Monthly Archives: October 2013

Real Scrappers


  Ever had any problems with a neighbor? What if all your neighbors were having the same problems with this one neighbor? What would you do if this neighbor shined a huge bright light into all of the windows in your neighborhood? What if this same bad neighbor made deafening noises all day long in your neighborhood? What if this neighbor caused terrible smelling fumes that kept you confined to your residence? What if these fumes caused you to have seizures and rashes? Don’t you think the law would be on your side in getting this neighbor to stop his behavior that is harming the whole neighborhood? The answer is no if your neighbor is an oil/gas corporation. Just ask the residents of Westwood Lake Park in Weatherfield Township, Ohio who have a nearby fracking well as a bad neighbor. The residents did have some good folks from Frackfree Mahoning Valley, Occupy Youngstown and some other “fractivist” who were able to get the problem mentioned in the local media. Unfortunately, the editors of our two local newspapers, Dan Rivers at WKBN talk radio, Tracey Winbush who has a WSOM talk radio show and local politicians (of both parties) are pro-fracking.

  A study by Won-Young Kim, a researcher at Columbia University that was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research wasn’t even enough to get local media and politicians to be on the side of Westwood Lake Park residents.  It stated “A single fracking wastewater well triggered 167 earthquakes in and around Youngstown, Ohio, during a single year of operation.” A local company was caught dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into the Mahoning River. That was still not enough to get the local media and politicians to help solve the problems happening to the Westwood Lake Park residents.

  At a Niles City Council meeting Niles resident, Dave Bishoff spoke in support of fracking, citing possible economic gains available to Niles residents as a result of the oil and gas industry. He attended an informational roundtable Sept. 9 hosted by council on the subject. “I came away impressed that there are regulations in place and steps being taken that will protect both the citizens and the environment,” Bishoff told the packed chamber. “I agree that a compromise can be reached where the neighborhoods can be protected, but we can benefit from the economic prosperity of this.” I’d point out to Dave there have been no steps taken to protect the Westwood Lake Park residents. He’d know that if he’d have attended some of the outreach meetings the resident had around the valley. Instead he was too busy attending informational roundtables put on by the oil/gas corporations. As a matter of fact Dave do you know what the Westwood Lake Park residents have gotten now that they complained about getting rashes, seizures and being blinded and deafened? They now have ………………………….two more wells being constructed nearby the one that has been their worst ever neighbor.

  Those resident are being tortured because of lemmings like Dave who only want to see the bottom dollar. They are being tortured by the oil/gas companies that laugh at the residents misery while depositing their oil/gas profits at the bank. Our area media laugh at the residents daily suffering while they are at the bank cashing checks from ads run on their TV and radio stations by the oil/gas industry. Butch Tayler from 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters union chuckles at the residents issues as he and his union plumbers cash checks from their temporary jobs with the oil/gas companies. The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has suffered none of the devastation of the residents but they have experienced some of the trickle down money from the oil/gas industry so others suffering can be overlooked. Throw in our bought off politicians and you’ll see that the bad guys easily win this round as they have deep pockets. As for the residents of Westford Lake Park their problems have now tripled.

  Our Mahoning Valley has an area minor league baseball team called, the Scrappers. The Scrappers name was chosen to represent the toughness and tenacity of our valley’s residents. The residents of Westwood Lake Park and the folks who helped get the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights on the Novemeber 2013 ballot are the real Scrappers of our Valley!  Residents of Youngstown will be voting on November 5th for the right to have clean air and water. See more info on the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights here. 

  You’ve probably already heard ads by Butch Tayler from 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters union to vote against The Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights. The union is part of the Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment which is spending lots of money to defeat the bill.  This organization claims to be a partnership of business, political, labor and community leaders united in support of shale development and in opposition to the proposed Youngstown charter amendment. Do you know what else they are? They are the same people who turned their backs on the residents of Westwood Lake Park in their hour of need. Do you know who the people who proposed the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights are? They are many of the same activist that tried their hardest to help the residents of Westwood Lake Park. No need for black and white cowboys hats here to figured out who the good guys are.

 Get out and vote for the good guys! While speaking of good guys remember it is both the Democratic and Republican parties that turned their back on these area residents when they needed help. If you live in Youngstown vote for Green Party candidate Susie Beiersdorfer for Youngstown Council president. Susie is definitely a Scrapper in a white hat!

The Mastersons: “Not One Word More”

“The Other Shoe”

“Maybe what I admired most about John Steinbeck is that he never mortgaged his 45-acre heart for a suite in an ivory tower.”
Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backward

Youngstown City Council Presidential Candidate, Susie Beiersdorfer, – See more at:
Youngstown City Council Presidential Candidate, Susie Beiersdorfer, – See more at: Susie Beiersdorfer Youngstown City Council Green Party

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“American Swastika”

A Confederate Flag was raised 50 feet over I-95 in Virgina. The flag raisers said the flag represents principle, the Constitution and heritage. Here is a video of the flag raising. Shame on the black girl supporting the Confederate flag in the video.

The other day Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz joined veterans and Tea Party members in a protest about the government shutdown. They stole the National Park Service’s protective barriers,  and threw them at the White House gates. Front and center near the White House gates was a man holding a Confederate flag. When some black veterans objected to the flag they were pushed and shouted down. Members in the crowd suggested they were planted Kenyans “like President Obama.”

Let’s be honest and admit the Confederate flag is treasonous and represents the principle of racism. I’ve heard the Confederate Flag best described as the “American swastika.” If it doesn’t represent racism how would you explain these photos?


I wrote this poem about the Confederate flag a few years back.

A History Lesson

Jesse Helms and Strom Thurman

proved the good do indeed die young.

The Stars and Bars

fly over ole Dixie

to let the black man

know to keep his place.

The flag proves southern whites

haven’t learned from history…

only rewritten it.

There is indeed

a rightful place

for the Confederate flag,

in a fucking museum.

As you can see in this story we have Confederate flag waving Tea Party racists right here in Ohio.

Arthur Pope: “Lies of Our Fathers”

“Power of One”

“Since when has leadership been a criterion for sanity? Or vice versa. Hitler was a gifted leader, even Nixon. Exhibit leadership qualities as an adolescent, they pack you off to law school for an anus transplant. If it takes, you go into government.”

Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker


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Get Smart

It was second Tuesday and I was driving to the monthly open poetry reading at Pig Iron Press, in downtown Youngstown. I turned my car’s radio to YSU’s NPR station. They were doing a syndicated interview with kidnapped and raped victim, Elizabeth Smart. She was kidnapped at age 14 in 2002 and held by a drifter and his wife in the woods. Being abducted in the middle of the night she wasn’t even sure that the rest of her family hadn’t been killed. They weren’t killed and they were reunited with Elizabeth after she was rescued from her 9 month capture. She had not tried to escape because her virginity was taken by the kidnapper so she felt no one would ever want her. That shame came from her conservative Mormon faith that taught her to blame the victim of rape along with the rapist. Now after a decade of silence Elizabeth has come forward to tell victims who were raped or molested that they need to speak out. I marveled at what a courageous survivor she is. It is wonderful that despite her own pain she has come forward to help others so they don’t have to feel the shame she did. It was uplifting hearing such a wonderful message of love and hope. 

            Classical music which is not my thing came on next so I turned the radio knob. I then landed on “Living Bread Radio” 89.5 FM. This is the Catholic radio station that broadcasts across the country. Every time I turn it on they are interviewing a priest who was formerly of another faith. They then spend time bashing that other faith for not being the one true Christian faith, Catholic. Today they were bashing Methodists. Their mission is to broadcast the message of Jesus Christ and I believe the new Pope is doing a great job of that but this station’s message is part of the reason 30 million Catholics have left the church worldwide. The church can call us “Fallen Away Catholics” but I prefer the term “Thinking Catholics.” Down the dial at 100.1 FM on WNIR is local Akron host Jim Isabella on a tirade against President Obama.

            I turn on WKBN AM radio and get the syndicate Todd Schnitt Show from Tampa, Florida. Todd is on a hate filled rant against President Obama. Todd isn’t concerned that the country’s shutdown is costing taxpayers millions. He actually is angry 100% o the country isn’t shutdown. He is one of those right-wing media guys who can dish it out but can’t take it. He has sued others in the media that have made comments about him or his family. Having enough of Scnitt I spin the AM dial to WPIC 79 in Sharon, PA. Syndicated host Laura Ingraham who has the worst sounding voice in radio is spewing her daily venom against President Obama. I remember that her friend David Brock a former right-winger called her the dumbest right-winger that he knew. Brock said her house was devoid of books and he was sure she had never read one.

            At 1020 AM on KDKA in Pittsburgh a local host was trashing President Obama. In Cleveland at 1100 AM on the dial a local WTAM host was attacking President Obama.  On my way home from poetry I turn on 1440 AM in Warren, Ohio. Broadcasting from Cleveland was the “What’s Right, What’s Left Show” featuring Pastor Ernie Sanders. The homophobic, misogynistic, antiscience host called President Obama the antichrist.  Ernie is the kind of Hell fire and brimstone hate-filled loathsome minister that would make Jesus the Prince of Peace’s skin crawl.

            Earlier in the day at my lunch break I listened to the local “Tracey & Friends Show” at WSOM 600 AM. Jeff and Ben were the hosts for the day. Jeff was on a rant against anything progressive because he is a caveman. Ben was spewing hate for President Obama and businessman George Soros. Ben said Soros was a Nazi collaborator in his youth during WW II. The Toronto Sun newspaper tried to smear Soros with this lie in 2010 and apologize after researching it. Right-wingers have ignored the facts and the Sun’s apology and continually report this lie. I have heard Ben repeat this lie before. I had sent him the facts at the Tracey and Friends website. The facts didn’t matter to Ben and he repeats this lie over and over. Ben has also said that President Obama retaliated against the government shutdown by shutting down the amber alert which protects us all. Here are the facts disputing Ben’s lie. On Tuesday afternoon Ben said that the Tea Party needs to get armed and take this country back from Hitler antichrist Obama. If I hear Ben say one more time something about an armed revolt I will be calling Homeland Security. I will report him as a dangerous nutbag that bears close scrutiny.

            After hearing so much hate on the radio I have to admire Elizabeth Smart even more. She survived two kidnappers that harmed her and walked away deciding that she would not let her kidnappers destroy her heart and soul. Yet, every time a Democrat is elected president these right-wingers in the media eat hate three meals a day and spew it out to anyone who will listen. They blacken their own souls and hearts and work hard at making their hate a contagious terminal disease. They are on the wrong path to a better world and should make note of Elizabeth Smart who has taken the high road.

Tim Hardin: “Reason to Believe”

“Simple Song of Freedom”

“Street Crime is the only logical response to America’s drug policy just as terrorism is the only logical response to America’s foreign policy.” ~ Tom Robbins


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“Time To Build a New World”


Thank you all for reading and I am proud to say this is my 300th post!


“Time To Build a New World” a CD by Mike Stout

                                  Reviewed by the Elecpencil


  “Time To Build a New World’ is the title of Mike Stout’s new 12 song CD. Recently, I heard a young activist ask Mike what kind of music he sang. Mike said, “Mostly songs about needs. Songs about needing a new system, needing revolution and needing equality.” Having all of Mike’s CD’s I think he was right on in that description. The definition of need is something that is required, necessary or essential. It goes without saying that we need the things in nature like air and water, to maintain life. On this CD (like all of Mike’s CD’s) he presents us with a vision of the better world we could be living in. In the paradise Mike presents, ideas like freedom, peace, justice and equality are just as essential to life as air and water.


  Mike covers lots of needs in “Time to Build a New World. The song “Where is the Soul of America?” tells us we need to get back to the things that made America great. Mike asks, “Where’s the hunger that yearns for justice and peace, eternal flame that burns for true equality?” In the title track Mike talks about the need for “A whole new mode of thinking, where the have-nots take command. Heal ourselves, heal the earth and take the future in our hands.” “Alienation” warns us of the need to socialize and not be isolated to the point where we lose touch with our community (common unity). “Complacency City” deals with the need to get our heads out of the sand and be aware of the problems of the world. “Big Brother’s Watching” tell us we need to be vigilant against the government spying on us no matter which party is in the White House.


  There’s a song that tells us we need to expand solar and wind power and be done with archaic fossil fuels and dangerous practices like fracking. “I was Killed by a Drone” informs us we need to know that our government is killing innocent people around the world in our name. One song is of our need to not be distracted and divided so we can rise up to find “Sweet Paradise.” We will of course need unions, organizing and solidarity to do that and Mike has those topics covered in songs on this CD. Mike as on all of his CD’s plays historian for the unsung heroes. This CD features songs about two such heroes I admire. They are people who have spent their whole existence learning so that they might teach others. We need more heroes like them if we are to build that better world.

  As I said the definition of need is something that is required, necessary or essential. Having said that, I will now say, you NEED to get a copy of Mike Stout’s new CD “Time To Build a New World.” While listening to it you will rock out with some of the best musicians in Pittsburgh and find the need to join Mike in the effort to build a new world.

Purchasing info here:

Mike Stout: “Alienation”

Mike Stout & the Human Union: “Do It With Love”

“Those who willingly accept being conned are as corrupt as those who con them.”
Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito

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