Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ohio Shale Well Leaks Drilling Fluid Into Creek In Morgan County

From:  HuffPost 


A service rig, referred to as a 'one armed bandit', drills for oil at Kilbarger Construction Inc.'s site in Knox County, Ohio, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — State and federal teams are still cleaning up after a shale well being drilled for fracking in southeast Ohio began leaking and the oily fluid ran into a nearby creek.

The leak from the well in Morgan County was discovered Sunday when the lubrication fluid, commonly called mud, began spilling over from the drill site. Officials said it was contained Wednesday.

Seven residents were evacuated because of the danger that escaping natural gas might lead to an explosion.
The well's owner, PDC Energy of Colorado, said 100 barrels of drilling mud spilled from the well, and some of it reached an unnamed creek. Environmental officials said it could be harmful to marine life.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says such incidents are rare.  MORE

A New Feature – The Ashtabula Eye on Celebrities & Issues

As the world knows, Rayelan Allen (Raye Smith), is the impresario and Queen of Conspiracy who operates Rumor Mill News. The publication was founded in 1999, making it one of the oldest on the web. It is, if all is truly said, mostly a reposting site but one which includes a strong sense of community. For many RMNers this is their most cherished outlet for social expression and connection. 

 Rayelan is also the author of the exciting extra-terrestrial saga, Obergon Chronicles which features a broad range of stories from her experiences of her past million years of lives around the universe.  

The Obergon Chronicles contains stories that involve:
  • Extraterrestrials (ETs)
  • A Planet in the Sirius Star System - Obergon!
  • Earth's Hidden History
  • Mind Control
  • New Age Channels
  • The New World Order
  • and More!
From the Prologue...
By the time you have read all the Obergon Chronicles, the Lessons for the Children of Obergon, and the Awakening Prose, you will realize that the book you have been reading has turned into a different thing altogether. Just when you are beginning to feel comfortable with the information that is being presented, the book makes a light-speed change and begins connecting the stories from ancient times to the present day. This is done to help you understand that the characters in the Chronicles may very well be walking the earth today. In fact… you may be one of the Children of Obergon!

  • The first part of the book reads like a science fiction novel
  • The second part reads like "channeled" messages from ascended masters
  • Parts three and four consists of a series of self-contained articles
       You can have your very own copy of the book, which is available on Amazon.

But the life of a celebrity is not always easy.  
Recently Rayelan Allen, the celebrity known here locally as Raye Smith,   reported being traumatized by discovering, she failed to mention how this happened, that the special parking place she had had constructed for herself out of a small piece of the front lawn was lost to her use. Her expressions of grief were extreme and appeared to be heart-felt.

But perhaps there is hope for the parking place.  A quick search of the records made via the Internet revealed this statute passed by the City Council. 

Ashtabula City Regular Council Meeting

Cars Parking on Lawns Prohibited:
The Vice President asked the Solicitor to restate the law. The Solicitor reported that “yard” parking is not permitted. There is a required front, side, and/or back yard in a residentially zoned area, and parking in a required yard is not permitted. People are cited. If the vehicle is inoperable (which includes by definition not having a current registration), then it really needs to be under cover. It should not be parked on the street and should not be left in the driveway.

Inoperable/unlicensed vehicles parked for more than one month will most likely get a notice that a visit will be paid shortly with a tow truck if they are not moved.
If it is a vehicle that is going to be restored or fixed up it needs to be relocated to the proper facility.

Further, vehicles may not be parked in driveways in a way that obstructs sidewalks. The Solicitor said this is the biggest violation he sees while driving around the City.“

This section of the local statutes certainly would exclude the parking spot laboriously installed by Cory MacDonald, who performed many small jobs for Rayelan.  Cory, who is disabled, acted as a hired laborer, Rayelan presumably ensuring such matters as a permit were seen to.  

As you can see from this photo: 

 (Notice what a good job Steve did with converting this piece of lawn to a parking place.)

  • The lawn has been removed and was replaced by gravel.
  • The curb was removed to provide access to the area prepared for parking.
  • A walkway was installed leading from the cement walk which connects the front door to the sidewalk.
  • The area is also carefully delineated for use by bricks set as a border.
It is to be hoped that those determining how the statute adopted by City Council will decide Cory's excellent work fulfills the need to convert this small area into parking, in accordance with the cited statute. This matter has exercised Rayelan's mind to an amazing extent in the last few days.

And this may have distracted her attention from more important matters.

Rayelan does a brisk business with Rumor Mill News.  The site also allows her fervent readers to give assistance to Rayelan. These include pleas for assistance for her dogs, who, she reports, are in constant danger of dying, and her own health, which she announces as failing badly.

This does not stop her, however, from soldiering on, making regular rounds of shops where 'treasures of great value,' are to be found.

I suspect visits with her photo  to such local establishments
Rayelan, Queen of Conspiracy
would confirm these visits are frequent enough so the sales staff would remember the kinds of items which delight Rayelan so very much.

These gladly exclaimed purchases are displayed around the house, then stored, and when the volume reaches monumental proportions, these leave the residence for parts unspecified. This resembles a river of delectation for Rayelan, who from the vast array does retain some pieces for longer possession.

Rayelan is a Happy Hoarder, dedicated to the hunt.

Perhaps to bolster her faltering spirits, Rayelan routinely parties with a host of folks, these apparently entirely comprised of those receiving her largess from one cause or another or their relatives and associates, late into the night. Their boisterous and spirited conversations, which include a constant reiteration of the items Rayelan has found on her treasure hunts, make up a large portion of the lively discussions which go on.

Rayelan's happy tones at these times certainly cause one to wonder if Rayelan's health is really as faulty and she fears. Perhaps there is hope afterall.

Rumor Mill News is the property of Rubicon Aegis, LLC, a company incorporated in Ohio for which Rayelan appears to be the sole beneficiary.  Rayelan prides herself on her business acumen.

 (Notice the street number has been carefully covered.  If you want to get your copy of Obergon Chronicles autographed contact Rayelan in advance by email, available on the Obergon Chronicles site.)

The enterprise, dedicated to getting unsubstantiated rumors to the public, provides a substantial income, enough to provide jobs for a growing list of cleaners and handypersons, Cory being only one of this number.  Steve Leubking, erroneously named earlier, also provides services to Rayelan but did not install the parking area.

Rayelan tries to do her part for the local economy in many ways.   

So, in one perception of her life Rayelan rules as an absolute monarch a cyber kingdom populated with faithful followers who express regular concern for her. But, as fate would have it, Rayelan lives in Ashtabula, which goes on oblivious to the celebrity in their midst - until now! 

Addendum  and correction:  Steve Leubking, as now corrected, was not the handyman who, on Rayelan's instructions installed the parking area adjacent to the tree on the front lawn.  

it now appears Rayelan overlooked the need to get a permit, which would not have been issued because the location violates the present interpretation of the local ordinance according to John at the Department of Housing.  


Another Issue of Interest to Ashtabula Residents

One of the less attractive aspects of living in Ashtabula is the Personal Income Tax which the City Council passed into law.

The office for the collection of the Income Tax is located at:

Address: 4717 Main Ave # 2
Ashtabula, OH 44004
Phone:(440) 992-7104

The tax code is far shorter than the one used by the IRS, but also defers to the Federal Tax in determining how high an income must be, from all sources, to be deemed taxable.

The City of Ashtabula, Ohio

Adopted under the Authority of Chapter 189
Section 189.09, of the City of Ashtabula

Code of Ordinances


Section 189.02 of income tax Ordinance 2007 - 26, passed March 19, 2007, outlines the
uses to which funds raised are to be put and the items on which the tax is to be applied. The
effective period of the tax is specified in Sections 189.04 and 189.18.”

A brief perusal of Ordinance 2007 - 26, passed March 19, 2007 includes useful information on who is mandated to pay taxes in accordance with the law.

The Ordinance states:

““Income” -Shall include all monies derived from any source whatsoever, including but not limited to:
                (1)All salaries, wages, commissions, other compensation and other income from whatever source received by residents of the City.
                    (2)All salaries, income, qualifying wages, commissions, other compensation from whatever source received by nonresidents for work done or services performed or rendered or activities conducted in the City of Ashtabula.
           (3)The portion attributable to the City of Ashtabula of the net profits of all unincorporated businesses, associations, professions, corporations, or other entities, from sales made, work done, services performed or rendered, and business or other activities conducted in the City of Ashtabula. Such portion shall be determined as provided in Section 189.02 and in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Board of Review pursuant to Section 189.15.”

Of course, the tax rate is only 1.8% of the income, according to the Ordinance and apparently the rules for taxable income follow those of the IRS, according to the Ordinance.

Those domiciled within the City of Ashtabula fall within this mandate. While one may have several homes in different parts of the world if your main residence is in Ashtabula you appear to be deemed obligated to pay the tax, which I am sure all patriotic Ashtabulans do willingly. 

But all of us in Ashtabula hope for better times and a renewal of local commerce, green and sustainable.  Let's make it happen.   

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The People and Strategies Which Run Politics in America and the Back Story – A series on the 14th Congressional District for Ohio – First in a Series

Analysis of the difference between the self-identified “conservative” candidates in this race requires an understanding of the “neo-conservative” movement that arose in the 1970s. The advocacy by GOP Neoconservatives for military intervention by the United States abroad has come to overwhelm the traditional “Main Street” Republican conservatism especially dominant in Ohio via many generations of the Taft family. 

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Congresspersons often disappoint voters, saying one thing while running for office and forgetting their promises once elected. Therefore it is essential to know more about candidates and understand them more completely. This is especially true of the 14th District Congressional Race, North East Ohio

This year's race for Ohio's 14th Congressional seat is taking place in one of the few districts which could result in a change of party. It is a foregone conclusion that both major party candidates will be well funded and the ballot for the general election will include a Libertarian candidate, David Macko. Libertarian candidates generally draw around 3% of the vote, enough to edge out incumbent David Joyce in favor of Wagner in November if Joyce wins in the primary.

This is a race to watch, one where better understanding the candidates provides a forum for identifying the ideas which, today, are presented as the philosophical viewpoint shared by those within the party. Reasonable people would assume these ideas, presumably, were arrived at after long dialog and thorough consideration.

We can also expect to see a battle between interests from outside the district spending money in support of the candidate they have decided to back. We will examine these retrospectively in each instance.

We begin with the contested race between Incumbent David Joyce and MatthewLynch for the GOP nomination.

The candidates presenting themselves for election are asking to be hired to do a job for their constituents. Will they honor their promises?

It is reasonable to begin with their compensation, if elected.

Congressional Pay

As the ones doing the hiring you should know that the candidate you elect will receive a base pay of $174,000 per year.

Benefits are far more generous than the average American can hope to receive. After five years of service the Representative becomes eligible for a pension. After service of 25 years, no matter what the representative's age, pension payments begin.
Read more about Congressional benefits here.

Representatives also receive, according to public record, a “Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) is made available to help members defray expenses resulting from three specific components of their "representational duties," those being; the personal expenses component; the office expenses component; and the mailing expenses component.”

In 2012 the individual representatives received MRA allowances ranging from $1,270,129 to $1,564,613, with an average of $1,353,205.13.

Additionally, the office of Representative offers many other ways to generate income to the office holder. Some of these are covert and ethically questionable. Others are entirely legal. Most congresspersons leave office far wealthier than they were when they arrived.

The contest between the two Republican candidates will be decided in the Primary on May 6. Incumbent David Joyce will face off with Matt Lynch. The winner will then face Libertarian candidate David Macko and Democrat Michael Wager in November. This first article delves into two term s,'Conservative' and 'Neoconservative.'

The term Conservative has a long history in American politics.

Both candidates claim to be Conservatives. Neither identifies themselves as a Neoconservative. These two terms, today confused, have diametrically different meanings.

Therefore, we will begin our inquiry by determining if both, or either, candidate is accurately using the term and if not, what term does correctly place them ideologically.

The term, Conservative, has been in use for over a century and its meaning was stable until relatively recently, this beginning with the introduction of the term, Neoconservative, which came into common usage in the 1970s.

The Difference - Conservative and Neoconservative

A Neoconservative is, according to the dictionary, “one who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and United States national interest in international affairs including through military means.”
Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, wrote an article appearing on the Council on Foreign Relations website on February 9, 2003. The article was titled,America's Destiny Is to Police the World.
Americans, and conservatives, look back on a long tradition for viewing war with caution. George Washington said in his Farewell Address, delivered September 17, 1796, “Foreign attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot."
Conservatives are, historically, anti-war.
We now know lies were used to sell the Iraqi war to Americans and that lying is a matter of policy for NeoConservatives, this through the political philosophy of Leo Strauss

Leo Strauss
Strauss died in 1973 leaving a legacy of work which was eagerly seized on by Neoconservatives. Strauss taught that if you were destined to rule lying and cheating to achieve your goals was entirely acceptable.
An excerpt from Reading Leo Strauss, by Stephen B. Smith, published by the University of Chicago, includes the quote, “Strauss is widely regarded today as a founding father, perhaps the Godfather, of neo-conservatism, with direct or indirect ties to the Bush administration in Washington.”
Karl Rove is widely viewed as a NeoCon as are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and many in the Bush administration.
Being hired by Bush and associates hinged on your agreement with Straussianism. Potential recruits for policy and political work were invited to learn about the philosophy of Straussianism. If an attendee agreed with Straussianism they were often mainstreamed into positions of power.
Lew Rockwell, President of the Mises Institute, told me in 2007 about such a seminar he attended years earlier and acknowledged this as a reason the Mises Institute ended up at the University of Auburn in Alabama. He could not agree with Straussianism.
We invaded Iraq because, Saddam Hussein, who had very recently been our personal asset, had been proven, beyond doubt, we were told, to possess Weapons of Mass Destruction. 
Invading Iraq
Announcing the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, Mr. Bush said, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." [CBSNews]
Fast forward to May 6th of 2004 and we find George W. Bush crawling around under his desk looking for some shred of evidence WMD existed.
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," Bush joked. "Nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?" [CNN]

What is a Neoconservative?
The term 'neoconservative' was brought into usage by Irving Krystol, a former Trotskyite who in the 1970s changed his registration from Democrat to Republican. A Neoconservative is a curious amalgamation of Trotskyite and student of Leo Strauss. Trotsky was a ultra-Left Communist who was eventually assassinated by Stalin. Marxists and Communists work for a highly centralized national system to maximize their control.

What is a Conservative?
Conservatives, and the philosophy of Conservatism, are not nearly as colorful. Conservatives favor localized government, in alignment with the Constitution.
The two most prominent conservatives in the 20th Century were Robert Taft, who served in the United States Senate from Ohio from 1939-1953, and Barry Goldwater, who served from Arizona from (1953–65, 1969–87).

Known as Mr. Antiwar Republican, Taft opposed opposition to the attempts of fellow Republicans to compromise with the failed New Deal of FDR and the American stampede to war.
Acknowledged as “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater's answers to the questions sent to 14th District candidates are provided using quotes from him on the issues and comments from reliable sources. 
Six Questions on policy for Congressional Candidates
[Questions were submitted to each candidates. Each failed to respond. Responses from Matt Lynch are drawn from a questionaire available on the Internet from the Ohio Christian Alliance. Joyce failed to respond to any questions, Lynch responded to all questions.]

1. What policy should be followed on gays serving in the military?

You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.” ~Barry Goldwater

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Supports “Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

2. If elected, would you support a woman's right to have an abortion?

Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.” ~Barry Goldwater

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Opposes “Health and Human Services mandate (HHS) that would require employers, including religious institutions, to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs.”

3. Do you support the legalization of marijuana?

In 1996, Goldwater with Senator Dennis DeConcini, Goldwater endorsed an Arizona initiative to legalize medical marijuana.

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Opposes legalization of marijuana..

4. If you had been serving in Congress in 2003 would you have supported the Invasion of Iraq?

It is not clear Goldwater would have voted for the invasion. But if he had, given his record for plain speech, the opinion of those who knew him is that he would have taken corrective action as soon as the lies were discovered, which happened in 2004.

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response. From Christian Alliance Questionaire - Supports Recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capitol of Israel.” Question goes to American involvement with entangling foreign powers.

5. Will you support an investigation on the malfeasance which has taken place in banks and financial institutions related to foreclosures, robosigning, and other questionable practices?

Although Goldwater died in 1998 his record for plain speech and accountability is clear. It was Goldwater to forced Nixon to resign in 1974 when the evidence of the cover-up became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent.

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response.

6. What is your position on damage to private property and health resulting from oil spills and fracking?

While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.” ~Barry Goldwater

Dave Joyce - No Response.

Matt Lynch – No Response.

[The questions were formulated not so much to contrast the candidate responses but to measure deviation from traditional Conservative stances on issues which changed within the last part of the 20th Century, after the rise of Neoconservatism.]

Goldwater and Taft did not endorse any specific behavior on the part of individuals, generally following the principle that individuals have a right to make these decisions for themselves and that government had no role in such decisions. This echoes the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both Taft and Goldwater were strong advocates for accountability for both corporations and individuals.

It appears that neither of the Republican candidates for the 14th Congressional seat can be assumed to hold positions consistent with Conservatism as they failed to answer after multiple requests and the answers which are available fall outside those expressed by Taft and Goldwater.

Personal and Political Ethics

As an ethics issue it is impossible not to mention the attack on candidate Lynch by the Joyce campaign on claims Lynch had not paid his taxes. Late payment had resulted from financial difficulties encountered in 1993 when Lynch took time away from work to care for his wife, Jamie, when she was dying of cancer. Medical bills had reached $100,000. All debts were brought current in a timely fashion, as medical bills were paid off and he rebuilt his interrupted career, according to Lynch.

The attack on Lynch, stemmed from events nearly twenty years ago, and unexplained non-responses by both candidates point to further issues as yet unidentified.

A second attack by Joyce has taken place in the last few days with claims he, as an Ohio state Legislator, failed to vote for the budget proposed by Governor Kasich for Ohio. A response on this charge came from a local resident, Monique Kawalek, who stated in her letter,FACT: THAT BUDGET INCREASED SPENDING BY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND RAISED SALES TAX AND REAL ESTATE TAX  so YES, he voted against that tax and spend budget. “

In the last few days before balloting took place on May 6th both campaigns received substantially increased presence on the Internet through ads appearing on political sites which draw readers who are generally Republican. This approach for a mass spending of funds in the last few days became ubiquitous with the campaigns for 'local initiatives' which were funded by the Kochs through their multiple front organizations beginning about 2002.

Today, the approach is widely used to change the outcome of local elections by many corporate interests. The post election article will delve into these organizations and how they operate, and their probably goals and motives as we continue our inquiry into how the term, 'Conservative' changed.

Further Questions to be answered – Who is deciding elections, how this is managed, and continuing insights on this race and the back story

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Primary Approaches and Letters Fly

On Matt Lynch from Monique L.

Comments from Monique, below, are in response to  this graphic - 

I wish I knew how to rotate this image, sorry for the inconvenience.  It was in my mailbox yesterday, you probably received one too - more outright lies and misleading statements put out by LaTourette and his gang we want to keep our political position "Defending Main Street Super Pac"
As I wrote before, Main Street Super Pac donors are primarily large corporations. A small fraction are labor unions. For more see:

This group is desperate to mislead by telling anyone who will listen that Matt Lynch voted against the bill for balancing the State Budget.  FACT: THAT BUDGET INCREASED SPENDING BY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND RAISED SALES TAX AND REAL ESTATE TAX  so YES, he voted against that tax and spend budget. 

When it came to Medicaid expansion - the republican controlled legislature represented their constituents and voted against it - Kasich decided to implement it ANYWAY - he got around this in the following shady way - There is an Administrative Board called the Controlling Board which has authority to allocate funds that come to the treasury AFTER the budget has been passed. This Board typically deals with small adjustments to spending. It's membership is controlled by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House and the Governor. In order to get the Board to expand Medicaid the Speaker had to swap out appointees to the Board to someone who would act against the legislature and do the Governors bidding. After the legislature said NO to Expanding Medicaid this Board took the unprecedented action of implementing it anyway, even the Plain Dealer's Kevin O'Brien wrote "In his quest for Ohio Medicaid expansion, Kasich borrows an end-run from Obama's playbook"

 It was a clear violation of "Separation of Powers". Matt Lynch along with six other State Representatives sued the Governor but the gutless Ohio Supreme Court let the unconstitutional move stand.
The result will be 13 Billion Dollars in Medicaid funds going to Hospitals and Health Insurance Companies in Ohio. Not one dime goes to patients. It is estimated that two thirds of those that will get Medicaid under the expansion already had medical insurance at work, but this allows the employers to cancel coverage so the taxpayer can provide Medicaid instead.
This is why the Ohio Hospital Association and the Chamber of Commerce love Obamacare.......Billions more in the system for the insurance companies and hospitals and less expense for employers...and by the way you can be sure a few millions of the Medicaid Expansion money will end up in the campaign fund of politicians who supported it.

Just wanted to fill you in on details so you can make up your own mind.