Also Available On:
- ‘Almost the definition of gerrymandering’: GOP redistricting plan has more Republican-leaning seats
- Commission accepts GOP redistricting map as ‘working document’
- All In for Ohio
- Fair Districts Ohio
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Doug Berger 0:50
Before I get started with the show today, I just wanted to explain that we are doing for the first time a video version of the podcast on so I want to hopefully going forward is record this podcast as a video first. And then strip out the audio and publish it as a regular podcast and do all the things I normally do. But then we have pictures instead of a static picture me in front of this, this backdrop here in and see I’m still kind of working on working on the video here. So I apologize in advance for any technical glitches. You can see that there’s some artifacts from my green screen and that sort of thing. I’m just learning. It’s all one person doing it. And so hopefully we’ll be able to get it. Get it together.
Doug Berger 1:58
The first thing I wanted to talk about today is the in the year 2021. It’s redistricting time. Every 10 years after a census, the state legislatures and every state get together and they redraw the congressional maps, the state district maps house, House District maps to better have enough so that everybody gets represented, represented, represented. So everybody gets represented correctly due to population and where they live. In 2011, the last time that redistricting took place, the majority party here in Ohio, the republicans actually came up with the maps, the district maps in secret behind a private access hotel room that they affectionately called the bunker. And then they released these maps only a few days before they were voted on. And because the republicans have a majority in Ohio legislature, they passed. It was some awful gerrymandering took place. One of them was the what they call the snake. That is congressional district nine that marcy kaptur is part of, and it goes from Toledo, across the shore of Lake Erie over to the Cleveland area. It’s a little, little thin, little thin line there.
Doug Berger 3:39
A couple of things about the new one was that people got together and decided to put a stop to that kind of gerrymandering in secret, you know, drawing the maps in secret. So they passed a couple of constitutional amendments to our constitution that would force the mapmaking out into the public. And that would take place. This is the first the first redistricting that is under the new rules. So of course, the Republican majority has been dragging it out dragging their feet, not wanting to take care of it as like they should. And so what they’ve been doing is well, first of all, they scheduled public meetings in the middle of the week at like two o’clock, three o’clock in the afternoon. Where you know, most people won’t be able to attend. Most people that might be interested to have a job won’t be able to attend. The other thing that happened was that the all the maps for to be considered by the redistricting commission had to be submitted by September the first that was in the constitution? It didn’t it that did not happen. The republicans did not submit their maps, the democratic side did. And so the republican maps were just released this past week. And they are going to have a couple of public hearings. And then they’re, they essentially voted on them already. This redistricting committee commission is made up of a majority of Republicans, of course, because that’s who that’s the makeup of it, it’s based on on again, on the district, the who has the majority. And they’ve already decided that that those maps that they’ve already created are going to be the working maps. So any changes are going to come out of those maps. One of the things, you know, and it’s hard to explain gerrymandering to people that aren’t quite sure how it goes. So I wanted to, I wanted to bring up this, this group, this social justice group, here in Ohio, called All In had a series of maps to demonstrate what exactly is happening, particularly with people, people of color neighborhoods with people of color, either blacks or Hispanics, that sort of thing, and how they’re being done. So I wanted to show you this example, and I’ll have this up in the show notes. You know, I’ll leave a link to their, their group, I’ll link to the group, and I’ll link to the image and I’ll put the image up on the show notes. So those that aren’t watching the video can actually see, but I’ll explain it, hopefully, in a clear manner. So let’s take a look at this map. Now this map is Toledo. And the kind of lighter shades, kind of the transparent boxes that you see here. Those are census neighborhoods that are predominantly people of color in the city of Toledo. And that’s in the core of the city and the West, the near West Side, a little bit south south side, that’s generally correct. And then the heavy lines that you see are the new district lines that the republicans want to create. And so what you’ll notice is that we have a large group there right in the center, that is split into two different districts. And the neighborhoods themselves are split into two different districts. And so basically, what that means is they’re trying to pack as many people of color into as few as districts if possible. And then and then there’s, there’s also,
Doug Berger 8:04
I also have a link to a Columbus Dispatch article that really explains the whole process of redistricting. But basically, what happens is that there’s a certain percentage, it’s 5%, on either side of a population level, that the maps can be set up as. So you can either be a plus 5% more than your actual population, or you can be a negative 5%. So it’s 10% spread, completely complete spread. Now, some of the reports, and I haven’t been able to verify this. So I’m going by people that I trust that are covering or watching the situation. They say that in some districts, the republicans have massaged the works in that some districts have way more than 10% population in their favor. So But anyway, so what this does, what This map shows is that the they’re trying to pack as many people of color into as few districts as possible. And then the ones that they can’t pack in, then they what they call crack back, they crack up, they split them up into more more districts, usually, then they apply them. They put them in districts that have what they call the way they call it drowned out into an otherwise white, rural and conservative district. So basically, what the republicans are attempting to do is to dilute the vote of the people of color. And that’s two ways you do that. You pack them into very few districts so they don’t have any strength. Or you just dilute them completely. You put them in a district that has more whites or rural area or whatever. That way then there votes don’t mean, essentially, then they aren’t able to elect the people that they wish to represent them. And that’s why that’s bad. The other thing, too, that I wanted to mention about about the makeup here besides the people of color being being screwed over is that as the dispatch explains in their in their work is that some of the districts that in the last election lean Democrat, they’ve redrawn the lines so that those districts that link democrat now lean Republican, and that has a smell to it a shenana. Like they’re doing shenanigans. For example. There’s one district, it’s the 16th. Senate District in Franklin County. It currently favors democrats 52.2% to 45.6%. The new map from the republicans has the new district would favor republicans 51.7% to 46.0%. That’s a complete almost 180 flip from leaning democrat to leaning Republican. And in the last election for that seat. Stephanie Kunze, who’s a republican from Hilliard just barely won her election over the Democratic challenger Crystal Lett by 116 votes. So you can see flipping it as much as they did from 50 to 45, to 51 – 46, shows that they’re trying to gerrymander The, the district. So the net result of the gerrymandering that the republicans are attempting to do, and against the wishes of the people that passed the two constitutional amendments, and in 2015, and then I believe 2016, is they’re going to try to increase their supermajority to 25 to eight seat difference. And that just seems wrong. So anyway, I just wanted to bring that up. The official maps have not been adopted yet, but it’s just a matter of time. What can happen next, though, is the democrats have to agree to the maps. And we won’t get into my my issue with the two party system, that’s for another episode. But according to the law, the democrats have to agree to the map, it has to be, it has to be bipartisan. If it is not, then the maps
Doug Berger 13:01
if they are adopted without Democratic support, would only be valid for four years, then they’d have to come back and do it again. Now, if, if it I’ve just figured that Republicans, that’s what they want, they just want a four year map. Because then they can do whatever they want for the next four years, game the system and make it worse. So they’ll so that they’ll get whatever it is they want the next time, you know, they can keep playing this, they can keep kicking the can down the road, even though it’s against the Constitution. The Ohio constitution. And so we’ll see what happens. But the main thing is that the redistricting process is happening. If you’re interested in the process are interested in what happens, check out some of the more progressive groups on online that are following it, such as the League of Women Voters, that all in Ohio, and some other places, the ACLU, I believe is following it. And because it’s not gonna, it’s not going to end easily for, for the for people right now.
Ivermectin for Love
Doug Berger 14:38
If you’ve been following the news about the pandemic, and I know I promised I was not going to talk about the anti vaxxers and the anti maskers. Again, after my last episode when I said I did not have enough fucks to give to talk about them again. But this was an interesting story, and that’s why I’m going to talk about it. There was A man man down in Butler County here in Ohio, who got sick with covid 19 was and was put in the hospital in the ICU. His wife, who is for all intents and purposes, anti vaxxer. Just because she doesn’t trust the COVID vaccine, wanted the hospital to treat her husband with ivermectin. Now, ivermectin, in case you don’t know, is a parasitic treatment for horses and other animals, other farm animals get it? It rids the animals of parasites, worms, things like that. It’s also been used for to address a problem that’s common in the third world or in Africa, and in South America, called river worm blindness. And what happens is, there’s a little fly that will bite and lay in a bag and the worm that grows will enter your eye and live in your eye and it makes these people go blind. And ivermectin is known and it is approved to fight that parasite. So it is used on people in that situation. You might have heard some conspiracy theories about ivermectin that that people od from it’s very, very, very rare and almost impossible to overdose on ivermectin. It’s a paste. It’s like a toothpaste. But so that’s one of the stories. Anyway, so this woman wanted her husband treated with ivermectin in the hospital refused, because it is not approved for human use to treat COVID. There is no scientific consensus. There’s no scientific research on if it’s effective. It’s not approved. It’s not effect. They they don’t know if it’s effective. It’s it’s a crapshoot. Okay. So a hospital should not be forced to treat somebody with an unapproved medicine. That’s just basic health exit medical ethics. So like I said, there’s no current research that ivermectin treats COVID-19. That takes care of it in any way. Some medical people say they’ve seen they’ve used it or used it on patients, but it’s not approved as a treatment. And so I would not want to do it. If I had COVID. I would not want to have them treat. But anyway, so this hospital, Butler County refused to use it on a patient, the wife sued, and took them to court. And finally, a recent court decision. The woman lost and going to throw the link up in the show notes, of course, but I wanted to share a part. There’s a twist, just a twist. This is what made this story interesting. This is why I wanted to share it with people today is her name is Julie Smith is the wife. I forget what the husband’s name is. I don’t have my notes, but you can check out the article. It’s on the capital, Ohio Capital Journal, written by Jake Zuckerman, and it was published on September the sixth 2021. So if you want to look it up. But let’s take a look at this quote from the article says Julie Smith testified that neither she nor her husband were vaccinated against COVID-19. She said it was quote, experimental unquote. So she didn’t trust it. We didn’t feel confident had been out long enough, she said during a hearing to Thursday. She later connected with Dr. Fred Wagschul, a founding physician of the frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. So you know they must be experts, right? Whatever. A nonprofit that touts ivermectin as a wonder drug. Wagschul is a licensed physician, but is not board certified within it within any specialty, and hasn’t worked in a hospital for 10 years. According to his testimony.
Doug Berger 19:33
He admitted this in court. So at least he’s telling the truth in court about his own work experience. Oh, and I do have the husband’s name. The husband’s name was Jeffrey. So the doctor Wagschul prescribed Jeffrey Smith 21 days worth of ivermectin without reviewing Jeffrey Smith’s clinical information or talking to any of his treating physicians. He said he told the court, the pharmaceutical industry and US government had smeared ivermectin and censored. Its allegedly undeniable benefit, beneficial value. However, when asked if he had benefited Smith, if it had benefited Smith, he hedge. I honestly don’t know, but the rule of thumb is when something is working. You don’t stop it, he said.
Doug Berger 20:24
So, so I was laughing pretty hard after reading that. So the wife says that they neither one of them were vaccinated because they thought the vaccine was experimental. But there’s no current scientific basis or proof that ivermectin treats COVID. If you want to talk about experimental, that’s experimental. And so it just, it amazes me, it’s just that’s experimental is the ivermectin not the thing. And they have millions of doses have been given of the various vaccines. There’s even some vaccines that have been developed that haven’t come to the United States, like from Russia and in other places. And if you haven’t heard anything, I mean, there’s, I have not heard anything massively bad about any of these vaccines. They do have, of course, they do have an emergency order of approval. And they wouldn’t have done that, if there was any hint that these vaccines were dangerous. That that, you know. And even then, a lot of times, if there’s a vaccine that has really nasty side effects, sometimes they weigh that with, well, how bad is whatever the disease that we want to fight. But it was just, it was just amazing that this woman said that the vaccines were experimental, but the ivermectin Yeah. You know, put that in my husband. That’s great. I love it. But that’s the kind of logic that we have to deal with, with these anti vaxxers. You know, they hear they do their own research on YouTube and Google, or they hear it from a friend who heard it from a friend. And they, they accept it. But yet the government and scientists tell them something else. And they refuse to accept it. It’s just amazing. It’s, I just, like I said, I had planned not to talk about that. This time. I really hate talking about these people. It’s just getting bad and and the numbers are going up. We’ve had thousands of people that have been infected with the with the new variant, and are going into the hospital. And it’s just really sad, you know, just really sad. But that’s a good story. At least it It provided me with some humor. I know these people I shouldn’t be laughing at their misfortune. But I don’t know sometimes I just have to or, or I just I don’t know, I don’t know if I’d get out of bed in the morning.
Abortion Bounty Hunters
Doug Berger 23:50
Okay, what I wanted to talk about today is just like everybody else, I was pretty, pretty taken aback and sad by the recent non decision by the US Supreme Court to even try to invalidate the recent anti abortion law that went into effect in Texas. Basically, what it does is it prevents a woman for getting an abortion at six weeks, which rational people and scientists know is arbitrary line. Babies are not viable at six weeks. There is no heartbeat at six weeks. There’s heart membrane that does vibrate but it’s not a heart. It’s not a heartbeat. The other thing it does is it deputizes the citizens of Texas to turn in people who assist anyone who assist in an abortion whether paying for it or donating to groups that support it or driving the woman to a clinic, or, even get or performing an abortion. And what you can do is you can report them to the state. And then you can file a lawsuit for monetary damages. In the state law, you can get damages of up to $10,000. And you don’t get that money from the state that comes from the person that you sue.
Doug Berger 25:25
So let’s say I give $5 to an abortion group in Texas that helps transport women across state lines to get an abortion somebody finds out. Because you donate money, usually you can find out depends, well, if it’s a republican group, you won’t find out. But if it’s a regular group, you’ll find out sometimes because they have to report who donated money, that sort of thing. Anyway, so somebody finds out, they sue me for $10,000. If I lose in court, then I would have to pay the $10,000, not the state of Texas. And that was one of the reasons why the Court refused to even attempt to rule on the law, because they claim that they can’t review a law where a state agency isn’t enforcing it. That’s hogwash. But anyway, the bounties on people, you know, to, to turn people in to try to get $10,000 on the face, and I’m not a lawyer, that seems highly unconstitutional, and violates my first amendment right? To donate money to causes and people of my choosing. That’s political speech. If I donate money to Planned Parenthood, that’s political speech. That’s protected by the First Amendment. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, if it runs an activity that you don’t like, abortion is still the law of the land, it is still legal. And if I am helping somebody do their activity or legal constitutional activity, then I cannot be sued for that. I cannot be punished for that. And that’s just the fact. Of course, now this law is on the books, it’s active. So now we’re going to have to wait until somebody actually tries to get sued by it in order for them to challenge the law. That’s what they were attempting to do. When the Supreme Court said, we don’t know this is a new law. We don’t know what to do. And so now we’ll have to wait until somebody gets charged, you know, tried to get $10,000. And they take them to court, because I think I think they’re the people trying to get the $10,000 I think they’re going to lose, because I really do think that this is this law is unconstitutional. It does have, as I said, part of it’s the heartbeat bill that Ohio passed a couple of years ago, where it bans abortion at six weeks, which, again, is not viability. Nobody, nobody in the medical community says that a fetus is viable at six weeks. It’s just it’s just a collection of cells. It’s just a little zygote. It does not have a heart. It does not have a brain. It does not feel pain. That is just a simple scientific fact. So I was feeling sad little depressed about this. The religion religious people, they’re, they’re women. They’re women in the courts. They’re winning in the state legislatures. And in sometimes it gets really hard, really hard to try to fight back. So I was like thinking, Well, what can I do? Well, what we need to do is we need to pass a law that invalidates all these state laws, because that’s what Congress does. And so I was going to call my Congress person who happens to be marcy kaptur, the ninth district who is not a fan of abortion, she’s very flaming Catholic, and she hasn’t been totally negative about it, but
Doug Berger 29:34
she’s said in in, in interviews that she does not like abortion anyway. So I was like, gonna really enjoy that call. The other one I could call is Bob Latta and the fifth district. I know he’s pro choice, pro life. Anyway. So then I see an article where they talk about there’s already a law that has been introduced. And I just want to show the screen capture from. I think this is from the Library of Congress where they list bills and such an information about bills. And this is H.R. 3755 The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021. And unlike Republicans who like to name their bills for the complete opposite of what they’re supposed to do this, the items in this bill actually do what the title says, protects women’s health. And what it would do is it would codify Roe v. Wade, the the court decision from 1973. And I can believe that, that bill, the roe v wade decision has not been codify since 1973. Because it says, abortion is a controversial topic for politicians. Most people and in true back in 1973, the popular opinion about abortion wasn’t that great. It’s gotten better in recent years. But, but I can understand why politicians don’t want to touch that topic with a 10 foot pole. And so they’ve never, you know, in the 48 years since that decision, they have never taken that decision and put it into a public law that applies to the entire country. Because if they did, then Texas law would go bye bye Ohio’s many, many, many nitpicking TRAP regulations would go bye bye and people, women, once again, would be able to obtain abortions on demand.
Doug Berger 31:51
Now, I’ll tell you, right here, right, from the get go, I am not a fan of abortion, I don’t I don’t think abortion, we should meet abortion, put it that way. However, there are certain times in certain situations where an abortion will be necessary, such as a pregnancy resulting from a rape or incest. Maybe a woman finds out she has cancer, and she’s been pregnant and, and her health will be compromised. Or maybe the baby is going to compromise woman’s health and needs to be terminated. Whatever. It needs to be available on demand. I don’t personally like it, but I don’t have to get an abortion. Just like I tell all of my conservative friends. Yes, you don’t like abortion don’t get one. Because the next thing that they go after is birth control and family planning. So you know, that’s what they’re going to do. And they’ve already started here in Ohio, they’ve already started is they went after the what they call chemical abortion that’s where you take a couple series of pills, instead of a surgical abortion, it’s a now they’ve restricted that to where you actually have to go to a doctor and get it prescribed. Previously, it was available through telemedicine and over the counter. And so that’s one and then they’re going to go after birth control. birth control pills and IUDs. And, and or. Yeah, IUD. IUD, yeah. Not the bombs, the birth control. Anyway. So that’s what they’re going to do, because they don’t want women to have any control of the reproductive rights at all. It’s against their religion. So we have this bill, H.R. 3755. And it’s been introduced in some form or another, and the last couple of congresses last three or four Congress congresses, and now’s the time to get it passed. There are 48 co sponsors in the Senate, which is good. It probably needed 60 votes, because they won’t get rid of the filibuster. But this is a good time to get rid of the filibuster, get rid of filibuster, you pass this bill, you also pass the Voting Rights Act to restore their voting rights. Those are, you know, basic American rights and they need to be for everybody. And so we need to get rid of the filibuster to get these. So what I’d like you to do, is I’d like you to go and contact your elected representatives, your senators and demand that this bill be passed as soon as possible. Because there’s a lot because I’m going to tell you that it’s not gonna be you know, Jane Jane Doe in in suburban Sylvania Township. That is going to be affected by not having the right to abortion, because they’re always going to be able to get an abortion, they’ll be able to go to a hospital and under under the table and wink wink, they’ll get an abortion because they can pay for it. What these laws actually do is they actually affect poor people, people that can’t afford to go into a hospital to have this type of surgery done. So they’re the ones that are going to be stuck with children that they don’t want. Or they’re going to have children that maybe had birth defects, or they can’t afford to raise them or, or something like that, or it’s the result of a rape or an incest. And so it’s going to be the people that can’t afford it that are going to suffer. You know, the Jane Doe out in the suburbs, she’s not going to suffer. She’s going to drive to do her soccer mom duties. And then she’s like, I’m going to go to a spa one weekend, and she’s going to terminate a pregnancy. And then she’s gonna come back and go with their friends drink wine and cheese at a restaurant, and they’re gonna laugh and, and talk about their day and everything. Poor people? they’re not going to get a chance. So that’s why we need to codify abortion rights in the law. Now today, so call them up. Right now, after the show, call them up.
[Transcript is approximate to what was recorded]
Transcript ©2021 Secular Left using Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Produced, written, and edited by Doug Berger
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