Progressive Vein Update: February 15th, 2021

The following are blog entries from fellow progressives in the area (NONA = Newark Ohio News Analysis by Stan Wrzyszczynski and WF1 = Working Families First by Garry Goldsmith):

Between The Lines” (NONA, October, 22nd, 2020): Stan highlights that the continued development in Newark and Licking County is for the few, not the many, especially when you look at the new Fire Station that was built without a plan to man it.

Supremely Disingenuous” (NONA, October 27th, 2020): Stan remarks on former President Trump’s mind games about the then-impending Election’s vote tally.

Super Dup-er” (NONA, October 30th, 2020): The Newark downtown Arcade renovation project is analyzed. Stan looks into the motives behind the project and how the Newark Development Partners hope to gain millions of dollars in taxdollars to help with their “investment”.

What’s Next For Democracy?” (WF1, November 15th, 2020): Garry of the Working Families First Initiative discusses how we got to the point where we saw the rise of fascism in 2016 and then he offers some solutions for how to avoid it going forward.

Solipsism” (NONA, December 1st, 2020): Stan looks into the battle of our nation’s “soul” and how it has been corrupted by the Republican Party’s behavior up through now in peddling lies to advance their own interests.

We Pretend To Work; They Pretend To Pay Us” (NONA, December 3rd, 2020): Stan examines how Wall Street lives in an alternate reality and how our leaders refuse to hold the modern robber barons responsible for the damage that their exploits create.

In The Heat Of The Night” (NONA, December 9, 2020): The politics of the “revolving door” is analyzed as the piece starts with a remark about how a member of the Military Industrial Complex has been tapped to lead the military whilst the Mayor of Newark moves veterans of the police force up the chain of command, all of which serves in guaranteeing no change whatsoever.

What Kind Of Planet Are They Living On?” (NONA, December 17, 2020): Stan expertly points out the repulsive hypocrisy of Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb gleefully talking about spending over a million dollars on replacing public-owned windows while leaders in the County and in the City of Newark conveniently do nothing about the issue of homelessness.

A New Normal Christmas Carol” (NONA, December 20, 2020): Stan reminisces on our struggle to escape America’s obsession with guns.

Free Market Economics” (NONA, December 31, 2020): The corruption of business-government alliances is examined from the controversy of Trump leasing land for drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to the Newark Arcade and subsidization via tax cuts by way of the Newark Development Partners.

More Hannah Arendt [Again]” (NONA, January 5, 2021): The day before the Trump Horde stormed the Capitol Building in the Nation’s Capitol, Stan analyzed some disturbing similarities between Trump and authoritarians of the past.

Welcome To Denial Ohio Jeff Hall Mayor” (NONA, January 8, 2021): Stan reviews the lack of care for the homeless in the decision to turn the abandoned Family Dollar into a thrift store instead of the originally-planned homeless shelter.

Addendum to Denial” (NONA, January 11, 2021): The scourge of growing inequality in Newark is assessed.

New Life For An Old Structure (Again)” (NONA, January 15, 2021): Stan revisits the old Longaburger basket at the East End edge of Newark.

Loopholes, Not For Everyone” (NONA, January 29, 2021): Stan masterfully ties together a series of events and important stories: the lackluster rollout of the vaccinations for COVID-19, a loud and ignorant protest of the rollout by a Republican lawmaker in Ohio, and the apparent inoculation from accountability bestowed upon Trump by his sycophantic allies in Congress.

Polarity” (NONA, February 7, 2021): Stan analyzes the crisis of homelessness and how we can’t begin to address it without connecting the dots to those who have more than enough to spare.

Early Onset Of Collective Amnesia” (NONA, February 14, 2021): Stan notes that public service mergers, public-private partnerships, and privatizations have not produced better service results for the people where it is most needed.

The Licking County Progressive Vein Update: October 2020

The following are blog entries from fellow progressives in the area (NONA = Newark Ohio News Analysis by Stan Wrzyszczynski and WFI = Working Families First by Garry Goldsmith):

Where’s Waldo, Er, Jeff Hall?” (NONA, July 16th, 2020): Stan points out how our political leaders are largely nowhere to be seen with respect to the Coronavirus, opting instead to remain separate from the public eye all so they can hope to evade public scorn when things don’t go well. He also correctly points out how the Advocate is failing us as well, choosing to cover the easy subjects and provide coverage for the supposed “great” news such as the reopening of a business while remaining silent on matters impacting the local population’s downtrodden.

Invasives” (NONA, July 20th, 2020): Stan connects the Trump obsession with Biden and Ukraine with the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine involving “unmarked” assailants. He also highlights the fascist arrests of demonstrators by “unmarked” officers using “unmarked” vehicles.

Imagine” (NONA, July 26th, 2020): Stan observes the corrupt connections between the indicted State House Speaker Larry Householder and the locally-appointed State Representative Mark Fraizer (who received an appointment to his seat just days after winning a second term to a City Council seat). He also highlights the possible implications for Congressman Balderson.

What Will Newark Do If Trump Doesn’t Leave?” (NONA, September 6th, 2020): Stan talks directly about the rising fear that Trump will refuse to accept the results of the presidential election.

How the Lie Tells the Truth” (NONA, September 9th, 2020): Stan points out the effect that the persistent lies by Trump and his allies has had on the public perception and acceptance of the truth.

Ouch!” (NONA, September 25th, 2020): Stan tears into Newark and Licking County’s twisted priorities of claiming that they want to do something to help the homeless, doing nothing or next to nothing, asserting that there is no money for such, and then bending over backwards to find the means to revive dead market centers.

First Impressions” (NONA, September 29th, 2020): Stan analyzes the first (and, as he predicts, last) general election presidential debate of 2020.

Is it time for a Progressive Party?

            By Daniel Crawford

            The following represents the opinion of Progressive member Daniel Crawford alone and does not represent the view of the larger Licking County Progressives.

A couple of months ago, I openly entertained the idea of building a true progressive political party. The reaction was mixed, as one might imagine. There are a lot of progressives in the area and around the country who’ve become convinced and crippled by the argument that all progressives must remain loyal to the Democratic Party, because of the difficulty in establishing a viable alternative to the same. So, basically, no one ever tries to build an alternative. It’s just too difficult to start.

Of course, the difficulty in getting started on building something outside the two party framework is exactly what the established political forces want you to focus on. They want us to be discouraged by the daunting task of building something new and viable which can counter the power of the elites. Make no mistake about it, both major political parties are subservient to the oligarchy and the oligarchy will fight tooth and nail – while also shedding blood, if necessary – in order to maintain their grip on power. The key is for us, the oppressed working class, to escape the mindset that we can never do any better.

It is like being an abuse victim. The abuser convinces you that there is no hope outside of a life with them. No one will ever “protect” you or “love” you the way the abuser claims to. So, instead of looking elsewhere for something better, you never leave the side of the person who constantly treats you like a piece of property, no matter how badly or how often they cause you harm. This mindset is similar to how the voting public has been treated by the two major parties, because the two major parties ultimately serve the interests of the ultimate abuser: the oligarchy. The few who actually run things don’t want the abused voters to know that there is a better way, because that means the free ride is over.

The moment that the working class recognizes that we have no major party that we can rely on is the moment that we can focus on building a real movement and political organization for change. A party of and for the working class doesn’t pander to the wealthy few or corporations. A party of and for the working class doesn’t maintain the status quo. A party of and for the working class stands and fights for the working class at all times, pushes aggressively for the changes we need, and welcomes the hatred of the few!

For us, the challenge is coming together and resolving that we WANT a party which fights for us and which doesn’t bow down. We have to desire an organization which doesn’t appease the few. It is OUR responsibility to build such an organization from the ground-up and make it a viable alternative to the false choice we have now. The only thing that stands in our way is our own self-imposed limitations of the imagination and determination it takes to break these political chains.

So, what do you say? Shall we do this? Is it in us to build a new progressive party, or are we left to hope that the Democratic Party actually gets out of the way of the grassroots building something within? This is a debate that progressives really should have. It is a discussion that we need to have.

Yes, the times we live in now are quite scary. The thought of taking on the system is not as appealing when we are staring into the abyss of fascism on the rise. As a matter of my personal opinion, I must agree that democracy and the future of humanity as a whole is more in peril now than at any point since World War Two. An authoritarian system must be defeated in its tracks if we have any hope to maintain liberty, let alone create a progressive society.

This is why my objective is to first defeat fascism and then to direct our attention to the oligarchy which helped to create the conditions for fascism. Make no mistake about it, the oligarchs may be speaking up in public against authoritarianism right now, but oligarchs throughout the history of the world have not only benefited from fascists, they have happily bankrolled them and helped facilitated the rise thereof…each and every time.

We have to defeat this wave of fascism and then focus our attention on the oligarchy and the two party system they have created for us. Only outside of the two-party construct can we ever hope to develop a society (and even a world) which serves the interests of all humans. So, yes, defeat Trump and the fascists right now, and then mobilize with even more passion to crush the oligarchs and their partisan puppets. With or without a third party, this has to be done…or we WILL end up back in this position once again in a very short period of time.

Onward.

Local Progressive Vein Entry: July 2020

The following are blog entries from fellow progressives in the area (NONA = Newark Ohio News Analysis by Stan Wrzyszczynski and WFI = Working Families First by Garry Goldsmith):

(NONA) “Days of Irony: Gaslighting For Beginners” (April 5th, 2020): Here, Stan discusses the prioritization of profits over people even in the wake of the coronavirus. He explores how obvious this is with how the presumptive Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees implore for action to save the market and in how Licking County, Ohio’s local leaders openly brace themselves for the impact of a recession on revenue.

(NONA) “And The Creep Goes On” (April 12th, 2020): Using an analogy about the hard-to-notice emergence of climate change, Stan points out that authoritarianism is beginning to rear its ugly head with the ongoing assault on our democracy by Trump and his allies in the Republican Party.

(NONA) “Return To Normalcy” (April 20th, 2020): Stan does a great job of tearing apart the notion that we can “return to normal” in the midst of a pandemic, no matter what our desires may be while trapped in our homes listening to the insane rantings of President Trump.

(NONA) “Death Cult For Cutie” (April 26th, 2020): Stan explores the gaslighting approach of Trump shortly after Trump distracts everyone from his previous absurdity with a new one (injecting light and disinfectant).

(NONA) “Why Mail In Voting Does Not Benefit Democrats” (April 28th, 2020): An excellent analysis by Stan wherein he points out the poor turnout for the presidential primary and hints at a warning of a depressed Democratic turnout come November.

(NONA) “If That Just Don’t Beat All” (May 5th, 2020): Stan assesses the absurdity of reopening the Ohio and national economy in the midst of a pandemic before the supposed peak, all for the sake of pleasing a select few.

(NONA) “Invisible and Contagious” (May 18th, 2020): Stan examines the detrimental effect of President Trump’s presidency on our collective mental health.

(NONA) “MIA” (May 22nd, 2020): Stan explains that only a portion of the community experienced a “shut down” thanks to the virus. Meanwhile, the few are still getting their billions and political leadership is “missing in action”.

(WF1) “Thoreau ‘Civil Disobedience’” (May 27th, 2020): In the midst of the then-rising mass movement in support of #BlackLivesMatter, Garry shares a video from YouTube which tells about how a man named Thoreau believed deeply in the obligation of every citizen to stand for what is right, even when it is deeply unpopular to do so.

(NONA) “Decision 2020” (May 28th, 2020): In this analysis, Stan looks at the real decision that the American people must weigh in November 2020, which pits reality versus the cult leader challenging reality.

(NONA) “Meanwhile” (June 5th, 2020): Stan tackles what State Republicans are up to in Ohio while the eyes of all are on the demonstrations and riots (it doesn’t look good for democracy, as you will see).

(NONA) “Official Apology from the Ministry of Information” (June 14th, 2020): Stan does an excellent job looking at the “privatized” relationship of the Trump White House with its de facto propaganda network, Fox News.

(NONA) “Newark Ohio Iconoclash” (June 21st, 2020): Stan observes the transformative moment which has beset the nation but which has yet to visit Newark in any significant fashion wherein the symbols of racism are compelled to come down either by mob force or legitimate preemptive means. He openly ponders the great and “uncomfortable conversation” that we need to have as a local community and as a global one: the cancer that is capitalism.

(WF1) “Father and Son, Freedom and Liberty” (July 4th, 2020): In this Independence Day special entry by Garry, he shares a photo of his son and grandson taken a few years ago during a little league ball game. He analyzes the hopes he has as a grandfather and father that his loved ones and their peers will live to enjoy the “American Dream” that we have all been fed and promised since birth.

Are you a cog in the machine? (Upcoming Podcast Episode to Address)

Are you a dehumanized tool for the production of wealth, or are you a person with real, intrinsic AND instrumental value?

This question is an important one that each of us needs to ponder in these times as our economic and political systems are tested like never before.

An upcoming podcast episode for the “The Inequality Chronicles” – hosted by Daniel Crawford – will help to trigger this discussion.

Are you ready to think like a person, or are you content with being a cog?

March 30th, 2020 Roundup

Your semi-regular round-up of local progressive blog posts which you may find worth your while to read. Here are some blogs posts (typically from Newark Ohio News Analysis or Working Families First or NONA and WF1st) which may be more than a couple weeks old, but they are still worthy of your attention.

 

Recent blog posts by fellow Licking County Progressives that you may have missed:

 

  • (NONA, “Food For Thought”, February 6th, 2020) Stan writes about the nationwide danger of voter enthusiasm declining, the loss of faith in our elections, and the reduced turnout in certain areas, the Democratic Party’s dilemma of corporate ties, and how all of that even impacts the conditions of a struggling democracy on a local level.
  • (NONA, “Whatever is good will appear”, February 9th, 2020) Stan delves deeper into the issue of voter suppression, but from a different angle. He explores how development for purposes of aiding the market always seems to supersede development for community benefit. In this message, he notes that the recent appointment of Newark Development Partners alum Spencer Barker to the Newark City Council has a hidden message for the downtrodden: “don’t bother voting, we’ve got this”. Part of this critique is in highlighting the slow crawl of development in helping local homeless via a former Family Dollar building as compared to the swift renovation of a market-based segment of town near the town Square.
  • (NONA, “American Factory”, February 15th, 2020) Stan discusses the importance of coming together and having community discussion about informative works, such as films and books.
  • (NONA, “Both Side-ism”, February 20th, 2020) Stan highlights the corruption of our for-profit media by noting its selective coverage of current events, and more specifically its intentional lack of coverage of local politics.
  • (NONA, “C U and US”, February 28th, 2020) Stan openly wonders about the potential benefits of having a campaign with two – instead of one – prominent Democratic Socialists running for president and how it would help expose the problems with our corporate-friendly system in the age of Citizens United.
  • (NONA, “How Bernie Sanders Has Already Won”, March 4th, 2020) Stan explores how the coronavirus outbreak is forcing the mainstream of American politics to seriously take a look at the numerous proposals offered by Bernie; especially Medicare for All.\
  • (NONA, “Trump Lite”, March 12th, 2020) Stan highlights the problematic contrast that the American people may soon face between the corrupt incumbent president and the lukewarm support for a “return to normalcy” as exhibited in the campaign of the former Vice President leading the charge to challenge him.
  • (NONA, “Reaching for the Impossible”, March 17th, 2020) Stan helps to explain why a candidate like Bernie Sanders doesn’t simply give up when the cards are stacked highly against him and why grassroots movements are so vital to change.
  • (NONA, “The Wartime President”, March 22nd, 2020) Stan excellently analyzes the seemingly perpetual feeling of being in a “State of War” against the invisible enemy of coronavirus. He underlines part of how the fear and the need for feeling safe is helping an authoritarian president exploit this moment to expand his reach and power.
  • (NONA, “Questions”, March 29th, 2020) Stan looks into what he says are questions for which there appear to be no answers. The main question in all of this seems to be that while former Vice President Joe Biden may have consolidated party support to stop the insurgency of Bernie Sanders, what does Joe have planned to wake up the base and defeat Trump?

Progressive Party or No?

A question that all progressives must ask themselves is: is it better that we continue to try and make the Democratic Party more progressive or would it be better to work towards creating a new (and VIABLE) Progressive Party to compete with the Democratic and Republican Parties?

This is a subject which was hinted at several times in 2016 and 2017 (and has been addressed several times throughout American history), but it may deserve a serious look in this moment.

More to come on this topic in the weeks and months ahead.

Onward.

February Progressive Meeting Update

Our official meetings have been changing over time. When we last met in October we openly discussed how we were going to have to consider a change of venue and even consider altering our presentation of the meetings. A few months earlier we started sharing our meetings via our Facebook page doing a “Live” video. This was meant to encourage participation from those who consider themselves to be local progressives. Moving forward, it is our hope to encourage more supporters to participate in this process.

Tonight was supposed to be the February Meeting, but a number of things have come up. Health issues and a slew of unforeseen crises for our core members have contributed to the fact that we did not secure a meeting spot tonight. I, Daniel, will record a video to provide any updates which come to mind within the next 24 hours and will share said video here on this website and on the facebook page. More updates to come soon.

In the meantime, enjoy your time with family.

Onward.