Opinion or Fact?

Opinion by Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson

Elections are where we are most vulnerable.  The Republicans are following President Trump’s lead and clouding the issue as much as they possibly can by talking about voter fraud.  The fact is voter fraud in the United States is minimal, and at least one Federal Election Commission member is still waiting for proof of fraud to be turned over to support the President’s erroneous allegations. 

In the meanwhile, study after study makes it clear voter fraud, in this country, is virtually non-existent, unless you consider four prosecutions out of 135 million voters major fraud.

Russia had their trolls and bots in place on Facebook and Twitter during our 2016 election spreading lies about the opposing candidate and working to influence voters in the United States to vote for Donald Trump.  It worked very well, Donald Trump gained enough electoral votes to become POTUS, even though his opponent won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes [2,868,686].

It has recently been determined that our election was not the only one influenced by Russians.

Russia wasn’t satisfied putting their choice in the White House, Russia’s interference in the Brexit vote has now been proven and investigations are being undertaken both in the UK and US to determine the involvement of the Russians, Donald Trump, and Aaron Banks, the financial backer of Brexit opposition. 

That Brexit deal always smelled funny, it was a reminder of how Trump won the title of Twitter in Chief.  Only time will determine how far and wide in our shrinking world the smell is able to permeate.

This balance of trade story is garbage, every item has been paid for.  American consumers are deep in debt; that’s how all the stuff was paid for.  Yes, as a producer, the U.S. would like to sell more to China and every other country, but making their products more expensive to American consumers is not going to help the U.S. sell more.

Brexit has already cost Great Britain billions.  Now they are trying to figure out how to have another vote on it, it’s a shame we’re not able to have a second vote on the 2016 election, any guesses on the outcome?

(c) 2018 Walrath and Johnson

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The Digital Sovereign or SOV

By Patricia L Johnson and Richard E Walrath

Most of us have heard of “Bitcoin”, but how many of us know anything at all about the SOV?  The SOV is a cryptocurrency soon to be released by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the small group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The SOV is not the first cryptocurrency to be launched by a foreign country.  Last month Venezuela released the virtual Petro, backed by crude oil reserves.

What’s different about the SOV is the fact it will be LEGAL CURRENCY, backed by the government.  The SOV will be equal to the U.S. Dollar as a form of payment.

What’s interesting about the SOV is the fact the Republic of the Marshall Islands will be working with the Israeli Company, Neema.  The Republic of the Marshall Islands will issue 24 million SOV’s in its “Initial Currency Offering”, with 12 million SOV’s going to the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and 12 million SOV’s going to Neema.

While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be purchased anonymously, the SOV requires users to identify themselves.  While the anonymity factor has kept many governments from supporting the cryptocurrencies in the past, this problem will be eliminated when the SOV is launched.

Six million SOV’s of the 12 million being held by the Republic of the Marshall Islands will be sold to international investors with the proceeds being used to invest in projects designed to lessen the effects of global warming and support those individuals still affected by U.S. nuclear testing.

Another 2.4 million SOV’s will be distributed to the 60,000 residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands for their use in buying groceries, paying bills, etc.

When the launch date rolls around it will be interesting to see what happens, especially due to the fact the U.S. and Republic of the Marshall Islands are united through the Compact of Free Association, where the U.S. provides about $70 million U.S. Dollars each year in assistance, in addition to running the U.S. military base on Kwajalein Atoll.

The world is more than a little concerned about President Trump and our $20 million-dollar national debt, which will do nothing except go up due to the passage of the $1.5 trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthy and big business.  Creating another currency could allow the U.S. dollar and this country to sink, reducing the value of everything in the U.S.

The world would like to get away from the dollar.  While other countries raise taxes to pay for health care, college, and retirement the U.S passes tax cuts for the rich by going into debt.  The rich already have everything they could possibly need or want so they will buy bonds with the money.  Free bonds for the rich while the rest of us can look for a few more dollars in our paychecks.

The deficit will increase as will the national debt.  Those two things will cheapen the dollar and on top of that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to ward of inflation, with a big bust coming in the stock market.

Any sort of plan to create a new global currency should be watched carefully, but especially the SOV due to the potential for worldwide acceptance of this new currency.

© 2018 Johnson and Walrath
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How in The Hell Did We Get to Where We Are Today?

By Patricia L Johnson and Richard E Walrath

The other day a stranger began a conversation with me about the weather, but immediately proceeded to talk about the sad state of our country. The gentleman asked me a question that, at the time, was totally above my pay grade, because not only did I not have an answer, I didn’t have a clue.

He asked, “how in the hell did we get where we are today?”

When I got back home I called my writing partner and the two of us spent a considerable amount of time on the phone discussing the various possibilities and finally concluded what seemed reasonable to both of us.

Social Media is the culprit, brainwashing was the method used and it all began almost 20 years ago. At the time we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, etc. What we had was email and you would constantly find messages in your inbox making some sort of accusation. Embedded in the email would be tidbits of truth followed by paragraphs of lies and the sad truth is 20 years ago not that many people were interested in politics, so they didn’t know fact from fiction.

They would read the email, be taken aback about what they read and immediately pass it on to everyone on their contact list. The more ridiculous the lies, the quicker it was passed around because if there’s anything American’s relish, it’s the ugly truth (or in this case misleading data).

Were other countries involved in the brainwashing back then or was it simply various groups with their own personal agendas? We’ll never know. What we do know is 20 years of brainwashing worked. With the addition of social media sites more and more lies were spread until everyone in this country is angry about one or more issues, and many, if not most, have an opinion  resulting in a country so divided Humpty Dumpty and all the king’s men would be hard pressed to put it back together again.

Years ago, Richard and I had a very popular website where we would post articles and hundreds, would write comments on our blog. What we didn’t have was the extreme anger that is prevalent in most current postings. Folks had opinions, but their comments were constructive and not filled with hatred because a person believed differently than they did, were a different color than they were, a different race, or a different religion.

Richard made a comment the other day about the songs that were in the top 100 on the charts. He stated music started going downhill about the same time everybody began to tweak, twist and Twitter and a country without music is a country without a soul. The same can be said about a country without proper leadership. We are now a country without a soul.

If we continue as we have been, we WILL end up in another civil war and we’re better than that. We ARE a county of immigrants, we ARE a country of kind, good, hard working individuals that just want to have a better life for our children than we had for ourselves, but at the rate we are going that’s not going to happen. We are constantly bombarded with lies and if it doesn’t stop we’re going to end up with a battlefield in our own backyards,

Is there an answer? We think so. Sitting next to your computer, tablet or phone spilling out your most intimate feelings about any and every subject in the world to hundreds of thousands who could, quite frankly probably care less about how you feel, isn’t going to change your life for the better. There is only one group of people that can help change our country and that is our elected officials, but they can’t or won’t change anything if they don’t know how we feel (and quite frankly, in some instances they don’t give a damn how we feel, but they need to know).  When was the last time you wrote to your Members of Congress and told them how you think or feel about any of the issues?

I suggested to someone they contact their Member of Congress the other day and I was met with “he’s not going to do anything for me”.  No, he/she won’t if they don’t hear from you that’s a guarantee. But, if they are not available, their employees will listen, and they will take note of your thoughts on the various issues at hand. Remember something, it is their job to represent YOU and they cannot do that if they don’t know exactly how you feel.

Click on the following links to contact your Members of Congress


Don’t forget the midterms are upcoming. If there is any time your Representative is going to listen to what you have to say it’s over the next few months.

We seem to have forgotten the one word that has carried this country through all our trials and tribulations and that word is RESPECT. Once it finds its way back into our vocabularies we will be well on our way toward the country we once were and will become again.

© Johnson and Walrath

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Why Not Columbus?


Columbus, Ohio. Photo shot by Derek Jensen (Tysto), 2006-01-23

Columbus Ohio was one of the twenty locations chosen by AMAZON on January 18, 2018 as a candidate for HQ2 out of a total of 238 proposals received from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Up to 50,000 high-paying jobs and an investment of over $5 billion will be the ultimate prize for the metropolitan area finally chosen as the companies second headquarters in North America.

Columbus Ohio was founded in 1812 at the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers, and became the state capital of Ohio in 1816.  The city is named for explorer Christopher Columbus and is the 3rd largest city in the Midwest.

How does a company with more than 380,000 employees worldwide choose a second headquarters home?

  • AMAZON prefers that its second home to be in a metropolitan area with more than one million people.

Franklin County had an estimated 2016 population of 1.3 million.  In addition, out of the six largest counties in Ohio, Franklin County is the only one that has grown in population over the past 16 years.  The population in Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery and Summit Counties have all decreased considerably during that period.

  • AMAZON prefers a stable and business-friendly environment for its second home.

In addition to the five Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered in the Columbus area: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, American Electric Power, L Brands, Big Lots and Cardinal Health, there are also more than 300 corporate managing offices, including 15 Fortune 1000 companies with corporate headquarters in the area.

Wendy’s Donato’s Pizza, Bob Evans, Max and Erma’s, White Castle, Red Roof Inn, Rogue Fitness, and Satellite are also based in the area.

The world’s largest private research and development foundation, Battelle Memorial Institute, is in Columbus.  The world’s largest clearinghouse of chemical information, Chemical Abstracts Service, is in Columbus.  The world’s largest fractional ownership jet aircraft fleet, NetJets, is in Columbus and one of the largest universities in the United States, Ohio State University, is also located in Columbus.

  • AMAZON prefers urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent.

According to 2016 estimates (2012-2016) from the Census Bureau, 88.8 percent of Columbus residents over age 25 have a high school diploma, while 34.8 percent have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.  In addition to Ohio State there are 15 other 4-year universities located within 40 miles.

Columbus not only currently has the supply of technical talent required by AMAZON it has an unlimited supply of future talent.


The items AMAZON lists as preferences are straightforward and simple and Columbus Ohio meets, or exceeds the AMAZON preferences hands down and has something for everyone currently living in the metropolitan area, or will be in the future.


Good Schools:

Columbus OH was the only U.S. city named one of the world’s most intelligent communities in 2013 by the Intelligent Community Forum think tank.

Transportation in and out of the area:

  1. Columbus Ohio has ready access to Interstate 70 running east-west near Cove Fort, UT to Baltimore MD while Interstate 71 runs north-south from the Great Lakes to Louisville KY.


  1. John Glenn Columbus International Airport is located approximately 6 miles east of downtown Columbus and is readily accessible to out of town travelers via COTA AirConnect, which runs from John Glenn Columbus International Airport to downtown Columbus stopping at the Greater Columbus Convention Center as well as many downtown hotels.


CAR2GO is an on-demand network of 200 Smart cars providing service to Easton, Downtown, the Ohio State University and John Glenn Columbus International Airport.  CAR2GO is a great service for taking one-way trips to your destination as you may leave the vehicle in any legal parking spot within the Home area, with parking, fuel and insurance included in your fee.


For travelers preferring UBER or LYFT forms of transportation, both are available.


  1. If you’re looking for a more leisurely form of transportation try the free on-demand Hopper Carts that provide eco-friendly, electric, rides to your favorite local places. If you have children, they will surely enjoy getting around the downtown area via FREERIDE.  FREERIDE utilizes street-legal, open-air golf carts serving the downtown Columbus area for free.  Simply hail one as you would a taxi.
  2. We all know how important exercise is in your daily routine and CoGo Bike Share makes it possible with their public transportation system of 365 bikes located at 46 stations throughout downtown Columbus. These bikes are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


  1. Enjoy bike rides, but don’t want to use up all that energy peddling? Try E.C.T. Pedicab for an enjoyable ride in a bike taxi.  Pedicabs are in operation most nights of the week in downtown Columbus.


  1. What Columbus does not have is light rail or train service. This may prove to be an advantage, because if AMAZON does choose Columbus as the new HQ2 home, this could be the perfect opportunity to build new state-of-the-art facilities.

Central Ohio Transit Authority provides numerous transportation services to residents and visitors alike.

Columbus is especially interested in meeting the needs of visitors to the area.  Should you have any questions at all, look for the gold star pin worn by the Greater Columbus Certified Tourism Ambassadors.  These individuals are certified and trained to assist you with whatever you may need.

Now that we have the transportation problem solved, what can you hope to see in the Columbus metropolitan area?

North Market is the last remaining public market in Columbus and has more than 1 million guests per year enjoying their ethnic food specialties, ice cream, popcorn, coffee and pastries.

The Gallery Hop, located at the Short North Art District’s galleries and boutiques has been described by Huffington Post as the “Best art event in Ohio”.

German Village is a 233-acre historic residential district, with visitor center, and one of the well-known historic districts in the United States.

You will also want to visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, COSI, an excellent science center with more than 300 interactive exhibits, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the only botanical garden in the world with a permanent collection of glass artwork by Dale Chihuly, and Easton a leading shopping, dining, and entertainment area in the Midwest.

Those of you that enjoy a little gambling may want to visit Eldorado Scioto Downs, Video Lottery Terminal gaming and harness horse racing, or Hollywood Casino Columbus a Vegas-style casino with more than 2,200 slot machines, 70 table games and 36 live poker tables in addition to excellent dining.

The Scioto Mile has 33 new acres of parkland in downtown Columbus with miles of trails from Bicentennial Plaza to North Bank Park.  Free concerts in the summer are hosted by Bicentennial Park which features an enormous set of fountains for children to play in during daylight hours.

Scioto Audubon Metropark nature center and birding area, contains the largest free climbing wall in the country.

Whether you prefer ballet, opera, plays or musical performances Columbus has it all in their Theater District.  The Palace, The Ohio, The South, The Lincoln, as well as others provide performances you will not want to miss, along with The Wexner Center for the Arts and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.


Shadowbox Live, is the largest resident theatre company in America and offers sketch comedy, live rock ‘n roll, dance theater, and much more.


Interested in breweries?  Columbus has a total of six small breweries located in the Brewery District.


Shopping:  Columbus is the headquarters for fashion giants L. Brands, Express, DSW and Abercrombie & Fitch, in addition, to having the third highest concentration of fashion designers in America.


Tiffany & Co., Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton are all located close to Columbus in addition to Cabela’s, Ikea and Tanger Outlets, an outlet mall with more than 90 name brands.


If you’re a sports fan look no further.  Columbus is the home of the Big Ten OSU Buckeyes.  What is a buckeye?  It comes from the official state tree of Ohio, the Buckeye tree, and is a small, shiny, dark brown nut with a light tan patch.  The Buckeye nut looks like the eye of a deer and according to folklore, carrying one brings good luck.


Without a doubt, the Buckeyes have had good luck through the years.  It is one of only five universities winning a NCAA national championship in baseball and men’s basketball and recognized as a national champion in football as well as winning national championships in other sports arenas.


Richard E Walrath, former Budget Analyst, Ohio State University contributed to this article.


© Articles and Answers 2020

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Thought for the Day

from:  http://homeinsteaders.org

Sunday January 14th 2018

Posted: 14 Jan 2018 12:00 AM PST

“When the next generation asks us,
why didn’t you do something?
Why didn’t you speak up?
What are we going to say?
Mr. President,
I rise today to say, enough.
We must dedicate ourselves
to making sure that the anomalous
never becomes the normal.

With respect and humility, I must say
that we have fooled ourselves for long enough
that a pivot to governing is right around the corner,
civility and stability right behind it.

We know better than that.
By now, we all know better than that.”

~ Senator Jeff Flake

Jeffry Lane Flake (born December 31, 1962) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who since 2013 has served as the Junior United States Senator from Arizona. Due to his opposition to President Trump, Flake announced on October 24, 2017, that he would retire at the end of his current term instead of seeking re-election in 2018.


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Happy Holidays to All!

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Happy 242nd Birthday United States Marine Corps

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