Indeed, it is the new legislative dark age in Ohio as Donald Trump awaits his coronation. The barbarian hordes that are sacking our state were unleashed by other forces prior to the new emperor. It was Obama’s feds that decided to pull the deepest, darkest oil and gas from underneath our state and allow the motherfrackers to vandalize the Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) opened its online auction on December 13 to lease the first 1600 acres of the pristine forest. The toxic plundering and pillaging begins with a minimum bid of $2 per acre. If it goes poorly and we get the minimum, at least we’ll be up a whopping $3200 for drinking radioactive sludge. Setting the lowest possible bar for government policy, BLM District Manager Dean Gettinger said “The project does not violate any federal, state, local or tribal law or requirement imposed for the protection of the environment.” So, bring your more than 900 toxic and secretive chemical compounds and suck radioactive wastewater from the bowels of the earth.
On a lighter note, the governor stymied efforts of the Republican state legislators to further align themselves with the dark villains of the fossil fuel industry. He decided to joust with his own tainted knights by vetoing House Bill 554. Governor John Kasich, who has carved out a stable little fiefdom, felt powerful enough to beat back his own Party’s royalty as they tried to continue the freeze on renewal energy standards in Ohio.
With the feds all in on ransacking Ohio’s forest lands, Ohio’s urban fortresses remain the last sites for enlightened leadership and resistance to Trumpism. Castle Cleveland had put an ordinance on the ballot calling for a $15 minimum wage and efforts were underway in other cities. Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.10 an hour. The feds even lower at $7.25. So it’s no wonder that the Republican goths added a provision to a puppy mill bill preventing Ohio municipalities from raising the minimum wage.
Thrown in the bill for good measure is a provision that prohibits local government from enacting protection related to workers’ hours, scheduling, work location and fringe benefits. If you’re going to violate the population at will and return them to serfdom, you need a proper sounding decree. No doubt blessed by God, and in addition of course, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Kasich did bless the Ohio campus and daycare carry gun bill with his signature. It will be up to the colleges’ boards to approve concealed carry on their campuses. Carrying concealed weapons will no doubt begin on the campuses with the words Christian or Bible in their name.
Editorials in the major urban newspaper are all on record against Ohio House Bill 476, the anti-Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) bill. The law prohibits the state of Ohio from contracting with for-profit entities that boycott or divest from Israel. Restricting people’s freedom to boycott and disinvest is medieval and a step backwards. We must only recall that Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. started with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in taking on apartheid in the United States.
Aroused and incited by indications from Trump that he will appoint right-wing Justices that will overturn Roe v Wade, Ohio Republican legislators passed a “Heartbeat Bill.” The bill would essentially not allow any abortions after the 6th week of pregnancy. With a self-professed “pussy grabber” as President-Elect, there were no exemptions in the bill if a woman was impregnated by rape or incest. To the surprise of many, Kasich vetoed the Heartbeat Bill, but did sign a bill that prohibits abortion after the 20th week.
Further oppression, feared after such rapid erosion of women’s rights in Ohio and elsewhere, will be foreshadowed in the April TV series Handmaid’s Tale. The series is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel depicting a world dominated by social and religious fanatics where women’s rights are unrecognized.
In order to create a more progressive alternative future, women are organizing all over the nation for the January 21 Women’s March on Washington and the January 15 Ohio Sister March. Activists interested in saving the Wayne National Forest should attend the Anti-Fracking Strategy Meetup - Save Wayne National Forest meeting, Tuesday, Jan 17, 6:30pm at the Northwood-High Building, 2231 N. High St., Rm. 100.
The time to fight back is now.