Archive for 'Social Issues'

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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Zero-tolerance policies bleed education

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In addition to the problems listed on the national report card it received in 2012, Ohio’s education system must face the consequences of zero tolerance policies: discrimination and higher incarceration rates.  Zero tolerance came about in 1998, when all boards of education were required to adopt “a policy of zero tolerance for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior.”

The broad mandate of zero tolerance and the failure of some administrators to employ critical thinking in applying it have resulted in some absurd results. ...

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Court closes payday-loan loophole

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Ohio’s check cashing businesses found a loophole almost immediately in the Short-Term Loan Act, passed in June 2008, which placed limitations on short term loans known as payday loans.

Payday lending consists of small loans with big interest rates and lots of fees, and it’s big business. According to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, in 2006 there were 183 payday lenders in Franklin County alone that generated over $37 million in fees. The average borrower takes out 12 ...

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Bad grammar is killing me

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In the words of a great American nautical hero, “I’ve had all I can stands. I can’t stands no more!” I’m talking about bad grammar. That’s right—bad grammar, a bad practice that is becoming commonplace. I hear TV journalists using bad grammar.  I see grammatical errors in newspapers and books. Worse yet, I hear bad grammar from lawyers.

Language is the most important tool lawyers employ. It is the palette from which we convey ideas and the means by which we ...

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