Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Solipsism

December 1, 2020

            The news seems to be that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed. No, not the Covid 19 news, which is the real news, though there is a vaccine on the horizon (along with a hidden army of anti-vaxxers just over the ridge). Rather, the presidential election of 2020 appears to be reaching some sort of definitive finality. Unhidden is Dear Loser, er, Leader who can’t bear the thought of the spotlight not being on him, and him alone (he feels so naked without it). The pesky winners justifiably shine the light on the enormous turnout. 75% of registered Columbus Ohio voters did so. Unheralded is that, save for the top of the ticket, voting trends maintained the status quo, if not grew it nationwide. The party that hopes to be in the White House in 2021 actually lost traction with their other candidates on the exact same ballot. Like with the corona virus, the nation, and pundits, seem to be so fatigued that the only worthwhile news is something that projects a different future. But the well has been poisoned, and because of the fatigue, no one dares speak of holding anyone accountable for the devastating vandalism. GOP representatives and leaders who previously enabled and capitalized on Dear Leader’s lies (they are actually called lies in the vast majority of press coverage today. Finally) today are trying to distance themselves from the embarrassment. The Washington Post interviewed and found only 2 of the 53 GOP senators would admit Biden was the president elect the week immediately after the polls closed. Ohio Governor Dewine, who leads from behind a facemask, is now struggling with the state’s hospitals filling to capacity, not allowing space or staff for other medical conditions to be addressed (the normal function of a hospital). All because the well has been poisoned and the state’s constituents believe mask wearing and pandemic precautions are a matter of personal choice (conveniently referred to as a “political statement”). Who will be held accountable? But wait, the poisoning extends well beyond the alternate “personal choice” attitude as to what is science, and whose (as well as what is speculation, real or fancied). It hits at more nitty-gritty things such as relying on our institutions when the needs arise (established institutions which exist precisely to fill that need). The 2020 Census, upon which so many official decisions and policies rely, has been put in jeopardy (not the Alex Trebek kind). The EPA is no longer a source of clean water and air. The Dept of Ag can no longer be relied on for food security, whether the growing or distribution to those without (SNAP). Ditto Homeland Security, Dept of Justice, FBI, etc. ad nauseam. Even the courts role as arbiter of final resort is subject to personal interpretation. The poison seems to be that if all is in doubt then anything can be believed. And who is to be held accountable? Has culpability also succumbed to the solipsism of personal choice/interpretation?

C U And US

February 28, 2020

The daily news of “the 2020 Presidential election,” with all its analysis, projection and punditry, borders on boredom (noun, the state of being bored. Bored, adjective, feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity). The GOP has its anointed candidate. The Democrat’s don’t. Amidst their embarrassment of riches they cannot seem to coalesce around a single precious gem, hence the ongoing contested spectacle. Each attempts to out-differentiate the other. All claim difference with today’s front runner, Bernie Sanders. Even Mr. Sanders’ closest kin, Elizabeth Warren, asserts major difference from Mr. Sanders. Analysis can’t help but wonder what the situation would be if there were two democratic socialist candidates in the contested field of Democratic Presidential wannabe’s. There are, after all, two self-funded billionaires. There are two women. There are two flyover country aspirants. And two east coast senators. What if there were two democratic socialists? Being able to imagine two greatly clarifies the muddled contested Democratic spectacle. What is grossly apparent, but goes completely unseen, would become categorized as one of many (two), and therefore not novel or unique. The “naturalness” of two of a kind (two self-funded billionaires, two Midwesterners, etc.) would offset the current outrageous audacity of difference presented by Mr. Sanders. After all, it is difference within ubiquity that becomes the natural prey of bullies. But who is the bully? In 2010, just a couple of years after George Bush’s financial meltdown, barely one year into the Obama Presidency, and well before the ACA or Occupy Wall Street, the SCOTUS handed down its Citizen United ruling, essentially extending the rights of personhood to corporate entities (on the basis of the 14thAmendment to the US Constitution). Money is speech. This was greeted with much handwringing, consternation and prognostication by the pundits and political class. What would become of our political process in this American democracy? Well, we’ve witnessed it. Voices, organizers and rallies by self-funded billionaire candidates are, yawn, part of the boring political spectacle (see “feeling weary…” above). Which brings us to the obvious that an imagined pair of democratic socialists would reveal: all the currently vying candidates for president of the US in the 2020 election, save one, want to reserve a place at the table for corporate persons (even though they don’t vote). Some want all the chairs filled by corporate persons (like the incumbent). Some a lot, some a few, some not many but still feel a need for their presence at the governing table. The only one who doesn’t believe that corporate persons (who do not vote) have a place at  the table in the governance of democracy is the democratic socialist. Right now there is only one. What if there were two?

What We Could Learn From Ongoing Events In Hong Kong

August 17, 2019

8-15-19 Kent Mallet writing for the Newark Advocate headlined: Licking County Board of Elections rejects petitions from 10 potential candidates. Among the many irrevocable rejections (“The deadline for write-ins to file for the November election is Aug. 26, but those who had rejected candidate petitions cannot file as a write-in candidate.”) was “Valerie Mockus, the lone candidate for Hebron mayor, left six of seven circulator statements completely blank, which board members described as a “fatal flaw” on her petition, which was rejected.” We Americans pride ourselves on our democracy and love the leadership it inspires. Mallett’s short article speaks of the almost methodical assumption that “it will all play out” that underpins the workings of democracy in the US of A. In the case of Mockus, the city of Hebron will decide upon a civic leader by means other than democracy. Current federal leadership in Washington has been regularly described as a government of complacency by various pundits. Mallett’s reporting shows the complacency is much more widespread and systemic than just at the highest levels of governance. Locally, leadership just assumes the democratic process will play itself out as intended. And it is intended to be competitive, right? Analysis finds the Democrat party’s run for the White House with over 20 entrants and multiple staging of “debates” reinforces this competitive framing given to our democracy. Overtly and covertly we are reminded that, of course, the selection of a leader is sooo important that the only way to do it is to duke it out in public (and over the media “air waves”). Like Coke or Pepsi, McDonalds or Burger King, paper or plastic, who will be Mr. or Mrs. Number One? Unspoken is that many functional democracies around the world rely on coalitions, not individual charismatic leaders. Leadership in those democracies centers on the leader’s ability to draw up and maintain coalitions of support for programs, policies and direction. Analysis finds it to be not so far fetched to frame the Democrat’s national candidate debates in terms of how those on stage create consensus and agreement amongst each other to form coalitions. That would whittle the mind numbing score of candidates down to a few that represent their coalitions most effectively. Sounds more than reasonable given they are all of the same party, with the same ultimate aspirations, doesn’t it? Where do we find this actually playing out? Writing for Reuters, James Pomfret, Greg Torode, Clare Jim, and Anne Marie Roantree report Rudderless rebellion: Inside the Hong Kong protesters’ anarchic campaign against China (8-16-19). [Names used are representative designations, not identities] “With slogans such as “Free Hong Kong” and “Hong Kong is not China,” Ah Lung and his fellow protesters have made clear they reject a future in which Hong Kong is inexorably absorbed into the mainland giant, eventually becoming just another Chinese city.” “Under the “one-country, two-systems” formula, China promised Hong Kong it would enjoy autonomy for 50 years after its handover from Britain in 1997. Unlike those who negotiated the deal, for young protesters born after the handover that deadline will fall in the middle of their lives. And, as Beijing tightens its grip on Hong Kong, the future they see careening towards them is that of an authoritarian mainland China with curbs on the freedoms and rights they now enjoy.” “”We can’t retreat or the authoritarianism will worsen,” said Tsang, referring to the Chinese government. “This is not about me. This is for Hong Kong, my home city.”” Incongruous as it may seem, the aspirational reasons that unify the folks of Hong Kong parallel those of the US Democratic party and its current spectacle of leadership selection. But the Reuters article repeatedly stresses and establishes the leaderless nature of the Hong Kong upheaval! “Along with other prominent democrats in the city, Wong has been seen at protests by Reuters being shouted down by activists who say they don’t want the movement hijacked by any single leader or group. “I’m quite happy people are saying we should not rely on any specific political leader to lead this movement,” Wong told Reuters.” “It’s not an issue of having “no leader, it simply means that everyone is a leader,” said one 22-year-old Hong Kong student based in Britain who helps run “antielabhk,” an Instagram page that includes details about protests that has amassed more than 50,000 followers. The student asked not to be named.” Analysis finds it amazing that the seeds of such an alternative outlook on the democratic process of self governance (alternative to the capitalist marketing “McDonalds vs Burger King”) were made apparent in none other than Newark in the run up to this year’s City Council primary. In a mini replication of the national race, the GOP had no contenders while the Dem’s had more than enough available candidates. Few readers may remember but in the media “debate” to discern candidate “differences” prior to the voting, one candidate embodied the alternative approach to the assumed marketing competitiveness for “leadership.” Sharing the overall aspirations of a better Newark (akin to Hong Kong’s lovers of democracy), Democrat Daniel Crawford chose to be in coalition with Jen Kanagy, rather than in competition. He urged voters to vote for the latter if left with only a choice between the two. How refreshing it would be if such genuine leadership and sensibility could be found within the national Democrat party’s 20 plus candidates for president. Instead of a “Pepsi vs Coke” marketing debate, it would be a real time performance of “Let’s work together for a better US.”

 

 

 

 

The Unheard And The Unspoken

April 13, 2019

The recent coverage (by the Newark Advocate) of the “meet the candidates” event put on by the League of Women Voters was discomfiting, to say the least. Both sides said what was expected of them. Much was left unspoken, but it was the unheard that resonated throughout. Solving problems is not necessarily what gets people to vote. It is an admirable facility, for sure, for sure. Is that why people, who do vote, vote for this candidate over that? From “Hillbilly Elegy” to “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland” the unheard narrative behind the votes cast is carefully noted. Distilled, its spirit is one of the fear of what little is left, what little I’ve got, someone (other than me) is threatening to wrest from me. That someone can range from any of “the government”, ethnic, religious, racial, international other, or all of the above. The subtext accompanying this unheard is the unspoken that those with plenty (with nothing to fear) use this vulnerability to their gain. Unheard AND unspoken is that all this resides on the presumption that purchase is the solution to problems. Are you a problem solver? All the Democratic candidates for council stressed affordable housing, public transportation, access to more education and better paying jobs. Is purchase the solution to problems? Two candidates, quoted by The Advocate, intimate the unspoken: “”Beyond that, we need to continue to build coalitions of services between government, local government, non-profit, private and faith-based groups, so that we’re all working together,” [Seth] Dobbelaer said. “Making sure the city is being a leader and a facilitator of groups so we’re all working together toward a common goal I think is a top priority and I think the city can do that.”” “”I think the city does have a role to play. I think the city has a role to play to make sure these people (organizations) are coordinating with each other,” [Bill] Cost [Jr.] said. “If I haven’t learned anything else in the last eight years, I’ve learned that when people work together, we get a great deal more done than we do when we try to do it on our own.”” Unspoken was any proposals for a tangible, structured program to do this to solve issues of low pay, public transportation or inadequate housing. Spoken, but unheard, was the creative utilization of existing city resources facilitated by exiting city rezoning capability to address the marginalized homeless situation (“[Daniel] Crawford said “For instance, there’s plenty of open spaces that the city owns that the city isn’t utilizing that we can set up safe places for tent cities.””). This can be done as partial remediation. It allows for more lasting and substantive solutions to be crafted. The same can be said for needle exchanges to address public health threatened by the very public meth and opioid affliction, as well as treating marijuana possession as a misdemeanor (which the residents of Newark voted for but their City Council dissed). All of these have been implemented in other cities across the US, in one form or another (little or no purchase required). No GOP candidates were present as no primary is needed for their movement. However, the GOP position was very much heard and spoken. “Now headed into 2020, we have to remind them that this is your country, not theirs. Since you’ve been such an important part of our movement, I wanted to give you this exclusive opportunity to become an Official 2019 Trump Executive Member and receive your PERSONALIZED membership card. Please contribute to activate your Official 2019 Trump Executive Membership by 11:59 PM TONIGHT and we’ll send you this beautiful PERSONALIZED card. The one thing that keeps our movement alive is our members.” (Trump Make America Great Again Committee) Transportation a problem? Buy a car. Need a place to stay? Rent or buy your lodging. In fear of getting sick? Buy health insurance. Need more money to purchase any or all of the above? Get a better job. Need a better education for higher wages? Buy one. Costs too much? Purchase a loan. “Our movement” purchases job opportunities through taxes on wage earner income. But don’t worry, for each wage earned dollar we spend subsidizing job creating corporations, you’ll get a 1% rebate on all purchases!  Unheard AND unspoken is that all this resides on the presumption that purchase is the solution to problems. Are you a problem solver?

Alternate Appearance

November 15, 2018

November 14, 2018 found the Newark Advocate’s Kent Mallet headlining For Licking County Democrats, does ‘D’ stand for doomed? It was a synopsis, of sorts, of local voting history within Licking County in the past 20 years spurred by the turnout and polling from the midterm election of 10 days prior. ““A Democrat in Licking County is going to pull 35 to 36 percent, no matter if you do anything or not,” [Mark] Van Buren said. “Licking County has grown more conservative over the years.”” The Advocate’s reported results of the recent election bear this out. “For Licking County candidates with a ‘D’ beside their name, the letter may as well stand for doomed, because the party affiliation has meant defeat in every countywide partisan election since 2004.” Unreported by any news outlets was the curious discovery, outside polling places, of abandoned clothing and what appeared to be disguises (hats, mustaches, wigs, etc.). Their appearance may have been castoff costumes from the recent Halloween (just 4 days prior to voting), or perhaps donations left for church clothing drives. No one can say for sure. Along with Mallet, Saagar Enjeti of The Daily Caller headlined RECAP: President Trump’s Interview With The Daily Caller, also on 11-14-18. “President Donald Trump sat down for a wide-ranging interview Wednesday with The Daily Caller to cover the immediate policy future of his tenure since the end of the midterms. Major topics included the professional fates of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, the Florida recounts, Amazon and the violent Antifa group.” On the outcome of the election: ““I think I did very well” “I mean, the truth is, every place I went, we either won or did well or did really well,” he said. “You take a look at the races I was involved in, I had a massive impact.”” Along with Florida and our democracy’s election process, Enjeti reports Dear Leader had this to say: ““The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes, which is what I’ve been saying for a long time,” adding, “I’ve had friends talk about it when people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again.”” Mystery of the cast off clothing found at Licking County polling sites solved. Analysis finds, based on information known only to the POTUS thanks to the astute alertness of his many friends, that The Advocate has grossly inflated the ‘D’ in Licking County. Alternatively, it appears that Dear Leader has more friends in Licking County than The Advocate is willing to admit.

The Right To Look

March 13, 2018

“President Donald Trump is telling reporters that he made the decision to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “by myself.”” (Trump choice to oust Tillerson made “by myself” AP 3-13-18). Collateral damage but significant nonetheless is the same AP’s headline from a little later the same day — The Latest: Officials say White House fired Tillerson aide. “The officials said Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was informed of the move shortly after he released a statement in his name saying that Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his termination. Goldstein had also told reporters that Tillerson learned of his firing Tuesday morning from Trump’s tweet announcing he was nominating CIA chief Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department.” Same day, CNN headlined ICE spokesman in SF resigns and slams Trump administration officials (Dan Simon, 3-13-18). “Schwab [James Schwab, a spokesman for the San Francisco Division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement] cited Acting Director Tom Homan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as being the purveyors of misleading and inaccurate information, following Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s controversial decision to warn the community of an upcoming ICE raid.” “”Director Homan and the Attorney General said there were 800 people at large and free to roam because of the actions of the Oakland Mayor,” he told CNN. “Personally I think her actions were misguided and not responsible. I think she could have had other options. But to blame her for 800 dangerous people out there is just false.” “It’s a false statement because we never pick up 100% of our targets. And to say they’re a type of dangerous criminal is also misleading.”” Simon takes pains to include “The Oakland mayor said in response to the former spokesman speaking out, “I commend Mr. Schwab for speaking the truth while under intense pressure to lie. Our democracy depends on public servants who act with integrity and hold transparency in the highest regard.”” as well as mentioning that Schwab was a 16 year employee, and a democrat. Analysis finds several less than obvious items of interest. Do we want an elected official to act unilaterally “by myself”? Mayor Jeff Hall made the same move with the late night demolition of Newark’s Gazebo. He was unmoved by others in his own party who thought it inappropriate. Isn’t that the rational behind the existence of parties in a representative democracy? That decisions are not with the individual but with a group consensus? Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s referencing “transparency” becomes even more significant in light of the continuous firing and resignations within the current culture of government. Do the American people have a right to look? Finally, it is the entire package of consent, trust and “belief” that the police and prosecutors are involved with keeping crime in check. What happens when we start to question whether or not someone was prosecuted because a crime was committed? Or were they set up because it helps with the “reality TV show” of political party propaganda (an unnecessary contribution inadvertently made by Simon when he couldn’t help but mention that Schwab was a “democrat”)?

2018

January 1, 2018

With 2018 Analysis must admit that it has reached the end of analysis. What’s that mean? Sometimes “end” can mean finished (“The End” of the movie), sometimes “end” can mean conclusion (the projected end of a process), and sometimes “end” simply means that all the elements or reason’s for defining or pursuing something have displayed themselves, made themselves apparent, and there are no more elements to be determined or reasoning to be defined. After 5 years of writing, Analysis feels it has reached that point. The Longaberger Basket Building would be the case in point. (A ‘big vision’ in store for Longaberger basket building, Bethany Bruner and Maria DeVito, Advocate, 12-29-17). Analysis even questions the need for referencing the reporting. Previous blog essays have followed this debacle for years, almost from the inception of Newark News Analysis. Yet in Bruner and Devito’s report we read “The financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.” Why not? Poor investigative reporting or another case of “public private partnership” where the “private” doesn’t have to reveal how it is using the “public”? Wiki “corporate welfare.” Again, Analysis can point to what we do know, as reported previously (and once again on the 29th) the sale involved the city forgiving what was owed to it through various taxes, fees, and penalties. And the entire city administration and council were on board for that (“Licking County Treasurer Olivia Parkinson said the county is supposed to be receiving a check early next week for a “big chunk” of the back taxes Longaberger had owed. Parkinson said the new owners are planning to file an application to have the penalties of the most recent taxes owed remitted. Newark City Council had passed legislation earlier this month to allow the city to release some or all of the liens for unpaid water and sewer bills and other money owed by Longaberger in an effort to move the sale forward.”). The shapeshifter mayor of Newark (Jeff Hall) likewise speaks out of both sides of his mouth – “”But we do know it’s going to be a tax producing property again,” he said. “It’ll be a good asset in community instead of sitting as a vacant building deteriorating.”” “Hall said while the basket building is not very old, it is unique enough to qualify for historic tax credits. Coon will still have to apply for the tax credits, Hall said. “Without even that potential, it wouldn’t have been of interest to him,” Hall said. Hall said once the final plans are announced, it could take years before renovations are complete.” Newark’s Mayor belies his own public tax payer paid position by flaunting the new owners’ potential to not only NOT pay taxes, but also to be reimbursed by tax payer funds (“historic tax credits’). This in itself begs the questions of abatements during the “years before renovations are complete” and it becomes “a tax producing property again.” If you think this is just another manifestation of MAGA, you’d be more than correct in that the building would have to generate a ridiculous amount of tax revenue in its later years to offset the enormous bath the City and County have taken, something the early years of active business occupancy never produced. And what if the new owners choose to just flip their new acquisition? Of course, we also read “”It has been fun watching the progress in the Downtown and I’m excited to be a part of the movement,” he [Steve Coon, “a Canton-based developer who owns Coon Restoration, and his partner, Bobby George, of Cleveland, closed on the building Friday afternoon.”] said in the release. “The Longaberger Basket Building is known all over the world and I can’t tell you how excited I am to preserve and renovate this building and put it back into use.”” Where have we heard that before? (Clue– current and past owners of Longaberger since Dave’s demise) Who wouldn’t be giddy when they not only pay pennies on the dollar for real property, with few if any tax liabilities, but likewise elide full disclosure on the overall costs/benefits of the “public private” deal? We’re dealing! Shapeshifter Mayor Jeff Hall will probably pave the Cherry Valley Rd. dead end as well as the east of Dayton Rd. portion of East Main Street and sell it as “shine.” And city leaders will buy it and drink it! No, Analysis has reached its end. In the essay “Steve Bannon Declares Jihad On Infidels” (10-18-17) Analysis quoted Alternet’s Ivy Oleson’s embedded reporter’s report ““This is when I realize that what Ivy [Ivy El Zaatari, the Leadership Institute organizer/instructor] means is that Conservatism appeals to people on a level above facts: religion. Conservatives are skipping right over the whole logic bit and get straight to the good stuff. Ivy is hinting around about “philosophy,” because, like she said, “I’m talking about Conservatives, not Republicans. [..] They talk about their Bibles as much as their Constitution.” Sell ‘em a fantasy, and one with a moral, religious backing as well. Ivy has been trying to get it through our heads that the fear of God is how you can get people to vote against their best interests.””

Polarization And Gerrymandering

October 6, 2017

Analysis finds there to be endless speculation, with statistical backing, on “the polarization of America” on the majority of issues facing our children’s future. Whether this is a readily available handle on the news by the news media, or “fake news” promoted by tech savvy raconteurs (both foreign and domestic), or is actually so but impossible to grasp unless you are a main frame computer is a contemporary puzzle. The US Supreme Court is currently hearing a case questioning Wisconsin’s political redistricting. Labeled gerrymandering, the issue is rather one of domination than polarization. Locally, in Newark Ohio, we have the destruction of the courthouse square gazebo which ostensibly is part of the City of Newark’s public domain but sits adjacent the Licking County Courthouse (also a public domain but of the county, not city). Confused? It is all akin to the township trustee positions that some municipal voters get to vote on even though unaffected by any township adjudication. Where is the gerrymandering and polarization in all this when it comes to the Newark City Council, Mayor Jeff Hall, and the voting residents of Newark? A recent editorial, er, report by the Advocate editor, Benjamin Lanka, may shed some light on this (since obviously no one would admit to polarization in Newark let alone gerrymandering with the ward districting supplemented by at large representatives). Entitled “Newark Council: Gazebo should stay, but will it?” (10-6-17) it paints a rather ambiguous picture (THAT is an understatement!). In a nut shell, Lanka goes out of his way to survey each council representative and their views on the matter. All, save one, would prefer the gazebo remain and not be destroyed. All plead powerlessness to stopping Mayor Hall’s action (but for discretely polarized reasons!). The “save one” is none other than Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb’s son, Ryan Bubb. In the past, Ryan would have been given the benefit of doubt with regard to nepotism, but with the age of the Kushners being part and parcel of the White House administration, the doubt itself is more than doubtful. Commenters to Lanka’s editorial, er, reporting raised the obvious. When Lanka writes “The costs of moving and restoring the gazebo are being paid by private donors.” They ask “who are the private donors?” Analysis speculates it is probably a public private partnership (like JobsOhio) which is not obligated to disclose their “private” parts (so fashionable these days!). Investigative reporting is not this particular Advocate reporter’s forte. Lanka concludes his editorial, er, article by quoting Ryan Bubb: “”It’s going to be back better than it was,” he said.” Priceless! Analysis finds the gerrymandering and polarization of Newark to be a little more readily apparent when one asks a simple question – why has no one suggested (publicly voiced) recalling the mayor if he continues with his administrative action counter the people’s will? All of a sudden the polarization jumps out. The ambiguity of the GOP representative’s we’d-like-it-to-stay-but (“Would I like to see it stay? Absolutely,” Frazier said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect the authority of the mayor.”) is obviously inevitable (an acknowledgement of the little man behind the curtain in Oz). It is what comes after the “but” that makes for the affirmative statement (we still abide by the GOP power structure). The reticence of the Democratic candidates to generate any action to save the gazebo (initiate a recall) points to the de facto gerrymandering (their very powerlessness). Their positions within their districts are none too secure. Analysis finds (on the national level) talk, reporting and commentary on gerrymandering and polarization to be often times, if not most of the time, couched in terms of economics. However, as the Newark gazebo shows, polarization and gerrymandering are about those who have power, and those who are lorded over. We will have our way because we can. And in this case, we can make the gazebo disappear. “It’s going to be back better than it was.” Now THAT’S power!