Send Sheriff Rob Streck to Jail

Sheriff Streck needs to be recalled

This hasn’t been reported in the Dayton media. The Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today released a story about the death of 19 year old Isaiah Trammell in the Montgomery County Jail.

The Montgomery County Jail Coalition seems to know about it.

Just the people of Dayton, are in the dark.

If you watch this video, and can’t tell that this man needs hospitalization and medication, instead of intimidation and restraint, you are a soulless cretin. How that many deputies in the jail could partake in this murder is absolutely dumbfounding. We don’t need an investigation, we need entirely new leadership at the jail. That our County Commissioners haven’t tried to relieve Streck of power- or the prosecutor- says volumes about the “Culture of Corruption” in Montgomery County.

Considering Streck and his posse recently caused the unnecessary and unwarranted death of Colby Ross, maybe it’s time Streck is relieved of duty- if not charged and placed in his own jail.

I’m going to request the reports, the videos, and try to find out if the same losers (the voice sounds very familiar) that pepper sprayed Charles Alexander Wade back in 2017, a story Esrati.com broke.

Here’s the video. Warning, it’s graphic and disturbing.

Streck’s Jailhouse Blues:

Corruption or stupidity the saga of Wayne and Wyoming in Dayton Ohio

The “market has spoken” – Dayton Development director is incompetent

The neighborhood organization representing South Park, Historic South Park Inc, voted officially on Tuesday May 28, 2024 to join a lawsuit against the city and the BZA for not following their own rules- and placing a “recovery high school” on the corner of Wayne and Wyoming- against the established zoning. The Walnut Hills Neighborhood association had already joined.

The problem, according to the neighborhood, is that Wayne Avenue already has some unresolved issues. We’ve had about 3 pedestrians die in the last 5 years. We’ve had several buildings hit. We’ve got 2 Sunoco Stations that are already junky and homeless central, and adding a bunch of teens to the mix doesn’t seem like a great idea.

Don’t be distracted by the discussion of zoning or the appropriateness of the high school- be pissed off about the price the city is giving away a prime corner for. One they spent about $5M+ and 3 years acquiring in a botched attempt at “development.” If you want to read about the folly, head on over to these old posts. The short story, Shelley DIckstein who used to be our director of “economic development” had a brilliant idea to blight 12 acres at the corner of Wayne and Wyoming so she could assemble a parcel to allow Kroger to build a new store with a gas station on that corner- to replace the current store which has more nicknames than any other store known to man (Freddy Kroger and Creepy Kroger are 2 leading ones). To do this, she went out and tried to option 88 parcels- expending a lot of time and money- and stopping people from doing maintenance on their homes- expecting to be bought out and fill the landfill (making Steve Rauch the demolition king richer – which is the steady theme of all development in Dayton). After she finally had the parcel under contract- it was 2009, the economy had just tanked- and Kroger wasn’t interested. You see, poor Shelley didn’t have a development contract with anyone. For this massive failure- she got promoted to City Manager.

The Spanish style (the Ecki Building) a2 story mixed use building that was on the corner since the twenties had been on the market for $265K with no takers. It had 11 apartments upstairs and a bunch of useful stores downstairs. I remember a shoe repair, a locksmith, a mini-car parts place, a bakery. It had a fire- and the owner cashed in the insurance and then held out for More. The city has at least $850K 815K in it and the additional parcels and demolition.

The neighborhood lawsuit is partially about process- the city passed this sale as an emergency ordinance at the December 2022 meeting to sell the property and did not give either South Park or Walnut Hills any notice.

The city has tried to find a developer for the site since the 2000s but nothing has panned out, said Keith Klein, senior economic development specialist with the city of Dayton.

“In my opinion, the school is clearly the best use,” he said. “The market has spoken, we’ve had it out there for a decade, there’s no restaurant coming to this site, there’s no apartment building coming to this site.”

Source: Dayton dropout recovery high school gets OK to build new school on Wayne Avenue

His idea of a fair price? $80K.

Consider that the developer of “The Flight” just down the road paid over $1.5M for the old Patterson Kennedy lot, and you have to wonder. The Wendy’s diagonally across the street is the regions highest grossing store- and desperately in need of a newer building and better traffic flows- did you ask them?

Or how about the people who’ve been building “Flying Ace Car Washes” everywhere but in Dayton? You don’t think they’d jump at that location? Their average for a smaller lot is between $700K and $1.1M. I’ve got a call in to their real estate/development office. Does Mr. Klein think people in Dayton don’t like to wash their cars? That use would be permitted by the current zoning.

There’s also been an influx of new gas station operators in every other suburb. Did anyone ask Buc-ee’s, Sheetz or Wawa? I’m pretty sure both Sunoco’s would be out of business a few months after one of these well run chains moves in.

Now, before you say “how dare you call out a city employee by name as incompetent” and say “Esrati is mean and nasty” let’s be clear, Mr Klein is sitting on over 3441 pieces of real estate- owned by the city- many of which have never had a “For Sale” sign- or “free to a good home” sign on them.

Back in the early 1990’s- I had a client who wanted to be a developer in Dayton- I won a AAF Gold medal for his branding- Envision Dayton, and he had done a public records request asking what fallow real estate the city owned. He got back a 6″ tall stack of green bar printer paper with every line a property parcel. The city has been taking stock out of taxation and sitting on it- with no action plan to sell it or market it for decades. This is not a new problem.

When the city gave away the Stuart Patterson Recreation Center in Old North Dayton for $30K to the Turkish Community- no one asked us, and there was never an RFP process- same went for the Bomberger Center- which went for the same bargain basement price. There went two places for our kids to go after school and in the summer- and we wonder why we have “problem teens” at the bus terminal?

Klein better be able to show proof that he’s indeed tried to “market” this piece of real estate before he gives it away. Because, he’s setting a horrible example and costing the taxpayers real money.

If you need a refresher on “Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap” I still like this video which showcased how Dr. Adil Baguirov (now known as Al Bagiro) sold off the prime real estate of the old Patterson Co-Op to CareSource for at least half of what it was worth.

It’s time for some ‘splainin Keith. And maybe an intervention by the City Commission before this stinker of a deal joins the annals of bad deals for the taxpayers.

And the song for this post: Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap

Justice for Colby Ross, Fire Sheriff Streck

The Sheriff killed him: the unnecessary death of Colby Ross

There is no excuse for stupid. Sheriff Rob Streck tried to make excuses for the stupidity of his deputies, but helicopter or no helicopter, there was no reason to conduct a high speed chase of Melissa Hutchins on the West Side of Dayton- especially when you have a helicopter. Not only that- the law is very specific:

General policy: 1. Pursuits at high speed are justified only when the individual officer knows or has reasonable grounds to believe the person being pursued has committed or attempted to commit a serious felony.

https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Briefing-Room/News-Releases/Policy-and-Legislation/Vehicular-Pursuit/City-of-Marion-Pursuit-Policy.aspx
Melissa Joan Hutchins mugshot
Melissa Joan Hutchins Mugshot

Melissa Hutchins has been a perennial problem child according to the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts site:

2011 CVG 01119 WFORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (MCFED)HUTCHINS, ET AL, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
2013 CVG 00743 WFORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (MCFED)HUTCHINS, ET AL, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
1996 CR 01043 /2CONVERSION (C)HUTCHINS, MELISSAOPENDEFENDANT
1998 TRD 00134 WNO OPERATORS LICENSE (4507.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1999 TRD 08786 WINTERSECTIONS-RULES FOR TURNS (4511.36 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2000 CRB 01744 WTHEFT (2913.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2000 TRD 08012 WNO OPERATORS LICENSE (4507.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2001 TRC 02111 WOVI (4511.19 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2004 CR 00116POSSESSION OF COCAINE (1gram but <5grams-CRACK) (2925.11(A)-20(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2004 CR 04576POSSESSION OF COCAINE (less than one gram-Crack Cocaine) (2925.11(A)-17R(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2004 CV 06552OTHER TORT (OT)HUTCHINS, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
2007 CR 02615POSSESSION OF COCAINE (less than one gram-Crack Cocaine) (2925.11(A)-17R(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2010 CV 09232MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE (MF)HUTCHINS, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
2011 CR 00042POSSESSION OF COCAINE (less than one gram-Crack Cocaine) (2925.11(A)-17R(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 CVF 01310 ECONTRACTS (MCCVF)HUTCHINS, MELISSACLOSEDDEFENDANT
1991 TRD 10395 WTWO HEADLIGHTS DISPLAYED (4513.14 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1992 CRB 03020 WPETTY THEFT (131.08 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1992 TRD 02650 WSPEED (4511.21 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1993 CJ 063503CERTIFICATE OF JUDGMENT TO STAY FROM ANOTHER OHIO COURT (CJS)HUTCHINS, MELISSA JOPENDEBTOR
1993 TRD 05085 WNO OPERATORS LICENSE (4507.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1996 CRA 02099 WRECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (2913.51A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
1999 CRB 03355 WDISORDERLY CONDUCT (2917.11 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2000 TRD 03328 ESPEED (333.03D MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2002 CV 07075PERSONAL INJURY (PI)HUTCHINS, MELISSA JCLOSEDDEFENDANT
2005 CRB 01051 WDOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2919.25C MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2014 CRB 01609 EDRUG PARAPHERNA (2925.14A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2014 TRD 03079 WDUS/REINSTATE (4510.21 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2014 TRD 04534 EDUS/FRA SUSP/NON PAYMENT (4510.16 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2016 TRD 02415 WDUS/VIOL OF RESTRICTION (4510.11 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 CRB 00886 WDOG REGISTRATION REQUIRED (955.21 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 TRD 02029 WDUS FRA/NON-COMPLIANCE (4510.16A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2023 TRD 01735 WHIT SKIP (4549.02 MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2007 CR 02160ASSAULT (PO) (2903.13(A)(PO))HUTCHINS, MELISSA J.6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2018 CRB 01295 WUNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE (2913.03A MC)HUTCHINS, MELISSA J.6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
2001 CR 04267POSSESSION OF COCAINE (1gram but <5grams-CRACK) (2925.11(A)-20(323))HUTCHINS, MELISSA JEAN6/23/1973CLOSEDDEFENDANT
Civil Historical Index1 Records Returned
HUTCHINS MELISSA J
METROPOLITAN PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE CO VS MELI
1993 CJ 063503
Criminal Historical Index3 Records Returned
HUTCHINS MELISSA J
AKA 1:

AKA 2:

AKA 3:
1996 CR 001043
HUTCHINS MELISSA JOAN
AKA 1:

AKA 2:

AKA 3:
1992 CR 000173
HUTCHINS MELISSA JOAN
AKA 1: MISSIE HUTCHINS

AKA 2:

AKA 3:
1996 CR 002771
https://mcclerkofcourts.org

All those offenses, yet, nothing like she’s going to go kill someone (a “serious felony”). Yet, they felt the need to chase her car at high speeds after deflating her tires. Everyone was having fun playing Grand Theft Auto- up until she hit a BMW convertible driven by someone I know, 35 year old Colby Ross.

Colby is now dead, and Sheriff Streck was rushing to make excuses. Excuses don’t bring Colby back.

On Friday, the charges were made:

1INVOL MANSLAUGHTERF12903.04 MC
2AGGRAVATED VEHICULAR HOMICIDEF22903.06A2A MC
3FAIL COMP OFFCRF32921.331BC5 MC
4POSSESSION OF COCAINE (<5g but not >25g-other than crack)F42925.11 A-19 MC
The charges against Melissa Joan Hutchins

His father is Skip Ross, who now owns the old Channel 45/22 building on Gettysburg. Skip has been running channel WRCX 40 and provides an alternative media channel for the community. Colby was his right hand, and his heart. Colby had a wife, 2 kids, and a growing tiktok community with his Tattoo Broker channel. He and his Dad had a plan- to build a media empire focused on the Black community and they were well on their way.

Sheriff Streck and his lawless deputies just killed that dream. For what? To bust a woman for possession of drugs? For driving under suspension? They wouldn’t do a high speed pursuit on I-75- but the West Side- no problem. The real menace to society once again in Dayton, is unqualified people pretending to be the long arm of the law. You know, the same ones who pepper spray inmates point blank while in 7 point restraint chairs.

A Butler Twp. police officer broadcast around 4:40 p.m. Monday that a white SUV was wanted for felony failure to comply charges. The SUV’s driver fled from police during rush hour on Interstate 75 in a construction zone, Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said Tuesday.
About three hours later, a sheriff’s detective spotted the SUV on Free Pike Avenue and used a tire deflation device. The driver fled and a deputy initiated a pursuit with aerial support from a law enforcement partner.

Ibid DDN

For those who don’t know what “Failure to comply” is- you really need to read the law. Section 2921.331 | Failure to comply with order or signal of police officer. It’s pretty specific-

(A) No person shall fail to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic.

(2) A violation of division (A) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

In order for it to be a felony- the next rules require the decision of a judge and jury- not a police officer.

Melissa Hutchins wasn’t an imminent danger to our community. Sheriff Streck on the other hand, well, he was busy preparing a statement before he’d even notified Skip or Chenea Ross, his widow of his passing. They left that to the coroner, long after Colby had been transported first to a hospital and then the morgue.

The real question is how much did Sheriff Streck pay recently reinstated NAACP president for life Derrick Foward to issue this statement:

Foward said. “Not only that, she is also an individual who has run from police before, so we need to make certain that we are doing everything — the full weight of the law — to hold this young lady accountable for this death.
“She is the culprit in the cause of Colby Ross’ death.
Make no mistake about it. It’s not the police’s fault that this individual is dead,” Foward said.

https://editions.daytondailynews.com/app/DDNFEE/editionguid/59183da7-4b94-431f-add9-168e1ce5b36f

It’s time for Forward to resign and go quietly off the stage before he says anything else this stupid.

You might have known on Facebook before the family even knew that Colby Ross was dead. Streck knew this was a huge mistake, and we, the taxpayers who elected this failure, will pay for his mistakes. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party hasn’t mounted a candidate for sheriff for almost 20 years (Last one was former DPD officer Mike Tenore). That’s in exchange for the R’s not running anyone against the Democratic embarrassment for Prosecutor Mat Heck.

The family of Colby Ross has hired attorney Michael Wright to represent them. Wright will make the county pay – but, the incompetence within the Sheriff’s department will continue. When Sgt Judith Sealey was caught pepper spraying inmate Amber Swink, she was put on paid leave by then Sheriff Phil Plummer, and then promoted to Captain before taking medical retirement. Sealey later pled guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, and was given a slap on the wrist. Plummer was promoted to State Representative and Streck was promoted. Funny how things work in the Sheriff’s office.

Make no doubt about it, the decisions of the Sheriff’s office to continue this pursuit at high speeds, resulted from them choosing to be judge, jury and executioner, without any adherence to the law- or considering the public’s safety. With the tires deflated, and a helicopter to follow her, it would have been much better to follow at a leisurely pace and wait for her to be in a place where there was no chance of endangering others- or when she runs out of gas.

Colby Ross doesn’t need a law named after him, he needs the law enforced, with those responsible for his death being punished, starting with Sheriff Streck.

Justice for Colby

Joe Bidens last stand

How Joe Biden might have a snowballs chance in hell in November

Ignoring polls seems to be a genetic failing of democrats. Failing to find a clear and concise message eludes them as well. It’s tough when you can’t say anything you want- true or untrue, and do anything you want, legal or illegal, and get away with like his opposition.

There was a time where a divorce or a bankruptcy would instantly disqualify you from running for president. Same thing for infidelity. Trump can pretty much get away with anything- and still have a following.

Let’s be clear, there’s no way Trump will win the popular vote. The only reason he’ll win is the electoral college- and we’re not going to be able to change that anytime before November.

Even if he’s in prison on Jan 20th 2025, he can just pardon himself and get on with it. Why? Because the founding fathers never thought people would vote for someone of such low moral character. Basically, the job description is be born in American and at least 35 years old. Good job guys.

Biden and the democratic party work for the billionaires that get them elected. We waste in excess of $15B every election cycle to smear each other. It ain’t coming from the people that vote- it’s coming from the people that want something- and that something is to be richer by the minute.

Since 2000 America’s billionaire class has quadrupled and continues to grow. The multi-millionaires are richer than ever before. And the common man, the voter, is the poorest he’s ever been.

So what did Biden do? He wrote off college debt- helping out the people who ostensibly already make more than the poorest in this country. It was a STUPID move and totally unnecessary. It just divided the country even more- with those who’d made their payments faithfully- and paid their debt off- say “WTF- Unfair.”

The answer wasn’t to write it off- but to refinance it all at a super low affordable rate like 2.5% and move on to something that would really have an impact: Cap the maximum rates on credit cards to something that people could actually pay off. Currently it’s at 29.99% which is usury. It’s a fact that at rates this high, folks never will get out of debt. (pro tip- Credit Unions can’t charge more than 18%).
This is an insane factoid- there are actually people in Congress who’ve talked about capping it under 20% from BOTH parties:

Sen. Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican, introduced legislation in September to cap credit card interest at 18%. Four years ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, proposed to cap card rates at 15%.

Lenders and their advocates have opposed the caps, saying they might limit the ability of Americans with weaker credit to borrow.

“It would surprise me if we ever got a credit-card rate cap in this country of any significance,” said Schulz of LendingTree.

Source: Credit card interest rates climb to 33% in some cases (no, really).

This would be a huge instant help to the people enduring the squeezes caused by everything else that Congress is failing us on: not enforcing anti-trust laws (Capital One buying Discover for instance), capping prescription drug price hikes, reeling in the costs of higher ed, dealing with the health care crisis and runaway costs- and as Senator Sherrod Brown keeps telling us in his bad commercials- shrinkflation which is driving up food costs.

The billionaires have control over the costs of meat, gas, corn, chicken and have been buying up housing stock and jacking the prices up – because they can. We need to realize that they have enough money to ignore the Fed- and can pretty much do as they want. So maybe, it’s time to put anti-trust laws into effect limiting single family home ownership? And force requirements to provide at least 20% of any single entities housing holdings to be affordable to minimum wage workers if you own more than 200 units? Of course, all of these would take time- which is why the credit card rate cuts could have an instant effect.

Joe Biden is running out of time to pull a rabbit out of a hat. I just gave him both. Unfortunately, he’s not a subscriber- nor is anyone in the Ohio Dem Party.

And the song for this post: Joe’s last stand

What kind of community do you want to be a part of? Live in?

What is the “collective soul” of a community, and why is it critical?

This post has nothing to do with the band “Collective Soul”- but it does have a lot to do with everything that’s been spinning around my head over the last few weeks. The question of what’s really important and what is a distraction and why, is a lens a lot of things need to be viewed through.

First topic: Indianapolis makes their bike share system free for all residents:

Indianapolis will be the first city in the United States to offer all county residents access to a free annual bikeshare pass.

The IndyRides Free is a new program that offers a free annual pass for Pacers Bikeshare to all Marion County residents. A first-of-its-kind program in the nation that provides the public with access to hundreds of e-bikes at no cost.

“While other cities offer reduced-cost or free annual passes to specific groups, to our knowledge, Indy will be the first place where all county residents have access to a free annual bikeshare pass,” said Kären Haley, executive director of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which manages Pacers Bikeshare.

Source: Indianapolis offers free bikeshare passes to residents

Indy bought B-Cycle, the same system that I introduced to Dayton long ago- and they eventually bought (you can read all the posts on this blog here). The cost in Indy was underwritten by a non-profit and the Pacers:

“The free annual passes for Marion County residents were made possible through support from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation and Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

“Our focus has always been making positive impact off the court as well as on it, and this important partnership will help create greater connectivity and accessibility for all residents and visitors to our city,” said Rick Fuson, chief executive officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “Being able to do that while also encouraging activities that promote better health and well-being simply adds to the appeal.”

ibid

The reality is- free bikes do all kinds of things- like make perimeter parking more valuable (park where it’s free- ride the bike to where it’s not), gives poor people access to mobility, improves air quality, and most importantly- creates a sense of ownership for the whole community. It’s now “Our Bikeshare” system- not just the people who can afford it.

And, that’s where I feel like this kind of action makes a huge difference. Considering the people of Dayton paid for the Dragon’s stadium- but did they all get a discount? Or a free ticket? Extrapolate that out to the Schuster Center, to all the other “economic development dollars” we’ve “invested” – what is in it for the over-taxed, under-paid, under-appreciated people in the city?

While I absolutely love “The Flyer” free shuttle and use it a few times a year, I often wonder why we don’t just pull the trigger and make the entire bus system free. The fares contribute a tiny bit toward operating costs- and by the time you figure all the expenses in collecting and accounting for fares- compared to the value to those who ride, what purpose are we really serving by charging for “public transit?” If you followed the link above- you realize I consider it racist that the only part of town served by a free bus- is the whiter, wealthier part.

Soul crushing in advertising

This week Apple did something that doesn’t happen very often – a major corporation apologized for an ad they released. As an Apple fan boy since the early days, and one who makes their living using Apple tools, this was pretty epic. Yet, there were people who didn’t know what all the fuss was about- and others who thought the fuss was epic. Here’s the Apple spot-

Apple squeezes the soul out of the emoji ball- and their brand

The idea was that they had taken all these well loved, creative tools, like trumpets, pianos, vinyl turntables, paint, a piano and on and on- and compressed them into the thinnest iPad ever. Or, not.

Others saw them crushing the soul of the artist, ending the analog age, and destroying our artistic heritage with a soulless, albeit thinner, iPad.

From the days when Steve Jobs talked about Apple building “bicycles for the mind” to now replacing the bicycles with a thin piece of electronics that will be rendered worthless in 10 years by something newer, faster, thinner- is contrary to the ethos of the Apple brand. Yes, I have a MacPlus sitting on my front desk, but, it’s value isn’t the same today as if I’d bought a Selmer Mark 6 sax with that money back in 1985. Like it or not, computers are more like hammers and screwdrivers- which can help an artist create, but, lack the soul of the creator.

Just because I can, and I (along with quite a few other people) came up with the same twist on the spot- it’s really better backwards:

The Next Wave fix of the Apple Crush ad

Which brings us back to “collective soul.”

Our society has been actively being torn apart and forced into taking sides on so many things, from trans bathrooms to banned books, immigration to the Israeli/Hamas war. All the while, the algorithm keeps grinding away in the background deciding what to feed you next.

I have a friend who abhors social media and avoids it. However, he’s addicted to TikTok. What he gets fed is very different than what my feed looks like. His is one conspiracy rant after another. I get dancing couples, lip sysncs, recipes for famous chicken roll ups, comedy, Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood doing “Walk this way” together on stage, Ted Lasso clips. Now- here’s the thing- after 2 minutes of being fed things I could find on Youtube if I was truly interested- I walk away from TikTok- he doesn’t.

But he shares stuff constantly to me. Stuff that’s so out of whack with the person I’ve known over 30 years, who I talk to at least once a week for an hour. And I know- there’s powers behind the curtain working hard at “divide and conquer” and it scares me.

The last time I remember America coming together unconditionally, was after 20 shitbirds from Saudi Arabia attacked our country with our own planes and killed 3000+ Americans on 9/11. Since then, I’ve watched us start to unravel at the seams. Our collective soul is taking a self-induced beating.

I drove up to Chicago yesterday with a friend to pick up a deal from Facebook marketplace that I found. My friend had lived in Chicago- and extended our stay for a while longer than I planned- and I got home at 4:30 am to a house where my dog had pooped and puked in the backroom. But, one of the things we did in Chicago was visit a bar called “The Violet Hour.

It made it all worthwhile. Because, it reminded me of the importance of folks who remind us to stop doing what we’re doing- and smell the flowers. The first clue is in the very gritty waiting hall, once you’ve made it past the building front which looks like a boarded up, graffiti covered wall (they re-do it monthly- so it always looks different). They have their house rules- where they tell you- put your phone away.

The Violet Hour House rules- No cell phone use inside lounge. Proper attired requested. Please, no baseball hats. Sorry, no reservations. If you have a party of four, we'll give you four chairs. If your party is Eight, we'll arrange eight chairs for you. No "Party add-ons" without prior notification. No O-bombs. No Jager-bombs. No bombs of any kind. No budweiser. No light beer. No grey goose. No cosmopolitakns. And finally, please do not bring anyone to the violet hour that you wouldn't bring to your mother's house for Sunday dinner.

I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t fly in Dayton- “what, I can’t come sit in your bar and be anti-social, doom scrolling – instead of actively talking to the people I’m here with???!!!”

And it reminded me, we can choose what kind of “collective soul” we want, for our neighborhood, our schools, our city, our state, our county, our planet.

But the first thing is – we need to be consciously aware of that soul, and provide it with the proper care and feeding, or it will wither and die.

Does Dayton need a whole bunch of new hotels downtown? Do the Dayton Public Schools need a vision and mission statement? Do we want to accept folks who want to (or may) be different than us? Are we going to have to vote between 2 ancient folks to lead our country? Is the algorithm the source of all evil? Should there be billionaires while people starve? These are the things that run through my head.

Religion used to be counted on to provide us guidance on so much of this- and yet, that institution has self-destructed as well. The golden rule still works, “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”- yet, we seem to have added a clause- “unless, you can get away with it, and advance yourself and your self interests before anyone else notices.”

And, here you are at the end of this post, wondering, WTF is Esrati doing playing moralist? Hopefully, the reason you’re here is because this is a place to discuss our community- and it’s “collective soul” outside the structures that we used to depend on providing us with the information we need to guide us through our political selection process. Our local established “journalists” have lost their edge at real reporting (the most recent article about the things going on in New Lebanon- totally ignored informing us of what the preliminary finding of the investigation were).

I’d like to know what things you think need re-aligned to help us get our soul back? Please add your ideas in the comment section.

And the song for this post: “Our Collective Soul”

Older Posts