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Media, please leave Newtown, CT December 17, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in death, ohio, Ohio Legislation, Ohio Politics, Uncategorized.
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When my brother died in 2001, it was a media circus.  They called us; they followed us with cameras. Tragically, it was front page news. But, it was local news, not an international headline.  The reporters’ questions still haunt me.  Remembering how there were people coaching me how to answer still haunts me.  The TV cameras outside the funeral service still haunt me. Media are slobs with the only intent to scoop salicious headlines for their respective front pages and prime time news. They hounded our family heavily for the first week to month, then less often until they had jucier things on which to report. By the time that we could have used Adam’s death for a cause, the media was gone.  Obviously, causes do not get ratings.

When Sarah died, a news helicopter circled the cemetary, as we buried her. One close friend approached the cameras in the parking lot of the synagogue where the funeral was being held and in no uncertain terms asked them to leave. We granted interviews to two newspapers; one of whom really didn’t want the story as we saw it.  Media are slobs. At the point when we were ready to use her death for a cause, they were gone.  Obviously, that was not as interesting nor as important for ratings.

So here we are with an international headline and certified tragedy. CNN has barely reported on the fiscal cliff since it unveiled. At least one local affiliate, from Columbus, Ohio, went to Connecticut to cover the slaughter. Really? What value added can he lend other than to circle like all of the other hawks from every other non-local local affiliate. I can not even imagine the pressure placed on these families to talk with them. It disgusts me.

A local facebook page posted something along the lines of, “We stand with the parents and children of Newtown, Ct.”  Well of course we do.  Only a callous psychopath wouldn’t.  That is a given. Some say let the families grieve. This is the time for collective grief.  Although some disagree with me, I think that the appropriate response to this tragedy is action, to ensure that it can not happen again. The media should be concentrating on the action, not the personal grief of those personally affected. Because people’s interest will feign and no one will be interested in talking about what could have been.

Our governor has a bill on his desk that no longer makes it  a crime to bring guns to the Statehouse parking areas running beneath the Capitol and then left in the owners’ vehicles.

 As Senate President Tom Niehaus explained, “We have many members who participate in shooting events or are maybe coming from hunting or going hunting after session,” Niehaus said. “So the difficulty becomes if you are coming in from a shooting event and you have a weapon in your car, there is no way right now for you to be able to come into the Statehouse parking garage.”

Um… really?

As long as citizens allow this kind of ridiculous logic to permeate our statehouses and our Capitol, we will stay an at risk society.

We are collectively shaken by this tragedy, but for a small minority we do know these families.  Most of us do not even know families in Connecticut, let alone Newtown.  I think that people are more sighing collective relief because, although shocking,  it did not happen to them. It happened to someone else.

So, media, leave Newtown, CT.  Instead concentrate locally on what can be done. Let’s look at the legislation, action and societal pressures that allow something like this to happen and ensure that it cannot happen again.  Then we will truly be paying these children the homage due.

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Why I am voting NO on Ohio’s Issue 3 and why it matters (to me) October 19, 2009

Posted by makingyourdashcount in ohio, Ohio Legislation, Ohio Politics, politics.
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This weekend I had the privilege of being in a small audience listening to John Harwood’s (CNBC &NYT) slant on politics in the age of cable news polarization and grass roots movements. In all honesty, it was a bit disheartening as he talked about what it takes to get a legislator to vote for any bill introduced by the other party. As I heard it, even if one party introduced a bill where all of the points stood on the side of the other party, the other party would never vote for it, because it was not theirs. Party Loyalty.

So much for the American public’s desire for collaboration.

It takes acts like 9/11 to bring both sides to agreement across the table. So sad because it tells me that I’ve wasted a lot of time on the letters sent to legislators (although there are a very few, who have some backbone while not running for reelection, seem to break that mold.)

In polling, as I learned in a political science class the day before, people cross party lines when asked about issues although they barely cross when asked about candidates. On issues, people of different political persuasions find common ground. Sounds like a much more promising area to make a difference… state and local issues, because people do not pigeonhole their political identification as readily.

This is particularly visible on the current battle over Issue 3, Gambling in Ohio. Pushed heavily by labor unions in the state on the hope that it will generate jobs, key Ohio politicians (both Democrat and Republican) have stayed out of the discussion. God knows Republicans would never publicly agree with Unions.. and Democrats would never go against.

So here is MY .02 on why I hope that all of you vote no on Issue 3
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To me this issue isn’t about jobs or preying on those least affording to gamble false hopes, taxes or the evils of gambling, although if those reasons propel you to vote no, I’m good with it.

I am against Issue 3 because this is our state’s constitution and I have a problem with specifically entitling locations and particular people with ANYTHING, let alone a monopoly business!

To me a constitution is about affording rights and codifying policy. If one wants to codify gambling in the Ohio Constitution, then don’t limit it to particular locations and numbers. The free market system should determine that. Say: Ohio allows the following types of gambling.. yada yada and then let investors dook it out.
Read this issue for yourself to see the following language: (The casino in Cleveland, Ohio will be located on one or more of the following properties: (a) the property situated south of Public Square, east of Superior Avenue, west of
Ontario Street and north of W. Prospect Avenue; (b) the property situated south ofW. Prospect Avenue, east of West 6th Street, north of W. Huron Road and west of Ontario Str«1; (e) approximately 7.91 acres of property located south of W. Huron Road, west of Ontario Street, nonh of Canal Road and lying east of the prolongation of the centerline of the Bridge of West 6th Street; (d) approximately 11.22 acres of property and water lying east of the prolongation of the centerline of the Bridge of West 3rd Street, south of Canal Road, northwest of W. Eagle Road and bounded by, and including a portion of, the Cuyahoga River to the soulh and the southwest; (e) all air rights above the approximately 0.87 acre parcel… etc etc etc… Is THIS what SHOULD be in a Constitution. Think about it.

If you decide you are FOR this Issue, let me know. I have a few business ideas that I, too, would like to have codified. I have two more years of tuition to cover and need that guaranteed income.