Brushing up on the English language

For those of us to the right-of-center, we may have found ourselves engaged in conversations with those to the left-of-center where we thought we knew the meanings of words, but to our puzzlement, found that we must not be talking the same language.

Luckily, I happened across a blog titled “Conservative Northwest” that purports to be “The Right Side of the Left Coast” that has endeavored to cut through the confusion by offering up a more up-to-date glossary on what words REALLY mean in a post titled “The Lexicon of Liberalism.”  Conservatives should print it out and insert it as a leaflet in the dictionary so that they don’t find themselves perplexed the next time they talk to liberals.

Elected officials guest blogging at WMD

WMD is the abbreviation for Weapons of Mass Discussion, a blog among many fine blogs appearing in the blogroll sidebar under the heading of State of Ohio Blogger Alliance.

The Congressional Representative from Ohio’s 5th District, Bob Latta, shares his views on cap-and-trade policies that are supposedly designed to help the environment, but, if implemented, are sure to have negative ramifications for heavy industry in our nation.  How does it help the global environment to shove industries out of our country to some other country where they will pollute far more than they do here?  Latta hits the nail on the head when he discusses the economic forecast under such a cap-and-trade regime.  I, personally, think the United States does the world a favor by being the home of heavy industry where we have the means, the technology, and the conscience to minimize negative environmental impacts, but the cap-and-trade proposals would impose costs that will absolutely chase industries out of the USA, meaning that those industries will relocate to nations which do not have the means, the technology, nor the conscience to miminize negative environmental impacts in the manner in which we do in our own country.

Another guest column appears at WMD courtesy of Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel, who supports state legislation to use E-Verify as a tool to help employers make sure that the applicants they hire are legally permitted to work here.

It’s so nice to get news and views straight from the “horse’s mouth,” so to speak.  Kudos to WMD for making it happen.

Now Showing: Carnival #165

Ah!  The Carnival of Ohio Politics!  More bloggy goodness from all over Ohio about politics!  Installment #165 is now posted, thanks to the efforts of Jill Miller Zimon, who also authors Writes Like She Talks.  Readers, you know the drill.  Head on over to the Carnival for some great reading material.

Carnival of Ohio Politics & LeBron

There’s a new installment, number 164, now posted of the Carnival of Ohio Politics.  This one is the LeBron James edition.  Some of the blog entries submitted to this week’s Carnival had me laughing out loud.  I recommend you read them, too.

Survey says . . .

Alo Konsen, of Brain Shavings, brought attention to a survey that charts where a person is positioned along the political spectrum.  You can find and take the survey yourselves here, at The Political Compass.

Alo Konsen sent an email to members of the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance (a blogroll of which is found in my left-hand sidebar) inviting the members to take the survey themselves and share the results.

I took the survey, and my chart appears below.


This result was surprising to me, since I thought I’d be plotted much farther to the right along the x-axis. But then, if that were the case, I suppose I wouldn’t be called a RINO, would I? But, such being the case, I suppose my intro in my right-hand sidebar is quite apt (thus, so is this entry from Pho’s Akron Pages from about the time my blog was launched).

However, let me just say that I will NOT be following in the footsteps of Arlen Specter, and I have NO plans to switch parties.

New Carnival courtesy of GCJ’s Lisa Renee

The blog author of Glass City Jungle, Lisa Renee Ward, has produced another fine edition of the Carnival of Ohio Politics.  Check out installment number 163 here.  Along with links to some excellent reading material contained in Ohio’s political blogs, Lisa Renee also uses free word association to choose links to some “blast-from-the-past” musical selections.

Keeler takes a victory lap at Carnival of Ohio Politics

I have heard from several of my readers, via email, wondering when posting entries would resume here at Buckeye RINO.  I didn’t intend to be on hiatus, or at least, didn’t intend to be away for this long.  Sometimes real life gets in the way (and I’ll have more to say about that in a later blog entry).

In the meantime, in the absence of new posts, my readers are more than welcome to click on the links in the sidebar to the left.  Not sure where to start with all those links?  Well, Carnival of Ohio Politics is always a good starting point, because you’ll find a cross-section of recent blog entries about Ohio politics there.  Since the last time I wrote something here at Buckeye RINO, there have been three Carnivals, complete with links to articles about Ohio Politics.  There’s Carnival #160 edited by Jill at Writes Like She Talks.  There’s Carnival #161 edited by McKee at The Boring Made Dull.  And most recently, there’s Carnival #162 (featuring a road sign for a state route I’ve frequently driven on), edited by Ben Keeler of Keeler Political Report.  This newest Carnival is a milestone, as it’s Ben’s farewell, so I’ve referred to it as his victory lap.  I thank Ben for his service in editing Carnivals.  I appreciate his work.  Take care, and good luck, Ben.

Carnival of Ohio Politics–St. Patrick’s Day edition

I’d like to call your attention to the Carnival of Ohio Politics.  There’s a wide range of topics covered by Ohio’s political bloggers in this week’s edition, the Saint Patrick’s Day edition, which was cobbled together by yours truly, Daniel Jack Williamson.

Jill Miller Zimon, of Writes Like She Talks, is on the schedule for compiling next week’s Carnival.

May you all be bestowed with the luck of the Irish.

Carnival #158 has sprung

Lisa Renee, of Glass City Jungle is anticipating the advent of spring.  Spring hasn’t sprung yet, but installment number 158 of the Carnival of Ohio Politics has sprung, thanks to Lisa Renee’s hard work.

By the way, if you feel like you need to put a face with a name, Lisa Renee made a television appearance in Toledo on March 3rd, and she posted about it at GCJ.  Check it out.

I’m slated as the editor charged with compiling next week’s Carnival, and the submission deadline will be next Tuesday night (Saint Patrick’s Day) at 11 pm.

Carnival #157

Are RINO’s more conservative than the rest of the Republican party these days, when they used to be more liberal than the rest of the party?  It might be a topic for further conversation at The Boring Made Dull, but don’t hold your breath for that blog entry, even though the blog author of TBMD hinted about it in Issue #157 of the essential weekly digest of Ohio’s political blogs known as Carnival of Ohio Politics.

As for the RINO terminology applied to me, detractors call me a RINO in an effort to paint me as a liberal.  Some call me a RINO just because I’ve leveled criticisms at a few other Republicans.  Others call me a RINO because they feel I have heretical (liberal) views on public education, diversity, mental health parity, labor unions, tort reform, the environment, and so forth.  But, as I say in my right-hand sidebar, liberals don’t think I’m liberal.  They think I’m way too conservative.  I don’t try to be conservative, and I don’t try to be liberal, and I don’t try to be middle-of-the-road.  I just try to be myself.

If you’re an Ohio political blogger who’d like to have your entries included in a future Carnival, there’s a new opportunity to participate nearly every week.  Next up in the Carnival editorial rotation: Lisa Renee of Glass City Jungle.

Keeler with Carnival #156

Ben Keeler, of Keeler Political Report and, was this week’s editor for the Carnival of Ohio PoliticsInstallment number 156 is up and ready for your reading pleasure.  Besides posts from Keeler and from yours truly, this week’s edition included posts from Bizzy Blog, Just Blowing Smoke, Roland Hansen Commentary, Neocon Panic Attacks, Divided We Stand United We Fall, Conservative Culture, Writes Like She Talks, Buckeye Punditeers, and Free Market Politics.

If you have a blog that offers coverage of Ohio politics, wouldn’t you like to participate in the Carnival, too?  Next week’s editor is scheduled to be McKee from The Boring Made Dull.

All aboard the Carnival train

Carnival #153 has been posted by Lisa Renee, blog author of Glass City Jungle.  Reaction to Governor Strickland’s State of the State address is abundant, but there are many other topics under the umbrella of Ohio politics that also receive coverage.  Please read the Carnival of Ohio Politics this week!

Just a heads-up for next week:  Yours truly, Daniel Jack Williamson, will be compiling next week’s Carnival.  If you have blog entries about Ohio politics that you’d like to have included in next week’s Carnival, please submit them by 11 pm next Tuesday, February 10, 2009 by sending links to your entries to!

Calling NEO: Read Ed Morrison if you want to prosper

Yesterday, I wrote a post pointing to an Ed Morrison (a Brewed Fresh Daily contributor) article at New Geography that chronicled Cleveland’s timeline of recent economic history.  Today, I wish to point you to his followup article, in which Ed Morrison has identified 5 components of economic development that Cleveland’s been taking the wrong approach to, along with his suggestions for a better approach.  Please read this if you live in Northeast Ohio, even if you don’t live in Cuyahoga County.  Chances are, these wrong approaches are being pursued in towns like Lorain, Elyria, Sandusky, Ashtabula, Painesville, Warren, Canton, and Akron, too.

First, Cleveland takes “the wrong approach to achieving scale.”  You need a critical mass of participants in order to do something big enough to have a permeating effect through an entire region, but building a bigger hierarchical monolith is not the way you get more players to buy into the process.  Morrison points out that a network, with links and nodes, is so much more effective construct for participation than a monolith.  I’m sure Morrison wanted to keep things brief and to the point, but I think more elaboration on this point would be useful.

Second, Cleveland misunderstands public-private partnerships.  Cleveland’s understanding of how these partnerships are supposed to work effectively is so inside-the-box, so thirty-years-ago.  Cleveland needs to take off the blinders and survey far afield, observe what’s working in the regions that are achieving success, and adopt the best practices.  I think elaboration on this point would be useful, too.  I’ve lived in 9 states and a foreign country at some point during my adult life.  I’ve traveled to 42 states and 7 foreign countries during my adult life.  When I criticize NEO’s misguided attempts at economic development, I have a catalog inside my head of what works based on what I’ve witnessed in other places.  If Cleveland doesn’t look much farther than the end of its nose, it just won’t see very much.

Third, Cleveland has “no strategic framework, no theory of change.”  Morrison hits a home run on this point, so let me quote him directly and add my own emphasis in bold print:

Cleveland’s leadership has no apparent theory of change. Overwhelmingly, the strategy is now driven by individual projects. These projects, pushed by the real estate interests that dominate the board of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, confuse real estate development with economic development. This leads to the “Big Thing Theory” of economic development: Prosperity results from building one more big thing.

The economy has shifted under the leadership’s feet. We are rapidly moving toward an economy of networks embedded in other networks. With an economy driven by knowledge and networks, economic development is more than land development, real estate projects, and recruiting firms that move from Michigan to Mexico.

Today, economic development begins with brainpower in 21st-century skills, and Cleveland’s leadership largely ignores the role of developing brainpower.

I have been harping on this and harping on this with anyone who cares to listen.  NEO communities, across the board, are making this same mistake.  They have confused economic development with real estate development.

I’ve grown very fond of the WoMbats, the current and past contributors to Word of Mouth blog, who have relentlessly exposed folly after folly in Lorain and Lorain County relating to misguided economic development.  Sandy Prudoff, Ron Twining, Anthony Giardini, and Ted Kalo are among The Powers That Be that have earned our collective derision.  Scott Bakalar posted a piece on WoM just today that illustrates just what I’m talking about, but many more such examples can be culled from WoM and WoM offshoots like That Woman’s Weblog, Muley’s Cafe, Developments Along the Black River, and Lorain County Photographer’s Blog.

Fourth, Cleveland has “the wrong mindset for making decisions.”  Part of the reason for this proceeds from the hierarchical monolith structure mentioned before, in which communications occur vertically either from the top down or from the bottom up.  Again, Morrison hits a home run, so let me offer a direct quote and let me add some of my own emphasis in bold print:

If you live in a world of hierarchies, you live in a world of two directions: top-down or bottom-up, with top-down the preferred direction. It’s the direction of command-and-control; of predictability and stability. Bottom up is the opposite. It implies disorganization and chaos, inefficiency and fragmentation, confusion and uncertainty. If you approach economic development from a top-down perspective, you want to limit and control public comment. Civic engagement is a carefully circumscribed event, not a process; a meeting, not a collaboration. Anyone who has attended a school board meeting understands this point.

There’s only one problem. The top-down world does not exist in economic development. Complex public/private strategies are developed in a “civic space” outside the four walls of any one organization. Within the civic space, no one can tell anyone else what to do. Strategies born in a top-down mindset are doomed to fail.

It’s not just school board meetings that illustrate this failing, nor just meetings at the local government level.  Ohio’s General Assembly and our nation’s Congress in DC have demonstrated the same failings, and economic downturn with no effective remedy is the result.  They’ve been tuning out the voices of the public that have decried pay-to-play politics, and even as they plunge into the abyss, the people aren’t being heard.

One more quote from Morrison on this point:

Cleveland’s leadership has a long way to travel down this road. There’s a naive ineptitude in the civic deliberations on complex issues. For over ten years, the Greater Cleveland Partnership has been fiddling with a convention center decision. In the long run, the upside for the city is minimal, while the downside grows each day. By following traditional top down management models, the city’s leadership, if it’s lucky, will build a 30-year-old idea 10 years late.

Fifth, Cleveland doesn’t measure its progress.  Nobody at the top of the monolith wants to hear that their decisions failed to transform, so, naturally, there is an aversion to quantifying the aftermath.  Without such metrics, we fail to mark the path we are headed down.  If there are any lessons to be learned along the way, the lack of metrics assures that we won’t learn them.

Ed Morrison on Cleveland’s economic collapse

Ed Morrison hasn’t yet revealed the final findings of his biopsy of Cleveland, but top Cuyahoga County officials hardly even acknowledge the town is diseased as they continue their whimsical pursuit of a taxpayer-financed convention center boondoggle.

I agree with Ed Morrison’s timeline of Cleveland events, so I hope my readers will read this article he authored at New Geography.

Ed Morrison (along with George Nemeth) routinely explores potential remedies and recommendations for Northeast Ohio at Brewed Fresh Daily, a blog that I’ve included in my lefty blogroll since the inception of Buckeye RINO, so if you want to explore more of Ed Morrison’s writings, Brewed Fresh Daily can be a starting point.

Frankly, as I’ve noted before, I think Cuyahoga County voters should mix things up a little bit by electing more Republicans to office.  I don’t think it’s healthy for the Democrats to control everything.

I look forward to Ed Morrison’s followup article, which I reserve the right to agree or disagree with, but the first step for current county commissioners is to acknowledge how events have unfolded, acknowledge the pathology, and acknowledge the failure to remedy it.  Ed Morrison outlines all of this in the article.

Carnival #152, for your reading pleasure

I usually let you know right away when a new installment of the Carnival of Ohio Politics is posted.  No thanks to being miserably sick for the past three days, I’ve been delayed a little bit.

Carnival #152 is up.  This week’s edition is brought to you by the blog author of  The Boring Made Dull, who, despite his moniker, is quite entertaining to read.  There are some great posts this week from all over Ohio, several of which are reading the tea leaves for Ohio’s 2010 elections.  I recommend checking it out.