Police State Pinch 

All aboard, class! Today's subject is your eroding personal freedom, and Professor Mouth has lined up a field trip. Our first stop is Rootstown High School, where we'll learn about your First Amendment freedom of expression. Oops, we can't teach that here, since three students were just suspended. Their crime? They refused to turn their Mushroomhead T-shirts inside out.

Apparently, school honchos erroneously deduced that the band Mushroomhead is about drugs. Who knows, maybe some old hippie teacher saw the T-shirt and had a psilocybin mushroom flashback. Our lesson here? Even when no drugs are involved, the hysteric drug war can still wipe its arrogant ass on the face of freedom.

Next stop--Aurora High School, to study the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Oops, not at Aurora, where students must take a Breathalyzer test at school dances and events. As is often the case, the cause--discouraging underage drinking--is noble. But the arbitrary imposition of making both the guilty and the innocent blow in a tube is asinine. Unfortunately, a minor standing on public property doesn't have many rights. But you students do have the right to avoid these authoritarian events. And that's the best way to tell 'em to stick that tube up their tightly constricted anuses.

Yo, students! Does your school offer a class that covers the ten constitutional amendments known as the Bill of Rights? Probably not. Hell, your principal's probably a pro-Big Brother extremist who believes in totalitarian bullshit like the new Ohio School-to-Work program. That's where they push you to choose a "career path" by the eighth grade. It's another example of the corporate socialist marriage of Big Business and Big Government, designed to deliver an obedient working class. Like they had in Indonesia, until the students rioted last year.

Here's our final lesson. December 15 is Bill of Rights Day, the 207th anniversary of this great document's ratification. Ask your history teachers if they plan to cover it. Better yet, send Mouth a note or an e-mail (scene@clevescene.com) with your address, and we'll mail you the Bill of Rights. Remember, comrades, knowledge is power. And as Ben Franklin once said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

Ballot Box Bimbo
Here's another case in which a well-connected political puppet gets off, where the average person would get the shaft. Meet Clevo Ports Director Solomon Balraj. Back in '94-'95, Bimbo Balraj voted in Clevo Heights four times while supposedly living on Hough Avenue in Clevo. Yep, he had snagged a City Hall job and he needed a Clevo residence, but he kept voting in Clevo Heights. That's a felony rap for most of us, but slippery Solomon wasn't even charged.

Now he's been cleared by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections! Actually, that's no shock, if you look at the political players involved. The Board's made up of two Dems and two Repubs, all appointed by the Secretary of State. Due to the blatantly partisan nature of this setup, both parties protect their own. So you'd expect both Dems, Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne and former Clevo school exec John Hairston, to take the side of Dem Balraj.

But so did Ohio Repub Party Chair Bob Bennett, who moved to dismiss the complaint. The other Repub, former county GOP chair Roger Synenberg, challenged the motion. Enter Balraj's lawyer, pre-Forbes Clevo Council Prez Tony Garafoli. He resorted to the Ernie Tarle selective stupidity defense, saying Balraj "knows nothing about election law." Oh, did we mention Solomon is a lawyer who formerly served in Hizzoner's law department?

Before you question the wisdom of Solomon, consider his choice of legal representation. Besides being a longtime local political wheel, Dem Garafoli is a former law partner of Repub Bennett. So go ahead and call Balraj a bimbo on election law. When it comes to understanding modern "buy-partisanship," this Solomon is king.

Let the Jailbird Sing
Yo, there's a fun new tidbit in the investigation of King George V. Our guv George Voinovich is still due for an Elections Commission hearing on that '94 money-laundering deal. But now the federal grand jury that uncovered the King's campaign cash flow wants to hear from jailbird Vince Zumpano.

Vivacious Vince is an acquaintance of the guv's bro, Prince Paul V, the valiant vanguard of the vexing V Group. Zumpano was a toilet-paper salesman turned jail consultant. The V Group wanted to build a jail in Steubenville. They got the job, and Vince got convicted of trying to bribe a Jefferson County commish. He's been studying jail design from the inside of a Steubenville slammer ever since.

Now Zumpano's up on a perjury charge, but a Jefferson County judge has delayed sentencing. Why? To give the jailbird a chance to sing for the feds. If this caged canary wants out, he'll have to whistle a sweet tune about the Prince and the King.

No Jock Itch Here
The last thing Mouth wants for Christmas is an end to the NBA Lockout. It's great having fewer jocks for the media to shove down our throat. Even so, we'll share an idea that could revolutionize the Nike Banking Alliance. The Canadian Parliament wants to give team owners more tax breaks, so a Toronto Star sportswriter came up with an "idiot tax." For example, he said the Raptors' owners should pay an idiot tax for wasting a shitload of money on Sharone Wright.

Evidently, the Canuck sports media ain't totally in the owners' pockets, like here in Clevo. Would any local yokel suggest taxing the Gunds for overpaying Danny Ferry and Hot Rod Williams? Can you imagine the tax on Modell for bankrupting his team to sign dirtbag Andre Rison and washed-up Lorenzo White?

Speaking of the NFL Monopoly, there's a great new book out called Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL. The writers researched 500 players and found that 109 had criminal records. Heck, that's only 22 percent. If they ever do the sequel, The Nitwits, Frauds, and Liars Who Own the NFL, that percentage would be much higher.


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