Monthly Archives: April 2011

Racy Entertainment, Cheap SOB’s and a Kenyan Prince

The Elecpencil doesn’t always want to talk about doom and gloom. I’d like to bring a smile or laugh your way. There is some new racy entertainment in town. It is a peep show you can catch at your local Walgreens. It seems you can go there and watch women get pap smears and breast exams. It must be true; I heard it said the other morning on “Fox and Friends”. In an attempt to disparage Planned Parenthood, one of the hosts of “Fox & Friends,” Gretchen Carlson suggested that women who need pap smears and breast exams could just get them at Walgreens. Walgreens issued a statement clarifying that its stores do not offer such services… but “Fox & Friends” hasn’t retracted the lie.  Sorry, I guess your peep show fun is not a real story. Who knew that they lie over at Fox News.

I enjoy watching “Fox and Friends” in the morning because the three hosts are the Three Stooges of news. Sadly, they think they’re  serious journalist.  “Saturday Night Live” finally realized how funny they are and did a skit about them. See it here. “Fox and Friends” is a great place to get misinformation. The “Fair and Balanced” reporting of FOX NEWS. You are not allowed to be a dissenter unless you are  a Teabaager according to Fox News.

Governor Kasich visited Mac Trailer Manufacturing in Salem, Ohio. The plant, produces dump, flatbed and transfer trailers in both Salem and Alliance. Kasich praised Michael A. Conny, the president of the company, which employs 550 workers and is seeking to hire 100 more. Kasich is quick to jump on the fact someone is hiring 100 people when he has cut 57,000 state jobs. Kasich talked about, how at MAC Trailer, the workers pay 25% of their health care compared to places like Summitville Tile where the employees pay 40%. I laughed when I heard the comment about Summitville Tile employees paying 40% and wondered why Kasich would mention them. Summitville Tile is owned by the Johnson Brothers who are big in the Mahoning County GOP, the GOP headquarters is attached to their tile store. I’m told one of the brothers is proprietor of the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton, Ohio. The Spread Eagle is a big Republican meeting place and hosts fundraisers with guests like scumbag, Karl Rove.  I find it ironic Kasich used  the Johnson Brothers to show that, when it comes to providing health care to their employees, the brothers are some real tight bastards. I’d pretty much say, they are spread eagleing their employees. I’ve heard one of the brothers call local radio talk shows and bash union workers. I believe in supporting local businesses but I wouldn’t enter his business if he was giving tile away.

I will talk about how sad I am about Obama feeling he had to release his birth certificate next post. For now I offer this funny comment attributed to Madisonhack. I saw it on Huffington Post and I’ll address it to all the crazy birthers:

“I am a Kenyan prince, and I have Barak Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate, but I need your help to get it out of the country. Just give me your bank account number and I will open a safe deposit box at your bank in your name. I will then have the birth certificat­e that proves that Barak Obama was born here placed in your safe deposit box. There will be no need to repay me for this service, as I will be rewarded simply by knowing that you will do the right thing with this certificat­e and take back your country. If you should happen to notice any large amounts of money missing from your accounts, do not be alarmed, they will be returned in no time. Just go about your business of saving your country and the monies will reappear shortly. Really, they will. Stop looking at the balance. I said stop looking, the money will be there lickety split. That is unless Obama took it. Yeah, that’s it, he’s on to us. Hurry, get the birth certificat­e out of your box. Don’t let them tell you there is no box, it is a lie.”

I put music on this site to better your life. Damn it,  use it! Check out the following:

The Mountain Goats: This Year

also: Cotton

and: Dance Music

Come on, tell me you aren’t dancing!

Apathy is the glove in which evil slips its hand. ~ Anonymous


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Women Should be Paid Less

If a man and a woman are doing the same job, the woman should make less money. If any worker is going to be promoted, it should be the man, instead of the woman. The Elecpencil works with mostly women. I see how hard they work so I disagree with my two beginning sentences. The funny thing is most of the women in the building where I work say women should make less and that a man should be promoted before a woman. They say this not with their voices but with their actions.

You’ve probably heard that the Supreme Court will be hearing the Wal-Mart V. Dukes case and deciding whether it can go forward as a class action suit or have to be individual cases. It is the largest class-action lawsuit in the history of the United States. More than 1.6 million women who are current and former Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates claim that the largest retailer in the world systematically discriminated against women. These women have a tough case being up against Wal-Mart’s money. Not only that, but also the fact that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s son, Eugene Scalia, is a partner at Gibson Dunn, the law firm representing Wal-Mart in the case. If we lived in a fair world, Justice Scalia would excuse himself from the case because of conflict of interest. Because his honor is not a man of honor,  he sat on the case as a judge. A decision on the case is not expected until June.

Yes, these 1.6 million women are in for the fight of their lives to gain equal pay (and equal promotions) for equal work. They are doing this for all of our nation’s women. As I said, women I work with and women you know have taken actions that convey what Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club did to these women means nothing. They do this on a daily basis when they enter a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club store.  Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are on the wrong side of every social justice issue and that should be enough reason not to shop there. The fact that they discriminate against women employees; you would think would keep women from shopping at either store. I’ve tried to tell this to every female I’ve known in the last decade. Their response is something like this, “But Sam’s Club has 3 lbs. of bananas for $1.48.” I answer, ‘Well, locally owned Rulli Brother’s has bananas for $.29 lb. which works out to $.87 for three pounds which is $.61 cheaper.  On top of that Rulli’s didn’t charge you from $40-$100 for a membership.

I’ve had women tell me it’s exciting walking around in that huge Sam’s Club with so many items to look at. They all tell me that they are shocked at how much they end up spending at the checkout. That is due to all those impulse item buys. I’m told Sam’s offers huge sizes of products. Tell me the truth, when you buy a 3 lb. jar of dill pickles, don’t you end up throwing out half of it in a few weeks anyway?

So, I don’t really need to hear from women about how men are keeping them down. Women have become their own worst enemy. They’re more than happy to set the clock back on women’s rights all for a double fudge chocolate cake with butter cream frosting from Sam’s or some $39.88 PajamaJeans (as seen on TV) at Wal-Mart. I believe if Judas were alive today he’d spend his thirty pieces of silver at Sam’s or Wal-Mart. In the end Judas hung himself, which is what women who shop at Sam’s and Wal-Mart are doing.

Soon after Judas hung himself Jesus was crucified which is why Christians celebrate Easter. If it’s your holiday, Happy Easter. Please tell me you didn’t get your Easter ham from Sam’s or Wal-Mart.

Support the women in Wal-Mart v. Dukes here.

Fighting for the women of Wal-Mart

The Walton Family that owns Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart shareholder resolutions ignored

The price of Consumerism

Why should a company like Wal-Mart – who made $10 billion last year alone – be able to force taxpayers to foot the bill for their health-care costs? ~ John Sweeney

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Tune in at the Lemon Grove

Some great musicians are coming to our valley that you need to check out. First is, Pittsburgh singer/songwriter Mike Stout. Mike is one of my favorite musicians because Mike’s music gets to the meat of what the working-class struggle in the world is about. Mike offers solutions to inspire solidarity, he’s called, “the world’s grievance man” for good reason. Scott Mervis, music critic of the Pittsburgh Gazette, wrote “There are a lot of guys out there who pass themselves off as blue-collar rockers, but Mike Stout is unquestionably the real thing.” Come and hear him and see if he doesn’t speak for you.

Mike will also be joined by the, Electric Junkyard Gamelan from New York. It’s all part of a May Day celebration. May Day is known world-wide as the historic day we celebrate International Worker’s Day! Two of my favorite people, Staughton and Alice Lynd from, Niles OH. who are life long activists will be guest speakers. They will be joined by Sherry Linkon and John Russo of the YSU Center for Working Class Studies. It’s all happening Sunday, May 1, 2011 at the Lemon Grove Cafe 122 W Federal St. Youngstown, OH. It starts at 5:00 PM and is an all ages show. The Lemon Grove is a real cultural asset to Youngstown so, bring the family have dinner and celebrate workers!

May 15, will also see another talented musician at the Lemon Grove. I’m talking about, Jann Klose a citizen of the world, he’s lived on three continents, making his home in the melting pot that is New York City. Jann’s music has been featured on the GRAMMY-nominated album, HEALTHY FOOD FOR THOUGHT, MTV’s Cribs and  the soundtrack to the Paul Sorvino film Dead Broke (Warner Bros). Time Out New York writes, “Jann Klose writes warm, hooky pop music.” The Advance Wire Service states: “The first thing that’s totally unmistakable about Jann Klose is that voice – which is just light years beyond that of the typical singer-songwriter … a sound that is classy, distinctive and often irresistible.” The Elecpencil has seen him sing and I can guarantee you’ll be impressed. Jann Klose will be performing at the Lemon Grove Cafe in downtown Youngstown, 122 Federal Plaza West, on Sunday, May 15, at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $10, and available in advance at numerous locations. They can be charged by phone by calling 330-544-1946. For more information contact concert organizer Paul Unger, 330-219-0016

April is poetry month so here is one of my favorite poems. It’s by Peter Maurin who along with Dorothy Day founded, the Catholic Worker Movement.

Better Or Better Off

The world would be better off,
if people tried
to become better.
And people would
become better
if they stopped trying
to be better off.

For when everybody tries
to become better off,
nobody is better off.
But when everybody tries
to become better,
everybody is better off.
Everybody would be rich
if nobody tried
to be richer.

And nobody would be poor
if everybody tried
to be the poorest.
And everybody would be
what he ought to be
if everybody tried to be
what he wants
the other fellow to be.

Mike Stout: We Need a Revolution Now

Mike Stout: Homestead

Jann Klose: Black Box

Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit! ~ Mother Jones

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Fixing Elections, Lousy Jobs and Traitors

I’d love to write about something other than politics. The problem is that the better world I want for my kids is under attack. The working-class in this country has been under attack by snipers firing away at our rights for decades. They have now declared full-out war on us. This enemy is made up of the corporations, wealthy and the Judas politicians they have bought for thirty pieces of silver. My fellow working-class brothers and sisters, we can easily defeat them because we have the sheer numbers of people on our side. We also have the ammunition the corporations most fear if used in the right way. That ammunition is our dollars, those dollars can be used to create a genocide on corporations if they are kept in our pockets and not spent on corporate goods.

Things in the news just this week show you how the middle-class is  in a war zone and under attack. Maybe you’ve heard the Joseph Stalin quote, “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” Truth is no one is sure Stalin ever made such a quote. One thing we do know about voting in the U.S. is that Republicans are more likely to vote than Democrats. There are fewer Republican voters than Democrats so the fewer Democrats that come to vote the more likely it is that Republicans will win. Given this, Republicans like to come up with ways to trick Democrats to keep them from voting. This week in Trumbull County, Ohio we saw the evidence of the latest way to limit votes in this strong Democratic area.

Trumbull County Board of Elections member Craig Bonar is proposing a huge reduction in the number of polling places. Polling places in Warren would be reduced from 55 to 25. They have already been cut in the last two years from 274 to 238 throughout the county. If Bonar’s proposal passes, polling places will drop over the last two years from 274 to 146 for a 47% reduction. Less polling places in Trumbull County means more wins for the Republicans. This is because with less polling places we will have longer lines, which tends to make voters leave. Fellow board member Kathi Creed says she will vote for Bonar’s proposal. What do Bonar and Creed have in common? Bonar was the former chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party and Creed is the current chairman of the Trumbull County Republican party. These two Republicans on the Trumbull County Board of Elections serve with two Democrats.  In the event of a 2-2 tie on this proposal the tie breaker is Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican and former speaker of the House of Representatives. How do you suppose Husted will vote? You know the proposal is a terrible idea for working-class people because the Warren Tribune Chronicle’s editor, Frank Robinson has endorsed it.

In my last post I thanked the businesses that dropped out of the Regional Chamber after it’s president supported S.B. 5, the Ohio bill to destroy public sector union bargaining. This week saw, Timothy Ryan, president of Ryan Alternative Staffing Inc., Boardman, send a letter to the chamber and the local media stating his support for the Chamber. He stated he has renewed his company’s chamber membership. Ryan talked about the decline of the Mahoning Valley. He stated, ” it is apparent to me that this entire Chamber/S.B. 5 controversy is a further attempt to distract the population from their [political and organized labor] own failed records of the past 35 years. Honestly, are we better off as a community than we were in 1977 or 1990 or even 2005? I don’t think anyone can honestly answer yes to that question.”

Ryan is right that we are in worse shape now than in the past. That is because  what we now have are area businesses like his that don’t pay a livable wage, don’t have pensions or health care. I’m sure that if any of you union workers that Ryan hates so much go on strike he will be happy to provide your employer with a scab labor force. Sorry Ryan, you are the problem not the solution as we don’t need any more nickel and dime part-time  jobs.

We need all of the working-class people, private and public sector, to be united in solidarity. That is tough to do in the “Dog eat dog” economy that the corporate powers have established. We’re always going to have to deal with some short sided greedy types and some Judas’s amongst us. Connie Ash is one such Judas. Connie sent Ohio Gov. Kasich this e-mail, “I am very upset with the OEA.  I am a classified employee at a local school system and received a letter today to inform the membership that the OEA Assembly is going to assess each member $50 to fight against SB5. I am a fiscal conservative and belong to the Tea Party. I am appalled that the OEA feels they can (commandeer) funds from my pay check without my approval. I have had to sit by and watch my hard earned money fund the left for years and now another blow to me. I support SB5 and understand we need to turn around Ohio if we are to succeed. I would urge you to make Ohio a “right to work” state so I can get out of this union and continue on feeding the socialist programs the left endorse. I am also contacting an attorney to see if there is any hope of stopping the OEA from using my pay check as a personal checkbook for their agenda. Thanks for listening and stand tough, we need you in Ohio.”

I’ll gladly pay the $50 and consider it the best money I ever spent. Connie doesn’t have to be a union member all she has to do is pay a fair share fee. She is just one more ill-informed Teabagger that  doesn’t realize it is the unions and activists on the left that have fought to make sure she receives a decent wage, health care and a pension. If she were in a right to work state she’d be struggling to make ends meet. If I believed in swearing, I’d call Connie a dick head. I will instead refer to her as a Richard Cranium. I see Connie is a classified worker in a school setting. I am hoping she is in an office somewhere. I really wouldn’t want her to be a classroom assistant where her brain-dead thinking would come into contact with children. If my children were in a room with a teacher or assistant that was a Teabagger, I’d get my kids out of such a room. Connie’s corporate controlled Teabagger zombie mentality goes against every moral and ethical value I’ve tried to teach my children. Fellow workers we are under attack and we have to watch our backs as the Connie Benedict Arnold Ash’s are among us. The last thing Ohio needs is Connie and Kasich. You two love birds should move to Arizona, you could be gods there.

Walter Trout: They Call Us the Working-Class

Coco Montoyo: Last Dirty Deal

“The seed of Revolution is repression.” ~ Woodrow Wilson





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Regional Horror Chamber

I really love watching the History Channel. I just saw a show on it about Apache leader, Geronimo. The show mentioned that the U.S. Calvary was sent to return him and his band of braves to a reservation. It was stated, Geronimo would never have been capture if the calvary wouldn’t have had a secret weapon. They employed his fellow Apaches as scouts to track him down. Taking the scouts off the reservation and giving them some money and letting them wear a uniform was all it took to get them to hunt down their fellow Native American. Once Geronimo was captured these Judas scouts were of course no longer needed and returned to the reservation. Some tribes of Native Americans fought for the French and some for the British during the French and Indian War. After that tribes were again divided with some fighting for the British and some for the colonialists. Hindsight of course shows the Native Americans should have all united and chased the white man from these shores. Sadly, they got caught up by the divide and conquer strategy of the powers that be.

The same strategy is in effect today by the corporate powers in their war on the middle-class and poor. The Apache Judas’s of today are the Teabaggers who are bought and paid for to bring down their fellow working-class brothers and sisters. Private sector workers are also being manipulated to attack public sector workers. The private sector is being told their tax dollars are going to greedy over paid public sector workers. Never mind that the taxpayers have had to bail out corporations, banks and Wall Street. The corporations, banks and Wall Street want you to forget about that fact. They want you to forget that even though they failed their CEO’s got huge bonuses. Wall Street has created a spin to take the heat off of them. They are pointing a finger at city workers patching and plowing Main Street and telling taxpayers these workers are their enemy.

I’m assuming you’ve heard about the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber backing SB5 the Ohio bill that destroys collective-bargaining rights for Ohio’s public workers. I want to talk about some of the local players who are helping to fight this bill and fight the local “Regional Horror Chamber.”

Locally, I want to thank Bishop Murray for coming out against Ohio Senate Bill 5. I want to thank Roger Jones Chairman of  Fireline Inc for his decision to leave the Regional Chamber over the chamber’s support of  Senate Bill 5 that would strip bargaining rights from unions. I’ve met Roger a few times and found him to be kind and conscientious.

Roger spoke at a rally along with some others. One of the others was USW (United Steel Worker) District 1 Sub-District Director Gary Steinbeck. I have no kind words for Gary as he has cost me lots of money and part of my pension. You see, Gary was the union negotiator at the barrel plant I worked at for 28 years. Gary delivered us nothing but concessionary contracts. I know the industry was hurting but I swear Gary would have let us vote on a blank contact to be filled in later by management.  He must have walked into negotiations and said to the company, “What do you need, I’ll get it.” Our last contract was so ugly that it was voted down by two-thirds of our employees. Gary decided we were going to take the contact anyway. I filed labor board charges about the lack of democracy. I lost the case only to learn that the USW like many unions has the power to overturn the employees vote because the union is the official bargaining agent. I’m the most pro-union guy you’ll meet but I don’t need a union that won’t support its members vote.  Gary did us no favor as the plant closed down shortly thereafter and we walked away with four years of stolen pensions and other issues. Now that I’m in the public sector Gary wants to try to help me? No thanks, Gary my family can’t afford your type of help. When it comes to working-class issues Gary Steinbeck is no John Steinbeck.

I also want to thank, Turning Technologies who withdrew its chamber membership. Their CEO Mike Broderick also resigned his position from the chamber’s Board of Directors. Thanks also to, the Mocha House, with restaurants in Warren and Boardman, who have resigned their Chamber membership due to the Chamber’s position on SB5.  Mocha House owners stated they have family members, friends and customers that are affected by SB5.

Either a millionaire or one of their Teabbager stooges posted this comment on “It looks like the Democrats are upset about SB 5 passing. I guess they will be losing campaign donations now. After all the unions won’t have the extra money to give. Too BAD!!!!!!!!!!”

To the unions I say, “Spend every dime you can supporting politicians that have voted against SB5, or for politicians that will be opposing incumbents who voted for the bill. Ask your members to contribute what they can also.”  This bill only passed in the Ohio House by nine votes and in the Ohio Senate by one vote.  The number one candidate that needs to be defeated is Sen. Shannon Jones (R-Clearcreek Twp.) who was the sponsor of SB5. A few more years and it’s goodbye Jones and goodbye Kasich. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s hope that over the next few years Kasich doesn’t take us so far back into the Stone Age that we look at Arizona and Mississippi as progressive states.

For a Regional Chamber members list.

The Richest Family in America is on Welfare.

Rev. Peyton’s Big Band: Everything is Raising but the Wages

WalMart Killed the Country Store

If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re gonna get selfish, ignorant leaders. ~ George Carlin



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