Thursday, January 05, 2012

CORE to meet January 19, 2012

From CORE, January 5, 2012
CORE (Concerned Ohio Retired Educators) will hold its January meeting on Thursday, January 19 at the STRS building, 275 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH. Parking is available (free) in the STRS parking garage located in the rear of the building, off E. Capital Street.

You are also encouraged to attend the STRS Retirement Board meeting on the same day. It usually begins around 9:00 a.m. in the Board Room on the 6th floor, though the time may vary from month to month. Frequently the meetings have been held most of the day on the following Friday as well as on Thursday. For this reason, we suggest you check the STRS website ( to confirm the time.

CORE meeting attendees usually leave the board meeting around 11:30 a.m. to go to the second floor cafeteria to get lunch. We eat in the small room adjacent to the cafeteria, behind the Sublett Room, where the CORE meeting begins promptly at 11:45.

A meeting agenda will be sent out via e-mail before the January 19 meeting. If you have additional suggestions for the agenda, please send them to John Curry at curryjo@watchtv,net.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Congratulations, Plunderbund, you blew 'em away this past year!

From John Curry, January 3, 2012
"Overall for 2011 we served up 2.6 million pageviews and welcomed 1.5 million unique visitors. This was nearly a 300% increase over 2010. People searched for Plunderbund some 73,000 times in 2011. Driving that were several stories that we broke that were picked up by both Ohio and national outlets. We even had our first appearance on national TV, which surely had people hitting Google to find out what the heck “plunderbund” was!"
The Business of Plunderbund 2011 Year in Review
By On January 3, 2012
In terms of Plunderbund as a business, 2011 has been a big year. October marked the second anniversary of our decision to push the boundaries of political blogging in the state and take the site to new levels. In April we went live with our third major site re-design since 2005. We added several ad placements and began using a combination of Google ads and direct placements to fill out our ad inventory.

We’ve published more and better content than ever and broken more stories than any blog in Ohio has in a single year. Joseph and Modern are doing a killer month-by-month year in review series. Start here. Thanks to our great readers, we also ran away with Chris Cillizza’s quest to find the best state based political blogs.

One key reason for all this is the continued key contributions from both ModernEsquire and Joseph. They are now considered “Managing Editors” in their role here at PB. Another major contributing factor was the addition of Greg and Ben. Greg’s contributions on education were a wonderful addition and enabled us to get into this area during the SB5 fight with an energy and depth of coverage that would have been impossible without his contributions. Ben was on Josh Mandel like white on rice. It’s as simple as that. We thank them both for their great additions and are actively devising ways to keep them around. ;-)

Another great addition this year was our companion site Ohio Budget Watch and PB contributor budgetwatcher. The Kasich budget process needed a keen eye placed on it and the companion site and several posts (and cross-posts) on PB were able to do that in a way that would again be impossible without the additional posts from our new contributor budgetwatcher. We hope to keep this person around as well!

This year, we made an even more concerted effort to utilize social media in ways that benefit the site. Twitter has been a great way to network and stay on top of what’s going on as well as mix it up with mainstream media types, fans, and conservative detractors alike. Facebook has been, put simply, a traffic animal. Our biggest fans live on Facebook and we’ve benefited greatly by sharing both blog content there as well as commentary, links, and media we only share on Facebook.

Speaking of traffic. 2011 was a banner year. We simply blew away many site records.

March 3rd during the SB5 protests we set the all-time daily traffic record for the site. We had 20,000 unique vistors and 40,000 pageviews on that day alone. Our early coverage of SB5 enabled us to ride this wave of interest and the period between mid-February to mid-April was by far our biggest traffic period ever and a big chunk of our traffic for the year. We were, as they say, on fire!

Overall for 2011 we served up 2.6 million pageviews and welcomed 1.5 million unique visitors. This was nearly a 300% increase over 2010. People searched for Plunderbund some 73,000 times in 2011. Driving that were several stories that we broke that were picked up by both Ohio and national outlets. We even had our first appearance on national TV, which surely had people hitting Google to find out what the heck “plunderbund” was!

Direct traffic was the majority, showing a great base of support for the site. Social media drove 250,000 visitors to the site. Facebook alone was 242,000 of that. Truly astounding. This is one reason we’ve invested in ads on that platform to drive our reach there even further. We’ve seen great success with this strategy and plan to continue it in 2012.

Our top 5 posts for 2011 were:

State Rep Mecklenborg likely arrested with a stripper

Governor’s Office Salaries Going WAY Up Under Kasich

Senate GOP Leader awards huge, retroactive pay raises to staff

Kasich declares MARCH 17th, Martin Luther King, Jr. day in Ohio

Kasich on public employees: “we are at war with these people”

The top two were far and away the leaders, followed by the next three which were about the same in terms of traffic.

Advertising made serious gains in 2011. We’re still not where we’d like to be in terms of being able to regularly pay contributors or even have a managing editor “on staff”. It’s still basically a volunteer effort, but we have been able to offset any expenses related to travel to cover events and have even given back to our readership by hosting cocktail hours and special events. We have more of those planned for 2012 also. Look for us at Rootscamp! I’m hopeful that 2012 can see us move in the direction of regularly compensating contributors on some level.

Looking ahead to 2012, which will obviously be a big year with the election, we hope to surpass all these numbers and grow our advertising and other fundraising to a point where we can continue to invest in the business and grow our reach and staff. Things to look for in 2012: A new and improved store making it easier to get PB stuff, an editor to review posts for spelling/grammar, local advertising support, email newsletters, a PB insider’s subscription plan, great election coverage, and more great photoshops!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the past year. We know it’s been a pretty crazy ride for us. We also hope that our loyal readers and fans will continue to spread the word and we’ll continue to enjoy strong support from advertisers so we can do the kinds of things we have planned next year. Should be fun.

Thanks again to everyone for your support. We surely can’t do this without you and our readers are foremost in our minds in everything we do. Thanks for spreading the word among your friends, sharing our content on Facebook, commenting on the site or Facebook, picking up a PlunderTee or bumper sticker, and generally being an awesome community of readers!

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback on how you think we did and what you’d like to see us do. We are always listening and our best ideas come from our readers. Just hit us up in comments or send an email to crew @

Wishing everyone the best for a great 2012!


Monday, January 02, 2012

For those who hate taxes.....

From John Curry, January 2, 2012
102 Things NOT To Do If You Hate Taxes
November 7, 2011
So, you’re a Republican that hates taxes? Well, since you do not like taxes or government, please kindly do the following.
1. Do not use Medicare.
2. Do not use Social Security
3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars.
4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.
5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.
6. Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home.
7. Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home.
8. Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge.
9. Do not use public restrooms.
10. Do not send your kids to public schools.
11. Do not put your trash out for city garbage collectors.
12. Do not live in areas with clean air.
13. Do not drink clean water.
14. Do not visit National Parks.
15. Do not visit public museums, zoos, and monuments.
16. Do not eat or use FDA inspected food and medicines.
17. Do not bring your kids to public playgrounds.
18. Do not walk or run on sidewalks.
19. Do not use public recreational facilities such as basketball and tennis courts.
20. Do not seek shelter facilities or food in soup kitchens when you are homeless and hungry.
21. Do not apply for educational or job training assistance when you lose your job.
22. Do not apply for food stamps when you can’t feed your children.
23. Do not use the judiciary system for any reason.
24. Do not ask for an attorney when you are arrested and do not ask for one to be assigned to you by the court.
25. Do not apply for any Pell Grants.
26. Do not use cures that were discovered by labs using federal dollars.
27. Do not fly on federally regulated airplanes.
28. Do not use any product that can trace its development back to NASA.
29. Do not watch the weather provided by the National Weather Service.
30. Do not listen to severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service.
31. Do not listen to tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake alert systems.
32. Do not apply for federal housing.
33. Do not use the internet, which was developed by the military.
34. Do not swim in clean rivers.
35. Do not allow your child to eat school lunches or breakfasts.
36. Do not ask for FEMA assistance when everything you own gets wiped out by disaster.
37. Do not ask the military to defend your life and home in the event of a foreign invasion.
38. Do not use your cell phone or home telephone.
39. Do not buy firearms that wouldn’t have been developed without the support of the US Government and military. That includes most of them.
40. Do not eat USDA inspected produce and meat.
41. Do not apply for government grants to start your own business.
42. Do not apply to win a government contract.
43. Do not buy any vehicle that has been inspected by government safety agencies.
44. Do not buy any product that is protected from poisons, toxins, etc…by the Consumer Protection Agency.
45. Do not save your money in a bank that is FDIC insured.
46. Do not use Veterans benefits or military health care.
47. Do not use the G.I. Bill to go to college.
48. Do not apply for unemployment benefits.
49. Do not use any electricity from companies regulated by the Department of Energy.
50. Do not live in homes that are built to code.
51. Do not run for public office. Politicians are paid with taxpayer dollars.
52. Do not ask for help from the FBI, S.W.A.T, the bomb squad, Homeland Security, State troopers, etc…
53. Do not apply for any government job whatsoever as all state and federal employees are paid with tax dollars.
54. Do not use public libraries.
55. Do not use the US Postal Service.
56. Do not visit the National Archives.
57. Do not visit Presidential Libraries.
58. Do not use airports that are secured by the federal government.
59. Do not apply for loans from any bank that is FDIC insured.
60. Do not ask the government to help you clean up after a tornado.
61. Do not ask the Department of Agriculture to provide a subsidy to help you run your farm.
62. Do not take walks in National Forests.
63. Do not ask for taxpayer dollars for your oil company.
64. Do not ask the federal government to bail your company out during recessions.
65. Do not seek medical care from places that use federal dollars.
66. Do not use Medicaid.
67. Do not use WIC.
68. Do not use electricity generated by Hoover Dam.
69. Do not use electricity or any service provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
70. Do not ask the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild levees when they break.
71. Do not let the Coast Guard save you from drowning when your boat capsizes at sea.
72. Do not ask the government to help evacuate you when all hell breaks loose in the country you are in.
73. Do not visit historic landmarks.
74. Do not visit fisheries.
75. Do not expect to see animals that are federally protected because of the Endangered Species List.
76. Do not expect plows to clear roads of snow and ice so your kids can go to school and so you can get to work.
77. Do not hunt or camp on federal land.
78. Do not work anywhere that has a safe workplace because of government regulations.
79. Do not use public transportation.
80. Do not drink water from public water fountains.
81. Do not whine when someone copies your work and sells it as their own. Government enforces copyright laws.
82. Do not expect to own your home, car, or boat. Government organizes and keeps all titles.
83. Do not expect convicted felons to remain off the streets.
84. Do not eat in restaurants that are regulated by food quality and safety standards.
85. Do not seek help from the US Embassy if you need assistance in a foreign nation.
86. Do not apply for a passport to travel outside of the United States.
87. Do not apply for a patent when you invent something.
88. Do not adopt a child through your local, state, or federal governments.
89.Do not use elevators that have been inspected by federal or state safety regulators.
90. Do not use any resource that was discovered by the USGS.
91. Do not ask for energy assistance from the government.
92. Do not move to any other developed nation, because the taxes are much higher.
93. Do not go to a beach that is kept clean by the state.
94. Do not use money printed by the US Treasury.
95. Do not complain when millions more illegal immigrants cross the border because there are no more border patrol agents.
96. Do not attend a state university.
97. Do not see any doctor that is licensed through the state.
98. Do not use any water from municipal water systems.
99. Do not complain when diseases and viruses, that were once fought around the globe by the US government and CDC, reach your house.
100. Do not work for any company that is required to pay its workers a livable wage, provide them sick days, vacation days, and benefits.
101. Do not expect to be able to vote on election days. Government provides voting booths, election day officials, and voting machines which are paid for with taxes.
102. Do not ride trains. The railroad was built with government financial assistance.
The fact is, we pay for the lifestyle we expect. Without taxes, our lifestyles would be totally different and much harder. America would be a third world country. The less we pay, the less we get in return. Americans pay less taxes today since 1958 and is ranked 32nd out of 34 of the top tax paying countries. Chile and Mexico are 33rd and 34th. The Republicans are lying when they say that we pay the highest taxes in the world and are only attacking taxes to reward corporations and the wealthy and to weaken our infrastructure and way of life. So next time you object to paying taxes or fight to abolish taxes for corporations and the wealthy, keep this quote in mind…
“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sunday, January 01, 2012

STRS Board retreat scheduled for January 25-26, 2012

STRS Board to meet January 18-19, 2012
Details here
CORE to meet January 19, 2012
Details here.
Click image TWICE to enlarge.
Pension guarantee - egg..........9.21.10................
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