Ohio Cities Extorting Non-Resident Non-Workers

As covered extensively in the paywalled Columbus Dispatch article “Should you pay commuter taxes while working from home? Republicans say no, cities say yes” (where by “Cities” they mean Democrats), with the advent of COVID-19 the Ohio State Legislature is aiding and abetting a money-grab for unionized workers of large cities.

Ordinarily, Cities claim that a person working within the imaginary lines that define their corporation gives them the authority to seize a portion of any income earned within that city to fund “services” the city offers in return – whether they are used or not.

Under COVID rules though, many employees have been re-assigned to work locations outside of these cities.  They do not enter the City’s imaginary corporate boundaries, so they place no burden on Police, Fire, or other resources.

To maintain political power, politicians in control of Cities wish to keep their politically influential City employee unions senselessly staffed at pre-COVID levels – lack of demand for services be damned.

Their solution to this is to pretend that COVID never happened.  They’ll just keep tax-extorting people who haven’t worked within their fiefdom for months.  Meanwhile, the victims of their extortion racket are unable to benefit from access to their hard earned money for COVID-related expenses that can’t be imagined away.

As the Dispatch article mentions, The Buckeye Institute is going to bat for affected Ohioans in Franklin County Court case 20 CV 004301 (you’ll need to agree to the courts terms before visiting the link to see the content).

As Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) said in the dispatch article “What’s to stop Akron from taxing you or Youngstown? It’s unconstitutional, I believe, to tax someone who does not work or reside in their territory.”

Otherwise Eligible Votes?

Woke up this morning to the following news story from a Columbus Dispatch news podcast:

“Nearly 23,000 ballots could be discarded in Ohio, a USA TODAY, Columbia Journalism Investigations, and Frontline investigation found.  In this unprecedented election, seemingly minor problems, such as mismatched signatures, inaccurate birth dates, and other paperwork mistakes could disqualify otherwise eligible votes.” – Jonathan Smith, Columbus Headline News Express 10/19/2020 7:15 AM (00:01:03 into the podcast)

The comment seems to be in reference to the article Ohio election winner could turn on absentee votes declared ineligible (dispatch.com) by Darrel Rowland (@darreldrowland) / Twitter.  This article also contains the phrase “otherwise-eligible votes” – but what does that even mean?

Imagine a fairly low-security task such as signing into a website or calling a business on the phone for account information.

You identify yourself, and as part of that they ask you for your birth date, address, or other information to make sure you are really you?

Surely you’ve screwed this up at some point in your life – and rightfully been rejected access to meddle in your own affairs.

But we don’t call these “otherwise eligible logins” – because that’s what we only want eligible logins, not “otherwise eligible”.

Eligible means “Having the right to do or obtain something; satisfying the appropriate conditions.”  When you fail to satisfy the appropriate conditions you are “NOT eligible” not “otherwise eligible” or “differently eligible” or “alternatively eligible”, you’re either eligible; or you’re not.

This is yet another example of newspeak in “news speak” that ultimately amounts to propaganda.

Just like not knowing the correct passwords and challenge questions makes one ineligible to log-in to a computer or interact with an organization by phone, not answering the security questions for voting (a much higher security action) should make one “ineligible to vote” until they answer the questions correctly.

Words mean things, and neither the Dispatch editors nor anyone else get to re-define them to bolster their baseless positions. Editors should know how to use dictionaries and resist the temptation to make up terms (no matter how absurd) to suit their personal or organizational political agenda.


In December of 2018, the US Government initiated a shutdown of non-essential services.  As part of this, I noticed that apps like mPING which are used for reporting weather conditions began to have broken links. 

Non-essential Government employees such as the NOAA.gov webmasters threw a tantrum associated with being told that they were “non-essential”.  As a result, even though the servers were humming along just fine, these workers blocked access to their content for the duration of the “shutdown” with a message politely explaining that they would be holding their non-essential information hostage until they were allowed to continue suckling at the teet of the State.

I was hoping to find a mirror for the info but couldn’t immediately.  Now that the Government has resumed it’s non-essential operations (at great economic expense to innocent Software Engineers like myself), I was able to obtain a copy of the information which I will mirror below.


PS: Another archive of this information exists here: https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://mping.nssl.noaa.gov/types.php

What are all of those weather types that are listed in the mPING app? How do you tell the difference between freezing rain and freezing drizzle?

Sends a test report to confirm that NSSL received your report; you will see a small yellow X appear to show your report was received
Rain and/or Snow

No precipitation occurring; most useful shortly before precipitation begins and after it ends


Very small, numerous and uniformly distributed water drops that may appear to float while following air currents

Freezing Drizzle

Drizzle that falls in liquid form but freezes upon impact to form a coating of glaze ice


Liquid water drops falling that do not freeze upon impact

Freezing Rain

Rain that falls in liquid form but freezes upon impact to form a coating of glaze on exposed objects (this will occur well before any ice forms on the ground)

Ice Pellets/Sleet

Small translucent balls of ice cosisting of frozen raindrops (not to be confused with hail)


Frozen precipitation in the form of flakes of ice crystals

Mixed Rain & Snow

Usually has the consistency of slush; almost never results in any accumulation

Mixed Rain & Ice Pellets

Often occurs as wet ice pellets mixed with small raindrops; sometimes occurs as falling raindrops containing one or perhaps few small pieces or chunks of ice (not snow)

Mixed ice Pellets & Snow

Snow along with ice pellets; the snowflakes don’t have ice pellets at their core as with ice pellets mixed with rain
Hail (include size)
A chunk of ice falling from the sky ranging from the size of a pea to a grapefruit; hail occurs exclusively in thunderstorms. Sleet is not tiny hail but is instead produced by a different process.
Wind Damage
Severity 1 (Damage Trivial)

Lawn furniture & trash cans displaced; small twigs broken off

Severity 2 (Damage Mild)

1 inch tree limbs broken; shingles blown off

Severity 3 (Damage Moderate)

3 inch tree limbs broken; power poles down

Severity 4 (Damage Severe)

Large trees uprooted or snapped; roofs blown off

Severity 5 (Damage Extreme)

Homes and buildings destroyed
Water Spout
Not displayed but sent to the NWS
Tornado (on ground)
Not displayed but sent to the NWS
Severity 1 (Flood Minor)

River/creek overflowing; cropland/yard/basement flooding

Severity 2 (Flood Moderate)

Street/road flooding; stranded vehicles

Severity 3 (Flood Serious)

Homes and buildings filled with water

Severity 4 (Flood Severe)

Homes, buildings and cars swept away
Most often areas of soil mud that becomes loose due to lots of rainfall and then slides down a hilside; sometimes an entire hillside will come loose in a layer and slide
Reduced Visibility
Dense Fog

Visibility reduction caused by very tiny condensed water droplets so small that they cannot be individually distinguished; essentially a cloud on the ground

Blowing Dust/Sand

Visibility reduction caused by strong winds lofting sand and dust, most often from dry and barren soil

Misrepresenting Election Outcomes

In the Dispatch editorial Well done, Mr. Mayor published on December 31st, they referred to “a 2009 ballot issue, in which city residents agreed to raise their income taxes to 2.5 percent from 2 percent”.

While it is true that the 7.3% of voting aged city residents raised their own taxes, they also raised the taxes of the 92.7% of voting aged Columbus residents who did not vote to support the measure – as well as the taxes of tens of thousands of residents who are now taxed under this scheme but were not old enough to vote at the time.

It is important to remember, that one does not need to vote to contribute more money to the City – anyone may give voluntarily. A vote is only required to force your neighbors to pay for the things that you value and they do not.

Saying that “city residents agreed” when only 7.3% did is misleading, careless, and results in continued electoral injustice.

Update: The first calculations were back of a napkin estimates… I’ve tried to make them a little concrete using a spreadsheet based on the election data with 2010 census data to fill the gaps.  Below is a chart of the percentages from that process.


Michael Stinziano Quiz Results

As part of my research into Columbus City Council candidates in the May 5, 2015 Primary, I sent each candidate a list of the questions from The World’s Smallest Political Quiz (WSPQ)

These are the results from Columbus City Council Candidate Michael Stinziano

Note: Since the final question was un-answered, I treated it as disagree due to the way the quiz is scored with 20 points for Agree, 10 points for Maybe, and 0 points for Disagree.  I just didn’t want to skew it by giving points for a non-answer.

Personal Issues

Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet. – Agree

Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft. – Agree

There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults. – Agree

Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs. –  Disagree

There should be no National ID card. – Agree

Economic Issues

End “corporate welfare.” No government handouts to business. – Maybe

Creating more and better jobs to grow our economy and restore economic prosperity is my top priority.  I am dedicated to creating jobs, particularly to foster small business growth, fund essential services, to help promote neighborhood safety, support our schools, and provide everyone with effective, responsive constituent service.

End government barriers to international free trade. – Maybe

Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security. – Maybe

“The devil is in the details” of any plan to privatize Social Security.

Replace government welfare with private charity. – Disagree

Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more. – NO ANSWER

May 5, 2015 Columbus City Primary Race

People often ask me who a Libertarian should vote for in various political races such as the upcoming May 5, 2015 Primary.  While I’d advise people to vote for Libertarian candidates while available, sometimes none are available in a given race.

Luckily, public sentiments seem to be leaning more libertarian – so there are votes to be won for the establishment parties by running candidates who stake out libertarian positions on key issues.

Over the years it seems like the World’s Smallest Political Quiz (WSPQ) has been as good an indicator of libertarian philosophy of a person as any, so I tend to use it to get a quick overview of where a candidate stands.

With that in mind, I obtained the campaign email addresses for all of the candidates in this year’s Columbus City Council and Columbus Mayor’s race.  I wanted to find Columbus School Board candidate emails as well but too few of them had phone, email, or websites listed.

I’m listing the candidates, WSPQ score (if they responded to my request – a perfect score is 100/100 on Personal/Economic freedoms) and their campaign Twitter and email accounts in case you’d like to ask them questions before you cast your vote.  Candidates who responded will also have a clickable name with details of their response.

Here’s the list of candidates for this year’s May Primary.

Columbus Mayor


WSPQ Score



Terry A. Boyd

? @BoydforColumbus northcoastboyd@gmail.com


?   jbrown75n@gmail.com

Andrew J.

? @AndrewGinther andrew@andrewginther.com

Selina R.Miller

?   selinamiller7@hotmail.com

James C.Ragland

? @Ragland4Mayor ragland4mayor@gmail.com


? @ZachScott2015 scottforcolumbus@gmail.com

Columbus City Council


WSPQ Score



?   ideasfororie@gmail.com
? @zmklein zach@zachklein.org
Kiwan R.
?   FriendsForKiwanLawson@gmail.com
Michelle M.Mills ?   michellemarle.mills8@gmail.com
? @Jaiza_Page jaiza.page@gmail.com
? @WillPetrik will@willpetrik.org
? @Citizens4Rush john@citizensforrush.com
?   bsharra@gmail.com
? @VoteSow2015 votesow@gmail.com
? @Dimitrious4cbus stanleyforcolumbuscouncil@gmail.com
Michael Stinziano 80/30 @Stinziano mstinziano@citizensforstinziano.com

If you’re one of the candidates listed, and didn’t receive my initial email, feel free to contact me via Skype and I’d be happy to re-send it.

Quizzing the Candidates 2013

Each year as election time nears, I take some time to research the candidates. There are a number of great resources – probably one of the most detailed is the candidate questionnaire provided in the county League of Women Voters Voter Information Bulletin.

The LWV survey asks a few specific questions and I encourage you to review their responses, but I wanted to get a more general feel for their overarching mindset – a better glimpse into how they are likely to make decisions as they serve.

This is the list of questions I posed to each of them:

Personal Issues

  1. Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet.
  2. Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft.
  3. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults.
  4. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs.
  5. There should be no National ID card.

Economic Issues

  1. End “corporate welfare.” No government handouts to business.
  2. End government barriers to international free trade.
  3. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security.
  4. Replace government welfare with private charity.
  5. Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more.

You may recognize the questions from the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, which I recommend taking yourself so you can see how similar your views are to those of the candidates.

So, over the next few weeks, as the responses trickle in, I’m going to try to share their results with you – to help you inform your own decisions with regard to these candidates. It will also serve as a bit of an archive since candidates views change. If I ask them again in a later election it will be interesting to see how their views changed on these key issues.

If a candidate doesn’t specifically say whether they agree or disagree with one of the questions, I’ll be treating those as “Maybe” responses.

Here’s a list of the offices and candidates I emailed the survey to on 10/2/2013 (I’ll be linking the names to their responses as I receive them – no link means no response):

Office Municipality/District Name
City Attorney Columbus Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr.
City Auditor Columbus Hugh J. Dorrian
City Auditor  Columbus  Igor Ternovsky
Member of Council Columbus Brian Bainbridge
Member of Council Columbus Greg Lawson
Member of Council Columbus A. Troy Miller
Member of Council Columbus Eileen Paley
Member of Council Columbus Nick Schneider
Member of Council Columbus Priscilla R. Tyson
Member Board of Education Columbus City School District Michael D. Cole
Member Board of Education Columbus City School District Beverly J. Corner
Member Board of Education Columbus City School District Hanifah Kambon
Member Board of Education Columbus City School District Dominic Paretti
Member Board of Education Columbus City School District Ramona R. Reyes
Member Board of Education Columbus City School District Mike Wiles
Municipal Court Judge (FTC 1‐1‐14) Franklin County Scott Van Der Karr
Municipal Court Judge (FTC 1‐2‐14) Franklin County Kristen McKinley
Municipal Court Judge (FTC 1‐2‐14) Franklin County Amy Salerno 
Municipal Court Judge (FTC 1‐3‐14) Franklin County Gwen Callender
Municipal Court Judge (FTC 1‐3‐14) Franklin County James E. Green
Municipal Court Judge (UTE 1‐7‐2016) Franklin County James W. Adair, III
Municipal Court Judge (UTE 1‐7‐2016) Franklin County Dan Hawkins
Municipal Court Judge (UTE 1‐7‐2016) Franklin County Frank Macke

Libertarians take note: Microsoft Listens to Feedback

While taking part in the public preview of Windows 8, I noticed that the default news app only included traditional statist news sources, so I put my 2¢ in and recommended the inclusion of the award-winning Reason Magazine.  It seems that Microsoft listened.

As you can see below, Reason is now a “Source” in the political news section (accessible by right-clicking in the app – or swiping from the top or bottom edges and clicking Sources).


Clicking on the source brings up the most recent Reason articles, and this page can be pinned to the Start menu for easy access.


Clicking the links opens the page in the news viewer, and from there it can be emailed to friends or opened in a browser for sharing to social networks.  Here’s hoping for improvement, but it’s nice to be on the menu. Especially when the menu will be seen by so many people.

Sherrod Brown (D) vs. Josh Mandel (R) vs. Scott Rupert – US Senate

Scott Rupert responded on 10/6/2012. Answers were:

Personal score 100

  1. Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Agree
  4. Agree
  5. Agree

Economic score 100

  1. Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Agree
  4. Agree
  5. Agree

So his responses would be classified as Libertarian.


I’ll update Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel’s answers for comparison when I receive their answers.

For background on this project, my original “Quizzing the Candidates” blog post here.

Pat Tiberi (R) vs. Jim Reese (D) – Representative to Congress (12th District)

Jim Reese responded on 10/8/2012. Answers were:

Personal score 60

  1. Agree
  2. Maybe
  3. Agree
  4. Disagree
  5. Maybe

Economic score 30

  1. Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Disagree
  4. Disagree
  5. Maybe

So his responses would be classified as Centrist.


Pat Tiberi refused to answer the questions on 10/10/2012. Here’s what his campaign had to say:

Mr. Noble,

Thank you for contacting us and for your interest in Congressman Tiberi’s candidacy.  As you might imagine, with over 700,000 people residing in the 12th congressional district, it’s not possible for us to respond to individual surveys. We believe that Congressman Tiberi’s long voting record, the many media voter guides he has completed and the countless news and interest group resources, make information about his positions readily available to any interested voter.

Thanks again,

Kristen Frissora
Campaign Manager
Tiberi for Congress

For background on this project, my original “Quizzing the Candidates” blog post here.