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Free Press FREE Movie Dirty Business: “Clean Coal” And The Battle for Our Energy Future

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Free Press FREE Movie:
Dirty Business: “Clean Coal” And The Battle for Our Energy Future
Tuesday, October 25 • 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St., Bexley
Can coal ever really be made “clean”? Watch the 90-minute documentary that investigates. Half our electricity comes from coal, the largest single source of greenhouse gases. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Featuring stories from China to West Virginia, Dirty Business reveals the true social and environmental costs of coal power and explores the murky realities of “clean coal” technology. Guided by Rolling Stone reporter Jeff Goodell, the film highlights the work of energy innovators and the viable, renewable alternatives they offer in an age of rapid climate change. Winner of both the Bronze Plaque and the Award at the CIFVF.
http://dirtybusinessthefilm.com/about-the-film
Co-sponsored by the Free Press, Drexel Theater, Columbus Film Council and the Central Ohio Green Education Fund Award.
truth@freepress.org, 253-2571

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Fight Back Guest Ben Carnes, Native American Activist


Bob Fitrakis’ “Fight Back”: Guest Ben Carnes, Native American activist
Bob and Ben will discuss Columbus Day and its implications for the Native communities of our country. Ben Carnes is a Choctaw activist and writer who received the 1987 Oklahoma Human Rights Award for making a stand against forced hair-cutting policies while incarcerated. After his parole in August 1988, he has been involved in organizing events and demonstrations on behalf of Native people and Native prisoners, including Leonard Peltier. His experiences have led to being asked to testify before congressional committees, and speak at numerous universities, public forums and events.
Listen and call in this Wednesday October 12
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766
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Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

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Fight Back Oct. 4, 2011 – First English Church 100th Anniversary

Bob and Connie interview Pastor Bob Ward about the 100-year-old church and its anniversary celebration and the social justice issues address by the church’s community outreach programs on East Main Street.

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Fight Back Interviews Mike Ferner of Veterans For Peace

Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Mike Ferner of Veterans for Peace
Mike is in Washington DC for the October 2011
People’s Assembly on the 11th anniversary of our invasion of Afghanistan
Listen and call in this Wednesday October 5
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766
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Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon Oct. 8 Insurgent Theatre presents: “In the Belly”


Come to the Free Press Second Saturday Salon
This Saturday, Oct. 8
6:30pm to midnight
Socialize and network with progressive friends and food, drink, music, art, and a theatre performance:
8pm –Insurgent Theatre and RedBird Prison Abolition presents: (this time for sure!) —

“In the belly is where things digest, where they are broken down so their value can be extracted. This is where things are made to rot. If our society is a beast, its belly is the prison system. This new work from Insurgent Theatre seeks to manifest imprisonment on stage, overlays it with critical analysis of the system, and follows up with in-depth discussion about abolishing prison in America.”

“In the Belly”
If our society is a beast, it’s belly is the prison system. Where things digest, where they are broken down so their value can be extracted. This is where things are made to rot. This new work from Insurgent Theatre seeks to manifest imprisonment on stage, overlays it with critical analysis of the system, and follows up with in-depth discussion about abolishing prisons in America. Created in workshop by Weslie Coleman, Kate Pleuss, and Ben Turk, with assistance from Harmony Bench and Rebecca Riley. Touring the US in 2011. Raising funds for RedBird Prison Abolition. Supporting prisoners in Ohio. This show contains nudity, violence and other sad realities of the US prison system.
1021 E. Broad St.
253-2571, truth@freepress.org
“In The Belly” presskit

The Dispatch Empire Strikes Back: Vader-Like Forces Of Darkness Suck The Other Paper Into A Black Hole

Bob Fitrakis
October 2, 2011

The late Herbert Marcuse, author of One Dimensional Man, and Noam Chomsky, America’s most cited scholar, both have pointed out the advantage of controlling news through private corporate conglomerates. In 1947, in his seminal book Inside USA, John Gunther called the Wolfe family of Columbus perhaps America’s most ruthless media monopoly.

Last week, the Wolfe family’s closely held private corporation, the Dispatch Printing Company, was at it again. The Dispatch bought up the last independent weekly newspapers in Columbus, owned by American Community Newspapers. They picked up the Suburban News Publication (SNP) chain of 22 local community weeklies; The Other Paper, a weekly entertainment and commentary newspaper; Columbus Monthly, the only serious magazine in the capital; and a dozen other specialty magazines including Columbus CEO and Columbus Bride. John F. Wolfe, the CEO of the Dispatch Printing Company, told Business First that, “Putting all of these titles under one roof opens up enormous and exciting possibilities for local readers.”

Really?

The Dispatch bought Columbus Alive in 2006, which was once the premier investigative weekly in the state of Ohio from 1997-2002. The paper never really recovered from the shock of 9/11 and increasingly moved away from muck-raking journalism and progressive social commentary to incredibly mundane middle-of-the-road political discourse.

Once acquired by the Dispatch, moderate discourse disappeared entirely as the paper pursued pay-to-play features to entice bar, restaurant and concert ads. There’s a massive vacuum in the capital city with the Wolfe’s Columbus Dispatch not only serving as the daily monopoly, but now its control of the Alive and The Other Paper dominates nearly all news and ad revenue in Columbus.

Democracy can only be served with more than one point of view. The Dispatch family has not endorsed a Democrat for President since Woodrow Wilson in 1916. The Wolfes, of German ancestry, exposed pro-German sentiments during World War I. On a local level, they tend to endorse Democrats they know are locks to win elections. But, the Dispatch’s clear bias is towards conservative ideology and politicians who serve their personal economic interests. Thus, their recent stunningly biased support for their longtime fair-haired boy Governor Kasich and their support for Senate Bill 5, will be their model for the former Democratic-leaning The Other Paper.

If The Other Paper survives.

The Other Paper, SNP and Columbus Monthly were originally owned by Max Brown’s CM Media, a media chain that began in 1975. Brown, an administrator under Ohio’s former Democratic Governor John Gilligan, dreamed of countering the influence of the Big Bad Wolfe family with his own media empire. He was never able to add the crown jewel, which would have been the return of a daily newspaper to provide a different perspective than the Dispatch.

The Dispatch destroyed their only daily competitor, the Columbus Citizen-Journal, at the end of 1985. The Dispatch simply failed to renew a joint operating agreement with the Citizen-Journal, which lacked its own printing facilities.

Brown’s vision of challenging the Wolfes centered around his ability to do his own printing with CM Printing. This ended when he sold CM Media and his printing presses to American Community Newspapers in 2007. In fact, CM Printing and later American Community Newspapers printed the paper I edit, the Columbus Free Press.

The Dispatch distinguished itself in the 1990s by covering up the blatant corruption of the Voinovich administration, including Governor Voinovich’s brother Paul’s ties to organized crime. They also purposely acted as apologists allowing George Bush and Karl Rove’s theft of Ohio’s 2004 presidential election. The freepress.org will continue to report the real news in the capital The Dispatch’s power on paper is greater than ever. But, the pedestrian and propagandistic nature of their boring publications should serve to do them in.

With the internet at our disposal, we should do everything possible to boycott and discredit what remains the most ruthless media monopoly in America.

If you would like to see the Columbus Free Press published as a quarterly or monthly publication again, remember that we are a charitable 501(c)(3) and you can make your donation to us on our online store at freepress.org.


Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of the Free Press and freepress.org and former investigative reporter for the Columbus Guardian and award-winning investigative journalist for Columbus Alive, where he authored a column “Bob Bites Back.”

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Two events: Freedom (free) movie and Solidarity Action at Gallery Hop on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Two events: Freedom (free) movie and Solidarity Action at Gallery Hop on Saturday, October 1, 2011

12noon – “Freedom,” a documentary on the Deepwater Horizon Guld oil spill, at the Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse and it’s completely FREE. Please don’t miss this chance to support FREEDOM and help sustain the world’s future!

“Occupy Columbus” solidarity protest at Gallery Hop today – time changed
The time for the march today has been changed. Marchers will assemble at 5:30 on Wexner Plaza (15th & High) & step off no later than 6pm. JOIN US! In New York the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters will be marching at 3PM. It’s anticipated to be the largest march yet. The aim here is to have a march this Saturday for the Gallery Hop to show our solidarity with the OWS protests and to spread the word. The plan is to meet up at NEW TIME: 5PM at 15th and High Street near the Wexner Center to make signs and then march to the Short North.
See https://www.facebook.com/OccupyColumbus#!/event.php?eid=208282725904563 for details.

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Fight Back This Week: Medea Benjamin Cofounder CODEPINK

Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back” this week:
Guest Medea Benjamin, cofounder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights organization Global Exchange
Bob and Medea will discuss her recent experience in the Middle East and 10 years of U.S. wars.
Listen and call in this Wednesday September 28 – talktainmentradio.com
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766

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Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

*************************

Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766

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Render Unto Rove The Things That Are Rogue And Unto God The Things That Are God’s

September 25, 2011

The original notice that Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush, would be speaking at Cedarville University in Ohio came from Warcriminalswatch.org. What piqued my interest is how a Bible-based fundamentalist university would invite the country’s most famous Machiavellian to speak on Constitution Day.

As a frequent critic of Rove, my writings have argued that he’s not only a war criminal as Bush’s advisor during the illegal Iraq War, but also a violator of human rights on the issue of torture for supporting Bush’s torture policies. Also, I’ve argued that he’s a criminal racketeer because of his illegal activities regarding the Florida presidential election in 2000 and the Ohio election in 2004.

To Cedarville University’s credit, the Alpha Sigmas invited me to speak prior to Rove’s visit and outline my case against him. The 60 or so people who filled the lecture room applauded politely at the beginning, and even at the end, but that was nothing compared to the standing ovation Rove would get in the Jeremiah Chapel during his introduction and conclusion.

The title of Rove’s Constitution Day speech was “2012: Choosing our Future.” This was a little less academic than my “The Rovian Dilemma: Machiavellian or Moralist” speech.

Rove was shockingly charming during his introduction. Preceding him, perhaps ironically, the school’s choir belted out The Battle Hymn of the Republic” a northern battle cry to greet the faux Texan, Rove.

Rove began by reading the preamble to the Constitution and then introducing his theme of the “big choices” before the thousands assembled. He launched into a fairly detailed attack on the Obama stimulus plan around the talking point “we cannot spend our way to prosperity.” In Rove’s analysis, Bush’s trillion dollar bailout of the “too big to fail” investment banks is forgotten, as is the massive debt run up under his administration, the great recession he triggered, and the yearly surplus that existed at the end of the Clinton years.

Rove should be given credit for not using rubber numbers in his current criticism of Obamanomics. However, he pushed heavily what scholars call “the Horatio Alger myth,” where mythical small entrepreneurs under a limited government flourish and save America. Rove’s plea to continue the un-taxing of the rich, many of them contributors to Rove’s American Crossroads political action committee (PAC), centered around the theme “we’re not a country of resentment.”

Apparently, poor people and middle class people get excited and draw pleasure from the lifestyles of the rich, famous and untaxed. In the Rovian world, working people like to pack up factories and help giant corporation move to China because they know what’s good for rich people is good for America. And, after all, if anybody who wants can get rich, why do you really need any social problems that aid the poor and unemployed?

But where Rove really milks the applause from the fundamentalist crowd is on the subject of all things militaristic. As one of our country’s most famous chicken hawks, Rove liked to talk about the “nine young men in uniform in Dr. Smith’s class” where he had lectured earlier in the day on political science. One can only hope that the men in uniform there would honor their oath to the U.S. Constitution and their specific commitment to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic, by arresting Rove.

His big ending centered around a Navy Seal who had taken enemy fire in his face and by God, that SEAL was one of God’s happiest men for the privilege of waging war in a far-off land for ever shifting reasons, against ill-equipped foes. What Rove realizes is that modern right-wing fundamentalism has merged Christianity and nationalism and that Cedarville’s version of the corporate war-mongering Jesus prevails over the Prince of Peace and the Christ of the Sermon on the Mount.

What Rove took from Machiavelli is obvious. Machiavelli famous advice to the Prince – to be the first one out on high holy days, to make a public demonstration of religious ritualistic commitment, but not taking any of Jesus’ actual values seriously.

Rove took the same approach to the U.S. Constitution, going out of his way to praise Obama only for not closing Guantanamo Bay. “I applaud him for it,” Rove stated.

In Rove’s final shredding of the U.S. Constitution, he told the students that there are no rights for “bad people” at Guantanamo because they’re “not a criminal, but an enemy.” Apparently in Rove’s world, due process for criminals and military combatants are waived if you’re a “bad person.”

He went on to justify his analysis in one of the most convoluted applications of logic that I’ve heard in recent memory. In an analysis that would have made Machiavelli blush, he gave Bush the credit for killing Osama bin Laden by arguing that during enhanced interrogation (read: torture) five years earlier, some bad people at Guantanamo lied about some people in Pakistan. Thus, five years later, people working for Obama were able to figure out that the people being tortured under Bush lied and were actually working for Osama bin Laden. Hence, the undiscovered lies from the torture victims led to the killing of bin Laden.

In a press conference prior to his speech on the Constitution, Rove told reporters that he plans to raise a quarter of a billion dollars with his independent PACS American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS to influence the election in key battleground states like Ohio. In 2004, a Cedarville professor and some students helped then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell monitor Ohio’s election count, even when it was outsourced to a Republican-owned computer company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Computer security expert Stephen Spoonamore, a lifelong Republican, has denounced that shift of the vote counting as a “man-in-the-middle attack” that illegally altered the vote count between Kerry and Bush in Bush’s favor.

Cedarville University must worry about whether it gains access to the political world of Karl Rove, but loses its soul. The University must render under Rove the things that are illegal and render under God their conscience.


Bob Fitrakis has a Ph.D. in political science and a J.D. and teaches political theory and American Government.

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Fight Back Two Shows 9/11 Patriot Act U.S. Economy

Fight Back Sept. 13, 2011 – Bob and Connie discuss 9/11 and the subsequent Patriot Act, illegal wars, and destruction of the U.S. economy

Fight Back Tue, 09/20/2011 Bob Fitrakis and Connie Gadell Newton interview Erin Upchurch on a leadership program from GLBTQ youth