day a week that the Warren Tribune  features her column, should contain a free pack of anti-bacterial hand wash.

Is anyone surprised that the teabaggers now have a tie to the Supreme Court, in the likes of Clarence Thomas and his wife. Thomas has had ties to pro-aparthied groups and pro-Nazi anti-Semitic groups.

The teabaggers and conservatives long for the Reagan era. That is because Reagan gave new life to white supremacy.

For St. Paddys Day:

Black 47: “Funky Ceili”

Bobby Sands

Irish Blessing
May you live to be a hundred years,
With one extra year to repent.

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Fish, Burgers, Toyotas, Lesbians, Heroes and Zeros

Mrs. Elecpencil and I had an excellent fried fish dinner last night. We ate at the University at Larchmont in Warren Ohio. For $10.00 you get a huge piece of battered fish, coleslaw and a roll. You can also pick either hand cut fries, macaroni and cheese or cabbage and noodles. They also have great wings and sandwiches. The University became a favorite when we previously lived in Warren for over a dozen years.  I give them an honorary degree in bar food as you won’t find much better. Let me know who has your favorite bar food.

I learned about a group you might be reading about in tomorrow’s, Youngstown Vindicator. They consist of five guys called, the “Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board” (MVBRB). They go around our valley about once a month and pick different restaurants, to sample burgers at.  You can “ketchup” on what they loved so far at their site. I “relish” their community spirit, and rate them five stars for helping to promote our valley. Send them an e-mail asking them to sample your favorite area burger palace.

Speaking of food here is information on what might turn out to be the biggest food recall in history. Check to see the list of products.

Talking about recalls I have to mention Toyota. Here is a list called, the “Road to Recall” if you have a Toyota and want the time line of facts. As a labor activist I prefer this story about workers at Toyota that told management about safety concerns in 2006.

As someone who worked in industry for three decades I know the average worker cares about the product he makes and takes pride in it. The worker is thinking that if he makes a good product maybe he’s got a job for life. Management cares about how many products they can squeeze out the door and how much money can be made, today.

I have not been sold on the health care plan. I favor a public option or extending Medicare to all. I have found something that now makes me want to get any health care plan immediately passed. That being because Rush Limbaugh said if the health care bill passes he’ll move to Costa Rica. The irony is that Costa Rica’s health care system is government funded, with the option to purchase private insurance. Many drugs are available in Costa Rica without a prescription, and pharmacists can easily and accurately diagnose and treat many common problems. I guess Rush found out Oxycontin can be easily had. I am only hoping Rush will take Hannity and Glen Beck with him. Sure with Rush gone conservatives will be down one hypocrite commentator but I’m sure some other conservative will step up to the task.

Let me go from talking about American zeros to American heroes. A hero of mine, Doris “Granny D” Haddock passed away at age 100. Granny D exposed the problem of influence-peddling in Washington to Americans by walking from coast to coast for campaign finance reform at the age of 90. When she completed her 3,200 mile journey she made a speech at the Capitol steps. She invoked the “brave spirits” of Arlington cemetery, “Did you give your lives for a government where we might stand together as free and equal citizens, or did you give your lives so that laws might be sold to the highest bidder, turning this temple of our Fair Republic into a bawdy house where anything and everything is done for a price?” May all of us live a long and giving life as Granny D.

I just read this about a lesbian high school girl in Mississippi being denied to go to her prom with her female date. At my son’s high school prom four years ago a lesbian student wore a tuxedo, and brought another girl as a date. Everything went fine and our community was spared any wrath of God. I did have massive amounts of ice in my gutters this year but I don’t think it had anything to do with that prom four years ago.

Along the same lines is this story about the Catholic Church rejecting a preschooler admittance to school because his parents are lesbians. The Catholic Church just keeps giving me more and more reasons why I left it a decade ago.

In all fairness I must say that the lesbian parents should realize it’s not in their best interest to be Catholics, or let their child attend a school that is going to trash the child’s family lifestyle. In my younger days I would have said to fight the church from inside. I have learned about banks and corporations that are too big to fail. I now believe the Catholic Church is to too big to change.

I think people who believe in gay rights and birth control etc. are wasting their time in churches that want to live in the 14th century. There are other faiths that practice real inclusion for all. If you join other like-minded people you will do your family and your health a major blessing. I believe in boycotting businesses that don’t operate in my best interests and social justice values, I’d say the same for a church. The only way a company will reform is if you withhold your dollars, and I’d say the same can be said for churches. Nothing speaks louder than low sales and empty collection baskets.

Faith should be nourishing, not admonishing. If you really believe in God you want everyone to end up in Heaven as that is what God wants.  You don’t go around condemning others to Hell for their belief or if they worship a different god then you, or if they don’t worship a god at all.  Let’s just practice peace and love which will make this planet a heaven.  I’m sending out some peace and love so don’t be stingy and send a little back.

Music for all religions.

For Granny D: Heroes of America

Granny D quotes:  “I’m not against the corporations. They are our wealth. But they are getting too greedy. I don’t want to do away with corporations. I want them to make our cars, however, not our laws.”

“Love is about cooperation, sharing and inclusion. It is about the elevation of each individual to a life neither suppressed nor exploited, but instead nourished to rise to it’s full potential–a life for it’s own sake and so we may all benefit by the gift of that life.”


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Just Say No to Tribute Bands

It’s now Lent and some of you are probably eating fish on Fridays. Let me tell you about a fish dinner the Elecpencil family enjoyed yesterday. We went to Alberini’s in Niles, Ohio and had their Friday fish fry. I haven’t been in Alberini’s in a decade as I am not a big lover of Italian food (other than spaghetti and pizza). When I do get a craving for some good spaghetti I go to the White Rose in Masury, Ohio. See the “Youngstown Eats” link on my blog for their review. Anyway, the fish at Alberini’s was thick, flaky with panco bread crumbs and as good as I’ve had in a long time. The dinner included, great bread sticks, coleslaw, steak fries or the macaroni and cheese which I enjoyed. A great dinner for an Elecpencil affordable, $8.95 each.

I recently saw the line up for the Warren, Ohio Classic Rock Series. It is being held at the Warren Community Amphitheatre. I was very disappointed to see once again the events feature cover bands. I have seen Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen live and they’re terrific but I don’t want to see someone playing their music.  I also hate those screeching vocals and long drawn out songs of Led Zeppelin. Not to mention the boring Eagles who ruined Jackson Brown and Tom Waites songs. Then there is Ted Nugent who like Charlie Daniels has turned into one right-wing nutbag.

What would you think if you met a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln at a party? You talk with him an hour and he does nothing but quote Lincoln. You try to find out who he really is but he insists he’s Lincoln.  I’m sure this guy has interesting things in his own life worth sharing.  We’ve all had unique experiences that helped shape our personal being. You want to  know the real him but he insists he is Abe.  You would pretty much assume he is a nut job. He’s someone who has no life of his own and not a damn thing to say. Now you know my thoughts on tribute, copy, cover or whatever you want to call them bands. I wrote about this the last time Warren had this crappy summer series, so I will just rerun the following:

Rock on but Not With a Tribute Band

I didn’t attend any of  the concerts at the Warren Community Amphitheatre 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 see any of the above classic rock acts even if they were the originals band.

I have never ever been a Queen fan. I could never understand how they could play a Nazi goosestep 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 that I never have to hear it again. I do miss Syd Barret though. I tend to agree with a friend of mine who stated, “The best thing Lynyrd 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 it’s 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.

“Aeroscrud” 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 25 years of the Stones third-rate career. Don’t “Start Up” Jagger it’s to 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 amphitheatre 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 Koran. 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.

Bruce Sprinsteen: My City of Ruins

Bruce: How Can the Poor Stand Such Times

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” ~ John Mason

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