Monthly Archives: November 2011

Holiday Déjà Vu

First off there is an event happening Nov. 30, 2011 that you need to attend. It is called, “Fracking A State of Emergency.” For more info click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is hardly over and we are being besieged by Christmas ads. Given that I’m going to drag out a Christmas poem early that I wrote a decade ago.

Holiday Déjà Vu

It starts before Thanksgiving

those articles in the newspaper

on what to cook with left-over turkey.

Turkey ala-king, pot pies, burritos.

why not something new like:

a bowl of turkey jello or

turkey and stuffing smoothies?

Why don’t they just say buy a

god damn smaller turkey.

Then I wouldn’t have to see

all those redundant articles.

Next comes Christmas.

Ready for Christmas’s religious service

I sit down to read the daily newspaper

and of course, there’s an article

on how Christmas is too commercial.

It says, Christmas has become

the largest annual economic stimulus

for many countries in the world.

The story is squeezed in between

a Christmas sales ad and

an article on the hottest toys to buy.

I contemplate the question

of Christmas commercialization

sitting at my Thomasville dining room table,

drinking my Carnation instant hot chocolate

complete with Kraft marshmallows

from my Correll peach garland pattern mug.

I spill some on my Geoffrey Benne necktie.

I toss it in my Kenmore washer and

add some Tide extra strength.

I turn on my Toshiba stereo TV and

ease into my Lazy Boy recliner.

I set it to full tilt and

view the 27″ screen between

my black Dexter wingtips

they are so old they

were made in the USA.

I eat a Fiestaware bowl of

Nabisco Shredded Wheat

with slices of Dole bananas in it.

My Timex watch says it’s time to go.

I get my tie out of the Maytag dryer

and put on my Botany 500 sport coat.

I get into my green Ford Taurus

with my wife in her Columbia ski jacket

and leave my Ryan built home.

I brush off all the ideas of Christmas

being too commercial

as I enter church to celebrate

the real meaning of Christmas.

For the rest of you…..

Merry McChristmas and

a happy K-Mart New Year.

Mary Chapin Carpenter: Thanksgiving Song

Native American Thanksgiving Song: Stole My land

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.  ~Edward Sandford Martin

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Shout, Bullshit

If you are ever wondering about how to vote on an issue or candidate I have a perfect solution for you. Pick up a copy of the Warren Tribune Chronicle and see who or what Editor Frank Robinson endorses. Then if you vote the opposite way 99 out of a 100 times you will have voted the right way. I was happy to see Issue 2 fail but saddened to see Issue 3 pass. As far as Issue 1 I had someone (didn’t get permission to use his name) talk me into voting yes. He made me realize that voting against the issue was age discrimination. I realized most of the people I really admire for their wisdom are over age 70. My own father just retired and sold his business at age 82. He was quite mentally capable of  continuing to work except he was really suffering with arthritis. I had a young girl tell me she voted no because she felt old people need to retire so young people can find jobs. I have a son who finished college and moved to Vermont to look for a job so I understand her reasoning. Yet, discrimination is discrimination and I can’t live with that. I had a great time discussing the three issues at a meeting of the Midwest Spirituality Center at the Lemon Grove the night before elections. A great bunch of folks who have a monthly meeting at the Lemon Grove that you should check out. Since I’m trying to promote them I’m calling on them to update their web page with their latest current events.

Ohio State Representative Bob Hagan said with the Issue 2 defeat we had sent a message to the GOP. I’d say with the passing of Issue 3 we backed the GOP. When Issue 2 (SB5) was being pushed by the GOP, Hagan said, “I’m not mad at the tea party for being so loud; I’m mad at everyone for being so quiet.” I for one am pissed at the teabagger Kock-suckers because 48 hours after Issue 2 was defeated by more than 20 points, the Tea Party vowed to put a right-to-work type, anti-union bill on next year’s ballot. If you look at right-to-work states like Mississippi, you’ll see they are our poorest states and have the lowest wages in the USA. A recent poll showed sixty-one percent say wealth disparity is at an all-time worst. Sixty percent want the federal government to reduce the disparity. Guess the teabaggers don’t get it.

In one aspect I think Gov. Kasich has to be happy about Issue 2 failing. The fact is that the unions spent so much money to defeat Issue 2  Kasich realizes that its money the unions won’t have to use against his re-election. Then again money that was spent supporting Issue 2 is money that won’t be around to aid Kasich in a re-election bid. The unions could have saved the money and used my idea to defeat Issue 2. My idea was that since I am paid by the public sector the unions should use my sad assed paycheck or my W 2’s to gain sympathy for defeating Issue 2. My annual wage is a few thousand dollars under the Federal Poverty Level and that bastard Gov. Kasich wants me to work for less. My family is very lucky that Mrs. E also works. The unions could have saved millions and I’m sure people would have felt sorry for the Elecpencil and passed the hat. The Elecpencil has always been allergic to money but has never had any danger of breaking out in a rash from having any. I do realize I am wealthy because I have two children that have turned out to be fine young adults that make me proud. It may not be the kind of wealth you can spend but it is the kind of wealth that makes for a better future for all of us. You can take that to the bank.

My last three contracts have all been concessionary; setting up a second tier, doubling co-pays, doubling what I pay for my monthly healthcare and the latest one adding a three-year wage freeze to that. My fellow workers had nothing else to lose so if Issue 2 passed it would have been moot in our case. My union, the NEA, has thrown in the towel for the last three contracts. I work with people in education whose jobs hinge on school levies passing. Yet, because these union members have taken wage freezes and cuts they have to cut back on expenses. Many of those workers vote against school levies to save money. If the school levies keep failing do they think they will gain any wages or benefits in future contracts? Aren’t you really just cutting your own throat? The powers that be use their mouth pieces like Warren Tribune Editor Frank Robinson to speak against school levies because they want to privatize public education. Sorry, Frank but I don’t care how poorly I’m paid I will still vote for school levies, fire levies etc. that benefit my community. If I need to cut back I’ll quit buying your rag of a newspaper.

Other valley unions aren’t faring any better than mine. The UAW at GM’s Lordstown’s plant has two tiers and Delphi has three tiers and barely stopped a fourth a few years ago. These aren’t unions they are what the late Labor historian, Marty Glaberman called, “cops for the boss.” On Nov.11, 2011 in, Warren, Ohio local 717 of IUE voted down a proposed contract agreement with Delphi Packard Electric. Karen Krolopp said, “‘It’s quite disappointing, but the contract went down.’ She also said,”Considering the times and the economic times we are in, we thought it was a fair contract, but it didn’t address their expectations.” What Karen said is exactly what you would expect someone in management to say. Sadly, Karen is not a manager she is president of IUE-CWA 717. Many of  local 717’s members wanted improvements for those on the third tier. The pact didn’t provide health care for third tier workers, some of whom began working in mid-2008 as the company was reorganizing in bankruptcy. They started at $10.50 an hour with few benefits.

The powers that be have planted the idea that has people saying, “How dare a union or working people fight for anything.” The effectiveness of that planted idea is that “cops for the boss” like Krolopp chastise their rank and file members for putting up a fight. Hopefully, the Occupy movement welcomes rank and file union workers who join them and keeps out the union “leaders” who are in bed with company management. Union “representatives” like Krolopp no more represent workers than our political “representatives” represent the 99%. It doesn’t matter how weak and in bed with the companies our unions get, we will still have goofs call local talk radio and say, “Our area unions are too powerful in this valley and that is why businesses won’t locate here.” These calls to the radio show must be very expensive as these fools are living on another planet. As I’ve said before it must be hard to dial a phone while in a straight jacket. Dear beings from another planet, please tell me who this powerful union is because I want to join it.

Another part of the Occupy movement needs to be about getting facts out to people to paint a clear picture of what needs to be fixed in this country. The corporate owned media will combat that with misinformation. That means people are going to have to fight back by shouting, “bullshit” when they smell it. We are daily confronted by lies in editorials, letters to the editor, talk radio, television etc. Don’t just let bullshit sit, speak up and tell others so they don’t step in it. This kind of bullshit comes from hate and greed and is meant to fertilize even more hate and greed. Turn on your bullshit detectors and warn others when you whiff these deadly toxins.

Retired Philadelphia Police Captain arrested at Occupy NY protest. Captain Ray Lewis said, “All the cops are just workers for the one percent, and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited.”

Fifteen Tea party freshman take in $3.5 million from 700 different PAC’s in first nine months in D.C.

Time to rediscover the late great, Fred Neil: “That’s the Bag I’m In”

The Water is Wide

Achoo! … Sorry, I’m allergic to bullshit.~ Del Spooner (Will Smith), I, Robot

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Deadly Bumper Stickers

‘”Holy crap” I exclaimed as I stood on my car’s brake. I wondered if I could stop soon enough to avoid rear ending the PT Cruiser. It abruptly relocated itself in my right turn lane without so much as a turn signal. I hadn’t had the experience of testing my new cars brakes in an emergency. When I say new car I mean the recently acquired 2000 Buick with 100,000 miles is new to me. The second owner had told me the car had all new brakes. I was about to happily learn she hadn’t lied. I was contemplating how I had just taken 10,000 future miles of rubber off my four mismatched tires. Next, the car’s front-end rose and the back-end lowered returning the Buick to its normal ride height (or 100,000 mile tired springs height). It wasn’t until then that I breathed a sigh of relief at avoiding an accident. As I looked directly ahead something really stupid was in my line of sight. It would remain so for the next few miles until my failed assassin exited the highway. What I’m talking about is a bumper sticker that was on the back window of the PT Cruiser. It read, “I’m keeping my gun, my money and my liberty you can keep the change.” It was a clear shot at Obama’s campaign that talked about change.

Being someone who believes in peace, I had not thrown MR. PT Cruiser the finger, blown the horn or shouted at him. I had not even contemplated sticking my size 12 EEEE Dexter Boots (you can tell they are old as they were made in the USA) up his ass. Though, now that I saw his bumper sticker I would have liked to have given him a piece of my mind. I would have said, “Obama has made no move to take your gun and no president has. You have just bought the NRA lies to help sell their memberships. Obama has not taken your money as he has not raised taxes. In fact he gave you the biggest middle-class tax cut in history. As far as liberty what the heck liberty has Obama taken from you?” Of course a conversation with my would-be assassin Mr. PT Cruiser would have been a waste of my time as conservatives like him hate facts.

Mr. PT should learn it is not President Obama who is taking our liberty away. The fact is that we are losing our liberties like freedom of speech because of conservatives like Mr. PT. On Tuesday (one day before my experience with Mr. PT) I learned how expressing your freedom of speech could get you killed. Before I went to the Pig Iron Press second Tuesday open poetry reading in downtown Youngstown, I visited the Occupy Youngstown outpost. A woman (I told her I wouldn’t use her name) that has been spending considerable time there joined us for our poetry reading. I really enjoyed her poetry but was disturbed by an event she told us about that had happened the night before. She has decorated her car with messages about the Occupy movement and other liberal type comments. She was driving in her car with her nine year-old son, on the way to visit her daughter who had moved into a new place. A man in a truck tried to intimidate her by following her inches off her bumper for ten miles. He would not pass her but stayed on her bumper. He had bounced off the curb a few times and she thought he might be drunk. She was terrified and called ahead to tell her daughter what was happening. She had her daughter get a camera ready. As she entered the area where her daughter lived, she was afraid to go right to the daughter’s place. She drove through a field and the truck followed her. She almost hit a tool shed and finally backed up and rammed his truck a few times. He got out of the truck to check the damage and she sped to her daughter’s. The man in the truck stopped in front of the daughter’s house. The woman was not able to get the truck’s license plate numbers but snapped a photo of the man which she took to the police.

Telling us this story I could see the fear and tears in her eyes. She asked, “Do you think it was because of the slogans I had on my car?” We all agreed it probably was. She then stated, “I think I’d better remove them.” I’ll be damned if I would remove them from my car as no one is going to take away my freedom of expression. On the other hand if it was a car Mrs. E. was driving I’d do like this woman and remove the slogans.

This is not the first time I have heard of someone terrorized over a bumper sticker. I remember a few years back when there was a debate about stopping hunting in the Cuyahoga Forest. An elderly woman had a bumper sticker supporting efforts to stop hunting in the forest. She was followed by a hunter in his truck who severely beat her. I’m saying these folks on the right tend to be more dangerous than ones on the left and a bumper sticker can get you killed. Over 25,000 accidents including 370 deaths were recorded in the U.S. just because of road rage caused from bumper stickers. Driving can be frustrating because of traffic jams, poor driving skills, and inconsiderate motorists. Add in a bumper sticker that rubs someone already enraged and you have the recipe for road rage. I feel those on the right are more inclined to become enraged because of a bumper sticker. I see bumper stickers trashing choice, gays, liberals, climate change, immigrants, health care etc. Those of us on the left feel that these folks are entitled to have these opinions. If I had bumper stickers promoting, pro-choice, atheism, anti-guns and anti-hunting how long would it be before me or my vehicle was damaged or shot full of holes? Having such a bumper sticker would make me suicidal as I’d be inviting, “Suicide by right-wing extremists.” I’ve actually seen a bumper sticker that read, “You are behind an angry religious right-wing extremist.” I guess that was my fair warning.

Awhile back commentators on the right were outraged that Homeland Security warned about right-wing extremists in our country. A short time later a right-wing extremist killed Dr.Tillis who was a director of a clinic in Wichita, Women’s Health Care Services, who provided abortions. Dr.Tillis was gunned down while he was in church. FOX NEWS right-wing commentator Bill O’Reilly had called him “Tiller the Baby Killer” in 28 episodes of his show. After Dr. Tiller’s assassination Southern Baptist minister Wiley Drake said, “I am glad that he is dead.” Since 1993, nine people who worked in U.S. abortion clinics have been murdered. Nine people have been injured, including a woman who was widowed in the same attack, and a nurse who was maimed and lost an eye. There have also been 17 attempted murders. Add in the mass murder of 69 people and 60 injured by a right-wing racist in Norway and you can see we are dealing with a dangerous element when we on the left choose to use our first amendment right of free speech. A conservative American blogger praised the Oslo Norway shooter. See here.

The Mr. PT Cruisers on the right can express themselves without the fear of folks on the left because we respect the rights our forefathers gave us. So Mr. PT (Pawn Teabagger? Propaganda Trash?) it isn’t President Obama taking away people’s liberty it is your right-wing terrorist friends. Also, please turn off the right-wing hate radio stuff and the media joke that is FOX NEWS and spend that time learning how to drive.

Killing Dr. tiller wasn’t enough as anti-abortion foes are now after his colleague.

Steel Pulse: No More Weapons

Bootstraps

The Framers of the Constitution knew that free speech is the friend of change and revolution. But they also knew that it is always the deadliest enemy of tyranny. ~ Hugo Black

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Here’s Your F*#*ing Mission Statement

I am tired of idiots asking, “What does the Occupy movement want?” I am one who hates mission statements with a passion. I have been a member of more than one new organization that never got off the ground as founding members could not agree on a mission statement. To me a mission statement is just taking direct action towards what you want to accomplish. I’m not about to get a committee together to address how to save a drowning man. The Occupy movement is so grassroots and large it can’t have a mission statement. If it ever starts to have a definite mission statement I won’t be interested in it as that will tell me it has been co-opted by politicians and bureaucrats.

The only guy who really needs a mission statement is Rip Van Winkle. For God’s sake take a look around at how screwed up our country is and understand people want all the shit that is f#&+!d up to end. Don’t politicians and economists ever learn from their mistakes? The movement is being told we have no answers. The answer is simple; let’s not keep doing what doesn’t work. Taxes on the rich have been cut over and over and NEVER leads to increased investment, economic growth or prosperity for anyone but the 1%. Meanwhile, services erode, costs are shifted to the middle class, and the money supply tightens. Anyone who even suggests more “trickle down economics” should immediately be put in a straight jacket. Right before trickle down economics was started, in the 1980’s, the U.S. was the #1 Exporting country in the world, the #1 Product manufacturing country in the world and the #1 Financial lender in the world. After 30 years of trickle down “Reaganomics” the U.S. is near the bottom of exporting and manufacturing and is now the #1 money borrower in the world! Trade agreements like, NAFTA and GATT have ruined this country. Yet, our idiotic “representatives” have passed more and more of these agreements. The vast majority of Americans want these trade agreement abolished yet they are expanded.  Are you congressmen and senators all a bunch of deaf f#*ks? Quit doing what doesn’t work it seems pretty damn simple to me.

Our present pack of GOP cockroaches has so much hatred of President Obama that they would rather see the 99%ers all in the poor house before they pass a jobs bill or any other bill that would help the people they are supposed to be representing. To them I say, “Get over it you morons the majority of the electorate voted for President Obama, he wasn’t put in power by the Supreme Court like the last sorry ass president.” I’m sorry GOP, but making the 1% richer, exporting jobs, cutting social welfare while increasing corporate welfare, weakening the EPA, lowering safety standards, cutting funding for ACORN and Planned Parenthood, and turning our country into one big oil spill is not a jobs bill. Those are a corporate wish list that you have been granting for too damn long.  The salary that taxpayers pay you is a perfect example of what wasteful government spending really is. While you have not been earning your pay from taxpayers you have done a first class job for the 1% that owns you.

A recent report by the Citizens for Tax Justice looked at 280 companies, all of them members of the Fortune 500, and found that “while the federal corporate tax code requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in the study paid less than half that. They also noted, 30 of those companies averaged less than a zero tax bill in the last three years, 78 had at least one no-tax year.“These 280 corporations received a total of nearly $224 billion in tax subsidies,” said Robert McIntyre, Director at Citizens for Tax Justice and the report’s lead author. “This is wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs and cut the deficit.” Financial services received the largest share of all federal tax subsidies over the last three years. More than half the tax subsidies for companies in the study went to four industries: financial services, utilities, telecommunications, and oil, gas & pipelines. Any guess to which four industries donate the most to politicians? If Corporations are “people”, why aren’t they taxed like we are?

The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto. It passed 396-9. Eight democrats voted ‘no,’ as did Republican Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan. The Bill, introduced by Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia, who called the motto “an integral part of United States society since its founding” and recognizes God “as the source of our rights.” Forbes does not know his history as it was not a part of our founding and didn’t come into being until 1956. Amash argued, “The fear that unless ‘In God We Trust’ is displayed throughout the government, Americans will somehow lose their faith in God is a dim view of the profound religious convictions many citizens have.” He continued, “Trying to score political points with unnecessary resolutions should not be Congress’s priority.” I agree with Congressman Amash but I think Representative Forbes bill illustrated something that is really needed…….term limits. We need jobs and these imbeciles are busy passing this kind of B.S. legislation.

The Constitution has language stating there shall be no religious test to hold office. This “In God We Trust Bill” was a religious test.  The nine voting against it have provided ammo for anyone who wants to run against them. These nine will be painted as being as anti-Christian, which makes them victims of the religious test the Founding fathers sougth to exclude. These high and mighty Christians like, Rep. Forbes aren’t really interested in honoring God. That is because they worship at the altar of sacred cows like the NRA, corporations, Wall Street and the 1%. If the GOP was honest they’d change the motto to, “In God’s name we steal from the poor and give to the rich.” Another one could be, “In God’s name we go to war and send the poor to make the rich even richer.”

This 99% in this country are like a continually battered wife. We have been afraid to defend ourselves and let the husband (the 1%) batter us because he controls the money. We kept thinking the battering would stop but it didn’t. With the solidarity of the Occupy movement we have quit being afraid and are striking back. It’s the only way we can end the cycle of violence on the poor and middle class and is long overdue.  To aid in helping end the battering start by voting no on Issue 2 and Issue 3 in Ohio.

 Liz Warren takes on an obnoxious “tealibaner” who tries to shout her down then cowardly flees instead of listening to her  answer. The guys a real “Kochroach.”

Corporations get tax breaks.

Singer/songwriter Jann Klose is coming to the Lemon Grove! Friday Nov. 11 at 7 PM. He is touring to support his critically acclaimed CD “Reverie.” I’ve heard Jann play and he has an incredible voice and some great songs. Get your tickets in advance at Record Connection in Niles. Charge by phone: 330 219-0016. Online at www.surfthevalley.com  for more info:noisyfans@gmail.com

Jann Klose: Doing Time

Jann: Black Box

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought. ~Simon Cameron US financier & politician (1799 – 1889).

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