It is now widely understood that my ancestor Sally Hemings, an enslaved black woman, was the intimate companion of Thomas Jefferson for nearly four decades.
Monticello, the Virginia plantation operated as a museum by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, acknowledged as much with a new exhibit last year: Hemings’ living quarters. The exhibit presents as fact that Hemings gave birth to at least six of Jefferson’s children.

No other country in the world symbolizes the decline of the American empire as much as Afghanistan. There is virtually no possibility of a military victory over the Taliban and little chance of leaving behind a self-sustaining democracy — facts that Washington’s policy community has mostly been unable to accept…. It is a vestigial limb of empire, and it is time to let it go. 

Op-Ed by Robert D. Kaplan, The New York Times, January 1, 2019

People sitting in a circle on the ground with signs, one in the middle says No hate in our state

Saturday, January 5th, 2019, 12:00 PM.  SURJ Columbus Reading Group.  Join SURJ Columbus (Showing Up for Racial Justice) for the second installment of our monthly reading group!  We meet the first Saturday of the month at various locations throughout the city.  For this session we’ll be reading/discussing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail”: https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Letter_Birmingham_Jail.pdf

All are welcome. Any members of the public who wish to learn more about getting involved with SURJ are invited to stay for a brief information session AFTER the discussion.   Location: Columbus Metropolitan Library - Hilltop Branch, 511 S Hague Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43204

Medical writer and vaccine immunology expert Vinu Arumugham has written one of the best articles concerning the issue of vaccine toxicology that I have ever read. It should help every altruistic person who is as concerned as Vinu is about the pandemic of vaccine injuries to better articulate what are the various mechanisms of action of vaccine poisoning when he or she is trying to talk to dubious – and conflicted - pediatricians that order cocktails of toxic vaccines to be injected into their tiny, immunologically-immature infant patients. It should also empower the legions of traumatized parents who have seen their previously healthy babies die or become acutely and chronically ill after being injected with cocktails of vaccines at their “well-baby” exams. This article should embolden these now-activist parents when they try to educate the ineducable and when they try to obtain justice and/or apologies from their indoctrinated, rigidly pro-vaccine physicians who commonly refuse to listen to reason and also typically try to fire the iatrogenically-afflicted families from their practices. Please study this document and then forward it widely. Gary G.

Two guys on a roof installing a solar panel

Energy and all its concerns are being solved every day in conversations held by big media pundits and dinner table enthusiasts. The problem is that no one is doing the work – or at least, almost no one.

Headlines will often read that jobs are plentiful in solar and wind industries, but this is not a reality for many employees in related fields around Ohio. Also, many electric customers who pay a surcharge for renewable energy to turn on their lights and charge their smart phones do so purchasing Renewable Energy Credits from a regional marketplace, which only indirectly supports the transition to a clean grid. Thankfully, current Ohio law requires Ohio’s investor owned utilities (IOU), like AEP or First Energy, to generate more electricity from renewable energy each year, reaching 12.5 percent by 2027.

In December, Ohioans from all around the Buckeye State testified their convictions to Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) board members holding an important hearing. A resounding message spoke of the good it will do for skilled workers that build the proposed 400MW solar system in Highland County.

People holding a big banner outside that says Viva nuestra america unida! and a lot of faces of people

Venezuela Under Siege 

What would you do if you were a socialist who had to manage a capitalist economy in crisis? Or an environmentalist who had to govern a country whose main export was oil and whose national budget was thus subject to its massive price volatility? Or an ecosocialist torn between the reality of people who are long accustomed to fuel prices kept unsustainably low by implicit energy subsidies and the urgent need to stop smugglers smuggling subsidized fuels out of the country and selling it at much higher prices  in neighboring countries? There are no easy answers, are there? 

MIddle aged white man in a white button down shirt under a blue sportcoat outside with a confused look on his face

Thursday, January 3, 12noon-1pm, 250 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington, Ohio
Meet outside of U.S. Congressional Representative [District 12] Troy Balderson’s office to support H.R. 1, the pro-democracy bill that will be introduced at the beginning of 2019.
January 3 will mark the first day that our new U.S. Congress will be in session, at which time H.R. 1 will be introduced. This wide-ranging bill aims to restore the Voting Rights Act, end voter suppression, eliminate dark money, counter gerrymandering, promote public campaign finance, and strengthen ethical standards in government.
Meet outside of U.S. Congressional Representative [District 12] Troy Balderson’s Columbus office (Tiberi’s old office in Worthington) at 12noon. Bring your “Rally for Democracy” signs and — even more importantly — bring letters asking Troy Balderson to support H.R. 1.
Please invite your friends to join you in letting Troy Balderson know that we care about preserving our democracy.
Hosted by Indivisible: Ohio District 12.

Yellow badge symbol and a black hashtag and words Save the Crew

Columbus s-CREW-ed

“Save the Crew” fanatics are cheering and celebrating that the soccer team is “saved” and staying in Columbus. Their website touts the wonderful “bright new stadium” to be located to the west of the Arena District. But at what cost is this victory?

The original Crew stadium cost $28.5 million, opening in 1999. History-making in its design – as the first soccer-specific stadium built in the United States – its capacity was listed at 19,968 seats last year. Average attendance was 12,447 for the 2018 season, lowest among Major League Soccer (MLS) teams.  After taxpayers refused to build a hockey arena and a soccer stadium with public money, billionaire Lamar Hunt had footed the bill for the original Crew stadium.

Circle the wagons!

Apparently what’s under assault is war itself, or so the Establishment believes, in the wake of the shocking announcement by the president that he plans to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops now deployed in Syria and 7,000, or half, the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

No, can’t do that! Can’t do that! This screws everything up. “. . . we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours,” writes Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis in his resignation letter to Donald Trump over the issue.

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