Disrespect breeds disrespect

Well, that was priceless. At the church revival meeting to hang Dan Foley and the “Dayton Together” plan- which has no chance of passing- I went up to ask a question- was interrupted at least 3 times in the first 25 words- and then had the microphone cut off-
to which I loudly told the pastor in charge- “FUCK YOU” gave the 1 finger salute and walked back to my camera, where I was asked to leave.
It’s really easy to be against something – especially change.
It’s hard to answer a question- but, not hard if you don’t let someone ask it.
The question I was attempting to ask- Why do we have the second highest tax burden in the state- yet, in the last 30 years- our police department has been cut in half- while private police departments have grown- paid for by organizations that don’t pay taxes- UD, Premier Health, Kettering Health- and why do tax collectors like MetroParks, Sinclair, Dayton Public Schools also have private cops?
Is this the best our current system can do? Is that why you can’t find a punk who stabbed a girl in broad daylight in a school yard- despite having witnesses and video?
It’s time for some kind of change….

I’ll have video uploaded sometime tomorrow. But, I’m sure someone has it up already…


Here is the video of the comments. We have 2:20 of Pastor Johnson telling everyone how this will work. I begin at 2:29, first interruption 12 seconds in. 2:41, at 2:50 second interruption, 9 seconds later, mic off at 2:53 that’s a total of :24 seconds.

I owe Pastor Cooper of Wayman A.M.E. an apology. However, Pastor Johnson of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church owes me one. Disrespect breeds disrespect, people. Cutting microphones off and censoring questions isn’t what we do in this country.

The OH-3 dem candidate forum recap

If Dayton had fiber for internet service, I’d have the video up from last night’s debate already- however, because our country thinks building schools, hospitals and roads in Afghanistan is more important than the critical data infrastructure for the new economy- uploading 90 minutes of compressed video will take all night tonight.

Since you can’t watch the video yet- you can read the DDN piece- which is guaranteed to take the thing that makes me look the most radical of the three (which isn’t hard- considering the candidates) and try to paint me as some kind of rogue. The reality is- my views on Afghanistan haven’t changed much since my days in Special Forces where the plight of the Kurds is the main case study. Afghanistan is a conjured-up country- that contains vastly different tribes who don’t like each other- where the main source of revenue is the drug trade.

You want to fix Afghanistan- you decriminalize opium– and let Halliburton start peddling it (they have no morals) and Afghanistan will be a peaceful country with a higher standard of living (until Halliburton starts buying elections like they do here) and the people catch on to it (something people are slowly catching on to here).

The cave comment wasn’t my finest- far from it-but, after listening to Roberts’ plans to spend your money to build a modern country in Afghanistan while people are losing their homes, their jobs, and their country to the corporations pisses me off. To hear Fogle talking about counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency as if he understands how we take care of terrorists (trust me- Special Operations Command is perfectly capable of doing the job, without the giant corporate investment in a country) was as if I was listening to Mike Turner try to explain away the billions we’ve wasted on trying to fix a whole country because 20 Saudi’s attacked us (and yes, Bin Laden still hasn’t been caught or killed despite the giant drain on our economy).

Here’s the DDN re-cap:

The three also differed on the war in Afghanistan.Fogle supports reducing troops involved in the counterinsurgency, while continuing to fund counter-terrorism efforts, arguing that the main goal is to fight the Taliban, not try to create a democracy.Roberts said building schools and infrastructure would keep Afghans from turning to the Taliban and other militants.Esrati opposes such spending.“It’s time to stop building schools, hospitals and roads in Afghanistan,” Esrati said. “People are used to living in caves in Afghanistan and building them schools is not going to change things.”

via Three Democrats in primary express contrasting views.

When I first told you about the DDN editorial board meeting and then provided the podcast– I made an observation about the other candidates- it still holds true. Yet last night, I was truly blown away by Mr. Roberts giving a new definition to the idea of a tax-and-spend liberal- he was proud to talk about how he planned to make former U.S. Rep Dave Hobson- our former pork king- look like an amateur. His ideas of buy now- pay later were so far away from what I believe is needed to fix this economy that it actually scared me. Yet, he still believes that “the stimulus is working, just not as fast as we’d like it to.” When there are 5 job seekers for every job, that’s not working very well in my playbook- especially while the people who tanked major corporations weren’t sent to prison for securities fraud, racketeering, theft, etc.- and in fact were still paid millions of dollars.

Here is the DDN recap- but, I think you’ll find the video WAY more telling:

Esrati said government should give no tax incentives to businesses and should not be in the business of economic development.

Fogle called for reducing the business tax rate, giving tax breaks for research and development and a one-year moratorium on the payroll tax for small and mid-sized businesses. Those contributions to Social Security and Medicare would be replaced with stimulus money.

“We need shock therapy,” Fogle said. “We need to put the paddles to the chest of the Miami Valley and shock the dickens out of it.”

Roberts said stimulus money should be used to retool plants to build fuel cells, wind turbines and solar panels.

“The job of government is to bring jobs,” Roberts said.

Several times during the evening Guy Fogle followed me- and graciously said he agreed with me. But, his rhetoric on taxation was the same kind of stuff you hear on right-wing talk radio- as if taxation is the only thing stopping small businesses from succeeding. And although it’s not my style to give the other guy credit in a debate/forum, I will say that in the whole evening Roberts did make one very good point- one which I’d actually planned to write about last month and didn’t- that a mortgage should still be able to fit on one sheet of paper. I’d been cleaning and organizing the house in preparation for my new family to move in and found a note I’d signed with Gem Savings for a second mortgage on this home in 1987 or so- one page. It was awe inspiring… (there I did it- said something nice about Mr. Roberts).

The reality is- Roberts kept saying that the stimulus was working and that we just have to give it time. I say when the homes in our neighborhoods are being sold at 40% or more off what we thought they were worth- and not just one, but 25 hedge fund managers pocketed a billion or more for a year’s “work”- the stimulus is working for someone else- the people who buy the people who represent you. Roberts cites the Roosevelt solutions of spending to end the first great depression- yet doesn’t acknowledge the key part was new banking industry regulation (including Glass-Steagall which I’ve been calling for reinstating) and that the government created jobs through the WPA to make sure people were doing something instead of starving and then rioting.

This is already at 1000 words and has taken 45 minutes to write. This is the kind of dedication and communication my readers are used to seeing. There may be others of you- who are finding this for the first time. This is the kind of communication- with the ability to comment – and discuss- that I would continue to deliver if you deliver me to Congress. Try commenting on Mr. Roberts’ site, or Guy Fogle’s– or even Mike Turner’s. In fact- note that Mr. Roberts’ site main function is a plea for cash- while mine is to inform you.

If you are wondering why there was always a bunch of applause after everything Robert’s said- it was from his family and friends he brought down to pack part of the house. All three candidates had handouts- I’ll add pdf’s of them later today- and the video as soon as it is uploaded.

I had some people come up to me after- and tell me that they didn’t think I was anything like what they thought I was from the media coverage- thank you. And, quite a few said that I’d won them over. I’m asking people who were at the forum- to put their comments on this piece.

Lastly- I’m not perfect. I sometimes attack people instead of gracefully attacking the idea. I’m working on it. Yes, I started out attacking Ellen Belcher at the DDN for her perennial leading question to me:”Why do you keep running and failing”- to which I wouldn’t dare ask Thomas Edison or Michael Jordan (failing is as big a part of learning as succeeding). I shouldn’t have made it personal- I could have blamed the whole DDN editorial board for their annual hanging of Esrati in their “endorsements.”   And yes, I was a little harsh on Joe Roberts (the crack about him talking about Chuck Whalen- Tony Hall’s predecessor- being out of office before Roberts was born, which was true). But, the purpose of primary debates is to inform voters- and to prepare candidates to face the enemy. As the only candidate who has beaten Mike Turner before, I know exactly what I signed up for. I’m not sure the others do.

I’ve now invested another 20 minutes filling you in. If you appreciate this kind of communication from a candidate- please consider making a donation: www.electesrati.com/donate

Here are the three candidates handouts in PDF form:

There was the question about what book made you tick- my answer was the free book I offer on this site- written by my father: “Dear Son: Do you really want to be an American” It’s a PDF- about 70 pages, well worth reading.

Mea culpa, editorial board stays…

Last night I engaged in spiteful, unfounded and plain mean yellow journalism- by reporting that the Dayton Daily News editorial board was getting the axe:

it looks like we won’t have to listen to the editorial board of Ellen Belcher, Martin Gottlieb and Scott Elliott anymore.

via Sayonara Editorial board: Cox cuts the brain dead.

If you watch Fox news, you should be used to this kind of BS. It’s not my style, nor my desire to spread mis-truths or libel people doing their job (however, when they don’t do their job- and they are receiving public funds- look out).

I wish I could say that my intentions were fully for the common good and not just me gloating on my soapbox, but, after years of getting treated like shit by Ms. Belcher and Mr. Gottlieb- I let my guard down and let them have a taste of their own medicine. It was stupid.

That all being said, there should never be a monopoly on editorial opinion. That’s part of the reason this site exists, and even if my readership is still a fraction of theirs, it doesn’t make my positions necessarily less worthy of consideration- it just gives the community the ability to have a semi-informed conversation about the two or more sides to every story.

That’s the part that’s been missing from their endorsement articles- without opposition candidates, we don’t have a reason to even hold elections. Because I or Gary Leitzell decided to throw our hats into the ring doesn’t mean we don’t have the credentials to run- or win (we met the requirements for turning in 500 signatures on petitions correctly filled out) it means that citizens have a choice. For a democracy to exist- we must have contested races for each seat- just as we have to celebrate and support opposing views. The Dayton Daily News editorial board has mocked challengers, questioned if there are worthy candidates still living in the city (note: none of the editorial board writers vote in Dayton) and generally, scared people away from running with their overly crappy assessments of challengers (and half- hearted “endorsements” of incumbents at times).

So, even though I question the value that they add to the paper daily, I’m happy to announce that we’ll still have their misguided mojo to banter about on this site and others for at least the near future. Yep, getting rid of the local editorials would be a “strangely bad” idea, even for a dying industry.

Commentator Jeffery was entirely right about the need for local opinion pieces, even if we do have to suffer these columnists uninspired prose. But, you shouldn’t ever see unfounded crap on this site- or plain reckless attacks again. Hopefully, I’ll have learned from this mistake.

My apologies.

No Debates, No Forums, and now- no recordings of speeches and putting them on the ‘net.

Screen shot from the Esrati video MuzzledWhat is Jane Mitakides thinking? I got a voice mail yesterday from the Warren County Democratic Party chair- stating that some of his members and Jane were upset that I recorded Jane’s presentation and my speech at the meeting and posted it on my site: Real democracy as practiced in Warren County- compare Mitakides to Esrati podcast

Let’s see: public meeting, public place, public figures talking about qualifications for public office. Hmmmm….. better not let anyone hear it.

I talked to the chair a bit later, he was a bit miffed as well, but thought I should have informed him that I was taping before I did it. I’m not sure that is a credible request in light of the previous paragraph. If this meeting was off the record- why don’t we just stop having elections and just sell the offices to the highest bidder (oops, we may be doing that already).

I responded that there is clearly a comment form at the bottom of my post, and if anyone in the Warren County Democratic Party wants to complain or comment- I provide that opportunity on my site. Try that on any of the other candidates sites. I also said if he wanted to forward me the e-mail Jane Mitakides sent to him about this, I’d be happy to post it as well.

I’ve been wondering how voters are supposed to get information about this campaign- and doing everything I can to help them. In fact, that’s what I thought political parties were supposed to do: hold debates, help candidates define the issues, support democracy and the freedoms our country was founded on.

Apparently something has changed since I read my fathers book: “Dear Son, Do you really want to be an American?” when I was 17 (and again in December of 07) – America is no longer a place where it is free to speak publicly or politically, without prior authorization by a selected few.

I’m sorry. I seem to be acting very un-American. Is it time to arrest me again?