June 26, 2007

You can’t generally hold a writer responsible for a headline, usually written by an editor, but you can take issue with it. The headline “Antioch’s sunk itself by refusing to evolve,” in the June 17 Columbus Dispatch over a Mike Harden column, suggests that the new corporate college and university model is in some way a step forward for humanity.

Remember that the Antioch College motto, taken from the great educator Horace Mann, is: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

How one talks about the death, or temporary closing, of the legendary Antioch College – without talking about the great victories that it has won for humanity, this nation, the state of Ohio, and even the city of Columbus – is puzzling.

Let’s recall that history. The Christian Connection founded the college in 1852. It’s a little hard to believe now, in the era of George W. Bush’s warmongering, profit-loving, pro-corporate version of Jesus, but there was a time when the American Christian churches drew more from the Sermon on the Mount than Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

One of the funny ideas that Antioch put forth was that the college “shall afford equal privileges to students of both sexes.” Right from the start, Antioch failed to quote “evolve” into the mainstream sexist society. The college went so far as to hire Professor Rebecca Pennell. Antioch gave her the same rank and pay as her male colleagues – an idea that the rest of society did not “evolve” into until more than century later, although it is still not clear if equal pay is being enforced.

Before the Civil War, the college enrolled two African American female students in the Antioch Preparatory School, an official part of the college, when more “evolved” people felt blacks and women were inherently inferior.

From the beginning, Antioch ran deficits, close to 40% of its budget between 1857 and 1859. In 1862, the college closed until the end of the Civil War. Had the college held more “evolved” ideas such as racism, sexism, and capitalism, they would have no doubt taken care of their budget problems with funds from understanding plutocratic donors.

In the 20th century, Antioch was targeted as a bastion of liberal thought and student activism by the authoritarian House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The chief criticism centered on the fact that Antioch would not expel faculty and students perceived to have real or imagined Communist leanings.

Antioch College officials argued that freedom does not begin by suppressing unpopular ideas, but by considering and debating all positions. The college was in the forefront of the American civil rights movement and justly is proud of the fact that Coretta Scott King is an alumnus, class of 1951. So is civil rights leader Eleanor Holmes Norton, who later served as Chairwomen of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.

Harden writes that “Somehow along the way, the school also acquired the reputation of harboring a bunch of Birkenstock bohemians and pony-tailed, guitar-plunking pinkos.” Only in Ohio would that be considered unusual, or negative, for a college. This reputation, Harden argues, will make it hard to “restore and reopen the Buckeye State’s Berkeley in 2012.”

Why wouldn’t the Buckeye State want to fight to reopen its version of Berkeley? Not everybody worships in the “evolved” cult of Brutus Buckeye and majors in “kegs and eggs.”

Why wouldn’t you want young people to think critically, creatively and liberally at an institution of higher learning? Really, they’ve got their whole life to kiss corporate ass. Even Churchill denounced the young who weren’t “liberal at 20.”

What was Antioch’s great sin in the sixties? Being a campus that encouraged student activism, New Left thought, the peace movement, and black politics?

As the country jack-stepped to the Right in the Reagan era, and became corporate Democrats under Clinton, it was Antioch students who fought the good fight, not hidden away at Yellow Springs, but here in Columbus. It was Antioch students who were victims of police brutality and viciously beaten by Columbus’ finest for peacefully demonstrating against cuts in student loans at the federal building in the mid-90s.

Antioch students were also instrumental in creating “Cop Watch” and “Anti-Racist Action” in the OSU area, when students were being harassed and shot with wooden bullets during the African American Heritage Festival.

Antioch’s commitment to learning off-campus and having students actively engaged for social justice made Columbus a more humane and civil place for OSU students to live.

While Woody Hayes may be revered as an “evolved” icon in OSU history, Antioch’s role models are people of steadfast principles and much greater visions such as Horace Mann, the father of the public school system; J.S. Mills and his dream of a “marketplace of ideas”; and Coretta and her husband Martin Luther King, Jr.’s and their teachings on human rights.

Hopefully, Antioch’s demise is not permanent. But, if Antioch is dead, it is because it was not ashamed to die, because it had won many important victories for humanity. OSU, sadly, has many millenniums to go. And, quite frankly, has gathered a reputation, for harboring helmet-wearing jocks with crew cuts and steroid-buffed bodies.

Bob Fitrakis is co-author, with Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, of WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO. This article was originally published at


Placard Near Holts Office

Nice perspective Paul!
From Paul Lehto, Lawyer In the Bilbray/Busby debacle in San Diego.

In 1938 when Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds scared the bejesus out of the United States, the Martians actually landed, as reported on the radio, (according to the blog below) right near Congressman Rush Holt’s Princeton, New Jersey district office.  Give or take a mile, it seems to me.  But that’s close enough for government work. 
The Martian landing is commemorated by a plaque in Van Ness Park, and you can see the plaque in a picture on this blog. 
It is not known if the invasion directly or indirectly caused any of the provisions in HR 811.  In any case, HR 811 sounds so much like reform, it fools a lot of people!
Also within a mile or so of the Martian landing and Congressman Holt’s district office are the offices of the vendor Avante.  Avante calls itself “the world’s first” maker of voter-verified paper records for DREs — and is clearly an employer in Rush Holt’s congressional district. It’s doubtful that any Avante executives contribute to Holt’s campaigns in any way, no sense in looking into such things.  
Avante also has a bunch of interesting Homeland Security products, like the “Baggage Handling And Air Transport Security Solution”  Plus an ID tag that allows folks to be tracked.  It looks like they’ve got TRAKKER trademarked several times.   ACCESS-TRAKKER,  LIVESTOCK-TRAKKER and (yes, indeed) Vote-TRAKKER (world’s first voter verified paper record!!). Of course, the Vote-TRAKKER won’t track who you are or HOW you voted, or anything else.  That’s why it’s called TRAKKER, silly!!
Daniel Hopsicker suggests that war of the worlds was actually a psych warfare experiment.  See, e.g.  and )  OThers say that’s bull.
 I only wish this would have been disclosed so that we would know that HR 811 was an important Homeland Security TRAKKER project, I would have realized more readily the need.   

Paul R Lehto, Juris Doctor

June 18, 2007

The current scandal involving the firing of U.S. attorneys cannot be separated from the Bush administration’s scheme to suppress black, poor and working class voters. In order to divert attention from its voter suppression tactics that won Bush the White House in 2000 and 2004, the Bush administration created the myth of “voter fraud.” Using fake “voting rights” organizations, obscure groups to finance civil suits and pressure on the U.S. Department of Justice to bring criminal charges against voter registration organizations, Karl Rove and his political operatives like Mark F. “Thor” Hearne have succeeded in undermining the United States’ democracy.

“Hearne was one of the most important Bush operatives that almost nobody in America has ever heard of. He applied his vote-suppressing trade from coast to coast, behind the scenes, in a well-funded systematic effort to undermine democracy and keep voters – Democratic voters – from exercising their legal franchise,” Brad Friedman, Editor of Bradblog, told the Free Press. Bradblog was the first to reveal Hearne’s masquerade as a voting rights advocate.

Hearne’s name recently surfaced in the scandal surrounding the White House’s firing of U.S. attorneys causing the mainstream media to begin scrutinizing his past political activity. The National Journal has pointed out that Hearne is a “common denominator” in the firing of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins and western Missouri U.S. Attorney Todd Graves. At the time of the firings, Cummins was investigating Republican Governor Matt Blunt’s administration, and Graves had refused to indict when partisan charges were brought against the Association of Communities Organizing for Reform Now (ACORN) for a voter registration drive just prior to the 2006 election.

See the rest of the article here;

 eosMonday, June 11, 2007 at 7:00 pm

“End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream”
Northside Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 1423 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Central Ohio Greens meeting. This videodescribes the “peak oil” situation and some solutions.

Discussion follows with Bob Fitrakis.Contact:
About the documentary: “We’re literally stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up” – James Howard Kunstler

Saturday, June 9, 2007Liberators-Kultur-Terror-Anti-Americanism-1944-Nazi-Propaganda-Poster.jpg


Meet new friends in the progressive community! Have a meeting during the salon with a small group! Give a presentation on a social justice issue!

Every second Saturday night we hold a salon at the Free Press office. Check out the new location. We have food, drinks, music, art, political discourse or just socializing time with progressive friends.