Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Brief View on Propaganda

While the following is a national and international
issue, it is also going to have very strong effects

Propaganda has been running some of what passes
as news in the USA for a while. The case that brought
this debacle to my attention again has to do with global
warming. There was a small article on the first page of
the Iron Mountain Daily News of Tuesday, May 25, 2010
that was headlined, "Scientists urge coal, oil use penalties."
It was an Associated Press (AP) article.

A quick look on the internet at AP and "global warming"
brings up tons of references to the contents of the
article with varying lengths. They all refer to a
statement issued by the National Academy of Sciences
where that group has crossed over from scientific
findings into giving political advice.

So the first thing I did was to search out who funds the
National Academy. You guessed it, of course it is funded
by the US Government.

The second thing was to look at who the members are. That
is discoverable at click here.

If you take a look at the credentials of the folks there,
all working on the various projects for free, but also
for the prestige that comes with being appointed to the
academy, we find virtually no one who is associated with
climate studies in the real, non-political, world. In
fact a review of the people demonstrates that most of
them have advanced degrees in everything but climate
related studies.

In short, we have an organization that gives the pretense
of being composed of brilliant folks who are in effect
nothing more than a rubber stamp for whatever the executive
branch of the federal government decides they must tell
you, the public, in order to add apparent credibility to
whatever the president is pushing this term.

Think about it a little. Legitimate science has never
had anything at all to say about penalties. Science is
the study of nature, pure and simple. The Obama
administration has destroyed whatever credibility the
National Academies have had in the past. And there are
other National Academies besides the one on science. It
is not a legitimate function of the Academy of Science
to decide what possible political solutions may be,
only to give opinions on what science determines cause
and effect to be after qualifying the results by
providing a legitimate double blind study.

In the case of climate, we don't know what causes the
climate to behave as it does, and as it has, even before
humans were on the scene possibly causing some of
the changes. But we don't know with any certainty. The
erratic long term history of climate, facts we have
discerned by studying ice samples from the polar
regions, has been subject to extreme changes long
before man was on earth.

The realities of factors other than fuel consumption do
not play well where the "cap N tax" bunch is concerned.
Yes, the CO2 levels are rising at a rate not seen in the
last 650,000 years. But then the rate of deforestation
has taken off too.

It seems to me that before our government proclaims by
fiat that humanity is to blame for rising temperatures, a
real study that clearly demonstrates cause and effect
should be funded and undertaken. The problem with
that is, of course, that the agenda of the "cap N tax"
bunch might take more time, and the underlying
reasons for what amounts to an effective government
takeover of energy, and consequently the entire world
economy, might be thwarted.

So the government, wishing to fool as much of the public
as possible into believing an urgent need to pay more to
our government for energy, spreads propaganda in every
conceivable way in order to support their agenda. Here's
the sad fact. The administration doesn't want to save the
planet. The administration is seeking unbridled political
power. And it looks like we're well on out way to handing
it over to them.

As I've said before, if you want to understand what's going
on in Washington, you have only to look at the political
antics of the European communists during the last century.
Those who keep saying that it can't happen here are going
to wake up one day with the realization that yes, dangit,
it can.

Bill Vajk

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Form of Identity Theft

I got an email over the weekend designed to steal
information about me. Please never answer an email
like this.


Subject: Alert: Finalization

We are shutting down some email accounts and your
account was automatically chosen to be deleted. If
you are still interested in using our email service
please fill in the space below for verification
purpose by clicking the reply button:

User Name:
Pass word:
Birth date:
Verification code: 59cd2e83-7597dce9-741ef4fb5

Warning!!!! Account details not received within
72hours will be automatically shut down and closed


Some people use the same password for everything.
That's not a good idea. If you've answered any
requests similar to the above you have a problem.

Bill Vajk

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Local News (again)

If we had a comprehensive and active local
news media in place, doing what they are
supposed to be doing, this publication would
not be necessary. What follows is an example
of the shortfalls.

On May 11, 2010, Iron River Township had two
meetings. The first one had a tremendous
attendance (for this township) of an estimated
100 people. It was the planning and zoning board
meeting attended by citizens who were apparently
as mad as hornets whose nest had been disturbed.
The discussion was about the proposed Blight
Ordinance that was proposed to the township
board by planning and zoning. The people who
were present had all seen copies of the proposed
ordinance. We published it and you can read a
copy by clicking here.

The news media, although the Iron County Reporter
had been tipped about the earlier meeting, didn't
show up till the 6PM Township Board meeting.

The WIKB report restated the things, the smooth
over of the events that had happened earlier, as
told in the Township Board Meeting by trustee
Ken Piwarski, Planning chair Bob Battye, and
attorney Steve Polich. The core test of the
WIKB report that was delivered on air on
May 17th is published here.

The Iron County Reporter dated May 12th reported
on the township meeting of April 13th, a month
after the meeting. We expect that sometime next
month they might get around to the reporting the
whitewash from May.

In the meanwhile we recommend that you read the
radio station's report and compare it to the
transmittal letter of 3/22/2010 from Bob Battye
to the Iron River Township Board and decide for
yourself the veracity of statements made to the
local news media by Piwarski, Battye, and Polich.

"The Planning Committee has reviewed and approved
the above two subject items for review and approval
by the Township Board. We would like to get a
written response to these documents and hopefully
get these approved and in place as soon as possible."

A careful reading of Polich's comments shows there's
something along the lines of concealment of the facts
in his comments. His comments appear to indicate
that he had reviewed the proposed ordinances, and had
rejected them.

I have asked several people who were present at both
meetings to write detailed reports about them but
nothing has been forthcoming. For the moment what
is before you for consideration is all that exists.

If you were there and are willing to write up what
you heard, please feel free to send it to me. I'll
publish it using your name if you'll give permission
but no anonymously submitted reports will be
considered for publication here under any

Additional commentary in the WIKB report has to do
with the "sewer availability fees" that are already
being billed to some township land owners, even
where the land is vacant. The WIKB report mentions
that the revised water ordinance is supposed to cover
the issues. But the plain fact is that the charge is
already being imposed before any ordinance is in

This issue is far from being resolved.

It seems that the township has surplus funds in the
treasury at this time. We wonder why Iron River
Township doesn't simply absorb the shortfall
occasioned by lousy contract negotiations on the
part of the township officials and the township
attorney at the time the contract was accepted
and executed.

Bill Vajk

Straight Talk 2 - continuing the saga

I forwarded a copy of John Menghini's article
to Mike Lahti's office. I was promised a
response by them once the individual charged
with the Iron River prison at the Department
of Corrections returned from vacation. That
response arrived this morning and is
published below.


Dear Mr. Vajk:

I received a response from the Dept. of
Corrections on the sewer situation in
Iron River Township. Below is the response:

"There is a Sanitary Sewer Agreement between
the MDOC and Iron River Township. The
contract period is from September 9, 1990 to
September 9, 2010. Per Section 16 of the
agreement, the Department can cancel the
contract in whole by giving 30 days notice
to Iron River Township. A letter was sent
to the township on August 6, 2009, giving
the 30 days notice. Staff from our Bureau
of Fiscal Management have spoken with the
township's Treasurer and Supervisor. The
Township Supervisor admitted having received
the letter from the MDOC giving them the
required 30 days notice, but said the township
charter superceded the contract, and that the
township had the authority to continue to
invoice the MDOC. Staff asked for a copy of
the township charter and gave him the
appropriate fax number, but have received
nothing to date."

"The August 2009 invoice amount was $5,500
(the monthly rate at that point), and was

"The Department's position is that we properly
canceled the service contract as outlined in
the agreement, and have no further financial
obligation for these fees."

Rep. Mike Lahti's Office


I want to thank Mike Lahti, his staff, and the
Department of Corrections for their response.

It turns out that whoever negotiated the sewer
contract with the Department of Corrections
made a really bad deal, and now some, or all,
of the township residents will have to pay for
that mistake for a long time.

This is what happens when the electorate is
careless in who they put into public office.

The Iron River Township Board should have hired
someone specializing in contract negotiations
before approving the sewer contract with the
state. Indeed they should already have retained
a lawyer specializing in such contracts to
study all the current possibilities. And by
that I don't mean the current township attorney.
The time to press subsequent claims, if indeed
there can be any, is limited.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arizona Law

The Arizona immigration law has taken center stage
in American politics, distracting many of us from the
things that are going on in Washington and in state
capitals around the nation.

For those who are interested in knowing what the
statute actually says, I have made it available by
clicking here.

You have a citizen's right to disagree with this statute and
to criticize it if you have actually read and understand it.

Bill Vajk

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reply to Straight Talk #2 by Mike Lahti's Office

I received the following email reply from
Mike Lahti's office this morning.

Dear Mr. Vajk: Thank you for the email. We are working
with DMB & Dept. of Corrections to try and get the township
their money from Camp Ottawa Property.

We'll be in touch when we hear back. I individual I need to
hear from in Dept. of Corrections is on vacation this week.

Thank you,

Rep. Lahti's Office
Kim Whitely, Legislative Aide

Bill Vajk

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Straight Talk 2 by John Menghini: the Sewer Situation

Straight Talk 2 by John Menghini: the Sewer Situation.

A few weeks ago I was made aware of a situation in
the township that needs some attention. It seems that
our board snuck a so called "resolution" through that
allows the township to charge for sewer usage for people
who are not even hooked up to the sewer system.

To give a little history lesson, back around 1990 or so,
it was decided that a low security prison was to be
built in the township, on Gendron Road. The plans
called for a self contained septic system to be installed
for the prison. For some strange reason, AFTER
construction had begun, it was found that a septic
system could not be used there. And so it was that the
township ended up with a new sewer line going down
Gibbs City Rd and to the prison. When it was installed,
the story was that anyone over 200' from the line did
not have to hook up. If you were within 200' you were
required to connect to it.

Now, with the prison closed down, and the state no
longer paying for the sewer usage, the board decides
that the residents should take up the slack. Residents
who own even VACANT land are being charged an
"availability fee".

In "straight talk" that means that since the prison closed
down, the residents are being squeezed for the money
that the state no longer pays. I contacted the township
supervisor, Mark Polley, and he told me outright that
the township is after money. He also said that he knows
it is not fair to everyone.

I have researched this matter quite a bit and I firmly
believe that it is illegal. At least as far as those who
are over 200' away from the line. The State of Michigan
defines sewer availability as being within 200' from the
closest part of a structure in which sewage originates.
This is STATE law. How can the township charge a
person for the availability of something that the state
says is not available?

In "straight talk" they can't ! Not legally anyway. Mark
told me that the township attorney says it is legal. I
disagree. The state Attorney General is looking into the
matter at my request.

At the township meeting last night there were a few points
made that I would like to comment on.

The township says they need to charge residents who are not
hooked up to the sewer service, an availability charge. Because
the township needs the money. Why then, are they at this very
time, installing even MORE sewer and water lines. They (WE)
have to borrow money to do this. Borrowed money has to be
repaid. That means more charges. The water rate has been rising
steadily and is slated for two more increases this year alone.

So, let's recap this. The township is low on money, so, let's take
out some loans and put in more lines. Then we can raise the
sewer/water rates some more to pay for it. Hmmmmm........
Does that make sense to you?

Mark Polley said that he contacted state representative Mike
Lahti's office about this sewer matter. Uh, sorry Mark. It wasn't
quite like that. In fact, it was I who brought the matter to their
attention and it was THEY who contacted Mark. And I have
email proof of that.

Mark Polley also asked advice from township attorney Steven
Polich concerning supposed death threats to himself and other
board members. I do not advocate violence at all, but maybe
the board members should give that some thought. If they are
doing such a bad job that someone wants to KILL them,
maybe they should re-think their policies?

It has become quite apparent that this board has violated the
trust of the residents, in more than one instance. Now, it seems
to me that since these folks are ELECTED to the board that they
should look after the best interests of the residents. It surely
seems that they are not doing as good a job as they should,
especially since they are now receiving death threats.

Remember this folks.
We live in the United States of America.
Not Nazi Germany.
Not communist China.
Not dictatorship North Korea.

Our government is formed

BY the people
OF the people,

and most importantly

FOR the people.

We made our voices heard on the bogus blight ordinance
proposal, now we have to make our voice be heard on this
sewer matter.

s- John Menghini

Editor's note: We have no way of knowing how much of this
expansion of sewer charges is caused by the fact that the
township has become accustomed to the additional income
from the state prison, and how much of it is the result
of lousy deal making by the township with the state when
the contract to provide service was made. There have to
be better solutions than the one imposed by the board.

One thing is for certain, the township board does not
know how to spend less. In this time of economic stress,
and a time when those of us on Social Security have a
year with no cost of living increase because the cost
of living did not increase, the township board has
voted itself an increase in pay, despite the fact that
it isn't costing them more today than it did last year.

Aren't there any reasonable people living in Iron River
Township who would be willing to run for office and
stop these unreasonable actions by the existing elected
officials? If no one else is willing to step up, they
can continue to do whatever they want.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What sort of elected officials do you want?

I received a reply from Mr Kenneth Nelson regarding
my May 1 article entitled "What Will It Take."

Bear in mind that Mr. Nelson had the opportunity to
set the record straight if my article misunderstood
what he is about, but all he sent was the following:

From: Kenneth Nelson
Subject: Iron County Doings
Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 11:34:52 -0400

"FYI - the quote you referenced from the Reporter
article (in your May 1 blog titled "What Will it
Take?") was a "sound bite" pulled from a 40 minute
conversation I had with the journalist. You cannot
possibly know or understand in what context that
comment was made. Maybe your rush to attribute a
characteristic to someone without knowing or even
speaking to them is a sign of your "laissez faire
attitude". Incidentally, I intended to cast my
vote for you for school board (as it seems you
would be the best possible candidate) but was
unable to find your name on the ballot."

s-Kenneth Nelson

Either I got Mr. Nelson's attitude towards education
and the community right, or he really doesn't care
and simply wasted this opportunity given to him. It
seems likely that we know as much about Mr. Nelson
as is necessary. I'm already serving this community
by creating and running this publication. At my age
of 70, I have no inclination to run for any public

I hasten to add that Iron County Doings associate
editor Ben Smith, under the sponsorship of this
publication, attempted to set up a Meet the
Candidates" session at the Bates Township Hall but
he was unable to raise enough interest among the
West Iron School Board candidates he contacted
during his efforts. Ben went so far as to discuss
the event on telephone time until it became apparent
that there wasn't much interest this election and
in an event to find out what the candidates have
to offer. Ben and I do what we can to promote a
positive future for Iron County, but we seem alone
in such efforts. I hear a lot of talk, but see very
little by way of action.

As I've said in the past, the community deserves the
people it elects, otherwise more people would run for
office, and there would be more of a spark and debate
over local issues. But we have far too many like the
ladies in that Rhinelander waiting room who have
lived here all their lives and have no idea who their
elected officials are let alone what is planned for
our future.

Is anyone else willing to step up and the force
changes necessary to improve out lives in Iron
County? The banner at the top of this publication
states: "We need better roads, to throw some reins
on local government. Things people are doing to
help our situation will appear here if they submit
the information to me." I was pleased to publish
"Straight Talk by John Menghini." Where's the next
article like that coming from? Come on, people!

Bill Vajk

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Will It Take?

Yesterday I found myself spending time in a well occupied
waiting room in Rhinelander. After the population thinned
down a little, it became obvious that four women there were
lifelong residents of Iron River. These four were well aged
but not what I would call elderly.

Shortly before my front-&-center-to-see-to-business call
came, I involved myself in their discussion. You know, of
course, that I saw to it that we evolved immediately into
local politics. During that very short process it quickly
became obvious that none of those 4 lifelong residents
knew who John Archocosky, the city manager of the small
town they live in, is.

I have to wonder, if someone went door to door and asked
every resident of Iron River who John Archocosky is, how
many would not know as was my 4 out of 4 sample for women,
who only knew one another in pairs, would be. These women
had that same level of knowledge about the rest of the
current events in Iron County and how local government is

There's the basic problem of apathy demonstrating how bad
things are in Iron County, where the majority of the
population not knowing or caring what local government
does feeds into lousy governance.

Some of our transplants are just as bad. We have Kenneth
Nelson running for the school board. In his discussion with
the Iron County Reporter (see the May 26 issue) he said,
"I was wildly happy with this district and the quality of
education our teachers are providing."

Mr. Nelson has not been paying attention to the product of
the school system that is evident surrounding us. So many
don't know how to read and write (have you listened to the
news being read on WIKB?) Bay College has instituted make-up
classes for students coming out of regional schools with
poor to non-existent math and reading skills.

If the attitude of someone running for the school board
is that 'all is well' then how can we have any hope of
improvement in the level of education our tax dollars
produce? I've never met Mr. Nelson, and the Miner's State
Bank continues to be successful under his tutelage, so
I'm not saying he's a bad guy.

I don't hold out any hope for this community if those
who are moving into the area bring laissez faire
attitudes with them, or, in the other extreme, the heavy
handed approaches brought to us by people like Bob Battye,
the author of the proposed Iron River Township blight
ordinance we reported on here recently.

In another position, running for school board, we have
Tom Angeli, a former federal jail administrator. My
problem with Angeli moving into the Iron County political
scene has to do with the worldview that law enforcement
officials (as reported to me by a another retired federal
prison official) hold. Their world is divided into three
parts. Us (that is law enforcement,) the bad guys, and
taxpayers. I think Tom Angeli needs a bit longer to
recover from being a law enforcement officer before he
moves into purely civilian political positions if, indeed,
recovery is possible.

I'm looking for a sensible overhaul of a stagnant legal,
political, and educational system here in Iron County. It
would work best if it were a combination of an influx of
new ideas from people coming in from the outside and an
awakening by those who have been living here all their
lives. I keep seeing the people with somewhat extreme
views who have been making their mark here. I'm looking
for well rounded people interested in changing the
community for the better.

Bill Vajk

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