Monthly Archives: May 2015

Investing in Morals

Mrs. E. and I want to retire in the next few years. Like a lot of typical ex-steelworkers I had some of my 28 year pension in the mill stolen. The factory I worked at had many owners over the years and some of them never paid into the pension fund. You don’t find that out until the company goes belly up and sells the place. I’ve currently been in a different field the last 15 years and will have a small pension coming from that.  Mrs. E. has been in the same field 36 years and will have a pension from that job. We live fairly simple, but like a lot of people helped take out loans for our kids for college. We also spend a small fortune for car insurance and in maintaining our old house. We somehow did manage to invest for retirement in mutual funds in 401K and 403B accounts. I tried to pick mutual funds that weren’t invested in tobacco, Walmart or Koch brother products as I considered them all immoral. I have to say we did pretty good on the investments we picked. We won’t be able to lead a luxurious retirement but maybe a semi-leisurely one.

Now that we are closer to retirement we need some advise on our investments. We need to change them to less risky type accounts. We have now talked to three different investors and are narrowing down our pick. This is very hard for me because investors tend to be conservative Wall Street types not main street working-class types. We checked out one investor in the nearby Western PA. area. My “I don’t want to invest with this guy” sensor went off when he mentioned he graduated from Liberty University. This is the Southern Baptist University in Lynchburg, Virgina founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell. In 1984 the university was in debt and bailed out by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. My fingertips would bleed if I typed in all the problems I have with the late Rev. Falwell and late Rev. Moon. Suffice to say that they were bigots and racists who used religion as a disguise for hate speech. That thought immediately had me waiting to hear this investor say something racist or bigoted. He said enough things that really make me think he was dancing around the subjects. I did not react and just told him I would call him back if I wanted to invest with him.

This investor buys time on a local PA. radio station to promote his investment service. His daughter who works with him is a co-host of the radio show. I now wanted to know more about them, so I tuned into their radio program. He spent considerable time on the show bashing immigrants coming to the U.S. The daughter said that the American public was stupid and had unfortunately elected Obama who is an utter failure. She said the government was strangling business by having regulations. She said Social Security is a failed system. She never mentioned that Social Security has cut the rate of poverty for the elderly in half. Financial columnist Jane Bryant Quinn has described Social Security as “Arguably the U.S. government’s greatest success.” Both the investor and his daughter went on rants against people of the Islamic faith. A couple of weeks after my visit to their office I got a call from their secretary. She wanted me to give her a date when I would be coming back to their office for a follow-up visit. I informed her that I am a Christian and a religious person. I said therefore I would not need their services as they were unChristian in their morals. I told her that the investor and his daughter both needed to listen to tapes of their program and think about their hate speech.

My father was a small businessman for over 50 years. He decided early on that you didn’t put food on your table by insulting customers. That message was lost on the used car dealer in Brookfield, Ohio that had a “Fire Obama” sign in front of his car lot. The message is also lost on gun dealers who have up signs saying Obama and the democrats are out to take away your guns and put you in FEMA camps. Sadly, when I see that, you just make me think you are just too damn crazy to own a gun or a sharp pencil. Investors if you want to get that opportunity to invest for us local working stiffs, at least pretend you care about Main Street as much as you care about Wall Street.

We are now left with being a service sector economy, so how about some service where the customer comes first?

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ~ C. G. Jung


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Locals Turning Tricks for the Koch Brother Pimps

The Koch brothers have targeted public education on their list of things they want to make extinct. To do this big game hunting they founded Americans for Prosperity and invested $5 million in it. One thing Americans for Prosperity does, is spend money to get conservative members on school boards and try to stop schools districts from passing school levies. Americans for Prosperity allied with racist in Wake County, North Carolina that wanted to make sure diversity wasn’t taught in local schools. They also wanted to segregate the schools. The Americans for Prosperity school board candidates took the Koch brothers money, read scripts provided to them and won seats on the school board. They then set about segregating the schools and pushing towards privatization.

David Koch won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for vice president in 1980. Its platform stated, “We advocate the complete separation of education and state. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.” To see that platform carried out Charles Koch founded Youth Entrepreneurs in 1991. Youth Entrepreneurs says their goal is to provide kids with “business and entrepreneurial education and experiences that help them prosper and become contributing members of society.” The underlying goal is to indoctrinate teenagers with Koch’s radical corporate free-market ideology. The Koch’s have been successful in getting this class taught at public high schools around the country. The Huffington Post obtained materials and lesson plans from the class. After reviewing them Huffing Post said they teach that, “The minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper. Public assistance harms the poor. Government, in short, is the enemy of liberty.” In other words, profits before people and social welfare bad, corporate welfare good.

The Koch brothers want a world where people work for minimum wage and corporations pay no taxes. They want a world where we chastise the poor, call those getting any social help leeches who want entitlements, and where we are all prostitutes who whore ourselves out to corporations that have become our pimps. Locally we just witnessed some of these whores who served their pimps the Koch brothers. They are members of ACT NOW which stands for Accountability, Clarity and Transparency. They helped defeat the recent South Range School levy. ACT NOW was funded by Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity is a national conservative advocacy and anti-tax group funded by David and Charles Koch.

The Youngstown Vindicator on May 6, 2015 had a photo of five ACT NOW members. They were at a local tavern celebrating their victory at defeating the South Range levy. The photo shows Jim Shaw, Greg Sorley, Jeff Curry, Richard Ferenchak and Joe Alessi. I was left wondering which one of them made the phone call after the election. The call to their pimp the Koch brothers to thank them for the money that helped chip away at destroying public education in South Range. These five guys and the rest of ACT NOW can keep telling themselves they are trying to make South Range an accountable school system. The truth is they don’t want to pay any more taxes, no matter how accountable the school board is. Someone paid for the education of these five but I guess they don’t believe in paying it forward. The saddest part of all is that one of ACT NOW’s spokesmen against the levy was, Taylor Christian a 2014 graduate of South Range who was their valedictorian. Taylor earns my Koch brothers pawn of the month award. Really sad to see the Koch brothers evil national agenda invited into our valley by locals who want to be whores for them.

The Koch Brothers sink to new low to undermine public education.

A Republican Florida State Senator takes on Americans for Prosperity.

For the South Range ACT NOW members: Nick Woodland and “Little Puppet.”

“Low Man”

“Because my family has no money, I’ve decided to become a prostitute. That’s right, I’m going into politics.” ~ Jarod Kintz


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The Payoff/American Excrementalism

Taco Bell participated in an annual event
they brought 6,000 tacos to congressional staffers
because congressional staffers will work for food.
The staffers convince the congressmen they work for
to propose and pass legislation to benefit corporations.
Taco Bell wanted to thank congressional staffers
for helping fight against raising the minimum wage
and keeping the fast food industry union free.
The also wanted a bill already in congress
hurried along and passed to benefit fast food corporations.
The bill would strike down an Obamacare measure
that stated workers who work 30 hours are considered full-time.
If they are full-time fast food franchises
would have to pay for their heath care.
Statistics show that political spending by corporations
to lobby congress has a 1,000 to 1 return.
Therefore, a 6,000 taco bribe was really a cheap date.
An actual congressman would have been offended
by such a cheap low-level bribe.
It takes family golfing vacations on private jets
cash and hookers to buy a congressman.
Anti-immigration conservative congressman’s staffer’s creds
were not damaged as Taco Bell isn’t really “Messican” food.
Taco Bell’s meet and greet
contained no real meat.
Research has shown their food has no beef.
That will all change next year when congress passes
the new bill Taco Bell has drawn up
that rules that pink slime silica is meat.
I know Taco Bell at one time used meat
because the Taco Bell Dog disappeared.
That is when they featured chihuahua chimichanga.
I suspect Taco Bell was one of the sponsors of some recent legislation.
That is all the state laws we are seeing legalizing marijuana.
Taco bell wanted these laws as they are open 24/7
to serve the only people who actually eat there
poor college kids, stoners and late night drunks
who are the only people who will risk
shoving this food down their tacoholes.
I wonder how 6,000 methane exploding devices
were able to get past congressional security.
Isn’t Homeland Security supposed to prevent terrorism?
6,000 tacos entering any kind of building
must violate some kind of fire code.
I wouldn’t think that giving congressional staffers the shits
was a good lobbying strategy on the part of Taco Bell
but then again staffers work for the worst shits in the country.
6,000 tacos the gift that keeps on giving.
I’ll bet congressional bathroom stalls
were crowded and clogged.
At least congress can now claim
they created jobs for more plumbers.
Will next week’s lunches be served by multi-billionaire Papa John
with his burnt cardboard kibbles and bits topped pizzas
whose sauce is made from the blood
of his abused minimum wage workers?
Will gay bashing holier than thou Chick-Fil-A
be the delivery boys the week after Papa John?
Ever notice there just aren’t as many
pigeons in the park as when we were kids?
Sounds like lots of more weeks of work for the plumbers.
Perhaps the landlords of the government the Koch Brothers
could lend a hand by supplying some of their products
like Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
Will we ever see minimum wage workers treated fairly
by the greedy fast food corporations?
Not if these corporations continue to write the laws.
In the meantime fast food workers have no health care
and cannot afford to take a day off of work.
That means they come to work with runny noses,
stomach flu, measles, colds and coughs.
Did you want fries with that burger?
If congress ever decides to put people before corporations
Taco Bell, Papa John’s et all
will punish congressional staffers
by sending 12,000 tacos
and doubling the pizza order.

R.I.P. B.B. King

B.B.: “The Thrill is Gone”

“You’re Going to Miss Me”

“Politicians are like warts on the body of society. And the only thing worse than warts are lawyers and lobbyists.
Jarod Kintz, Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life

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IMBY (In My Back Yard)

Citizens United gave the 1% free rein to buy our politicians. They hire lobbyist to write legislation favoring the 1%. They turn race against race, the middle class against the poor and private sector workers against public sector workers. As the middle class has become poorer their only way to hang on to some of their money is to vote against levies that help them locally. This voting against our own self interest is destroying communities across America. This is my personal observation on just that.

IMBY (In My Back Yard)
Less than a mile down the road from my house
and the Vienna, Ohio high school building
a few fracking wells were pumping away,
until a leak polluting a nearby pond
temporarily closed them down.
Local citizens cried out at a township meeting after the leak,
why were citizens not consulted and asked if they approved
of such a dangerous business being located in their community?
Had I been a township official I would have said,
“We didn’t think you cared about your safety.
After all it took many years to close the 100 year old
Jr. high school that was full of lead paint, asbestos and rot.
Those kids were then jammed into the 100 year-old high school,
which also features lead paint and asbestos.
It is now overcrowded and having
bathroom and septic problems.
You local Taxpayers nixed the idea of a new school building
by voting against any school levy that would have built one.
To further endanger students
a tall cell phone tower was set up
in the high school’s backyard.
It matches another one less than a quarter mile away.
No local citizens squawked about the danger
of such structures to our students and citizens.
Our local police force is made up of mostly
part time employees with no benefits.
They are paid $10 and hr. and have to buy
their own guns and bullet proof vests.
The Warren Tribune’s editor Frank Robinson
wrote an editorial telling Vienna citizens
to vote against a levy that would have paid
our local Vienna police better wages.
The Vienna voters bought his conservative
anti-union and public sector worker hating BS
and voted against the police levy.
That message says Vienna citizens
think that paying police $10 an hr.
to put their lives on the line for us
is all the lives of these police are worth.”
If I was a township trustee I would have summed it up
by saying, “Perhaps as I look at this list what the citizens
of Vienna are really saying is all our local children and citizens
lives aren’t really worth a nickel.”

Paul Thorn: “Mediocrity is King”

“What the Hell is Goin On?”

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. ~ Abraham Lincoln


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The Spirit of an Activists Never Dies

Getting old is definitely not for sissies. I sit down for breakfast and I hear snap, crackle and pop. That would be fine if I was eating a bowl of cereal but I’m not. To deal with arthritis pain I eat Aleve as if they were M&M’s. The thing I hate more than physical pain is the emotional pain I get from time to time. I have it worst on those days when I feel fatalistic. I feel that way when I open the newspaper and see obituaries of people who aren’t as old as I am. I worry that I am not going to be around to see that better world I want for my kids.

What really saddens me is when I see obituaries of activists I know who were working hard to make that better world. I feel an emotional loss I can’t begin to express when these activist who were filled with a passion to right the world’s wrongs pass on. I have a hard time going to calling hours or attending funerals for these people. That is because how do you even begin to thank these activists families for their deceased loved one who fought for social justice and put other people’s needs before their own? These are irreplaceable people and they are rare and to be cherished. People like me who wish they were more of an activist look up to these activist as people to emulate. We of course all fall short as while we have their passion we lack their drive and stamina. We are afraid to fail and that causes too many of us to be spectators in life. These true activists believe their failure in life would be to not get back up once they have been knock down. We of course should have told them that they enlightened us by their examples while they were alive. I met a remarkable local woman activist a number of years back named, Martha Katz. She was the type of person who kindled the passion of fire in other activist for many different causes. So many different causes that it almost seems impossible for one person to have covered in a lifetime.

You can see what I mean about her devotion to so many causes, if you go to and search for the obituary tribute of Martha Hodges Katz (I’m sorry I was for some reason not able to link it on this blog).

I feel lucky to have stood on some picket lines over the years with Martha and her friend and life-mate Ray Nakley. Activist like Martha are now in a perfect place called Heaven. They are now rewarded with the peace, justice and tranquility they were seeking to create for all on Earth. I know that activist like Martha, and my late friends, Bob, Marty, Greg, John and Michael are now partying with Gandhi, MLK, Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, Susan B. Anthony, Joe Hill and Abbie Hoffman. It would not surprise me if they couldn’t be happy in Heaven because there were souls suffering in Hell. I can see these angelic activists putting on comfortable shoes, painting some signs and booking a bus to go on a field trip protest to give the Devil a piece of their mind. I imagine such activists cannot be at peace until everyone is at peace. That is why we feel their spirit every time we walk a picket line or fight to right a wrong. Tonight, I will raise a glass of Jameson to Martha and all the activist who have come and gone. I thank you and my children thank you for all you’ve done and how your spirit continues to inspire us. Their spirits keep on keeping us, even after they’ve reached that higher ground.

Jesse Colin Young: “Peace Song”

“Get Together”

“Great mentorship is priceless.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita


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