Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Do People Accept Political Lies?

I don't have the answer.
During a recent conversation with a former coworker, Joe (not his real name) the topic of immigration came up. We agreed that the nation's immigration policy needs to change. Joe then surprised me by stating that he was most worried about President Obama's encouragement of illegal Muslim infiltration.
Surprised at this patently false accusation by this normally rational person, I asked if he thought the President was a Muslim and he replied that “everybody knows he is, after all he went to school in a Muslim country”.

I received an email from a city council member a month ago that claimed, among other examples, that the President was so unpatriotic as to suggest that the National Anthem should be changed.

For the purposes of this post I carry no brief for Mr. Obama. I find several areas where reasonable people can disagree as to his performance as President. Why add outright and easily debunked falsehoods to our political conversations?
The following are examples of this phenomenon that can be verified by several online fact check services:
Not qualified by birth to be President.
The ACA (Obama Care) prevents seniors over 76 from receiving cancer care.
The health care law has "death panels."
From Wikipedia:
Allegations that Barack Obama is an atheist, secretly practices Islam, or that he is the anti-Christ of Christian eschatology, have been suggested since he campaigned for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and have proliferated since his election as President of the U.S. in 2008. As with conspiracy theories surrounding his citizenship status, these false claims are promoted by various fringe theorists and political opponents.
Ad infinitum - Ad nauseam

Paul Hunter

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why Is Common Core A Political Football?

Because, in my opinion, it is considered a litmus test for conservative candidates seeking money and influence from the base and that offers no real alternatives except to endlessly chant the local control mantra. How's that working?
Is this status quo a viable no-policy.

The results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which are being released on Tuesday, show that teenagers in the U.S. slipped from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which gathers and analyzes the data in the U.S.

Read more:

A balanced report on Common Core:

FACT CHECK: Myths in the political roar over Common Core

The Associated Press

Posted by Paul Hunter

Friday, March 27, 2015

Questions For City Candidates

Candidates being for a prosperous city, cutting unspecified spending, improving city services and creating jobs is akin to being for Mom, apple pie and the American flag is easy task. Everybody is for those items.

Here are some harder questions on matters that require serious consideration and compromise from the city's elected officials. You can reply to Candidate replies will be posted on my FB page.

My questions for city office candidates.
Do you support the curbside recycling program?
Would you support a cost free cardboard recycling program?
Do you support efforts to commercialize and expand the city landfill?
Do you believe that our huge loss of treated water from unknown sources should be a priority?
Do you support allowing the taxpayers to decide if they want to pay a little more in taxes in order to repair and maintain our city streets?
If the answer to the last question is yes, would you place an non-dedicated earnings tax increase or a property tax increase dedicated to street repair and maintenance on the ballot?
Would you consider dissolving the redundant CIC and its millions of dormant dollars in cash and land and using the funds for improving the city's image and allow the Port Authority to continue its role as the economic development entity for the city and the county?
Do you think that the city has an obligation to pay the township an increasing amount of tax money for assuming the township's administrative and maintenance responsibilities?
Would you support converting the Human Resource director's $1004,000 position from full time to an “as needed” one similar to many other Wilmington sized cities?
Would you consider using a state approved city income tax collection group (RITA) that, if contracted, could save the city $50,000 - $100,000 per year?
Would you encourage the Mayor to replace, the already retired and rehired, service director with a fully qualified civil engineer/administrator?
Paul Hunter

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Suicide By Air Crash?

EgyptAir Flight 990

Sound familiar

From Wikipedia
Two weeks after the crash, the NTSB proposed handing the investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as the evidence they had gathered suggested that a criminal act had taken place and that the crash was intentional rather than accidental. This proposal was unacceptable to the Egyptian authorities, and as such the NTSB continued to lead the investigation. As the evidence of a deliberate crash mounted, the Egyptian government reversed its earlier decision and the ECAA launched its own investigation. The two investigations came to very different conclusions: the NTSB found the crash was caused by deliberate action of the relief first officer Gameel Al-Batouti.

Posted by Paul Hunter

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More On Local Candidates

In the recent attempt by a local resident and friend of the environment to have the city undertake a cardboard recycling effort gained little or no public interest from:
a. The current Mayor and primary candidate for President of Council showed no interest in the project even though another local resident offered to donate the needed equipment.
b. The Mayor's appointed public service director, the person most responsible for solid waste matters.
c. The chairman of the council's solid waste committee and candidate for the fourth ward council seat.

These incumbent, but primary challenged office holders, have indicated significant interest and will support the recycling project if proven feasible.
a. Current president of council and Mayoral candidate Cindy Peterson.
b. Current second ward councilman and candidate for president of council Loren Stuckert.
c. Current first ward councilman and candidate for reelection Bob Meade.
d. Current council member at large and candidate for fourth ward.
Paul Hunter

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Absolutely nothing! It significantly reduces the non-payers at local ERs and hospitals.
From the Dayton paper:
Just over 821,000 Ohioans have gained coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace or expanded Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act, helping to cut the number of medically uninsured residents in half, according to figures released Monday by officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Paul Hunter

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Two Election Cents

Suggestions for Wilmington city government officers with comment:

Mayor: Cindy Peterson has a proven track record for the voters to examine while her opponent is a political unknown.
President of Council: Loren Stuckert was a charter member of the new council that changed the good ole boy system to one that examined and questioned issues put before them. Loren's opponent has had trouble governing the city. During his term as Mayor, the streets have deteriorated, treated water losses have increased, an attempt to commercialize the city's landfill failed to gain public support, refused to trim the costs of the Human Resource department and his plan to increase the non-dedicated earnings tax is of questionable merit.
First Ward: Bob Mead was also a member of the new council movement and has displayed an independent approach to city affairs.

Fourth Ward: Marian Miller, currently holds the most important position in council affairs, Finance Committee chair. Despite the fact that she is in her first term on council she has proven herself to be an astute questioner and explainer of complex financial matters. Her opponent has had an undistinguished career on council and aligns himself with the administration on most issues.
Paul Hunter  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Want To have A Local Political Voice?

In order for voters, that tend to vote for Democrat candidates in national and state elections, to have a voice in city and county political affairs they would have to ask for a Republican ballot in May's primary election. There are no contested Democrat candidates on the ballot.
It is believed by some folks that such a move is a violation of law at worst or deceitful at best.
News Flash! If you are not a member of the local party's central committee you are free to switch parties at will.
My reading of Ohio Directive 2011-43 supports the concept. Election officials can not challenge the right to vote on the grounds that the voter is not affiliated with, or a member of, the political party of whose ballot the person requests.
Want to vote for Mayor, City Councilman of Wilmington, a County Judge or any other political uncontested local offices but you consider yourself a nominal Democrat you can do so without qualms.

Paul Hunter

Monday, March 16, 2015

Close Race In Israel

Opinion: GOP candidate for Israel Prime Minister in close race. Boehmer and Mcconnell's choice could lose. Then what?
Paul Hunter

Sunday, March 15, 2015

More On Cardboard Recycling

Each ton of corrugated cardboard dumped in the Wilmington landfill requires the city to pay fees totaling $12.25 to the County Solid Waste department and the Ohio EPA. If the recycling diversion costs totaled $12.25, a recycling project would be self supporting. If market sales of the material created a minimal cash flow and if the value of landfill space is factored, the project could become a small profit center.
If tons of city generated, residential cardboard, is diverted from the landfill will landfill revenue decline? No. Will the landfill save agency fees? Yes Will the landfill have to purchase equipment? No. Will a diversion project save natural resources? Yes. What’s not to like?

Paul Hunter

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kasich's Favorite Education Sector

Two closed charter schools’ records unauditable
The two Talented Tenth Leadership Academies in Columbus have been shut down, their founder has been indicted on criminal theft charges, and now the former charter schools have been placed on Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s “unauditable” list.

Posted by Paul Hunter

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Unsolicited Endorsement For Judge.

Would Brian Shidaker be a good choice for Judge of Clinton County Municipal Court?
In my educated opinion the answer is a resounding yes.
He is currently and has been involved in the criminal justice system for many years as a felony prosecutor at the Court of Common Pleas. No other candidate for the position can make that claim.
The following information is from the County Prosecutors office.
a. Brian has participated in the prosecution of Felony, Misdemeanor, Juvenile Delinquency, Children Services Abuse/Neglect and Child Support Cases.
b. He has participated in the prosecution of nearly every type and classification of felony crime, the more serious including but not limited to: 2 Capital Murder Cases; Rape, Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Burglary, Felonious Assault, Sexual Battery, Manslaughter, Child Pornography, Child Endangering, Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, and Drug Trafficking.
c. Brian has felony trial conviction rate of 94%.
d. He has participated in the prosecution of several thousand cases over the last six years.
e. Despite many higher court appeals of Brian's convictions none have been overturned.
Brian's other job:
As a close observer of City affairs over the last 20 years I can honestly state that Brian is, by far, the best Director of Law to hold that very important municipal office. If asked, many city council members wold agree with that assessment. It is also excellent preparation for typical municipal court cases.
Ohio law describes the position: The city director of law shall act as the legal adviser to and attorney for the municipal corporation. He shall prepare all contracts, bonds, and other instruments in writing in which the municipal corporation is concerned, and shall indorse on each his approval of the form and the correctness thereof. He or his assistants shall be the prosecutor in any police or municipal court, and shall perform such other duties and have such assistants and clerks as are required or provided.”
The Municipal Court Judge is also the court's administrator responsible for the courts day to day operations and its annual of $900,000 budget and 14,000 cases. The tax payers of Wilmington are required to make up any of the court's fund shortages.

Paul Hunter

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Can Congress Serve Two Masters?

The House of Representatives, invited the Israeli leader to make a personal campaign speech in the House. In the meantime the Senate has acted in what can be perceived has doing the Prime Minster's bidding by interfering in the delicate Iranian nuclear negotiations.
Some speculate that this activity is an attempt by the GOP to woo the traditionally Democrat leaning Jewish voters.

Paul Hunter

Monday, March 9, 2015

Save Our Landfill

Presentation to Council 3/5/15
As a proponent and enthusiast of recycling this subject is very important to me, other greenies and land preservers.
For several years and several city administrations, cardboard recycling has been a subject often discussed but never acted on.
The need for such a program is two fold. The obvious one is that there is a finite amount of resources left for future generations and we are fast exploiting what remains. I think of my new great-grandson's future along with all the other great-grandsons future and what it will look like. We are passing along an earth that they will have to live in. I sigh with disappointment when I now have to pack a reusable material in the trash.
The second and just as important to legislators is the using up and shortening the life of our landfill capacity. I hope that we can extend the life of the new landfill expansion sufficiently to allow the debt to be retired and a few more years to accumulate a fund for the eventual closure of the facility. Then we can consider converting the land for it ultimate purpose, a west side city park connected by trails to the other parks.
We have always left our small businesses with no way to recycle their tons of cardboard shipping containers that end up in the landfill. That method costs them, reduces landfill life and wastes a resource.
Until recently local residents had a option to trashing cardboard by using the county supplied drop off point on West Main St. Every time that I have gone to the site several people were using the facility. That option has ended and now all of that an estimated 130 tons of card board will go into the landfill each year.
According to one internet source “...the effect on the environment of recycling one ton of cardboard saves about nine cubic yards of landfill space, 700 gallons of water and forty six gallons of oil.
One person's suggestion: See if county solid waste and/or OEPA could assist in obtaining a baler or compactor for a landfill drop off site. I and many others I know, would be willing to make a one dollar contribution per site visit and small business owners could be asked for two dollars. If market conditions dictate these fees could be waved for a period.
As Don Wells often said. “Save our landfill” I would add to that by urging you to save resources for my, great- grand children and yours.

Note: After the meeting a local resident offered to donate a cardboard baler to the recycling effort.
Paul Hunter

Friday, March 6, 2015

AuH2O, Not My Cup Of Conservative Tea

AuH2O, Not My Cup Of Conservative Tea
He voted against the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954.
He opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This pleased southern Democrats, and Goldwater was the first Republican to win the electoral votes of all of the Deep South states. However, Goldwater's vote on the Civil Rights Act proved damaging to his presidential campaign in 1964 and probably caused he landslide defeat in the election.
When Republicans ask, as they often do, why the vast majority of black voters reject the Party of Lincoln, they need to look no further than the Goldwater-Nixon southern strategy.
Barry never realized the contradiction in one of his more famous quotes “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”.
Paul Hunter

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Some Clinton County Revenue Data

County sales tax receipts for 2014 of $7,854,088 indicate an uptick of $683,461 over 2013. This total is getting close to the 2007 record of $7,877,318
The increase in sales tax more than offset the loss of casino tax distributions that fell from $504,275 for 2013 to $494,496 for 2014.
The local government funds, a designated portion of state revenues returned to the counties and other political subdivisions decreased by $22,000 from 2013 to 2014.

Paul Hunter  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Amateur Poli-Sci

Karl Marx and Ayn Rand got it wrong!
Karl thought that the state would wither away after the transition to the communist ideal where labor value was the only value and each member of the commune would work hard and to the best their ability would allow. This would be done willingly without the incentive to obtain more goods and services than the next person. In turn each person would receive an equal portion of material even if they could not produce as much as others.
That principal lasted but a short time after the Bolshevik led Russian revolution's attempt to create the first communist/socialist state. After Lenin died and Trotsky were removed with extreme prejudice, Stalin and his political heirs usurped communist ideals, people withered away and not the state. All of the other nation states that have called themselves communist have turned into dictatorships led by personality cult despots.
The Libertarian idea is that mankind, given the freedom to do so, would sort itself out into talented achievers and loyal workers. All citizens, guided by natural rights, would “do the right thing” without overweening government interference.
So far no nation state has achieved that exalted status. All political movements that have attempted to do so have crashed on the rocks of plutocracy and imperialism.
To date man appears to not be perfectible.
In my experience (1933 to present) this most workable method of organizing society has been the implementation of a hybrid system of government. A representative political system that guarantees and enforces basic rights, the rule of law and a free but limited market economy . For the longest sustained period in our, or any nation's history, around sixty years, the business cycle had been tamed and living standards had increased for all citizens. Certainly excesses occurred, a war of choice was undertaken, but over all the nation prospered without the feast or famine of economic roller coaster rides.
For the past twenty years, a period that included two wars of choice paid for with a credit card and an uncontrolled capital market, we seem to have forgotten the principals what fostered those halcyon days. At present the social compact between capital, labor and the common man has become tattered. Plutocracy is not only raising it's hoary head it appears to be winning. Has that special period disappeared never to return?
My father and grandfather warned me that the younger generation was ruining the country, now its my turn.

Spot On