Black man  with wire-rimmed glasses and a mustache and beard
Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan, a revolutionary organizer and outspoken advocate of the national prisoner rights movement has appealed the Ohio Department of Correction (ODRC) 
Three pictures of skeletal looking rooms

9/8/18 - 10/27/18

Recurring weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Angela Meleca Gallery

144 E. State St., Columbus, OH 43215

(614) 340-6997
Curated by Jason Simon
With Leni D. Anderson, Mary Jo Bole, Moyra Davey, Richard Fletcher, Chester Himes, Bill Horrigan, Masumi Hyashi, William E. Jones, Logan Rollins & the 511 Jazz Ensemble, Jason Simon

Strange looking bright blue and white handgun

If you are a regular reader of my soon-to-be Pulitzer Prize winning work, you probably think the title this week refers to the usual procrastination and intransigence of our politicians. Surprisingly, they’ve all been saying plenty and actually doing a little. As you have probably noticed from the soul-destroying, joy-sucking, garment-rending hole in your life, it is me who has been missing.

Columbus Community Bill of Rights in blue on yellow circle with YES at the top

On Friday, September 14th, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the peoples’ arguments that the Franklin County Board of Elections (BOE) had violated the rights of the people to legislate directly by initiative and sided with the BOE to keep the Columbus Community Bill of Rights off the November ballot. The proposed ordinance, if enacted, would assert resident’s rights to clean water, air, and soil and ban oil & gas extraction infrastructure, particularly regarding radioactive, toxic waste disposals in the city of Columbus as a violation of those rights. 

The court arbitrarily determined that the municipality and the people of Columbus do not have the same rights that the cities and people of Youngstown and Bowling Green have in placing initiatives on the ballot.  After precedents set by the court’s own decisions for these cities, the Ohio high court reversed logic in Columbus and stated that municipalities do not have the rights to create new causes of action, based upon statements by a member of the Franklin County Board of Elections and reiterated by two citizen protesters.  

Genre spoofs are among my favorite type of productions, the paragons being Mel Brooks’ parodies, such as his loopy lampooning of the Western in Blazing Saddles. In John O’Keefe’s wonderfully wildly witty and wry All Night Long the conventions of 1950s/1960s sitcoms such as The Donna Reed Show are raked over the comedic coals as America’s nuclear family is exploded.

 

Ironically, before the eponymous Reed starred as the squeaky clean housewife Donna Stone in her 1958-1966 situation comedy, she won an Academy Award for portraying a prostitute in the 1953 classic From Here to Eternity. But this only seems to buttress O’Keefe’s parodying portrait and point that beneath the surface of the all-American family’s façade lurks a surreal world of urges, as the instinctual id clashes with the repressive superego.

 

hy is Vermont planning to spend $7 million to send 200 prisoners to an out-of-state, for-profit prison known for slave labor exploitation, even though Vermont’s in-state prison population has decreased by more than 450 prisoners in the past decade? Even with the decrease, Vermont’s incarceration rate remains four times higher than it was in the 1970s.

According to Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) figures (pages 16, 28) in its 2018 budget request (undated) to the legislature:

Clouds in background, silhouettes of people all traveling right and words Crossing Borders Project

Sunday, September 16, 4:30-6:30pm, Gateway Film Center, 1550 N. High St.

“Breathe Free,” the Columbus Crossing Borders documentary, is a powerful and beautiful film that spotlights the stories of refugees and the art exhibit that has been inspired by those stories. Through the lens of filmmaker Doug Swift, we meet several courageous people who have fled war, terror, and devastation. We are introduced to the dedicated souls who offer them comfort, support, and advocacy despite the backlash of unease and restless fear surrounding U.S. border issues. And we ultimately learn how 34 artists came to create a humanitarian project based on the timeless plight of forced migration.

View the film trailer here.

Hosted by Columbus Crossing Borders Project.

Mary Jo McConahay’s The Tango War is an engaging, extensive, well-researched, well-written account of a topic that still manages to offend me. World War II is sacred history in the United States, the ultimate clash of pure good and evil, the fundamental origin myth of the military industrial complex. It is the top subject of books, films, and shows. Finding a novel angle on World War II that has not yet been exhaustively covered is, at this point, a significant feat. Finding a whole continent is a major victory.

The Tango War tells the story of how Latin America was, at least tangentially, part of World War II. The book’s introduction describes admiration for unrecognized heroes. It notes that “people of Latin American heritage are by far the largest driver of demographic growth in the United States.” One gathers that for the prestige of Latin America, and for the self-respect of Latinos in the United States, South and Central America need to have been in on the most glorious of catastrophes. That’s what offends me, or perhaps depresses me.

Banner reading Stand Against Oppression Stand for Justice in Palestine

I’m a member of the Central Ohio chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP was founded in 1996 to further the cause of peace in the middle-east. I’ve been asked to write about the ongoing Boycott-Divest-and-Sanction, or more simply, BDS movement, that has been in the news for quite a while, and how it affects your 1st Amendment rights.

So, I’d like to ask: Were aware of BDS before today?

BDS didn't really appear on most folk's radar until about 2 years ago, however, it's origins are found in the controversial behavior of the State of Israel regarding the Palestinian people that live under Israeli control. BDS is the peaceful response of the Palestinian population of Israel/Palestine to the abuse they have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of the Israeli government. BDS is non-violence and free speech in a single package that is designed to regain basic human rights, legal standing, freedom, and respect, for the Palestinian people living in Israel/Palestine.

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