Archive for 'Social Issues'

If only kids got the same attention as the abortion issue

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I once thought it was just me, but I now see there are others out there who are concerned. Someone I respect very much has confronted the problem.

What’s the issue?  The amount of time and energy we spend in heated, vein popping, face reddening, take-no-prisoners argument about abortion in comparison to the time and effort we spend on child abuse. It’s as if we’re more concerned with the value of a fetus than we are with the life of toddlers ...

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Should Gideon extend to civil cases?

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The Gideon case mandated that everyone is entitled to counsel when facing the possibility of incarceration.  If you can’t afford counsel, the court will appoint an attorney for you, but should we be concerned about the indigent having to go it alone in “high-stakes”  civil cases? Here’s my view, published in today’s Dispatch:   http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2014/02/19/no-one-should-go-to-court-without-counsel.html

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Bill that proposes more student expulsion doesn’t solve the problem

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A bill has been proposed that would give Ohio schools authority to expel, for up to 180 days, students who pose an “imminent and severe endangerment to the health and safety” of other students or employees. The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks H.B. 334 is a bad idea because it’s reactive and does nothing to cure the problems that underlie bad behavior.  The academy has it right.

H.B. 334 as another step down the road of bad ...

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Mike Curtin speaks out against tax abuse

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In a recent session of the Ohio House, Rep. Mike Curtin, D-Marble Cliff, explained why he opposes the Republican sponsored resolution “urging the IRS to not review tax-exempt applications based on an organization’s presumed political affiliation.” Here is an excerpt of what he said.

I rise to oppose House Concurrent Resolution 27 because it fails to focus on the real problem. The United States has been experiencing—and continues to experience—a flood of applications from partisan political organizations, seeking tax-exempt status as ...

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General Assembly gets it right but also gets it wrong

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The Ohio General Assembly is moving in the right direction with one bill that concerns kids and going the wrong direction with another.

First, the bill that’s going in the right direction, SB 167, which proposes to end the “policy of zero tolerance for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior.”  Enacted in 1998, zero tolerance has been plagued by problems. Administrators have failed to demonstrate critical thinking when employing it, and its use is often discriminatory. Because it generally lacks key elements ...

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Voting is too important to be subject to political haggling

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Secretary of State John Husted is advocating on-line voting. Regrettably, politics are in play whenever it comes to anything related to voting. Democrats want to improve access to the voting polls, while Republicans voice concern about the problems that come with greater access.

Rep. Michael Stinziano, D-Columbus, stated, “I’ve been told that there are folks in the Senate concerned that it [on-line voting] would hurt some of their members’ ability to get re-elected” because college students would take advantage of it. ...

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Ohio Supreme Court to hear payday loan case

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On December 10, the Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case concerning short term, high interest loans known as payday loans. The focus of the case is the breadth of the Short-Term Loan Act, which limits how much lenders can charge.

Payday loans are prevalent throughout the state. Some consider these loans to be usurious and a debt trap for low income workers. Lenders say they are merely filling a market need.

Much is at stake. A court brief filed on behalf ...

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Challenge to same-sex marriage law in Pennsylvania

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A Pennsylvania law that bans same-sex marriage is being challenged in federal court. The case recently survived a motion to dismiss, meaning the case is headed for trial.

As a minister once said when addressing the issue, let’s not confuse “rites with rights.”  When gays are denied the right to marry, it’s done on moral grounds and beliefs about religious “rites.”  Like it or not, people judge others based on religious beliefs and morals. Doing so may not be a good ...

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Food stamps create dependency says Rep. Bob Gibbs

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Yesterday, The Columbus Dispatch published a story about a significant cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.  The cut will mean about $193 million less in food stamps during the next nine months for Ohioans.  According to the Children’s Hunger Alliance, about one out of six kids are already going hungry in Ohio.

Here’s how Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, views the situation: “How long do you keep doing these things?  If you keep doing these things, ...

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Torture leads us back to Vietnam

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When the U.S. government acknowledged in 2009 that enemy combatants captured in Iraq and Afghanistan were tortured, two questions arose.  Was torture justified, and should we punish those responsible for approving torture?

The first question is difficult to answer, for the evidence is inconclusive as to whether torture has produced much information of any worth.  Some maintain we gained valuable information through torture.  Others contend that the information obtained by torture might have been procured through other means.

So, if the answer to the ...

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