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Food for Thought

Some Facts on Immigration and a poem.

7.6% of immigrants are self-employed compared to 5.6% of native-born Americans and they founded more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies.

Immigrant-owned businesses with employees have an average of 11 employees. These businesses account for up to 5.2 million jobs.

Immigrants actually only account for 13.5% of the total U.S. population, which is in line with historical norms.

Undocumented immigrants pay an average of $11.64 billion in state and local taxes a year. In 2010, undocumented individuals paid $13 billion into retirement accounts and only received $1 billion in return. Over the years, immigrants have contributed $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund. Without the contributions of immigrants going into the system, it is estimated that full benefits would not be able to be paid out beyond the year 2037.

Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law; even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.

Under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating.

I wrote this poem several years ago and it seems even more fitting today:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Forrest Gump said,
“Life’s like a bowl of chocolates.”
I can tell you life
isn’t always a bowl of cherries
or peaches and cream milk & honey
or as dandy as candy
or as fine as wine
nor filled with sugar & spice.

Too often we get in
a pickle or a jam
and feel twisted up inside
like a pretzel
and get a chip on our shoulder
and express sour grapes
in the wrong direction.

Well it’s time to spill the beans,
there’s more to life than
bread and butter
and meat and potatoes.
To get the gravy in life,
America must celebrate
its melting pot
by using all its ingredients
we can make a delicious gumbo
not be content with hot dogs and apple pie.

The most nutritious thing we can do
is get the spices out of the cupboard
roll up our sleeves,
quit using our fingers
to point blame at
others who don’t look like us
and use those fingers
instead to start cooking
up a bottomless pot
of the broth of diversity
for variety is the spice of life.
Too many cooks cannot spoil this recipe,
only enhance it.
The kitchen will never smell sweeter
I guarantee ya…

Chris Rea: “Immigration Blues”

The Founding Fathers Favored a Liberal Immigration System.

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The Final Distraction

People are arguing over whether a black woman should star as 007 in the next James Bond movie. Others are saying a black woman should not play Ariel in the next “Little Mermaid” film. All these things are BS diversions.  Instead, we need to focus on how Trump is destroying our environment and promoting hate and racism. That is why I wrote this poem:

 

The Final Distraction

Suddenly everyone was staring,

directly at their TV’s news cast.

Today was the day that the government

would reveal what they knew about

outer space aliens visiting our planet.

The news reported that aliens exist.

At the pentagon suddenly everyone was staring,

out the windows expecting to see protestors.

On Wall Street suddenly everyone was staring,

out of high rise offices expecting to see investors,

on sidewalks outside screaming for their money.

They saw no one gathered anywhere.

That is because at the very moment

of the outer space alien reveal,

suddenly everyone was staring

at their cell phones as they dinged,

with a different emergency news flash.

The public was now totally transfixed

on this more important news story.

It concerned the Cardi B. and Nicki Minaj feud.

Nicki Minaj threw shade on Cardi B,

accusing Cardi of trying to stop her bags.

Cardi B said she gets it poppin with these hands

and while she’s busy winning awards,

Nicki is getting dragged by her lacefront.

Nicki responded, “Unlike a lot of these whores

whether their wack or lit/at least I can say

I done wrote every rap I spit.”

The public is being asked to take sides.

Lil Yachty, DJ Akademikis, and Dj Spinking,

have all decided to join team Cardi B.

Lil Uzi Vert, 6ix9ine, Raj Ali, and Iggy Azalea

have all declared for team Nicki.

People are trying to get Lil Mix to take sides.

It’s a fight to see who will be top queen.

I can’t believe as humans we have sunk so low.

I neither know who any of these people are

or give a damn about their idiotic feud.

Suddenly everyone is staring,

out their windows and doors,

into the streets where aliens have landed.

The public was pre-occupied with tabloid B.S.,

now we are occupied by alien invaders.

People are screaming in absolute fear.

I for one am staring with a welcoming smile,

happy to see some intelligent life on this planet.

 

The last poets Toxic Times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as8jxurX-EU

If we only knew what we could do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nprdSGh59jI

“Be so free that nothing more than your future can distract your attention.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson

 

 

 

 

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Journey South

Mrs. E. and I just returned from a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. We were visiting our daughter. We are very proud of her as she is a Hospice nurse. Here is a poem about the trip:

Journey South

Ohio state troopers are very busy along our route.

They seem to be targeting semi-truck drivers.

In West Virginia a black officer walks up to

a white man in a car he has pulled over.

It instantly brings a smile to my face.

We pass a colorful Caribbean restaurant in West Virginia.

I note that it is located on Bland Street in Bland County.

You will instantly know when you are in Virginia.

That is because state police cars dot every mile.

The state for lovers and speeding fines.

Signs note that Radar detectors are illegal.

They don’t want to give you a fighting chance.

We dined at a Virginia pub featuring Maryland crab.

Behind us sits a couple in camouflage clothing,

including their ball caps and shoes.

But I can see them very clearly

as the barroom is brightly lit.

The guy drinks a Bud as it sounds manly.

It is also brain food as it made Bud wiser.

His camo t-shirt has a skull and crossbones

but the bones are actually two 45 caliber pistols.

Printed very large and boldly on the front and back

is, “Second Amendment America’s Homeland Security.”

We wouldn’t be sitting here in North America

if Native Americans would have united their tribes

and formed their very own Homeland Security.

In Charlotte our daughter takes us to dinner.

We sit down at an authentic Carolina BBQ joint.

It strangely features; St. Louis ribs, Nashville hot chicken

and half a BBQ chicken with Alabama white sauce.

We enjoyed a tour of the town on the Funny Bus.

We were excited to see non-profit King’s Kitchen.

They train the previously unemployable area resident

drug abusers and former inmates seeking a new beginning.

They serve Southern cuisine with local farm ingredients

and 100% of the profits goes to Charlotte’s poor and homeless.

It was also nice to see The Thirsty Beaver Saloon.

Working-class Blue Ribbon Beer and old school country music

has survived here despite upscale apartments surrounding it.

They refused to sell their bar and a developer paid $8.5 million

for the all property behind and next to them.

They sit like a tiny island surrounded by water.

Kudos to Brooks Sandwich House, home of the chili burger.

The late Mr. Brooks donated over two acres of land

so Habitat for Humanity could build low-income housing.

I’m saddened my daughter has moved so far away.

Yet, I like that that she has settled in a place

where so many people are fighting the good fight!

On the journey home we noted a sign on a semi.

It largely stated, “It’s flash a trucker day.”

We had great weather for all our vacation days.

That is until we saw the welcome to Ohio sign.

From that second on we drove with our flashers on

as it was raining so hard it was difficult to see.

It’s been such a rainy summer that I’m thinking

of trading our car and house in on a house boat.

I could dock it in my front yard.

 

RIP Dr. John: “Revolution”

“Locked Down”

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”
—Ann Landers

 

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Pro-life?

She claims she loves Jesus

and that is why she is pro-life.

She supports the death penalty

and unrestricted gun rights.

She votes against all police,

fire and school levies.

She has no use for POW’s

or veterans with PTSD.

She only supports the military

if they are on active duty,

fighting wars on foreign soil.

She opposes any form of contraception.

She loves how easy it is

to advocate for the unborn.

She can do so without harming

her wealth or her privilege.

To her the unborn are much easier to love

than the poor, the marginalized, immigrants,

addicts, minorities, the incarcerated,

orphans, widows, the homeless,

the ill and people with special needs.

She ignores the needs of these groups,

even though they are mentioned

over and over by Jesus in the Bible.

She supports politicians who advance agendas

that  hurt women, children and families.

She sees no problem with caging immigrant children

seeking asylum and separating them from their parents.

She really believes she is pro-life,

pro sanctity of all life

and part of the moral high ground.

She loves the unborn because

they don’t ask her for

love, acceptance, understanding,

or any of her tax dollars.

Of course, once the unborn are born,

they are dead to her.

 

Bible verses to confront those opposing choice: https://www.rawstory.com/2019/06/how-to-effectively-confront-anti-abortion-zealots-with-bible-verses/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Getting Testy About BS

On 5/9/2019 the Youngstown Business Journal posted a video called, “Discussing Drugs in the Workplace.” The video featured, Ruth Bowdish from On Demand Drug Testing. She said that drug use has gone up so much that if affects safety in the workplace. She claimed that drug use has cost companies $81 billion in productivity, absenteeism and higher insurance rates.

         I’ve also been hearing employers on talk radio in Youngstown, Akron, and Cleveland etc. saying they can’t find employees to pass drug tests. I wondered about the real numbers of people who are not passing drug tests. I had to look no further than an article in the Youngstown Business Journal from April 13, 2019. This article by Quest Diagnostics stated that the national average of workers who fail drug test is 4.4%. In the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys that rate is even lower at 2.55 to 3.5%. That small rate shows that these area employers calling talk radio are full of crap.

What about the claim that productivity has fallen because of workplace drug use? From 1973 to 2017, net productivity rose 77.0 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 12.4 percent over 44 years (after adjusting for inflation). This means that although Americans are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have gone to corporate profits and those at the top.

How about that safety issue and drug testing that Ruth Bowdish talked about? That is the subject of the book, “Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use in the Workplace” by researcher Michael R. Frone Ph.D. He found that there is a lack of evidence that drug testing affects safety.

Are employers who call talk radio lying when they say they can’t get employees because job seekers can’t pass drug tests? I think the real problem is that these employers want someone to work for long hours with little benefits for next to nothing. If workers are really so hard to find why aren’t wages increasing? When will the laws of supply and demand kick in? Companies in Erie, Pa. have used the failed drug test B.S. to hire immigrants at way lower wages. Employers are just playing the victim card. It is much easier than actually examining why people don’t want to work for you.

Then we have politicians that lie about job seekers not passing drug tests. When Nikki Haley was governor of South Carolina she claimed half the applicants at a nuclear reservation in her state failed a drug test. When research on this was done it showed those failing the drug test was less than one percent. Politicians and employers trash the poor and unemployed because it makes it easier to look down on them. It’s time for the employers and politicians to stop the BS stories and reflect on their own failures to help lift all boats.

John McCutcheon: “I’m an Immigrant”

“Y all Means All”

“I now have anti-bodies to assholes after working for so many.”
Crystal Woods,

 

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Exposing the Lipstick on Pigs

Several years back my small community of Vienna, Ohio was invaded. We were invaded by capitalist pigs. This swine brought us fracking injection wells. The wells were injected with waste chemicals brought in from nearby Pennsylvania. These chemicals were stored in large containers by locally owned, KDA not two miles from my house. In April 2015 a neighbor of these tanks had dead fish floating in his pond. One of the storage tanks had been leaking for six months. Estimates of how many chemicals leaked were thought to be at least 2,000 gallons. The Youngstown Vindicator reported this, “In raw numbers, the five Vienna wells injected about 19 million gallons underground during those six months.” This was based on the 454,000 barrels of waste the EPA said KDA wells received. Shortly after this, Vienna received another pig in a poke. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources gave the OK for an injection well, using oil field waste to be built next to two of the biggest employers in Vienna. That is the Youngstown Airport and Youngstown Air Reserve. I note all of this went on after a 4.0 –magnitude earthquake in nearby Youngstown and tremors from an injection well in Weathersfield Township. Both locations are only several miles from Vienna. Local residents and our trustees had questioned and protested against the wells being located here.

Our voices were drowned out by the squeals from the gas & oil lobby corporate pigs. These corporate pigs are able to use their cash to fill the troughs of state and federal politicians. In a 2013 study by watchdog group Common Cure it was documented that Ohio legislators received $2 million in “donations” from the natural gas industry between 2011 and 2013. This kind of cash keeps politicians living high on the hog and enjoying hog heaven and the public’s safety takes a back-burner.

We have a section in Vienna that is an enterprise zone for bigger businesses. We have seen greedy corporate hogs locate in these buildings and suck up all the corporate welfare they can. One shower curtain company located here for five years. After that time they were asked to pay a small percent in taxes so they closed up shop and headed down south. Meanwhile, Vienna struggles with raising enough taxes to keep our schools open. Vienna students go to a high school built in 1916. It is the second oldest high school in Ohio.

In 2015 the citizens of Vienna were asked to buy the latest pig in a poke. A former golf course was being turned into a hunting reserve where people could hunt fenced in animals. The 275 acres offered a place where you could shoot one of several hundred wild boars for $500 or even a whitetail deer for $14,500. Local Vienna residents worried about stray bullets and animal activists fought against it being allowed to operate. Our local trustees tried to also stop it from opening. Once again like the injection wells, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources approved its opening.  After a couple of years the canned hunting ranch closed and most of the fences around it have been removed. Local residents wondered what had become of the animals at the game reserve. Our “friends” at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said if the animals were moved or slaughtered, a special permit would be needed from the agency. The communications manager for ODNR stated in an email that the agency is “not aware of any ODNR assistance in moving animals.”

What has become of the wild animals from the game reserve? Neighbors of the reserve found some answers just this week. One of the neighbors of the property shot a 200 lb. wild boar and also spotted a 350 lb. one. Township Trustee Phil Pegg stated that what is happening now with these animals is what area citizens feared when the hunting ranch opened. Pegg said, “This is why the county asked for the Candywood Hunting reserve not to open, but we were overrode by the state. We were told we did not have a standing.”

That’s all for now from Vienna, Ohio where our citizens are again cleaning up the pig shit left behind from big business, the politicians they own and phony safety net government agencies that protect the hogs not our countries citizens.

Prophets of Rage: “Unfuck the World” 

“Enforcement isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about whether government works and who it works for.” – Elizabeth Warren

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A Child Shall Lead Us

Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, age 16 has not let her diagnosis of Asperger syndrome; ADHD, OCD and selective mutism slow her down. On August 20, 2018, the ninth grader decided to protest every Friday outside the Swedish legislature. She wanted the Swedish government to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement. She was able to gain worldwide attention. She inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes, to demand world leaders act on climate change. This month, up to 1.4 million children around the world participated in a global climate strike.

The power of one person making a difference to change the planet has led Greta to being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Thunberg addressed the United Nations climate change summit, December 4, 2018. That same month, Time magazine named Greta one of the world’s 25 most influential teenagers of 2018. She was nominated for the Telge Energi’s Children’s Climate Prize for young people who promote sustainable development. She declined the prize because the finalists would have to fly to Stockholm. To lower her family’s carbon footprint, her family had become vegetarians and given up flying. She worried that her children and grandchildren would ask her why people had not taken action in 2018 when there was still time, to fight climate change. This 16-year-old girl (with her own physical ailments) has put the weight of the world on her shoulders and got the world to listen.

Well, maybe not the entire world. Here in the US our citizens are lifting our weight up into gas guzzling SUV’s. At Ford, trucks and SUVs account for more than 80 percent of sales. That percentage will only get bigger because Ford is discontinuing production of most of its car line. Retail sales for the nine passenger Ford Expedition were up 35 percent last year. Sales for the nine passenger Lincoln Navigator grew 70 percent making it the vehicle’s best sales year. Because of the huge demand for these two SUVs, the company is creating 550 jobs at its Louisville, Kentucky plant, but employees from the company’s nearby assembly plant will fill the positions.

In 2009 Ford received a $5.9 billion loan from the Department of Energy to build more fuel-efficient vehicles. In 2016, Ford was named, Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brand. Ford was working hard to meet strict fuel economy standards. Then, in 2018, Ford along with the rest of the auto industry lobbied to overturn those standards. Making fuel-efficient cars has been abandoned in favor of making the big profits that come with more expensive SUVs. Vehicles accounts for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The return to gas hog vehicles is all on the consumer, not Ford. Ford tried to build fuel efficient vehicles and the buying pubic wasn’t interested in buying them. So Ford is responding to the demand for big SUVs and happy about it as it means more money for their stockholders. “Green cars” were replaced with Suvs that make the company huge green dollars. Car customers feel that gas prices are low so they can afford to drive these gas guzzling behemoths. Ford will be much more susceptible to the ill effects of rising oil prices. One severe oil price spike could send consumers back to passenger cars, the ones Ford is no longer making. What could go wrong? What is that saying about not learning from history? We are only one weather disaster or an instance of political instability in an oil region away from an oil shortage. The real price of gas would increase greatly if we quit subsidizing oil producers.

For now in the US consumers are sticking us with SUVs, the junk food of automobiles. Now we have Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet giving us gas guzzling giant vehicles. Add that to other corporations pumping out pesticides, military grade weapons, GMOs and fracking companies and we are looking at one unhealthy planet. There is no Planet B so what are we to do?

Perhaps these giant SUVs and trucks are doing something on their own to save the planet. Bert Henriksen’s 2017 Ford Explorer might be aiding Greta Thunberg’s effort to prevent climate change. You see Bert’s Explorer and 3,000 other Ford Explorers, (including ones used by police departments) are suspected of trying to poison their owners. These owners have been getting erratic and angry and having headaches while driving their Explorers. A blood test revealed that Henriksen has been exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide gas. Ford’s attempt to fix the vehicles interior environment problem has not worked. Explorer owners have now filed more than 50 lawsuits against Ford. I believe these Explorers are trying to tell their owners…….buy a smaller fuel-efficient vehicle. Perhaps these SUV’s should be called, smart cars. After all, they are smarter than their owners.

I think we can do better. The answer is to listen to Greta and the voices of our children and grandchildren. We need to aid these children by demanding climate change and taking on corporate lobby owned politicians that deny climate change. The best inheritance we can leave Greta and our future generations is a clean and sustainable planet.

If we wait too long I’m afraid a coalition from other planets will destroy Earth to save the galaxy. May the force be with us!

Song: Gas Guzzling SUV

“We need a new law that owners of SUVs are automatically in the military reserve. Then they can go get their own goddamn Oil.” ~ Jello Biafra

 

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