THE WEEKEND DISPATCH
Newsletter - Edition for August 26th, 2023
Welcome to this week's edition of The W.C. Weekend Dispatch. Our digital newspaper covering a wide range of cultural & political news. For your convenience, we've provided the Dispatch Directory below, offering a quick access to the articles for this week:
The W.C. Dispatch is reader-supported. Consider becoming a free or paid subscriber and sharing.
Ohio's November Ballots: A Calculated Push Toward Radical Change
As Ohioans prepare to head to the polls this November, two significant proposals are on the ballot that could fundamentally reshape the state's approach to recreational marijuana and abortion rights. These are not simple issues; they are complex and multi-faceted, touching on everything from personal freedom and social equity to public health and safety. It's crucial for voters to fully understand the implications of these proposals, as they could set precedents that will influence Ohio law for years to come.
The first proposal aims to legalize recreational marijuana, outlining a comprehensive framework for its regulation, taxation, and even social equity. It's a proposal that could bring Ohio in line with other states that have already legalized cannabis for adult use. On the other side, Issue 1A seeks to establish an individual's right to their own reproductive medical treatment, including abortion. While framed as an affirmation of personal autonomy, critics argue that the amendment could open the door to far-reaching policies, including late-term abortions and other issues related to transgender rights.
Both proposals are likely to generate robust debate and discussion among Ohioans. The marijuana proposal, for instance, aims to balance consumer interests with a robust regulatory environment, while also addressing social equity concerns. Issue 1A, meanwhile, has already raised significant ethical and legal questions, particularly among those advocating for the right to life. As voters, it's our responsibility to sift through the complexities, understand the potential long-term impacts, and make informed decisions that will shape the future of our state. Therefore, we urge you to read the following articles carefully to grasp the full scope of what's at stake this November.
The Smoke and Mirrors of Ohio's Marijuana Proposal
Ohio is on the brink of a significant shift in its approach to recreational marijuana, with a comprehensive proposal that could reshape the legal landscape for adult use cannabis. The proposed language for the Ohio ballot outlines a detailed framework that touches on various aspects of cultivation, consumption, regulation, social equity, and taxation.
The proposal begins by defining adult use cannabis as marijuana, as stated in Section 3719.01 of the Revised Code. It also establishes the Division of Cannabis Control within the Department of Commerce. This new division would be authorized to regulate, investigate, and penalize operators, testing laboratories, and individuals needing licenses. This move signifies the state's intention to create a robust regulatory environment for the burgeoning industry.
Legalization is at the heart of the proposal, with provisions to legalize and regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home growth, and use of cannabis by adults at least twenty-one years of age. This would mark a significant departure from current laws and align Ohio with other states that have embraced recreational marijuana.
Protection for consumers and operators is also a key focus. The proposal includes additional protections for individuals engaging in permitted adult use cannabis conduct. It also shields certain confidential information, such as identifying details of consumers, from public disclosure. This reflects a commitment to privacy and security in the new legal framework.
One of the most concerning aspects of the proposal is the inclusion of a cannabis social equity and jobs program. While framed as an effort to ensure broad sharing of the benefits of legalization, this program appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to attract Democratic voters by incorporating affirmative action-like policies into the cannabis industry. The program would certify applicants based on social and economic disadvantages, such as racial or ethnic minority group membership, disability status, and gender. This kind of preferential treatment raises serious questions about fairness and the role of government in regulating industries.
Another problematic element of the proposal is the restrictions it places on local governments. The bill would prohibit local authorities from levying unique taxes on adult-use cannabis operations or restricting home growth and other authorized activities. This one-size-fits-all approach undermines the rights of local governments to make decisions that best suit their communities. Furthermore, the proposal threatens the rights of Ohio businesses by not explicitly allowing employers to maintain their current drug-testing policies. In an era where diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are often shoehorned into unrelated legislation, it's crucial to scrutinize this bill for what it is: a risky venture that could have far-reaching implications for the state of Ohio.
The proposal's language regarding landlords and employers retaining "some rights" to prohibit adult use of cannabis is alarmingly vague and potentially erodes the rights of property owners. Landlords, who own their properties, should have full discretion to set policies on cannabis use, or any form of smoking, within their own premises. The bill's lack of clarity on this issue is a red flag for anyone concerned about property rights.
Another troubling aspect of the proposal is its approach to taxation. While it levies a 10 percent tax on the sale of adult-use cannabis by dispensaries, the allocation of these funds is cause for concern. The tax revenue is slated to be distributed among newly created funds focused largely on social equity and community support. This essentially means that the tax dollars generated from marijuana sales could be funneled directly into liberal-Democratic policies, further politicizing an issue that many might see as straightforward.
The proposal's requirement for collaboration with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to tackle cannabis addiction is a glaring contradiction. On one hand, the bill pushes for legalization, while on the other, it openly acknowledges the potential for addiction, highlighting the risks involved. This isn't just a responsible inclusion; it's a tacit admission of the harmful effects of marijuana. Yet, the proposal still encourages Ohioans to vote 'yes,' not for the sake of individual freedom or medical benefits, but to funnel tax dollars into programs that align with a liberal agenda. Ohioans should be keenly aware that this proposal is not merely about legalizing cannabis; it's a multi-faceted initiative with implications that could erode property rights, manipulate taxation, and shift the state's political landscape.
Issue 1A: A Dangerous Overreach Masked as Reproductive Rights
The proposed constitutional amendment, Issue 1A, relating to abortion and other reproductive decisions in the State of Ohio, has raised significant concerns among proponents of the right to life. The language used in this amendment is seen by many as problematic, as it appears to open the door to policies that could have far-reaching implications, including the potential to expand access to abortion up to the moment of birth.
The amendment's language is not just problematic; it's a dangerous overreach that opens the door to a host of radical policies. By vaguely defining reproductive medical treatment to include abortion and more, the amendment sets the stage for the inclusion of far-left policies, such as those related to transgender rights. This isn't about personal autonomy; it's about exploiting broad language to advance a liberal agenda under the guise of reproductive health.
Furthermore, the proposal's provision to legally protect anyone assisting with reproductive medical treatment, including abortion, is a blatant attempt to remove accountability. This would shield those involved in the abortion process from any legal repercussions, even when ethical or professional misconduct is evident.
Additionally, the amendment aims to prevent Ohio citizens from imposing any restrictions on abortion before an unborn child is deemed viable. This decision is left solely to the discretion of the pregnant woman's treating physician, without any clear guidelines or oversight. This lack of objectivity opens the door for biased assessments of viability, further eroding the rights of the unborn and undermining the ethical considerations that should be at the heart of such a critical issue.
From Virginia to California: A Cautionary Tale Ohio Must Heed
The simultaneous introduction of these two proposals is not coincidental; it's a calculated move designed to reshape the political and social landscape of Ohio. The broad and ambiguous language in both bills serves as a Trojan horse for far-reaching liberal policies that could fundamentally alter the fabric of our state. From the introduction of social equity programs in the marijuana bill to the dangerously expansive language in the abortion amendment, these proposals are fraught with pitfalls that could have long-lasting and damaging consequences.
The situation in Virginia serves as a cautionary tale. A few years ago, the state's legislature was overtaken by Democrats who swiftly pushed through a slew of liberal policies. It took the shocking events in Loudoun County, exposing the ramifications of radical transgender policies in schools, to serve as a wake-up call. Glenn Youngkin's subsequent election as governor was a response to this overreach, but not before significant damage was done. Ohio cannot afford to go down the same path.
It's crucial for Ohioans to fully understand the implications of these bills. If passed, they could set the stage for Ohio to become the next California or Virginia, states that have seen the detrimental effects of similar policies. We must be proactive in educating ourselves and our communities about what's at stake. This November, it's not just about voting; it's about preserving the integrity and future of our state. Get out there, make your voice heard, and vote these bills down before Ohio suffers a fate similar to other states that have succumbed to such radical changes.
The World’s Most Famous Photograph
In a blatant act of political persecution, Fulton County Prosecutors recently demanded that former President Donald Trump take a mugshot, a move that is not only unnecessary under Georgia law but also reeks of prosecutorial overreach. This decision comes from a District Attorney who campaigned on the promise to "Get Trump," making the motivations behind this act transparently political. Yet, in a masterstroke of political savvy, Trump turned what could have been a setback into perhaps the best day of his campaign since its inception. Far from being a victim, Trump has once again demonstrated his unparalleled ability to seize an opportunity and turn it to his advantage.
Just one day before the mugshot was taken, Trump appeared on Tucker Carlson's show, an interview that garnered 75 million impressions on Elon Musk's Twitter (now X) in less than an hour and has since soared past 200 million. The timing was impeccable, coinciding with the GOP debate, and effectively outplaying the Republican National Committee. Trump's marketing acumen is unparalleled, and the Fulton County Prosecutors' decision to require a mugshot only added fuel to the fire.
But the real twist came in the aftermath. Social media was flooded with Trump's mugshot, as expected. However, something unexpected began to happen. Individuals who were also charged in relation to the January 6th events started posting their own mugshots alongside Trump's. Lawyers, everyday Americans, and others joined in, creating a mosaic of faces that has exposed the level of political persecution in a way never seen before. This collective action has turned what could have been a moment of humiliation for Trump into a rallying cry against what many see as prosecutorial overreach.
The absurdity of the Fulton County Prosecutors' actions becomes even more glaring when one considers the numerous candidates who have contested elections in the past. Take Stacey Abrams, for example, who has contested the Georgia gubernatorial election for years—so long, in fact, you'd think she believes she's the actual Governor of Georgia, holding court in an imaginary statehouse. And let's not forget the Democratic presidential candidates who have contested election results in several recent cycles. Yet, none have faced the kind of legal scrutiny that Trump has.
The actions taken by Trump and his legal team to challenge the 2020 election are being defended as nothing more than protected free speech, not a criminal conspiracy. This begs the question: Are these prosecutors trying to block Trump from running in 2024? Or perhaps they aim to ignite Republican outrage to bolster Biden's re-election chances? Whatever their intentions, the strategy has backfired in a spectacular fashion.
The Elephant Not in the Room: GOP Debate
In a GOP debate that was supposed to be a showcase of the party's future, the spotlight fell on a surprising figure, and it wasn't Ron DeSantis. Despite media attempts to paint him as a strong contender, DeSantis came across as anything but. He seemed disingenuous and lacked the gravitas of a leader. One Republican voter told The W.C. Dispatch, "If you had told me six months ago that DeSantis would win the presidency one day, I would have believed it without question. But now, I don't believe he could ever win a national election."
The media's portrayal of DeSantis as still in the game is a desperate attempt to salvage his image. But the reality is clear: DeSantis looked terrible, and everyone knows it. This debate exposed a fundamental misunderstanding among most of the candidates. They seem to think it's still 2004 and fail to recognize the seismic shift in the Republican Party since Trump, who enjoyed an 80+% favorability rating among Republicans during his tenure.
Enter Vivek Ramaswamy, the unexpected star of the night. He was the only candidate who seemed to understand the current state of the Republican Party. While others, like Chris Christie, were booed for attacking Trump, Vivek stood strong, even when under constant attack from candidates like Nikki Haley and Mike Pence. On issues ranging from education choice to the Ukraine war, Vivek dominated the field. He was the only candidate to instantly raise his hand when asked about the prosecution of Trump, signaling his understanding of the base's concerns.
The other candidates were lackluster at best. Nikki Haley lost credibility with the GOP base the moment she exposed herself as a neo-con who wants to fund wars globally. Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson were boring and uninspiring, offering nothing new or exciting. Pence spent most of his time attacking Vivek, a strategy that seemed to backfire, making Vivek look even stronger.
DeSantis, for his part, tried to focus on the issues rather than attacking other candidates. While this might have been a noble effort, it made him appear weak compared to Vivek, who was clearly the night's biggest target. DeSantis's failure to go after Vivek may have been his biggest mistake, further weakening his standing among GOP voters.
The GOP debate revealed a stark reality: no candidate will win the GOP primary without the support of Trump's base. This is a difficult hurdle for any candidate, including Vivek Ramaswamy, who emerged as the star of the debate. While Vivek seems to understand the current state of the Republican Party better than his rivals, he faces a unique challenge. He must convince Trump's base not only that he's on their side but also that he can take on the Washington establishment more effectively than Trump himself could.
Vivek's task is doubly difficult because Trump has already been to Washington; he knows the players and the game. Trump's base believes in his ability to "drain the swamp" precisely because he's fought those battles. Vivek, as an outsider like Trump was in 2016, must convince voters that he can do the same but without the baggage that comes with being Trump. In essence, Vivek has the potential to be what DeSantis was supposed to be: "the Trump without the baggage."
Vivek's standout performance in the debate, where he was the only candidate to call the current state of the nation a "revolutionary moment" or a "1776 moment," shows that he may have the insight and the rhetoric to capture the sentiment of the Republican base. But the question remains: can he also capture their trust? If he can, Vivek Ramaswamy may not just be the candidate to watch; he could be the candidate to beat. And in doing so, he could redefine what it means to be a Republican in this new era, leading the party into a future that aligns more closely with its base's deeply held beliefs and concerns.
Putin's Ruthless Grip: The Chilling Message Behind Prigozhin's Plane Crash
The recent incident involving the possible death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner mercenary boss, in a plane crash is a chilling testament to Putin's growing strength and ruthlessness. While some have argued that Putin's regime is weakening, this event, coupled with recent developments in Russia's military, paints a very different picture.
Prigozhin, once a close confidant of Putin, found himself in exile after attempting to revolt over frustrations with Russia's lack of battlefield successes in Ukraine. The circumstances surrounding the plane crash, including unconfirmed videos suggesting an air defense rocket may have been involved, have led many to believe that Putin orchestrated this as a warning to those who would challenge him.
Contrary to the orthodoxy claiming that Putin is weak, recent interviews and analyses, including comments by RFK on Tucker Carlson, indicate that Russia's military might is growing. The country is believed to have a standing army of over 700,000 soldiers, with plans to grow to over 1.2 million by the end of the year. This expansion is a clear sign of Putin's determination to assert his power and influence, both domestically and internationally.
Putin's handling of Prigozhin's rebellion and the subsequent suspected elimination of this threat only further underscores his dangerous and calculated approach to maintaining control. Those who provoke him, as shown by this incident, are met with ruthless reactions. The plane crash, whether directly orchestrated by Putin or not, serves as a stark reminder of his willingness to use any means necessary to quash dissent and solidify his power.
The incident with Prigozhin should not be viewed in isolation but as part of a broader pattern of Putin's growing strength and assertiveness. Far from being a sign of weakness, it reveals a leader who is consolidating power and preparing for future challenges. The international community must recognize the reality of Putin's dangerous trajectory and approach him with the caution and respect that his actions demand. The belief that Putin is weak is not only foolish but potentially perilous, as his actions continue to demonstrate his resolve and capability.
Hunter Biden's Shameless Legal Tactics
The recent revelations surrounding Hunter Biden's legal troubles have exposed a shocking level of audacity and manipulation, even going so far as to threaten his own father, President Joe Biden, with potential repercussions. Leaked correspondence between Hunter Biden's lawyer, Chris Clark, and the Justice Department paints a picture of a desperate attempt to avoid charges, with the warning that calling Joe Biden as a witness could cause a "constitutional crisis."
Chris Clark's attempts to secure meetings with top Justice Department officials to appeal potential charges against Hunter Biden reveal the political sensitivity surrounding the case. The very notion that the President's son could leverage his father's position to influence legal proceedings is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the integrity of the Justice Department's handling of this matter.
Further complicating the situation, emails suggest that Hunter Biden's team negotiated a plea deal with Delaware US Attorney David Weiss that would have allowed Hunter to avoid a guilty plea. This deal fell apart after an IRS agent publicly complained that the investigation into Hunter Biden had been hampered. Ultimately, Hunter Biden pled guilty to tax misdemeanors, but the plea included a broad provision for future immunity, a provision that even a judge questioned.
The entire saga of Hunter Biden's legal battle, from the audacious threats to the questionable plea negotiations, casts a shadow over the Justice Department's ability to handle politically charged cases with impartiality and integrity. The involvement of the President in these negotiations, whether direct or indirect, further erodes public trust in the legal system.
Hunter Biden's willingness to turn on his own father to escape jail time is a stark reminder of the lengths some individuals will go to protect themselves, even at the expense of family and the integrity of our legal institutions. This incident is not just a personal family drama; it's a national concern that calls into question the fairness and transparency of our legal system. The American people deserve better, and this case should be a wake-up call for a thorough examination of how political influence can corrupt the very foundations of justice.
Money Talks and Virtue Walks: The Economic Reality Behind ESG and EV Failures
In a telling sign of the times, S&P Global recently announced it would cease publishing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores alongside its credit ratings. This decision came after investor feedback indicated confusion over the scores, highlighting the difficulties ratings agencies face in quantifying the long-term financial impact of ESG factors. The move to scrap ESG scores is not an isolated incident but a symptom of a larger issue: the failure of policies that prioritize social and environmental goals over economic viability.
Take, for example, the electric vehicle (EV) industry in China, which is currently on the brink of collapse. As government subsidies are reduced and production mandates remain high, many EV startups have failed, and supply has outpaced demand. Even established automakers like Tesla have had to slash prices to boost sales, eroding their profit margins. This is a clear example of how industrial policy can build industries that then fail due to government interference.
The United States seems to be following China's flawed model. As automakers discount prices to move swelling EV inventories, losses are being offset by higher gas car prices. Both Ford and GM have growing unsold EV inventories and have had to reduce production targets as consumer demand lags. Startups like Lordstown are going bankrupt as they struggle to scale up and face higher interest rates. Government mandates and subsidies are largely responsible for this inflated EV investment and oversupply, and the damage from this unsustainable transition may just be starting.
The ripple effects of these failures are far-reaching. The forced transition to EVs risks union auto jobs, and the touted EV job gains may come at their expense. Business failures are inevitable when government distorts investment. This is not limited to the EV industry; the decline of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) jobs is another example. When the economy starts trending downward, the first things to go are the initiatives that don't return on investment.
Money talks, and the recent decisions to scrap ESG scores and the decline of DEI jobs are proof that the market is beginning to correct itself. These initiatives, which prioritized social and environmental goals over economic viability, were flawed from the start. The removal of ESG scores by S&P Global and the failures in the EV industry serve as cautionary tales that underscore the dangers of letting political initiatives dictate business practices.
As we move forward, it's a good thing that these misguided initiatives are being thrown out. They were never more than virtue signaling at the expense of economic sense. Now, one can only hope that the rest of the politically-driven initiatives that have been shoehorned into companies will begin to trend back in the opposite direction. If they don't, these companies risk going out of business as savvy investors read the cards and place their money where it will actually generate returns.
Must See Story & Podcast
Uncovering the Truth: Lahaina's Missing Children and Government Negligence
In a week filled with news that ranges from the political to the absurd, there's one story that demands your immediate attention: the tragic wildfire in Lahaina, Maui. This isn't just another natural disaster; it's a horrifying tale of government failure and a media cover-up that has left over 100 people dead and more than 850 missing. Most heart-wrenching of all, over 2,000 students from Lahaina's public schools are unaccounted for.
Matt Walsh delved into this shocking story on his recent podcast, focusing on the failures of emergency crews who directed people away from escaping the fire's deadly path. The result? A likely increase in the already staggering number of child victims. Walsh's discussion serves as a critical supplement to the scant mainstream media coverage, which has been alarmingly quiet about the sheer number of children missing.
This story exposes not just a failure of emergency preparedness but a failure of accountability at every level. From a government that didn't sound warning sirens to a media landscape that seems to be turning a blind eye, the situation in Lahaina is a case study in systemic failure. It's a story that warrants not just passing interest but sustained scrutiny.
So, as you navigate through this week's news, make it a point to learn more about what happened in Lahaina. Listen to Matt Walsh's podcast for an in-depth look at the disaster, and don't let this story fade into the background. The missing children, the grieving families, and the beleaguered communities deserve our attention. We must hold those responsible to account, and that starts by staying informed and refusing to let this tragedy be buried.
Cultural Trends - Contributor Exclusive
Pen and Gavel: The Media’s Campaign to discredit the Supreme Court
In our latest contributor-exclusive article, "Pen & Gavel: The Media's Campaign to Discredit the Supreme Court," we offer a comprehensive examination of the media's role in shaping public perception of the United States Supreme Court. This in-depth analysis explores the appointments of conservative justices, the polarized public perception, and the media's often one-sided and biased reporting. It critically dissects the ethical questions and criticisms that have been levied against individual justices, challenging the media's portrayal and its impact on the court's legitimacy.
This is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand the complex interplay between the Supreme Court, media influence, and political agendas. However, this invaluable analysis is exclusive to our paying contributors.
Your paid contributions are what make articles like this possible. Your support enables us to continue providing the kind of insightful, in-depth conservative commentary and analysis that you won't find elsewhere. By becoming a paid subscriber, you're not just gaining access to exclusive content; you're also supporting the work we do here at The W.C. Dispatch.
Don't miss out on this exclusive content—subscribe today to support The W.C. Dispatch and stay informed on the issues that matter most.