Bob Bytes Back Archive: 9/25/1996 Desperate and Clueless

by Bob Fitrakis

Another politically bleak week: trade gap widens by 43 percent; credit card delinquencies hit a record high; but violent crime goes down 9 percent. Yet Bill Clinton and Bob Dole continue to run for district attorney instead of president. It’s just the real national problems like trade policy and stagnant household income that they’re clueless about.

Ask them about drugs and crime, boy, do they have answers. Desperate for political hot-button issues, they bellow: “lock ’em up, beat ’em up, kill ’em quicker, more cops, fewer civil liberties….”

Dole wants to double prison spending-must have been talking to the Brothers Voinovich. I wonder if Paul Mifsud is still working for his campaign? Dole also called for more “drug news.” Here’s some: 85 percent of drug addiction is legally prescribed.

Ask Chief Justice Rehnquist, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Kitty Dukakis, Elvis, etc. In the early ’80s, high school kids used to work themselves into such a frenzy at the “Just Say No” clubs that they had to go chug a beer just to cool down afterwards. Clinton wants to spend $700 million for “the largest anti-drug effort in history, “but he won’t give the Congressional Black Caucus an answer on whether he backs an investigation into the CIA’s (aka Cocaine Importing Agency) involvement with crack trafficking in the inner-cities of the U.S.

An American institution
Speaking of crime, the Pentagon finally released documents showing that U.S. Army training manuals used at the notorious School of the Americas advocated executions, torture, coercion, blackmail, and other God-fearing American tactics against Third World insurgents. Yes, indeed, our U.S. tax dollars at work abroad.

We, as a people, are responsible for our drug-running, murdering, and torturing government. Sorry, that’s the way democracy works. We are paid to train and “educate” most of the Western Hemisphere’s most heinous butchers. Like “Blow Torch” Bob D’Aubuisson who was the leader of El Salvador’s right-wing death squads, the Salvadoran soldiers who assassinated six Jesuit priests in 1989, and “our man in Panama” General Manuel Noriega.

Recently, the largest-ever protest occurred at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the School of the Americas. Four hundred and fifty people-including 300 Catholic nuns-converged on the main gate and called for its closing. Believing “The Truth Cannot Be Silenced,” 13 U.S. citizens remain in prison for willfully and openly trespassing at the School in the finest tradition of civil disobedience.

As for President Clinton, the White House recently called the School “a force for good and not evil.” Hey, did I tell ya how they pioneered that really thin highly conductive wire that could be inserted in the penile shaft like a catheter and hooked to any portable military field telephone? Just a few cranks of the field telephone and your average Third World non-white Native American-type starts telling you everything you want to know. You usually don’t even have to torture him all that long to get information. Must be what the President means by a “force” for good.

Cliff and Jim
Enough bleakness, there’s still some heroic Americans fighting the good fight. Cliff Arnebeck, probably the most decent and thoughtful candidate in central Ohio this year, is once again calling for real Congressional campaign finance reform. Arnebeck is Deborah Pryce’s Democratic opponent in the 15th district.

Arnebeck, Tom Erney and I are all part of a lawsuit against the state of Ohio with our lead plaintiff, former Republican Congressman Clarence Miller. Our suit argues that it’s unfair for the Democratic and Republican parties to draw up the Congressional districts to favor their party’s incumbent Congressperson. Take for example, Franklin County: the state legislature created two relatively safe Republican districts by dividing the Columbus voters into two separate districts and attaching overwhelmingly Republican rural counties like Delaware, Licking and Union. If the city of Columbus had been left intact as a Congressional district, we’d actually have a competitive Congressional race this year. In Cleveland, they created a black minority district that votes 84 percent Democratic. And they call it “democracy.” We’re arguing that a non-partisan body should draw up Congressional districts in a fair and impartial manner. Whoa, is that radical or what?

Worthington School Board member Jim Timko continues his fight against the lock-step majority on the board. Timko refused to bow to community pressure and instead acted on his own conscience. He believes that former Worthington Kilbourne student Max Seeman “didn’t do anything wrong” in sitting during a senior pride rally. At least nothing so evil as to require a police paddy wagon to remove Max from the school and his suspension.

“The message it sends is we’re going to do everything we can to control your behavior,” Timko stated. “You don’t understand the Worthington mentality. ‘We don’t make mistakes.’ That’s what the school board is saying, and that’s wrong.”

Timko is consulting with one of the state’s leading civil rights attorneys to discuss his options following his September 9th censure by his fellow board members. He admits to being “flabbergasted” after the “junta” voted four to one for censure. And well he should.

The Worthington school board is going to have a hell of a time explaining to a judge how they offered a completed resolution of censure and disapproval, and issued a prepared statement on the resolution behind Timko’s back. Can you say violation of open meetings law? Can you say violation of Sunshine Laws? Obviously, the paddy wagon came for the wrong people. The board is acting criminally, not Max Seeman.