Category: Updates & Perspectives

A Personal Story From Inside Ohio’s Private Prison System

Recently a woman from our region contacted me in regards to my stance concerning private prisons. She agreed with my points about how fundamentally corrupt the whole operating premise of incarceration for profit is, and how destructive to people in practice these corporate prisons can be. In fact, she knows this through firsthand experience, having shared with me a powerful, enlightening, and disturbing story about her own dealings with these institutions in regards to the treatment, and even unknown fate, of her son.

I’m sharing her note with you here because this is something we should all be aware of and which is being done in our name, and with our tax dollars. (I am posting this with the writer’s permission and support, and with the names and specific locations redacted in order to protect the person incarcerated from additional retaliatory abuse). We cannot begin to change this situation unless we understand what is happening. Only then can we effectively argue for necessary reforms, and the abolition of incarceration-for-profit as a business model in our economy and society. This is something I plan on doing when serving as your representative in our Statehouse.

————–

Good day Ms. McCarthy.

I am a registered [voter] and your stance against private prisons excited me. I am a veteran and a taxpaying citizen. Unfortunately, my son became addicted to opioids and turned to selling to support his habit. He has been in a private prison [in Ohio] for a very long year now. Every time I complain he is thrown in segregation, and there is a free-for-all in there…drugs, gangs, violence. He was almost killed in January after being attacked by a gang, and Care Flight’ed after the staff ignored his injuries.

My son has never been in prison before, but boy did I learn fast how awful a private prison is. They are overcrowded. Staff are paid poorly and undertrained, and I have literally spent hundreds of dollars on clothing and food. I complained about him being put back in the same exact unit after almost being killed rather than being transferred, and now the staff allows the inmates to steal all his belongings. He was just put into segregation again after my complaints about a correction officer damaging his TV. This is something I pay for because there is a huge waiting list for even GED classes. The last time he was put in set [administrative segregation, or ‘the hole’ as it is sometimes referred to] was approximately 4 weeks ago, and every bit of clothing was stolen, rather than the COs securing his belongings. I spent hundreds of dollars through a company that I have to shop through to get him basics; things like underwear, socks, sweats, shoes. I spoke with him yesterday and once again he begged the COs to secure his belongings because he was thrown in seg for a minor infraction-being out of place. He will come out in 21 days with a pair of prison issued underwear and nothing else because once again everything was stolen because his belongings were not secured, and his bunk is right in front of the COs office. I will have the privilege of spending hundreds of dollars again in 4 months as he is also on package restriction for 90 days.

I want my son to get help. I hoped he would have access to drug abuse counseling, classes, etc. But I fear he will be out in a few years far worse than when he went in. He now has a huge scar on his face after the surgeries he had to have, and I am terrified he won’t come home at all. You have my vote for this reason. Thank you so much and God bless you!

Addressing The Challenges Our Local Schools Are Facing; Fairborn, Ohio

As part of my mission to learn as much as I can about education and the school districts I am going to have jurisdiction over, I have been meeting individually with the Superintendents of these respective schools. Recently, I met with Fairborn interim Superintendent, Mr Gene Lolli, and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Sue Brackenhoff.

They explained the challenges that a district like Fairborn faces. We talked about how the household income of a child is the biggest indicator on how they are going to perform. With Fairborn being the lowest income district in District 73, this is a true challenge for them, and one that they approach with compassion and dedication.

They understand how the state has impacted their ability to teach children effectively, and they also know what has to be done to turn things around. Funding that fulfills the constitutional mandate for equity in fairness in our educational system is obviously the first issue that has to be addressed. Tying school funding to the value of the homes in any particular district is not only unjust, it sets our whole community up for failure. You can’t pull yourself up by your boot straps when you don’t even have the boots in the first place.

There is a very good reason why I have been endorsed by various teacher unions throughout Ohio. It’s because I am not afraid to speak the truth about the situation our state finds itself in, and of course, I am not just here to play party games. I am here to make our community stronger, period. You have to face and address the REAL issues in order to do that.

My opponent, on the other hand, who has been in office the past 6 years, which is coincidentally the same amount of time that more than $7 million dollars was stolen from our children and our local schools by the charter school scam ECOT, has not been endorsed by any teacher’s unions. Fairborn actually had the highest amount stolen out of the 4 schools in our district. The school that can LEAST afford this was hit the hardest. Unfortunately, this seems to be par for the course whenever confronting economic injustices of this nature.

I was told that Mr. Perales has never met with the Superintendent of Fairborn City Schools. Nor has he ever met with the Director of Curriculum and Education. Education is one of  state’s major responsibilities. And a State Representative owes their constituents an education system that will prepare our youngest citizens for meeting the needs and challenges of their lives ahead, as well as the needs of our society to have thoughtful, educated citizens to help meet those challenges. I would also suggest he owes the people of Fairborn, and of all of our local schools in the 73rd District, an apology for allowing the theft of their money to go on for years, even after so many red flags were being raised about the corruption at hand. Warnings which tragically went unheeded and ignored by my opponent’s party, what with the GOP holding all the reins of power. This negligence has cost Ohio’s taxpayers a BILLION dollars in losses due to just this one charter school scam, ECOT, the biggest financial scandal in Ohio history. And it happened right under Mr. Perales’ unobservant nose.

The people of District 73 deserve better. They deserve a representative who is looking out for them, for their children, and for their future. Not someone who looks the other way in order to keep in the good graces of their party. I intend to be that person for you. Vote for McCarthy on November 6 if you want to vote for your future.

Sept 11th and Serving Those Who Sacrificed So Much For Us

On this poignantly somber day of remembrance, our thoughts often and rightly turn to honoring some of our finest public servants, the thousands of first responders who risked so much, many of them giving their all, including their lives, in the effort to protect and to serve our fellow citizens during the violence and chaos of those hours and days as a result of the attacks of September 11th.

And so one would think it should be about as uncontroversial an issue as we could have in America today – making sure that these servants are themselves now taken care of of by us.  It’s been well-documented and clearly shown how at risk health wise those who served at Ground Zero on 9/11 actually are today.  Many of them continue to suffer from extreme amounts of cancer, PTSD, and other serious health issues as a result of their service during that critical time.

And yet, whether due to incompetence or mendacity (or likely various degrees of both), the GOP Trump administration has attempted to undermine the funding for the health insurance program created to cover the needs of these brave first responders, made possible through the passing of The James Zadroga Act in 2011.

This fact seems almost too bizarre, too patently villainish to be true. Yet this is indeed what the actual budget that the GOP administration and its enablers worked to ram through Congress this year would do.  Do we not all understand that the caring for those that sacrificed so much that day is not an issue of right or left, but of right or wrong?  It is unconscionable to think that in their efforts to find more ways to cut costs in order to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, that they would leave people abandoned to the destitution of need, people who sacrificed so much for us and our nation during that fateful time. (Jon Stewart accuses White House of ‘screwing’ 9/11 first responders)

But then, the Republicans it seems have never actually been that enthused about helping these people, at least not if it cost them any money.  For as this report explains, many high powered Republican leaders have repeatedly voted against it, and put up a whole series of legislative roadblocks towards its passage (hypocritically arguing that our nation couldn’t afford this expensive new “entitlement” program, and yet agreeing to end the filibuster of it only if the Bush tax cuts were extended, thus further draining the public coffers).  These people include Trump’s current Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who voted to end the program while a member of Congress, and who has now made his attempts to kill it through bureaucratic restructuring with this year’s GOP budget.

Today, as we are repeatedly reminded that we should always honor these people who gave so much of themselves, it seems to me that we honor them best, most usefully and most purposefully, by serving them.  By providing them the ability to live their lives in dignity, so that they should never be left in a position of desperate need materially.  They’ve already given so much physically, emotionally, even spiritually, embodying what Parker Simpson described as “much of the soul of what true public service is about,” as exemplified by “the months that physically and emotionally damaged firefighters, police officers, and volunteers spent on that pile digging for survivors and remains.”  It’s beyond sad that we have to continue to fight for the basic services and healthcare protections for those of our citizens who need it most. (Trump budget could gut agency that treats 9/11 first responders).  And Lord knows that our 9/11 first responders have certainly earned it.  A society in which the basic rights and dignity of our working citizens are provided for in this manner, especially those who worked as public servants in such a self-sacrificing manner, is what a society that puts People First is about.  Unfortunately, we’re increasingly seeing the opposite today under the current culture of corruption that has overtaken our politics from the federal down through the state level.  And this issue underlines the core of the self-serving rot that has metastasized within our system, when caring for even these heroes becomes a long, protracted political battle, and not just an obvious given.

It is up to us to change this culture within our politics and our society. It is our collectively standing up in the spirit of unity that so many naturally felt in the face of that terrible crisis, and the humanity that was inherently triggered within us by those fateful events. It is the renewal and resurgence of that energy and an awakening to that sense of selflessness and service that can help guide us towards the way out of our current mess, and show us the way ahead as a nation.

Here’s a rundown of how things were transpiring during the budget process earlier this year, as repeated efforts by those in opposition to these cuts were rebuffed and ignored repeatedly by the current GOP administration – Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act: Coalition to Help Injured and Dying 9/11 Responders and Survivors9/11 Health Watch (Making sure our nation remembers and cares for the heroes and survivors of 9/11)

9/11 Health Watch (Making sure our nation remembers and cares for the heroes and survivors of 9/11)

Honoring Labor Day and the American Worker

Here’s wishing everyone a happy Labor Day, as we commemorate and celebrate that essential element of what has not only made America great, but has been indispensable to making America, period — the American worker.This is a particularly special holiday for our campaign, as we are committed to not just celebrating the American worker, but protecting and supporting their rights and their dignity, something I plan on doing when serving in our Statehouse.

One of the basic principles of America from its very founding has been the principle of standing up for yourself, and acting in your own own interest. This is also one of the founding philosophies of the labor movement, as this principle works for groups as well as individuals. It is because we as a nation have understood that we benefit as individuals when we benefit as a group. This understanding is encapsulated in the earliest motto of our country, imprinted on America’s very first coin – “We Are One.”

It is that sense of unity, that sense of shared purpose, shared sacrifice, and shared benefit, that underlies America’s labor movement, and what makes for healthy and productive individuals in a healthy and productive society.

So as we spend this wonderful Labor Day holiday enjoying time together with family and friends, with our cookouts and recreation, let us also take a moment to reflect on all of the work, struggle and sacrifice on the part of so many workers that gave us things we think of as a norm now. We should never forget that the status quo of wealth and power at the time thought the inequality of its day was just fine, and that was the way it should be. It was these interests who would call this exploitation of labor, “freedom.” Workers who challenged this were often brutalized, many of them killed, for standing up for the things we take for granted today. Things like the 8-hour work week, overtime benefits, sick leave and vacation time, safety protections on the job, getting children out of factories, workers compensation and social security, and all the other aspects of economic protections that are designed to put people first.

So let us remember and honor the fact that is not just those who have worn our nation’s uniforms who have sacrificed for so much, some even paying the ultimate price, to give us the freedoms and rights we enjoy today. The American worker is what makes our country go, and who we should be making sure is not only honored, but is given their full due so that they can live their lives to their fullest potential.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Kim McCarthy Comments on the GOP’s Adoption of Her Military Spouse Support Proposal

Kim McCarthy, candidate for Ohio state representative, has expressed her support for her opponent’s announcement of his plan to put forward Ohio House Bil 716, addressing military families’ concerns regarding employment opportunities and hurdles for spouses when relocating to Ohio for duty. The plan aligns directly with her long standing advocacy for military spouses.

“I am relieved that Rick Perales and his fellow Republicans have finally begun to promote support for military spouses, an idea I publicly proposed in April after I met with some of them last winter, and heard about state obstacles to employment and other challenges they face every day.”

(See: Ohio House candidate meets with potential constituents – Fairborn Daily Herald and Helping Our Military Spouses Help Teach Our Children )

“Perhaps our Republican officials have begun to look at the big picture. The constituents I have met with have been asking for relief for a long time. It was disheartening to find that our current representatives did not seem to be paying attention to what their own constituents in Greene County needed, and only publicly responded after Pentagon officials in Washington D.C. requested that they address it. It looks like my efforts are having an effect even though I’m not in the Statehouse yet. I am happy that my campaign has helped bring veterans, active duty military, and their families into the spotlight in a way that is useful to them and to our communities in which they live. It is long past time,” said McCarthy, lamenting that this Republican support for her proposal comes too late for any likely enactment by the state this year.

“Republican tardiness aside, we encourage Rick Perales to support more measures that will help veterans and the rest of the citizens of the 73rd district and across the state, including tuition free college, an end to private prisons, restoration of the local government fund for much needed infrastructure improvements, and health care for all Ohioans,” she concluded.

UPDATE/ADDENDUM:

My opponent recently posted this statement on Twitter about “this bill” which will “accommodate our vets,” particularly “those who have paid the ultimate price to keep our country safe.” Which bill is this? I’m assuming it is House Bill HB 716?

Putting aside for the moment the whole issue surrounding just how deficient our nation often is in caring for those who have served and suffered in the cause of our country, this bill doesn’t actually have anything to do with veterans or the families who have lost members in the line of duty. Rather, it reportedly addresses the needs of current active service personnel on station at Wright-Patt and other military installations throughout Ohio. Does he not even understand the nature and purpose of his own legislation?”

It’s also unfortunate that it took a request from the Secretary of the Air Force to get this rolling, when from what my military sources have been telling me, this is a situation which been widely known by everyone in the system for years now. Why then has Mr. Perales not taken steps to address this problem during the past 6 years he has been in office? Is it really a coincidence that this is now a priority for him, only after I have made it publicly clear that this is a problem that I have committed myself to resolving when in the Statehouse?

This is why I’m running and why I’m committed to serving, because I’m tired of the needs of my fellow citizens being ignored by those in power. It’s why I’m determined to do the right thing for people because its the right thing for people. We need people in office who have the courage to stand up for what is right, not officials who only seem to jump to action when they feel their career is on the line. There are actual families living at WPAFB right NOW who need this legislation to pass. I truly hope that it does become signed into law by December. If Mr. Perales had been spending time with them, like I did, in order to understand their plight better, then perhaps he would have been able to take *their* picture to use in support of his legislation, instead of using a stock photograph of paid actors.

Kim McCarthy Opposes Private Prisons, Privatized Prison Services

Ohio State Representative candidate Kim McCarthy opposes the incarceration of prisoners for private profit. McCarthy says that the recent JPay prison company scandal in Iowa reminds us that the private prison industry is bad for Ohio and the nation. JPay is a company that transfers money, and provides access to tablet computers. Prisoners in Iowa used a flaw in the system to transfer a quarter of a million dollars into their accounts. Ironically, one of the reasons for contracting with JPay and similar companies was security. JPay operates in multiple states, including Ohio.

McCarthy pointed out that private prison industries make huge profits because they have monopoly access to their captive clientele, prisoners and their families. If a person in prison needs anything, family members have to use companies like JPay, which take a substantial cut from every transaction. Private companies even control prisoners’ access to soap and toothpaste. If prisoners are deemed to owe the court any money, cash sent to them by family members is diverted to the state, after a percentage is taken by JPay. Worse, McCarthy says, are private prisons, which expand profits when states decide to imprison more people and keep them in prison longer. The prison industry lobbies and donates heavily and generously to promote longer sentences, for increasingly minor offenses.

Ohio has three private prison facilities:
– Lake Erie Correctional Institution, and Northeast Ohio Correctional Center (operated by CoreCivic)
– North Central Correctional Complex (operated by Management and Training Corporation)

“People across the political spectrum are realizing that we cannot continue to support the cost of mass imprisonment. People as different as Rand Paul and Corey Booker are demanding common sense reforms,” McCarthy said. McCarthy supports a four point reform plan:

1. End private prisons in Ohio. If the State of Ohio takes a person’s freedom the State of Ohio will manage their detention.

2. Review and audit prison industries such as phone services, food sales to prisoners, and money transfers, and the costs these impose on families of imprisoned people.

3. Work with members of ALL parties in the Ohio House to change the Ohio Revised Code, reduce needless and unjust confinement, and focus primarily on violent offenders.

4. Since Greene County is deciding whether to build a new jail, it should look at ways to reduce counterproductive imprisonment. “When people are in jail because they can’t afford bail, they often lose their jobs and can’t provide for their families. Bail is supposed to ensure that an accused person shows up for trial. The current alternative to bail is jail. In 2018, we have better ways to protect the public without ruining the lives of people who haven’t even been convicted of a crime, just because they can’t afford to pay. It is time for the Greene County Courts to take a fresh look at bail issues with the community as a whole. I want to work with the courts, law enforcement, and citizens of Greene County to offer alternatives, such as electronic monitoring, and take our ideas to Columbus.”

Image from TPM Features’ The True Cost: Why the Private Prison Industry is About so Much More Than Prisons

Prison Bankers Cash In On Captive Customers

Here’s another reason why some politicians continue to fight against any kind of legalization of marijuana, and it has nothing to do with public safety…
Private Prisons and Pharmaceutical Industry Fight against Marijuana Legalization

Education Professionals Endorse Kim McCarthy, A Supporter of Our Public Schools, Who Condemns Ohio’s ECOT Scam

We are pleased to report that Kim McCarthy’s campaign has been endorsed by the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio Education Association, and AFSCME-OAPSE (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-Ohio Association of Public School Employees). Education in Ohio is in a state of crisis right now because of irresponsible policies put in place by the Republican majority in state government.

There was little oversight of charter schools, many of which, like ECOT, were operated for profit. While ECOT was padding their enrollment figures, they also helped to fund the campaigns of legislators who spearheaded the development of these money-making charter schools in the first place.

The phony ECOT scam was allowed to fester under the “privatize everything” ideologues in Ohio’s state government. Their failure to govern properly has cost Ohio taxpayers well over half a billion dollars through this massive fraud and graft, which many sources are pointing out is the largest and costliest scandal in Ohio history. And while all of this double-dealing was happening, Ohio’s legislators failed to oversee or audit charter schools all across our state. This includes the current representative in the seventy-third state house district, who has seemingly been asleep at the wheel during this whole debacle, saying nothing to address the fraud, and doing nothing to prevent a repeat of it.

This gargantuan sum of public money is money that could have and should have gone to supporting our public education, not to the personal profit of a few. During the past six years, the following amounts were diverted from public schools in the Ohio seventy-third district to the coffers of just ECOT alone:

Beavercreek — $1,335,016

Fairborn — $ 1,587,698

Yellow Springs — $91,576

Bellbrook-Sugarcreek — $311,820

When elected, Kim McCarthy will act in the public interest, and work to end what has come to be known as a culture of corruption in state government. The malfeasance in Columbus has damaged our schools and consistently thwarted the public good on behalf of private self-serving interests. Because Kim McCarthy takes no corporate PAC money, nothing will stop her from acting in the public interest, and putting the interests of people first as her legislative priority.

Ohio’s Schools Lost Nearly $600 Million To ECOT Since 2012

The GOP’s Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded

“Why did it take a generation and a half of kids to go through this crappy system for us to do something about it?” Stephen Dyer, a former Ohio state representative, asked me in exasperation in December. “The reason is because a lot of money came in.”

Should We Be Encouraging Sprawl In Greene County?

I live in Sugarcreek Township. Our tagline is “An Open Space Community.”

Until it isn’t.

In a recent conversation with the township administrator, I said to him, if I closed my eyes for 20 years, what would I see here when I opened them again.  He said I’d see complete development. No more of those lovely “open spaces.”  Progress is progress, he thinks. Nothing they can do to stop it.

Well, I take issue with that statement.  When Ohio has a flat lining population growth rate, and 10% of its houses empty, we need to ensure we protect our open spaces, and not let sprawl choke our cities and towns into terminal decline (more than it already has).  I don’t know about you, but I like my open spaces.  It’s why I moved here.  I want local leadership that protects our lifestyle, and frankly, more importantly, the environment.

I also want leadership in the Statehouse that does not only discourage sprawl, but works to contain it.  What do we have though?  The exact opposite.  Let me introduce you to House Bill 371.

As if our property taxes aren’t already high enough because of the reduction in local government funds, now they want to give away our taxes (that primarily finance our schools) to rich developers, who show no consideration or respect to the communities that they make their money from.  (‘Let’s put a road through the metropark so we can make even more money.. they’ll never notice!’).  And considering my opponent is “sponsored” by one of the region’s biggest developers, I can probably make an educated guess on where he sits on this bill.

House Bill 371 was discussed at the beginning of July at the Greene County Commissioners meeting, and the county is against this bill, and are going to write the county’s statehouse representatives Perales, Dean and Hackett to express their opposition to it.

This issue serves to bring to light once again the need for real campaign finance reform, so we can be better served by representatives who will make decisions based on the needs of all of Ohio’s citizens, and not just a handful of campaign donors.

We need more fairness in our state governance. We need to end this kind of corporate welfare. Enough.  A vote for me is a vote for smart development and for making people pay their fair share! #PeopleFirst!

Read the letter of concern from the Greater Ohio Policy Center here…
GOPC joins others in raising concerns with House Bill 371

A Letter of Support for Kim McCarthy

Dear Kim,

It is with pleasure that I read about your candidacy as State Representative for Ohio.  I appreciate your willingness to step up to this responsibility.  My memory of you is that you have always been concerned about the welfare of others and have never hesitated to speak up for justice and offer compassion to those who do not feel empowered to advocate for themselves.  You have been on the cutting edge of important issues – and, at times – been criticized for doing so. However, criticism did not deter you from what you believed to be the right thing to do. I am not a critic; I am a supporter.

You are a native Australian but I know you embrace the best of what the United States can be. You believe in our systems of justice and the right to speak to issues that seem unfair. We are better because you became a citizen of our great country.

If I were still a resident of Ohio and of your voting district, I would vote for you.  God bless you for your courage and your diligence.

Thank you for persistently caring for your neighbors.

The Reverend Terry Heck, Retired
Formerly pastor of Bellbrook United Methodist Church

The Revolutionary Spirit of July 4th

Today is the day in which we commemorate the signing of our Declaration of Independence, the birth certificate of a new nation, one based upon the politically revolutionary ideal that a society should be established in order to provide for the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all men (and thanks to years of further political struggle, for those rights to be officially extended to *all* people, regardless of race, color or creed).

It is also a day that amidst the fun cookouts, good friends and family, and fireworks, we should take a moment to reflect upon the ideas and intentions our nation’s Founders, people who risked everything in order to establish the republic for which still stands today, and for which we stand for when we stand for the liberty and justice of *all*, and not just some.

Some of the most important principles that so many of our founding patriotic revolutionaries were envisioning and fighting for, was a new kind of society, one that was effectively devoid of artificial social distinctions, and which royalty and nobility would be banished. It would be a society that would produce citizens who were “industrious, sober, frugal” (John Adams) and ambitious to serve their brethren.

Government would exist for the purpose of securing the happiness of the people…not the purpose of serving the narrow interests of one class, or to promote a narrow ruling elite. It would be a society in which a representative government would legislate for it, and levy taxes upon itself, and ensure that their tax monies were not “wasted among the venal and corrupt” (as Thomas Jefferson stated). It would be a society that John Adams envisioned would be where it’s citizens – and none more so than it’s wealthiest citizens – embraced the idea of patriotism and selflessness, rejecting selfish interests in pursuit of a unitary common good.

It is this revolutionary spirit that we would be well served to keep alive and hold to as our “North Star of principle” (to use a term of American Founder Thomas Paine, author of America’s revolutionary document “Common Sense,” the blueprint for the Declaration of Independence, and the man who gave us the name “United States of America”). After all, as writer, journalist and commentator Bill Moyers once noted, the American Revolution was if anything a rebellion against the idea of government as a tool to confer privilege on insiders. 

Here’s to keeping that American spirit of rebellion against corruption and injustice alive and well, and returning to our governance the principles of patriotic selflessness which made our nation possible in the first place.

Honoring Memorial Day

Each Memorial Day, we collectively gather as a nation to honor all those who gave of themselves the last full measure of devotion in defense of our nation and the principles upon which it stands.

Though we set aside this special day to reflect on these sacrifices and those who made them, it is our duty as citizens never to lose awareness of the reality, and the full human impact, of what these sacrifices entailed, and the costs and suffering borne by those we honor, and by their families.

These are costs which should never be factored lightly in our policies, and should always be at the forefront of every decision about the use of our military. As a society, we should always insist that our leaders call upon the brave men and women of our armed forces to put themselves in harms way only as a last resort, and only when the defense of our nation and its collective interests and democratic institutions are legitimately and demonstrably threatened.

The recent unveiling of the Memphis Belle at the National Museum of the United States Air Force brings the memory and significance of those threats into sharp focus. It exemplifies the fight against the greatest existential threat to democracy in our nation’s history thus far: the fascist war machines of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War II. It is an honor and a privilege to have this iconic aircraft permanently displayed here in our community in Greene County. Its presence should help us rededicate ourselves to the freedoms and values we Americans and our allies were defending in that war, freedoms and values that are summarily expressed in and imprinted upon the World War II Service Medal awarded to every one of our military personnel who served in that global conflict – freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear.   Americans understood that these essential principles of freedom are what distinguish free people from those who live under tyranny. They represent the core American values for which our troops fought, with the leadership of an administration that did not validate swastika carriers, but fought to destroy them, to rid our world of their pernicious and tyrannical ideology.
                                             

May this Memorial Day serve to not only remind us of the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, but to help us reinvigorate our dedication to the fulfillment of the democratic principles that so many fought for, principles which continue to animate the truest elements and expressions of our nation’s vision and soul.

It’s Time To Provide Health Care For All

As an accountant who works in the public accounting field, I have a number of local clients where I compile their accounts on a monthly basis. When I see the massive checks they write each month to cover the health insurance premiums for their employees, I feel real frustration regarding our health care system.

Research data continues to conclusively show that the U.S. spends way more per person on health care than all other industrialized nations. This includes more than *double* what my country of birth Australia does, a nation which operates a universal health care system for all of its citizens. Research evidence also continues to demonstrate that these extra costs are doing *nothing* to improve the quality and availability of care, but are primarily being funneled into the hands of a small number of private for-profit insurance corporations and their CEO salaries. Meanwhile, America continues to lag behind in health care quality outcomes in relation to these other nations, in spite of this excessive spending.

Besides the detrimental effect this has on people’s health, there’s also the direct negative consequences upon our state and national economy. This is because these unnecessary massive expenditures made to private insurance corporations means that small businesses and the people who work for them have that much less disposable income. Which then means that the other small businesses that rely on people spending their discretionary money with them also lose out.

When I ran our small manufacturing business in Xenia, these premiums not only represented a huge increase in the cost of each employee, they were also impossible to budget for, what with the ever-increasing premiums that just kept coming. Our health care system hinders and limits our ability as small business owners to make profits and provide high quality jobs.

These premiums are not insignificant amounts. At all. Why can’t we have an efficient health care system that puts people first, instead of the profits of just a select few? They are the only ones winning from the current system, and millions upon millions continue to struggle financially and physically because of their greed.

Our Constitution calls for the government of this nation to establish Justice and promote the general Welfare. This isn’t happening. Enough is enough. It’s time for real Medicare For All health care coverage for all Ohioans, and all Americans.

For more information on current pending legislation in the Ohio Statehouse, as well as how such a program could and would work, visit Single Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio).

And here’s more reason why the profit-motive needs to be removed from incentivizing how we provide health care….
“Wall Street Admits Curing Diseases Is Bad for Business”