Daytonian Greg Hunter to take on Liz Cheney for Wyoming House

For those of you who remember the old days of this blog, there was a time when I tried a daily vlog. Back in 2010, when video blogging wasn’t quite the thing it is today. It was a point, counterpoint, with me being the left and my friend and neighbor Greg Hunter would be the right.

Greg moved off to Laramie Wyoming about half a dozen years ago, found a nice girl, and settled down.

Apparently, she changed him. Because last night, Greg won the democratic nomination for the Wyoming House. Yes, THE NOMINATION, because Wyoming, while beautiful, has a puny population and it’s one of the states that has 2 Senators and only 1 House seat.

His opponent in November? Liz Cheney, the non-gay daughter of former VP Dick Cheney who currently occupies the seat.

Now, if you think my chances of winning an election are slim, Hunter for Wyoming may be even slimmer in Wyoming where Democrats are about as rare as actual intelligent leadership in Dayton Ohio.

Hunter for Wyoming logo

He won a primary where only 17,603 D’s turned out, and 103,329 R’s turned out. Greg won with 7,942 over his opponent, Travis Helm who garnered 4,961 votes despite being the early entrant to the race.

Of course, the dirty little secret that Greg used to be an avid R- might have actually helped him.

Flash back to the most popular episode of the “Dayton Grassroots Daily Show, v93 Open Carry” from 2010 and you hear Greg say to me: “Because Liberals are stupid, D is for dummy, don’t you have a D on your head, I have an R”

Wyoming is a very Red state, the two Republican challengers each got more votes than Hunter did in the Republican Primary but, still didn’t come anywhere near close to Cheney. However, if anyone thinks anything is predictable in November, they are wrong, and we may be saying hello to Hunter in Congress and Theresa Gasper in the Ohio 10. Why? Because in the last election we saw a lot of voters say no to career politicians, and that anyone could be put in office. President Trump winning was as much as vote the bastards out as it was “Make America Great Again.” And for those smart Wyomingites who care about guns, god and legalizing pot so all their money stops flowing to neighboring states, Greg Hunter may be just OK with them, afterall, it’s only one seat… and it’s not going to be in the Oval Office.

Congratulations Greg!

Trump should replace Shulkin with Dayton’s Glenn Costie

Glen Costie via DEE MOORMAN

Glen Costie via DEE MOORMAN

When Bob McDonald got the boot from the VA by Donald Trump I was shocked. A republican businessman, veteran, West Point grad seemed like the ultimate VA Chief for Trump. That he replaced him with an Obama era VA employee, Dr. David Shulkin was a surprise. Now, Shulkin has apparently been sent to the Trump Boardroom, according to the NY Times:

President Donald Trump is considering ousting embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands.

Trump has floated the notion of moving Energy Secretary Rick Perry to the VA to right the ship, believing Shulkin has become a distraction, according to two sources familiar with White House discussions. The sources were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Source: Trump Considers Ousting His VA Secretary in Cabinet Shuffle – The New York Times

Instead of a high profile political appointee, why doesn’t Trump really shake things up, and put the guy that was sent to clean up messes in Dayton, Phoenix and Cincinnati, to the post? Glenn Costie was a VA lifer, working his way up in the system, and becoming the chief culture troubleshooter. Recently retiring from the Dayton VA, he was quickly picked up by Ohio Hospice to lead their veterans care initiatives.

Compared to Rick Perry, Costie actually has the experience in the VA system to make real, honest change.

And, he’s a damn nice guy.

The Eric Spicer diversion

In Dayton, it’s hard to not be separated by about 1.2 degrees of separation. Especially in political circles. I met and got to know Eric Spicer when I last ran for Congress and he was running for the Republican nomination for State Representative against the disgraced drunk Jarrod Martin and the eventual winner, Rick Perales who has his own issues.

Spicer came off as a straight-up, stand-up guy. Trusted friends told me that as well. But when I read the paper about his Termination from the Greene County Sheriff’s office for undeclared reasons, I don’t scratch my head at all, I know it’s political.

Greene County Sheriff, Gene Fischer, had placed Spicer on admin leave for 7 months before yesterdays confirmation.

“He was placed on leave after the Yellow Springs police standoff ended in the death of Paul E. Schenck, a resident, who fired more than 100 shots at law enforcement officers on July 30.”

according to the DDN today

For the record, only one person died, or was wounded in that standoff- Schenck. There is no lawsuit pending against the County for neglect or incompetence. Also for the record, Spicer wasn’t the highest ranking Sheriff’s office at the scene either.

And while I hate to report third hand, a quick search finds this blog piece with allegations of what’s really going on, from a blog maintained by a friend of Schenck:

inside information that Eric Spicer was being set up as a fall guy. I emailed the person who left the comment and here’s the bullet points of what they told me:

That contrary to what has been reported, Eric Spicer was not in command. His only command decisions were to call for a SWAT negotiator and a helicopter.

That Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and Chief Deputy Mike Brown were on hand. They were the ones in command.

That Eric Spicer was trying to remove neighbors to safety in order to eliminate the sense of urgency to kill Paul. With nobody in danger, Spicer hoped that SWAT and the other agencies would cease antagonizing Paul, allow the sun to come up, and let the professional negotiator talk him out.

That if that plan had been allowed to proceed, Paul would be alive.

But instead of allowing that plan to work, that SWAT was using armored vehicles to deliberately provoke Paul into firing.

That Paul was only firing when he was provoked.

That one of the two men in charge, Chief Deputy Mike Brown, smelled of alcohol.

That there had been complaints about Brown’s drinking in the weeks and months leading up to this incident.

via Eric Spicer » Kick Him, Honey.

For an in-depth look at what happened that night, the same writer, Benjmin Whitmer, has a pretty decent essay, simply titled “Paul Schenck” It was his follow up post about Spicer’s firing that elicited some people to comment and step up for Spicer.

Information that’s come to me from trusted sources tell a story of Sheriff Gene Fischer being an absentee Sheriff, who is happy to be a politician instead of a cop, and delegating down to his Chief Deputy Mike Brown, who was promoted when Fischer faced a challenge from former Sheriff’s office employee Charlie Barrett. Fischer circled wagons, handing out promotions to people to guarantee support for his campaign instead of Barrett’s, who was the union boss. What’s funny about this is Barrett, who was a Sgt. before having to step down to run against Fisher, complained of Spicer being a political hire:

Barrett charged that Fischer brought political buddies into the office such as Capt. (and now Major) Eric Spicer and that destroys the morale. Fischer was Spicer’s campaign treasurer for Spicer’s unsuccessful bid to become a state representative in a primary race against incumbent Jarrod Martin and Rick Perales, who will face Democratic candidate Bill Conner for the 73rd state house seat.

via Greene County Sheriff’s race pits incumbent against former… | www.daytondailynews.com.

As much as Montgomery County is run by a Monarchy of Dems, Greene County is run the same way by Republicans. It’s what happens when we allow every office to be politicized and patronage jobs to be the currency of our community.

Unfortunately, Greene County Dispatchers who have recordings of Brown calling into dispatch, sounding intoxicated, meddling in stops, or the road supervisors complaints of mos-management will all stay firmly swept under the rug as long as the politicians feel they can make Spicer the scape goat. Just remember, Fischer was Spicers campaign treasurer, before he turned on him and hung Spicer out to dry. Anyone who feels safe in their job based on the political winds in Greene County is clueless. Eventually, ships full of holes sink and take all hands, no matter what.

The fact that Spicer isn’t filing for disability like another former Sheriff’s office commander- John DiPietro, speaks volumes more about Spicer’s character.

Undoubtedly, many tax dollars will be spent sorting this out, after Spicer sues for wrongful termination, and years will pass as those in power hope to outlast his bank account (as long as taxes are collected, politicians will deny the inevitable and continue to waste money on lawsuits- I know from personal experience). In the mean time, Spicer will have a hard time finding a job using his 25+ years experience.

This is what happens when we continue to vote for smiling faces with big campaign war chests instead of the best qualified people- and have a media that can’t write the hard stories.

The public needs real proof that Spicer needed to be fired, instead of demoted or admonished. We shouldn’t have to pay to allow costly political executions rule our government. If the mainstream media outlets ask for the right public records, there will be some interesting documents questioning the inner workings (or non-workings) of the Sheriff’s office.

If some Greene County employees have some guts- you can add comments here safely and anonymously. Please stick to facts, and not personal attacks. You can help save the tax payers a lot of money and wasted circus time with your input.

 

Why we should shoot in Syria

I don’t believe that the U.S. Military would ever turn on our citizens, although Kent State is a glaring example to the contrary, and the case of the drones’ use in far away places to kill “Americans” who had pledged to wage war on their mother country. However, when a country uses air power against its own citizens, it would be nice if someone stepped in to stop what amounts to mass murder. That time came long ago in Syria and passed. It also passed in Darfur, Liberia, and countless other countries.

The U.S. was quick to react in Libya, because of course, they had resources that were important to the petrochemical giants who make huge donations to the U.S. Congress. Syria on the other hand, only exports some oil to Europe and hasn’t exported any since 2011.

The tools of war are taken for granted globally these days, with the U.S. one of the largest exporters of killing machines on the planet. Some war is good for our economy unfortunately, and therefore, we tend to look the other way when these tools are used for oppression and suppression. No matter how much money the sales of weapons systems bring to our economy, and to the military industrial complex, these always end up having a negative overall impact on our economy when you figure in the true costs of wars. They are always a negative- from the deaths of our troops, to the increase in costs to take care of our disabled veterans, all the way down the line to where you realize the lost opportunity costs of perfecting killing, instead of forwarding the human race toward a peaceful and bountiful planet for all.

In other words, for every bomb, bullet or soldier we “invest” in- the return is negative compared to creating food, health care, education, shelter for all. For all the money wasted in the Iraq/Afghanistan war, we could have obliterated poverty globally, through humanitarian initiatives and focusing on the good in the world instead of the several thousand who were represented by 20 odd jerks who hijacked a few planes and crashed them.

Syrians don’t deserve to have their government turn on them. We should obliterate anything that can fly against the people of Syria, and possibly, if we can locate them, neutralize any chemical weapons or their delivery systems. As to threats from any other nations of retaliation against Israel for our leveling the playing field in Syria- we should unequivocally state that any excuse for an attack on Israel will be met with hell being rained on any country’s military that launches an attack. That’s how owning the biggest, baddest military is supposed to thwart aggression by others. Fear is one of the most powerful motivators.

I do not believe that action against Syria should be prolonged or ongoing, nor should it lead to an invasion or occupation. It’s just about taking the howitzers away from the guys in war against people with slingshots.

If our country would only help the underdogs at home as much as it’s willing to go to bat for underdogs in other countries, we might have a better moral authority on the world stage, but for now at least, we should do everything in our power to stop a deluded dictator the use of chemical weapons and air power against his own people.

 

Who delivers in the snow?

Snow removal mission accomplished, City of Dayton, side streets

Corner of Bonner and Adams Streets before 8am Mar 25th, 2013

The City of Dayton Street Maintenance department delivered this morning- with a plow, hitting my street (which is three blocks long) and the rest of South Park. This is what we pay taxes for- and it’s the first time in a long time that the City has impressed me in a “snow emergency.” (Here’s a post out of frustration about snow removal from 2009)

Schools are off for “Spring break” this week, so it’s not causing a school shutdown, but, it does have an impact on local businesses who depend on customers who won’t come if the roads are bad. Investing in top notch delivery of services like snow removal has a bigger economic impact in one day, than the “investment” in a private business like Midmark– and is what the city has failed to understand over the last 20 years.

Clear streets are also essential for delivery of police and fire services, if the roads aren’t passable- fire trucks can’t get to a house fire. We also see a dramatic decrease in traffic accidents when streets are passable- all of which are keys to economic growth (unless you own a body shop or towing company).

And, onto who doesn’t deliver in the snow? The Dayton Daily news- can’t get their iPad edition delivered. Apparently the snow is interfering with their electrons getting to my house. I called, and they started to offer the dead tree edition- until I repeated “iPad edition.” Guess I get to read my old stories re-published in the DDn later today- if ever.

But, the real experts at delivery in Dayton today, weren’t delivering in Dayton- they were delivering on the home-court of a lower ranked opponent in the Women’s NCAA basketball playoffs, where the University of Dayton Women’s team went into double overtime to beat St. John’s 96-90. Congrats to the UD Women, who are the best deal and real deal when it comes to watching more hoops for your buck (yep, they sell tickets for a buck on televised games and $5 normally).

If you haven’t watched the UD Women this year, don’t call yourself a basketball fan. And considering that they only have 3 seniors this year, maybe you should be buying season tickets now (the games are all general admission- so I’m not sure they even sell season tickets- yet).

I’m almost tempted to spend the day shoveling snow for campaign donations, but I’ve got a ton of work to do, so get out there and do it yourself ;-)

(note, as I was finishing this at 8:26 the plow just went back down Bonner)