Archive for 'Social Issues'

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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Religious freedom or intolerance? Which is it, Hoosiers?

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Unless you live in a cave, by now you know that Indiana passed a law last week that allows businesses to discriminate against gays. The sound bites from the news are that bakeries won’t be obligated to sell wedding cakes, and florists won’t have to sell flowers to gay couples getting married.

Former NBA great Charles Barkley, Angie’s List, the NCAA and others have criticized the law for promoting discrimination, but Indiana Gov. Mike Pence stated Sunday there was much “misinformation ...

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Fraternity racist chants–what about contrition?

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The story a few weeks back about the bigotry displayed by two members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma gave rise to different viewpoints about how the situation should have been handled. Here are two that stand out.  Both miss the mark.

One reader of the Columbus Dispatch thought the fraternity members’ words should be protected by the First Amendment. As the argument goes, if we allow the Ku Klux Klan to protest on public venues, ...

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Does something get lost in the ISIS-Islam debate?

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President Barack Obama has taken heat for trying to distinguish between ISIS and Islam. I don’t care to debate whether ISIS fighters represent an extreme wing of Islam or are just madmen who try to cloak themselves under the veil of Islam. They’re killers and thugs.  That’s enough for me.

But since Islam has become part of the discussion regarding terrorism—rightly or wrongly—maybe it’s worth looking at Islam from another angle. Let’s look at Muslims who serve in the U.S. military.

The ...

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He was a man for all seasons

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He did it all. He elevated what had been regarded as a football school to a major university. He spoke several languages and traveled the world. He rubbed elbows with presidents and popes and had a significant role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  He got to fly in an Air Force SR-71 Blackbird (care to cruise at 80,000 ft. while doing Mach 3?) and the Navy F-14 Tomcat. (I flew F-14s. The Navy didn’t give rides to ...

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It’s supposed to be about the baby

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She thought she was doing the right thing. It must have been a matter of conscious, but as often happens, Vesna Roi’s decision was the result of failing to reconcile conflicting paradigms.

Roi, a pediatrician in Detroit decided not to treat a newborn because her parents are gay. She made the decision, according to the Detroit Free Press, after “much prayer.” Let’s think about that. Roi prayed, presumably to a loving and benevolent God, who whispered to her she should not ...

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Is there ever a good time to hear disturbing news?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the controversial Nationwide ad, “Make Safe Happen,” that ran during the Super Bowl. Critics characterized the ad, which dealt with accidental children deaths, as depressing. The ad didn’t go into detail about how often kids needlessly die or the causes, so here are some statistics for the U.S.:

  • Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
  • Every day, ...
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How well do you see?

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How well do you see?  I don’t mean, how well do you see an eye chart? I mean, how well do you see what goes on around you?

If you saw the movie, “The Butler,” you watched how America was blind to the injustice and brutality that black America endured until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. (Not that it was smooth sailing for black America after the act was passed).  News clips from the 60s show us how ...

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If it’s on the internet, it must be true. Right?

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[Because of a technical problem, last week’s post was compressed and difficult to read, and so I’m publishing it again.]

Do you remember the State Farm ad, where a young woman talks to a friend about meeting her date, a French model, on the internet? As it turns out, the woman’s date is neither French nor hardly a model, but, hey, that’s what she was told about him on the internet, so it must be true. Right?

The obvious point of the ...

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