Oct. 19: “Is Facebook ready for potential election disruption?”

By Barbara Ortutay and David Klepper of the Associated Press

The story starts off “Ever since Russian agents and other opportunists abused Facebook’s platform in an attempt to manipulate the 2016 U.S. presidential election… (it) has learned its lesson and is no longer a conduit for misinformation, voter suppression and election disruption.”

The article goes on to talk about how the author’s feel that Facebook has lagged behind in protecting its platform from misinformation, but is attempting to change. It talks about how it has worked hard by hiring “outside fact-checkers, added restrictions” and It’s also started added (their edited version not a typo on my part) warning labels to posts that contain misinformation… and joined Twitter in limiting the spread of an unverified political story about Hunter Biden…”

This is the first mention I’ve seen in the Gazette of the Hunter Biden computer email scandal or the fact that Twitter and Facebook have refused to allow the story on their platforms that. It shows up in the fourth paragraph on the second page of the story.

For those of us that watch Fox News we known that Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff are telling us that the story is Russian disinformation. We also know the Director of the National Security Agency has come out and said there was no truth to that claim. That the agencies under his direction have no information that the emails or story about them was started by the Russians.

Instead, we know that the computer was left at a repair shop by Hunter Biden. He failed to pick it up in 90 days, so by agreement, it became the possession of the business owner. He looked at the contents of the hard drive and found disturbing information. He made copies of the hard drive content and turned the computer over to the FBI who has had it since last winter. He eventually turned over one of the copies of the hard drive to Mayor Giuliano who got it to the NY Post. They have confirmed that several of the emails were real by verifying them with the recipients.

Now one of Hunter Biden’s business partners has released 26,000 emails to a reputable reporter. The business partner has been convicted of corrupt activity and feels that Hunter is being treated differently because he is VP Biden’s son. The reporter is Peter Switzer. He has been given access to the the business partner’s Gmail account and he has been reviewing the emails. He will be releasing a series of reports on the emails’ contents which detail many of the corrupt dealings that Hunter Biden and his partners were involved in. In some cases they show VP Biden role in the activities.

Yet this is what Twitter and Facebook are blocking a major newspaper from reporting on using their platforms? This is what Facebook and Twitter are claiming is disinformation?

The Associated Press seems to be more concerned with making sure that Facebook and Twitter are blocking unfavorable stories related to VP Biden rather than reporting on the extent of the corruption his son and he were involved in. It appears Gannett and the Chillicothe Gazette are part of that effort too.

Oct. 20: SVC Cross Country Championship

Earlier this fall I wrote a blog on an amazing finish in a Cross Country race. It told how Unioto HS finished the race with 16 points, one short of a perfect score. Their boys finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th. That was a truly amazing result for a major race with several teams competing.

Well, that’s nothing now! Today’s Gazette has an article on the SVC boys’ cross country championship. Unioto finished first in that competition with 15 points! That means the first five finishers in the conference championship were all from Unioto HS. But it was more amazing than that! They had the top six and nine of the top eleven finishers!

No matter whether you appreciate what it takes to be a championship quality cross country runner or not, for one school to dominate as Unioto HS did, is truly amazing!

Congratulations Unioto HS Cross Country team! Best wishes as you start down the road towards gaining a state championship!

Oct. 17: Political Cartoon: Hunter Biden’s Secret Emails

A strange thing showed up in the October 17th issue of the Chillicothe Gazette. That strange thing was a cartoon. It shows a troubled sky, the Statue of Liberty, satellite sized Covid-19 in the sky and a scary Mayor Giuliano holding up a news paper. It is a copy of a NY Post and the headline is “Hunter Biden’s Secret Emails”. It shows the former mayor saying “Look over here kids! Do you want to see something really scary?” What’s so strange about that?

What makes that strange is the fact the Chillicothe Gazette hasn’t carried any articles regarding the story in the New York Post. So what is the cartoon all about? If you haven’t watched Fox News or listened to the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh you wouldn’t know anything about it!

There are two stories involved. The first story is the article articles in the New York Post. Hunter Biden abandoned his computer at a repair shop. The owner checked out the hard drive and found it was full of emails and pictures from Hunter Biden, VP Biden’s son. Many of the emails relate to his dealing with China, Ukraine, Russia and Romania. The relate to his and his partners attempts to get lucrative deals, many of which have to do with using VP Biden’s prior status to gain access. While Democrats like Rep. Schiff are claiming it is Russian disinformation, the original computer was handed over to the FBI. The repair shop owner kept backups of the hard drive and one of them eventually made its way to Mayor Giuliano and the NY Post. One of Hunter Biden’s business partners has confirmed that some of the emails were correct and has handed over 26,000 emails to a reporter. So the first story is how Hunter Biden used his father to create “business deals” with foreign entities, including those controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Or is it about how VP Biden used his son to create “business deals” with foreign entities, including those controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Either way it appears like it is corruption and a significant story. Yet it hasn’t been covered in the Gazette?

The second story relates to actions by Facebook and Twitter. They both acted to restrict access to and the spread of the story. They did that even before there is any proof that the story is “fake news”. It appears we now have the “tech” companies suing their platforms to influence the election. But that’s not really so surprising. Most of the rest of the media has been doing that for the last 25 years or longer!

So why did the Chillicothe Gazette include a cartoon related to a story they refuse to cover? Beats me!

Oct. 9 & Oct. 15: “Famed lawyer warns of conservative Supreme Court”

by John L. Micek Columnist USA Today Network

What do you do when you want to make sure someone understands the point you’re attempting to make? I don’t know about you, but I usually repeat myself. I make the same point a second or third time, even if I made it clear the first time. I try not to do it, but it just happens.

Did the Gazette just do the same? I had cut John Micek’s column out of the Oct. 9th Opinion page and put it in my stack of items to address in the future. The future just hadn’t come yet. (But I found it in my stack when I checked this morning.)

So imagine my surprise when I opened today’s Gazette to the Opinion page. There, on the left hand side of page, was a column by John Micak titled “Famed layer warns of a conservative Supreme Court”. I checked the column from the 9th and it was the exact same title. So was it exactly the same column? Almost, but not quite.

The differences between the two columns:

  • The 10/15/20 column has his picture cropped and John is listed as “Guest columnist” rather than “Columnist”. “USA TODAY NETWORK” is added.
  • They deleted “and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek” for his byline.
  • An additional paragraph starting “Pennsylvania’s senior senator, Democrat Bob Casey…” is added.
  • A paragraph starting “Barret already has said …” was deleted.

Other than that they are exactly the same column by the same “journalist”, with the same heading and on the same topic using mostly the same words.

It appears that the Chillicothe Gazette has “repeated itself” because they want to make sure you get the message. So here it goes a again:

“Famed lawyer warns of a conservative Supreme Court”. So one famed lawyer wants us to have a Supreme Court dominated by progressives. Isn’t there a famed lawyer that wants us to have a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives? Wouldn’t it have been fair to include a column about them? Or maybe the Gazette could have had side by side columns presenting each side’s position. But that’s not what we see.

Gazette editor we get the message. You support VP Biden, Democrats and progressives. We get the message. We’ve known it long before you ran the second column by John Micek. Or even before you ran the first.

Please believe me. You really don’t need to run a third version of John Micek’s column!

Oct. 14: “Barrett won’t commit to recusal in vote cases”

by Lisa Mascaro, Mark Sherman and Mary Clare Jaionick of the Associated Press under the USA Today banner

Does that seem like a strange heading for an article on Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation hearings? Does it sound unbiased?

“She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Trump,…”

The article states that “Trump has said he wants a full nine member court in place for any disputes arising…”. Is that a bad thing for him to want. There are an odd number of judges on the Supreme Court so it will be unlikely that the outcome on any cases would be a tie. We actually want the Supreme Court to come to a conclusion. So if Amy is confirmed and recuses herself, we’ll only have eight members on the court and the court could dead lock on any case.

This is the main topic of the article’s second paragraph. But why is the question only being asked of Amy? If she is confirmed before the election she will be one of three judges who will have been appointed to the Supreme Court by President Trump. Should all of them be asked to recuse themselves? And judges Sotomayor and Kagan were nominated when Biden was Vice President so should they recuse themselves too. So if Amy Coney Barrett should recuse herself, why not the other four who were nominated while the current Presidential candidates were in office. That would just leave four justices to make the decision!

We hope that presidents nominate individuals who, once they are confirmed, will make decisions based on what the Constitution says about the case. If that’s the case, then why would we suspect Amy Coney Barrett wouldn’t vote based the facts? Is it because she was nominated by President Trump? Or because she is a conservative?

Opinion: Biden and Pence both on page 4

The Gazette’s Tuesday Oct. 13th paper had stories about former VP Biden’s and current VP Pence’s visits to Ohio. They both appeared on page 4. But Biden’s visit was covered on page 4 of section A (News section) while Pence’s visit was covered on page 4 of section B (Sports and Other section). Why is that? Was it a case space? The story on Biden’s visit did take up more space, but much of that was because it included two pictures, while Pence’s only included one. So was it a case of importance? Why not have both on the same page? The add on the page with the Biden article could have been moved to page 4 of the section B.

The story on Biden’s visit to Ohio (Cincinnati and Toledo) starts off talking about Donald Trump and the COVID-19 virus. That sounds a lot like the Democrat’s talking points.

So could it be the Gazette placed the story about Biden’s visit in Section A and the story about Pence’s visit in Section B for a political purpose?

I wouldn’t put it passed them!

Oct.14: “Ohio tops 5,000 deaths caused by COVID-19”

by Max Filby of the Columbus Dispatch

Max starts off with “Ohio has lost more than 5,000 lives to the coronavirus. There were six deaths reported, pushing the store past the grim milestone.”

Usually there is a purpose for an article being written, so what might the purpose of this article be? You might get the idea from some of the “facts” that he reports.

“The 5,005 COVID-19 deaths is more than the entire population of West Jefferson… with an estimate population of 4,431…”

“The 5,000 Ohioans who have died of COVID-19 amounts to more than the number of military members from the state who died in the Vietnam War (2,997) and the Korean War (1,777) combined.”

“Ohio ranks 25th in deaths for every 100,000 people…”

“Ohio ranks 13th in the country in total COVID-19 deaths.”

Many of the quoted statistics are given with no context. So let’s take a look at them:

“Ohio ranks 13th”: According to an internet site (Wikipedia) Ohio is 7th in population with a population of 11,689,100. So the state ranks 7th in population, but only 13th in COVID-19 deaths. That’s good!

“Ohio ranks 25th in deaths for every 100,000 people…”: This puts Ohio right in the middle of the 50 states, not something Ohioans should be alarmed about.

“The 5,000 Ohioans who have died of COVID-19…”: The internet has a site that shows the normal deaths per state. It shows 117,750 deaths per year for Ohio. That seems low considering the stated population for Ohio, but means that COVID-19 deaths are less than 4% of the Ohio’s normal deaths.

“The 5,005 COVID-19 deaths is more than the entire population of West Jefferson…”: Max could have picked any town or city, so why did he pick a small town like West Jefferson? Why not Grove City (35,575) or Westerville (36,120) or even Chillicothe (21,901). Or how about Cincinnati (296,945). Only a small town makes the COVID-19 virus look devastating.

There were six deaths reported…”: While six deaths is sad, six deaths in a state of 11.7 million people is hardly something to panic about. I look through the Gazette on a daily basis and the normal number of deaths reported in the Obituary section ranges from 3 to 5. Yet we don’t panic with that level of daily deaths in Ross County, do we?

So why did Max write this article and write it in the way he did. It looks to me like this is just one more attempt to convince voters that COVID-19 is a terrible plague and Democrats are telling us that it is all President Trump’s fault.

Biden: Has claimed that all 200,000 deaths could have be averted if Trump had a plan to address the virus.

Harris: Claimed that Trump didn’t have a plan early on and still doesn’t have a plan in her pre-butal speech.

The Democrats have chosen COVID-19 as their number one campaign issue and it appears that Max is doing his part in helping them make their case.

Sept. 9, 2020: “Much separation in VP debate”

by Diedre Shesgreen, Phillip Bsiley and Caren Bohen of USA Today

The Chillicothe Gazette carried this article in today’s paper. It reports what they found to be the major points of the VP Debate. But there is no fact checking included in the article? Let’s take the following:

“Harris pushes back of fracking: ‘The climate is changing, we’ll follow the science,’ Pence said, before charging that Biden would… ban fracking. Harris said Biden will not ban fracking.”

This would seem like an important topic to fact check, but if it is, it will show that one candidate or the other isn’t telling the truth. But which candidate is that?

“Expanding Supreme Court: Pense tried to get Harris to answer a question that she and Biden have repeatedly sidestepped: Do they support expanding the Supreme Court as many liberals advocate?”

This would seem like an essential question for any candidate to answer BEFORE voters cast their votes. Biden is on recording stating he won’t because his answer would be the next day’s headline in every paper. Shouldn’t something that important be the headline?

“Expanding Supreme Court:” ” Harris went back to 1864, when she said Abraham Lincoln didn’t think it right to fill a vacancy 27 days days before an election.”

A group that works to maintain the memory of Lincoln included the following in a comment on Sen. Harris’ response:

“Not only was the Senate out of session in October when Taney died until December 5 making it difficult for Lincoln to move forward with the confirmation proceedings necessary for a new justice, but Lincoln also strategically delayed the nomination to ensure he had Chase and other potential picks’ political support through the November election.”

So Sen. Harris misrepresented why Lincoln “delayed” nominating Chase to the Supreme Court. Yet the article didn’t fact check her comment.

“Expanding Supreme Court:” “We particularly hope we don’t see the kind of attacks on her Christian faith that we saw before.” “‘It’s insulting to suggest we would knock anyone for their faith., she said”.

In her Appeals Court hearings some of the Democrats did express concerns about Amy Coby Barrett’s faith. So there is concern that it might happen again. This wasn’t covered in the article.

“Harris pushes back on fracking:” “She noted that Trump said ‘science doesn’t know’ when pressed about the role of climate change on wildfires in California”.

The fact is there is a lot of disagreement on “Climate Change”. Many scientists claim it is due to humans use of fossil fuels. Others like those at SEPP and the Heartland Institute dispute that fact. So it appears that science in general doesn’t know. Check out some of my postings under “Climate Change” in the menu categories to see some of my blogs.

So why no fact checking in the Gazette on this debate, just reporting, when there has been so much fact checking in the past?

Sept 6, 2020: Notice of Proposed Major Utility Facility

The Sept. 6th issue of the Gazette included a public notice on a solar farm in Ross and Pickaway Counties. This is the first step in getting approval for their 2,040 acre “solar farm”.

A couple months ago I read a story about an organization attempting to find 1,500 acres for a solar farm. I wondered where they might find that much acreage and whether it would be hidden from sight. So I had been waiting for more news. It came yesterday in the form of the notice. Unfortunately those who have canceled their Gazette subscriptions didn’t have the chance to see this notice. So I thought I should bring it to your attention.

The project is titled Yellowbud Solar, LL. It’s proposed site location is just west of OH 104 and south of the Pickaway County line. I drove up to the area and along the roads that border the project. What I saw was prime agricultural property currently planted in corn and soybeans. I also saw topography that allows one to see the acreage from OH 104. That means the project will be very visible to anyone drive north or south using one of the two major routes from Chillicothe to Columbus.

To get a sense of what it might look like, drive west of OH 104 on US 35. Pay attention to the power station on the right hand side of the road. It isn’t the pretty site in Ross County is it? Yet it is only a small fraction of the size of the proposed Yellowbud Solar project. Is that what we want in such a visible portion of Ross County?

The article identifies the ownership of the proposed project.

“Yellowbud Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of Geronimo Energy, LLC, a National Grid Company”

Geronimo Energy started in Minnesota and in 2019 was bought by National Grid Company. An internet search on National Grid Company shows it is a United Kingdom company that is investing in renewable energy projects, including ones in the US through a US subsidiary. So the solar project in Ross County is a venture by a British company? Why not a Ross County, Ohio or US company? Maybe AEP?

So why solar in Ohio? Isn’t Ohio known for its “gray” weather? I checked out the internet and found CurrentResults.com and found that they show the average amount of sunshine by state. Ohio ranks near the bottom of the 50 states. There are only four states (Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Vermont) with lower % of possible hours of sun which are sunny. Ohio (they used Columbus as the Ohio proxy) Sun % was only 50%. States like Arizona (85%), Nevada (79%), New Mexico (76%) and Colorado (71%) would all seem like better states for investing in a solar project.

As a side comment, “What happens if we have a summer without sun if most of our electricity comes from solar farms?” That sounds like a crazy question and something that could never happen, doesn’t it? But maybe you should check the following out:

1816: That year followed the major eruption of Mount Tombora in 1815 and the eruption of Mount Mayon in 1814. These eruptions were so large and put so much volcanic dust in the air that it had world wide implications.

In the spring and summer of 1816, a persistent “dry fog” was observed in parts of the eastern United States. The fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the “fog”. It has been characterized as a “stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil”.[25]

536: Long called the Dark Ages because of the collapse of civilization it is now recognized as also a time when volcanic activity blotted out the sun making agriculture difficult. A historian of the time made the following statement when talking about :

“The sun gave forth its light without brightness.”

There are other years when volcanoes have had a negative impact on sunlight and agriculture. Imagine what impact they could have on electric output from solar farms, something that isn’t a problem when natural gas or coal are used. Maybe going 100% renewable might not be such a good idea? But if we are going to develop solar projects, why isn’t that occurring in states that have large undeveloped tracks of land unfit for agriculture and high level of sunshine rather than using very productive agricultural property in a state with low levels of sunshine?

Some how that sounds more rationale to me. How about you?

Send your thoughts to:

  • Ross County Commissioners
  • Union Township Trustees
  • Ross County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Ross County Planning and Building Department
  • Greater Chillicothe and Ross County Development

A copy of the proposal for the Yellowbud Solar, LLC is available at the Main Library in Chillicothe.

Opinion: The Gazette and Covid-19

I received an email from the editor of the Chillicothe Gazette that stated the following:

“Thank you for your submission, but we will not be printing this column.”

This is not a big surprise. After having almost all my columns and letters to the editor while Marvin Jones and Mike Throne were the paper’s editors it has suddenly changed. Since Tonya Shipley has become editor she has chosen not to print half of my submissions?

The column fact checked the claims that Senator Harris and Vice President have been making about the Trump Administration’s handling of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. They both have made comments that “the Trump Administration had no plan early on and still has no plan”.

I went on to point out that for at least two months Fox News interrupted The Five at Five and Special Report to bring us the the Administration’s Covid-19 Task Force updates. We were introduced to the task force leadership, what they were responsible for and updates on what they had accomplished. To me this sounds like they had a plan and still do.

So why did the editor of the Chillicothe Gazette chose not to print this column? They have printed other “fact checking” articles on minor things that were incorrect to start with. They have printed outrageous columns by Dick Polman that criticize President Trump. And they have printed a column telling us that 1,037 Ohio voters identified Covid-19 as one of their two most important concerns. But they aren’t willing to print a column that tells voters that Sen. Harris and VP Biden are not telling the truth about the Administration’s plan to combat Covid-19. And we haven’t seen this covered by USA Today or other Ohio Gannett newspapers.

I think this tells us a lot about the Chillicothe Gazette, USA Today and Gannett News! That may be why so many residents of Ross County refuse to subscribe to the Gazette. Maybe advertisers should wake up too!

You can read the column here!