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Videos: Prison Rally, Saturday April 7, 2012 Dowtown Columbus

Videos: Prison Rally, Saturday April 7, 2012 Dowtown Columbus

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Franklin County Green Party Tuttle Park Clean-Up for Earth Day 2012

“We are not only the Green Party, we are the clean party!”

Click Photo to enlarge

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Fitrakis for Congress CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF PARTY Pictures

Sunday, May 6, 2012
4:30pm until 7:30pm

1021 E. Broad St., Columbus Ohio 43205 (east side door)
614-374-2380
fitrakisforcongress@gmail.com

Join the Ohio Green Party to KICK-OFF the Bob Fitrakis for Congress campaign, third district. There will be food, drink, music, and political campaign gifts. Meet Greens from all over Ohio. Tell Bob what you want him to accomplish in Congress!

Paid for by the Fitrakis for Congress campaign, Suzanne Patzer, Treasurer, 1021 E. Broad St., Columbus Ohio 43205.

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The Green Party On Worker’s Rights

The right to organize unions, bargain freely, and strike when necessary is being destroyed by employers and their representatives in government. One out of ten workers involved in union organizing drives is illegally fired by employers. As union membership falls, so do the wages of all working people, union and non-union. We support the right of workers to form a union and bargain collectively.

1. The Green Party supports workplace democracy, which includes the following:

a. The right to elect representatives to sit equally with management on the Board of Directors.
b. The right to fair and democratic elections of union officers.
c. No permanent replacement of striking workers.
d. No forced overtime.
e. Flexible work schedules to deal with personal and family concerns
f. All workers, temporary or permanent, must be paid a living wage.
g. All workers must have health care coverage until the passage of universal health care.
h. All workers must have unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and access to a jobs search program when they are unemployed.
i. Require minimum pensions for all workers, fully vested and portable, that do not reduce social security benefits
j. Mediation must be the first available solution to labor–management disputes with an agreed-upon time limit.
k. Labor has the first right to buy out a company that is for sale or is going bankrupt, or being outsourced to another state or another country.
l. A law requiring employers who purchase or merge with other companies to honor all existing collective bargaining agreements and contracts.

2. We support the enactment of living wage laws that apply to all workers.
3. Agricultural and other excluded workers must be covered by federal labor laws, except where existing state laws offer more protection.
4. All workers have a right to a safe and humane working environment. Failure to apply or enforce OSHA laws puts many workers at risk.
5. We stand firmly opposed to privatization and contracting-out of public services. A government that works for us would provide critical goods and services that should not be run for profit.

Contact us: FCGreenParty@gmail.com or Facebook “Franklin County Green Party”

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Will “Push And Pray” Voting Prevail In 2012? The Private Companies behind The Curtain: The Great And Powerful Advocates Of Faith-Based Electronic Voting

Bob Fitrakis

April 11, 2012

The Private Companies behind The Curtain: The Great And Powerful Advocates Of Faith-Based Electronic Voting

In this election year, the most important companies to watch are two you’ve probably never heard of — Smartech and Triad.

In the 2004 presidential election, Averbeck worked closely with the late Michael Connell, the CEO of New Media Communications. Connell was Karl Rove’s IT guru before his untimely death in a suspicious plane crash. As the FreePress.org has previously reported, then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell contracted with Averbeck to provide back-up computer services to report Ohio’s official election results.

Ohio Secretary of State’s office claimed they were unable to tabulate Ohio’s votes within the state in real time because their computers had a supposed “denial of service” attack in the wee hours of the morning after the 2004 Election Day. Vote tabulations were then shifted to the Old Pioneer Bank building in Chattanooga, Tennessee where Averbeck ran his internet service company Smartech. (See New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked)

Averbeck’s Airnet Group, Inc., doing business as Smartech, is a key company in the private, well-connected Republican world of electronic election systems. According to Airnet Group’s website it is a “…a leading of advanced Internet hosting, network and application solutions for business, delivery services via secure state-of-the-art Internet Data Centers.”

Airnet started as a staffing firm in 1994. The Chattanooga Times Free Press quotes Averbeck as saying he “…backed into political work” when he was hired to solve the Republican National Committee’s internet problems in the 2000 presidential election.

During the 2004 presidential election, Averbeck told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that his company had dedicated six web servers to handle his political business and was “negotiating for more broadband capacity to handle the growing demand for electronic political information.” In August 2004, Smartech hosted the Republican National Convention’s website as well as the Bush-Cheney campaign website – www.georgewbush.com.

The GOP paid Smartech $2.3 million in the 2004 election cycle, according to SourceWatch.

Prior to emerging as owner of the premier internet hosting company for Republicans in the United States, Averbeck had been affiliated with Pathway Press, the publishing arm of the Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee. “Pathway provides award-winning magazines, books, and innovative discipleship curriculum materials for the Church of God and to the wider Evangelical and Pentecostal community,” according to its website.

In 2006, Smartech earned even more money, $3.3 million, from the Republican Party.

Averbeck and Connell not only teamed up in Ohio during the controversial 2004 election in Ohio, but also worked with notorious political operative Paul J. Manafort on the 2004 campaign of Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukraine. The U.S. State Department accused Yanukovych’s campaign of rigging that election. Only a massive outcry by the Ukrainian people reversed those election results.

In 2010, with Connell deceased, Averbeck and Manafort once again worked on Yanukovich’s campaign. Allegations of election rigging emerged once again. This time, despite the charges of an election fix, Yanukovich was declared the winner.

While Connell’s New Media designed the Ohio election reporting system in 2004, Smartech hosted the back-up vote tabulation. The maintenance on the electronic voting machine maintenance in Ohio was done by primarily by a third secretive right-wing company, Triad. The Rapp family owns Triad Governmental Systems, also known as Triad GSI and the following companies: Rapp Systems, Corp.; Psephos Corp.; and Odyssey Online.

Connell, Averbeck and the Rapps — or New Media, Smartech and Triad — were all heavily committed to the Right-to-Life movement and far-right Republican politics.

The Rapp family, led by patriarch Tod A. Rapp of Xenia, Ohio, emerged in the public eye in 2000 after it was revealed that Psephos Corp. designed the infamous butterfly ballot in Florida. Tod Rapp started his first company, Rap Systems Corp. in 1979. In 1983, Tod Rapp and David E. Snoddy incorporated Triad Governmental Systems, Inc. Its stated purpose was “…to develop, promote, sell, distribute, market and service computer systems, software, and hardware and to consult with federal, state and local government authorities and private industry.”

During the recount of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, allegations were made that the Rapp family was aiding in rigging the recount for George W. Bush. Triad Governmental Systems maintained the computers in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, mainly in southern rural counties. In the last statewide election, public records indicate that Triad now services the computers in 57 of the 88 counties. Following their notoriety in the 2004 elections, Triad Governmental Systems started marketing itself as Triad GSI.

The Rapp family is well-known in the Greene County Right to Life movement. In Triad GSI’s website, the company says “It is our desire to develop the highest quality election software and hardware systems available in the elections business.”

In September 2011, Averbeck announced he was planning to build new data centers in Ohio and California but is committed to staying in his highly secured site in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Averbeck, the Rapp family, Smartech and Triad — these are the private, far-Christian Right companies that will be counting the vote on Election Day 2012 in the Buckeye State.


Originally published by http://freepress.org

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Democratic Socialists? Democrats Not Half That Good

By Bob Fitrakis
May 25, 2009
Article below.

Video Below article!
The Republican National Committee recently dropped its resolution to brand the moderate pro-corporate Democratic Party “Socialists”. As the late, great Democratic Socialist leader Michael Harrington liked to tell it when he testified before a dying Senator Hubert Humphrey on the Humphrey-Hawkins Work Bill, that would theoretically guarantee every American a right to a job, Humphrey bluntly asked him “Is my bill socialism?” Harrington replied, “Senator, your bill’s not half that good.”

Here’s why the Democratic Party is also not half that good. Obama’s “Me too” bailout policy to the largest and most irresponsible banks and investment houses has nothing to do with socializing capital. Democratic Socialists believe in democratizing and socializing money matters. They favor credit unions and co-ops with democratically elected boards over large welfare checks to transnational corporations. In fact, there’s little difference between Obama’s approach to the big bankers and George W. Bush’s.

If the Democrats were European Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats, they would have never allowed 20% of all U.S. workers and 47 million people in the U.S. to live without health care. They would have at least called for a general strike to shut down the system until the injustice was stopped.

If you want to look at the history of democratic socialism as a barometer for that esteemed label in American history, let’s start with the legendary Eugene Victor Debs. Unlike the cowardly Democratic Party and its then-leaders – John Kerry and Hillary Clinton who both supported Bush’s illegal imperialist occupation of Iraq to remain politically viable as presidential candidates – Debs went to jail to oppose World War I.

Not only that, he ran as a Socialist Party presidential candidate from jail and received a million votes defending the First Amendment. What was Debs’ great crime? Claiming the rich have always declared war and the poor and working class have always fought and died.

Historically, U.S. Socialist leaders like Debs, Norman Thomas, and Michael Harrington were not cowards hiding behind pragmatism and popularity polls. When virtually no U.S. politicians spoke on behalf of accepting Jewish immigrants from Nazi Germany during the Great Depression, Thomas fought for their admittance.

Martin Luther King, Jr. called Norman Thomas “the bravest man” he ever met. When Thomas gave his nominal blessing for the last remains of the Socialist Party to merge into the Democratic Party in 1960, he did not surrender his conscience. For example, he called John F. Kennedy “all profile and no courage,” particularly in regards to the President’s civil rights actions. In 1965, Thomas spoke at the first major anti-Vietnam War rally in Washington D.C. and announced he had come to “cleanse” the American flag, not to burn it.

Thomas spoke out and wrote a book against the torture of pacifists during World War I, asking the key question, “Is conscience a crime?” He understood that when you strung pacifists up by their thumbs, it was torture. I’m sure if he had ever been briefed on it, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi allegedly was, he would have denounced it immediately.

Michael Harrington was the architect of the Great Society and the War on Poverty. His book, “The Other America,” stands as a lasting monument to the principles of Democratic Socialism. When both the Democrat and Republican Parties were ignoring the 22% of U.S. population living in poverty during the Eisenhower years, it was Harrington who documented their desperate plight.

Harrington later went on to champion the rights of the wretched of the Earth in his book “The Vast Majority.” He helped write the policy perspectives that tilted the European Social Democrats toward massive aid to Africa, Asia and South America.

Debs, Thomas and Harrington came to realize that democracy was more important than socialism and that decision-making from the bottom up was the key. To label the timid, triangulating Obama Democratic Party as Democratic Socialists is absurd. Not only is Obama not half as good as Debs, Thomas and Harrington, he’s not yet a pale imitation of FDR. And we can only dream that he would adopt the infrastructure programs and progressive tax policies of President Dwight Eisenhower from the 50s.

Perhaps the best we can do is raise the slogan demanding that Obama “Be like Ike.” America needs a Marshall Plan, that’s something an FDR or Ike would understand. Debs, on the other hand, would be calling for an army of a million men to arrest Bush and Cheney for crimes against humanity. And Debs would be talking about his desire to resurrect from the dead the more than a million dead Iraqis killed in a corporate capitalist war for oil.

That’s the legacy of American Democratic Socialism.

Bob Fitrakis, Ph.D., J.D., is the editor of the freepress.org and author of The Idea of Democratic Socialism in America and the Decline of the Socialist Party which is for sale at the freepress.org online store.

Dr. Robert Fitrakis

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Bob’s Radio Shows This Week: Michael Parenti Podcast

Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Michael Parenti
Bob interviews Michael Parenti, author, scholar, activist, currently on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, Education Without Borders, and the Jasenovic Foundation; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought. He is the author of twenty-three books
Listen and call in this Wednesday, April 11
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766

Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766
All shows rebroadcast on WCRSFM community radio 98.3/102.1 Wednesdays at 8pm
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Bob’s WVKO 1580AM radio show Saturday, April 14 – 11am-12noon
Call in @ 1-614-821-1580
Talking about the OSU project on the near east side including Poindexter Village with Deborah Steele of Jobs with Justice and others.

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Bob’s Radio Show This Week, Archived and Links

Bob’s WVKO 1580AM radio show Saturday, April 14 – 11am-12noon
Call in @ 1-614-821-1580
Talking about the OSU project on the near east side including Poindexter Village with Deborah Steele of Jobs with Justice and others.

Also:
Listen and call in Wednesdays
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766

Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766
All shows rebroadcast on WCRSFM community radio 98.3/102.1 Wednesdays at 8pm
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Also you can find podcasts on WCRSFM from former shows @ :

http://www.wcrsfm.org/node/897

or from a site search:

http://wcrsfm.org/search/node/Fitrakis

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Listen and call-in to Bob Fitrakis’ new radio show on WVKO1580AM

See podcast at bottom!
Listen and call-in to Bob Fitrakis’ new radio show on WVKO, 1580 AM
This Saturday, April 7 from 11am-12noon
1-614-821-1580
This week’s guest: Staughton Lynd, prisoner rights activist, author of Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
OPEN LINE: Call in between 11:40am-12noon on whatever subject you want to talk about!

also, don’t forget —

Join us to Stop the Prison Industrial Complex!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
1-3:00 PM
Gather at Corner of Broad St. & High St. for a Rally (State Capitol Building), Columbus, Ohio.
Speaker: Bob Fitrakis
Followed by a march west on Broad Street to the Ohio Dept of Rehabilitation and Correction. Several organizations and activist groups are uniting for this rally to bring attention to the injustices which are inherent in the prison industrial complex.This is an effort to educate the public and law makers about these issues and to show our growing support for change.
• Free the framed Lucasville Five.
• End the death penalty.
• Parole for Old-Law prisoners – presumption for parole when eligible.
• Right to a life for former prisoners – remove barriers to employment and housing.
If you have a prison issue, come with signs, banners, drums and bullhorns. Show your support.
Sponsored by the Central Ohio Prisoner Advocates
centralohio.prisoneradvocates@gmail.com
http://centralohioprisoneradvocates.wordpress.com
614-635-0227