Archive for 2014

What makes Cuba so special?

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It’s stunning that the decision to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba has been such a controversial event. President Barack Obama is criticized for opening the door with Cuba because it is governed by a dictator and has a history of human rights abuses, but since when has the U.S. limited its relations to open, democratic governments?  The examples of the U.S. maintaining diplomatic and trade relations with closed, abusive government are many.

The U.S.S.R. was a repressive government from its inception ...

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With forgiveness comes freedom

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What do Louis Zemperini, Tom Moe and Immaculée Ilibagiza have in common? First, let me identify these people.

Louis Zemperini was a 1936 Olympian, who joined the Army Air Forces in WWII and served as a B-24 bombardier in the western Pacific. In what would turn out to be his last mission, his plane developed mechanical problems over water, forcing the crew to ditch. Zemperini was one of only three survivors and spent 47 days in a life raft before he ...

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Let’s stand back and examine what we’ve done

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How can any of us determine if “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs)—the euphemism given to waterboarding, rectal hydration, sleep deprivation and other practices, applied to detainees—produced meaningful information?  The rebuttals exchanged by politicians consist of generalizations that fall along political lines and tell us nothing.

Investigating the issue is a daunting task, and the most meaningful information is not available. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report, which has been published by The Washington Post, consists of a 528 page executive summary, a ...

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15

Secrecy in death penalty is only option legislators see

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I wrote about H.B. 663 just two months ago, but this bill deserves additional attention, because it was passed by the Ohio House and is now before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. Referred to by its opponents as the “Execution Secrecy Bill,” H.B. 663 was introduced because the state is having difficulty acquiring the lethal drugs needed to execute Death Row inmates by injection. The bill would provide immunity from ethics proceedings to physicians who participate in executions and would ...

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5

Why black parents have “the talk” with their kids

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I don’t know if Michael Brown presented a life-threatening situation to police officer Darren Wilson, and I don’t know if Wilson’s shooting of Brown was racially motivated. I don’t know if the grand jury in St. Louis got it right by not indicting Wilson, and I don’t know if St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch purposefully failed to get an indictment.

Here’s what I do know with reasonable certainty: Michael Brown’s death gives us cause to think about the fact that ...

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8

Who controls the U.S. Surgeon General’s office?

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Let’s have a quiz.  Who is the U.S. Surgeon General?  (a) Vivek Murthy, (b) Boris D. Lushniak, (c) Everett Koop, or (d) none of these people.

The answer is (d), though you should feel good if you selected Boris D. Lushniak, who is the “acting” Surgeon General. Vivek Murthy should be the Surgeon General, but the Senate won’t confirm his appointment. .

Who’s Murthy? The Boston Globe has high praise for him.  He graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude in 1997 with a degree ...

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7

Denying climate change is silly

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Last week, President Barack Obama was in China, negotiating  with the Chinese on how much the U.S. and China should decrease carbon emissions. The concern, of course, is how greenhouse gases are adding to global warming.

I am always surprised at how people—generally, people who are not ...

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15

Do last names matter in judicial elections? You bet they do.

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Last week’s elections give me cause to revisit the matter of whether judges should be elected or appointed by a body that vets them for their qualifications. First, let’s review the comments from the judicial candidates who ran for appellate and trial court positions in Franklin County, Ohio. They were all asked, “Do you support merit selection of state supreme court and state appellate judges and explain why.” With one exception, all were in favor of elections.

I wonder if ...

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10

Education from a different perspective

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Is there a connection between getting an annual physical and education? There is, but before I explain what it is, let me tell you how I made the connection.

Some weeks back, I was talking with a good lawyer friend about the importance of having an annual physical. He’s 52 and never had a physical. I was shocked.  This intelligent man, the guy I go to when I need help with a case, has gone his entire life without a physical. ...

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Mitch McConnell took the easy way out

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Columnist George Will believes that restoration of the Senate’s dignity rests on the reelection of Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who Will views as “second only to Henry Clay as the state’s most consequential public servant.”  Only through McConnell’s leadership, Will tells us, will the Senate “be restored as the creator of consensus.” If McConnell’s opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes is elected, Will believes we can expect her to march lockstep with Harry Reid and create more obstruction.

Wait a minute. Harry Reid ...

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