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The Other Side of the News December 29, 2014 – 2014 Year in Review

The Other Side of the News December 29, 2014 -2014
Year in Review
Submitted by fightback on Mon, 12/29/2014 – 1:27pm
Bob Fitrakis discusses the important issues that happened during 2014 in central Ohio and the world

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Interview: Paul Loeb “The Soul Of A Citizen” with Bob Fitrakis

Interview: Paul Loeb “Soul Of A Citizen:Living with Conviction in Challenging Times”

with Bob Fitrakis

Excerpts of Paul’s Bookhttp://gatherthepeople.org/Downloads/CITIZEN_SOUL.pdf

On Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Citizen-Living-Conviction-Challenging/dp/0312595379

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Don’t miss these two Free Press films

Free Press free fourth Tuesday Movie: Racing to Zero, In Pursuit of Zero Waste
Tuesday, Nov 25, 7:30pm
Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St.
Racing To Zero (59 min) is a quick-moving, up-beat documentary that presents new solutions to the global problem of waste. Although waste may create garbage, garbage is in itself a resource, and that is the key. Our film follows the trail of trash and recycling with our guide, Robert Haley, Zero Waste Manager for the City of San Francisco as we travel the city from high to low and look behind-the-scenes at how zero waste can be achieved.
Co-sponsored by Simply Living, the Columbus Free Press, and the Columbus Film Council.
614-354-6172 or Chuck.Lynd@gmail.com or simplyliving.org
614-253-2517 or colsfreepress@ gmail.comThe Columbus International Film + Video Festival and LGBTFEST Stonewall Columbus present:

City of the Damned
15 minutes
Mor Albalak, Shaneika Lai, Stephanie Lee. Matthew Rogers, Nate Skeen, Stephanie Lincoln

Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda
Free Press film festival winner
78 minutes
Michael Lucas

Friday, November 21
Reception at 6:00pm, films at 7:30pm

Canzani Center at the Columbus College Of Art & Design
60 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, Ohio
(Just south of the giant ART with free parking in CCAD lots)

City of the Damned

City of the Damned focuses on LGBT rights in the face of the brutal anti-homosexuality bill before the Ugandan Parliament. Although the death penalty has been withdrawn from the bill due heavily to international pressure, punishments are harsh and public opinion remains the biggest threat to the Ugandan LGBT community. The daring non-governmental organization Youth on Rock Foundation is fighting against this stigma by promoting economic empowerment among its members. Najib, YRF’s treasurer, sells clothes in Uganda’s largest market. He wants to prove that his sexuality does not define him; it’s his respect for life, his determination for equality, and his aspirations to become a lawyer and self-respecting Ugandan citizen.

Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

As most of the world moves forward toward gay equality, Russia is seemingly heading backward. Antigay sentiment and legislation are spreading rapidly throughout the country. In 2013, the Russian parliament passed a ban on so-called ‘gay propaganda’ that effectively makes nearly any public discussion of gay equality a crime.

Q&A with filmmakers Michael Lucas and Stephanie Lincoln following the films.

Admission is $8 or FREE for 2014 CFC/CIF+VF Members, CCAD students and staff.

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10 Ways Kasich Hurts Ohioans

by Bob Fitrakis
OCTOBER 22, 2014

It’s hard to believe that our twitchy governor, John Kasich, is projected to easily win re-election. Remember, this is the man who went to Cleveland and told Browns football fans that he rooted for their arch-rival, the Steelers. But his real loyalty has always been to the rich and powerful. In the era of the Kent State shooting, he was one of Nixon’s Stepford-clone youth.

His new allegiance is to his media mentor, Rupert Murdoch. In 2012, the creator of right-wing agi-prop and faux news gave $1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association to get his bloviator elected in his first election. Kasich has returned the loyalty by pledging eternal fealty to “unnatural persons” called corporations.

After working for Murdoch and prior to being elected, Kasich spent his time hawking junk assets for the now-defunct Lehman Brothers investment bankers. He helped sell these worthless assets to the tune of $500 million into Ohio’s public retirement system, particularly the State Teacher’s pension funds. He made untold millions, which he refused to disclose, while looting the pensions of school teachers and public employees.

As soon as Kasich entered office he attacked the public employees he had just ripped off through Lehman brothers. On March 31, 2011, Kasich signed the draconian Senate Bill 5 into law. The new law required that no salary increases could be based on seniority and it drastically limited collective bargaining for the 360,000 public union workers in Ohio. Kasich told them to get on the bus, or get run over.

Now, the quirky governor’s campaign commercials claim he “listened.” Indeed, the bus was hijacked by working people in the form of 1.3 million signatures to repeal the bill. On election night 2011, Issue 2 supporting Kasich’s anti-union law failed 61 percent -39 percent.

Who Kasich really listens to is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). More than three decades ago, this corporate front masquerading as an advocate for “limited government” and “free markets” began plotting to make the 1 percent richer and steal the wealth of our nation’s working class.

ALEC lists among its key founders Paul Weyrich, who openly advocates suppressing poor and minority voters, as well as the white supremacist, the late Senator Jesse Helms. Also on the ALEC website there’s a note stating “Among those who are involved with ALEC in the formative years were … John Kasich of Ohio.”

ALEC, now primarily funded by the notorious Koch Brothers, provided Senate Bill 5 as its model legislation and its legislation is a manual for destroying worker’s rights under the guise of “saving taxpayers money.”

WORKERS

Under Kasich, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Ohio stood as one of the two worst economies in the nation at the end of 2013. When he took office in January 2011, Ohio ranked 26th in private sector job growth. While Kasich is running hard as a “job creator,” the U.S. Department of Labor notes that the state is 46th nationally.

From January-August 2014, the Buckeye state gained a mere 5,289 jobs. Also, while the rest of the nation has regained all of the jobs lost during the 2008 economic meltdown, Kasich still needs to create 213,000 new jobs just to return to pre-recession numbers in Ohio. The Kasich campaign keeps reiterating that “Kasich works.” The question is, for whom? If re-elected, the rumor is Kasich will turn Ohio into a “right to work” state.

CHILDREN

Kasich’s ALEC handbook includes the destruction of public education. Since taking office, Kasich has cut more than half a billion dollars from public education in Ohio. He also has failed to change the unconstitutional funding formula for the state’s K-12 school system. He increased charter school funding by $57 million, in particular, rewarding White Hat Management that runs many of Ohio’s charter schools and whose owner is a big Republican donor.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS

When Ohio Governor John Kasich first took office, he killed a train line –meant to restore passenger service between Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Kasich’s reasons may have made sense in a Tea Party world. But some $400 million had already been secured. When it died, all that money left the state, along with untold jobs and income. Hugely expensive highway projects have followed with intense environmental damage and instant obsolescence. Columbus may be the western world’s largest capital city without passenger rail service.

This June, Kasich signed the controversial Senate Bill 310 that froze Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards at their present levels for two years. A report from the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy documented that between 2009 and 2013, the law Kasich overturned – the Renewable Energy Standards (RES) law – cost $456 million to implement, but saved Ohio residents $1.03 billion.

Since RES was implemented, more than $1 billion had been invested in Ohio by private renewable energy companies, some who now say they will move out of the state. Six weeks prior to Kasich signing S.B. 310, oil magnate David Koch donated $12,155 to Kasich’s re-election campaign – the maximum allowed under law.

On people’s right to clean water, Kasich has been a complete failure. Not only has he allowed the people of Toledo to be afflicted by toxic water, he has also permitted radioactive fracking water to be dumped in our state from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In one of the most cynical moves imaginable, when it was discovered that the fracking water being shipped into Ohio from Pennsylvania and West Virginia had high rates of radioactivity, Kasich assigned the rangers of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to solve the problem, relieving the more competent Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio Health Department of duty. These were the agencies that uncovered the radioactivity. And like his original mentor Nixon, Kasich developed a fracktivist “enemies list” targeting environmentalists for harassment.

WOMEN

While Kasich’s current commercials make him sound like the next best thing to feminist Betty Friedan, this June’s Cosmopolitan magazine ran an article entitled: “How Ohio Became One of the Worst States for Reproductive Rights in the Country.”

It is like a time machine taking us back to the 50s: a gag order on rape crisis counselors on talking about abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, and the “heartbeat bill” banning abortions on pregnancies over 20 weeks. Because of Kasich’s and the state legislature’s new laws, abortion clinics all over the state are closing.

Regarding women’s income and employment rates, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ranked the Buckeye State a mediocre 33rd out of 50 states in 2014 in economic opportunities for women.

LBGTQ COMMUNITY

On marriage equality, Kasich is a hater. He is fighting alongside Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine to overturn federal rulings supportive of same-sex marriage in Ohio. One would think the ambitious Kasich would at least adopt the
decade-old 2004 George W. Bush strategy of being for “civil unions.”

He briefly embraced the position last year, before his spokesperson stepped in to clarify things – that Kasich didn’t really understand what civil unions meant, and the governor not support any recognition of any same sex relationships.

In his last year in Congress in 2001, the Human Rights Campaign gave Kasich a 10 percent out of 100 percent rating for supporting equality for LGBT people. Kasich still clings to Issue 1 from 2004, telling the Columbus Dispatch that “marriage is between and man and a woman.” Even if he occasionally invites a four-way with the Koch brothers.

TAXPAYERS

Kasich decided to balance the state budget on the back of local governments. He not only stripped half a billion from schools, but has decreased funding intended for cities, townships and counties. One of his techniques was ending the Ohio inheritance tax. The bulk of the proceeds from the inheritance tax went to counties and municipalities. The tax was progressive in nature, falling heaviest on the 1 percent (wealthiest people in the state).

Also, Kasich’s much-touted state income tax cut benefited his rich friends as well. The 21 percent decrease, to be fair, started under Governor Bob Taft, but the net effect embraced by Kasich was that very few of the tax savings were passed on to working and middle class Ohioans. If you made $40,000 a year, you paid $72.88 less in state tax under Kasich. If you made $206,250 a year, you’d pay $977.63 less. If you were one of Kasich’s millionaire donors you would have saved thousands of dollars a year.

Kasich has announced that his goal is to totally eliminate Ohio’s income tax by 2016. He plans to use the money in Ohio’s nearly $2 billion “rainy day fund” for a sound bite about how he’ll eliminate the income tax in Ohio as he runs for president that year. Ohioans will be further plagued by unconstitutional schools, vicious prisons, declining public services, deteriorating roads, bridges and sewage treatment facilities – public services formerly funded by the state income tax and inheritance taxes.

ELDERLY

Kasich eliminated a homestead property tax exemption cutting funds to thousands of seniors and disabled Ohioans. Budget analysts predict that Kasich’s defunding of public education and his inheritance and income tax cuts will raise property taxes by 12.5 percent to continue to fund schools. Seniors on fixed incomes will be hit the hardest.

WELFARE RECIPIENTS

In a cynical and shocking move, Kasich rejected a federal waiver in 2013 and instead reinstated Dickensian work requirements for the poor. With a bad economy, the federal government was allowing Ohio not to require hundreds of thousands of welfare recipients to report for make-work jobs. Social welfare agencies pointed out that it would cost more to pay staff to supervise the workers than the value of their work was worth. The Columbus Dispatch quoted Marilyn J. Tomasi, Vice President of the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, as stating, “What happened is the state rejected the waiver. 134,000 Ohioans showed up at food pantries.”

VOTERS

In a state where the Democrats, Republicans and Independents are fairly evenly divided, Kasich and his Republican cohorts have gerrymandered the Congressional districts to give 12 out of the 16 Congressional seats to Republicans and make sure that the seats are non-competitive.

The only reason Kasich has a chance of re-election in Ohio is because of our decade-long tradition of voter suppression. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) has decided that under the guise of “fairness” there will only be one early voting site in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, regardless of the county population. A county with over a million voters and a county with 10,000 voters have exactly the same number of locations to vote early – one.

Under Husted’s predecessor, Franklin County, with 1.3 million people, had five early voting sites.

Also, Kasich tried to eliminate the competition. Federal court records document that Kasich’s office directed the removal of the Libertarian Party from the ballot in Ohio earlier this year.

On the day the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl announced his campaign and was showing 6 percent in the polls, Kasich and his Republicans partisans in the legislature set out to destroy the third party. First they outlawed the party, but a federal court blocked their attempt.

Using Republican political operative Terry Casey, the governor then orchestrated a challenge to signatures on the Libertarian Party candidates’ petitions. The Libertarians sued, then Kasich had his lackey, Jon Husted, appoint well-known Republican partisan Brad Smith as the supposed neutral arbitrator in the case. Smith was the intellectual force behind the infamous “Citizens United” decision that proclaimed corporations are people and donations to candidates are the same as free speech.

Kasich was successful in keeping a Libertarian opponent off the ballot and made the state even more repressive to minor parties, other points of view, and democracy.

PRISONERS

One of Kasich’s original budgetary plans was to further privatize Ohio’s prisons. He didn’t succeed with that plan, but did save the state money by hiring Aramark for prison food service, a company that is famous for serving prisoners maggots. A recent demonstration by prison workers and unions was prompted by budget cuts to prison security staff.

The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association [OCSEA] called our prisons “violently dangerous” for prison workers. Under Kasich, the prison population has risen, causing overcrowding and dangerous conditions for both prisoners and prison staff.

Of course, you can’t ask Kasich about any of these issues, since he refuses to debate his opponents and prefers to run 30-second propaganda commercials funded by the kleptocrats who made him governor –and want to run him for president in 2016.
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Bob Fitrakis is running as the Green Party’s Lt. Governor candidate in this year’s election. In 1992, Bob Fitrakis ran against John Kasich for the 12th Congressional district and Kasich refused to debate him then.

Original article published:
http://columbusfreepress.com/article/10-ways-kasich-hurts-ohioans

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Toledo Water Crisis with Mike Ferner and Anita Rios

Anita Rios and Bob Fitrakis talk about the Toledo water crisis, Ohio and other topics on the half hour. The first half hour is an interview with peace activist and former Toledo Mayoral candidate, Mike Ferner http://www.talktainmentradio.com/podcasts/Fight%20Back%20080414.mp3

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The Other Side of the News July 28, 2014 – The war in Gaza

Bob Fitrakis interviews Connie Hammond of the local Progressive Peace Coalition about her trip to Israel and the West Bank and they discuss the current bombing of civilians in Gaza by Israel.

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Eddie Pfau and Bob Fitrakis

Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, July 12 – 6:30-11:30pm
1021 E. Broad St. (outdoors, weather permitting)

Eddie Pfau and Bob Fitrakis
Join progressive friends for socializing, networking, art, food, music by Stephen Dodge and a presentation by Eddie Pfau, Green Party candidate for Domestic Court Judge.
614-253-2571
colsfreepress@gmail.com

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon June ~14th

The latest issue of the Free Press is out and on news racks everywhere.

In this issue Bob discusses the implications of the defeat of the Zoo Levy. Columbus voters defied the downtown elite and voted the level down by an overwhelming 70%!

We will be talking about this and other important issues at our monthly Second Saturday Salon on June 14th. Join progressive friends for food, drink and music at 1021 east Broad from 6:30pm – 11:00pm.

We will also be talking about the Ohio Green Party’s extraordinary victory. Despite the obfuscation, last minute law changes, and interference from John Husted Ohio voters wrote in enough votes during the recent primary to keep the Green Party on the ballot.

The Free Press is still out investigating and still breaking the news. Read about Mike DeWine’s apparent cover-up of a controversial police shooting.

Our Arts and Entertainment section is still one step ahead of the Alive with a review of the recent X-Men release and a response to their flailing stab at a top 10 X-men story.

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The Other Side of the News June 9, 2014 – NextDoor.com wants to be your neighbor

http://www.wcrsfm.org/content/other-side-news-june-9-2014-nextdoorcom-wants-be-your-neighbor

Submitted by fightback on Wed, 06/04/2014 – 10:36pm
in computers George Tenet Jeff Bezos Nextdoor technology Scytl security
NextDoor.com creates friendly neighborhood social media sites for neighborhoods but there are CIA connections to the owners and investors.

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Free Press Second Saturday Salon May 10

Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 6:30-11pm
1021 E. Broad St.
Join progressive friends for food, fun, music, art, socializing and networking. Presentation on new book “Condemned: The Whole Story” by death row inmate and one of Lucasville Five, Bomani Shakur. He will read from the book and call in live from prison.
614-253-2571
colsfreepress@gmail.com