Archive for April, 2015

Religious freedom or intolerance? I got it wrong

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A month ago, I criticized Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act for permitting discrimination against gays. I saw the law as promoting intolerance. After much thought, I think my take on the issue was wrong.

My analysis of the law and how it affects basic concepts like justice and fairness were influenced by my own bias. When I see people proclaiming to be acting on religious principles, I recoil. Almost immediately, I find fault with what they say. (Repeated disclosure: ...

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Death row and wrongful convictions

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For most of us, Death Row is something far away, but not so last week. I got to see something extraordinary. Six men presented their stories at the Ohio Statehouse about how they had been wrongfully incarcerated and had spent time on Ohio’s Death Row. Ricky Jackson, Kwanme Ajamu, Wiley Bridgeman, Joe D’Ambrosio, Derrick Jamison and Dale Johnston spent a combined 173 years behind bars before their convictions were overturned.

These gentlemen were at the Statehouse as part of a lobbying ...

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No gets us nowhere

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I’m starting to take stock of how often we hear the word “no” from legislators. Besides being used too frequently, “no” is seldom followed by an effort to find a better alternative. No gets us nowhere.

Congress has said no to raising the minimum wage. Congress is saying no to keeping Medicaid reimbursements at $70 per office visit, opting to let the rate fall back to $40, surely a disincentive to treating the 59 million people enrolled in Medicaid. ...

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Human trafficking: overseas and in Ohio

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Two weeks ago, the Associated Press carried a story about human trafficking in the fishing industry. Hundreds of men from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, were transported to and confined at the remote Indonesian Island of Benjina and forced to work as slaves. AP journalists interviewed 40 current and former slaves who reported being forced to work 20 to 22 hours a day, not having adequate food or clean drinking water, and being beaten and tortured.

Just last Friday, the AP ...

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