Thursday, December 31, 2009

Progress Ohio: Dave Daubenmire, Wingnut of the Year #5

Dave Harding of Progress Ohio has announced winners of the coveted Ohio Wingnut of the Year Award. Coach Dave Daubenmie comes in #5.

Coach” Dave Daubenmire, the local Christian talk radio host and blogger and the founder of Pass the Salt ministries is equal parts Glenn Beck conspiracy nutcase and Rod Parsley over the top fire-and-brimstone rhetoric.

Since Coach is #5, it appears that others will be named, but they're not up When they are, we'll add them here.

We can think of several, from both sides of the aisle, that qualify.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Columbus Free Press Investigative Reporting Workshop: December 2, 2009

The Free Press is debuting a "Columbus" Free Press page on the website and is starting a project to recruit new local writers.

Our first event will be next week:

Bob Fitrakis will be holding an Investigative Reporting workshop next Thursday, December 3 at 6pm
Location: Carriage house at the Free Press, 1021 E. Broad Street

Please RSVP if you are coming. It is not mandatory to RSVP, but helpful
to know so we have enough seats.

Invite your friends!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Attention Columbus Writers!

Saturday November 12, the Columbus Free Press will hold its first Writers Salon, an informal meet-up with local writers interested in covering central Ohio politics and culture --and a lot more. I've been writing for the Freep since the early 1980, and I'll be there. I invite you to join me.

Below is a letter of invitation from Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer with details.


The Free Press will be holding a get together to meet and talk with people interested in writing for the and a possible new printed Free Press publication. The meeting will be:

Saturday, November 14, 4:30pm, just prior to the Second Saturday Salon At 1021 E. Broad Street

You are receiving this email because you have expressed interest in writing for the Free Press or you have submitted articles to us in the past.

We would like this first gathering to be an introduction and brainstorming session on story ideas, the future of the Free Press, and how best to coordinate writers, proof-reading, and other duties necessary to continue the functions of the Free Press.

We are also hoping to recruit people to cover some of our public officials' activities as "City Council Watch" or "Congress Watch" reporters.

This invitation may be passed along to others you know who may be interested. RSVPs are suggested.

Hope to see you there in what may become a monthly or bimonthly event!

Bob Fitrakis
Suzanne Patzer

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Columbus Life Chain 2009: Another Big Yawn

It's that time again!

The annual Life Chain protest, aka the most boring anti-abortion protest in Columbus was held late this afternoon at the Ohio Statehouse. (October 7, 2009) The event was sponsored by Columbus Right to Life.

I've written about Life Chain before (go to the "Topics, People and Organizations Covered" sidebar on the right and click on "Life Chain Columbus" and "Life Chain National" for previous posts.) My October 13 2006 "Kool Aid" post details Life Chain history, and mission in relation to Columbus-based Mark Harrington-CBR Genocide Awareness ideology and actions. (For some reason my pictures for that entry have disappeared, though they are still embedded in my entry.)

This year, due to the temperate weather, rather than mingle with the crowd, I situated myself at an outside table at Pot Belly directly across from the Statehouse, where I could do a 3-fer: enjoy a late lunch, read a book, and watch LifeChain from a comfortable distance. It's not like anything much interesting would happen.

As usual, the protest started late and no one seemed to pay the protesters much heed, even at full staff-- about 50-60 soccer mom and retiree types and a few little kids--down from about twice that number three years ago. Life Chain, you see, eschews speakers, bloody blender baybee bits blow-ups, and hand-outs.

I don't know why, but the fat priest, the angry nun, and the big whomping crucifix are no longer a Life Chain feature. The formerly ubiquitous "Adoption A Loving Option" signs were absent save one held by a man standing near the High and State Street end. Perhaps local Life Chain management understands that adoption--at least the healthy white infant type it promotes--is economically unfeasible for its constituency in a tanked economy.

Usually an all-white protest, this year's vigil featured two black male teenage holding "Abortion Kills Children" signs on the corner of Broad and High. They stood out. Especially when they sneaked to the curb and did a little quite-unlike-Life Chain dance followed-up shortly by two shouts about 10 seconds apart: "Punk Bitch!" Now that made me shut my book momentarily. Who and where the epithet came from remains a mystery. Unfortunately, traffic got in the way and I couldn't get any pictures. Shortly afterward the two disappeared permanently behind a string of buses that pulled up to the Statehouse to pick up rush hour passengers.

Early on, a man walking by my table looked over at me and said, "People across the street Awful." I don't know if I'd call them"awful" except as an adjective: ineffective, lackluster, dull, pointless, boring.

Life Chain is supposed to be a "silent witness" to raise abortion opposition awareness. Yesterday, it elicited nothing more than a big yawn. Not even CBR "truth trucks,"which in the past have glommed off Life Chain, bothered to show up.

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Monday, September 28, 2009


Tonight (September 28), well-known Central Ohio Biblical American Dr. Patrick Johnston will debate James Castle, president of the Ohio Hospital Association on what a press release calls, the "helpfulness or harmfulness" of proposals pending in Congress related to national health care legislation. The debate will be held at 7:00 PM at St John's Church, 59 E Mound Street, Columbus

This is their second debate The first was held on September 3 at the Hillard branch of the Franklin County Public Library. I was unable to attend that debate, but will cover tonight's event, and report here later.

The debates are sponsored by the Community Leaders Forum, , The Columbus Free Press, Simply Living, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, the Society for Humanistic Judaism the OSU Students for Freethought..and believe it or not, Coach Dave Daubenmire's Pass the Salt Ministries. It is free and open to the public.

The Hilliard debate received virtually no coverage outside of an Other Paper hit piece on Daubenmire, Meet your local demagogue, which must have made the reporter feel oh-so clever, but missed the mark by a mile.

Regarding the debate, we learn:

Pass the Salt ministry was among the groups supporting the anti-public health care position during the debate (without Daubenmire)., accorting ([sic] to event organizer Earl Wordlow [sic]. Voicing the cons was Patrick Johnston, an uninsured Zanesville family practitioner, Christian radio host, an active anti-LGBT and Operation Save America activist, and one-time Libertarian candidate for state representative in Ohio’s 94th District.

Wearing a Ten Commandments pin on his lapel, Johnston countered his opponent’s Power Point presentation on the whats, wheres, and whys of proposed health care bills with an impassioned speech about the road to perdition, down which government health care must necessarily lead.

Johnston and his supporters’ primary concerns with health care reform , as he laid them out, were taxpayer-subsidized reproductive care, specifically abortion, health care “rationing,” health care for illegal immigrants and, naturally, the ever-present threat of Communist infiltration.

“Even if it could be proven that universal health care could save lives, it should be rejected…better to be a cigarette smoker in an SUV than die a slave to a government system,” said Dr. Johnston. “A little candy for a little Communism? No thanks.”

While audience members, like the gray-haired man wearing a “NObama” T-shirt answered Johnston’s rhetoric with “Amen” and spattered applause, other members grew visibly agitated, some issuing groans and speaking out of turn to question the relevance of his position.

I received an email from Johnston over the weekend, which included this quote about the health care--which I prefer to call the health coverage-- debate:

If you break this ethical question down to its lowest common denominator, it comes down to a Garden of Eden question. Who determines right and wrong? Who determines the limits of government? If it is up to a democratic consensus, how can we condemn slavery where it is democratically popular? How can we condemn the execution of gays or the clitorectomies of little girls in Arab lands, where such things occur with a democratic consensus? If it is up to the whims of the leaders, how can we condemn dictatorships who suppress minorities and persecute political dissidents? The question of whether the government should fund universal healthcare, as in all ethical questions, ultimately comes down to a question of morality. What is the basis of right and wrong? I believe that the God who created us has given us a standard that transcends time, national boundaries, and even our opinions. The Holy Bible contains His word to us, and in it He places a limit to the power of the state. The state has no right to take your money and give to a cause that you would not give willingly if you had the free choice. ‘Thou shalt not steal’ applies to princes as well as paupers.

Judging from the above quote, the Other Paper Paper piece, and previous statements from Johnston on gay marriage, it looks like he'll argue tonight that "the greater good" is not necessarily the "greater good" in his moral construction and and under "God's law." Better to die with God than be saved through tax-payer funded medical.

An email to Coach Daubenmire asking about PTS co-sponsorship of the debate wasn't answered. I talked to Earl Wurdlow, organizer of the debates , and he seemed unaware of Johnston's extreme views on abortion (including posting pictures and plate numbers of women using women's clinic services), queers, and Islam and his elationship with Operation Save America, which I have written about elsewhere in Theoconia. Go to the sidebar on the right for links to those pieces.

Selected Patrick Johnston's web sites (there are more)
Stop Killing Columbus
Right Remedy

For those who can't attend tonight's debate here is a video of Dr Johnsto speaking and selling his children at the April 6, 2009 Campapign for Liberty Tea Party in Zanesville.

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Monday, August 17, 2009


Occasionally I write about something other than theoconic activity in Central Ohio. Something fun or of interest to the community. This is one of those entries.

Yesterday I attended the 4th Iuka Park Folks Arts Festival. Uplugged and uncommercial. And I'm glad I did. Organized annually by Chris the Anarchist Ryan (Yippie!) the festival is a great way to spend a hot August afternoon. Picture an afternoon of no political posturing and bickering where people just hang out. Kind of a throwback to the Be In.

Iuka Park is located in the middle of the University area, on Iuka Ravine. It's quiet, easy to find, and family friendly. As long as you're not electrifying your equipment or consuming illegal substances the cops leave you alone. A couple canopies, a couple tables. About 60 neighbors dropped by during the 6 hours of free food, free music, and free fun.

Entertainment was provided by Cowboy Hilbilly Hippy Folk (who I missed), bluegrass favs Dottie and Cyde, The Limited, Trains Across the Sea, The Vague, Miles Curtiss, aka Marvin the Robot, local bluesman Bob Sauls, and Old Hundred, a new bluegrass duo (maybe making their first appearance.

We admit we are mad about Marvin the Robot who we first ran into at the 2007 Iuka Fest. Unbeknownst to Marvin, we became a groupie from afar. We think Marvin--or do we mean Miles?-- is visionary. This weekend, Marvin will perform at the Arawak City Garden Fest

This year I became an immediate fan of Trains Across the Sea. I haven't seen such a Wobbly spirit since my old days in the IWW. Go to the Trains Across the Sea website for downloads, pictures, and a lot more including a video of the band's ComFest gig.

I've known Chris for over 25 years. Believe it or not, I always think of him as a cocktail party kinda guy. In fact, I think we went to a couple together. He's always known how to throw a good event. This is one of them.

A big THANK YOU to Chris for all the years he's put into making Columbus a better place to live. And for throwing the Iuka Park party every year. YIPPIE!

Below are some pictures.








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Monday, August 10, 2009


I apologize for the lateness of this entry. I intended to write a longer piece on the May 31, 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, and local reaction to it. Unfortunately, other matters came up, so I am just putting up pictures, belatedly.

I attended the June 4, memorial service at the Broad Street United Methodist Church. Not surprisingly, a small contingent of Minutemen United showed up to picket. Memorial organizers warned the Minutemen against entering the church and police monitored outside during the hour-long service, The Minutemen remained in public space and did not disrupt the service.

Below are pictures of the Minutemen picket and porn. I asked if Coach Daubenmire would join them. One of the men told me he thought Daubenmire was in Wichita.

I did not recognize the two picketers. If anyone can identify them, please contact me.

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