Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Rush to Judge.

  Rush Limbaugh has been blasting Hillary Clinton, on his radio show. That is because she is considered among the front-runners, to be the Democrat contender, for president in 2016. He was also blasting Hillary, because he has a contract that pays $400 million for him to spread hate during his 15 hour work week. Rush has been on a campaign, to say the Clintons are wealthy and thus out of touch with U.S. voters. Rush actually said this, while, he broadcasts his show from his $26 million ocean front home in West Palm Beach, which has 7 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and an elevator. It is a 24,000-square-foot mansion he designed himself, it features architectural influences from Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles to the Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate. His Florida property also features four other homes. He also owns a Gulf Stream jet that cost $54 million, and six $450,000 Maybach limos. He’s doing very well for a guy who mothers said, “he flunked everything” and left college after two semesters. Spreading hate, and pretending Reaganomics worked, pays well if you happen to be thinking of a career change. Though, Rush makes a fortune talking politics, he never voted for Reagan, or anyone else until he turned 35.

  Rush came from a pretty well off family that included lawyers, federal judges and a state congressman. Rush is now said to worth somewhere around $1 billion. The median individual income in the US (according to the 2012 census) is $29,000, meaning half of us make less and half make more. If you made $29,000 a year, and saved every single penny of it, in 34,482 years you would be worth a billion dollars. What do you think the odds are, of you winning half a million dollars at Powerball? The odds, are 1 in 800,000, that is the same odds as your chance of being a billionaire in the United States. If you placed $500 on every single seat, in every professional football stadium, in the U.S. it would equal $1 billion.

  Do you really think a billionaire understands your life, and has your best interest at heart? Well, Rush’s 14 million (down from 22 million) listeners do. People, that listen to 10 hours or more of talk radio a week vote republican 3 to 1. In the U.S. 243 million people (over age 12) listen to AM/FM radio a week. If Rush has 14 million listeners (according to Talkers magazine) that means he has 5% of radio listeners. The good news is 95% of radio listeners tune him out. Rush had the number one talk show in Los Angeles, but has fallen to 37th place in the ratings. In New York, Limbaugh’s rating dropped from fifth to 22nd. Rush’s average listeners, are 66 years old white men. Younger people aren’t turning on their radios to listen to political hate shows. With an audience that is dying off, and advertisers leaving, in droves because of boycotts against Rush’s racist, sexist and homophobic comments, hate talk radios days may be numbered.

  I only heard Rush’s hate speech for a minute while I was spinning my radio dial. I can’t imagine what hearing his hateful rants, on a regular basis could do to people’s minds. Hell, it is probably the real factor that turned Rush to using drugs. It must be hard for Rush, to find peace, when he is paid lavish sums to fester hate. He may be laughing all the way to the bank, but on the way he is swinging by a pharmacy to score some Oxycontin. Rush has repeatedly said drug users should all be jailed. When caught using drugs (and forging prescriptions) Rush begged for mercy. He was able to afford an expensive attorney so, he served no jail time. His case and OJ’s case leads me to ask, something that a friend of mine was asked by someone in prison. That is “would you rather be rich and guilty or poor and innocent?” Being wealthy not only changes the ballgame it puts you in a whole different league that has no umpires. Since, Rush attacked the Clinton for being millionaires while ignoring he is a billionaire I’d call that “a Rush to judge.”

One billionaire who is not out of touch tells his fellow billionaires to wake up and see the writing is on the wall.

“Rush Limbaugh” a folk song.

“We’ve arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage.” –Rush Limbaugh, on President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. Limbaugh’s first, second, third, and fourth wives could not be reached for comment. (May 9, 2012)



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The Shot Not Heard in Our Own Backyard

None of you came to see me do poetry at Pig Iron Press the second Tuesday in June. Therefore, I am going to punish you by posting my most recent poem. It is on the same subject as my last post but more serious.

The Shot Not Heard in Our Own Backyard

There’s a democrat in the White House.
Even worse to some he’s a black man.
That is a great thing for the NRA to gain new members
and gun manufacturers and gun shops to sell more guns,
by spreading the fear that the government is going
to confiscate all the public’s firearms.
Today’s paranoia is tomorrow’s profit!
These lies every election about democrats
have created a new arms race
to get to a gun shop and buy
some homegrown “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
Rapid-fire guns with humongous ammo magazines
were designed to hunt humans in war
not a deer or turkey in the woods.

What isn’t a lie is that a seven-year old shot
multiple times with .223 rounds
from a 30 round clip Bushmaster assault rifle
at a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut
didn’t even resemble a little girl anymore.
Those who retrieved her body
picked it up in pieces and she was just one of
6 adults and 20 elementary school children
who were killed on killed December 14, 2012
by a 20 year-old insane gunman.

In four minutes, he shot 154 bullets,
making most of the victims shot multiple times
which meant that many parents weren’t able
to “identify” the remains of their little ones.
Ironically, the corporation that manufactures
the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle
is named, the Freedom Group.

The reaction across the country to the Newtown shooting was
that assault rifles and .223 rounds used in AR-15 were sold out
and manufacturers hired to keep up with demand.
There was an outcry for gun control
but congressional Republicans blocked attempts
to enact new federal gun restrictions.
Candidates that ran on a platform of gun control
mostly lost as the NRA supplied the life blood
of huge money transfusions to gun friendly candidates.
Our soldiers are coming home from combat
in Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD’s
and in classrooms in this country
students are suffering from PTSD’s from
all the school shootings.

In the 1950’s as a school kid
I was taught to “Duck and Cover”
under my school desk to protect myself
in case of a Russian nuclear attack.
Today’s kids “Duck and Cover”
is called being in “lock down” mode.
It’s what schools do in case of an attack by lunatics
armed to the teeth with semi-automatic weapons.
NRA member Joe the plumber
echoed many NRA member’s beliefs
when he said, “your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
Does every U.S. family have to lose a child
before we become outraged enough
to speak out against the NRA?

The gun manufacturers owned NRA’s answer to violence
has been saying we need more guns
and to arm teachers and school administrators.
The latest ideas from a money-grubbing corporate bastard
trying to exploit fear to make a buck are from
Massachusetts-based company Bullet Blocker.
They are offering children’s bulletproof backpacks,
bulletproof blankets, and bulletproof iPad cases,
notebooks, and school bag survival kits.
What is next Kevlar school uniforms?

It seems greed is more American
than the right to life and freedom from fear.
Since our so-called, political representatives
get big contributions from the NRA
they represent them and not the public.
This will not change anytime in the near future.
Since the NRA is owned by corporations
that manufacture weapons
they will ever develop a conscience.
If humans are really the dominant species
their only hope of survival
is to evolve and develop bulletproof skin.

There have been incidences of 74 schools shootings since Newtown.

Tell Gov. Chris Christie to limit the size of gun magazines.

Local musician: Dennis Drummond

“Semi-automatics have only two purposes. One is so owners can take them to the shooting range once in awhile, yell yeehaw, and get all horny at the rapid fire and the burning vapor spurting from the end of the barrel. Their other use – their only other use – is to kill people” ~ Steven King



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  This is my 333rd post. Over that time I might have written some posts you agreed with or some that ticked you off. I hope I’ve made you either laugh, cry, think or get angry. I’ve spent a ton of hours doing this blog. If you’ve enjoyed my blog (or would like to punch me in the nose) I’d like to ask you to give me a bit of your time. I will be the featured poet this coming Tuesday at Pig Iron Press and I’d love to see you there. I don’t want to do much of my own material so I want you to come and be a part of the open mic. Come and read a poem or short story you’ve written. If you don’t write come and read something that has touched your life. The second Tuesday of the month at Pig Iron is always a monthly reading and we always welcome newcomers.

 Tuesday June 10 Pig Iron Press Open Poetry Reading, begins at 7:30 p.m. FREE and open to the public.

Pig Iron Press Building
26 North Phelps Street
Downtown Youngstown (next to Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts). Use the door next to Pig Iron and we will be on the third floor. I hope to see you there.

  I saw something on the news lately that I find troubling. Its groups of armed people with assault rifles slung across their backs, showing up at places like Sonic, Chili’s, Chipotle and Target. This is happening in Texas by the group Open Carry Texas. Many people who came in contact with Open Carry Texas found this frightening. Those frightened weren’t sure if people coming into a business with guns were good guys or bad guys.  A member of Open Carry Texas said he had a right to carry a gun and if people were frightened they had a right to their fear. He seemed to be mocking people for having fear. I’d make the point that those that think they need to carry weapons are the ones who are fearful. If I shared their fearful minds I’d build a bunker and never leave it. I’d like to tell these gun enthusiasts that the second amendment is not the only amendment. It also does not come before other rights, and we have to protect the rights of our nation’s citizens to life and liberty over Open Carry Texas’s right to be dangerous goofs. I don’t have any issue with people having guns. I do have an issue when people use those guns to infringe on other people’s rights to feel secure.

  The news also had a story of Oklahoma now legalizing bars at gun ranges. I was reading comments online about this. I used some of those thoughts and comments along with my own thoughts to write the following poem. These are the kinds of poems I will be reading at Pig Iron’s monthly readings.  I like to think I write poetry for people who might not necessarily like poetry. I hope to see you at Pig Iron this Tuesday!



Oklahoma’s lawmakers ban guns
from entering their legislature
but they have OK’d a bar at a gun range.
Which leads me to ask
“How close is the nearest hospital?”
I imagine a sign saying
“No shoes, no shirt no service
but a gun no problem.”
Liquored up and packing artillery
what could possibly go wrong?
Any sane state’s lawmakers would say
“Liquor, guns and ammo oh no.”
With booze added to the shooting galleries
gun nuts can now thin out their own herd.
Gun ranges with bars will be the perfect location
for conservative candidates to campaign
and to have Republican voter registration.

The Second Amendment says
“Well regulated militia.”
Rednecks think that is merely a code phrase
that means get shit faced and discharge muskets.
South Carolina is also looking into building
giant shooting range complexes to attract tourists.
They will be a mega church where gun owners
can come and worship their god the gun.
After all the holy trinity in the red states is
gun ranges, Wal-Mart and titty bars.

A record number of guns and ammo
have been purchased over the last few years
because a black man was elected president.
Some of the gun ranges have targets featuring
Blacks, Latinos and Trayvon Martin.
Just good ole boy Southern fun.
At least now most of the targets
will be empty beer bottles.
Adding a bar to a gun range
gives new meaning to the term
“a shot and a beer”
and getting loaded.
Should we soon expect fireworks plants
located right next to match factories?
How about pot being sold
as an appetizer at Pizza Hut?

Who would want to work at a bar/firing range?
It would require calm nerves and quick reflexes.
I imagine ear plugs, a Kevlar vest
and lots of insurance are requirements for the job.
It may sound like I’m opposed to bars at gun ranges.
Fact is I actually think it’s a really great idea
and I hope liquor will soon be served
at gun ranges in all the red states.
Drunken gun nuts shooting each other?
Damn that’s fine entertainment
if we keep a safe distance.
See you there and I’ll bring the popcorn!

Area musician: Steve Vuich

“There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons,” said California Gov. Ronald Reagan in May 1967, after two dozen Black Panther Party members walked into the California Statehouse carrying rifles to protest a gun-control bill. Reagan said guns were “a ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.”





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Time to Move On

  Yesterday, I bought some summer swimming supplies at a local business. In another line was a guy in his twenties. He was an anorexic looking white wannabe rapper with a baseball ball cap on sideways. He had a tattoo of Ohio poorly drawn on his neck. He was wearing baggy shorts to show off some tattoos on his calves. Those tats were so poor drawn that they looked like an abstract done by a five-year old. What struck me the most about him was his t-shirt, which just plain pissed me off. It showed a pin striped gangster holding a machine gun, leaning on the gangster was a gangster moll type girlfriend. The T-shirt said, “Youngstown, Ohio Mob Town and Proud of it.”

  No one in our valley is proud of that past. This little punk thinks wearing such a shirt makes him tough. The fact is the mob’s presence in Youngstown ended many decades before this scrawny punk was even born. What we still seem to have is some politicians that take bribes from an always unnamed businessman (starts with a C ends with an O). That is something we have to deal with and end. Our area has moved on from the mob days but some local goofballs want to wallow in a past they weren’t even around for.  Guys that wear such t-shirts only prove their fear, weakness and sense of inadequacy. They show they are unprepared to compete in the modern world. The modern world is here and now scrawny rapper wanna be boy so it is high time to face your demons. Time marches on so get in step.

This brings me to reposting a poem I wrote about looking ahead and not backwards for the Youngstown area.

Youngstown on the Today Show

My alarm clock noisily rings
like every work day at 6:45 am.
I sit up in bed and click on the TV.
I view the local news,
followed by the Today Show.
The local news features a story
about the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI).
Reserve Data relocated from the Silicon Valley
and has moved their office into the YBI.
There is no mention of this good news
on the Today Show that follows.
On the following Sunday I shopped at
the Four Seasons Flea Market in Youngstown.
A vendor was selling T-shirts
picturing an AK-47 assault rifle.
Below the gun was the word, Youngstown.
I ask the vendor if he had any T-shirts
picturing the Youngstown Business Incubator.
He replies, “Just these” pointing
to the AK-47 shirts.

On another morning the local news
happily reports Youngstown’s V+M Steel is expanding.
The owner is spending $650 million on the project.
There was no word of this event
on the Today Show that followed.
While getting fresh fruit and vegetables
on my weekly Four Seasons Flea Market trip,
I again see the Ak-47 Youngstown T-shirt vendor.
I ask him, “Do you have a shirt with a V+M Steel picture?”
He replies, “Just these AK-47 Youngstown  T-shirts.”

Sometime later I awoke to more good news,
the local TV station was talking about an area business.
The Lordstown GM plant’s Cruze automobile
was being heralded, by automobile magazines,
as one of the best new cars
in its class and price range.
No mention of the Chevy Cruze
on the Today Show that followed.
My Sunday’s Four Seasons visit
did not turn up any Chevy Cruze T-shirts,
just the AK-47 Youngstown standby model.

This past Monday’s local morning TV news
started its broadcast on a very sad note.
One YSU student was shot and killed
and eleven others were wounded
at an off campus fraternity party.
The Today Show followed and this time
they had found a Youngstown event
that they didn’t want to ignore.
I suspect the Four Seasons Flea Market vendor
was watching the Today Show.
I’m sure he smiled widely
picked up his phone
and called his supplier
and ordered a big batch
of AK-47 Youngstown T-shirts.

Local Musicians: John Resse Project

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” ~ LBJ


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