Archive for July, 2020

Imagine

July 26, 2020

“Systemic”, “structural” these are two words increasingly used today, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and racism. Most people don’t “see” it. Recent news reporting by Kent Mallett for the Newark Advocate (7-25-20) gives a thumbnail totality of the terms, almost like a little snow globe – a complete environment. Entitled “Fraizer says he’d won Ohio House seat without Householder’s money”, it is accompanied by a photo of Mark Fraizer (and family) being sworn in by Larry Householder as the new 71stDistrict House Representative (why, there’s Bill Seitz in the background!). Householder (and others) are now caught up in Federal charges of a huge bribery scheme with regards to HB6 and the nuclear/coal energy bailout; an involved scheme complicated by money being moved around through PACs and lobbies to fund primary races of candidates who would ultimately support Householder as chair of the Ohio House and thereby insure passage of HB6, et al. Hence Fraizer’s pontificating on eschewing Householder’s monetary support as well as claiming the need for a repeal of HB6 in a separate op ed (7-26-20, Newark Advocate). But that’s the whole point, Mark. The money was spent on getting you elected, which you barely managed to do. Analysis finds context is needed to realize the entire snow globe environment (when you shake it, money appears to float down on the appropriate candidates). Fraizer can self righteously point out that little Licking County Republican funding propelled his candidacy. It was, after all, a GOP primary. But as the convoluted bribery scheme manifests through performance, that’s not the way the system works. The structure of “party funding”, for both parties, involves marginal local funding expenditure with the bulk of money contributed to the local party being forwarded to the central Ohio party. In turn this central party can match the funds with private interests (or PACs, undisclosed “dark money”, etc.) to cherry pick which races and candidates are vital to furthering the party’s interest (and which should be denied for being uppity populists). In turn these enhanced funds can be used to purchase negative ads, directly or indirectly assaulting the favored candidate’s primary opponent. All of which Mark Fraizer can sanctimoniously deny, the negative ads, as being funded by his candidacy. “They come from outside the district.” (hand washing optional) Which ultimately leads up to being sworn in by the House Speaker, who’s bidding the newly elected candidate won’t bother to challenge. That’s the legitimate version which ultimately corrupts into the pay to play scheme Larry Householder is accused of benefitting from. It is systemic, structural in the way it displaces ownership (accountability) of funding and power in order to manage who and what represents citizens through party control. Troy Balderson’s election would be another snow globe structure of displaced power and campaign financing. Now imagine all this as a system or structure to maintain racial supremacy…

Invasives

July 20, 2020

Early 2014 witnessed the Ukrainian Revolution with a change of central government in Kyiv and the subsequent separation of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions by pro Russian paramilitary. This was quickly followed by the Russian occupation of Crimea, and its eventual annexation. Originally Russia denied any involvement in the military activities. Local reports at the time centered on the presence of “little green men”, armed and dressed in military camou without insignias as to rank or allegiance. Americans primarily associate the entire episode with Donald Trump’s “thing” about Ukraine with its desire to undermine Joe Biden and eventual impeachment outcome. But what happened to the “little green men”? Apparently now, after 6 years (the last 4 of which are under the Trump administration), they have migrated to the northwestern part of the continental US. Little green men, armed and dressed in military camou without insignia as to rank or allegiance, have been active and spotted in the cities of Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington. And they’ve brought their unmarked vehicles with them too! Akin to Ukraine 2014, both cities are currently embroiled in ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Analysis wonders when the American people will finally make the real connection of Donald Trump, his “thing” about Ukraine, and what went on there in 2014.

Where’s Waldo, Er, Jeff Hall?

July 16, 2020

On 7-15-20 Ohio’s Governor Mike Dewine appealed to Ohioans to redouble their efforts in measures to counter the spread of the new coronavirus. Essentially, he said it was out last chance. We wouldn’t get another. The Ohio version of the pandemic would be out of control otherwise. Coincidentally, the 7-12-20 Sunday Newark Advocate editorial was “Our view: Licking County leaders must lead on coronavirus response.” They write “Our elected leaders must set an example for the rest of the community in how we respond to this crisis.” This was followed by some practical suggestions. No mention of what to do if you are losing, something Dewine’s leadership is ready to take on. Again, the Advocate editorial board pontificates: “Our elected leaders must be seen taking the coronavirus seriously. Why should residents wear masks when they don’t see their community leaders doing the same?” The Advocate editorial totally missed that the elected leaders of Licking County are indeed taking the coronavirus VERY seriously. They immediately self isolated and have maintained their distance from any public leadership whatsoever. Their self isolation insures invisibility which is just all too obvious. Unlike Dewine, they don’t wish to be associated with any sort of a losing effort. Give them a new building in an industrial park to crow over, or the opening of a shuttered restaurant. But anything outside of business and money making? Naaa. Analysis finds this in keeping with their track record. Public transit has been hemmed and hawed forever in Newark, no leadership there. Court evictions from sub standard housing requiring stricter codes, no leadership there. Lack of leadership on housing results in increasing number of citizens without shelter. This contributes to food insecurity, child neglect and abuse, and increases in addictive behavior. All from a lack of leadership on the part of those elected to lead. But then again, that would be leadership involving something other than the economic, money making kind.  Analysis also finds the Advocate complicit in glaringly eliding the absence of Newark’s elected leaders during this time of overwhelming crisis in Ohio (at least according to the Governor). This too is in keeping with the paper’s track record. Just as no one wants to be the leader on the losing side, so no one wants to be a cheerleader for that leadership. Give us a good business success story to cheer on instead. Otherwise, mums the word. The Advocates editorial board grossly failed to elaborate that leadership is multifaceted. It also has to do with sober projections of actions needed when things don’t look promising. The Advocate favors and stresses economic success and competence, especially at election time. As Dewine embodied, visible, present, at risk leadership is needed primarily when our side is not winning.