Monthly Archives: September 2011

I Refuse to Compromise or Adapt

Maybe, you’ve seen that stupid bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” It is pretty easy to have a lot of things when you’re older as most things you buy when you’ve aged are going to outlive you. The things I love about getting older is realizing life isn’t about having things. Most of us as we age realize that and the proof is that we have garage sales to get rid of all those things we thought we had to have. What a real waste of money and time. We find that those” things” are just trappings that we spent too many hours at work to get. We could have served our family and community better by giving them more hours of our time instead of wasting it on the pursuit of “toys” we thought would make us happy. Sadly, like many things in life we only learn this in our later years. The best thing about aging is realizing  there is nothing left to learn the hard way.

The thing I don’t like about getting older is all the aches and pains. I’ve had to adapt to ease all of these pains. I have to be very careful of not injuring a knee I’ve had several surgeries on stemming from a bad car wreck. I use orthotics and buy shoes that have thick heals to help with painful heel spurs. I have to sleep with a pillow between my knees to ease a back injury caused from years of working  hard physical jobs. Truth is my back goes out more than I do. I can’t sleep on my right side as the bursitis in my right hip will act up. I get out of bed slowly with my eyes closed because I am afraid of having a relapse of vertigo. Before standing up after sleeping I do some neck exercises that help reset my balance so that the room won’t be spinning when I open my eyes. Before I stand, I slip on my shoes unlaced because if I walk even a few inches without my orthotics my heal spurs will stab me. I may sound like a wreck headed to the scrap heap but this wreck still has reasons to be scrappy.

 To complain about all my aches and pains is not my point. The point I want to make is that aging has shown me that I’ve had to make compromises and adapt for my physical well-being. While I’ve had to do that I refuse to make adaptions or compromises for my children’s future well-being. I’ve talked before about how my goal is a better planet for my two kids. The people, corporations and organizations that are in the way of that better planet don’t compromise or adapt. They are the ones who have declared war on the working-class in our country. You can ignore that war or like me decide to fight back. There will be no treaties I will sign as I know from history of the hundreds of treaties with Native Americans that were always violated by the powers that be. Native Americans still long for the days of BC: before Columbus, before Caucasians and before Custer.

I’m in for all or nothing as I won’t even accept a backup plan. Such back up plans give the inch that leads to the mile that will do us in. I am opposed to evil things like wars. I won’t accept back up plans called, “shock and awe” that will get the killing done quicker to supposedly end the war sooner. When corporations like Bechtel and Halliburton are making record profits from war do you think they want a peaceful planet? Do you think they care about how many of our sons and daughters die in war or their profits? These military suppliers have an endless weapons buffet that has been devouring our younger generations and our tax dollars for far too long. These war machine corporations own our “representatives” so there can be no political compromise or adapting to the amoral way they pedal death for profit.

We are also faced with corporate profiteers that want to rape ANWR and even our backyards with Marcellus Shale drilling. We are faced with people who want to rape our Earth and they have supporters everywhere. A local Earth rape supporter is, Warren Tribune Chronicle editor, Frank Robinson. Editor Robinson talked about, the highly respected very generous Wean Foundation and the MVOC (Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative) whose mission statement is “Our goal is to link neighborhoods to larger community initiatives; regional, state and national for the betterment of the Valley.” Robinson suggested these two organizations get together and promote Marcellus Shale drilling in local urban areas. The editor wants people to forget about all the dangers of this type of drilling and just let the corporations come in and start the raping and destruction that future generations will have to live with. People are talking about compromising by having overseers and inspectors keep an eye on the Marcellus Shale drillers. The energy companies have already bought our politicians and they would do the same with anyone involved in the inspection process. It’s 2011 and high time to get off the oil addiction and find safer more natural ways to provide energy. There can be no compromise on rape in society or for the rape of Mother Nature.

Robinson is a paid corporate tool but we don’t need to sell our souls and our children down the river for short-term greed. Yes, there are a lot of injustices in our world and a small group with money and power is fighting to keep things that way as they benefit by it. We also have the Native Americans to show us that compromising and adapting with the powers that be is a losing formula. I want a world free of suffering, exploitation, oppression, injustice and war. I want a world where man gives Mother Nature the respect she deserves by being her loving caretaker. I know all of this is possible and will not accept that it can’t happen. Along with all of my physical pains I have the gentle pain of hope that my children will inherit that better world. I don’t believe a parent could leave a more loving inheritance.

 Jimmy Cliff: Material World

Eddy Grant: War Party

As a child I understood how to give, I have forgotten this grace since I have become civilized.~ Luther Standing Bear

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Easy Cash for Tokens

I was talking with a teacher from one of Youngstown’s high schools the other evening. He’s a teacher, a poet and also has a landscaping business. His work ethic, caring and the fact that he is African-American make him an ideal role model to the African-American students that he teaches.  He was explaining how many of his students aren’t interested in education because they don’t see how it could lead to a good career. We’ve all been taught that the more education we have the better chance we have at getting a good job. It certainly sounds like common sense to most people.

I’m sure like me you’ve seen African-American students interviewed and heard them expressing how they want to be an athlete or a rap star. Like me I bet you shook your head at how slim their chances were to accomplish those careers. Something I saw recently makes me think they have a better chance of being that athlete or rapper than they have of getting a career that pays a livable wage. I ran across some interesting research about jobs. That study is called, “The Mark of a Criminal Record.” It is by Devah Pager, who won the Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association. This study showed how incarceration affects a person’s ability to get a job. Job applicants sent out matched resumes with the only differences being whether the candidate was white or black and a former felon or not, Prager found that black applicants get fewer interviews than white applicants. The most startling finding was that black non-offenders got less job interviews than whites with prior felony convictions. That statistic hit me hard and certainly proves that racism is far from over.

With this kind of racism so prevalent in our society and economy I will laugh in the face of anyone who says we don’t need affirmative action type programs. Conservatives continue to push the myth that people of color fail because of bad choices they made or because of supposed cultural or biological limitations. The truth is that the Republican Party has a proven record of helping African-Americans succeed. For those black students who wanted to be wealthy pro football or basketball players the GOP can help. For those black students who wanted singing careers the GOP has gigs waiting for you. Republicans will make you wealthy if you are willing to play ball with them on their court. As far as singing if you want to be the token black mistral singer at their conventions and Tea Party events you’ve got the job for life. You will no longer sing heart-felt soul music and you will be required to sell your heart and soul. Instead of working at some back-breaking job all you have to do is turn your back on your race and say negative things about them that will make conservative whites happy.

 The GOP wants to pretend it is a party of inclusion and wants to find more minorities to use as tokens. There are quite a few examples of blacks who have become spokesman for conservatism that have become successful by doing so.  Writer Thomas Sowell started out in his 20’s being a Marxist but found the pay was much better as a free market capitalist working for right-wing think tanks like the Hoover Institution. Sowell keeps the powers that be happy by attacking affirmative action and comparing Obama to Hitler.

Other sellouts are writers, Walter Williams and Jay Parker. Parker founded the Lincoln Review, a black journal which took a pro-South African apartheid stance. He also fought against the establishment of a MLK holiday. He hired Clarence Thomas to be on the Lincoln Review editorial advisory board. Parker and Thomas picked up pay checks for supporting apartheid and trashing affirmative action. This despite Thomas being a beneficiary of Yale’s affirmative-action policy, which offered opportunities to minority students. After graduating Thomas made speeches for the right-wing Heritage Foundation bashing such programs that help blacks.

 We even have some local examples of African-Americans who are getting ahead by bashing Obama, affirmative action and the Democratic Party. One such guy is Jeff from Canfield who was a frequent caller to all of the local shows on talk radio station WKBN. All those years of Jeff’s conservative comments have paid off. He has landed a co-host spot on Tracey & Friends, the “Urban Talk with Conservative Thought” Radio program on WSOM-AM 600, a Cumulus radio station. It airs from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays. Jeff thinks the answer to everything is to deregulate corporations and lower their taxes. I guess the fact that two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes isn’t enough for Jeff. In 2010 Wal-Mart made $200 billion in profit but still got $1 billion in corporate welfare from taxpayers. Jeff would rather give our tax dollars to the greedy while he bashes the needy. The show is hosted by Tracey Winbush. Traci is very unprofessional and keeps yelling caller’s names to interrupt them when she disagrees with them. Traci was at one time a member of the school board for one of Youngstown’s public schools. School board members like Tracey are part of the problem not the solution for problems in urban schools. That is because Tracey hates unions and believes in vouchers. With views like that on a school board is it any wonder our public schools face problems.

One of the “friends” who sometimes joins them is a white man who owns a business he refers to as the Gallery. I haven’t narrowed down where this business is but when I do I will boycott it because like Tracey and Jeff this guy hates unions and supports SB5. This crew spends their time trashing Democrats, Islam and calling President Obama a socialist. These folks like all black conservatives will tell you they are members of the party of Lincoln. The Republican Party was started in 1854 by abolitionists but today it is the party of Strom Thurman, Bull Connor and David Duke. African-American conservatives have a different color problem, they don’t care about blacks anymore, they just care about saying what conservative white men want to hear so they can get the green.

Some gains have been made to help African-Americans but as we can see by Devah Pager’s research more efforts need to be made to advance equal opportunities for all. I don’t think Democrats have done enough to help advance those equal opportunities. It’s easy to see that the GOP is not the highway to that equality but the roadblock that is hindering it. Right wing organizations are waging campaigns to destroy affirmative action and conservative politicians are using racism to further their agenda. Sadly, the lure of status and money has influenced some African-Americans to become Republicans. Stand up and have zero tolerance for any aspect of racism that you encounter and make an effort to change the hearts and minds of those around us. Speaking out is the only way we can bring about a day when our differences will no longer be used to divide us.

 Black Conservatives Smell Opportunity in the Tea Party.

Nas: I Can

Heaven

“The need of black conservatives to gain the respect of their white peers deeply shapes certain elements of their conservatism. In this regard, they simply want what most people want, to be judged by the quality of their skills, not by the color of their skin. But the black conservatives overlook the fact that affirmative action policies were political responses to the pervasive refusal of most white Americans to judge black Americans on that basis.” ~ Dr. Cornell West

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Punk Blogging

I’ve been think about how my boomer generation sold out to a large degree. Too many of the peace & love hippies & yippies became Wall Street type yuppies.  Even yippie, Jerry Rubin turned into a business man yuppie. Jerry went from believing in a peace and love revolution to stating that,”wealth creation was the real American revolution.” Jerry got involved in multi-level marketing of nutritional supplements. On November 14, 1994, he was hit by a car while jaywalking near his $5,000 per month LA penthouse apartment. Too many working-class people I knew sold out and became “Reagan Democrats.” Now some members of my generation have become Koch Brother controlled astroturf teabaggers. I was at the tail end of the hippies and related much more to the punk movement. Punk rock was about creating your own songs dealing with the issues in society. It was about not relying on big record labels but about creating your own label. It was about being a do it yourself culture. Think about it and you’ll see that is what the internet and blogging is all about! I encourage you to become punk bloggers and add your two cents about the issues in this crazy world. If the Luddite Elecpencil can do this I know you can.

Thinking about those folks in my past that I feel sold out I wrote this poem:

                                                                      No Pockets in a Shroud

I knew her back in the day.

The time when she was

a rebel with unlimited causes.

Her heart burned

like a spotlight,

with a beam dedicated

to love, beauty and justice.

She was an inspiration to all.

That quickly changed

after graduating college

as she became a top executive

who now spent 24/7

working on her success.

She drove a BMW

that in her college years

she would have stated

stood for, big money wasted.

She had a huge mansion

and traveled the world.

At her funeral service

statements were made about

her compassion, generosity,

dignity and sense of justice

that touched so many lives.

I noted how these comments

were all made by college friends

that knew her from the old days

before she became a do anything

to get ahead business woman.

The comments baffled all of her

business associates who couldn’t

speak well of her because she became

someone just a ruthless as them.

It’s funny no one made comments

about the things she has accumulated

or about all the money she had

or how very thin she was.

Her coffee and cigarette diet

led to the anorexia

that had killed her.

She just wanted to be perfect.

How sad that to all of us

that knew her decades ago

she already was.

 

R.I.P. Bill Morrissey (November 25, 1951 – July 23, 2011) a singer of the harsh realities of life.

Inside

23rd Street

As far as remembering 9/11 I agree with this Ted Rall article.

I’ll never forgive the idiots that made these 9/11 quotes:

“When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.” ~ Glenn Beck

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'”–Jerry Falwell, late televangelist (died in 2007)

“Thank God for 9/11. Thank God that, five years ago, the wrath of God was poured out upon this evil nation. America, land of the sodomite damned… The deadly events of 9/11 were direct outpourings of divine retribution, the immediate visitation of God’s wrath and vengeance and punishment for America’s horrendous sodomite sins.”–Fred Phelps, controversial pastor and head of Westboro Baptist Church

                                                  

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Soul Collectors

I was asking myself, “what the Hell is going on?” That is because both of the conservatives I correspond with were sending me tons of Islam hating e-mails. There were tasteless jokes, cartoons and rants about Muslim terrorist under every rock. These two were filling up my e-mail box with this bull shit for weeks. I did a little googling and found right-wing news services and blogs just full of this Islamaphobia crap. Spinning the dial on the AM radio I heard wacky radio hosts and their callers saying crazy things about Sharia Law. Surely something was afoot and I was glad to find others had noticed this propaganda campaign also.

The Center for American Progress smelled the heavy scent of this B.S. and did a six month-long investigation. They have now released a 130 page report and found that seven organizations are behind the anti-Muslim hate propaganda. These seven are a tightly networked group of right-wingers who have spent $42 million over the past decade to promote their racist agenda. The seven foundations who fund this propaganda are: Donors Capital Fund, Richard Mellon Scaife, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust, the Russell Berrie Foundation, the Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund, and the Fairbrook Foundation.

Remember when the media made fun of Hillary Clinton for her statement that a vast right-wing conspiracy was out to get her and Bill? It was no laughing matter but a fact. The conspiracy was named, “The Arkansas Project” and it had $2 million in funding from one of the seven conspirators above, Richard Mellon Scaife. The project was to find any dirty laundry that would end the presidency of Bill Clinton.

This video will show you how the hate talking points get to the media then to politicians to establish the lies.

This on the Sharia Law is coming to the USA myth. There are more citizens in our country originally from Mexico than citizens from all the Muslim countries put together. Should we therefore worry about Mexico Law taking over? Actually, I am in favor of making a one hour siesta during work hours a new law.

Let’s be honest about the bloody history of Christianity. We have no right to call Islam a terrorist religion. I sent this list of Christian atrocities to the two Islam bashing conservatives I correspond with. I reminded them that in chapter 2 of Mein Kampf, Hitler said: “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

The same type of conservative billionaires that are the money behind the Tea Party are the money behind the misinformation and propaganda against Muslims. The corporate owned media has collected some of that $42 million to spread Islamaphobia. Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have been making anti-Muslim statements along with many other republicans. I suspect they are getting some of that $42 million in campaign contributions. Herman Cain also serves as minister at a Baptist church in the Atlanta, Georgia where he lives. Ministers should be preaching love, peace and tolerance so Herman is the last man on Earth I would ever want as president. Then we have the middle class peons like the two conservatives that I correspond with. They may be the lowest of the low because they do the bidding of the seven hate groups for free because, like those groups, they are hate filled racists. Racism and hatred are an ugly thing but fueled by $42 million it becomes a deadly dragon that must be slayed.

I heard a talk radio caller going on about how we help the world when they have natural disasters but no one ever helps us. Such callers have a “we’re number one” cowboy mentality and never research if what they are saying  is true. Fact is, the United Arab Emirates provided $500,000 to schools in Joplin, Missouri for Apple laptops for every student. The computers were needed after a tornado devastated Joplin on May 22, 2011 killing 159 people.  After Katrina 151 foreign countries ponied up $854  million in cash plus $400 million in oil from Kuwait. This shows that the USA has many countries around the world including Islamic countries that will extend their friendship in our time of need.

I want that better world for my kids but I’m up against men who will sell their souls and even ones who are so brainwashed they will give their souls away. The “powers that be” include these seven organizations and are going to be hard to beat. That is because they have two deep pockets, one with unlimited funds and one to collect souls in. As for me I’m going to be that pocket of resistance. How about you? ~ In Labor Day Solidarity ~ the Elecpencil

Big Mountain: Love is the Only Way

Young Revolutionaries

“a pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once. But a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over.” ~ Joe Hill

In that vein I want to thank Mike Stout for the heart-felt music at the Farmer’s Market!


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