Monthly Archives: January 2012

Anger, Lies and Masochists

First off I want to ask you to sign a card thanking Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords here. Giffords is known as a Blue Dog (moderate) Democrat. Only a subhuman monster would speak ill of Giffords who was severally wounded by a crazed gunman in an attack in Tucson, Arizona.  Such a monster is one of Giffords’ constituents  former Marine, George Morris. Morris is a wounded survivor of the attack but his wife was among the six killed. Norris hated Giffords and considered her a liberal. He came to confront her at the town-hall meeting. His hatred one could say cost him his wife of 54 years. Morris says, “Giffords makes me want to vomit.” In the days after the shooting, Morris, a self-described “ultra conservative,” refused an invitation to have President Barack Obama visit him in his hospital room. Truth is I couldn’t be in politics because I don’t have enough diplomacy to want to represent such hate filled angry constituents like, George Morris. I truly admire Giffords because it couldn’t have been easy to represent Arizona which is full of hate-filled politics. Love and best wishes to Gabby and I hope Mr. Morris can find some peace to unharden his heart and soul.

I want to acknowledge that I have made a mistake (my record is one every other decade). In a previous post I talked about a local radio show on WSOM AM 600 called, ‘Tracey and Friends.” I was not mistaken that Tracey and friends, Jeff, Ben and Sticks are the most ill-informed B.S. shoveling goofs to ever be on the radio. My mistake was when I said that Sticks was a white woman who was a dimwit spreader of lies. It turns out that Sticks is a white man who is a dimwit spreader of lies. If you have heard Sticks on the radio I’m sure you also thought that he was a she. I turned on the show the other day while I was at lunch. They should have a warning on WSOM that you should not eat while listening to, “Tracey and Friends.” Mr. E almost choked on a bite of his PB&J sandwich (a staple in my lowly income range). My almost demise was because I was stunned by the ignorance of one of Stick’s comments. Mr. Sticks said, “If Obama (he will never say, President Obama) wanted to get his agenda through he had two years to when he enjoyed a filibuster-proof democrat house and senate majority.” The actual amount of time the Democrats held a filibuster-proof majority was about 14 weeks. Sticks lies more than an Italian cruise ship captain.

On the same show I heard Tracey say this, “People are calling me an Uncle Tom because I am a Republican conservative black woman.” I want to point out to Tracey that a woman cannot be an uncle other than that I would agree with what people are saying about her. Sticks and Tracey went on to explain that it was Republicans not Democrats that helped fight for civil rights. They pointed out that Dixiecrats were democrats that fought against blacks having civil rights. The truth is that Dixiecrats were a right-wing conservative splinter group of the Democratic Party that were for states’ rights and objected to civil rights programs. The Dixiecrats defected from the Democrat Party when President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and became Republicans because they were more accepting of segregationist policies. The point isn’t so much of whether Democrats or Republicans in 1964 helped passed the Civil Rights Act. The fact is it was more people with liberal ideology than conservative ideology who fought to get the Civil Rights Act passed. That is what conservatives like Sticks, Ben, Jeff and Tracey need to know.

I have mentioned how I correspond with a conservative I call, RT. He keeps sending me hate-filled pieces attacking President Obama, liberals and democrats. I take less than one minute to fact check what RT has sent me and over and over I send him facts that show what he sent is a lie. RT refuses to fact check anything so over and over I prove him a liar. He doesn’t seem to care that I have beaten him up with facts so I have concluded that he is masochistic. RT just sent me a stupid piece entitled, “The Tax System Explained in Beer” by David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics. My first thought was why doesn’t it say where Kamerschen is a professor? In less than a minute of research I find this from Dr. Kamerschen’s web site: “Contrary to Internet folklore, Dr. Kamerschen is NOT the author of “Tax Cuts: A Simple Lesson in Economics” or “Bar Stool Economics” or anything similar to that. Additionally, he does NOT know who wrote it and he has no opinion on its merits.”

What did RT say when I corrected him? Nothing. Instead he sent me a story about a man shopping in Wal-Mart who got angry because two people he took to be welfare recipients were talking about their “Obama phones.” The man in Wal-Mart was angry his tax dollars were going to fund welfare recipient’s cell phones. My first thought is if you are the type who doesn’t like having your tax dollars used to help someone with something you think they don’t need why are you shopping at Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart is the biggest welfare queen on the planet having received more than $1.2 billion in corporate welfare taxpayer dollars. I guess conservative say, billions in taxpayer dollars for the greedy but zero in taxpayer dollars for the needy. I call that, “Trickle down Jesus Red State Christianity.” Anyway, I took a minute to fact check the idea of, taxpayer-funded “Obama phones.” The taxpayers pay nothing for these phones  for the poor as can be seen here. I have of course sent the facts to my masochistic conservative “friend” RT who has plenty of angry white man hate (but not near as much as George Morris) but is too lazy to do his own fact checking. I’m sure I won’t get any more fact less B.S. from him until……………..tomorrow.

The GOP’s racial politics video.

Mike Stout: Occupy the Song

Mike Stout: at Occupy Youngstown

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself.” ~Harry Truman


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Talk Radio Jihad on the Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2012 Ohio’s new minimum wage, increased 30 cents more per hour to $7.70. Minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.85 per hour plus tips. If minimum wage followed inflation, the current federal minimum wage should be more than $8 per hour. The Youngstown Vindicator featured a story on how some local businesses are saying such a large wage will drive them out of business. I made a note of these businesses complaining about paying the minimum wage and they are businesses I will be avoiding. To these employers’ minimum wage means, I’d pay you less but it’s against the law. A recent study has shown that minimum wage increases have not led to job losses.

I wrote the following poem several years ago on the minimum wage and updated it with the current minimum wage rate:

TALK RADIO JIHAD

Leaving work, I turn on my car radio only to hear the last few minutes of the Mush Windbag Show.

Mush; “The Congress should vote against the minimum wage increase, it’s already high, whatever it is. They should give more tax breaks and incentives to businesses and keep workers from getting minimum wage increases.”

Caller; “Ditto Mush on the minimum wage it’s already too high…whatever it is. I also agree with you about the environment. Environmentalist are commies, green on the outside and red on the inside.”

Mush; “Yes, trees are not beautiful until you cut them down and make something from them. Goodbye ditto heads, be ever vigilant and tune in tomorrow.”

I yell at the radio, “I guess God had in mind big picnic tables when he made the giant sequoia trees. Yes, keep tuning in ditto head lemmings until prophet Mush tells you when to drink the Kool-Aid.” We need national health care to get these callers mental help. It must be very hard to dial the telephone in a straight jacket.

The news comes on to say protestors at a Buchanan fundraiser called Pat, David Duke without the sheet. Pat Buchanan’s sister Bay says, “I hate David Duke, he steals all of Pat’s ideas.”

Next on the radio comes a local show with the host Don Dangling Participle

Don; “Now the government wants to regulate wages. The minimum wage is too high already…whatever it is. We don’t need government intervention. Let’s go to the phone lines. Callers what’s wrong with America?”

Don hits line one: Caller; “Big Government”

Ok, line 2: “Big government”

Line 3: “Big government”

Line 4:  “Big government, big government, big government”

Don; “Caller turn down your radio when you call.”

Next line caller; “Hi Don, Juliet here, long time listener, first time caller. I was struck by a hit and run driver in a BMW last winter as I waited for a bus. I’m in a wheel chair for life and my husband has become an invalid also.”

Don; “Yeah, you old battle-axe, so what?”

Caller; “Well we worked at minimum wage jobs and have no savings and are having a hard time making ends meet. I turned on the radio to hear you arguing against a minimum wage increase. Why over the years have you gotten meaner and meaner to working people?”

Don; “Listen Lady I got married a few years ago and had an instant family. My wife wanted a big wedding ring, a big new house, a new car, and a $1500 dryer one of my sponsors sells and a $1000 sweeper another sponsor sells. Hell lady, my life’s been super sized in a short period of time. I had to get a 2nd career running a grass cutting business. I don’t like minimum wage increases because it will mean I’ve got to pay my employees more. Got it battle-axe?”

Don; “next caller: Big government bad.”

Next; “Hey Don I can’t talk long, I’ve got to get to my post office box to pick up my Social Security check and forward a government college grant check to my son that came to my house by mistake then stop for a check up at the Vet’s hospital.”

Don; “Yeah, so what did you want to say?”

Caller; “Just that big government is bad.”

Now for a commercial: Hello from Right Wing Wacko Books.com. Check out this great new book, “Benefits Bah Humbug” by Silas Marner. Learn how to keep your workforce from obtaining healthcare, vacations and how to keep your sweatshop free of OSHA and EPA regulations. “Benefits Bah Humbug” with a forward by conservative union buster, the Gipper. Order one today.

The next program was an investment show.

“Hi, I’m Rob Grinch, host of Who Says You Can’t Take It with You, Sew Pockets in your Shroud.” First off; “Big government is bad, they’re trying to raise the minimum wage which is far too high…whatever it presently is.”

On to the first caller: “Rob I agree the minimum wage is too high…whatever that figure is. Now my problem, I make $635,000 a year, my wife $510,000. We’ve got a $985,000 house paid off, $3.5 million in 401ks, 1.8 million in bonds plus I just inherited 6 million.”

Rob; “What’s your question?”

Caller; “I need your help because, it’s free. Should I spend money for snow tires this winter or can my wife get by with her BMW’s all season tires? Last winter she slid off the road and thought maybe she hit something so she’s concerned about snow tires this year.”

Rob; “What the bleep, bleep, call the auto talk show you bleep. I’m a certified investor.”

Next caller; “Hi Rob, I’m Romeo. I just turned on the show and I don’t know your topic but I need help. I broke my spine on my job as a manual loader of anvils and I have no insurance or healthcare and a wife and 2 kids and a $15,000 house to pay off.”

Rob; “Did you sock away any money?”

Caller; “Not making minimum wage I didn’t.”

Rob; “What’s that pay?”

Caller; “$7.70 an hour.”

Rob; “Far too much, I knew it. Make your wife work.”

Caller; “She’s in a wheelchair, last winter a hit and run driver in a BMW hit her, jumping the curb while she waited for a bus. She has doctor bills over $300,000. What can I do?”

Rob; “I’ve got one word for you, cyanide. Sayonara until tomorrow listeners.”

Next came the therapist show,

“Hi, I’m Dr. Whora Slutfinger and I’m my kid’s mom.” I’m thinking that’s her way of talking about herself 3 times in one sentence.

Her first caller: “Dr. Whora, my husband has a permanent spine injury and can’t work. I am also an invalid since I was hit by a BMW hit and run driver last winter. We’ve got two kids to feed, no income or health care and 100’s of thousands of dollars in medical bills. We’re so stressed out we don’t know what to do.”

Dr. Whora: “How old are you kids?”

Caller: “3 and 5.”

Dr.: “You didn’t stay home with your kids? You worked?”

Caller: “Yes, my husband and I only had minimum wage jobs.”

Dr.: “You should have stayed home with your kids, you shameless bitch. I’m sure God is punishing you for working. You and your shack up honey probably have tons of cash saved since you both worked minimum wage jobs which pay way too much…whatever that figure is.”

Next up was a news break with Saul Harve.

“Hello, Saul Harve here with the rest of the story.

Page 1: A Romeo & Juliet love story. With Romeo suffering from a spine injury he somehow gets the crazy idea to end it all with cyanide.

Page 2: Juliet finds his lifeless body, pulls her wheelchair next to him and takes the rest of the cyanide. Her small children find her muttering, “Shack up honey, shameless bitch, God is punishing me” as she dies in their arms.

Page 3: It is your announcer’s view they ended their lives because they were depressed with their human condition. You see they both had minimum wage jobs and therefore must have been living the life of luxury. Living a decadent, debauched life discovering all their fabulous wealth could not bring them happiness.

Page 4: Yes, the lesson we have to learn is that minimum wage is already too high…whatever it is. Good day.

 

B.K. Anderson: The Minimum Wage

Bus Boys: Minimum Wage

“A higher minimum wage makes good long-term business sense. We already pay well above the current Maryland minimum wage because it’s right for our business and our people. It helps increase employee retention and productivity, which gives us a dedicated workforce that helps our business prosper. An increased minimum wage would not hurt small businesses. Rather, increasing the Maryland minimum wage will boost our regional economy by giving a much-needed raise to the many people most likely to spend it at local small businesses. – John Shepley, Co-Owner of Emory Knoll Farms Inc., Maryland

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Signs of the Times

I was happy to run into my buddy Joe Two-Pack about a month ago. Joe back in the 1970’s was better known as Joe Six-Pack. After decades of concessions that happened to workers like him in the industrial sector he is now down to Joe Two-Pack. Joe spent 28 years at a factory that has now closed.  The place had several owners over that time and so now Joe is left with stolen pension years and a puny 401K fund a few of the owners set up. These employers paid in 1% of Joe’s pay (which was barely two digits an hr.) so it wasn’t much money. If Joe and his fellow worker put in at least 15% of their pay these owners would have put in another 1%. Needless to say none of the workers could pay to contribute especially since they were paying a good amount of their health care costs.

I bought Joe a cup of Joe and we sat down to talk. Joe was a proud man and the same day the plant closed he stopped at the Employment Office. Joe had never been laid off or collected unemployment but had paid into the system all those years. He wasn’t at the office asking for any “entitlements” just a job. Joe had a background in quality control but that field is as outdated a skill as hat blocking. Americans had gotten use to cheap Chinese goods and no longer care about quality as long as a product is cheap enough.

Joe wanted to know where were the 200,000 jobs that the fracking and shale industry was going to bring. The Employment Office worker, Bill said, “That was trimmed down to 20,000 and that is even a lie. That was just a bunch of B.S. for the regional business chambers to help promote this dangerous industry that is going to either end up poisoning our water supply or killing us all in an earthquake. Joe then asked, “Where are all those green jobs I keep hearing about?” Bill replied, “That’s a good question that I have no answer to.” Bill stated, “Joe you’ve got a problem. First off you’re too young to retire and don’t have enough in pension anyway. Then being in your fifties no one wants to hire people who are that age. The other problem is that employers don’t like to hire people who aren’t presently employed.” That last statement seemed pretty weird to Joe but Bill assured him it was true.

Bill gave Joe the name of a man to go see that was in charge of the hottest growth industry in the valley and soon to follow the rest of the country. Joe called this guy named, Frank and stopped by his headquarters to learn more about the job opportunity. Frank explained, “This is not a job because with our poor economy it is a career. It’s a career my family has been doing for three generations in the Mahoning Valley.” It turns out the job could be considered a green job as long as you don’t smoke and it also involves the great outdoors. It also has the advantage of being a day shift job (unless the employer wants you to do it after dark while you are wearing glow in the dark clothing). My curiosity was getting the best of me so I asked Joe, “What kind of job are you talking about?” Joe replied, “It’s a job holding signs near busy intersections.” He continued, “The signs are advertising sales at stores that are going bankrupt. Frank has held signs for two recent furniture stores that closed, Border’s Books, Linens’ N Things, Sofa Express, KB toys, Chi-Chi’s, Drug Castle, Bombay Company, Revco, Rexall, Value City, Circuit City, Zayre, Carlisle’s, Hills, Ames, Stambaugh Thompsons, Phar-Mor, Strouss, Olds, Pontiac and Saturn dealerships.  Frank’s father held ones for; Brown Derby, Red Barn, McKelveys, A&P, Loblaws, Kroger’s, Lawson’s, Treasure Island, Islay’s, Lum’s, Sambo’s, Lustig’s, Western Auto, Best Products, Chess King, Richman Brothers, Thom McCan shoes and Hartzel Rose & Sons. His grandfather held signs for; W. T. Grant, S.S. Kresge, G.C. Murphy, Woolworth, Studebaker and Hudson. Now that the economy has worsened Frank has expanded the business to hold signs for house foreclosure auctions, sheriff sales, car repossession auctions and storage unit auctions.” Joe then told me Frank had offered him a job and he had accepted.

I gave Joe a call just the other day to see how he was doing. He told me he was working seven days a week and his feet were killing him. He also complained about having some breathing problems between the cold weather and being exposed too so much car exhaust. Joe has always been a hard worker and had an inventive mind. That made me ask, “How are you going to further expand on this growing job sector?” He replied, “I’ve come up with several ideas. The first is that the economy has gotten worse for the whole country so now that I have sign holding experience I know I can be a snow bird and head for a warmer state to do this in. I also think that because so many workers are getting into this field I could organize them and easily convince a union to sign them up as members and maybe I could get a union representative job. I am a little worried as some of these businesses going bankrupt are ignoring us sign holders and just sticking signs in the ground along busy roads. It’s just another form of out sourcing  jobs.” I told him that he is probably right that such a thing will put a damper in the sign holding businesses growth.

He then talked about going in another direction and taking further advantage of the terrible economy and opening up a print shop. He then could print these bankruptcy and foreclosure signs and the sale info and direction papers sign holders hand out (are you listening about this new printing opportunity my brother in arms Mike and the crew of Steel Valley Printers?). Joe added,”With a poor economy comes more job losses and then with no jobs more crimes. That tells me I could also print up that glow in the dark yellow crime scene tape the police departments use.” I’m now seeing companies that helped you market and expand your business are now offering a service to help you go out of business. I am left wondering how many more signs it will take to figure out that this capitalist system just isn’t working out for the 99%.

Signs, Signs Everywhere a Sign

Brenton Wood: Give Me Some Kind of Sign

“The more I understand the monied class, the more I understand the guillotine.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Extreme Sports and a Major Dick

Every generation thinks they are smarter and worked harder than every other generation. As far as making fun of my generation being stupid you’ve seen recent examples. Sarah Palin thinks Paul Revere was riding to warn the British and Michele Bachmann thinks our slave holding Founding Fathers fought hard to end slavery. I pick on these two idiots because they thought they were bright enough to be president of these United States. We continually hear about how bad our education system is. I believe that is because conservatives want to wipe out public education just like they want to destroy every government-run entity so they can privatize it and put profit first. I watched the Republican debates yesterday where all the candidates praised the private sector and trashed the government. Why don’t these candidates do us a favor then and get private sector jobs and stay out of the government they hate so much. Why should they be miserable in a job they hate and therefore make us all miserable.

Are today’s kids dumber and less motivated than ever before? My college graduated son knows more about politics and what is going on in the world than I ever did at his age. Heck, he built my computer at age 14 and I call him when I have computer problems. My daughter has always worked hard at school and we never put any pressure on her because she put enough on herself. If she was given a project that was a month away she was working on it from day one. My generation and the one before it has pushed bad trade policies and the greed of wanting cheap junky products that have made it harder for today’s generation to find jobs. Add in that all the former decent paying union jobs now have second and third tiers or temp positions because the boomer generation sold out this younger generation.

We’ve all heard it said, find something you love to do and figure out a way to make a living doing it and you’ll have it made in life. There are two young brothers in my community that have done that and are to be admired. They are Ken and Dan Mizicko who started a company called, “Stuck in Ohio.” Ken and Dan  have been into action sports for quite a few years and have gone into filming them and also music videos.  A year ago the Warren Tribune Chronicle wrote an article about the Mizicko brothers, Stuck in Ohio company documentary, “Long Weekend.” The film was one of three nominees in the Emerging Filmmakers category at X-Dance, a film festival that celebrates action sports culture. If you spent four seconds (and I’m slow at typing) to Google ‘Stuck in Ohio” you could read that the Mizicko brother love their Midwestern roots. The term, Stuck in Ohio is an endearing term not unlike artists, writers or beer brewers who use the term Rust Belt. The bothers market a line of decals and apparel with the Stuck in Ohio logo. I went with my daughter at Christmas time to the Ski Chalet in Niles, Ohio where they are sold so she could buy some for friends. I have to hand it to these young optimistic brothers for creating a business out of something they loves especially in these hard economic times and I wish them well. Who could disagree with that?

The only one that would disagree with that would be a pessimistic, small-minded, opinionated, lazy, fact hating imbecile. That would be someone I’ve previously described as someone on the stupid ladder. He is now up to the highest rung and in danger of falling off. That dear readers would be the Warren Tribune’s Editor Frank Robinson who wrote this stupid editorial. Frank could have spent 4 seconds to Google, “Stuck in Ohio” and found out what it is really all about. Heck, if Frank would have searched the Trib’s own website he would have found the article they printed about the documentary award nomination from a year ago. Frank didn’t bother because he has no intellectual curiosity and doesn’t like facts to get in the way of his hate-filled small-minded rants. We need the positive vibes of the young in our valley not the negative vibes of  major dicks like Editor Frank.

I know I’m going to get an e-mail or comment saying that extreme sport things like BMX bikes, skateboarding, skiing etc. are dangerous. I realize that but you know what they are not? They are not played in corporate welfare (read taxpayer-funded) stadiums. Ones like the Warren Tribune Chronicle’s owner (and Frank Robinson’s boss) the Nutting family has for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stuck in Ohio is old school mom and pop (or in this case brother and brother) capitalism. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Pirates are crony capitalism that privatizes the profits but socializes the costs. Rock on young entrepreneurs this valley needs you!

Dan Mizicko’s videos:

Trying to bring a skate park to Youngstown.

Carnival: B.E.Z.

The Mizicko Brothers in action along with music by the Zou and the Kickdrums.

“Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” – Rachel Jackson

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