Trolling Not Allowed

Trolling Not Allowed! Comments from anonymous trolls are not permitted and are deleted if posted by the offending pest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Schwinn Bicycle: Un-American?

I read the Tim Higgins' blog Just Blowing Smoke... entry Buy American Automobiles: An Idle Question or Two. I commented to that entry with "I get such a headache trying to understand all this. Heck, I am not even so sure there any bicycles made in the USA anymore. I heard Schwinn bicycles are actually made in China."

When I made that comment, I did not know for sure whether it was correct about Schwinn bicycles. So, I did some internet searching, came across some information that pretty much corroborates the allegation, and then hit the "publish" button for my comment to be posted.

Then, I began to write a blog entry for Roland's Ramblings to be published tomorrow. As I was doing so, I changed my mind and decided to do it here on Roland Hansen Commentary. Even as I make this entry, I see that Tim has already commented to my comment by stating "Roland, Did the lookup. Shcwinn was purchased by Pacific, which was in turn purchase by Dorel. The bikes are now made in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. Sorry..."

None-the-less, I think I'll continue on with this entry. Here is what I found (make sure to look at the embedded links I am placing therein):

The parent company of Schwinn Bicycle which bills itself as "America's most famous bicycle brand" is Pacific Cycle which is owned by Dorel Industries, Inc.

In the true American business spirit, Dorel Industries is a multi-national operation that is not even based in the United States of America. Also, in the true American business spirit, the Schwinn Bicycle operation would have you believe that Schwinn is American. I ask you, is that really American, or is Schwinn Bicycle Un-American?

All of that got me thinking over and over again about the whole 'buy American' thing of which I happen to be a supporter although I admit not 100 percent of the time. Back in December 1985, the article Buy American campaign gains momentum appeared on the scene. Having read that article, you might go on over to read the LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati News story "Buy American" Campaign. A cautionary perspective is somewhat indicated by the article 'Buy American' campaign stirs protectionist worries By Ron DaParma, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Wednesday, March 18, 2009.

If the buy American thing is something in which you have an interest, you may always go to visit the web site How Americans Can Buy American.

On the other hand, the Ayn Rand Institute has put forth its perspective "Buy American" is UN-American By Harry Binswanger, Ph.D.

Hmmm, just what is American and what is Un-American? I wonder what you think.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bloggers are full of themselves! Or are they?

Sometimes, I just have to wonder.

I have seen bloggers come and go. A few years ago, one of my sons and one of my nephews got me interested in the blogosphere,. Both of them, at that time, were regular ongoing bloggers themselves, but not so much anymore. After some prodding on their part back then, I became a blogger.

My foray as a blogger was with Roland's Ramblings. Back then, I was not aware that another blog by the name of Roland's Ramblings already existed; otherwise, I would have used a different title for my blog - and actually there are even more blogs with the same name of Roland's Ramblings. That not withstanding, after approximately two years my Roland's Ramblings suddenly disappeared from the internet due to technology issues as I understand it. As it turned out my Roland's Ramblings underwent a metamorphosis and re-incarnation, and after a short absence, my Roland's Ramblings re-emerged in its newer and present form.

But, I ramble. Let's return to the topic at hand.

Some of the blogs that used to be my favorites are now either gone or have fallen into my disfavor. I mourn those that have disappeared and I regret that other favorites have fallen by the wayside because the authors have become so full of themselves that I want to cry.

A couple of bloggers who used to be really excellent, in my opinion, have let their popularity go to their head and seem more interested in cranking up their readership, contributors, and rankings rather than maintaining the quality they once had. It is as though they have become like those grocery store rags (need I use the National Enquirer as an example?) and just want to gleam in the limelight and their own self-perceived importance. My fallen idols seem to think that because they allow anonymous posters to make just about any kind of comment that they so desire that they are actually contributing to free speech by allowing differing viewpoints. In my opinion, some of those anonymous commentators are just flaming trolls who stir up the pot calling others by nasty names, denigrating true dialogue, and demean the intelligent conversation of contributors with various perspectives.

Bull feathers, I say! Hockey pucks!

Empowering flaming trolls stifles positive contributions of other people who wish to make a comment. Well, in my own case, it has. I have stopped contributing to all such blogs and electronic bulletin boards and forums that allow inflammatory and demeaning comments by anonymous posters.

I think my fallen idols have become so full of themselves that they just have become gluttonous in their quest for fame, glory, and alleged popularity. In my opinion, they have allowed their self-centeredness to just feed their egos and have fallen off the wagon of truly making a difference.

I have heard it said that I am full of myself. Do you believe that? Well, let me set the record straight! I was full of myself long before I became a blogger. Blogging has become my hobby. For the most part, my Roland's Ramblings has become a way that I can share with others of what I have learned and/or continue to learn in those areas that I find interesting and in which I think others may find interesting. On the other hand (if you wear a glove), I began Roland Hansen Commentary as a means in which I can state my own views on matters that I consider important and to do so in a forum of my own choosing that does not permit anonymous flaming trolls to make derogatory comments purely for the sake of making derogatory comments. That said, I do allow differing viewpoints from registered Google users, an action and behavior of mine which has in fact surprised a few people,

Just as the traditional print media called newspapers and magazines, and just as the traditional broadcast media called television and radio, that trivialize issues and sensationalize people, have fallen out of favor with me, so have bloggers, more precisely political bloggers, who have gotten so full of themselves that they have lost the integrity I once perceived them to have had. Apparently those bloggers (and their counterpart electronic bulletin board and electronic forum administrators) seem to get off on all the attention they get from the traditional mass media, from the sheer numbers of their readers, and from the mindless trolls who desire a forum in which they may spread their poison that they consequently have played to the tune of increasing that attention.

As an unbiased and impartial viewer, I believe my viewpoints as expressed on Roland Hansen Commentary deserve some attention from the masses of the public and from the mass media. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only person to have that opinion. But then again, maybe I am just full of myself.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lucas County Government

Some things just merit repeating.
Please read the previous Roland Hansen Commentary
Reinventing Ohio's Lucas County Government.

Oh, and by the way, the following message was posted on my twitter page:
Roland Hansen is seeking people to join together in an initiative referendum effort to change the structure and form of Lucas County government.
4:57 PM Apr 3rd from web

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lucas County Prosecutor Office: A Question of Compentency of Staff Attorney John Borell

For about two years now (perhaps a little bit more or a little bit less), John Borell, a staff attorney in the office of Julia Bates, the elected Lucas County Prosecutor, has supposedly been in the process of providing an answer in regards to the Joan Kuchinski public office compatibility question of her receiving a paycheck from the Lucas County Educational Service Center for employment services rendered under the PRAXIS program while serving as an elected member of the LCESC Governing Board. To date, there has been no formal written response.

By Ohio statute, the Lucas County Prosecutor's offce serves as legal counsel to the Lucas County Educational Service Center.

In my opinion, there is absolutely no acceptable reason for this type of delay on the part of John Borell. Furthermore, in my opinion, I think the actions and/or inactions of John Borell in regards to his handling (or not handling or mishandling) of this job task might be considered as malfeasance, nonfeasance, and/or misfeasance.

How in the world can Julia Bates, the elected Lucas County Prosecutor, find the employment performance of her staff member attorney John Borell acceptable???!!! It just makes me wonder.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Changing Toledo City Council -- Again!

There’s a lot of talk within the Toledo community and amongst some of the city council members of changing the size of Toledo city council. It seems some folks think a 12-member council is too large. At the present time, Toledo’s city council consists of six district and six at-large representatives. Unless I am mistaken, a couple of the councilman and several vocal citizens at-large are advocating a reduction in the number of elected at-large council representatives from six to three. Apparently some people think that the at-large representatives mostly come from certain sections of the community and do not properly represent the entire community thereby diminishing the representation of other sections of the community.

While I do not necessarily advocate a 12-member council size, I do have some thoughts related to the “rationale” used by the advocates of a smaller size city council.

Why does anyone think that a 12-member council is too large? It seems to me that the greater number of elected representatives to council provides for greater opportunity of citizen input and increased governmental accountability and responsiveness. I’ve heard that some of the advocates of a smaller council also put forth the argument that a smaller council will result in cost savings. Give me a break. How much of a savings? What percentage of the entire city budget would be the result of a smaller size city council? Is it really worth the resultant decrease in democratic representation and citizen voice? Think about it. With the smaller number of elected representatives comes the result of concentrating power in fewer people. Are people really desirous of that? Are people really willing to have fewer people exercise more power over them?

For those people who advocate a smaller number of at-large council representatives thinking that it would address their concern of at-large representatives coming mostly from certain areas of the city to the detriment of representation from other sections of the community, I have a simple question. How does decreasing the number of at-large representatives truly address those concerns except in terms of the quantity of the water-down representation from those areas or sections of the community allegedly adversely affected by the current system? While a decrease in at-large elected representatives may result is less over-representation by certain areas, it does not eliminate the "perceived" injustices or disparity as related to areas alleged to be under-represented or overpowered by those from the other areas of the city.

Back before the late 1960s, Toledo City government consisted of an all at-large elected city council that in turn elected a mayor from amongst their own, Then, a change took place that allowed for the direct election of a mayor. The mayor nominated a city manager that had to be confirmed by a vote of the council. Whenever there was a “problem,” all the parties pointed fingers to the other parties assigning blame and responsibility. It was a vicious political circle of “blame the manager” and “blame the Mayor” and “blame the council” with no one taking responsibility. It didn’t seem to matter that the manager served at the pleasure of the mayor and council; and, council often would state the mayor appointed the manager. Whenever the citizens were vocal in their displeasure, the mayor and council would point the finger of blame at the manager and the manager would fault council. Responsiveness, accountability, and responsibility were evasive whenever it served the pleasure of City Hall.

Quite a few years ago, I was an active participant and an early committee member of the citizen effort that eventually resulted in the change of city government. Incidentally, there was more than one attempt and there was more than one group or committee that transcended over several years. Those of us involved at the time came from across the wide spectrum of the community. Many different perspectives and approaches were put forth and discussed seemingly ad nauseum until compromises were reached that most of the "players" could accept as necessary in order to bring about change.

The end result changed the composition of Toledo City Council from the smaller all at-large council to a larger council that is the present combination of at-large and district representatives. It also eliminated the council-manager form of municipal government to the strong mayor form of city government. In a nutshell but by no means all comprehensive, the underlying rationale for the district representation was to allow for more responsiveness and the underlying rationale for a strong mayor was responsibility while allowing the entire city government to be more accountable. Oh, the real reason to keep some at-large representatives on Toledo City Council was purely political; some folks simply did not want to give up power.

Flash forward to the issue of the size and composition of Toledo City Council today. I suggest as I did so many years ago that Toledo City Council be composed of nine representatives all of whom are elected from geographical districts. District representation is the way to go. The United States Supreme Court has upheld the principle of one person-one vote, as has the Ohio Supreme Court when it struck down the former system of electing state representatives from counties on an at large basis as a violation of the one person-one vote principle.

Sometimes, I think I am just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Remember this.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ben Konop for Mayor of Toledo

Given the latest press announcement from Ben Konop, a politician who seems to communicate almost exclusively by means of press announcements and press conferences and who seems to be nonresponsive to the citizens and who just happens to be the nephew of former Chair of the Lucas County Democratic Party and former Lucas County Commissioner and former Lucas County Recorder and former Toledo City Councilperson, and given the fact that today is April Fool's Day, I couldn't think of a better title for this Roland Hansen Commentary.

Who's the fool? Need I say more?