I'm going over old NoBs's two comments responding to mine. Boy, I sure did manage to get his goat! I really got him riled. Why so defensive? For me it's a non-issue. Put the information out there and let the people ultimately in charge- the taxpayer's- decide: that's all there is to it. Government isn't self-funding like the private sector- the Vindy generates income by informing the public and, also, incidentally, selling newspapers and running a web-site (in addition to parking lots, a TV station- as well as a Pleasure Cruise Service to the Bahamas- Joke!); government doesn't generate revenue- it only collects revenue from the taxpayers, that's all. Ultimately, we the people are in charge- or should be. (Not the Union Bosses!)
August 16, 2016 at 12:43 a.m.
The gun was obviously planted in the hands of the young man by the cops themselves- after he was brutally gunned down- and the black cop is obviously just another Uncle Tom.
Young black men- especially if they're named Sylville and wear dreadlocks- are innocents targeted by the police (that's why he has a record: a long history of being targeted by the police.)
What we have here is another instance of "systemic racism" and calls for a national conversation to make White Society aware of it's responsibility. The cop may have held the gun- but the trigger was pulled by all of us collectively .We are responsible.
That should be clear to everyone.
(Above written make believe: I'm pretending to be a Sociology Instructor at YSU or, maybe, an African-Studies Prof who attends Sunday Services at the Unitarian Chapel where everybody thinks like that- even sober. Of course, it's all Hogwash!)
August 15, 2016 at 11:52 p.m.
Good comment, Dontban- well said. The health care part- especially. How do they get away with virtually no Co-pays when most of the "peasantry" have to shell out 20-25 percent or more- if they have health insurance at all.
What's the Co-pay for most Vindy "peasants"- er, employees, sorry (I was thinking like NoBs for a terrible second). I'll bet it's sizable and no doubt going up every year- like most people in the private sector. Taxpayers should have a union of their own modeled after the public sector Unions- how would that work?
What we ought to remember is that in Germany health care is funded 50/50- split between employee and employer: that's all workers- including public sector. Seems to work for them- their system is very efficiently run- and solvent.
Suggest that to government workers over here and- you'd better put on your ear muffs: you never heard such squealing in all your life- you'd swear you'd wandered into the Hormel Packing Plant at Rush Hour!
August 15, 2016 at 11:29 p.m.
NoBs: "Just because the vindy pays peasant wages doesn't mean everyone should."
I read that and I almost chocked on my chardonnay! Do you realize what you're saying: MOST people in the private sector- at least in the Mahoning Valley- are living on what you would consider "peasant wages" or they're struggling to make ends meet on a pension. Yet, you expect these same people to sacrifice and belt-tighten- even more than they already are- to allow Public Employees (who is the Employer?) to continue enjoying the life-style to which they have become accustomed- thanks to their Unions?
Where's the logic in that? Does that make sense? Keep dreaming, Nobs. You're fighting a losing battle here: I think it's high-time we revisited SB5.
SB5, SB5, SB5: I know that phrase is noxious to public workers: like holding a Crucifix in front of a Vampire! But, the initiative isn't dead- it'll come back, you'll see.
Call it a PEASANTS UPRISING!
August 15, 2016 at 8:02 p.m.
NoBs, You are right about ONE thing: Should be: Vindy costs MORE than the Trib. Sorry.
The rest of your comment I'm going to have to look over carefully- and try to digest: My, My. I certainly have managed to stir up a hornet's nest here! (Gruesome thought, digesting a hornets nest!).
My position is weak? I wouldn't say. There's a lot to respond to in your comment and I can't all at one time- but I wouldn't call my core assertion:
"I don't see any problem in posting as much information about how our government- at all levels- runs for the taxpayers- the people who pay the bills- to inspect." a weak position. On the contrary.
Nobs, what do you have against transparency? Why shouldn't that kind of information be freely available. Who pays the bills? We do- the Taxpayers- Correct?
Furthermore, it's a fundamental fact that the economy of this valley has been challenged- to say the least- for a long time: ever since the mills closed. The public sector depends almost completely on that economy- the taxes people have to pay. Taxpayers are hurting- in many cases strapped, so isn't it logical that some of that pain- that burden- HAS to be shared by people in the public sector? And isn't it also logical that the hurting people in the private sector should be intensely interested what their employees are making?
Seems logical to me: Of course you and Billdog call it "Envy". Matter of definition: "Whose Ox is Being Gored?"
August 15, 2016 at 6:01 p.m.
Nobs, "When we vote on renewals and new taxes, we have the opportunity to learn all about them."
That's correct, and then what? All that tells us is how much is to be appropriated for what purpose- it doesn't tell us anything about how wisely- or unwisely- the money is later spent. The Checkbook.com feature is a way to do just that- it gives taxpayers an idea how their money is being spent: Quoting Bert:
"Youngstown has an income tax rate of 2.75 percent, one of the highest in the state, but budgetary shortfalls have become a regular occurrence. Taxpayers have a right to know how the money is being spent, especially since most of the General Fund revenue is absorbed by wages and benefits."
"In Warren, the situation is just as dire, with government facing a $1.7 million budget shortfall in 2017. Up to 20 police officers and firefighters could be laid off if additional revenue isn’t found."
That says it all.
I don't see any problem in posting as much information about how our government- at all levels- runs for the taxpayers- the people who pay the bills- to inspect. Now, obviously, not everyone will go in there to pore over the books, but, the information will be there- and act as a deterrent to keep the people who run our government honest- for interested parties and organizations: groups that lobby for public accountability and protect the taxpayers in exactly the same way that public sector unions protect the interests of their members.
I guess, it all depends on whose "Ox is Being Gored" as the saying goes. In other words, follow the squealing to its source.
To hear people like Billdog and NoBs whine and complain you'd think they were having their pockets picked! I never saw so much wasted Moral Outrage! And to suggest it all comes from jealously (the Bert's "significant other" jibe) is ridiculous- more squealing.
Give it Up Boys! It's a losing fight: now that Checkbook.com is an actuality, no way is it going to be rolled back. The holdouts- like Y-town and Warren- are going to have to eventually surrender to public pressure.
And kudos to Bert and the Vindy for staying on this- and keeping up the pressure: Keep up the Good Work!
P.S. NoBs, I know the Vindy costs less than the Trib- but I think the Vindicator does a better job of covering Mahoning County and their overhead might be slightly larger (they have that State Prison Building to maintain- as well as the Managing Editors Boat Payment!) and, besides, the Vindy website- although a little slow at times- works better for me: they allow 3,000 characters per comment, the Trib only 1,000. That's a huge advantage for a verbose SOB like me!
Bottom Line: I pay 50 Bucks every three months to have the paper delivered to my doorstep. A bargain in my book.
August 15, 2016 at 12:01 p.m.
2muchtax is dead on in his comment- I second his comment.
Thanks Bert for staying on this issue- and I just renewed my Vindy subscription again- even at the new inflated rate- still a bargain.
Besides, I worry about Markie's Boat Payment- Glad to help!
August 14, 2016 at 7:12 p.m.
NoBs, Why are you so defensive? Nobody is "attacking" public employees here. It's a question of accountability to the taxpayers who pay the bills, that's all.
Maybe you think secrecy is healthy and the public interest is better served that way. It isn't. People want to know what's being done with their money- it's like going to the grocery store: we want to know the price of everything and what we're getting for our money. That makes sense, doesn't it?
If the cashier says: "Sorry, we can't tell you the price of your purchases- it's secret- just throw down some money and we'll give you back what you have coming. Honest!". How would you react to that, NoBs? Happy? Or would you be upset?
The point is: There IS public pressure for this kind of information: that explains the Ohio Checkbook initiative Bert refers to.
It's people like you who make ordinary taxpayers like me think people in the Public Sector DO have something to hide and protect. You make us paranoid- and more determined than ever to get the facts.
Good Job, Bert!
NoBs, Lighten Up Man! You're fighting a losing battle. "They Who Pay The Piper- Call the Tune". Remember?
August 14, 2016 at 7:03 p.m.
My August 11th Comment responding to Vindy Editorial of that date:
Trump is a Mole for the Democrats- specifically the Clinton's.
Think about it:Trump has taken every single issue of concern to Conservatives- starting with Border Security right up to Gun Rights- and presented them in a way that made them open to attack. He gave the Media the ammunition it needed to easily dismiss them as the rantings of a lunatic who "wrapped his primary campaign in racism, misogyny, chauvinism and religious bigotry." (Your Words- which have to send a thrill up the leg of every good liberal journalist as they're writing them. Wow! The Big Four: Racism- Misogyny- Chauvinism- Religious Bigotry. What else? How about: Pederasty? Child Abuse? Wearing a Necktie Below the Groin?).
It started with his campaign kick-off speech about border security. Border Security is- or should be- a no-brainer- a non-issue: every country has the right- and duty to it's citizens- to secure it's borders against illegals. Were not doing that and we haven't been doing it for a long time- thanks mostly to Liberal Multi-Cultural Non-Sense- but both Parties are guilty. If Trump had presented his case in a clear, objective way it would have been unassailable. Instead, what he gave us was a rant:
"Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
"They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
"SOME, I assume, are good people". (emphasis added).
Talk about leaving yourself wide open. That's the kind of statement- smacking of bigotry and resentment- you'd expect to read on a newspaper message board written by an Archie Bunker Clone, but you wouldn't expect it to come from a so-called Republican running for the Presidency.
I don't think Trump is that dumb or unhinged- I think it was deliberate to help the Democrats. He knew what he was doing. Remember, for most of his career he was more Liberal than Conservative. And he was in with the Clinton's.
Here's what Trump might have said if he expected to be taken seriously: "Ladies and Gentleman, I want to address you about a very serious problem. Our Borders are not secure- especially toward the South- and that leaves us open to illegals entering our Country at will. Some of these people are drug dealers, some are criminals- many are good people just looking for a better life. But, all of them are entering the country illegally and that shouldn't be, etc.etc."
No way to assail a statement like that. JFK couldn't have said it better- nobody got insulted or demeaned. "Enforce the Laws. Secure the Border." End of Discussion.
August 13, 2016 at 11:13 a.m.
I noticed the man sitting behind Trump just to the right reacted to his comment about the way everyone not a Trump Apologist did- in shock. I saw his jaw drop when Trump made that reckless statement. And that's about the way I felt: my jaw dropped as I heard him say it.
One way or another- whether by accident or by design (as I feel)- Donald is a gift that keeps on giving for Hillary. Takes everyone's attention away from her sins- E-mails, Benghazi, etc., etc.
I still think- as I pointed out on another thread- that Trump is taking money from the Clinton Foundation to throw the election. Trump acts like a "Bull in a China Shop" but is he really a Fox? And he hasn't been willing to release his Tax Returns. Why? Is it because they would show not a "world-class company" as he likes to brag- but an organization in crisis- drowning in debt: hence the deal with the Clinton's.
The key lies in those tax statements- and Trump is never going to let us see them. He knows better.
August 13, 2016 at 1:37 a.m.