Baguirov’s resignation isn’t enough

Dr. Adil Baguirov slowing down the process of hiring a new school superintendent

Dr. Baguirov’s grand plan just detonated

Dr. Adil Baguirov resigned from his position on the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education today. But, that’s only what the newspaper will tell you. The real story is that I broke this story back on April 5 2017, with a video, all the research and documentation, I called it “International Man of Mystery: Adil Barguirov” and I called for an investigation into his residency and his resignation at multiple school board meetings. Three hours after posting the original story, I got a warning from a prominent Turkish businessman telling me to watch my back, that Baguirov and his partner would come after me.

The board, the superintendent, their in house legal counsel, their security chief, the Board of Elections, the County Prosecutor, the Dayton Police, the Ohio Attorney General’s office, the Secretary of State, the Ohio Ethics Commission and I can’t remember who else I contacted, all sat and did nothing.

The rules are clear: You want to be on a school board, you have to live in the district. When you leave the district, you resign.

No one would act. The head of DPS security said “I don’t have the resources to investigate him”- others said the ruling on current Secretary of State Jon Husted made residency a non-issue. But, there is a big difference between Husted, who owned 2 homes, and Baguirov who owned homes he didn’t declare on his Ethics filings- hidden in shell companies, and the fact that he rented out his original home to someone else- and the home he claimed for a voting address- along with his business partner- was never his residence.

Fast forward to me trying to run for the Montgomery County Educational Service Center Board in August. Before I made it to the Board of Elections desk to file my valid petitions, I was greeted by Steve Harsman, the deputy-director, with a document telling me I didn’t live in the “district” for the MCESC. When asked to provide the maps- they never came. When asked how DPS could spend millions with the MCESC- and I can’t be on the board to oversee our tax dollars- silence.

I implored the board to demand Baguirov present proof of residence on Maryland Ave. Utility bills in his name, moving expenses, rent payment receipts? And if he didn’t live on Meeker Commons- where were the rent receipts for his half million dollar home? Nada. Nothing. Business as usual.

During that time, the BOE awarded a contract to the highest bidder to do their marketing (My firm was the lowest bidder), they gave multi-year contracts to both embattled District Athletic Director LaMark Baker- bringing the wrath of the State Athletic Association, and of course, giving a very rich 3 year contract to Rookie Superintendent Rhonda Corr- before test scores came out to show the district had again slid in state standings. They flubbed the DEA contract so badly that they had to spend an extra $200K to hire the scab firm Huffmaster, they bought buses- on a deal that Adil Baguirov personally negotiated- totally outside all norms. There was the low price sale of the Patterson site to CareSource- which he negotiated- and didn’t recuse himself from, despite owning a home health firm that does business with CareSource. The list goes on.

It’s my contention that Baguirov bullied the other members who were little league political neophytes- who had never encountered a master international lobbyist, well versed in international negotiations. He’d worked as a lobbyist before showing up out of DC to run here. Just after he was elected, a quarter million in offshore payola was put into one of his shell companies- Turbillion. This payment, and firm, which weren’t properly disclosed, is the same kind of thing that the FBI is investigating Paul Manafort for in D.C.

On a whim, on election day- I decided to check his voter registration for grins, knowing he’d need to be a resident in the 40th for a year before he ran. Of course, there it was on the Montgomery County BOE site- he’d moved out of the district to his real home. I posted, I called the school board lawyer, I sent a public records request for record of his resignation, or communications from him to the board informing them that he’d moved out of the district. Nothing came. No one wanted to do anything, again.

At around 10:15 last night, I fired off an email to a whole list of people, the superintendent, the board lawyer, the board, three of the incoming board members (I didn’t have Rev. Harris’ email), the directors of the BOE, the county prosecutors, the head of the Dayton Education Association, a State Rep who I trust, and I even included Jeremy Kelley of the Dayton Day-Old News- who failed to ever mention my investigation of Baguirov in his article about Baguirov’s planned run for the 40th.

I attached a Quo Warranto filing that I threatened to file after noon today if Baguirov didn’t resign. Quo Warranto is a writ or legal action requiring a person to show by what warrant an office or franchise is held, claimed, or exercised for those of you who aren’t lawyers.

The email:

thumbnail of Quo Warranto – Adil Baguirov Updated

The threatened filing to remove Adil Baguirov from the DPS Board (click for PDF) Note- the attachments are all documents that were posted in the original International Man of Mystery post

Subject: On Notice- Criminal proceedings against Dr. Adil Baguirov, the Dayton Board of Education, and multiple elected and appointed officials in Montgomery County

I informed this board, and the entire city, that Dr. Adil Baguirov didn’t live in the city of Dayton on April 5, 2017.
The board, the Superintendent, The County Prosecutor, The Board of Elections, The Secretary of State, The Attorney General, the Ohio Ethics Commisison, the Dayton Police Department, your own legal department did nothing.
Dr. Baguirov should have resigned and been replaced then.
Yesterday, Nov 7, 2017 I again published a document that said he had officially changed his voter registration to the address that I told you he lived at in April.
I asked, via Public Records request if he had filed his resignation for moving out of the district with the School Board- and received no answer.
By law, when he changed his official voting registration to an address in the Vandalia Butler School district, he should have resigned from Dayton.
Your failure to investigate, your failure to demand a resignation, to respond to the public records request, to announce that Dr. Baguirov had resigned, is a violation of your own rules, and State law.
I refuse to stand idly by while this continues.
I demand, that the resignation be announced by noon, Nov. 9. 2017, and I be CC’d – or I will be in court filing the attached Quo Warranto, and asking for a criminal investigation to begin immediately.

Because the board, the Superintendent, the School counsel, all acted complicity in ignoring the laws requiring residency, and continued to allow Dr. Baguirov to sit on a board and guide policy and decisions to include a 3 year contract with the Superintendent, a 2 year contract with an Athletic Director, the awarding of a marketing contract to the highest, least qualified bidder, and his own involvement in the procurement process of a major contract, I also ask that all board members, the Superintendent, the Treasurer, and the legal counsel, all resign immediately- and allow the four new members of elected yesterday ascend to office immediately.
The public trust has been severely violated by these actions, and an investigation at all levels of government oversight need to be examined.

As a comparison, when I went to the Board of Elections to file to run for the County ESC, I was met before I even turned my signatures in, with a notice that I wasn’t eligible to run- failing to meet the residency requirements.
The moment Dr. Baguirov changed his voting registration, he should have been flagged as an elected official and removed from office.
May I also state, that Dr. Baguirov committed voter fraud when he voted in the last election from the Maryland Ave. Address.
This also needs to be investigated and charges brought.

I expect responses from The School Board, The Board of Elections, the County Prosecutors office before noon tomorrow about what their responses will be.

This morning, I called the school lawyer, who claimed she didn’t get it via email, and blamed IT issues. I sent it via other means. Word was, there was a flurry of confusion on Ludlow. Kelley was calling Baguirov. At one point, Baguirov had the unmitigated gall to ask if a voter registration is the defacto proof of residency. Yet, on election day, a DEA member showed up at the polls with a government issued ID- a passport, and wasn’t allowed to vote until she had a utility bill with her name and address on it.

By noon, Kelley had published a story that Baguirov had resigned. Next thing is that the School board is sending out notifications that they are pushing their next meeting out from the 14th to the 21st. Obviously, they should fill the seat with the leading vote getter Harris. Not so obvious, is that Lee, Rountree and Lacey should all also resign for being part and parcel to this fraud- and the other three board members elect should be able to take their seats (Mohamed Al-Hamdani, Jocelyn Rhynard and Karen Wick-Gagnet).

Kelley’s story had this nugget:

Local activist David Esrati accused Baguirov in April of illegally serving on the Dayton school board while living at the Butler Twp. home, publishing documents about Baguirov’s properties and companies. Baguirov denied that in June, saying he lived in the Cooper Place condo.

Esrati threatened legal action this week if Baguirov didn’t step down immediately, given the official switch of his voter registration address. Esrati said Thursday that he plans to follow through with a court filing, saying that Baguirov has been ineligible to serve on the board all year.

Which was the first he’d actually acknowledged that I’d accused him- but still no mention of where I published them.

The other part implicates not only Baguirov, but other board members:

Online records showed his voter registration was switched to the Meeker Commons Lane address before Nov. 7.

“I timed it for the November election,” Baguirov said. “I notified my (school board) colleagues and President (Robert) Walker back in October that I wouldn’t be attending the, I think it’s four meetings, in November and December. I’m de facto vacating my seat.”

They knew? And did nothing? But wait!

Dayton Public Schools board policy requires them to fill a vacant school board seat “not earlier than 10 days nor later than 30 days after the vacancy occurs.” DPS attorney Jyllian Bradshaw said Baguirov reported that he moved Nov. 1, so DPS is treating that as the effective date of the vacancy.

I asked for the documentation of his notification- and got nothing. And, what proof do we have he moved Nov. 1? I asked for proof back in April.

The real problem with Ohio laws in Montgomery County is that we only enforce them on the little people. My first entry into a political chamber was caused when the city of Dayton prosecuted me for putting up wood grain vinyl garage doors in an unmarked “Historic District” soon after I bought a shit-hole of a house for $14,500.

I pointed out on May 28,2017 that people who ran the Issue 9 campaign last year had a $42,000 difference between their closing balance and opening balance of their campaign finance reports. Last month, I asked for all of the campaign finance reports of our local county prosecutor- along with a list of all the campaigns that had been reported to the Ohio Elections Commission (as I have been repeatedly) as a public records request. Did I get a response from either the OEC or the MCBOE?

Well, yes, actually I did:

Request for Additional Information, 11/2/2017 2:07 PM

Dear Dave,

An examination of the 2015 Annual Finance Report filed on behalf of the Elect Esrati committee indicated that this report needs additional information. Please address the following:

Receipts or Cancelled Checks Missing:

All expenditures must be documented with a paid receipt, a cancelled check, or a bank statement showing that the amount of the campaign expenditure has been deducted from the committee bank account. Please provide a copy of the cancelled check or paid receipt (no invoices) or bank statements for expenditures over $25.00, for the following:

The report is missing one cancelled check:

Check # ? Payed (SIC) to: The Next Wave in the amount of $160.00 on 06/15/2015.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. This is an informal attempt to resolve this matter. Once the above described information can be collected, please send copies of those items to the Campaign Finance Department of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. You can mail those items or send them by email. Since the information does not affect the balances on the Form 30-A filed by the committee, there is no need to file an Amended Report. Once we have the receipt, bank statement or cancelled check, this report will be complete. If you have any questions feel free to call the Campaign Finance Department at (937) 225-5669 and we will be happy to assist you.

Sincerely,

Dave Landon
Montgomery County Board of Elections
Campaign Finance
451 West Third St.
Dayton, OH 45481
Office: (937) 225-5669|Fax: (937) 496-7798
[email protected]

Still no list of referrals, no campaign finance reports for Mat Heck, but we want to make sure your campaign actually paid your company for webhosting.

And if you want further proof of County Prosecutor Mat Heck’s legal incompetence, wait for the story that’s coming how he couldn’t get a grand jury to indict a thief from stealing large sums of money from two Service Disabled Veterans- despite the Dayton Police saying “She did it.”

For a final laugh- since none of this is really funny- on my threat to file the Quo Warranto- technically, I lack standing to do it. Sending the official looking document was a bluff.

Luckily, the idiots running the schools into the ground, aren’t smart enough to know it.

Bye, Bye Baguirov- you won’t be missed. Now, let’s clean house.

Kettering cop assassinates passenger in traffic stop

Kettering police Chief Chip Protsman tried to justify a murder by suggesting that Officer Jonathon McCoy was ok in spending 69 seconds telling a passenger in a car what to do at gunpoint.

It was Philando Castile all over, without the facebook live video from the driver of the car.

Kettering police officer Jonathon McCoy gave nearly 30 commands to the occupants of a gray Ford van last Sunday once he saw the front-seat passenger had a gun in his right front pocket.

What started as a traffic stop of the woman driver for not signaling while changing lanes and malfunctioning brake lights escalated into an officer firing nine shots at Jason Hoops.

Source: Officer warned suspect before fatal shooting

I watched the video, and wonder where the “to serve and protect” part comes in.

Officer McCoy was on a traffic stop. He approached the car on the passenger side and started asking for license and registration. He also started asking who everyone in the vehicle is- on a traffic stop. Last I checked, police don’t have the right to start asking people why they are in a neighborhood, or what they are doing.

(added 3 Sept) Ohio is a stop and identify state, however, even in this case, the cop was beyond his rights:

“Stop and identify” statutes are statutory laws in the United States that authorize police to legally obtain the identification of someone whom they reasonably suspect of having committed a crime. If there is no reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, is being committed, or is about to be committed, an individual is not required to provide identification, even in “Stop and ID” states.  (end addition)

We have a fourth amendment that protects us from this kind of harassment- well, maybe not in Kettering. If you need a refresher:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Then when McCoy saw the butt of a gun sticking out of the passengers pocket he panicked and pulled his gun, pointed it at the passengers head and said “You reach for that gun, I will blow your brains out, do you (expletive) understand me?”

My question is if it is legal to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio, what gives an officer the right to pull a weapon out, point it at someones head and threaten to blow their brains out?

Police apologists will say, he was an ex-felon and didn’t have a right to have a weapon. How did Officer McCoy know Jason Hoops was a felon?

They will say that Jason didn’t comply with the orders. I can tell you from experience that when guns are pointed at you, people are screaming at you, not everyone reacts rationally or normally.

They will say they had  “a signed statement from someone who said Hoops said was not going to go back to prison and “was willing to take out any cop that he had to.”” Yet, McCoy couldn’t have known that either.

And of course, the kicker, “Protsman said that what called “pipe bomb” making materials found at Hoops’ residence were still being investigated.”

So, according to Chief Protsman, “What I’ve seen in this video, I’m pretty confident in saying that this officer did a very good job on this stop,”

Excuse me? A man is dead, without judge, jury or anything but the judgement of one cop who over-reacted. If this is a “good job” he needs to find a new job.

“Stand your ground” is not for cops.

The moment Officer McCoy saw the gun, he should have said, to the driver, “can you please shut the car off, and put the keys on the roof for me” as he backed away from the vehicle, “I’m going to check something and I’ll be right back.” Going back to his cruiser, he should have asked for assistance.  At no point, should he have felt threatened by a gun in the vehicle, or in the pocket of a passenger. At no time, should he have pulled his weapon and pointed it at someone, it was a traffic stop. Mr. Hoops didn’t have a warrant, wasn’t suspected of committing a violent crime, he was a passenger in the car of a bad driver.

How big a threat was Hoops? Watch the woman walk into her house from the car with her dog. Did she seem scared? The driver pleads to Officer McCoy “please don’t do that” after McCoy says he’ll blow Hoops brains out. She wants to get out of the car- before he goes full Sgt. York on Hoops. Can you blame her? Obviously she understands she’s in danger with a rabid cop- and that bullets go through bodies.

Instead, because Officer McCoy was poorly trained, scared and over-reacted, we have a dead citizen. Even if Hoops had the gun in his hands, if he hadn’t pointed it at anyone, he wasn’t a threat when the officer came to the car. Hell, McCoy has to ask the rear seat passenger after unloading his weapon on Hoops- if the gun was real. So, toy guns in your pocket is a threat too? Did anyone study the Tamir Rice shooting? Another case where the cops could have stayed out of harms way and deescalated the situation.

““We know there was a physical confrontation where the officer reached in and grabbed hold of Mr. Hoops’ right arm, trying to stop him from reaching down towards the gun,” Protsman said. “This continues for a little bit.” Did Protsman, or McCoy learn anything from the Samuel Dubose murder in Cincinnati- that officers don’t reach into vehicles? Experts testified that this is a dangerous move by an officer. Why didn’t McCoy back away, and seek cover?

Because McCoy shouldn’t be a police officer.

Chief Protsman shouldn’t be defending McCoy’s actions.  And, the investigation of officer shootings should no longer be trusted to local authorities. It’s time for a federal investigation team, similar to what happens when a plane crashes. Bring professional, unbiased, detectives to discern the facts from the fiction. This is the proposal being made by the parents of man killed by a cop in Kenosha Wisconsin.

When a plane crashes, experts pick through the wreckage to determine the cause and make recommendations to prevent the next accident. The process is so effective that for the last several years, the death rate from crashes of American commercial planes has been zero. But no comparable system exists in policing — and that may help explain why you are far more likely to die at the hands of a cop than to perish in an plane crash. Police officers in the United States now kill about 1,000 people and wound more than 50,000 every year.

Of course, no independent team arrived to perform a forensic analysis of the younger Mr. Bell’s death. Instead, the Kenosha police department spent two days investigating its own officers before ruling that the shooting was justified.

Source: Why Are Police Officers More Dangerous Than Airplanes? – The New York Times

Even the way the Dayton Daily news frames this story, it’s as if the cop had a right to pull his weapon on a traffic stop. Have we forgotten the shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston N.C. where Officer Michael Slager might have gotten away with murder if not for a passerby video taping him shoot Scott in the back.

If you don’t think this pattern is getting out of hand, you aren’t paying attention.

If McCoy is the kind of cop Kettering and Protsman want to defend, I retract all my statements about Kettering being the best run community in the region.

If this is “to serve and protect” we’re safer without police.

 

It’s your constitution, protect it or lose it.

A conversation that didn’t happen: “Rosa, why didn’t you just go to the back of the damn bus?”

Another: “Patrick, are you sure about that give you liberty or give you death line? Is that your final answer?”

A letter that was never written from a Birmingham jail

What if the founding fathers said “eh, taxes” no big deal…

Sheriff Joe Arpaio did something very wrong- he ignored the Constitution, under the power of law. In other words, he swore an oath to protect the constitution and then used his power and authority to violate it.  Every soldier swears an oath upon enlistment:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Source: Oath of Enlistment – Army Values

Wording first adopted in 1789. Let that sink in.

Standing up to authority and calling them out on misbehavior is difficult enough when it’s a school board or mayor. When it’s a sheriff, you’re arguing with a man with a gun and a badge.

What Arpaio did was tantamount to what the Nazi’s did pre-WWII- stopping people on the streets to see if they were Jewish. You know what happened to 6 million of them. The idea of stopping someone and asking to see their papers is about as un-American as it gets- yet that’s exactly what Arpaio was doing- even after he was told not to. The issue is covered clearly by the 4th Amendment:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Source: Constitute

And if that wasn’t clear enough- they stuck another Amendment on-

Amendment XIV

Section 1 All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Source: Constitute

Sheriff Joe broke the law. He was awaiting sentencing. Then, the president pardoned him. Some people say, well other presidents have pardoned people- and reel off some of the more egregious examples- however, there is a process to this, and most of the time, pardons are in the works for 5 years.

Yes, but Ford pardoned Nixon is the next thing out of your mouth. And while there is no one who would have rather seen Nixon go to prison than my father, he explained it to me long ago- the trial, the distraction, at that level, it wouldn’t have been good for the country. Or as a friend likes to say, “the juice ain’t worth the squeeze.”

When President Trump pardoned Arpaio, he was circumventing the constitution, and letting a little bit of our democratic foundation be eaten away. Yet, we don’t see the venom on this issue like we do on any infringement of “god given 2nd amendment rights to bear arms.” What Trump did was give tacit approval to round people up without any other probable cause other than looking Hispanic. Substitute Black, Jew, Japanese and this should offend you. A lot.

Trump has already attacked the media relentlessly, calling it fake news. One of the keys to our whole system of checks and balances used to be a free press. Now, it’s the enemy of the president. Who will inform of us these transgressions- and who will take a stand?

Do we expect congress to do it? They’ve stood by for the most part, while he’s dismantled treaties that protect the environment, they didn’t denounce him when he stood up for Nazi’s in Charlottesville, and now this?

Remember, they swore an oath too.

This happened late in the day on Friday. Congress isn’t in session. You can stand idly by and let this slide, because, well, it doesn’t really affect you- you aren’t Hispanic- and old Joe, ain’t even the Sheriff anymore. But to that, all of us must remember the words of Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Source: First they came … – Wikipedia

It is time to speak out.

This post is dedicated to my friend and fellow veteran, Zack Sliver, who stepped in and up when others wouldn’t. Wishing him a quick recovery, and justice.

 

 

A year has passed: Stephen G. Esrati 1927- Aug 18, 2016

I slept on the pull out couch at the VA Hospice. Dad. made some noises around 2am. He wasn’t really there, the spirit of the man I knew had left a few nights before, when he ate his last meal- a double bacon cheeseburger from Burger King.

I left to take a shower around 8am- and to pick up Mom. He died while I was gone. The nurse said, sometimes they wait to die alone. I’ve come to accept it.

That last meal was really a favorite- partially because as a non-observant Jew- it was the ultimate giving of the middle finger to the orthodox. He even listed it as his favorite food on his profile on the Jerusalem Post. I don’t think he ever got over being hung by his cheek on barbed wire as a young boy while riding his bike on the sabbath in Palestine. Someone had to come- lift him off the barbed wire, which had been strung to enforce their interpretation of the sabbath. He came close to losing an eye.

The right to protest always had limits, but, when your rights were taken away, it was your duty to fight. That’s why, when the fight to create an Israeli state began, he set off on an illegal journey to fight. And when the ship he was on was boarded in Lebanon, and the males of “fighting age” were ordered at gunpoint to leave the ship, he went first.

Over the last year- some young med student, has hopefully, been learning how to save someone else’s life- by practicing on the vessel that held his spirit.

Me, I’ve doubled down on fighting the good fight. From taking on the school board with their catastrophic choice in superintendents, to trying to prove that Phil Plummer runs a jail unfit for human habitation. Dad would have been proud. He also would have told me, at some point, you have to take care of your business- and all this, is for the ungrateful, those who never pay attention until it’s too late.

But most of all, I’m thankful that he didn’t live to see the rise of Donald Trump.

What happened in Charlottesville last week would have him marching in the streets. Not necessarily about the neo-nazis protesting, but Trumps comments after. To him, words matter. The difference between politicians “distancing” themselves and “denouncing” Trump are very clear in his book, and in mine. To see Cohn and Mnuchin, two Jews, stand there, while Trump makes excuses for Nazis would have been the tinder to set a fire under his ass. That they haven’t resigned, rejected, denounced, the idiot in chief is tantamount to treason in his book- not just as Jews, but as Americans.

Speaking of his book- he wrote one on citizenship to me, for my 17th birthday- but started around the time of another national tragedy- the massacre at Kent State.

You don’t have to go very far in his book to find something that speaks to the issues of the day, and that in itself is sad. The more things change- the more they stay the same.

The American Creed
When I was a kid we still had to memorize things. I don’t know if schools still do this. If they do and if we had not left the United States, you might have had to commit to memory a short statement of what it means to be an American. I learned it in the sixth grade at the George G. Hamilton School in Everett, Mass. Even today, I can honestly say that I think its author, William Tyler Page, clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, did a fine job of expressing the ideals of Americanism in “The American Creed”:

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable, established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, and to defend it against its enemies.

Long before you were born, I had become convinced that freedom, equality, justice and humanity were not the operating principles on which the United States was run. I would not have been able to say that most Americans believed in those ideals, at least as long as it was cheap for them to say so. Every American paid some lip service to these principles every year.
To some it meant that an American had some inherent right to tell people in other countries how they should conduct their affairs. On the premise that the U.S. system of government was not only the best possible but actually perfect, Americans forced their ideas on other countries. That is why West Germany is a federal republic. That’s why the Philippines has a President and a Congress. And before Fidel Castro threw out the perfect system, even Cuba had it, brought at gunpoint by the United States Marines.

We don’t learn “The American Creed” in schools. We castigate people who question our government- which is less and less, by the people or for the people. Listen to Trump as he turns on the CEO of Merck for leaving his little committee- who dared to question- “@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S., Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!”

This, in response to: “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

I miss my father.

But, I miss the ideals of my country even more.

If you have time for a short read, please, take the time to read “Dear Son, Do you really want to be an American” by my dad. I’ve shared his gift to me to you for free. In his memory- if it just helps one of you to better understand where we’ve gone wrong, it will be a fitting tribute to the man who made me.

 

Fixing the jail doesn’t begin with the jail

The news today was that Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Sheriff Phil Plummer, County Commissioner Dan Foley and State Senator Peggy Lehner have a plan for an oversight committee to work on the Montgomery County Jail, where Plummer thinks it’s ok to pepper spray inmates while restrained. A ten person committee will solve all the problems. Not.

The first step to solving the problems at the jail is to work to keep people out of it, or to at least cycle them through as fast as possible when jail is not the answer.

To start off, we should look to Franklin County which has one county wide municipal court system. Judges are elected county wide, there is only one clerks office, and one website. Because they’ve avoided the duplication we have with courts in Oakwood, Kettering, Centerville, Vandalia, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Moraine etc. they can do somethings we don’t- like run the clerks office 7 days a week from 8 am to midnight. This way, people can work and get to the clerks office to pay their fines instead of having warrants issued.

Another option is to have night court. No reason to wait till the next day for a TRO, or bail to be set, with a night court- cases can be disposed of quicker. Same goes for having a weekend magistrate. Jail is for people who pose a risk to the community, not those who have other issues- like no way to get in to pay their fines.

Alcohol and drug problems aren’t best dealt with in a jail. Realistically, these are mental health issues, and even Sheriff Plummer tells us he’s not capable of handling psychiatric cases. It’s time to properly assess and build a county wide drug and alcohol treatment center. Yes, the doors will be locked, but, the people dealing with people coming off highs won’t be cops, they’ll be health care professionals. Ask Virgil McDaniel from Project Cure how to best manage addicts, don’t ask Sheriff Phil.

Last but not least, when it comes to bail and bond issues, we need a better system. If you are in jail and can’t make bail, there has to be a better reason than you’re broke. We keep people with very low bail in jail because they just don’t have the money, yet, we spend more in 3 days than what the bail would be. It’s sort of doing time for being broke and it’s not solving anybodies problems. Bail reform has been a major discussion in New York and California, where they’ve realized that by holding people for a week who live on the edge of poverty, it’s pretty much a bankruptcy in the making. Car gets repossessed, rent is late and they get evicted, lost their job, don’t pay their phone bill. Never mind they haven’t been found guilty yet- they’ve just been locked up. We need to find different ways to make sure people show up in court, and that incarceration before your day in court isn’t more expensive than the eventual fine or jail time.

We also need a much faster way to process prisoners out. How about a one hour guarantee or the bail starts going down? I paid $114 to get a friend out of the jail a month ago, and had to wait almost 4 hours for their release. That cost me time and money, and it costs the taxpayers. If you can’t get someone out of jail in an hour after the bond has been paid, there needs to be an incentive in place to get people out of jail as fast as we can put them in.

Make these changes first, and the committee may not have much to fix.