Monthly Archives: October 2011

Dirty Hippies and Horror at Occupy Youngstown

This is my 200th post!

What a terrible week. I was sick for a few days, my 90 year-old mother in-law fell and hurt herself, I had two cars with flat tires, problems with my house, computer problems and my 49 year-old cousin died. When it rains it pours and the Elecpencil is in need of an umbrella and a little cheering up. I decided that taking supplies and visiting Occupy Youngstown was just the rainbow after the rain I needed. I packed the car, got my sign and dug out my winter coat (couldn’t find my gloves) and I was off.

If you’ve been watching the corporate TV media and listening to their conservative talking heads (or in the case of Beck and Rush, crack heads) you’ve already been given the description of the kinds of people who are at these Occupy movements. They describe participants as dirty old hippies, the youth of today with their nose piercings and tattoos and smokers, jokers and midnight tokers. You’ve been told they are just a bunch of disgruntled people who have nothing better to do. As I attended today’s gathering I took a look around at the 50 folks gathered. I then realized the conservative media was accurate in their descriptions. There were a few hippies my age but they seemed pretty clean, I did see a young man with a nose ring, and one in dreadlocks, I saw an elderly midnight toker (wearing a NORML jacket), I saw one man wearing one of those damn stupid Guy Fawkes masks (see my past post “Occupy Youngstown on the Chamber’s Doorstep” for further explanation). I saw three middle-age folks dressed like Robin Hood, some jokers adding humor with funny coats and hats, a kid wearing all black and a black man wearing an Obama ball cap (which makes me ask….how’s that hope working for you?). The jokers and midnight tokers I have no problem with but what I don’t understand is the smokers. Smoking makes you a pawn of the vilest corporate bastards on the planet that want to kill you. Please, people in the Occupy movement put down the smokes as I need you alive to help make that better planet for my kids.

Other folks I saw at Occupy Youngstown were people holding signs and waving to passing motorists, a woman in a wheelchair, a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller, people dropping off  fire wood and an occupier busy sweeping the area and tidying up things. I also saw and heard people I thought had a little too much B.S., ones who were a little flaky, ones who were a little too full of themselves, ones who were too bossy, a young girl trying to act older bugged me, and one woman annoyed me because she wanted people to keep chanting parts of things that were said. On the other hand, I am getting a little old and cranky. I’m going to scowl at you if you ask  me to chant something, to sing along, to dance or tell me to smile. Who are all of the above people I’ve been talking about? They are our neighbors, our workmates, our relatives, acquaintances, our brothers and sister fellow Americans, they are us the 99%. Because the 99% includes so many people of various backgrounds we are going to have people we love, some we tolerate and some who the jury is still out on.  All together they are people who I am glad are committed to making this country better. These people at the Occupy movements are your representatives not those bought and paid for suits in Columbus or D.C. These people are disgruntled because they know as a nation we can do better and they’ve taken to the streets to point out we need to take care of Main Street not Wall Street.

Laugh hard when the media talks about dirty hippies being the only people at these occupy movements and tell them it was those dirty hippies that ended the Vietnam War. Well, the biggest boost to ending that war was when returning vets like John Kerry joined those dirty hippies. If you’ve been watching the alternative media you have seen how returning Gulf War veterans are joining these Occupy movements so it could be deja vu all over again.  A recent study from the Spectrum Group–an investment consulting firm found, “68 percent of millionaires (those with investments of $1 million or more) support raising taxes on those with $1 million or more in income. Also 61 percent of those with net worths of $5 million or more support the tax on million-plus earners.” Sounds to me like the Occupy movement has some new wealthy dirty hippies for allies!

Thanks so much to Robert Dennick Joki and the Rust Belt Theater actors who came to, Occupy Youngstown to Rockupy the protesters with songs from their production of, “The Rocky Horror Show.” Great job and much appreciated!

I heard a good point today that we all need to do. Take your money out of the bank and put it into a local credit union. The credit unions are owned by you the members. Mrs. E. and I have belonged to 717 Credit Union for decades and highly recommend them. Stop down at Occupy Youngstown and relive some of our brother and sisters who have been spending countless hours of service at the corner of Market and Federal Street in downtown Youngstown for all of us 99%ers.

Don’t believe the polls about Issue 2 being easily defeated see here. Get your butt to the voting booth and vote no on Issue 2 and 3.

Rocky Horror Show: Hot Patootie Bless My Soul

Time Warp

I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service. ~ John F. Kerry

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Rockin’ Occupy Youngstown

It’s Saturday! It’s the weekend and sitting here under a blanket typing is not what I had in mind for today. I wanted to be at Occupy Youngstown at 2 pm. That is when my favorite singer/songwriter Mike Stout will be playing music that matters. He writes the type of musical ideas that I wish I could convey with my poetry. It’s that right in your face-here’s the problem-what are we going to do about it message with no artsy fartsy horse crap special sauce included. Ever eat a crab cake that is 10% crab and 90% bread crumb filler? Well, Mike’s music is 100% the real meal deal. If there was any justice in the music industry singer/songwriters like Mike, who enlighten our souls and evolve our minds, would be platinum selling musicians. That is the kind of music that should be the meat that nourishes us. Instead the top sellers wear meat dresses, go by names like “Lady Gag Me” and sing technopop songs about getting high and dancing.

Well anyway, I was up most of the night feeling sick so I won’t be leaving the house today. I seldom miss work and if I get sick it tends to be on the weekend. It is just part of my damn luck. I will talk about that and my problem being an asshole magnet in a later post. I hope you are luckier than me and get down to Occupy Youngstown to see Mike and visit with our brothers and sisters who are keeping the vigil. Here are some needed things requested by the Occupy Youngstown troops: Sign material, foam board, sharpies, markers, very strong pieces of wood, PVC piping, etc. Overnight shift: Coffee, disposable cups, cold medicine, citrus fruits, high calorie foods, umbrellas, ponchos, bodies! tissues, etc. Day shift: PEOPLE, ponchos, high calorie foods, umbrellas, trash bags, etc. Food storage has become an issue and several plastic totes with lids to keep food dry are needed. They also could use canned, dry goods or raw ingredients.

I’ve heard some in the media comparing the Occupy movement to the Tea Party. I find that insulting as the real difference is that the Tea Party is only concerned with who is in the White House and the Occupy movement is concerned that fellow Americans are losing their houses. The Tea Party is a front for corporate interests like the Koch Brothers. They are corporate tools who have been easy to manipulate because of their own self-interests. The teabaggers follow the Republican ethic, “I got mine, to hell with everyone else.” Like most conservatives they actually believe they are self-made men. That ignores the fact that the recipe that made them included lots of help from other people, organizations, programs etc. throughout their lives. I imagine the obituary of these self-made men will read, he was killed in an accident while walking, he was hit by a motorboat.

The conservatives and the teabaggers like to trash democrats and those in the Occupying movement as being lazy people who think they deserve, “entitlements.” Getting something for nothing is really a conservative thing. We had to bail out their banks, companies, and investment firms because, “they were too big to fail.” That screams they were “entitled” to tax payer bailout money to save their asses. They won’t pay us back,  yet they rewarded the CEO’s that tanked those businesses and also used the bailout money to take expensive vacations. That is because the bailout money came with no stipulations. Sorry, that reads: big time something for nothing to me. The Walton family of Wal-Mart fame made over $15 billion in profit yet last year but still got $1 billion in corporate welfare from taxpayers. That is taking care of the greedy and not the needy so republicans approve of that. The teabaggers don’t want to pay benefits for teachers, city workers, police and firemen etc. When the baggers were younger someone paid for their education, their fire and police protection. It’s now their time to give back but they don’t want to pay for the next generation’s education and protection. That is them getting something for nothing. Then these greedy self-serving conservatives have the NERVE to talk about Occupy groups wanting something for nothing. The baggers are a “me-me-me movement” and Occupy is a “we movement.” Anything that would aid the poor and middle class is labeled by conservatives as an “entitlement. The things that benefit the rich are to be considered “a way of life” or “business as usual.”

The Tea party is willing to ruin the economy for their political agenda, and that political agenda is not in the interest of most Americans. The proof of how far they will go to destroy their fellow citizens is in the pudding and here is the pudding. That kind of pudding is too rich for my blood and makes my blood pressure rise. Add in that the GOP is not interested in any kind of jobs bill and “Houston we have a problem.” If you remember GOP leaders declared on the first day Obama was elected that their main goal was to make sure he didn’t get re-elected. These “representatives” are supposed to represent the people. The people had spoken and elected Obama as president but the GOP didn’t give a rat’s ass because everyone knows they represent the corporate interests not the people’s interests.

Occupy Youngstown enjoy some great rockin’ with Mike Stout and thanks for what you are doing! Love ya ~ the Elecpencil

Top ten media lies about Occupy Wall Street.

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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Occupy Youngstown on the Chamber’s Doorstep

I truly enjoyed attending, “Occupy Youngstown” today even if the weather was windy and cold. Our area’s lifetime activists Staughton and Alice Lynd spoke and were eloquent as usual. It’s also great to hear our younger generation like Lemon Grove owner Jacob Harver put truth to power.  The good-sized crowd’s age took in quite a few generations and that’s a great thing! A small contingent of Occupy Youngstown will remain downtown through Nov. 8, Election Day. I ran into a lot of really caring folks that I know. It was a mix of artists, poets, musicians, business owners, students, nurses, teachers, professors, lawyers, politicians, workers, veterans, and retirees. I also saw a man I know who was a white-collar worker at Delphi. He is one of the Delphi retirees that are fighting to get their stolen pensions. While our area had a lot of our born and bred flock move away, we have been lucky to have some great activists move here over the years and call our valley home. I’m talking about our adopted brothers and sisters like the Lynd’s, the Sextons, the Beiersdorfers, Rev. Ray, Dr. Russo and a lot of other YSU educators. I can’t begin to list all of our homegrown activists I’ve come to know and love! You know who you are. Thanks for all who came today as you gave me something to be very optimistic about.

One of the main points of these occupy events around the country is pointing out that it is time to put the interests and needs of Main Street before the greed of Wall Street. Getting people to vote no against SB5 was also pointed out to those in attendance. On the downside, I am getting tired of the pseudo-anarchists that attend such events. The anti-WTO events had young people in ski masks or bandanas hiding their faces always show up. I have concluded these are students who want to destroy property and not be recognized. That way they can still get their MBA’s and will be able to get that Wall Street job as they won’t have a criminal record. The latest trend at demonstrations is wearing Guy Fawkes masks from the movie, “V.” The film was based on Guy Fawkes but was historically very inaccurate. Fawkes was not an anarchist fighting against fascism as in the movie. Fawkes was a Catholic zealot turned terrorist who wanted to blow up the House of Lords in England and set up a Catholic controlled state with no parliament. To these would-be anarchists, I’d say trade the masks for a copy of “Civil Disobedience,” by Henry David Thoreau. This is the book that influenced Gandhi to promote nonviolent resistance. Along with the masks lose the black clothes and jackboots.

The Occupy Youngstown event was held near Market and Federal Streets in front of the bank office high-rise that includes the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber office. The location was picked to send a message to the chamber. Tom Humphries, president and CEO of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber got in hot water awhile back because he had the board vote on the endorsement of Ohio Senate Bill 5. The bill is 600 pages and limits collective bargaining rights for public employees. I don’t know why Humphries and the chambers endorsement came as a shock to so many people. Did anyone actually think organizations like the country’s Regional Chambers and groups like the National Association of Manufacturers were worker friendly let alone union friendly? The only shock of the chamber supporting SB5 was the fact someone from the chamber’s board leaked how the vote turned out. I’ve been told such votes at the chamber are very routine and that anyone who thought they stayed neutral on such things is foolish. Some members left the chamber after the public learned Humphries and board members supported SB5. I question whether those that left were angry at the chambers support of SB5 or the thought that their being members would hurt their business. I do know that one business that made a grandstand of quitting the chamber had donated money to Kasich and other Republican candidates over the years. I also wonder how many of those that left have unions at the businesses they own.

Tom Humphries might have been in the hot seat locally, but Gov. Kasich has rewarded Tom by putting his ass in a new throne. Kasich has appointed him to a seat on the new Local Government Innovation Council. “This new Local Government Innovation Program is going to give government and school officials some real resources to implement service sharing and efficient government initiatives that will save taxpayers money and provide for more effective government operations,” Humphries said. Can anyone say public sector job cuts? Do you think only the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber idiots support anti-worker initiatives and anti-union candidates? Here is what the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said after Kasich was elected, “We applaud Gov. John Kasich for proposing a two-year budget that, while difficult, is focused squarely on job creation and transforming government into a 21st century institution.” Would you like to know who belongs to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber? If so, see here.

We have a powerful weapon we can use against the corporations, organizations, think tanks and the wealthy that are buying our politicians. That is the weapon of mass destruction they fear most known as, “a closed wallet.” When I need the services of a plumber, dentist, doctor etc. I have access to information to make sure he will do the job I need him for in my best interest. If he is on lists like this that support candidates like Kasich, or anyone in the GOP for that matter, he doesn’t have my interests at heart. Put in a zip code and see who in your area you are doing business with that isn’t looking out for you and yours. In the Trumbull County area I can see that Sam Covelli owner of Panera Bread and O’Charley’s Restaurants gave money to Kasich and lots of other GOP candidates, so I won’t be doing business with his establishments. John Payiavlas the chairman of AVI Food Systems gave quite a bit of money to the Republican Party. He gave so much he had to increase the prices in his AVI food machines at my workplace. Even if the food was free I won’t be patronizing his machines. I’d like to tell them to their faces but as they live near the country club I don’t think we run in the same circles.

The Business Journal on Occupy Youngstown.

Photos

What some in the 1% are doing to undermine the Occupy Movement.

Marvin Gaye: Mercy Mercy Me

What’s Going On

Inner City Blues

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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American Autumn

There was a house sale a few decades back and it was purchased for a huge amount but the real owners got nothing. Fact is the real owners didn’t even want or know the house was for sale. That house sale was followed by the purchase of the senate and then another house sale, the White House. Since 1980 the White House has been owned by Wall Street corporate interests. In the 2000 presidential elections a fourth property owned by the people was purchased out from under them by corporations. That was the Supreme Court who stopped the democratic process of counting votes so their presidential candidate would win. That Supreme Court’s majority again rubbed our faces in who owned them when they ruled that corporations are considered people.

Sadly, unlike real people, corporations can’t be drafted, called to jury duty, or in the case of two-thirds of them, don’t have to pay taxes. Just because these corporations pay no taxes doesn’t mean that money doesn’t go into our economy. That money is used by Corporate America to hire lobbyists whose job it is to buy “our” elected officials. Corporations unlike people seem to be exempt from serving prison time for hijacking, abusing, assaulting and raping the economy of our country. They have done this by exporting jobs, having their lobby-bought politicians push bad trade agreements and just by being too damn big to fail. The real owners of those four properties are now suffering because of the corporate purchase of those properties.

Over the spring we cheered as Egypt and other Arab nations took to their streets to fight back against the greedy dictators who ran their countries. These were events that came to be called, “Arab Spring.” The dictators that run our country are the corporations who use their bought and paid for politicians to make rules that favor profits over people.  Americans have finally realized the economy favors Wall Street over Main Street and descended in droves to occupy the Wall Street area. This was the perfect place to make a statement as Wall Street is the piece of real estate that bought and paid for the four real estate properties that were set up by our founding fathers to represent “we the people” not the corporations.

After three weeks of occupation the corporate media could no longer ignore the demonstrations. Their news spin is dismissing the protestors as lazy, hippie deadbeats with no real agenda. If you really need to ask, why these people are occupying Wall Street, you are the problem. The demonstrators from Arab Spring couldn’t be fooled by the bull shit spin in our media. They recognized this new U.S. movement as a kin to their movement. They expressed this when citizens of Cairo, Egypt wired Wall Street area pizza shops money to send pizza to the Wall Street protestors. I think the best name for this U.S. movement should be, “American Autumn.”

Instead of fearing the future it is time to fight for it. This could be the start of that better future I want for my kids. If we don’t fight back now when will we? The fact that our citizens got their asses off the couch to march in the streets proves we are fed up, and newsflash here – it’s football season. Do you know how hard it is for Americans to get off their keisters and actually care about anything or anyone else during football season? This alone should scare the Hell out of the powers that be. We older people have to support the young protestors and insure their better future. To the politicians, we are tired of waiting for you to realize you represent us. The fact is, people elected with corporate money will never eliminate corporate influence. We no longer need you as we are going to do what we voted for you to do. We need to put so many people in our streets around the country that we become, “too big to fail.”

These demonstrations are taking place across our country. We have one happening in our valley you can attend. Occupy Youngstown is planning a large protest Saturday, October 15th downtown, Youngstown at noon where it will target banks, courts, corporations and Ohio Senate Bill 5. I hope to see you there. Look for the Elecpencil his sign will say, “Arab Spring/American Autumn 2011.” Now where did I put my poster board and paint…..

See you in the streets where we can sing a little Garland Jeffreys!

Garland Jeffreys: Wild in the Streets

The Answer

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. ~ Henry Ford

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Bigoted Conervatives Are the Terrorists

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned a study called, “The Mark of a Criminal Record” by Devah Pager. The study found that black non-offenders got less job interviews than whites with prior felony convictions. This was the case even though they had all other things being equal. I am all for felons who have served their sentence getting a job and being able to have a new chance at life. On the other hand I can’t believe an employer would trust a  white convicted felon more than an African-American who had never had a felony on their record. I think it is a powerful statement to show that racism is still with us. It’s not just racism that is evil but discrimination over religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, age etc.

A publisher actually got death threats for showing Islam in a positive light. I keep hearing conservatives say that Muslim leaders and Muslim organizations have not spoken out against terrorism.  Have they bothered to do any research? They haven’t because they don’t want to know the truth. They would rather have their bigoted views than the truth. Here is a list of tons of Muslims who have spoken against terrorism. I hope it makes conservatives melt like the wicked witch in OZ. These conservatives full of hate and bigotry are terrorists. How crazy of an intolerant nation are we becoming? Sometimes our youth can show us the way! Here is the story of teenagers who took on the fight against bullies picking on a girl for her disability.

Here is a couple of poems I have written about bigotry:

No Time for Bigotry

I am generally stupid enough to say
publicly just what I’m thinking privately.
Especially when confronted
with bigotry or racism.
No I’m not gay just because I defend
gays or the recognition of gay marriage.
I’m not being self-righteous
if I call you on your bigotry.
I just strongly feel that
silence = agreement.
I won’t buy your bull shit argument that
everyone’s to politically correct these days.
I’m just going to tell you that
what you said is really racist
and that you shouldn’t say it
where people with brains can hear you.

Poetic Justice

 Mick, wop, dago, spick,
nigger, chink, wet back,
squaw, gook, zipper head,
rag head, Jew bastard.
Pretty vile terms for most
but Betty’s daily language.
She just needed someone
to blame for her failures.
Her racist language and hate
drove away a husband
and her daughter Anna
refused to let
the grandkids
near her anymore.
Anna had barely survived
growing up in such
a racist household
she certainly wasn’t going to expose
her children to such verbal poisons.
Being consumed with so much hate
took its toll on Betty’s health.
One’s brain and heart eventually fail
when force-feed so many toxins.
Betty’s family wanted no part of her so
she ended up in a county nursing home.
The irony is now the only ones
who daily care for her
are a black nurse
named Helen who
changes her bed pan
and wipes her ass
and a Hispanic nurse
named, Lupita who does
the same on afternoon turn.
 
Dan Seals: We Are One

Bordertown

Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught.  I have a two-year-old son.  You know what he hates?  Naps!  End of list.  ~Dennis Leary

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