Monthly Archives: May 2011

Support Your Supporters

Around Ohio business owners are showing their support for public workers. They are doing this by joining an organization that is speaking out against Senate Bill 5, which would limit the collective bargaining power of public employees. The organization is called, “Proud Ohio Workers.” They have more than 530 small businesses as members through all of Ohio’s counties. Click here to see members in your county and thank these businesses by patronizing them.

I give props to WKBN talk radio’s host, Ron Verb for speaking out for the rights of public employees and opposing SB5. It’s not easy to do when his boss Dan Rivers is trashing public employees on his own morning show. The irony is that Ron is broadcasting from, O’Charley’s studios and has a lot of advertisers who contributed money to Gov. Kasich and the GOP politicians who support SB5. O’Charleys is owned by Sam Covelli who also owns Panera Bread. Sam and other Covelli family members donated almost $35,00 to Kasich and other Republicans like Rob Portman. While listening to Ron you will hear him do a live commercial with Mervyn Hollander who owns, Weather Tite Windows. Mervyn donated to the Republican National Committee. Another advertiser is grocery store owner, Henry Nemenz.  Nemenz donated  money to Kasich and Dewine. Nemenz owns nine Save-A-Lot stores and four IGAs. His son, Henry Jr., also owns and operates four Save-A-Lots in the region. Ron also does commercials for Thom Duma Fine Jewelery who donated $1,000 to Kasich’s campaign.

Here is an interesting list that will show who gave to who around the country.  If you type in the Youngstown area you will see business executive Bill Johnson gave more money to Republicans that anyone in the Youngstown area. The Republican candidate Bill gave the most to was himself.  He wrote check after check which helped him become U.S. Republican congressman in the 6th District. Bill was doing so much check writing, I’m surprised he had time to get out and campaign for votes. So far Bill is doing a bang up job of taking care of the privileged at the expense of the middle-class and poor which makes him a …………regular Republican.

From looking at the list of people who gave to Republican candidates I see two teachers, a substitute teacher and a steelworker. These are the kind of professions that are under attack by the GOP but some people do things against their own economic interests. Locally on the list is the owner and the chairman of AVI Foods who both donated to Kasich. I will now be boycotting the food in the AVI vending machines at work.  I will also boycott: Wendell August Forge, veterinarian Dr. Allen, O’Charley’s Restaurant, Panera Bread, Nemenz grocery stores, Weather Tite Windows, Summitville Tile, Coates Car Care, Salvatore’s Italian Grill  and Thom Duma’s Fine Jewlery.  I’ve been told by someone who is personally asking businessmen in the Trumbull County area that the owner of Salvator’s Italian Grill personally told him he supports SB5.

I’d say if you go to restaurants or any establishment, contractor, doctor, dentist, veterinarian, investor, insurance man etc. you need to ask them if they support SB5 before you do business with them.  I for one can’t afford to be a customer of Duma’s who is the only Rolex watch dealer in the area. Working class families can’t afford to be customers with any business that seeks to economically undermine us by supporting politicians that ignore working people’s interests. Here is a list of local businesses I will also be boycotting. I will use these lists as my own personal, “Angie’s List in Reverse” of businesses I won’t be doing business with.

I am a big supporter of buying local and supporting your community. Unfortunately, we have local businesses that don’t support working class families like yours and mine. On the other hand there are plenty of local businesses that earn your support. There are also businesses on the fence and to tear down those fences we have to speak up and let businesses know their customers are working class and that we can help one another. It’s all part of the solidarity that makes for good community or what the word means broken down………common unity.

Dan Bern: President

Talkin’ Tea Party Blues

Osama in Obama Land

The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles. ~ Plato

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We Are Guilty

I saw a story about the prices of used cars being at an all time high. I have noticed the value of  houses is at a low with the number of foreclosures being at an all time high. This all leads me to believe the idea that more and more people are buying used cars as their new abode, thus, driving the prices up. While I am making light of our economic woes I don’t find the economic class war we are in to be a laughing matter. I talked about this war in my last post. This time I want to address  how we have been guilty of surrendering to our oppressors. We have put our own shackles on and co-operated with  to those who want to destroy the working class people of this country.

We have become our own worst enemy and are doomed to lose the class war unless we change our ways. When I worked in the private sector I marched with over 100,000 other workers to send Pres. Reagan a message. The message was that workers were not going to stand for him breaking PATCO’s union by firing striking air traffic controllers. Where was the follow-up message to Reagan after that march?  Fellow USWA members voted for Reagan when he ran for a second term as president. They were NRA members who worried the democrats were going to take their guns. They were also Christian men who wanted to tell women what they could do with their bodies. They were people who claimed republicans represented their “family values.” It’s hard to have family values when your plant closes and you don’t have an income to provide for your family. I knew and still know working class people who either don’t vote or vote against their own economic interests. I know lots of people who think voting doesn’t matter. I don’t think you can still feel that way after looking at the current crop of conservative governors who are going after working class public sector workers.

Add to that mix, bad trade deals that helped send jobs to sweatshops overseas.  Our unions did us no good-by having us vote for a candidate for president with a D after his name instead of an R. He was still economically conservative and helped pass the Republican trade bills that destroyed American industrial jobs. These trade bills have not been stopped and instead have expanded to more and more countries. Where is a strong third-party like a labor party?

Other people who are the working class’s worst enemies are private sector workers who don’t support their public sector brother and sister workers. I spent over 28 years in the private sector and 25 of them were working under concessionary contracts that I had voted against. My fellow workers had told the bosses that we were over paid and that led to the series of give away contracts. They told the owners they were over paid by voting yes on a contract that set up a second tier for the next crop of workers hired. That vote essentially said, ” you should pay future workers less money for doing the same job we are doing.” Management, of course, then set about finding reasons to fire older workers and replace them with  younger ones who were going to work for less. After all, the older workers were at the age where they were starting to have some health care problems that could be costly to the company. Once you open that concessionary door, it never closes. So of course,  it became one give away contract after another until the doors closed for good. Many private sector workers are guilty of not voting, voting for conservatives and rolling over for every concession without putting up a fight. Today, this beaten up private sector wants to punish public sector workers like they punished themselves. I’ve seen working class private sector workers angry because public sector workers are fighting back against legislative bills that want to weaken public sector contracts.

Recently, I heard about a woman who is a public school employee who is for Ohio’s SB 5 that weakens public sector union negotiations. How damn dumb does she have to be? I note this is a woman who a few years ago went to the hospital with stomach pains. A few hours later she delivered a baby without ever realizing she was pregnant. She’s a perfect example of someone who is knitting with only one needle.

I remember watching the first President Bush in a debate and laughed at a comment he made. He said, that something like 20 or 30% of people who work in public schools had their kids in private schools. I though that such a huge percentage was ridiculous as that would make public school workers hypocrites who were cutting their own throats. Now I can tell you that after working in the public school sector for over a decade that Pres. George H. Bush was right on. Those who have their kids in private school while they pick up a check from public schools should be ashamed of themselves. They are just as dumb as a worker at a Chevrolet plant who drives a Ford and vice versa. Auto workers gets a discount on the cars of the manufacturer they work for. You shouldn’t even need a discount to buy the brand you work for. For goodness sakes workers have a little pride and loyalty.

Workers of course also have been guilty for years of buying foreign products over ones made in the USA. Cheaper foreign products are not really less costly when their cost is your fellow workers livelihood. I’ve talked about the following until I’m blue in the face but will address it until I am black in the face. Why in the world do you my fellow workers shop at places like WalMart and Sam’s Club? The family that owns them is anti-union, anti-environment, anti-human rights and is one of the biggest corporate welfare queens on the planet. Things are actually more expensive at these stores because of the hidden cost of tax payers subsidies. These stores are on the wrong side of every human rights issue and you condone that every time you spend a penny in them. What will it take for the working class to realize they are doing business with their enemies when they patronize these stores? Do they actually have to gang rape your Grandmother and steal her purse before you realize you’re dealing with the Devil?

It’s not only what we do to win the class war but also what we don’t do.  Keeping you wallet closed or buying from those who respect the working class is the best weapon in our arsenal. Voting on contracts that let others work next to you make less than you is the first nail in your coffin. Is gas, milk or bread any cheaper for those you feel can work for less? If you have surrendered without a fight don’t expect others to do the same. Their fight is your fight as we working class are all in it together. This is a class war not a civil war and I’m hoping for a quick victory so my children won’t have to fight it. Soldier on brothers and sisters.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trump got it right when he said, “Abandon candidates that abandoned labor.”

Carbon leaf: The War Was in Color

The Boxer

Life Less Ordinary

We have met the enemy and he is us. ~ Pogo

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The Needy and the Souless Greedy

  If, you even mention the class war you are called, a communist, a socialist or an anarchist. You are said to be someone who is full of greed and envy of those who are wealthy. I have never had a desire to be wealthy as my idea of paradise is not about having everything I could desire but about living in a world where everyone has everything they need. I hope I have taught my children that same philosophy. I am a class warrior but it’s not because of my greed. It’s because of the greed of others like the top 5 oil companies who collectively made $36 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

While they made these profits,  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proposed in his 2012 budget to continue the $40 billion in subsidies these companies get through the next decade. The oil companies have thanked the public for these taxpayer-funded subsidies by raising the price of gas by 30% in the past 12 months. This money for the oil companies would come from gutting $30 billion in Medicare. Ryan’s budget would also reduce projected spending on discretionary domestic programs — education, transportation and food safety. Conservatives want to wipe out the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Social Security and Medicare. They throw around the word “entitlement” like it means greed on the taxpayers part. When taxpayers have paid into these things, you better believe they are entitled to them. Conservatives don’t consider the $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the top five oil companies to be greedy entitlements. To them it is all-American capitalism not the corporate socialism that it really is.

It’s not just the greed of the oil companies, it’s also other corporations that exploit taxpayers for corporate welfare. WalMart for instance, claimed it needed  to build new retail outlets and distribution centers, 90% of these huge buildings were subsidized from the public purse. Meanwhile, WalMart had $19 million to pay its CEO Michael Duke. Duke makes $9,500 an hour so he earns more in two hours than a full-time WalMart employee makes in a whole year. The average CEO made 343 times more than the average American did last year. Do I dislike CEO’s because they make that much money? No, I dislike high paid CEO’s because studies show the more they are paid, the worse they treat their employees.

I also dislike most corporations because they are deadbeats as two-thirds of them pay no taxes. Then there is the fact that U.S. corporations have no loyalty to this country no matter how many laws the Supreme Court passes giving them the same rights as citizens. If we had a war that required a draft how could you draft a corporation? Truth is, U.S. corporations would be trying to sell products to our war-time enemies to make a buck. While we give corporate welfare to corporations, the United States has lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own over a third of all the wealth in the United States. They also own over 50% of the stocks and bonds. The poorest 50% collectively own 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States. A historic U.S. low happened last year when only 66.8% of American men had jobs. “Low income jobs” account for 41% of U.S. jobs. Currently, 20% of our children live in poverty. Here are 36 statistics you should know.

Given these statistics you’d think there would be a public outcry. Instead, we have middle-class conservative republicans calling talk radio defending corporations and the rich. These callers want to protect the rich from taxes as, they think some day they will join the rich. They can’t actually be stupid enough to think “trickle down economics” works. Fact is these callers are closer to being jobless and homeless than they are to ever being millionaires. Yet, they call and attack people on welfare and never mention how we spend many times that on corporate welfare. These callers don’t know there are three types of Republicans, billionaires, millionaires and suckers and the callers are……the suckers.

Some religious leaders like evangelical, Jim Wallis have said, state and federal budgets are moral documents. They feel these budgets should not reward the greedy on the backs of the needy. Conservatives say, Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget is moral because it tries to eliminate debt that our grandchildren will have to pay. The same conservatives fight to eliminate the EPA and safety and environmental regulations on corporations. How is making jobs more dangerous, polluting our air and water more a moral thing for our grandchildren’s future?

I guess I am a greedy class warrior because I think the burden for reducing our debt should be on the backs of the Wall Streeters and the bankers who forced our government to spend trillions averting a collapse, not on seniors, the middle-class and the needy.

The wealthy and the Republican congressmen they own want to cut $8.5 billion of low-income housing, but want to keep $8.4 billion for tax deductions on second vacation homes. I think that is all you need to know to realize who the greedy are.

Joe Nichols: The Shape I’m In

The Impossible

“In our country … one class of men makes war and leaves another to fight it out.” ~ William Tecumseh Sherman

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Birthers, Still-Birthers and After-Birthers

The Nazis asked, “Where are your papers?”
Now President Obama is being told,
to show his birth certificate.
The Klan did it with a rope,
now the corporate Koch brothers
are doing it with their Tea Party dopes.
Those that question where the president was born
have become known as “birthers.”
A Racist in 1960
equals a Birther in 2011.

The issue is not really about
the president’s birth certificate.
The issue is that now
a black man is president.
How can a non-white man
even be an American?
For a teabagger to accept
a black man as a citizen
they would have to check
the born on the plantation box
at their area voting booth.
It was a sad day for America
when President Obama felt he had
to show his birth certificate.
Birthers then screamed, “Damn facts
take them away they burn my eyes.”
Birthers then heard dueling banjos
and said, “Thank you, Mr. President
now show us the rest of your papers.”

The hard-core birthers became
after- birthers or still- birthers
who claimed the certificate was phony.
These extremists will never believe any proof
and move their “proof goalposts”
further and further to the right.
It’s a case of blaming the victim.
It becomes the responsibility of the victim
to refute all absurd charges,
not the responsibility of the accusers
to prove any of their claims.
“Facts,” the bithers ask.
“We don’t need no stinking facts.
We have scary talking points.
We have FOX NEWS who
never hired fact checkers.”

Republicans know  they need to Swiftboat Obama
because they can never win a presidential election
based on their accomplishments
or their corporate agenda platform.
They are the GOP.
Greed Over Principal Party.
They want to lead us to
a bigger brighter 1850.
Now Trump demands to see
all of Obama’s college grades
he feels it’s evidence he wants to comb over.
I demand to see Trump’s hairline,
as I suspect he has horns under it.
Sorry, Donald, you can’t be a GOP presidential candidate
as all the GOP contenders have to work at FOX.
Do we really want Trump, who filed bankruptcy four times,
to be at the head of America’s economy?

We had a vice-president
who couldn’t spell potato.
We had a president who was senile
and had his hand on the button,
and you birthers can’t accept a president
who graduated Magma Cum Laude from Harvard?
You want to burden this president
with wanting to know if he
ever ran with scissors as a kid.
President Obama is busy fixing the fuck ups
left by the Cheney Administration.
Hell, Reagan and GW couldn’t even show up for the job,
as they were constantly clearing brush at their ranches.
If birhers weren’t so full of racist hate they’d see
President Obama accomplished  the American Dream.

I feel sorry for the birthers and baggers in the “Tealiban,”
because mental illness is no laughing matter.
I blame their problems on Ronnie Reagan,
because he closed so many mental institutions.
I would ask you birhers if your
tin foil hat fits under your white hood.
Now, the Obama Administration has killed
terrorist Osama bin Laden.
The birthers have jumped the trax
and are demanding to see
photos of the dead terrorist leader.
If they are shown the pictures,
they will say it is bin Laden’s double.
The birthers have become “deathers.”
This Crazy Train will keep on running,
because it has an unlimited
source of fuel know as……racism.

WoodyGuth3: Thanks to the Right-Wing Conspiracy Nuts

Bruce Cockburn:Justice

Bruce Cockburn: Tried and Tested

“Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” ~ George Orwell

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