the last word (tm)
19/No. 1 - 456th issue – March 31,
firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.bunkerblast.info - Bellevue, Kentucky
CHECK OUT THE ONLINE LUNCHPAIL AT http://onlinelunchpail.blogspot.com
HOARD THIS ISH!!!
Make sure you don't accidentally drop this issue of The Last Word in poop. With the Supreme Court's rogue ruling in January creating corporate "rights", there may be no more Last Word after the end of the year.
That's because this ruling - which erased a 100-year-old campaign finance law - grants corporations the "right" to unlimited spending on partisan political campaigns and on campaign advertising. Under this ruling, corporations don't even have to disclose that they paid for the ad. Indeed, corporations are being given more "rights" than individuals who give to political campaigns.
The Supremes' tune is off-key on a couple major fronts: For one, it wrongly classifies spending as speech - and therefore protected by the First Amendment. For another, it applies constitutional rights to corporations - when corporations aren't supposed to have such rights. Both of the court's premises fly in the face of hundreds of years of settled law.
What will be the result of this? In the 2010 election, corporations will spend as much as they can buying candidates. That's their True Free Speach Now™, you see. If this ruling stays in force into autumn, it will mean no fair elections, because all the information pipelines will be controlled by corporate coffers.
If these efforts are successful, get ready for a Congress like those of the '90s and '00s that suppressed real free speech and expanded corporate power. In fact, what's to come will put the 104th Reich to shame.
A ban on labor unions? Under a Congress elected by Corporate America, it's a very real and chilling possibility. A resurgence of abusive teen confinement programs? That would be highly probable. And you can just forget about expanding health care reform.
In fact, the mucus was barely dry on the Supreme Court's ruling when Wall Street CEO's formed a right-wing "action tank" to take advantage of this new corporate world to boost Republican candidates. (I guess mere think tanks don't work for the Far Right, because thinking requires brain cells.) This group, the American Action Network, includes right-wing business leaders and many of the leading lights of fascist politics such as Haley Barbour and Jeb Bush.
The Supreme Court ruling smacks of elitism. Corporate power lacks public support, so the court has to compel folks to prop it up by channeling their buying power into partisan campaigns. It is the snob ruling of the 2010s, even as the decade was only weeks old. It's also a bailout of Corporate America.
How do we stop this swinging dickery? A constitutional amendment is pending in Congress that would restore the law that the Supreme Court gutted. But Congress is champs at stonewalling, so we have a right to expect the states to step up to the plate. Kentucky is one of many states that has laws limiting corporate campaign expenditures. Kentucky and other states need to continue enforcing their laws - and strengthen them.
The states and the American people must be defiant in the face of a rogue Supreme Court, whose ruling was promulgated largely by appointees of rogue regimes - namely, the Bush crime family, which seized power through rigged elections and media bias.
The Last Word is proud of almost all its stances over the years, and one of few regrets is seeming to take the wrong side in a legal battle between corporations once years ago. But if the latest ruling accomplishes one thing, it strengthens our dedication to make sure our constitutional rights club is open only to living organisms - not corporations.
So stockpile this ish. Keep it with you if you must become a hermit to escape the impending growth of the corporate command state.
FACEBOOK CLOSES CLASS WARFARE GROUP
Damn. I spent weeks honing an exposé of one of the most patently offensive groups ever to appear on Facebook - and then Facebook up and deletes the group, forcing me to rewrite my whole report. Life is rough.
The group in question was a fan site for mandatory drug tests of welfare recipients. The idea is classist on its very face. If the title of the group endorsed making people pass a drug test because of their religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation, it would be condemned - and rightly so. But discrimination on the basis of economic class went unchallenged for far too long before Facebook put its foot down.
What's particularly noxious about this group was that it was used as a recruitment tool for class warfare against the poor. And it was based on many flawed premises. For one thing, drug tests for welfare recipients had already been ruled unconstitutional. In other words, this Facebook group was trying to deny folks a constitutional liberty.
The group initially claimed it was just trying to make it fair for people who had to take drug tests for work. But if the group's founders were so upset about this, why did they support expanding this tyranny instead of backing a law to prohibit workplace drug tests? Besides, most Americans on welfare are part of the working poor - so they might already be tested.
It seemed like every person who posted in this group in support of it had some sob story about seeing someone misspending their welfare check at a store. But I know this is a lie - because when was the last time actual welfare checks were issued? Besides, if checks are still issued, don't people have to cash them before going to the store?
Plus, drug tests are often inaccurate anyway (a fact that's almost totally ignored by the dinosaur press). That's not to mention the constitutional crisis of assuming people are guilty until proven innocent.
Anyone who posted in that group who disagreed with the idea of drug-testing people on welfare was called a druggie by the brassy martinets who ran the group. Gee, it's nice to know CPH got its own Facebook page. Furthermore, users who agreed with the idea kept getting multiple Facebook accounts to pump up the group's numbers, which in turn enabled the group to rank higher when users did a search.
It all came crashing down when half the people who posted on the group were those arguing against them. This prompted supporters of drug testing to advocate killing them. It didn't take much longer before Facebook shut down the group altogether.
Meanwhile, I was reminded of why I hate Bishop Brossart High School so much (as if I needed a reminder). I've repeatedly monitored Facebook pages of school bullies I encountered, and - wouldn't ya know it - almost all of them had this class warrior group among their fan sites. Either that or they had Tea Party or other right-wing groups. That's the only time I've ever seen such overwhelming support for right-wing Facebook pages emanating from a particular school.
It speaks volumes about what Bro$$art was teaching: an utter disregard for those in need - coupled with a sense of entitlement for the well-off. This is the school that thought pirating a Phil Collins song off the radio and playing it over the intercom was supposed to make everyone think the school was a model of humanitarianism. Yet the school's actions speak much louder than this gesture, unfortunately.
I think I'll skip my reunion even if I'm invited. I don't want anything to do with a school that wants me dead for having the "wrong" opinion. Some of my former schoolmates are the same spoiled brats - oops, "values voters" - they were 20 years ago.
In the meantime, whoever started the class warfare group in question had also set up groups that appeared almost identical to fall back on. None of these are gaining hardly any support at all, and what content that does exist is just as vile as that of the now-defunct group.
So don't expect these groups to last much longer.
SIGN, SIGN, NOWHERE A SIGN...
In our previous ish, I exposed how the city of Bellevue squandered taxpayer dollars posting a sign on our street encouraging building owners to convert apartment buildings into one-family houses.
The sign was placed just to spite us. This was after I exposed how the program was designed to drive the poor and working class out of Bellevue.
Guess what? After I ran this article and utterly humiliated city officials, the city took the sign right down.
You can't say The Last Word doesn't get results. As long as the city isn't continuing to use tax dollars to publicly promote its rental conversion program that works against poor taxpayers, that's a colossal step in the right direction.
It brings a whole new meaning to this maxim: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
NEW BOOK ABOUT THE SMITHEREENS OF A MIND!
In 2005, I released a book titled The Fight That Never Ends - a harrowing account of school harassment I suffered.
Now I've released my latest volume - titled A Mind's Smithereens. This tome is on a much happier note, as it relates numerous hilarious stories that tie in with my longtime dream to someday become a civil engineer.
You can order this book from Lulu for only $14.91 (cheap), plus taxes and shipping:
As my first book was, my second book will soon be available from online retailers and actual, you know, bookstores. Because it's a book, you see.
PEEP OUR NEW FACEBOOK PAGE!
Sorry about the delay between editions of The Last Word, your road atlas to freedom. It's been an eventful past few months (after I helped get that teen "rehab" cult closed).
But now we're back on track, and we've got a sparkling new Facebook page for you to hold high above your pointy noggin and allow to cascade downward and coat your visage:
As everybody on the BBS's used to say: Check it out!
NEWPORT VIOLATES A.D.A.
With the opening of the Newport Pavilion shopping center - the complex for which the city of Newport abused eminent domain to drive out residents and ruin the neighborhood - the city has committed another breach of the law.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public conveyances to be wheelchair-accessible. Over in Cincinnati, the incompetent and out-of-control CCCDC ignored the ADA when it unnecessarily rebuilt Fountain Square: The square's wheelchair ramps are nowhere near comparable to its steps.
But Newport only recently violated the ADA when the new shopping center opened. You see, sidewalks are supposed to have a small, gentle slope down to the street at all crosswalks (instead of a hard drop-off). Yet at the southwest corner of 10th Street and Pavilion Parkway (the street to the Newport Pavilion), the crossing of Pavilion Parkway lacks this slope.
It's a brand new sidewalk, yet it thumbs its nose at the ADA outright.
And it's going to cost the taxpayers. As soon as somebody formally complains, the city is going to have to remedy its crackbrained mistake by redoing part of the sidewalk.
The taxpayers lose again - because the city didn't do the job right the first time.
I wonder what the city's excuse is going to be. I'll hazard a guess: They'll probably say the sidewalk along 10th (which is public) is actually shopping center property, and that the city can't do anything about it because it "surrendered its veto power" over the developer's decisions. This was the same excuse the city used for refusing to intervene when the developer threatened to build a Wal-Mart there.
But that rationale won't work. Even if the sidewalk was owned by the shopping center, it would still be required to provide a sloped crosswalk.
I guess any laws that aren't failed War on Drugs diktats are (in Bush's words) "just damn pieces of paper", huh?
LOSE YOUR TEACHING LICENSE? NO PROBLEM
The Last Word wants to know why the Campbell County Schools have rehired a man who lost his teaching certificate some years back because of his disgusting behavior that he engaged in at school.
I thought our schools were finally rid of the violent asshole after he entered the girls' locker room while it was in use. But in Campbell County, I guess no punishment for clods like that ever sticks for good.
No wonder so many young people are complaining on the Internet about how shitty the high school is.
PAY, PAY, PAY...
It amazes you how much some of the worst schools cost to attend - and I don't just mean private schools either.
We've had this story on the backburner for 5 years, and now we've got a great opening for it. The Kentucky Post of June 25, 2005, reported that the Campbell County Schools - an ostensibly public school system - had begun charging students within the district $40 just to attend school.
They really think they're funny by making people pay to attend an obviously inferior school system, huh? If you're gonna pay to attend a horrible school, why not go all out by spending even more on a terrible private school like Brossart instead?
Campbell County must be the most wasteful public school system in the state. Even with the phone tax that it enacted illegally, it still has to charge tuition for students who live within the district? This is the same school system that squandered the money we raised in the candy sale on an extravagant sign, so why should we be surprised?
When I was stuck under the iron thumb of the Campbell County Schools, it was a life of busywork that didn't challenge the skills I had. (It's like if I paid heed to those who think I should work at a low-paying menial job my whole life instead of letting my map-drawing skills bloom.) Why should folks have to pay so much for schools that don't ennoble them but only prepare them for a lifetime of exploitation in the corporatist system?
THE AMAZING BABYSITTING LIBRARY
The toiletymostness that defines much of this fine publication's activities in recent years rears its hilarious head again - this time at Pequannock Public Library in New Jersey.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that the libe was plagued on a daily basis by unruly middle school students who swarmed the damn place after school. The youngsters cussed at library staff, started fights with patrons, and peed all over the restroom floor.
The hijinks got so bad that it drew the attention of the local township council. At one council meeting, the head of the library's board of trustees complained that parents of the students were using the libe as a "babysitting service."
In addition to the urine-coated floors (which one staffer said happened "at least a couple dozen times"), the middle schoolers have also thrown snowballs and blown whistles inside the library. Many library patrons were so aggravated at the noise that they up and left. The students also repeatedly smeared poop all over the bathroom walls.
This has been going on for 14 years! It won't be much longer before the mischief mantle is picked up by the offspring of those who started the whole thing! (It's kind of like how people who read The Last Word in college now have kids who are grown who read us.)
THE TRAFFIC FINE THAT CLOGGED A TOILET
Around 1989, I saw a story in one of the Cincinnati papers about jail inmates clogging toilets. Apparently, the jail was in the courthouse right above some courtrooms. One of the judges was furious because the johnnypots kept leaking because of this vandalism, and the dirty water from the toilets kept landing on his head.
Something just as heehaw-causing happened recently in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
After being required to pay a traffic fine, a man became mighty grumpy. So he stomped into the restroom at the courthouse and promptly stuffed an inordinate amount of toilet paper and even paper towels into the toilet bowl.
The donicker overflowed, flooding the restroom.
The toilet paper may have been enough, but the paper towels were probably what did the trick. Paper towels weren't designed to go down easy. You see, toilet paper is silky smooth, so it's easy on toilets' sensitive digestive tracts. But paper towels are like orange juice with too much pulp. They're chalky, gritty, rough. The toilets in your life need something gentle.
So treat your toilet to toilet paper. Don't treat your toilet like a garbage disposal by giving it paper towels.
Your toilet will love you forever.
LUIS'S FAVORITE NUMBER
That Luis is one cool peep!
I'm talking about Luis of Sesame Street, folks.
That guy ought to earn millions of dollars a year - just for being Luis!
And you know why? BECAUSE HE'S LUIS, DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!
As this would be page 7 of this ish (if printed out), it reminds me of the hilarious (often tasteless) storylines I used to make up about Sesame Street characters. In these stories, Luis's favorite number was 7, because it reminded him of how he could count higher than Bert and Ernie (whose counting abilities were limited to 5 and 6, respectively).
This predated my years at Bishop Brossart High School, in which schoolmates became obsessed with the number 7 and yelled out "hooooo-waaaaa!" every time it was mentioned. (During that craze, someone wrote "hooooo-waaaaa!" in the box for the 7th day of the month on the calendar in the cafeteria. People also used this calendar to mark things like the due dates for the many pregnancies at this school. Eventually the principal removed the calendar because "it was of no use to no one.")
Anybip, back to Luis. The real Sesame Street often conducted fact-finding missions to places like Hawaii and New Mexico. I remember Luis staying behind from one of these. When a segment featured Luis back on our favorite alley, he said something obvious like, "Hi, I'm Luis! I'm back on Sesame Street!" Well, no shit, Sherlock Hemlock.
This prompted my storylines in which Luis put on a high-pitched voice and kept going, "Lu-is! Lu-is! Luuuuu-iiiiis!" It all came to a head when Luis started a pirate TV station that operated on Channel 7 - thus putting it out of range for Ernie and Bert.
If I remember correctly, Channel 7 broadcast nothing but Luis making stupid noises.
The biggest calamity in Kentucky politics in my lifetime was the reign of Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher in the 2000s. One afternoon, instead of covering the latest Fletcher scandal, the top news story on a local TV station was Ashlee Simpson's cosmetic surgery. I went to the station's website, and instead of anything about Fletcher, the top headline read, "Ashlee May Dump Her Nose Bump."
But if Luis was having cosmetic surgery, the world would want to know, dammit! Nobody cares who's having plastic surgery - unless it's Luis! Luis fans have a constitutional right to know everything Luis!
Reading us online? Click on these words to go up to our index!
* * *