When the Dayton airport does cut-throat pricing to cut its own throat

Newspaper ad in Dayton Daily News for Dayton Airport lot economy parking


11 Sept 2016. I have some more accurate numbers for the airport economy lot. I’ve updated the post to reflect them.  This is more expensive than I first wrote.

There is more to the story than a city issued press release, but, you can’t count on the understaffed Dayton Daily news to know more. If you read the paper you’ve been seeing ads by the airport touting the new lower rate, and on the airport access road, there is the billboard- all bragging about the new $4.95 a day on airport economy lot rate- from the paper:

Dayton International Airport continues its expansive program of improvements through new parking rates and benefits.

The on-airport economy parking lot has a lower flat rate of $4.95 per day ($34.65 per week) when travel is booked in and out of Dayton International.

The newly reconstructed longterm parking lot was recently reopened and is a short walk from the terminal (the DAYrider courtesy shuttle is also available). With a maximum price of $14 per day, the long-term lot includes more than 1,100 parking spaces and is brightly lit with new LED lighting.

From the DDN: Dayton Daily News – 2016-08-27

Source: Airport parking now has lower economy lot rate

What did they leave out you ask? How about that the price used to be $6 a day for years to start? And, there are only 2 competitors for airport parking: a former client of The Next Wave, Park-n-Go, and Westwind. In order to run their shuttles onto the airport and advertise “airport parking” both are bound by rules and regulations and have to pay a 10% tariff on every customer. So, when the airport forces them to cut rates, the airport makes less all around. In Dayton airport parking ads those are the “hidden fees” that in fact come right back to them.

Do the math. The airport has 1100 2800 spaces in the long term lot- meaning the city leaves at least $2800 a day on the table. Multiply that times 365 and you have $401,500 $1,022,000  potentially less in parking income from the lot. Then you add up the advertising costs, newspaper, and billboards, and maybe some TV- and you’ve spent another $50,000 at least. They average about $300,000 a month on the economy lot- or 60,000 parking days, so at minimum, it’s $60,000 loss each month, times 12 or $720,000 they are really losing by the $1 price cut. There is also the potential that with the low price, the city is pulling people away from their more expensive options which are $14 long term, $18 garage, $20 valet and $24 short term.

Dayton Airport Parking Configuration

Long Term$14.001100
Short Term$24.00390

Park-n-Go has about 1100 850 total spots, with only a few hundred 350 committed to the self-park economy lot at $4.95 a day plus .50 for the city. They make most of their money from their valet service at $9.95 a day (plus $.99.5 city tax) which offers your car ready and waiting as you get off their shuttle- cleared of snow- or with the A/C already running. That price puts them well below the city close in lots- or the city valet rate, but with a “white glove” level of service. The city also collects an extra $.99.5 from each of these- making PNG still cheaper than any of the higher priced city lots.

The reality is, the Airport has the advantage all the way, since they don’t have to pay property taxes, and they don’t have to make a profit. Trust me on that last part. All one has to do is look at the horrendous deal the city did to build a parking garage- that gave away the bottom floor to the rental car companies for free for 20 years- and then spent over $600K in legal fees to try to weasel out of the bad deal. (they lost). And note, half of the people parking in the three story garage, are paying $18.00 a day to park on the roof- with no cover over their car.

Speaking of bad deals, in case you didn’t see the other story about the Airport- we’re also getting screwed with some of the highest fares in the country.

The average price of a domestic ticket dropped to $361 in the first quarter, down 7.8 percent from the same period in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Dayton International Airport saw a drop in average fare amounts for the first quarter of 2016. Prices for airfare averaged about $427.59, down from $431.57 in the first quarter of 2015.

Source: Ticket prices remain high at Dayton airport | www.mydaytondailynews.com

When NCR pulled out of Dayton, one of their excuses was the lack of flights and the costs.

Maybe, the airport could focus on actually adding value to the community, instead of trying to put small independent business people out of business.

And maybe, we stop the insanity of having a regional asset, run by, and paid for, by a single municipality? The city of Dayton has way too many other things to work on, in the city- not in Vandalia.
If there is a real reason for regionalism, it’s that stupid moves like this, affect the whole region.



How the state can save half a million on the election that doesn’t matter

Doofus candidate runs as a democratic candidate for Congress for a seat he’ll never win. Drops out after the primary and before the general. In this case only one candidate files, and the Board of Elections thinks they have to host an election to confirm one candidate at a cost of half a million:

Steven Fought, the Democrat running in the 8th Congressional District, was surprised to learn he was the only person to file petitions for the race when the previous candidate, Corey Foister, dropped out.

“I looked at the vacancy in this district and thought the people deserved a choice,” Fought said.

Foister’s decision to leave the race was prompted by a job opportunity out of state. Had he waited an additional 17 days to withdraw, the Democratic Party would have been able to appoint a replacement candidate. Instead, state law requires that a special election be held, even though Fought’s name will be the only one on the ballot.

That me ans an election that costs taxpayers $500,000 will almost certainly reveal what is already known, that Fought will be opposing Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, in the November election.

Fought may cruise to victory in the Democratic primary, but he faces a much more difficult challenge on Nov. 8. The 8th District, which includes Butler, Preble, Darke, Miami, Clark and a portion of Mercer counties, is one of the most GOP-friendly districts in Ohio….

Local officials tried to reduce the cost of holding an election with just one person on the ballot.

Jason Baker, Clark County Board of Elections director, said initially he looked for some way to hold the special election without going to the expense of opening every precinct.

“Unfortunately the Ohio Revised Code says differently,” he said. “Here in Clark County we will have 50 of 51 locations that will be open. Regardless of how many candidates are on the ballot you have to have a full-blown election for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s one, two or 50 (candidates).”

Early voting in the special 8th District Democratic primary has already started at the board offices.Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who runs Ohio’s elections, considers this one to be a waste of time and money.“I hope the legislature will change the law to avoid this problem in the future,” he said in a written statement.

Source: From the Dayton Daily News, 2016-08-22: Candidate: Election cost not his fault

Same thing happened in Montgomery County about 6 years ago in 2010. Single candidate made it on the ballot because my petitions were ruled invalid. Candidate dropped out. Three candidates filed, and instead of opening every precinct, Elections Director Steve Harsman opened 4 remote polling places to pick a dem to run against Mike Turner. The candidates were Joe Roberts, the party endorsed putz of a 25 year old, Guy Fogle – a former broadcaster and this idiot.

Roberts won with nominal votes, and then got crushed by Turner. He left town with bills behind.

Trying to decipher Ohio election law and what changed is above my paygrade- but, there is precedent for not opening every precinct in a contested election, nevermind this uncontested one.

If this proves to be possible, I should get a Whistleblowers award for saving the state money. If it is impossible, I’ll be suing for holding an illegal election. Cheers.

Obituary: Stephen G. Esrati. AKA Dad.

  • Stephen G. Esrati post Baalbek prison, 1948
    Stephen G. Esrati post Baalbek prison, 1948
  • Nina B and Stephen G. Sometime around Aug 20, 1954 Wedding.
    Nina B and Stephen G. Sometime around Aug 20, 1954 Wedding.
  • Stephen G. Esrati
    Publicity photo circa 1982-84 for book by Herb Ascherman
  • Nina and Steve, 20 Aug 2014, 60 years
    Nina and Steve, 20 Aug 2014, 60 years
  • David and Stephen - Dragons Game, 2015

There has always been a file on my fathers computer “death and taxes.”

In it, were very specific instructions on what to do after he passed, which he did, peacefully and painlessly at age 89 in the Dayton VA Hospice this morning.

This is the obituary he wanted me to share.

Stephen G. Esrati, 89, a retired copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and a prolific philatelic journalist, was among the first American hostages in Lebanon.
He also worked on the Boston Herald-Traveler, the Celina (Ohio) Daily Standard, the Van Wert Times-Bulletin, and the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Born in Berlin in 1927, Esrati moved to Palestine in 1933 and to the United States in 1937.
He had two degrees in political science from Boston University.
He served in Italy in the 88th U.S. Infantry Division after World War II and was recalled to active duty during the Korean war. He also served in the Irgun Zvai Leumi, a Jewish underground army in Palestine. He was active in the U.S. Army Reserve through 1960, last as a sergeant first class in the 320th Special Forces Group in Boston.
His experience in Special Forces formed part of the background for his first novel, Comrades, Avenge Us.
Esrati and 60 other men were removed from a U.S. passenger ship, The Marine Carp, in Beirut on the day after Israel declared its independence.
His non-philatelic writings appeared in newspapers in three continents. He was honored by induction into the Philatelic Writers’ Hall of Fame of the American Philatelic Society.
He died peacefully of old age August 18, 2016 in the Dayton VA Medical Center Hospice. He is survived by his wife, Nina B, and his son David.

He donated his body to the Wright State School of Medicine. There will be no services.
If you want to honor him, read the free book he wrote to me in 1969- “Dear Son” and leave a comment, or pick up a free copy of his historical fiction “Comrades Avenge Us” at my office, 100 Bonner St. Dayton Oh 45410- with the promise of writing an Amazon review when you finish it.

Thank you.

Update: 19 Aug 2016 Someone said they were listening to my StoryCorps interview of Dad. Here’s the link: https://esrati.com/storycorps-interview-of-stephen-g-esrati/4813

It’s your tax money they are speculating with…

Tonight, the Dayton City Commission bought the hole in the ground where the Schwind and the Dayton Daily news used to sit. They spent $450K of your money. That hole still has to be filled in. The old Cox historic building- nope, they didn’t buy that. They left that with the demolition contractor, who no doubt will be the one they pay to fill the hole he left.

They also handed over the “Paru Tower” to the land bank- so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes to the schools. And Mayor Nan has the nerve to call herself the education mayor. Not only did they pay $500K for it- keeping it out of the hands of private developers who were willing to pay $350K for it- and pay taxes, they gave a commitment to the Landbank for $250K for “maintenance.”

Oh, and, they also decided to commit to a three way contract to build a multi-million dollar bandshell  on Dave Hall Plaza to give free concerts, and contribute another $500k.

All in one evening. And remember, they want to raise taxes in November.

Because this was such an epic night of mis-directing tax dollars to private ambitions, instead of the public good, I decided to go down and speak. I had plenty better to do, which is why I’m writing this at 11:15 at night, at work.

Here’s what I said- give or take, before the three minute timer went off:

It’s nice to be here in a real, legal, political meeting, where I know I won’t be rudely interrupted or have the mic shut off.

You weren’t hired to be real estate speculators. You were hired to run a city and provide services to our citizens.

You’re failing.

Former Mayor Paul Leonard said that he counts on me to try to keep you straight and honest. I take that as an honor. He asked me, “Whatever happened to being the safest cleanest city?”

And I wonder that too.

Because, frankly, I think the problem in this city is sitting in front of me.

How else do we have a police force that’s half the size, and can’t solve the murder of one of their own, over 16 years later?

Or find the murderer of SGT Major North Woodall?

Or find the cretin who stabbed a young girl on a school playground, in broad daylight?

Maybe it’s because you have money to buy buildings for which there is no public use.

Not just one, two, or three… but on a shopping spree.

There’s 601 E. Third. $450K

There’s the old Supply One on Wayne. $450K and you gave it away for $10

There’s the old Key bank. $500 K. And now- another $250K to hold it? Really?

And then there’s the Schwind and the Dayton Daily building which are now an expensive hole in the ground.

10 years ago, a local developer had a plan to turn the Schwind into student housing and still comply with the HUD deal. His plan cost $1.7 million then. You’ve spent twice that to tear it down and grow a money pit.

But, lets not stop there. We have a band shell. It’s in Island Park. Apparently, that’s not good enough for you. You want to spend half a million more to build a new bandstand… while people aren’t feeling safe in their homes.

You now have the nerve to be asking for a tax increase?

You’ve spent 5 million on empty buildings and a hole in the ground.

And I’m not even bringing up the $5 million plus you spent without a contract to secure property for the Wayne Avenue Kroger that never came.

The sad thing is it’s really hard to un-elect you thanks to our rigged charter.

But, it isn’t as hard to do a charter amendment anymore.

If you insist on spending millions more on real estate speculation and a band shell, it’s time that we start a charter amendment process to strip you of the ability to spend tax dollars for real estate for which there is no immediate public use.

Another charter amendment to stop you from giving tax breaks to companies that pay their CEO more than 10x what they pay their lowest paid employee.

To end tax breaks and incentives that aren’t equal opportunity open to every business, from the corner store-owner, to the corner office type.

And lastly, it’s time to stop the charade of allowing rich white men to control their own private police forces in the city of Dayton to protect their royal white rear ends.

If you want a cop that has police power, you get them from the City of Dayton, not the UD police, or the Miami Valley Hospital police or the Grandview police or even the Metroparks police.

They’ve all grown while our department has shrunk.

If you want to hire your own, you should have to pay a $50K a year license fee- so we can hire the cops we need so there isn’t blood in the streets-

Which I place fully in your hands.

So, go ahead, be real estate tycoons… because, I’m tired of paying for it, I’m tired of you supporting your supporters, like a certain demolition contractor, and I’m sick of seeing all of the development efforts focused downtown.

I would have continued with this:

There is often talk of West Dayton as a food desert. I don’t see you going into the grocery business…. Why is that?

Get back to basics.

For Kevin Brame. For Sgt Major Woodall, for the 7 year old who’s afraid to go on the playground now.

We, the people of Dayton don’t need any more real estate. We need you to protect our investment in our real estate.

It’s not about the empty buildings, it’s about the ones that still have people living in them.

Because we are supposed to have a government of the people, for the people.

But, I always have to stop at 3 minutes exactly- and they never respond. Because they don’t really work for us, or care what we say.

I’m going to be working with Neighborhoods over Politics [edit and addition- 20 aug 2016] with like minded people who give a shit, [end addition] to write the charter changes and to collect the signatures needed. We’ll be on the primary ballot next Spring, when Joey Williams and Jeff Mims and Nan Whaley will all be trying to get on the ballot for the fall.

If the voters have any common sense, and some good people chose to run, maybe, we can get rid of all three in the primary, change the charter to stop giving away the store to the rich, and actually get some things done.

If you are interested in helping, we’ll have a sign-up soon, but it might help if you either comment on this post, or at least follow it for notifications in the future.


Hara should be the new fairgrounds, run by MetroParks and the Convention and Visitors bureau

Hara ArenaIt’s time to stop playing around with the fairgrounds relocation. The first clue should have been when Hamvention moved to Greene County.

The second should have been when a local pro-sports franchise decided to sit out a season. Dayton built a really nice stadium for the Dragons and gave it away for 20 years. The Nutter Center stole hockey from Hara- very expensively, and then killed it because the building is a disaster to begin with.

Face it. Private enterprise can’t compete with public dollars- and we’ve done everything we can to put the Wamplers out of business, starting with the ridiculous tax burden which takes no heed of the economic development bonus they provided.

Yes, it’s now a shithole. But, dump $20 million into it, make it public, and voila- back comes Hamvention, back comes hockey, and who knows what else. Put the fairgrounds there too. Why not? It’s closer to agricultural parts of the county than downtown is.

And, Jackie Powell has it right:

Hara is a unique venue because it has an arena component as well as a number of different buildings,” (Jacquie) Powell  (president and CEO of the Dayton Convention & Visitor’s Bureau) said. “When you look at the Convention Center, it’s a different setup. The arenas are different too. For the summer months it makes it difficult for us to position groups there.”Furthermore, Hara’s 7,000-seat capacity was the fifth largest in the area — only 13,400-seat UD Arena, 11,000-seat Welcome Stadium, 10,000-seat Nutter Center and 9,000-seat Fifth Third Field are larger.

Source: Hara Arena’s closure highlights needs for updates at other Dayton-area venues – Dayton Business Journal

Turn it into a public venue, invest a little, and give it better management, and we’re all better off. Build a nice soccer/football stadium up there too- and hold regional games. Might be a great place for a regional olympic swimming pool too.

Book sales, Hamvention, and a hockey team are ready to come back, if the County and the fairgrounds board would just stop futzing around.

Make it a joint project between Metroparks and the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau for funding and ownership.

Problem solved.



What you won’t find the private police working on…

Dayton Daily News cutting about SGM Woodall Murder

Gone, but never forgotten. SGM Woodall, US Army Special Forces

Dayton used to have a police force of 500 sworn officers.

The city may have less people, but it’s still shaped like an octopus and big.

Now, Dayton has around half that. Still, racially unbalanced compared to the general population.

And, still, unable to find the killer of one of their own. You’ve seen the banners on the stations- “Reward” for the killer of officer Kevin Brame.

I feel bad that I’m writing this on the 30th- instead of July 29.

It’s my annual post asking to find the killer/s of Sgt Maj North Woodall. A decorated veteran of 3 wars who was killed in a “home invasion.”

It would be easy for me to put it in my calendar and get a reminder every year, but I don’t. Because I don’t want it to be easy. I don’t want to forget Sgt. Maj. Woodall, or the fact that his killers are still on the loose. I don’t want it to be automatic- I want to have to remember. I want to feel guilty when I write a post a day late.

That front page story from the July 29, 2009 Dayton Daily news hangs, yellowing, right above my computer- “Veteran of 3 wars, 85, dies in home invasion.”

You won’t find the private police at U.D., Miami Valley Hospital, Grandview, Good Sam, Metroparks, Sinclair Community College doing a damn thing to investigate that murder- or trying to find the killers. Nope, those are the police forces of the rich white folks who’ve been running this city for long before I got here.

We have money to buy buildings for half a million dollars for which there is no public use. We find money for paying a certain demolition contractor to tear things down. We find money for developers- and give away taxes for our schools to General Electric and any other big company that waltzes into town…

And now we want more income tax. Because, our friends in high places still have their hands out…

at least those who didn’t pack up and move to the tax free (for white collar workers only) mecca of Austin Landing…

Instead of charging a $50K per year fee for each private police license- and making sure our department still has the people it needs to solve crimes, our city is coming for more money, to pay for pre-K education (because Mayor Whaley thinks shes the education goddess of Dayton). They say they want more money for police too… but, we’ve heard that before.

What we really want is killers brought to justice.

For Kevin, for his sister Karen who will never give up. For Sgt. Maj. Woodall, for whom I hope to never give up.

But, maybe, just maybe, the voters of Dayton will learn, we don’t really want to solve those crimes-

because the victims are black men.

And we all know, black lives don’t really matter in Dayton the way rich white mens lives do….


When the city of Dayton is the public nuisance

In fact, this is such a brilliant solution to crime that the city actively uses this with bait electronics left in plain sight to entrap car thieves.

It’s not right. It’s not the right approach. It’s how losers justify the fact that they can’t do their job- they make excuses; “we don’t have the manpower” or “the judges don’t do their job” or “we’re out of space at the jail.” Our city suffers more because we’ve grown to accept mediocre government as the norm.

From crappy basketball courts, to crappy schools, to crappy public safety forces.

Just remember, while Dayton has lost half it’s police force in the last 25 years, UD, MVH, Grandview, Good Sam, Sinclair and Metroparks all have hired their own private police force in numbers to exceed the losses by Dayton. Yes, only rich white people deserve police protection in Dayton.

That includes South Park which gets 2 MVH funded police officers thank you very much.

That doesn’t account for what I’m about to share next.

City of Dayton public nuisance stickerEvery time there is a rash of car break-ins in Dayton, someone says “the cop told me to just leave the car unlocked and let them into your car.”
Last week, the city of Dayton came to South Park and told a mentally ill man to leave his home and not come back for a year.

It wasn’t a rental. He owned it.

Yes, he’d had some calls to the house by the police. Someone OD’d one time- on the porch. But, being a den of inequity and a drug house? By the standard set around the corner– he wasn’t close. Yet, the city, declared the house a “Public Nuisance” and kicked out the residents, made it a crime to be on the property for a year, and walked away.

Did they secure the house? No.

Windows are missing. A piece of cardboard in the door isn’t “securing” anything.

If I did this, I’d be facing charges.

Photo of unsecured vacated nuisance house in Dayton OhioWhat they’ve done instead is sent a message on a bright orange sticker to scrappers to “please scrap here”- remove all the remaining copper wires, copper plumbing, appliances, mechanical systems – anything of value.

Since the owner is banned from being on the property- he can’t do it.

Gee, this is how to protect our neighborhood values?

I’ve said before that you should be happy if you get burglarized – the most dangerous crime to your property is when a bank comes and forecloses on the home next door. No matter what it was worth the day the Sheriff kicks the tenants out- it will be a lot less by the time the bank unloads it- if they can unload it. If the scrappers don’t come first.

It’s been a week since this mess was created by the City of Dayton.

Let’s see if they can board it up properly before the close of business today?


The Democratic Party rigging system

Thanks to WikiLeaks we can now see how the Democratic National Committee is really not Democratic at all. They play favorites and have a plan to shepherd the flock into the ballot box to put their preferred pick in power. It’s an insiders game. And while many Bernie supporters feel gypped right now, wondering how all these bought and sold delegates aren’t voting their way- the Republican Party is sitting there wondering how a former Democrat reality TV star who had never run for office before just hijacked their party. Super delegates are the poison pill to make sure that doesn’t happen in the Democratic party.

The whole two party system reeks of insider politics. Almost every other “free country” in the world has more than 2 major political parties and has real differentiation between platforms. Only in the US do we get dumbed down parties where many people can’t even tell the difference.

But if you think this is only a national phenomena, you’ve missed the most important part. The local Montgomery County Party engages in the same filtering, the same preselection process. You don’t get to choose your candidates, you get to choose who they let you vote for in most elections.

We don’t have primaries in most local elections anymore. Which means we don’t really have a democratic process.

This can change. If you are a democrat, and you feel that the system has been tilted for Hillary, or you just want to make sure that people in a smokey back room don’t choose your candidates for you, consider running for precinct captain of the democratic party. The next election isn’t for a little bit, but it wouldn’t hurt to start talking to the dems in your precinct, and connecting with others who want to have a fair and just electoral process. Where candidates are elected by the voters, instead of by party insiders.

Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you are interested.

It’s time to take the politics back to the people from the political elite.

Killing cops: One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

I left the US for Israel for a short trip, just after the police shootings in Dallas where 5 cops died at the hands of a black military veteran. I said on Facebook, that I never thought I’d say that I ever thought I’d feel safer in the Middle East than in the Midwest- but, here we are in 2016 and that’s what was on my mind.

In Israel, there are guns everywhere. Soldiers, male and female, with M-16’s slung around their necks- some of the girls in a uniform with a skirt even. The fully loaded clip is usually either attached to the butt or barrel of the weapon- with an elastic band, or some have them on their belts, on their back left side- often with a dummy cord attached.

Then you’ll see some with the clip in. I’ve yet to figure the rhyme or reason to who does what. It’s almost as if it’s a matter of personal preference. And it’s not only M16’s- it’s M203’s (an M16 with a grenade launcher), or the new Israeli weapon- the Tavor, a badass looking bullpup. Often, the weapons look well used, and have night sights. Even on guard duty- soldiers seem relaxed and at ease, sometimes playing with their phones, with head phones in. It’s a creepy casualness while under arms.

There are also people in civilian clothes- carrying a pistol- in the restaurants, next to the swimming pool. You have your bags inspected when going into a bus station. There are zig-zag checkpoints where they ask you to roll the windows down and look in the car.

On the Kibbutz, I asked what a block building with no windows was. “Bomb shelter” was the answer. They don’t use those as much anymore- since every house built since 1991 now is required to have a bomb shelter built in.

Along the highway, you may see a pillbox at a bend in the road, or a small fortress. Thin gun slits, reinforced roofs. Even going into a restaurant area, there is a guy with a shirt that says “Security” in English sitting next to a gate to get into the area. No gun visible, but probably within quick reach in the small gatehouse he’s leaning against.

The Communications Center of the Palestine Mobile Force (PMF) was located in this building. On April 25, 1947, Isaschar Huberman and Rahamim Abalak , two Lehi fighters posting as telephone repairman managed to drive a car bomb into the compound. It's denotation )sic) led to the destruction of the center and several casualties among the British Policemen."The first historical marker I came across when leaving the train station from the airport, in Tel Aviv said this:

The Communications Center of the Palestine Mobile Force (PMF) was located in this building. On April 25, 1947, Isaschar Huberman and Rahamim Abalak , two Lehi fighters posting as telephone repairman managed to drive a car bomb into the compound. It’s denotation )sic) led to the destruction of the center and several casualties among the British Policemen.”

With Dallas fresh on my mind- I took the photo. Thinking, this is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. A terrorist attacks civilians, a freedom fighter, attacks men in uniform- combatants.

And then here comes Baton Rouge. 3 officers killed.

Violence against the police, Mr. (Gov. John Bel) Edwards said, “doesn’t address any injustice, perceived or real.”

 He continued, “It is just an injustice in and of itself.”

Source: Baton Rouge Shooting Jolts a Nation on Edge

Yet, the shooter is quoted in the same NY Times article from his social media postings:

“One hundred percent of revolutions, of victims fighting their oppressors,” he said, “have been successful through fighting back, through bloodshed. Zero have been successful just over simply protesting. It doesn’t — it has never worked and it never will. You got to fight back. That’s the only way that a bully knows to quit.”

“You’ve got to stand on your rights, just like George Washington did, just like the other white rebels they celebrate and salute did,” he added. “That’s what Nat Turner did. That’s what Malcolm did. You got to stand, man. You got to sacrifice.”

Gavin Long, an African-American military veteran- alleged shooter of cops in Baton Rouge

Like it or not, police are the easiest targets and the people who have been doing the dirty work of a system that has gotten out of control. Our nation has been divided since the “War on Drugs” started – a lame excuse for imprisoning millions of people- mostly for being poor and black.

The real targets own the media, the banks, the wealth and control the system. A system that has profited wildly by distracting people from their true enemies. Sure- we can say Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist, but his targets were the scions of commerce, of the military industrial complex tasked to keep war a multi-billion dollar industry. A stock market rigged to allow a few to pilfer the savings and futures of an entire country.

Unfortunately, the police are just the pawns in the game, and so are the politicians.

And when you think about it- the rich have their own police forces, their own safe rooms, their gates, their security. The cops don’t. They are just sitting ducks. And soldiers coming back from an endless pointless war are taking up arms- but, it’s harder to kill a bank president than it is a cop.

Americans are about to go to vote for a new president holding their noses. A law passed against keeping the last true hero of the people prevents Obama from running for a third term. He’s far from perfect, but a better choice than either of the two leading contenders.

In Israel, much like the US- I talk to US citizens who have been here a long time- they aren’t worried about abortion, guns, or bathrooms- it’s about Israel- and they are more likely to vote for Trump than Hillary. Bernie, the only Jewish candidate, gets a thumbs down- because he wasn’t pro-Israel enough- as if he could have succeeded anywhere near what he did if he’d let his religion be front and center.

Right now our country needs to realize that the first shots of a revolution have been fired, and there will be more, until we stop trying to sugarcoat the misdeeds of a system that has created a permanent underclass, of people without hope, without power, except by the barrel of a gun.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter isn’t new.

We need to have a real discussion of what kind of America we want. Because what we have isn’t working for an awful lot of people, and in the last 2 weeks, some have taken up arms to send that message. It’s up to real leaders to acknowledge it and respond appropriately.

We have two choices: create a siege mentality, and set up security gates, ID Checks, and lose any semblance of the freedoms we swore allegiance to, or begin to level the playing field- putting the real criminals in prison and letting the pawns out.

Philandro Castile was the symbol, of a revolution. An everyday guy, who was loved in his little world, who had been systematically singled out by a society for little infractions, that turned into a death sentence. Meanwhile, the Wall Street criminals, who stole our pensions, our homes, our tax dollars and ruined the global economy- causing job losses and global instability- walk scott free.

It was never gun ownership that gave you freedom, it was what you do with one.

Gavin Long may think he’s a freedom fighter, but he missed the real targets.

We don’t need anymore police killed. Rome has been burning for a while. It’s time to take down the emperors, not their soldiers.

An apology, and who really gave Westwood the finger

A bit of time has passed since I gave the single finger salute, yelled an expletive and left a West side church with an escort.

That night, I went and composed a letter of apology to the pastor at Wayman Chapel AME and sent it. It was copied to a few people who also know the pastor,  to make sure he got wind of it.

Here it is:

From: David Esrati <[email protected]>
Date: May 9, 2016 at 9:34 PM
To: [email protected]
CC: …..
Subject: My sincere apologies

Pastor Cooper,
I owe you, and the good people of Wayman Chapel a deep apology. There is no excuse for what came out of my mouth in your church.
I’ve been to Wayman many times- and have almost always felt welcome.
The reason I say almost, is I’ve been told several times at candidates events not to video the event- which I find curious, because I thought we held these events to inform the public.
What happened tonight was something that’s never been done to me in 26 odd years of being in local politics.
I’ve spoken in chambers, I’ve spoken in churches, in neighborhood meetings.
I’ve handled hecklers. I’ve been called names. I’ve even been arrested- because I stood up when no one else would- but, I’ve never had a microphone cut off- and been given such a smug response.
That is an issue I have with Pastor Johnson. I would welcome your guidance in mediation on this matter.
Churches are special places-
places where people come to heal, to come together- not to censor and disrespect.
I had no business saying what I said-
I should have been a bigger man-
but, I wasn’t.
For that I’m deeply sorry.
I hope you can accept my apology.

my cell is 937-

To this day, no response at all.

An email on official City of Dayton letterhead from Nan Whaley to a public political meeting about the defunct regionalization meetingAt the third meeting, held in a Trotwood church on June 6th, I was met in the parking lot by a lot of the same people who surrounded me at Wayman- sporting new “Wayman Security Team” t-shirts. They wouldn’t let me into the public meeting with my camera to hear the speeches of the politicians explaining why they had held two meetings about a regionalization plan that they had already managed to subvert- long before the meetings. The invite on city letterhead from Mayor Nan Whaley is at right. I stood outside and held my cell phone to record it. I pointed out to many public officials as they entered that this wasn’t a legal public meeting. Right up until three Trotwood police cruisers showed up, and I was told to leave the “private property.”

And, btw, if I wasn’t white, I’m sure I wouldn’t get away to talking to these officers the way I did, even though I was totally within my rights.

Using churches for political meetings is a violation of the Johnson amendment.

Organizations recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code are subject to limits or absolute prohibitions on engaging in political activities and risk loss of tax exempt status if violated.[3] Specifically, they are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office.[4][5]

This was clearly a political meeting and an attempt to intervene in elections, especially when a member of the press is banned. For years, we’ve let the Black Ministerial Alliance be a part of the political process in Dayton when we shouldn’t. And, if one looks at the conditions of the West Side, the people of West Dayton should be asking themselves twice why these men of the cloth are the ones driving the late model Benz’s while their flock is living next to a drug, whore or vacant and dilapidated house.

My neighborhood has seen steady improvements in property values over the 30 years I’ve lived here and been a part of my community, South Park. Pastor Cooper had yet another shooting outside his  church’s front door last night on Leland Avenue in Westwood- recently called  out in the Dayton Daily news as the most troubled neighborhood in the city and where property values have plummeted.

The difference between Pastor Cooper and Pastor Johnson and me? I actually know and go to their neighborhoods. I believe actions speak louder than words.

The real question is what are the political geniuses of Dayton who sponsored this meeting up to? Why did they hold three meetings when they knew this plan was already toast? What was their goal in stirring the pot?

Regionalization is a very serious subject and one that needs to be addressed. These meetings, which I put on Youtube, were all about what they were against, not what they are for. They have no plan, other than to stick their heads in the mud and reject any change. The status quo is fine by them.

I went to the meetings so that the public would have full unfettered access to what was said.

Why haven’t the organizers posted video? Where is their website with a discussion of the issues? What are their plans to improve conditions in the very neighborhood where they stood and preached at will about the evils of the only regional plan on the table.

And, why would they have meetings in churches, run by pastors, if this is publicized on official city letterhead?

If you ask me, the people who lead these meetings should be the ones apologizing for their failures to the people of Westwood, for letting the community rot, while proclaiming that they are fit to lead this community.

And in the end, I’m the bad guy…