Monday, June 30, 2003

Fame, What Is It Good For?
Jerry Springer appears to think his fame, or infamy, derived from this television sideshow could help the Democratic Party if he is elected to the U.S. Senate from here in Ohio. If Jerry wins, I am moving to Kentucky. I will not be any better off, Jerry will not control on the State or local government, but the embarrassment of being from Ohio would then eclipse that of being from Kentucky. Wouldn’t Jerry fit in better in Kentucky anyway? Why doesn’t he run there instead?
Slippery Slope
The Cincinnati Post's editorial today covered last Thursday's Sodomy ruling. The Post wants us to listen to the screed of Justice Salia's dissent as some kind of warning that allowing the Supreme Court to trump a legislature will bring about lawlessness. The hidden problem here is a more stodgy reading of history. The Post wants to focus on the fact that sodomy was considered "wrong" historically in this country, which was true. So was slavery. So was refusing women the right to vote. So was the right of the state to control a woman's body.

The constitution is not rigid. It is ebbs and flows. It is a living and breathing document. It also is there to protect the minority from the tyranny of the mob. The right of privacy is a fundamental right of American Society. "A man's home is his Castle" is an old and true maxim. What you do in your bedroom is a not for the government to concern it self as long as no one is harmed. It is the duty of the government to prevent an oppressive majority religion from using its set of behavior rules as the basis to force the entire populace to comply with its teachings. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is not codified law in this country, but the sentiment surely applies and so does the 14th Amendment.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Nick Spencer on Racial Diversity
Charter Committee City Council candidate Nick Spencer wrote a guest column in Sunday's Enquirer. Nick comes out in strong support of diversity and in big support of the repeal of Article 12, the anti-homosexual city charter clause. Nick calls for whites to spend sometime in predominantly Black neighborhoods. I agree with this idea, it can open people up to new experiences. I suggest Blacks do the same thing though too. Many say White people do not know enough about Blacks, beyond stereotypes. I think the same is true about Blacks. They are just as guilty of only seeing stereotypes, and can use some diversity too. Everyone needs to a know more about the way other people live their lives. Once they do, I think they will discover we all generally live similar lives, with only subtle differences.
Nate Livingston and Amanda Mayes Arrested
Both co-chairs of the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati were arrested while protesting a concert taking place at the Cincinnati Zoo Sunday. WLWT reported that an altercation with a concert goer allegedly took place, which resulted in a police officer suffering minor injuries. Livingston has been charged with Misdemeanor Assault, Resisting Arrest, and Disorderly conduct. Mayes was charged with Resisting Arrest.

According to Michael McDonald and The Neville Brothers were scheduled to perform at the Wild Nights at the Zoo Concert Series.

Katharine Hepburn 1907-2003
There has been no better motion picture actress than Katharine Hepburn. Her best movies include:
The Philadelphia Story
The African Queen
The Lion in Winter

One of the last giants of Hollywood's Golden Age has past. My favorite of hers will always be "The Philadelphia Story".
XRay Magazine Has New Web Site Editor
In the movie "The Right Stuff" Dennis Quaid played Gordo Cooper. Cooper's famous line in the movie was "Who was the best pilot I ever saw? Well, uh, you're lookin' at 'im. " Well, if you ask who is XRay Magazine’s new web site editor, then I would say: you're lookin' at 'im.

No, I am not the best web site editor anyone ever saw. I am just starting out, so don't over react to my movie quote. I hope to be the best that I can be, but I will need the help of the XRay Print editors and staff to help me out. What does this mean for my blog? I hope it means little. I hope to continue blogging right along side my work at XRay. I will be honest that I expect to be blogging a little less, but I will try to stay as current as I can.
The Katie Couric of Cincinnati
John Kiesewetter provides us with a fluffy profile of Sheila Gray, morning co-anchor of WXIX-TV's morning news program. John provides a nice profile of Mrs. Gray, which for a TV reporter is not out of the ordinary. He does mention her husband, Ric Robinson, and summarized his career, but John left out Mr. Robinson's horrible run as early afternoon talk radio host on WLW-AM. Ric was a horrible host. Now, I have a low opinion of most talk radio hosts, but Ric was the worst WLW has put on as a regular host that I ever heard. He lasted several months, but Bill Cunningham was moved to the afternoons, which, I hate to admit, was an improvement.

All in all Sheila is a light, bubbly person, who like Katie Couric can be very very annoying. She does what she does well. Morning shows are just infotainment now a days, but it is good that her show is local. It provides local people more opportunity to reach the local audience directly. Katie Couric can't do that. As long as people understand what they are watching is mostly entertainment, mixed with some news, then I hope 19 in the Morning continues providing live locally based content as long as Raycom finds it profitable.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Dennis Miller: Latest Horse's Ass
When did Dennis Miller loose all credibility? Is he a born again Christian now too? He once was a good comic who was on the rational side of the society, but now he has drunk the kool-aide.

I have no problem with people being conservatives, but Dennis Miller used to see all politicians as bullshit artists. Somehow Bush is not a bullshiter? I know that hardcore conservatives worship Bush, so they buy into his propaganda, but Miller had some credibility with a pox on both your houses attitude, trusting no one. How can Miller, a smart man, trust Bush? I do not get it.

His career is now toast. It is one thing to give money to the GOP, or even openly support socially moderate Republicans, but to shill for the right wing's messiah is the kiss of death in Hollywood. I don't see Miller as winning over the hard-core GOP crowd either. He was hated by the Budweiser crowd on Monday Night Football, so I don't see the hardcore Freeper crowd coming out in droves now that Dennis is Bush's toast master. I guess he will have to scrap the Ambrose Bierce and Immanuel Kant jokes, and stick with the "death to Democrats" crowd pleasers. That's the news, and I am outta here!

UPDATE: Andrew Cline at comments on Miller's addition to the campaign.
Bush Needs $incinnati
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
"Of the top 20 most lucrative ZIP codes for Bush's 2000 campaign, three were in Cincinnati. The one that provided the most money was 45243 - Indian Hill, the verdant home of the Tristate's elite. "
One would think this kind of support would bring more federal dollars back to this area, but it doesn't. Because this area is so one party dominated, none of the local congressman, Chabot and Portman, need to bring home the bacon. The GOP does not have to do anything to get their man elected in this reigon, beyond putting a name on the ballot, airing a few commericals, and making the Democrat look like a baby killing communist. I think GOP City Councilman Chris Monzel might be taking a page from that playbook. I expect his West Sider ploy to come up after Council's summer recess.
New Gen X Enquirer Columnist
I am guessing at Maggie Downs' age based on references in her first Enquirer column yesterday. I applaud a younger voice in the Enquirer. A vast majority of Enquirer columnists are well over 40 years old, leaving their perspective on society rooted before the rise of MTV or the personal computer. My only other comments on Maggie dealt with a story she wrote back in January for the Enquirer. My comments were not well received by at least one friend or co-worker of hers. I enjoyed her light take on Cincinnati. I look forward to reading her takes on Cincinnati culture. I hope she checks out XRAY Magazine to locate some of that culture.
Bronson's Sex Obsession
It seems like every other column from Peter Bronson lately has been about sex in one way or another. He is on a porn crusade one day, and today he is worried about "sex-offenders" living in OTR.
Enquirer Responds to FOP Charges
Well, not directly, but via a small article in their Tristate A.M. Report.
Police group says it wants reporter fired

The Fraternal Order of Police demanded the firing of a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Friday over allegations regarding local restaurateur Jeff Ruby.

The reporter, acting on a tip, had asked Ruby if he offered free meals to police investigating his son.

But Ruby never made the offer, he and the FOP said in a joint news conference Friday. FOP Vice President Keith Fangman alleged that the reporter fabricated the tip to get Ruby to comment on charges against his son.

Brandon Ruby, 19, was indicted June 10 on charges of aggravated rioting and attempted arson in connection with a Cinco de Mayo party near the University of Cincinnati that got out of control.

Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan said: "A reporter asked some questions about some rumors we had heard. But there didn't appear to be anything to the story, so we dropped it."
So the Enquirer stands by their reporter, and presumably will not fire Robert Anglen. He was doing his job and asking about a rumor. The Enquirer did not report the rumor, the FOP reported the rumor. Ruby's image has been damaged, not by the press, but by the police. I am torn by the placement of this story in the newspaper. I would have made it a bigger story; one standing alone, but keeping it low key is an interesting PR choice. I think this will put an end to the story. Fangman got his TV coverage. Ruby got is reputation as a less than honest person reinforced, and the Enquirer is slightly embarrassed. A good news day for Cincinnati.

War in Iraq
Oliver Willis provides a link to AlterNet's 10 Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq. Sex, lies, and WMD, what a combo. Billmon has found the king of all revisionist Historians.

Friday, June 27, 2003

A Steak for a Break II
WCPO has an updated story with an interview with Jeff Ruby. Also, the video of the press conference is here. This whole story makes no sense. Why they hell did the FOP get involved? Why did they call the press conference? The Enquirer did not even print a story on the topic. It appears Fangman has the need to stick it to the reporter alleged to be involved, Robert Anglen. According to Fangman the reporter was interviewed by the Internal investigation. Fangman is full of shit here. There is no reason to hold a press conference, except to tar the local press. Fangman has some kind of personal grudge against this reporter, his "unnamed" sources, and the entire Enquirer. Fangman must not like it when he reads stories with like these:
Police review themselves when citizens complain
Profiling settlement approved Don't shoot the messenger on that one, Fangman.
Angry crowd demands answers
Police, fire chief selection questioned
Initial findings may not support officer's actions
Feds study police practices
I guess anyone reporting anything negative about the Cincinnati Police gets attacked by the FOP. Fangman disgusts me. He lays it on thick with is weepy odes to his "fallen" detectives, that NO ONE WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IF HE HAD NOT HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE.

It will be interesting to the Enquirer's reaction to this. Their comment as relayed in the WCPO story reads:
The Enquirer never published anything about what the FOP and Ruby claim happened and they released this statement saying the "reporter asked some questions and we determined there was no story...that was the end of it."
I have to laugh at one big point. What I guess happened here was that the report had a guess what might have happened and tried to fish out a response. He may have been on to something, but it was surely covered up by now. This tactic is what police and prosecutors do all the time. The lie and manipulate suspects into reacting and making a mistake. The reporter did the same thing. Anglen does not deserve to be fired for doing what police do every day. He may need to question his instincts or in case he was right, he better learn how to get his sources to be firmer, before going in to get the reaction quote from subject of his reporting.
Enquirer Weekend Memos
Let it be known for ever that Linda Cagnetti, Enquirer Editorial Board Member, does not support the right to choose:
"As long as abortion on demand is legal, the more informed everybody is about it, the better. Women making this 'choice' especially need to know everything that's known. "
Ms. Cagnetti supports the recent efforts of Norma McCorvey to try and restart the Roe v. Wade case. McCorvey was the "Roe" of that case, seeking an abortion. She has since become the poster woman of the fanatical anti-abortion movement. There is nothing to debate, at least rationally, about abortion. The positions are well known. What Ms. Cagnetti seeks to do is to put the issue in the media and then have the propagandists do their job. That is not debate, that is verbal mud wrestling.
Sticks Nix Blix Fix
Most people in middle America of the conservative persuasion have a low opinion of U.N. inspector Hans Blix. The Cincinnati Post, on the other hand, thinks Blix was not the fool the Bush Administration and its supporters supposed he was.
A Steak for a Break?
Did Jeff Ruby try to bribe police officers into dropping charges or overlooking actions by his son Brandon? WCPO reports that a reporter from the Enquirer has a source or sources inside the police department stating that Ruby offered police officer(s) with gift certificates to his restaurants in exchange for dropping the charges against his son. Lincoln Ware of 1230 the Buzz stated on his radio program that the Enquirer reporter indicated that Ruby offered 2 detectives the gift certificates. No information on the names of reporter's or the detectives/officers in question.

The big oddity that caught my eye was that Ruby and the FOP held what appeared to have given a joint press conference to deny these allegations. Why would the FOP get involved? Is Jeff Ruby a big FOP booster? My only speculation is that the officers in question did accept the gift certificates for reduced charges, but not a full walk. Why would Ruby hold a press conference when WCPO indicates, "Ruby has filed a complaint against the officers." If Ruby has filed a complaint against any officer, why is the FOP helping him?

Kudos goes out to WCPO's web reporters for adding this caveat to the story:
Disclosure: The Enquirer is the television and Internet partner of WCPO.
In the world of media consolidation and partnerships, it is good to see some honesty prevails to help uphold the ethical standards journalism.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Brownshirts Love Art Too
Not only do local police have a thing for porn, but Steve Ramos reports in CityBeat about the police raid on the Semantics Gallery. Police were out looking for a Rave, to bust, and found a group of artists and art lovers drinking beer. What a crime. What kind of artist drinks beer? If they had been drinking wine, we would never have read about this. If the police don't waste man power on keeping the arts community in line with their stereotypical drink of choice, who will?
Corporate Blackmail Works
The Cincinnati Post reports that City Council has approved a deal to build a $15 million dollar parking garage for use by Kroger's downtown HQ. Kroger had, in so many words, threatened to leave downtown if their parking problems were not solved. I guess their ploy worked.
Playing Chicken with Concealed-Carry
It looks like the all or nothing gun rights lobby wants to keep the issue alive to raise money and go for a special rights bill for concealed gun carriers. Punt now, and hope to elect more right wing crazies to the Ohio Senate or Governor's Mansion.
Cincinnati's Worst Racist/Bigot
No, it is not the police Chief, nor anyone in the Police Department. It is not the Mayor, who is gets a bad rap from "activists." The worst racist/bigot is not even white. There are several local racists who are as bad in their beliefs, but they not as much of a concern because they are not taken seriously by anyone. The worst racist/bigot in Cincinnati wrote the following letter to the editors of City Beat:Gay Play Should Be Condemned
The gay community in Cincinnati wants special rights and wants to be accepted as a new race. A lot of people say, "OK, that's cool, to each his own. It's about tolerance -- if you tolerate my lifestyle, I'll tolerate yours. Hey, that's equal and equal is cool."

But with the play Corpus Christi, the gays have gone too damn far (The Play's a Protest, Too, issue of June 18-24). I can't tolerate this shit -- excuse my French -- portraying Jesus and the disciples as gay. I'll have you know that Jesus is a black man, and He sho' ain't gay!

The nerve of those assholes organizing that play. It should be condemned by Christians and Muslims alike. I condemn it as a black militant, and that's why there's been a protest every day of the play's run.

Who will they portray as gay next? Will it be Moses, David, Solomon or Mary the mother of Jesus, or will it be Dr. Martin Luther King?

The gays have gone too far, and they can kiss my ass. No, I take that back -- they might enjoy that. We will not tolerate the Anti-Christ.

-- Gen. Kabaka Oba, The Black Fist
Kabaka Oba is the worst racist/bigot in Cincinnati because he can write this letter, but feel little heat for his views from other blacks, especially those in the black community seeking "social justice." I think Oba is considered a joke privately by nearly everyone in the city, but he makes great video for the media, great audio for radio, and great copy for the newspaper, so he is only condemned by the likes of Peter Bronson, Mike McConnell, and yours truely. You will notice 2 of the 3 are conservatives and only 1 (me) is a liberal. That is a sorry example for an ideology that claims to be the leader in fighting bigotry and racism. Jay Love recently began openly chastising Oba, but others on his radio station still give him airtime without rebuke. Other media outlets have allowed Oba to stand out as an activist, but when the KKK comes to town they are reported as evil incarnate. We have someone as bad as the KKK in our media weekly, but he is treated with legitimacy that allows his messages of hate to grow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Newest and Youngest Charterite?
Mike Goldman, Charter Committee President, greeted Nick Spenser as the most recently Charter-endorsed Candidate for Cincinnati City Council with this comment reported in Greg Korte's Inside City Hall column:
"He's extremely young, there's no doubt about that."
The quote did go on to praise Nick's campaign organization, but the opening blurb is hardly a great moniker for Nick to wear. Will Charter get more than one person on council this year? I don't think Nick has the money or the reach to win a seat, but a good campaign could pave the way for him to move up the Cincinnati political ladder into a good job and eventual political office.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

A Little Problem to Overcome
Woe is the UC basketball program. Yet another Huggins player has his day in criminal court. This time NBA prospect Donald Little has pled guilty to assault, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. All of this just 2 days before the NBA draft. Little, who is 25 (a bit old for a senior), may have to take any contract put before to him, and be thankful for it. The crime victim is reportedly suing Little for 1 million dollars. That is a big chunk of change, even for a professional basketball player. He is lucky he pled to a lesser crime. He was charged with kidnapping and felonious assault. Councilman David Pepper's kidnappers got around 8 years for their crime, and Pepper was not injured. Little should serve his time, and get out of Dodge, and be glad that he will still get paid to play a game.

Rest of the coverage: Post, WCPO, WLWT, and WKRC.
The Preacher Who Cried Wolf
The Rev. Damon Lynch III is crying racism in Forest Park. His son, Lynch IV, got a speeding ticket. That's right, a speeding ticket. He was not shot. He was not assaulted. He was not threatened with physical harm. He was asked to exit his car, and it was then searched. Jay Love, of 1230 the Buzz, said on his radio show today that Rev. Lynch was crying wolf. Jay Love lives in Forest Park. Jay Love knows of no one who has been racially profiled by the Forest Park police. Damon Lynch III is "pimping" his son for a payday. More than one caller on Jay Love's show asked if Damon Lynch would be protesting the next time someone else's child was stop by police in Mason or Blue Ash. I would expect Lynch to sit on his hands, unless he can grab some free money, or at least a little free publicity.

Monday, June 23, 2003

All Deliberate Speed has full coverage of several of today's SCOTUS decisions.
Trent Lott No-Show
Trent Lott was missing from Senator Mike DeWine Ice Cream Social yesterday, but that did not keep the Boycott B from protesting in full force, all 5 of them. The Dayton Daily News covered the event and talked with the protestors. A "Nathaniel Lewis" was quoted “We tried to get here earlier, but there was a lot of traffic,” trying to explain their late arrival to the event. I am not sure if "Nathaniel Lewis" is Nate Livingston's new nom de plume or if the reporter has bad hearing. The event was nothing special, and without Trent Lott, DeWine saves a little face. I wonder if Lott did not show, or if DeWine asked him not to show. We will never know that. I wonder if the Boycott B gang was able to all fit into one car or since they all are leaders of there own little "groups" they each drove separately. Nothing about them surprises me anymore.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Walnut Hills High School
WCPO's I-Team has a follow-up their story from last month where they claimed the Principal, Marvin Koenig, was not operating admission standards according to Cincinnati Public Schools policy. The new report brings up fresh allegations about grade changing by the Principal, another violation of policy. Reporter Stephen Hill also brought forth the charge that one student got into the highly regarding Walnut Hills High School in part to a financial donation the student’s family allegedly made to a new building addition at the school. According to the I-Team, CPS Administration officials may release more information on these allegations as soon as this week.

I do not know what to make of this incident. This is, after all local TV news. The issues appear to be singular actions. No evidence of wide spread violations was provided. Only a handful of occurrences were aired, so any violations reported are small and in any reasonable school system are understandable. Rules are not absolute. Sometimes things change for reasons that may make more sense than the dramatic I-Team music would lead you to believe. This issue of the possible quid pro quo is a serious question that if proven true should cost someone their job.
DONALD at All Deliberate Speed has added me to his blogroll, for which I thank him. I have to correct one thing about his comments. I live on the east side of Cincinnati, not the west. I don't fit in with the "stereotypical west sider." I am to the left of most of the City of Cincinnati in political terms, far to the left on social issues. I agree with him that Cincinnati is an important gauge of opinion in the Country. Cincinnati is basically the Mecca of mainstream Conservatism. We have our share of freakish reactionary conservatives, but most of them are Bush style Conservatives. I am not a fan of Bush at all, and most of his policies I find horrible, but Bush is not a reactionary. That does not mean he is not dangerous, just not as dangerous as the Free Republic crowd.
Calling All Local Bloggers!
I am compiling a list of local blogs from the Greater Cincinnati Metro area. I will eventually have a page of links listing all of the blogs categorized by category. If you are a blogger out there, please send me an email, or add a comment, with your blog address, email address, and a general description of what kind of blog you write. I will be happy to include anyone who may not think they are in the official Cincinnati area, so don't be bashful. Also, don't hold back. If you want people to read your blog, you have to promote it. If anyone wants to suggest another blog, please send that along too. I am not trying to create a master list of blogs, just those from the Cincinnati, Tri-state, or even greater Ohio area.
Enquirer's Concealed-Carry Coverage
The Editorial Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer has gone all out in coverage of the concealed-carry law that is slated to become law. Their editorial on it is a cheerleading call to action to try and reconcile the two bills passed in each in respective chamber. I will never know why people want this so much. Why do people feel the need to carry around a gun? How many people will ever have to draw their gun? I hope the number is small. If you never draw your pistol, why did you need it? I think the answer is that you are afraid. That is reasonable. We are all fearful of something, but most of us not to the point that we feel the need to carry around a deadly weapon.

The paper provides a good summary of the law passed by the senate, which has the governor's support. The Enquirer also provide two oddly opposing views on the subject. From Chuck Klein they get an extremist gun nut's point of view. Chuck is pissed that the Senate law tries to protect children. He wants an open shooting range so much that he is not even willing to compromise on the law and agree to a simple restriction involving children and guns in cars. Toby Hoover provides the safetly prospective in opposing the law all together. I agree with Mr. Hoover on his stance on the law and I think that carrying around guns on our streets does nothing but increase the ego of the gun carrier. If there is a reasonable need for an individual to carry a gun on their person, I am open to laws allowing people to carry a gun. Reason could be as part of the their job, like deliver persons who are targets of robbers or people who have been threatened with physical harm or have specific types of restraining orders issued for protection.

The Cleveland Suburban newspaper The Morning Journal had an interesting editorial on Friday. They raised this point in their title:
"State lawmakers in Columbus can't manage to help more Ohioans carry a college degree, but they're hard at work to help Ohioans carry concealed weapons. How stupid. "

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Riot News Coverage
During the 2001 riots here in Cincinnati, with the exception of the on the spot coverage of 1230 the Buzz, local news media stayed well behind police lines, limiting coverage of the most intense periods of the actions. If you listened to first hand testimony or listened to the police scanners, you hear a war zone. The decriptions from a reporter for the Herald Palladium about the recent riots in Benton Harbor, Michigan confirms what the local press may have faced if they had ventured deep into the riots back in April of 2001. Some limited stories of bottles and bricks hitting news vans were reported, but nothing compared to what reporter Kim Strode went through just trying to report the story. As a side note the Herald Palladium, the local St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Michigan newspaper, has an interesting editorial about the police officer involved in the chase that instigated the riots.
Last Gasp or New Future for the Post?
The Cincinnati Post reports on itself today indicated they are consolidating their news rooms into the downtown Cincinnati location. From a business perspective, I wonder why this was not done years ago. I understand that Northern Kentucky residents was local coverage, and the Kentucky Post does an ok job of providing that, but being just over the border is a superficial element, that was only a symbolic tradition. I hope this buys E. W. Scripps some time to stabilize the paper. Rumor has the Cincinnati Post closing down once the Joint printing agreement with the Enquirer expires, keeping the Kentucky Post alive, but focused almost exclusively on Kentucky. If the FCC rules on ownership of newspapers and local TV stations stays in place, could the Post be sold to someone like Clear Channel? A news room connecting WLW, WKRC-TV and a new Cincinnati Post would be a conservative's dream. Would it bring new competition against an Enquirer/WCPO-TV alliance or just homogenize 3 news organizations into one? It is nothing but speculation, but is it plausible?
HERE IS Stonewall-Cincinnati's take on the Van Kuiken Removal from the Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church for marrying gays and lesbians. Small critique: this document needs a date published listed.
Bush Says Iraqi Weapons Sites Were Looted
So let me get this straight. Bush is now admitting that we know the weapons were looted? WTF? So the oil fields were more important to protect, than the WMD? We sent special teams to secure the oil fields, but no special teams in to protect the WMD sites? Do people have barrels of VX in their basements right now? How secure is that? This sounds like the worst attempt at spinning I have ever head. Bush did not even have to the balls to say in a more covered speech, he choose the routinely meaningless weekly radio address. This did not even make the 11:00 AM CNN or MSNBC top stories. Mike Tyson's arrest made it, but not Bush on the alleged looting of WMD. Nice, folks, nice. I guess Harry Potter was just to "big" of story to cover last night, so all of the reporters are sleeping when Bush breaks news.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Yet Another Religious Zealot
A letter to the Editor (4th) in Today's Enquirer got my dander up:
"Humanist ethics are subjective"

The letter ("Ten Commandments defenders don't get it," June 12) is part of the reason the United States faces a moral dilemma today. When the letter writer rejects the biblical foundation of morality that was used by our founding fathers to frame much of our government, he instead lays the foundation of subjectivity. He is only partially right when he says that "...Similar values and morals (found in the Ten Commandments) can be praised and taught in the secular humanist arena."

People should realize some of the things that humanism is offering as a replacement to what had been taught in American schools for over 200 years: Institutions with authority, such as governments, the United Nations, and the American Humanist Association can pick and choose what values should be taught. If that doesn't sound a little arbitrary, they can also modify, discard or acquire new ones whenever they like. That is the nature of situational ethics.

To make this system of morality more acceptable to the man who doesn't happen to like the 10 suggestions that some authority has forced upon him, he is free to make up his own commandments to live by. One is perfectly within the letter writer's humanist rights to do this, especially if they break with old traditions. But, if they are recognizably religious or old-fashioned, then you'd best keep them to yourself.

Paul McDorman, Mason
I hate to break some news to Mr. McDorman but morality and morals are subjective. How do I know this? Simple, I do not share Mr. McDorman's morals. His morals or belief system includes conformity, blind obedience, and well just plain old ignorance. I fall back into those states, but I try like hell to get out of them. I prefer not to conform because my religion tells me to for no reason I find valid. I do not trust a 2000+ year old books as anything more than fiction akin to Aesop's Fables or Le Morte d'Arthur. I sure try to reduce my ignorance at nearly every chance I get. Mr. McDorman on the other hand is missing a few things. Christianity is not the basis of our government. There is no democracy in the Bible. There are monarchies, kingdoms, lords, and masters, but no democracies, unless you want to count the Romans, but in the Bible they are the bad guys. The United Nations was created not by secular humanists, but mostly by Christians (USA, UK, and France). Life is made up of situations. They all differ. How I look at them and how Mr. McDorman looks at them differ. I would guess Mr. McDorman would handle a robber in his house differently than I would. He might shoot him, where I would try and stop him without killing him or seriously injuring him, using deadly force only if attacked. If I differ from you Mr. McDorman, how can you deny that ethics are subjective? We have laws to try and keep order in this society. Not everyone agrees with every law. Does that mean we should not have laws? Of course not. Should we have religious laws? Of course not. If you want to practice your religion Mr. McDorman, go right ahead, no one will stop you, as long as you don't force it on others. Teaching religious morality in schools is forcing it. I also remember something else that was subjective. For over 200 years people in this county own slaves. Because that happened for a long time, and worked well (for the slave owners) should we bring it back? Of course not.
BUZZ Boycott?
The Cincinnati Business Courier is reporting that WIZF-FM (100.9) and WDBZ-AM (1230) will be moving their offices and presumably their studios to Centennial Plaza on Central Avenue, which is across from City Hall. The move is slated to take place in October. The problem this brings is that both radio stations will be in the boycott zone. Will the Boycott Groups (A and/or B) modify their moving target boycott and not call for a listening boycott of the BUZZ and the WIZ come October? Is this a plot by the "man" (I guess I am one of them) to break the boycott? Is the BUZZ merely a pawn in the white man's oppression of the black man? (cough, cough). It couldn't have anything to do with Lincoln Ware wanting to save gas money by not having to drive to City Council meetings, could it?

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Trent Lott's Ohio
How soon do we forget? Senator DeWine`s Annual Ice Cream Social is detailed as follows:
Date: June 22, 2003
Time: 1PM-5PM
Special Guests: Senator and Mrs. Trent Lott
Location: DeWine Farm, Cedarville
Contact: Barbara Schenck (937) 376-3080
The Boycott B (CJC) has issued a press release stating they will be protesting the event. Nate has invited the likes of Rev. Al. Sharpton, Kweisi Mfume, Jerry Springer and Ohio Senate candidate Eric Fingerhut, to join the protest. Odds are that Sharpton, Mfume, and Springer will be no shows, but if Eric Fingerhut wants the black vote in the primary, he might do well to go. This will be a long haul for Nate and company. Cedarville is northeast of Xenia, but is located relative close to Central State and Antioch, both schools might actually provide a significant number of protestors, assuming a large enough population of kids are still on campus. If the protests only amounts to the usual suspects from the Boycott B, then it will be a laugher, and attract no attention. The most ironic thing is that racists are protesting a man accused of being a racist. Lott's statements are tame compared to those of the "Black Fist" and other CJC allied groups, who are admitted black nationalists/separatists and racists. The boycott B's tactics do take a new low from their press release:
”CJC leader Nathaniel Livingston, Jr. also questions Senator DeWine’s commitment to family values. Livingston has filed suit to gain access to the divorce records of Senator DeWine’s son, Pat DeWine, a member of Cincinnati City Council. In the Complaint, Livingston accuses Senator DeWine of threatening a local television reporter, John Damschroder, for attempting to report on Pat DeWine’s extramaritial [sic] affair with an African American woman.”
Nate has reached a whole new level of scumbag with that kind of action.

Back to DeWine and Lott. It is very unseemly for Mike DeWine to be hanging around with Trent Lott. DeWine just perpetuates the GOP's reputation as being soft on bigotry. There are 50 other Senators DeWine could have asked to visit, in place of Lott. If Mike thinks he has to get out the KKK vote to help Voinovich beat Jerry Springer, then I think he might be a bit paranoid. At this point Springer is a weak candidate and Voinovich is moderate/libertarian enough to hold on to the middle of the road voter. The Democrats should be all over this, but will they drop the ball. The question that should be on everyone's lips: will State Senator Doug White join his compatriot in shame Trent Lott? White's comments about Jews placed in the same league with Lott, but it did not cost him his leadership position. Will the two of them cost the GOP any votes? I wonder....

UPDATE: Link to the CJC's press release.
UPDATE#2: The Ice Cream Social made the Dayton Daily News, but no mention of Trent Lott, not even a mention. A cancellation or an omission?
DeWine Has a Point?
It is an election year for Cincinnati City Council. That of course means that City Council members will be doing and saying things to try and get elected. Pat DeWine is clamoring about the method in which Council plans on paying for the cost of settling the "racial profiling" lawsuits. DeWine's beef is that instead of fitting the cost into the budget now, most on Council want to issue bonds for it now, and after the election offset the cost of the bonds against unknown budget items. For once I agree with DeWine. If council is going to settle the lawsuits, they should announce to the city what is going to be cut to pay for it. If certain programs, summer jobs programs for example, have to be cut, then let us know now. I am sure the money being to spent to keep Kroger downtown will no doubt drive the boycotter's bonkers, as well as the transnational progressives over at CityBeat. They should be thankful that Kroger is not going to walk away. The nearly 1,200 jobs at the Kroger HQ would be impossible to replace, and so would the tax revenue it creates.
Living in a Van, Down by the River
Pearl Jam's concert slated for tonight was cancelled. I will now wait for the Boycott B groups to issue a press release claiming to have caused the flood of Riverbend Music Center. I guess they either have a lot of buckets, or they drank a lot of beer. Chalk up another “victory” for Nate and the gang. I am sure fans will instead look inward and see the error of their ways. What kind of a person goes to a rock concert, when there are racist groups boycotting the city? What kind of person indeed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Doug Trapp's Last Tango
In a biting CityBeat Editorial Doug takes on the ills of Cincinnati. Doug is off to Africa as part of the Peace Corps.
CityBeat: Trafficking in Peace
CityBeat News Editor Gregory Flannery is a free man. It appears the Prosecution had limited evidence to convict Greg, and might have wanted to avoid a high profile case with a member of the media. Extra attention is not something a DA wants, unless it can get him reelected.
OK Corral
Since Governor Bob Taft is backing the concealed-carry bill, I wonder if he is going to back the Boot Hill funeral fund?
A Pepper Burn
Greg Korte of the Enquirer reports that City Councilman David Pepper was recently slammed by the GOP for an old photo-op in front of a theater with Developer LaShawn Pettus-Brown, who is wanted by the FBI on fraud charges for misappropriation of funds in the renovation of that theater. Pepper's response was:
"Are they talking about the theater that Ken Blackwell stood in front of and said, 'LaShawn Pettus-Brown doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk?' "
Ken Blackwell is currently the Ohio Secretary of State, and a Republican. Ken also was formerly mayor of Cincinnati. I wonder when they are going to start in on each other's mother?
Our Men Flynt
Überfascist Simon Leis and political social climber Mike Allen are off wasting time with a needless prosecution of the Flynt brothers. Last I checked we had countless cases of burglary that have yet to be solved. Why haven't these crimes been solved? Hmm, I wonder if media attention has something to do with it? One last windmill charge for the old sheriff. Here's a summary of that media coverage.:
WLWT, WXIX, 12 WKRC, WCPO,Enquirer, and the Cincinnati Post.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Church tosses defiant minister
The bigots had the votes. Little anyone could do.
Sheriff's deputies seize Hustler videos
Jack booted thugs are off on another snipe hunt again. When will Leis stop his crusade? We have had how many shootings in the last week and the Sheriff’s manpower is wasted on this non-crime? We have real crime going on in the rest of the county. Why does Leis start working some theft cases? Surely fighting theft is more important than working about a few harmless videotapes. Well, I guess in Leis's mind, since he is not aroused by porn, no one else should be either. Nottingham is getting restless. I hope the CAC hides the topless pictures.

Monday, June 16, 2003

West End Community Members Push For Private Security
We have a police force. If there is a special need in a neighborhood, then add more police coverage. If people want private protection, then local businesses can pay for it themselves like every other business does. When bars have off duty cops working outside most of them are paid by the bar or local business association. Set up something similar, but don't use public funds to pay for it. If only public funds are available, then instead hire more police. Outsourced police forces will not fly. The other idea that is often floated to quell West End or OTR crime/violence is hiring the Nation of Islam's private security firm to patrol the streets. Subsidizing a hate group is the last thing the City of Cincinnati should be doing. The bad apple bigots in the CPD are bad enough. Adding racists will just increase the racial conflict. If people only want "black" security firms because they think only "blacks" can secure “blacks”, which some have professed, then those people are professing racist beliefs. Appeasing that racism will become a permanent City policy. I hope the racist vote is not such a big key to Mallory’s or Cooper’s successful political future.
Post Editorial: Weaponsgate?
Compare this to the Enquirer's editorial on this subject. Odd split of local opinion. I like the name, "Weaponsgate", but I would also consider "WMDgate", "Intelgate", or even "Iraqgate". I wll settle for a full-scale investigation with full media attention.
Councilman breaks up fight in Corryville
Tarbell gets involved. Good for him. I find it funny that Jay Love of 1230 the Buzz feels Tarbell should just had called the cops and wait for them to break up the assault. If Jay were watching a murder take place, would he let the person die while waiting for the police to arrive?

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Theater protest only grows
So do ticket sales, which this article promotes. I wonder if Peter Bronson has seen the play yet, or is he busy burning porn?
Enquirer Editorial: Ten Commandments
On the issue of erecting a monument of the Ten Commandments on a public school the Enquirer is correct to support the court ruling requiring their removal. They are however wrong in their contention:
There is nothing wrong with exposing children to the moral truths embodied in the Ten Commandments. Teachers are free to explain the moral underpinnings of the commandments and how they influenced the development of our laws and society, just as they free to explain the principles and historical contributions of other religions. But public schools must not show deference to one religion over another, and that is exactly what the stone markers in Adams County were meant to do.
There is something wrong with teachers trying to explain morals to children. Whose morals are you going to choose? I do not want my future children taught that the first four commandments are "moral." The remaining six are in most incarnations good rules to live by, the "Golden Rule" being a better one, and are covered to varying degrees in criminal and civil law. The problem is that how do you teach these rules? Do you teach a kid that killing is wrong, and then ignore the death penalty?

Religion should not be taught in schools beyond the scope of the cultural impact it played in various societies and nations over time. This is useful in understanding history, social studies, and other similar disciplines. One can't study European History for example without understanding the influence of the Roman Catholic Church or the various reasons for war, which often had a conflict of religions element to it. That does not mean the teacher advocates the "morals" taught by a particular religion.

This editorial is a crafty one on a PR basis. The board took the valid legal and logical position of the court ruling, but did not want to come across as "anti-Christian" that stance is perceived to have by fanatics. They therefore chose to raise the issue of a pantheistic type approach to religion in school, which is in my opinion still unconstitutional. A pantheistic approach from a Christian perspective all to often is really a monotheistic approach, where monotheistic religions are acknowledged, while polytheistic and non-religious perspectives are ignored. If not monotheistic, then an institutional religious perspective is the bias, where individual religious beliefs or other minor religions are ignored or viewed as "nutty." The nearly never ending string of possible set of religious beliefs, not to mention the lack of religious beliefs, makes teaching their principals difficult, except in specific historical contexts. Keep moral lessons in the home and/or place of worship. Let teachers stick to the secular world.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Answers for Rob Bernard About WMD
Rob had a few questions for those who are concerned about the US not finding WMD in Iraq yet. I'll leap to a conclusion this might have been a rebuttal to my questions from Thursday. I'll take a stab:
1. Would you concede that Iraq had WMD before Gulf War I?
Obviously yes.:
2. Would you concede that a large number of these weapons were unaccounted for when the inspectors left in '98?
Unaccounted based on UN inspectors, yes. Whether this was true or not, this was the paper accounting.
3. What do you suggest Iraq did with those weapons? Do you really think Iraq destroyed them and just decided not to show us just to be petulant?
These are the possibilities:

  1. Iraq overstated its WMD program before 1991, therefore the 1998 accounting was overstated.

  2. The accounting of WMD materials in 1998 was wrong, for reasons other than listed in #1.

  3. Iraq destroyed its WMD at some point. Could have been anytime after 1998 right up to now.

  4. Iraq transferred its WMD to another country or terrorist group.

  5. The WMD were looted in the chaos following the fall of the Regime and could be anywhere.

  6. The WMD are still hidden somewhere in Iraq.

Rob’s questions confirm the problem of revisionism that has gripped the Bush Administration and its supporters. Bush made the claim that Iraq possessed WMD. He claimed that his administration had clear and certain evidence that Iraq possessed these weapons. Possession of WMD was the tantamount threat to the USA, US interests, and US allies that was made as the basis for going to war. What is becoming more clear is that the only evidence Bush had was circumstantial, at best.

Current efforts at find WMD in Iraq support two conclusions. One is that the US did not have any firm knowledge of where the WMD were located. Also, the low priority of the search indicates that now the unguarded existence of those weapons must not be a threat, because no actual weapons currently exist. This is where the lie/exaggeration/manipulation arises. Bush used the imminent threat of WMD as the focal point for going to war. We were under a threat, and had to defend ourselves. He claimed such, but it is clear now that were we not under such a threat. We may find some WMD, and we will surely find evidence of a WMD Program. Having a program is not an imminent threat to the US. If it were we would have declared war on half a dozen other unfriendly nations. Bush could have just used bad judgment, which will be his defense. The CIA will undoubtedly be the scapegoat, but may end up being Brutus in the end. Bush may have relied on faith-based intelligence. This possible lapse in judgment is a factor and action that a President should not shirk from. He should take it beg forgiveness. He should suffer the defeat at the next election. If Bush did knowingly put forth this threat of WMD without any reliable support, then I have to wonder if anyone can say lying about the reasons for going to war is not an impeachable offense, but lying about a blowjob is. Bush still might get lucky. He might find a bunker full of chemical weapons that could have been used on the US military. If he does, then everyone, including me will have cake on their face. Short of that type of find, I will personally remain angry. I trusted that Bush would not lie about WMD. I assumed Iraq still had a significant cache left. If Bush or anyone in his administration knew before hand that this was not the case, Nixon will begin to look like a light weight.

Friday, June 13, 2003

A crime beyond words
Well, Peter found a few words to use for his column. Is this fire and brimstone week at the Church of Bronson? Peter's false leap in this column is right from the CCV's fascist in chief, Phil Burress. Peter claims pornography causes or leads to "kiddie porn." This is totally unsubstantiated, and completely false. Peter brings out this old and trite propaganda:
Porn peddlers who get filthy rich on it often get away with the myth that "it's a victimless crime."
Peter, "kiddie porn" is horrible. Those are messing with it should be locked up for a long time. Those producing it should be locked up for good. Using the victims of kiddie porn as your tools in your puritanical crusade against pornography is sickening to me. Peter, if you want to attack the scum who abuse children, I will applaud you. If you want to exploit those children's victim hood for an unrelated cause, I condemn your callousness, as well as your closed minded moralizing. If you can't find the words, Peter, I think you should refrain from writing.
Unguarded WMD?
If there are still weapons of mass destruction or the components needed for making them lying around in a bunker someone isn't that rather dangerous? Couldn't someone just walk away with them? Maybe they already have. Isn't that sort of a problem? Isn't that our worst nightmare? Could Hamas have chemical weapons as I type? Hasn't the war increased the danger of WMD? Well, not if Saddam has destroyed them, and not if they were mostly all destroyed by the inspectors in 1998 and before. But WMD are really meaningless, right??? We don't have to fear any terrorists getting hold of them now. We don't need every qualified inspector from around the world to help comb the country as fast as possible, thus preventing anyone stealing the WMD. Those are not fears we should have. We should just sit back, relax, and wait for the dividends to role in.
Imax Theater at Levee closes
Is the Newport Levee not strong enough for big attractions? Is it just a nice mall? I have yet to set foot in the place. All reports are that it is a wonderful place to go, but how much is now empty there? Will the ShadowBox Cabaret be able to survive?
Animal linked to monkeypox went to Edgewood school
If there wasn't any panic before, I bet there is now. I hope the pediatricians are willing to work overtime this weekend.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Dog Day Afternoon
A reader sends a request via email.
I am writing to you in hopes to gain more exposure in helping out a local
dog who needs a good home. She is eight years old, so the local rescue places will not consider her as a candidate; apparently in the dog world she is considered a senior! Her owner passed away last month and the owner's son and I are now taking care of her, though it's a challenge. We live in a small apartment with two cats and two kids, and the dog is not adapting well to the environment.....
A dog needs a good home. Here is another site on the pooch down on its luck. Email the current caretaker here.
Controversy won't deter cast of 'Corpus Christi'
The most perplexing element of this situation is that the play is being performed at a church. A religious group is protesting the play. A Church group is protesting another church. Has that happened before? I am sure it has happened at some point in the past, but a picket line outside another place of worship protesting their rights to use their church as they see fit. This would make a great SNL skit.
City art gallery cited for alcohol violations
Was the Enquirer scooped by City Beat? Read Greg Flannery's latest Porkopolis column and decide for yourself.
Possible Monkeypox Found In Greater Cincinnati
Please do not jump to conclusions. The odds that these are really cases of Monkeypox are on the surface very unlikely. I hope tonight's local news doesn't make this into a panic inducing ratings bonanza. I know, I know, they will. There is not a local TV news produces who would not give their firstborn in exchange for the number one rated news team. I can just picture the teaser...."Monkeypox in Cincinnati? Are You Going to Die? Find out tonight at 11."
President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat
Above is a link to President Bush's speech from right here in Cincinnati. The link is from the White House, so I doubt anyone will doubt the source. This quote is one that gets my goat:
Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?
The bold emphasis was added. First, I will not play semantics and say "dangerous weapons" does not necessarily mean WMD. The paragraph in the speech directly before this ends on a quote with the words "weapons of mass destruction." To me, that is what he meant. In the speech over all it is clear he was trying to communicate that Iraq possessed WMD, not that they just had a WMD program. If that is the case, then the questions are rather obvious:

  1. If the Bush Administration knew Saddam Hussein had WMD, then how did they know it, yet not know where to find them after the war?

  2. If the reader has answered #1 above with something to the effect of "they were destroyed by Saddam" or "they are still hidden" or "they were moved to Syria," then I agree those are possible, but so is the fact that they could had been destroyed before the war.

  3. If Bush knew these weapons existed, ready to be used, then why is that not a bigger priority for the administration?

  4. If those weapons existed then they could be in the hands of people trying to sell them. Was that not something the war was trying to prevent?

  5. If you assume the intelligence on WMD was either weak or faulty or selectively filtered, then why would Bush make such a speech? My answer here is where the lie/exaggeration comes into to play as a means to manipulate public and even Congressional opinion.

The jury is still out on the WMD issue, but my concern is that people are being led into believing that the ends justify the means. Winning without honor is just losing by another name. If anyone can read the whole speech and not believe Bush did not state Iraq possessed WMD, then I will eat my hat. In lieu of not wearing a hat, I will eat my least favorite dinner for a week. Will this issue continue to gain attention? I shall continue to watch, but I do not expect truth to see much light in Bush's America.
The strategically ambiguous George W. Bush
It depends on what the meaning of "is" is, or rather in this case on the meaning of "weapons" of mass destructions vs. "weapons programs." This clear distinction is the basis of Bush's exaggeration/lie about evidence of WMD in Iraq. I hate to once again bring out a cliché, but if Bill Clinton had done this, the right-wingers would be calling him a murder of around 200 US military service members. Bush gets a pass from his flock. The media is starting to come around on this point, but will they keep up the pressure? This is more than enough for any President to be pushed out of office, but that is in terms of a non-media saturated culture. This is enough for him to lose next year. Will the media allow it to be used by the Democrats? I wonder how the beast will handle it. I have hope, but having been a sap on WMD before makes me übercynical on the media having balls.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Chris Anderson comments on Light Rail in Cincinnati. Well, it is really commuter rail using existing track. The idea is interesting, but Chris raises one big issue: the location of the track lacks population within ½ mile. Chris states that this is an important factor in establishing ridership. If people can't walk to the train stops, they are less likely to use it, and ½ mile is the conventional wisdom limit.
Run Jerry Run!
This is just sad. I wonder if the people behind Forest Gump know they have stolen a line from the movie? Quit Jerry Quit? Is that better?
IF YOU WANT the typical fundamentalist's screed on art questioning religion, then Bronson's your man. I myself am tired of responding to his drivel. Does Peter have a deal with the Corpus Christi producers? He raises a stink and they sell more tickets. Hell, I hope they made such a deal. The more people that see this, the more likely it is quality plays will be performed here. What I really have to wonder about Bronson: has he even seen the play? If not, then why is he trusting the propaganda of others? Come on Peter, buy a ticket for yourself and see what all of the fuss is about. My guess is that he might even enjoy himself. He will feel guilty about it, but hey, he can always become a Catholic and then feel guilty all the time.
'Shame the Devil': Hal McKinney and the shooting at Junker's Tavern
An ingaging column from Kathy Y. Wilson of City Beat. Kathy gives a thickly rich taste of Hal McKinny the "Northside Vigilante." Kathy paints McKinny as an honest man with a crystal focus against crime in his neighborhood. He comes across a little sad, and very creepy. I want to say he is obsessed, but Kathy's tone is a relaxed one, and she seemed to be a bit impressed. I think she expected him to be the devil, but instead pulled the curtain to find just a man, flawed yet credibly wise. The bulletproof vest would have been to much for me to handle, even more than having guns lying around a house with 6 year old kid. Needing a vest is not the kind of life I would want, and not want to be around. Kathy gets extra credit for courage in that regard.
Two indicted in Clifton 'mini riot'
The Ruby family is made for a TV movie. Being a Cincinnati restaurant magnet does not mean you are free from scandal. First Mrs. Ruby has a run in with the law, now the son. Brandon's case will undoubtedly get a fair share of scrutiny from those who think his family name might get him a slap on the wrist. That scrutiny includes me, but also I suspect includes some individuals in the boycott. Will Mike Allen push for jail time? Brandon was released on his own recognizance, which is an interesting occurrence. I would have guessed that 2 felony charges might warrant some kind of financial bond. Surprises happen, so he could walk free, or get hard time in state prison. You have to ask yourself one question: when does Mike Allen go up for reelection?
Neoliberal at Your Service
Tom Friedman's column today puts forth a good definition of "neoliberalism":
Neoliberals believe in a muscular foreign policy and a credible defense budget, but also a prudent fiscal policy that balances taxes, deficit reduction and government services.
What I find lacking is the stance a neoliberal would take on social issues. Is a neoliberal closer to Bill Clinton and the DLC on social issues? If that is the case, I am not a neoliberal. Otherwise, that definition fits me fairly well. Throw in a very liberal social freedom belief system and I am hooked, otherwise I have to qualify it with yet another subsection. One of to do items is compiling a listing and a chart on micro political ideologies. This little project is not high on my priorities, but I guess I can label Mr. Friedman without much flack.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

My latest post is up.

OH: Springer Creates Exploratory Committee
Talk show host Jerry Springer has announced the formation of an exploratory campaign committee for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican George Voinovich of Ohio. Full Post

Yes, it would appear Jerry is going to run. This is great for bloggers, comedians, news junkies, and professional journalists. It may not be good for the Democrats. Jerry has three positives: money, name recognition, and an untapped constituency.
Commandments removed amid protests
Next day's update on this debacle. The Post reports a total of 35 where "arrested," but according to one protestor none of those arrested were put in hand cuffs or put in jail. Prosecutors were alleged to be determining today whether the protestors would be charged with any crimes. I expect no charges to be filed. The county prosecutor would be toast if he tries for reelection after putting local preachers in jail for trying to enact a theocracy. Small town justice at its best, well, worst.
Dear Diary: These blog readers hang on my every thought
A nice piece on local bloggers. If you read this you might find one blog missing. Well, if I had responded to Lance a bit quicker, I might have been mentioned. He caught me while I was on vacation, and I was late in responding. Oh, well. I got the Enquirer mention last week, so I guess I can let Lance spread the wealth around a bit. (cough, cough)

Monday, June 09, 2003

Removal of Commandments Protested in Ohio
Another update on this story. All 4 stone structures were removed and a total of 30 people were temporally taken into custody. At this point no charges have been filed. I have to ask, how can they not file charges? What kind of hick town is this that the preachers can break the law and get away with it? Is this Boston or something?
U.S. Bank Arena Awaits Dixie Chicks
I wonder how the handful of protestors will be covered? I bet they get some face time on local TV news. I am surprised WLW is letting the Dixie Chicks go through town without a PR stunt. Is Darryl Parks on vacation or something? He lives for that kind crap.
Matt Weiler: Color the Times impressed
Matt has comments on the New York Times review of the CAC's new building. Matt also has few observations on the local reaction to some of the art on exhibit.
U.S. Sees Likely Al Qaeda WMD Attack Within 2 Years
Is the boy King crying wolf or wagging the dog?
Ministers block removal of Commandments
Theocracy in Action! It appears the School officials or School Board and the County Sheriff did not do their duties. These people impeded a public school from doing its business, which was complying with court order. How could this not be something these fascists could be arrested for? Trespassing, disturbing the peace, protesting on public property without a permit are all possible laws they could have been arrested for. Instead politics weighs in on the situation. The school board and sheriff want to get reelected. Nice. I love it when small town bumpkins can scoff at the law with no recompense. Someone should get a contempt of court citation for this.

This action proves conclusively that placing the Biblical 10 commandments on these school's lawns had a religious purpose. This group is forcing everyone to adhere to their religion, and have ignored the law to do it. I am disgusted by this action. I am all for the individual's right to practice any religion in anyway they choose, as long as it does not infringe on other's rights. These religious zealots want to force people to accept their religion's law more powerful than the American Rule of Law.

As expected Bill Cunningham of WLW is acting irresponsibly and is allowing a kook from Adams County on the air claiming there will be a “fight” to keep the commandments on school grounds. Cunningham’s act of ginning up the dolts of Adams country has potentially dire results. The tone of the man was implying to me that he meant a physical fight, not a figurative one. Based on the prior actions by the other zealots earlier today, it can only be concluded this man is willing to attack people who are following the law, by removing the stone commandments. How “Christian” of him to say such. How “American” of him to reject the rule of law, and instead embrace mob rules. If this is any sign of things to come, then future political confrontations in the coming years are headed to more violent outcomes.

UPDATE: WLW is reporting that some arrests may have been made at one location.

UPDATE #2: WLWT updates the story stating that 10 people were arrested. WLWT indicated that only 10 of the reported 400 protesting were arrested because police did not have enough jail space. One of four stone monuments was removed. Protestors claimed they were going to "guard" the remaining three stone structures. I am using the term "protestor" generously in my opinion, but the article used it correctly in an objective manner.

UPDATE #3: WCPO, ONN, the Canton Repository and of course FOX News's story. Can FOX go a day without covering this type of story?

UPDATE #4: The Enquirer's followup.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Man killed in truck in Over- the-Rhine
People who knew him had no idea why he drove 40 into the City. Why would a boiler repairman end up in Cincinnati alone at 12:30 AM? If I were to speculate, I would suppose to buy drugs. I am speculating the police are considering this angle as well. They may have real evidence of such, where I am only guessing. They also may have evidence to infer the man was on a joy ride to the city. Will this man’s death get anyone’s attention? Nope. Number 31 is no more newsworthy than number 30, who ever that was.
Cincinnati in Black, White and Green
Well, if you want a skewed column filled with basically bigoted rhetoric, this is your article. What do you expect from the Nation of Islam? Well, I expect racist and bigoted columns, and this one fits right in with false claims, and bogus suppositions. All from a UC professor. Who would have guessed?
Let people decide on flag desecration
Ok, I guess this person would not have a problem with a constitutional amendment outlawing Christianity. The conflict with the first amendment means little to him, we can just wipe away certain elements of religious freedom. Wait, he is a Christian? Well, if the "people" decided to change the law, then I guess he is SOL. This part took the cake:
"The notion that flag burning is rare is not an issue, and if the Enquirer was to follow this mind-set they need to withdraw editorial opinion (April 9, 2003) that cross burning, which occurs far more infrequently than flag burning, should be illegal. Our laws are based on right and wrong, not frequency of occurrence. "
I wonder if this moron can tell me the last time a flag was burned? I have not heard of it happening anywhere around here, and we all dame well that FOX News would carry it live it happened. What we have seen locally within the last year right here in Southwest Ohio is a cross burning up near Oxford. So no, Mr. Marty Justis, if that is your real name, I don't think you can claim flag burnings happen more than cross burnings. I don't think you can claim that historically most definitively. What I think you should worry about is property rights. If I own a flag, it is my property. Does Mr. Justis want to infringe on my property rights? If that is the case, then I think a few of his fellow conservatives might have a beef with him. It is now against the law to burn a flag you don't own or don't have the permission to burn, and in some places you can only burn things on private property, with permission of the owner. Those obstacles are more than enough to preserves this guy myth of meaning in a his cloth. If he wants to ban something, why not ban the burning of books? Or better yet, ban the burning of the constitution.
Enquirer Editorial: “Iraq's weapons: Threat was there”The title of this editorial should be “Iraq’s weapons: Ends Justify the Means.” The Editorial Board of the Enquirer cares little about lying. They care little that everyone of consequence in the Bush Administration stated Iraq possessed WMD and were trying to gain more, using this claim as the main and most immediate rationale that war against Iraq was for National Security reasons. That claim was either an out right lie, faith in bad intelligence, or miracle brilliance on the part of the Iraqis to destroy or hide their WMD.

I don’t doubt Iraq was trying to gain more WMD, but there was no concrete evidence that Iraq had weapons ready to be used on short notice, thus creating a threat. They might have possessed machines with dual use. They likely had unprocessed materials that could have been used to create WMD. There are many many countries that have the same thing: Syria, Iran, and North Korea being three of the most well known. If there was no immediate threat, then justification for an invasion lies back on the other reasons given: violation of the UN, and deposing of a dictator.

Does this possibility mean war was justified? On the threat of WMD alone, no. Do the other reasons given for going to war justify it, yes, but lying about the only reason involving a threat to the USA does nothing to support it after the fact. Playing bait and switch does not fly. It will fly with Bush loyalists and apathetic idiots, but not to anyone who cares about simple truth.

Do Bush’s remaining reasons for war support his value of leadership? At this point HELL NO! His rationale for war now could and should be used in a dozen plus other countries, but it is clear Bush cannot and will not seek to take military action anywhere in Africa or Southeast Asia, against countries with just as horrible governments as Iraq had. He may look to invade Iran or Syria, killing thousands of American soldiers in the process. That possibility sounds far fetched I know. Invading Iraq sounded just as far fetched to me back in 2001 and early 2002. I believed Bush on the WMD, that although they could likely not be used to hit American soil directly, they could be used to hit Israel or other US allies or International US targets. I believed that Bush would not exaggerate, not rely on weak evidence, and not lie like a dog as a means to justify a war. I do not like Bush as president at all, but I supported the president and assumed he was being mostly honest about going to war. I did not trust Bush, but I honestly believed he would not spin a war like he spun his tax cut. I was wrong. I was a sucker. I expected that the US Military would find munitions loaded with chemical weapons ready to go in some kind of bunker or complex in Baghdad or Tekrit. At this point, none have been found. I assume we are correctly looking for them, but I don’t trust the Bush Administration to be looking for them. If they find anything now, it will be difficult to trust what they find. They may still find something. All they may find now is either traces of materials used to make WMD, or if they are lucky, large amounts of materials used to make WMD. I doubt they will find much any of anything supporting a viable capability to use or easily produce WMD.

Will Bush suffer for misleading the country? Only a little bit, assuming he does not get “lucky” and find something consequential. Bush supporters will allow the man do anything he wants with little or no response. Those who opposed Bush before will still oppose Bush. The rest, well, that is where it remains to be seen. If the mainstream media does its job and finds the truth on the WMD, and asks about it constantly right up to November 2004, then Bush on paper should be defeated. If the media slacks off, or lets Bush off, then little will change based on this issue alone. The media so far has slowly been working on the story. The true test will be how they react to the campaign of denials and revisionism from the Bush Gang. As long as the media does not let Bush and company try and claim that the presence of WMD did not matter and the ends are all that matters, then the truth may come out. If the media instead follows Bush like a lemming, as the Enquirer has done, then I am afraid Bush will have been allowed to wage war on false pretenses.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Martha Stewart: Living sucks these days!
Ilene Huffman from XRAY Magazine vents on the Martha Stewart scandal. I too have little pity for, especially after watching the NBC TV movie Martha, Inc. I normally don't watch TV movies, but it is TV summer, so little else was on. The movie made Martha out to an obsessive bitch, bent on world domination. Well, not world domination, but domination of a big chunk of it.
Jailed Juror Hires High-Profile Attorney
Do you have to ask who this attorney is? Or do you trust your instincts?
WCIN sues Etta James (Last Item)
WCIN's 50th anniversary celebration June 2 ended on a bad note when Grammy winning singer Etta James failed to take the Stage at the Cincinnati Zoo's Pavilion. According to the Cincinnati Herald’s front page story, the lawsuit claims that
"While the Blind Boys of Alabama performed, Defendant Jamesetta Hawkins (Etta James) refused, offering no reasonable explanation or one recognized in the contract between parties."
Ms. James who is 65 years old, did not go on because she believed WCIN could not pay her, according to the Cincinnati Post story. As of now, the Boycott B gang is not claiming responsibility. No report was made of any protests at the event.

Note: The Cincinnati Herald has no known website to provide a link to their story.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Some In Cincinnati Have Misgivings About Tax On Visiting Athletes
It appears the Boycott B's Nate Livingston had a valid point that this law was in effect, something I did not know. (A mea culpa) What is unclear is that this law affects Ava Muhammad from the Nation of Islam, as I posted here. Her status under this law is debatable, but she is not a professional entertainer or professional athlete. I assume Nate is claiming she is a professional entertainer. Nate is still making a federal case out of this issue and I don’t know why. NOI is a racist group, but so is the Black Fist, an endorser of Nate’s Boycott B. I guess Nate is cooking a red herring up in the form of his faux attack on the NOI. I will now just await another email calling me names.
CalPundit: Hillary-NRO Smackdown!
Kevin Drums finds that "...Howell Raines isn't the only editor who knows how to flood the zone."

Thursday, June 05, 2003

WNKU to showcase local music
Where do you have to go to get local music? Public radio stations. Clear Channel can't risk anything, so they wouldn't want to showcase local talent, when they can just plug in a direct from factory band, complete with pre-made image and merchandising contract.
Mayor poses election change
Who actually opposes changing how city council is elected? I don't think the Republican's are to keen on it, with Monzel's apathetic statement:
"It wasn't tainted by the politics of City Hall. Coming from the inside, I don't know if it will have legs," Monzel said. "But we'll see."
Uber-conservative Tom Brinkman is for a change, along with Charterite John Schlagetter. If elements of all three parties favor change, then is the only conflict when to change and what the structure of the revised council would resemble.

Of the three plans out there I like Democrat Donald Driehaus's plan of 7 district seats and 3 at large. Brinkman wants 15 seats, which seems far to many, and Schlagetter stated he likes the idea of proportional representation, which has the taint rewarding the little guy a bit to much. The basic fight will be on where you draw the districts. If the recent episode in Texas is any example, that process could get very ugly. Race will of course be the pink elephant in room for that process. This idea was one of the original boycott demands, and from the boycotters perspective they idea was to get more blacks on council, or at least gerrymander the districts to guarantee a minimum number would make it on council, almost a back door quota.

Luken is wise to get out front of this issue with the proposal to hold public hearings on the issue. The problem with all of the plans so far is that they lack details. Luken's process has the potential of giving the public a chance to learn about the plans, voice opinions on them, and attract support for what hopefully will end up being a broadly supported Charter Amendment. I hope the process to form districts has a mostly objective criteria as its basis, otherwise the process will become a pissing mach for power among power hungry interest groups. Your Price Hill groups, Hyde Park cartel, and boycotters all will scream about this or that, leaving little room for compromise. If those groups have the courage to be objective this might work, but that is a pipe dream. The worry that will be more cause for concern is long term: neighborhood competition for funding. Council members will be expected to bring home the bacon for their constituents. At-large council members can only provide minor balance to what will surely be a rancorous battle with the Downtown councilman and the Price Hill Councilman and the Avondale Councilman all battling for dollars. No Whammies, Big Money….Stop!!!

Other Coverage: Post, ONN, Canton Repository, WCPO, WKRC, and City Beat
Queen City Soapbox: Ethan Hahn on Bronson on Art. Ethan shares my view that Peter Bronson's opinions on art are not worth the canvass they are painted on.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Women's World Cup may come here
This is great news, but the last sentence makes me worry.
"The Bengals are conducting the negotiations with the soccer federation."
With the Browns in charge, failure is only a few press briefings away.
Bronson: Is that art or a joke?
Once again Peter has demonstrated his lack of any desire to see life beyond the steak and potato mindset. Art to Peter is supposed to be comfortable, like shag carpet. Peter should stick to "Dogs Playing Poker," or even a velvet Elvis. He can keep the milquetoast; let the willing souls take on the challenge of something outside the typical, and even a bit over the edge. If you don't live a little bit beyond the norm, then normal is all you care about, and bland is all you will be.

UPDATE: Artist Zhang Huan and a Doberman Pinscher in color from the Post. This is even less offensive than I thought. I actually find it interesting.
Matt Weiler Presents.....

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Harold McKinney is reportedly running for Cincinnati City Council. Local TV stations reported tonight that Mr. McKinny will soon officially announce his candidacy. Mr. McKinny, called the Northside Vigilante, was cleared last month on charges stemming from a shooting in bar during an alleged robbery. His actions are an astute political move, but are a morally reprehensible exploitation of vigilante justice.

UPDATE: WKRC and WCPO's Stories.
New York's 'Naked Cowboy' Grins and Bares It
I don' know if we want to claim him, but Naked Cowboy got his start here in Cincinnati. I even saw him myself at Taste of Cincinnati several years ago.
'Matrix' influence examined in slayings
I have not yet seen either of the Matrix movies. This is a reason that makes me want to see both of them, but this should scare my friends and coworkers. (cough, cough)
CINCINNATI BLOG makes the Enquirer Website. I am mentioned towards the end. There is also a section on XRAY.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Shopping for Media Attention?
Since Nate and the rest of the Boycott B crew have lost favor in the local media, it appears they had to go attention shopping all the way to Cleveland. Now, which news reporter was the Boycott B crew able to reach? The Plain Dealer's assistant travel editor reporter seems to be the latest to take the bait. I wonder if a little bit of the reporter loved down playing Cincinnati's tourism industry, in hopes of promoting Cleveland. I hope not, but I have to question her with an article headline like: "Cincinnati feels pinch of boycott."
Downtown skywalk falls into disfavor
I am with the 65% in the WCPO/Enquirer poll; keep the skywalk.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Developer sues reporter over paper's articles
I am no lawyer, but I find it odd that the newspaper was not included in the lawsuit. Here is Dan Monk's article referenced in the lawsuit. I see no libel in the article at all. Monk reported facts, nearly all from publicly filed documents. This is most likely nothing more than a legal manuver in what is legal feud between a developer and some of his investors.
2nd Study Finds Gaps in Tax Cuts
I wonder if Peter Bronson has read this article. Again, more evidence of the lies that are coming from the Bush Administration on this new tax law. Everyone is not getting a tax cut. 8 Million taxpayers are not getting a tax cut. That number does not include the extreme poor, who already pay no federal income tax. Now, this type of lie is not new to politics. Everyone does it. What I find disingenuous is that there are people out there who think this President is somehow different. I guess these same people think their congressman or senator does a good job, but the rest are corrupt. The other lies are that this will be an immediate stimulation to the economy and the gimmicks used to limit the initial "cost" to around $350 million. I am beating a dead horse here, but I don't really care. Tax policy is all ready tedious and sleep inducing. Repetition will not harm it at all.

The Cincinnati Post also had an Editorial on this earlier this week.