Monthly Archives: September 2014

Broken Pieces but No Peace

I found a few things in the Warren Tribune the last few days I found appalling. I’m talking other than the corporate tool editor’s right-wing B.S. opinions.
I call this poem:

“Broken Pieces but No Peace”

The annual Peace in the Valley Celebration
will be Sunday September 21 in Warren.
The peace walk will begin at 1:30 p.m.
at Courthouse Square and go to the
Warren Community Amphitheatre.
There the top three student essay writers,
will read their prize-winning essays on peace.
The topic of the essay is “If I Could Talk Face to Face
with My Elected Officials, Here is What I Would Like
to See Them Do to Bring Peace to Our Valley.”
A neighborhood peace event
had already started a few days before
on Friday September 12th.
Oddly enough it started in Warren
on a street named, Peace Street.
A resident of N. W. Peace Street known as Saylor
decided to sail over to his next door neighbor’s house
and spread some peace and love to his neighbors.
Saylor knocked on their door and
when they answered he professed his love.
Sadly, his need to spread his love
was fueled by his ingestion
of many illegal substances.
The neighbor woman’s boyfriend
thought Saylor was not there
to spread peace and love
but trying to spread his love seed
by trying to get a piece
of his girlfriend who Saylor
has been leaving love notes for.
He had tucked them in her door’s crack.
It does seem as if Saylor was on crack
and trying to get a crack at
his neighbor guy’s girfriend’s crack.
Saylor turned from a peaceful missionary of love
to an angry violent man attacking the boyfriend.
A neighborhood man named, Christian
lived up to his name and broke up the fight.
The police arrived and arrested Saylor.
The police didn’t want Saylor’s Peace Street home
to be broken into so they secured it.
If you or I secured someone’s home that would mean
we got the key and made sure the doors were locked.
When the police secure your home it means
they ransacked it looking for any contraband.
In this case they found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Because Saylor was high from illegal drugs
he was transported to Trumbull Memorial Hospital
where he was given legal drugs and is resting peacefully.
Peace Street made the local news again
two-day later on Sunday September 14th.
A Chevy Cruze cruising Peace Street
shot several times at a Ford Explorer
that was exploring peace Street.
A 21 year-old man was shot during
the vehicle chase and gun fight.
Resident’s homes and vehicles
on Peace Street suffered bullet holes.
As I type this on September 17th
the Warren Tribune’s front page
shouts out that on September 16th
three men were shot just before 6 p.m.
on Burton Street S.E. in Warren.
The police are on the lookout for
two gray cars involved in the incident.
The definition of an incident is an event that
disrupts normal procedure or causes a crisis.
It appears that shootings and violence
in Warren, Ohio shouldn’t be considered
an incident because it is normal procedure.
The 22 year-old suspect in the
Burton Street shooting of three
has a tattoo that says, “God.”
I don’t think that means he believes in God.
I suspect that means that he thinks he is God.
I don’t like to hear anyone trash talk
any community in our county or valley.
That being said I still have to say,
I’m sorry Warren but having an annual Peace March
and having our young generation write peace essays
isn’t going to bring peace to Peace Street
or any other street in Warren, Ohio.
It’s going to take a 24/7 zero tolerance to violence
by the citizens of Warren to set an example
for our younger generation’s future.
The name Warren has the word war in it
but that is no excuse to turn the city
into a daily battleground.
Our nation thinks we should be the “cops of the world”
but the truth is we can’t even police our own streets.
People of Warren do you have to sink so low
that you have to jump up to reach the bottom
before you speak out or do something?

Greg Robbins: “Not Again” – A Song Dedicated to the Victims of Gun Violence.

“All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.” ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg


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Color Our World Blue

I enjoyed some good Barbecue while I was on vacation. I went to some of the most popular BBQ joints in Memphis, Nashville and Austin. Truth is I’d put Youngstown’s Royal Oaks raspberry BBQ ribs and Austintown’s Barry Dyngles baby back ribs ahead of any ribs I ate on vacation. Austin especially market’s itself as a foodie town. Given the great variety of restaurants we have in this valley we could easily do the same. Austin has areas where food trucks gather for lunch and are met by long lines of customers. I see Akron now doing occasional events with food truck gathering at local parks. I’m wondering if we have enough food trucks in the valley to pull off such an event.

Tennessee and Texas are both red states. I have to say, I was impressed with the work liberal thinking people are doing in places like Nashville, Memphis and Austin. In an anti-union state like Tennessee it was great to hear that a judge ordered Kellogg Co. to end a nine month lockout of union workers. The workers had been locked out after turning down a contract that lowered many of their wages by $6 an hr. and took away benefits. The judge ruled that,”To allow the lockout to continue would place significant hardship on employees… .”

Memphis now has what they call, “The Green Machine Mobile Food Market.” It is a bus that travels to senior housing and poor neighborhoods selling fresh produce. Its first customer in 2013 was a 103-year old former school teacher in a wheelchair. The areas they service do not have full service grocery stores. The bus has been a big hit and served over 15,000 customers. Another hit, has been changes to the city’s waterfront that includes a pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk.

Young professionals in Memphis started an organization called, Undercurrent, a year ago. The monthly gathering at various venues has about 250 attendees each month. They make no speeches or have no agenda. They have connected more than 2,500 creative individuals for networking, making new friends, dating and finding new jobs. They have also produced Ignite Memphis, an event series that enlists presenters to make timed, slide-based presentations on a range of topics.

In 2011 Visible Music College started a downtown campus in Memphis. Music business and music production bachelor degrees are offered at the college. The school also houses Madison Line Records where the students will have hands on training mixing, mastering and distributing actual label releases. Students will also learn about promoting and booking the label’s musicians. Memphis like Nashville has turned into a music recording hub and now it is branching out. This fall Visible will have a satellite Chicago campus. In the fall of 2015, Visible will add a Dallas campus.

I spent less time vacationing in Nashville so I don’t have as much to say about it. I did note that lots of bars and restaurants in Nashville had musicians and singer-songwriters performing. They sang at all times throughout the day and night. Most were playing for tips so the exposure was worth more than the money. It was sad that most of the singer-songwriters were being made to play classic songs instead of their own material. Nashville had lots of free buses to transport visitors and locals. I was glad to see Nashville had an active peace and justice center. It was good to read that Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said Nashville is a little splash of blue in a pool of red.

In Austin it was nice to see a “Texas Stands With Gaza” rally. The Texas Freedom Network was showing a film, “Roe at Risk: Fighting for Reproductive Justice” and discussing it. Roe is at risk in Texas because of the passing of House Bill 2.  House Bill 2’s restrictions have already close half of Texas’s abortion-care clinics. There is a big progressive movement in Austin and other parts  of Texas to get Wendy Davis elected as the next Texas governor. She has been the victim on a nasty smear campaign and is down 17% in the polls against GOP candidate Greg Abbott.

A U.S. magistrate judge denied motions to dismiss the case filed by Antonio Buehler against the Austin Police Department. Bueler is founder of Peaceful Streets Project. Austin police arrested him Jan. 1 2012 for videotaping a woman being investigated for a potential DUI. He was also arrested for filming officers in action in August and September of 2012. Buehler is looking forward to his court date where he says he will prove police crimes and corruption. I think this is an important case in light of some of the deaths we are seeing at the hands of police across this nation. I also love this action taken by activists in Austin to help the homeless.

As you can see we have some activist in the red states adding some blue color! I thank all of them for their efforts to get this nation painted a soothing blue instead of an angry red. I admire red state activist for fighting against such odds. It should inspire blue state activist who aren’t so outnumbered. I realize I’ve spent the last year being a “slacktivist” and need to step up my game. How about you?

Bahamas: “Stronger Than That”

“Caught Me Thinking”

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” ~ Rosa Luxemburg




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