October 27, 2006

Open Letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer about the Ted Strickland Dealbreakers

Previous post: The Ted Strickland Dealbreakers — Briefly Stated (Voter Deception over the fact that he has been living outside of his district, and Financially Shortchanging His District by not living inside it)
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The following e-mail was sent to three of the reporters whose pictures appear at the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Politics Extra blog, plus the administrator for one of those reporters (modified slightly for presentation here to add links and to delete redundant verbiage):

Folks,

Malia Rulon’s expose of GOP congressional primary candidate Bob McEwen’s residency (in Ohio’s 2nd District — Ed.) and voter-registration issues (original Enquirer article; my blog post) was one of the high points in the Enquirer’s political reporting this year. You may be aware that I strongly praised it at the time.

I would suggest that the issues surrounding Ted Strickland’s residency in the 6th Congressional District since it was redrawn 4 years ago are in their own way at least as serious as McEwen’s, and that they are therefore very relevant to the current gubernatorial contest.

The matters involved are TOTALLY DIFFERENT and UNRELATED to the legal wrangling that is going on over Mr. Strickland’s early voting in Lisbon on October 20.

These are the main points:

  • Ted Strickland has been living out of the district since early April of 2003 in a condo in Columbus, and spending most, if not almost all, of his non-DC and non-campaign time there.
  • 6th District residents had every reason to believe that Mr. Strickland was living in the district, as he had made a big to-do over renting an apartment in Lisbon above his campaign headquarters during the 2002 campaign.
  • The East Liverpool Review, in its recent endorsement of Ken Blackwell, stated this about Strickland’s presence in the district, confirming his rare presence: “It is clear that he announced his move to Lisbon only after the district was reshaped leaving Columbiana as the largest county. But it is clear to Lisbon residents that he spends little, if any, time there. His own income tax records indicate he resides in Columbus.”
  • Strickland’s constituents did not learn that he was living outside of the district and spending most of his non-DC time outside of it for over three years (until sometime this summer). Democratic voters in the Ohio’s May primary were also not aware of this.
  • Surveys, including a recent one by Survey USA, show that voters by overwhelming majorities insist on the importance of a congressman living in his/her district (89%), and would not vote for someone who does not live in the district (70%).
  • By living outside of the district, Strickland, who pays Columbus income taxes, has denied his relatively impoverished district needed income tax, sales tax, and other revenues.

Bob McEwen’s residency, and the deceptions involved in his campaign relating to them, were important enough to merit full-length feature coverage in the Enquirer this past Easter Sunday. Bob McEwen was “only” trying to be elected to represent 800,000 (9 PM update — actually about 650,000 — Ed.) residents of the Second District. Ted Strickland wants to govern 11 million people in the entire state. I would suggest that covering Mr. Strickland’s situation at least to the extent that you covered McEwen’s is of paramount importance.

Regards,
Tom Blumer
BizzyBlog.com

What Dr. Laura’s Column That Led to Ted Strickland’s 1999 “Present” Vote Tells Us about Ted

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:13 pm

NixGuy has found the column, and has posted it at his site for posterity.

It started with a talk-show host’s interview in Philadelphia’s with one of the authors of the 1999 “research” study in question, the study which reached these conclusions, as Dr. Laura Schlessinger noted in that column (“Evil Among Us”):

In short: The three researchers claim that child sexual abuse does not necessarily cause intense, lasting harm – and go on to suggest that when there is a “willing” sexual encounter between an adult and a child, it be given the “value-neutral” term “adult-child sex”!

I refer to the study as “research” because no original work was done; instead, results of previous studies, many of which had never been published, were aggregated and used as a basis for the authors’ conclusions.

After the talk-show host brought the matter to Dr. Laura’s attention, and, after extensive investigation by her, she brought up the matter on her radio show and published “Evil Among Us.”

Ultimately, the article and the grass-roots firestorm it created led a horrified Congress to pass a resolution condemning the “research,” and the American Psychological Association (APA) for publishing it (the APA withdrew the “research”). In the House, 355 members supported the resolution, and none opposed it. 13 members voted “present,” including 2006 Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland.

In a one-minute floor speech 15 days after the vote on the resolution, a speech I have already criticized intensely, Ted Strickland condemned his colleagues’ vote, telling them:

We recently voted to condemn a scientific study and an organization, an organization that has done as much as any organization in this country to fight child abuse.

I wonder how many of us read the study before we were willing to vote to say that the methodology was flawed. I wonder how many of us were technically competent to make that decision.

I believe that we ought to observe the Ten Commandments. One of those Commandments says, you ought not to bear false witness against your neighbor.

When we say things about an organization or about an individual scientist that are untrue or unsubstantiated, in my judgment, we have violated that Commandment.

We ought to have the decency not to vote to condemn something until we know what it is we are voting to condemn.

You can’t help but come away from what Dr. Laura noted about the “research” study, corroborated extensively by others in a position to comment, and its clear relationship to the ongoing attempt to normalize a practice seen as abhorrent virtually since the dawn of civilization, and wonder not only at the previously noted arrogance and condescension contained in Strickland’s one-minute speech, but at its incredible naivete.

Consider what experts in the same profession as the authors of the APA-published “research,” and perhaps even members of the same organization Ted Strickland told his colleagues they had no right to criticize, had to say to Dr. Laura about how the “research” study was assembled, and the potential impact of letting its postions go unchallenged:

Later, Joe Nicolosi (link to the Officers’ page of Nicolosi’s organization added by me — Ed.) sent me a memo that makes some very salient additional points:

“1. The study used a college-age sample, which implies that most subjects were likely single. Would the results of this study have been different if they had been conducted with these same subjects ten years later? Would those subjects have been more prone to divorce, alcoholism, and child abuse? Would their spouses agree that they were well adjusted, sexually and emotionally? We doubt it.

“2. The authors of the study try to make a case for separating ‘wrongfulness’ (social-moral norms) from ‘harmfulness’ (psychological damage). We believe that social norms of wrongfulness are not arbitrary, but they evolved out of the great religious philosophers’ time-honored observations of ‘harmfulness’-i.e., their finding of psychological damage to the person and society.

“3. The study makes a distinction between forced and consensual child-adult or adult-teen sex. What minor-age child can make an informed decision to consent to sex? ”

++++++++++++++++

Dr. (Gerard) van den Aardweg has a Ph.D. in psychology, did his dissertation on homosexuality, has been in private practice for many years, and has written several books and articles on homosexuality, pedophilia, neuroses and family issues.

….. “These tests are sample questionnaires or short interview questions. At best, they can give a very rude indication of subjectively perceived discomfort. But in very many cases they not even do that. Harm is much more than ‘I do or do not feel okay,’ or ‘I didn’t like that experience.’ Harm after child sexual abuse is often an increased distress with respect to adults; a distorted and unhealthy view of sexuality; a distorted view of their own or the opposite sex. It can be subsequent sexual abnormalities.

It can be marriage and other relational problems later in life; problems functioning as a parent; sometimes later promiscuity; and in many cases, inferiority complexes, because children who have been misused often feel worthless.

“In short, what these psychologists offer us here is an insult to any really credible scientist of true scientific thinking. It is bogus psychology.”

+++++++++++++++

Now here’s a further discussion that Dr. van den Aardweg and I had on the telephone:

Dr. van den Aardweg: I think the sexual reform movements of the Western world have as one of their goals to liberate sexuality in all its forms. And so there is a silent – not so silent here in Holland -cooperation of the sexual reform organizations with the cause of the militant pedophiles. Here it is very clear. For example, our Dutch Association for Sexual Reform has special meetings for pedophiles every week in most Dutch cities.

Dr. Laura: This is scary. In this country, such groups gain power and authority by attacking the opposition as phobic, intolerant of diversity, bigoted and mean.

VDA: You will do a wonderful thing if you make people aware of this, and say to them, “Don’t let yourself be intimidated. Don’t doubt your own common-sense judgment of these things’ ” Because people are overruled and overwhelmed with all kinds of pseudo-science. They think, “Who am I? Perhaps I’m wrong, I’m old-fashioned, I’m a victim of my Western culture.” But they have to be supported as to their own convictions.

DL: So the point of liberating the sexual mores in general is, ultimately, to have access to kids.

VDA: Yes.

* * * * *

So now we come back, not to Ted Strickland’s “Present” vote, but to his one-minute speech:

  • Strickland is a degreed psychologist who presumably read the study (he’d better have, since he questioned how many of his colleagues had NOT), yet he either failed to recognize the “bogus psychology” contained therein, or didn’t care that it was bogus.
  • He criticized his colleagues as being “not technically competent” to say that the “research” study’s methodology was flawed, though it demonstrably and objectively was. Again, Strickland either didn’t recognize the flaws himself, or didn’t care about them and went ahead with his rant anyway, when he rebuked his colleagues for “say(ing) things about an organization or about an individual scientist that are untrue or unsubstantiated,” and in the process told 355 of them that they had violated the Eighth Commandment.
  • He was clearly either unaware or was unconcerned about the potential impact the publication of the “research” study in a professional journal without challenge would have on attempts to normalize child sexual abuse, or at least to coddle instead of punish abusers, in the courts and in legislatures. Perhaps he was unconcerned because he was, (and perhaps still is) unaware of the potential strength of the normalization movement; that would make him surprisingly ignorant of what some of his professional colleagues in the psych community, sometimes in league with the abusers themselves, were (and to an extent, still are) up to. Or, perhaps, he is quite aware of the normalization movement’s potential and either doesn’t mind, or is apathetic, about whether society evolves in that direction (Note: That is VERY different from saying that Ted Strickland supports it, which I personally do not have any reason to believe is the case.). Out of touch, or laissez faire, take your pick.

Strickland’s vote and his one-minute speech call into question his awareness and/or concern about “the evil among us” in this world, and his willingness to do anything about evil even when it is recognized.

As I have stated previously:

Nobody can fairly say that Ted Strickland supports pedophilia, but no one can deny that Ted Strickland’s 1999 “Present” vote on H CON RES 107, and especially his subsequent reaction to Congress’s unanimous support of it, provided aid and comfort to those who do. The only debate is over how much.

Allowing a person who is so clearly arrogant and condescending, yet so naive and/or indifferent to what’s really happening in the real world, to ascend into the Governor’s office in a state of 11 million people is a very big risk voters in the Buckeye should not take. With the presence of two other acceptable candidates on the ballot, it is also a risk they do not need to take.

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NOTE: Readers new to this blog should be aware that the Ted Strickland BizzyBlog Dealbreakers have ended the discussion about Ted Strickland’s eligibility to even be considered for public office. Ted Strickland’s Voter Deception concerning his out-of-district residency and his Financially Shortchanging His District of needed income tax and other revenues have seen to that.

But, if you don’t mind having someone as governor who has withheld the truth from his constituents for over three years, and who has, as a result, deceived voters in at least three elections and denied “his” district the benefits of his income and other taxes, the above might assist you in deciding whether Ted Strickland has the mature judgment and termperament required to effectively carry out the duties of a governor.

NOTE 2: The professional evaluations and criticisms of the study’s methodology by the experts Dr. Laura cited are valid (or, conceivably invalid, if someone can demonstrate it), regardless of the positions these gentlemen hold on homosexuality, so don’t even go there. If you want to come in and say the “research” study was fine and prove it, be my guest. You’ll “only” be contradicting the APA, which withdrew it.

Holy Toledo, We’re Speechless in Cincinnati: The (Switch)Blade’s Incoherent State Auditor Endorsement

Watch the Blade do a complete 180 on appropriate State Auditor qualifications in the space of three paragraphs in its endorsement of Barbara Sykes for Auditor:

(on Mary Taylor, who is a CPA)

But the job does not require a CPA; the position is largely administrative. The auditor of state does not personally conduct audits.

What the job does require is a person who understands the importance of employing well-trained financial auditors and insists they do their work aggressively, something we are convinced did not occur on Ms. Montgomery’s watch with regard to Coingate.

(on Barbara Sykes)

Barbara Sykes, like Ms. Taylor, is also a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, but unlike Ms. Taylor, she has actually been an auditor in government.

So according to the Toledo (Switch)Blade:

  • Taylor won’t be doing audits herself, so her CPA experience and credentials are irrelevant, as, apparently is her experience as “Director of the firm’s tax department and a senior manager of the Employee Benefits practice” at the Akron-based CPA firm where she still does limited work.
  • Sykes has been a “government auditor” (and as I understand it, despite the position description, has done no hands-on auditing; e-mail me with the proof if you can show me I’m wrong). But Ms. Sykes’ “audit experience” (assuming it even exists, as appears doubtful) means she’s qualified.

We’re speechless in Cincinnati on this one, folks.

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Previous Post:

- Oct. 25 — Why Would an Auditor Want to Audit?

Rush’s Rant for the Ages on the Drive-By 527 Media

I would add only one thing to what Rush said, and I’ve said it before — anyone who discusses “stem cell research” without describing it as “embryonic” or “adult” is being intellectually dishonest. I have to regretfully conclude, after reading his ad’s script (requires free registration), that Michael J. Fox, whose suffering I am very sympathetic to (my grandfather on my mother’s side was ravaged by Parkinson’s for years), has to be included in that group.

Get it while it’s still up (probably until about 6 PM tonight), as it’s a hard-drive saver:

(more…)

3rd Quarter GDP

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:28 am

1.6%.

No, I don’t consider that acceptable, though I expect that final revisions will take it to about 2.0% by the time all is said and done, as that has roughly been the trend in most quarters during the past two years. I also see encouraging signs in capital investment that support the CW (conventional wisdom) that the fourth quarter will be stronger.

Looking through some of the components (all annualized; divide by 4 to get the rough actual change during the quarter):

  • Personal consumption expenditures (+3.1%) — Not bad.
  • Private domestic invesment (-2.0%) — the slowdown in housing construction (-17.4%) dragged the overall number into negative territory overshadowing very strong performances in nonresidential construction (+8.6%) and Equipment and software (+14.0). Corporate America has opened up the capital spending spigots in a big way for four quarters (finally), which bodes well for future growth.
  • Government (+2.0%) — After big declines in the second quarter, that this one didn’t come in higher is a surprise.

The oil-price decline didn’t really start kicking in until about September 1, and the economy’s positive response to that won’t be seen until the fourth quarter — except, perhaps, in the revisions to the prelimary 3rd quarter results just released, which makes me feel more confident that those revisions will indeed be upward.

Given the second and third quarter results, the fourth quarter will definitely be put-up-or-shut-up time.

Just What a Christmas PC Buyer Needs: More Hassle. Mossberg’s Solution: Don’t Buy

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Money Tip of the Day — Tom @ 8:10 am

Buy a computer, get a coupon for the operating that will make it work best (on January 30, 2007, assuming it gets done).

As much as I’d like to see the economy zip along with the help of a strong Christmas shopping season, I found it hard to argue against the suggestion Walter Mossberg made in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (requires subscription):

It’s time for my annual fall computer buyer’s guide, and this year my message is a little unusual. If you’re thinking of acquiring or giving a new Windows desktop or laptop computer this holiday season, don’t do it. I suggest that, if at all possible, you wait around 90 days and get that new Windows machine in February.

I advise this delay because the Windows world is on the verge of an upheaval. Microsoft is about to replace its tired, insecure Windows XP operating system with the first all-new version of Windows in more than five years. It’s called Windows Vista, and it’s likely to be more secure and easier to use. But Vista won’t be available until around Jan. 30, 2007. So, all those brand-new Windows computers you might buy this holiday season will be powered by an operating system that is on its deathbed.

Of course, you can upgrade most new Windows XP computers you buy now to Windows Vista after January. And starting today, Microsoft and PC makers are offering an Express Upgrade program that will provide copies of Vista for free, or at reduced prices, to people who buy Windows XP machines bearing a “Vista Capable” sticker from now through mid-March.

The catch is that upgrading PCs to major new operating system releases can be a tricky business. Often, it works just fine, but in many cases there are significant problems. It’s always better to buy a new PC that has been matched at the factory with the latest operating system. Waiting just another 90 days could save you a lot of upgrading aggravation.

I have to agree with Mossberg that the potential perils of migrating to a new operating system can be daunting, and that many non-techie consumers would be better off avoiding it if they can.

If Mister Softee keeps diddling around with Vista and slows down the tech sector, maybe we should call the next downturn The Microsoft Recession.

This is What They Apparently Teach In J-School

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:05 am

At Powerline, there’s a vid of a press conference with Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney where a reporter says “We represent the people, governor.”

Romney sets him straight.

“No, I represent the people, you represent the media.”

Oh, yeah, “the people” against the powerless. How romantic.

What horse manure. If you’re from Ohio, how much coverage did this announcement by a powerless person who just go run over by a political machine get?

It would appear that J-schools teach that Republicans aren’t part of “the people,” nor even Democrats who don’t toe the line.

Th 527 Media should spare us all the sanctimony.

Open Note to Commenter

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:00 am

The comment I’m referring to included this on my opinion on how absentee voting should only be available to those who will, y’know, be absent on Election Day:

And even the example of Ford is weak — lacking the “temperment” of a congressman?

If “temperament” isn’t important, why is Harold Ford Jr. talking about that very word in his attempt to recover lost ground?

When it comes to making the case that you should wait until Election Day to vote if at all possible, Harold Ford Jr. is the gift that keeps on giving. With each passing day, more early Ford voters in the Volunteer State have to be saying “I wish I could get that ballot back.”

Well, That’s Better (UPDATE: Much Better)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy — Tom @ 7:55 am

Last week, I was wondering why Wal-Mart stores in Ohio were not included in the 13 states added to the company’s $4 generic drug prescription program when two adjacent states were.

I saw a notice about this in a Wal-Mart store last night, and this article confirms the news for those who might think I was seeing things: Ohio’s in. Yeah, baby.

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UPDATE: The program is now being rolled out to a total of 27 states.

Positivity: Miracle babies in surgery first

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

In Brisbane, Australia — a Melbourne couple needed “twin-to-twin” transfusion, only with triplets:

21oct06

THREE tiny unborn girls have been given a chance at life after Australian-first surgery done in the womb of their Melbourne mother.

Geelong couple Nicole and Lawrie Meade’s identical triplets – each less than the size of a tub of butter – would have almost certainly died without the risky operation.

The babies’ 32-year-old mother is still only 19 weeks’ pregnant and survival is a day-to-day proposition for the triplets.

But the Meades, who have a 22-month-old daughter Molly, felt they had no choice but to have the complex surgery.

“There was a slight concern they could die in surgery but all we could see was that, if this could help them survive, we’d do it,” Nicole Meade said.

“If I didn’t have the surgery I probably would have lost them all but now there’s a chance that hopefully they can all survive. We’re still not out of the woods yet but we’ll just take every day as it comes.”

Professor Fung Yee Chan, maternal fetal medicine director at the Mater Mother’s Hospital in Brisbane, operated on the babies in their mother’s uterus in a procedure rarely performed anywhere in the world.

The triplets had a rare condition known as fetal-fetal transfusion syndrome which only affects identical fetuses with a shared placenta connecting blood vessels and umbilical cords.

Instead of receiving nutrients and blood supply equally between the three, one was literally being starved, another was developing reasonably normally and the third was getting more than it should.

A recent scan showed one was 170g, another was 230g and the third about 250g.

Without treatment, just one in 10 babies survives. In a 2 1/2-hour operation, Prof Chan performed keyhole surgery and used a laser to painstakingly seal blood vessels connecting the babies via the placenta.

“You trace each of the blood vessels and find the ones that return to the same baby and leave them alone, and the ones that connect different babies, you seal them,” she explained.

“The technical challenge is not to cut a baby’s own returning vessels.”

Tiny telescopes are inserted into the womb to aid the surgeons.

Prof Chan consulted worldwide medical experts as the operation had never been attempted on identical triplets in Australia.

Nicole and husband Lawrie, 32, flew to Brisbane for the surgery. Their Melbourne specialists referred them to Prof Chan, considered the Australian expert on the condition.

Doctors at the Mater’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit have operated on 85 identical twins with the problem, also known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome because it mainly affects twins.

They have an 85 per cent success rate of the babies being born alive, one of the best rates in the world.

Even without such a complication, triplets are at increased risk of being born premature, making Prof Chan cautious about the prognosis.

“When they’re identical and share a circulation and you have to operate, it all adds to the risk so it’s only early days,” she said.

“You can never say for sure in medicine, but the chance of them surviving without the surgery was low.

“With the surgery the babies are so far, so good. That’s all I can say.

The Meades (say) ….. “People have said how busy it’d be bringing up four kids under two but compared to the alternative, it’ll be great,” Mr Meade said.

“Bring it on.”