Friday, February 29, 2008

Susan Gwinn's "Raw Truth" is just a little too raw for me.

"Raw Truth" is just a little too raw for me.

Athens County, Southeast of Columbus, may be about to set a horribly bad precedent.

Susan Gwinn, the entrenched Democratic Party Chairperson is running a well-funded and aggressively negative campaign for County Prosecutor.

The possibility of having a very political Democratic fox guarding the henhouse of a majority Democratic county has even local Democrats concerned.

Have you ever read a Letter to the Editor from a candidate, complaining about not being endorsed by a paper? Gwinn wrote a letter to a newspaper excoriating it for not endorsing her. This is the ultimate in whining self-service, and gives us good insight into the future behavior of the Prosecutor's office under Ms. Gwinn.

Reading Ms. Gwinn's "Raw Truth" letter castigating the Athens News for their endorsement of incumbent C. David Warren in the County Prosecutor’s Race helped me decide my vote. Do we really need a County Prosecutor who so obviously combines the personal with the political and who publicly "prosecutes" her grudges?

Members of her own party have already pointed out the potential partisan problems of the county Democratic Party chair holding the office of Prosecuting Attorney. It is blatantly antithetical to the historically fair principles of the Democratic Party and evidence that Athens County does not need Ms. Gwinn and her penchant for publicizing personal disagreements while holding a position that plainly demands fairness and dictates restrained good judgement.

Athens News Editor Terry Smith on Gwinn:

"For me, this race comes down to three issues, and all of them trump the isolated and exaggerated problems that Gwinn has raised about incumbent Athens County Prosecutor C. David Warren. Interestingly her criticisms didn’t gain purchase in the public conversation until she filed to challenge Warren in the primary.

The three issues:

1. She has no experience as a prosecutor, and he has decades. How some people can ignore this fundamental advantage for Warren is beyond me. This especially applies to the Democratic office-holders who have come out for Gwinn. It makes me wonder whether some of them are mainly looking toward the future and their own skins by supporting their influential party chief for a position that she’s obviously not qualified for.

2. As party chief, she has no business serving as the prosecutor, a position of power and discretion that ought to be as non-partisan as possible, and where she’ll constantly be stumbling over potential conflicts of interest. Most of those who think this is OK are the Democratic faithful. I wonder why this is? Has anyone asked the Republicans how they’d feel about having one of the county’s chief law enforcers also managing the opposition party? If you look at the arguments in the pro-Gwinn letters, many of their points do highly recommend Gwinn — except not for prosecutor but for party chief, a position she already holds. How, for instance, does Gwinn’s success at getting students registered as Democrats relate to how she would run the prosecutor’s office?

3. Her campaign ads — including professionally done TV commercials that seem more appropriate for a statewide race than a small county’s prosecutor’s contest — are unfailingly negative and often unfair and misleading. They reflect worse on Ms. Gwinn than Mr. Warren."

If Gwinn is elected look for a politically hand-cuffed Prosecutor's Office resulting in long-term damage to judicial process in Athens County.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A few thoughts on Bill "Willie" Cunningham and his McCain Intro "speech"....

If you are not familiar with this, then it won't make sense; but here are a few notes I took while listening to Cinci radio this morning on the drive into work.

Was McCain introduced as John "Sidney" McCain?

I can just see Willie jumping up and down shouting "Hooray for John Sidney McCain".

Who thinks a middle name makes the man? It sure don't -- I gotta cool one.

This is ridiculous. There are plenty of important issues connected to Obamamania that scare me -- his "Spiritual Leader", his Church, his socialist plans and connections; but his middle name does not.

And as usual, the only thing that impresses me about Cunningham is his ability to still spout racist and xenophobic crap with foot firmly inserted in mouth.

Lord help us if the "base" of the party is Willie Cunningham.

No wonder we don't do well outside "our" white-bread demographic.

How did Willie the Mouth get on that stage, anyway? We got no black 'pubs anybody respects anymore? Yeah, that's the guy I want talkin' to America for me.

I heard The Mouth of Cinci on Jim Scott this morning and the exact quote was "well, they (the Media) call Bush, Cheney, etc... everything but a WHITE MAN...".

There was a little skip of silence and and I swear I almost heard Jim Scott choke. I wonder if he didn't throw up a little in his mouth.

I'm thinkin' 700 doesn’t put THAT in a podcast or transcript. I'm a-bettin' they LOSE that one.

What an idiot. If the 'pubs lose, a part of it may be that the general public thinks that all conservatives are like that (word removed after some thought - use your own).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Blue Ridge China....

Personal note:

My much-much-much better half and I collect Blue Ridge China. It was manufactured in Erwin, TN., not far from Johnson City and almost directly north of Ashville.

The time I used to spend frivolously, I now spend in Antique stores and Junk shops, my favorite being the latter -- lighter on the wallet.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bank Robbin' Songs....

On a whim...

Two of my favorites are Springsteen's Highway 29 and Eaglesmith's Pontiac.

Add some if you feel like it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Willie P. Bennett 10/26/51 - 2/15/08

God, please have mercy on Willie's amazing soul....

The best side man in the world and now the best out of it.

The next Fred show will be tough.

When I Go

Come, lonely hunter, chieftain and king
I will fly like the falcon when I go
Bear me my brother under your wing
I will strike fell like lightning when I go
I will bellow like the thunder drum,
invoke the storm of war
A twisting pillar spun of dust and
blood up from the prairie floor
I will sweep the foe before me like
a gale out on the snow
And the wind will long recount the story,
reverence and glory, when I go
Spring, spirit dancer, nimble and thin
I will leap like coyote when I go
Tireless entrancer, lend me your skin
I will run like the gray wolf when I go
I will climb the rise at daybreak, I will
kiss the sky at noon
Raise my yearning voice at midnight to
my mother in the moon
I will make the lay of long defeat and
draw the chorus slow
I'll send this message down the wire and
hope that someone wise is listening when I go
And when the sun comes, trumpets from his
red house in the east
He will find a standing stone where long
I chanted my release
He will send his morning messenger to
strike the hammer blow
And I will crumble down uncountable in
showers of crimson rubies when I go
Sigh, mournful sister, whisper and turn
I will rattle like dry leaves when I go
Stand in the mist where my fire used to burn
I will camp on the night breeze when I go
And should you glimpse my wandering form
out on the borderline
Between death and resurrection and the
council of the pines
Do not worry for my comfort, do not
sorrow for me so
All your diamond tears will rise up and
adorn the sky beside me when I go

-- Dave Carter

Where The Sun Shines Through

Put me down
Where the grass is green
Down near close
Where I dreamed my dreams
Where a big ol' tree
Throws a big ol' shade
But where the sun shines through

Take me home
While you live life
Home with you
Is never Bye and Bye
And it is sweet
And it will be

I can go
But I won't leave
Going's easy
An' I believe
That I've always been happy
Hangin' 'round
With you

So put me down
Where the grass is green
Down near close
Where I dreamed my dreams
Where a big ol' tree
Throws a big ol' shade
But where the sun shines through
Where the sun shines through


Sometimes I like to post fairly well-known but timely or timeless quotes, like this one; even though most of YOU people, will remember or recognize it, and really don't need reminding.

“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who can be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re all right already. They’ll believe anything.” – fictional character Miss Hardcastle, from That Hideous Strength, by C.S.Lewis

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Basic Problem With Both Parties....

Lew Rockwell:

"... Until the dollar is made sound again, there will be little hope of restraining the government. The problem is that neither party has an interest in doing this. Whether the party supports welfare or warfare, it ultimately depends on the power of the government to finance itself through financial trickery...."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Vote for President....

Since Ron Paul is drawing down his effort, I've finally made a choice, and of course it will be a write-in.

I'll be voting for Fred Eaglesmith for President of the United States.

I believe he's already President of Canada and rumor has it he works cheap.

True, he'll be taking a lot of vacation days, just like 43, but he'll be busy making good music.

He'll solve our commuter problem too. I hope everybody likes trains.

Willie P. Bennett reprising the role of the tough as nails VP with the bad tikker.

I can see the bumper stickers now:

"Vote for Fred, but not that one...", or

"I shot your dog, I thought he was a terrorist."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Timmy's in the educational well, and trust us, money will get him out!

Taxes, taxes, taxes. Some random notes:

I recently paid the balance of my part of my school district's earned income tax. Talk about a tax that descriminates against the poor and multi-income, out of town jobbers.... It's the kinda thing that makes that there flat/sales tax look good, don't it?

And, maybe I'm just a little sore, having just paid my share of the SDEIT for a school system that will provide more failures for Com1 next year.

We're seeing a majority of kids from "good" schools who can look up study notes online and copy them into a Word file, but can't solve math problems without a calculator, tell an adjective from an adverb, and many times don't know verb from noun.

And I admit we don't see the brightest (they leave the state), but these are kids with 3+ GPAs from LOCAL schools.

And tax-wise, they always need a new school building. And we are Oh-so-happy to oblige... year after year.

Fine, here's the deal:

One of the signs of failure of our public high schools is the need for beginning Com courses in college, so....

You can have ten new buildings if you can promise us that every one of the children (It's all for "the children", ain't it? Not the administrators or the union, right?) can add, subtract, multiply and divide WITHOUT a calculator or computer or cell phone, etc....

And it would be wonderful if they could diagram a sentence when they enter classes at college with their 3.something GPA (And how the **** did they get that? It must have been the old school building's Karma.), so that we don't have to teach them "remedial" Com in sophomore year after they flunk both the test-out and freshman year Com1.

Cliches are identified as such because they are generally true, right?

Well here's the cliche: "You can't fix our education system by throwing money at it." But don't tell the NEA that and don't tell that to the people who live in "rich" districts or make their living in the system.

I've seen teachers and school board members asked what it would take to make education better in their system, and every time the answer is "more money". Somewhere down the line, some old fogey will reply "Parent involvement?", and everybody will roll their eyes and stick their hands out.

The average graduating senior is less educated than twenty years ago. Just give one a basic math test and reading skills test.

The "system" is nothing but a sponge.

My much, much better half (who disagrees with me on this, as she IS an NEA member) teaches writing and art at a local college. The kids entering college (Admittedly this is in Ohio, and at a State school, so it is an indictment of only our Ohio public schools.) may be technologically ahead of those 20yrs.ago, but who isn't?

In basic writing, reading and math skills, the AVERAGE college freshman is way behind one of 20 yrs.ago.

Many of these kids have to be taught how to write sentences and paragraphs BEFORE you show them the basics of whatever class you are teaching, just so they can have the bare chance to complete the assignments.

More on this as I get wound up....

And, there seems to be a “school” of teachers who adhere to a new-fangled style of teaching that actually ignores these mistakes in grammar “as long as the student gets their message across in a clear and concise manner”. These teachers are compounding the problem. Their very argument is an oxymoron.

Here’s link to an article on the subject:

Lancaster Post of the State Highway Patrol to get New Barracks....

Well, if they are moving out on the bypass, they won't have as far to go to cherrypick. Those "non-existent" quotas just went up, up, up....

Don't bother to say there aren't any; I've seen the memos on the board at the barracks.

One of my pet peeves is that you never see them during rush hour when people are trying to kill you with cars, but go on the bypass in off-hours and there's one at the bottom of every hill with a gun and a pad of tickets.

I don't speed, so this is not sour grapes, just real observation from someone who drives a LOT. Given the ways and times that they choose to enforce the laws, they cannot be doing anything but revenuing.

Ok, now I jus' gotta put on Radar Gun, by The Bottle Rockets, and calm down....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Red-Neck Pickup Truck Drivers....

Three days a week I drive route 33 west from Athens to Columbus. Every time, I see at least one of these guys. Heck, you might be this guy... and if so, I want to let you know what I see when I look at him.

He is driving a four-wheel drive pick-up and it usually has a NASCAR sticker in the back window.

He has the right to get to work faster than the five-hundred people in front of him.

He pulls up in back of me in the passing lane. I am already going 65+ mph, in the traffic flow with approximately four (not enough) car lengths between myself and the car in front.

There are probably a hundred or so vehicles in front of me and the right lane is bumper to bumper.

He starts by tailgating while swerving back and forth. He flips his brights on. I reach up and adjust my mirror so that the lights are out of my eyes, trying to find a place in the other lane at 65 mph. Meanwhile, this idiot is waving the finger out of his window.

I finally ease my Jeep over into the right lane and the redneck begins his assault on the next car. He usually gains about four places by cutting off drivers and multiple lane changes between the time he passes me and when I catch up with him at the slow-down between Carroll and Hamilton Road.

If you drive route 33 then I am sure that this might sound like your morning, too.

While he does elevate my blood pressure, I do want to thank the Red-neck pickup truck driver for making me feel so superior.

And sometimes I find myself hoping, Lord forgive me, that someday, when he is alone on some two-lane country road with deep run-off ditches, he'll have a blow-out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Traffic Cameras in Ohio....

Before Big Brother gets even more out of control, with every little municipality wanting a slice of the Revenue pie, the people of Ohio should be pressing for a State Law that limits the use of fine money collected from violators caught by these cameras to only be used by a program or programs like the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE).

That program is only a suggestion, but if there are going to be cameras (bad idea), then let's limit the ability of cities to become the "Video New Rome" of Ohio, and keep the collection agencies out of it. Also, by limiting the money to an exact use and away from the General Fund, it keeps the politician's grubby hands out of it for the most part.

Each camera would have to be backed by an ODOT study and the fines would be collected by the State - NOT the city and a collection agency that takes a big cut. No fine money would go into ANY General Fund or individual city coffers.

That would keep predatory collections by the cities down and actually result in LESS cameras, but in the places they are needed most, and with and end result of helping the people who need help the most, making the most needy Ohioans more employable.