I am very impressed with the passionate protests and actions by the students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. On Valentine’s Day, a troubled young man entered the school armed with an AR-15 semi automatic assault weapon and killed 17 of their classmates and teachers. Rather than mourn the dead and comfort the families, many students have taken to political action demanding sensible controls on guns so this action is not repeated.
Twelve year-old Parma resident Abdel Bashiti, an innocent bystander, was shot and killed in Cleveland on November 25, 2017. I did not know him or his family, and I saw very little in the news about Abdel himself. It seems he was shot, killed, and largely forgotten. The recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida, has generated a huge amount of national news about in-school safety. What is not being discussed is gun violence outside of schools.
The International Monetary Fund was formed in 1944 to ensure exchange rate stability. Today it consists of 189 member countries “working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.” Each member country has a seat on the Board of Governors which elects a 24 member Executive Board to oversee the organization. The Managing Director since 2011 has been Christine Lagarde who was previously Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment in France.
I decided to take a break from the political issues and write a different kind of column this month. This past week I have been enjoying a much needed break from winter and work along the coast of South Carolina at Hilton Head. I have come here often and this region, the “low country” of coastal South Carolina is rich in history as well as a unique culture. I spent a day in Savannah Georgia, just across the border. Savannah is where the colony of Georgia was founded. The city has preserved its old historic district and it was the setting for the movie Forrest Gump back in the 1990s.
You may be thinking you still have several months of learning ahead of you before your next progress report or report card. You can take it easy for now since most of the projects are due in May. Well, think again…because Spring Fever is right around the corner. The weather will begin to warm up, the birds will chirp again, and the days will become longer.
February’s Asset Category: POSITIVE VALUES.
The shutdown has come and gone. However, we're still hearing a lot of spin, innuendo, half-truths and lies about it. And since the shutdown was ended with temporary funding that expires February 8, it will undoubtedly rear its ugly head again. Consequently, it's time to lock and load some facts about shutdowns in general and this one in particular.
Recently some members of congress suggested requiring “able bodied” adults whose income makes them eligible for Medicaid should either be working, engaged in a full time job search or pursuing education that would lead to gainful employment. Such an idea may have a great appeal; but in practice it would be an administrative nightmare and will not remove many from the Medicaid rolls.
President Donald Trump said that he wanted to “roll back regulations to 1960 levels”. Of course, this would undo most progress that has taken place over the past 58 years. I am old enough to remember what it was like back in 1960. Let’s take a trip in the “way back machine” that was a feature on Sherman and Peabody, a cartoon segment on the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show that was popular back in 1960, and return to 1960.
To repay this great nation for all it has given me, I am devoting my golden years to improving the quality of life for everyone in it by exposing the spin, innuendo, half-truths and lies that continuously come from the liberal elite and are blindly repeated by the little liberals who are unable to think for themselves. It's a hot, dirty, never-ending job so I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient.
In December of 1773 a group of Bostonians, upset about the British imposing a higher tax on tea and fueled by whisky and beer dressed as native Americans and boarded several ships in Boston Harbor that were bringing tea to Boston. They then dumped the tea into Boston Harbor in protest of the tea tax in what became known as the Boston Tea Party.
Sometimes liberals have good intentions. At least that's what I tell myself. But they screw it up in the end and then argue to the death that they saved all us little people from ourselves. For example, they decided we needed “comprehensive health care reform” so they gave us the ACA and now they keep arguing how great it is because fewer people are uninsured. But the ACA did not reform healthcare. It made it easier for a minuscule percentage of the population to buy health insurance and penalized everyone else. But having insurance and getting healthcare are two different things and having insurance does not mean you can get healthcare. Just one obvious example is all the people who were required to buy insurance under the ACA but can't use it because they can't afford the deductibles.
In last month’s Parma Observer, Carmen Luna wrote an open letter to me and accused me of selectively lifting selected passages from President Lyndon Johnson’s and Donald Trump’s speeches to the Boy Scout National Jamboree. His “open letter” was in response to my column from September where I compared the speeches of Lyndon Johnson at the 1964 Boy Scout National Jamboree and Donald Trump’s speech from this past summer. To answer Mr. Luna, space limitations prevented me from including more excerpts from those speeches. But I did provide links where any reader with internet access could go and read the entire speech from each President. Even without the links I provided, anyone with internet access could do a search and find the texts of those speeches.
Sometimes I think the NFL protesters are suffering from a bad case of the stupids. But probably not for the reasons you think.
October’s Asset Category: SUPPORT Many studies over the years confirm that caring, supportive relationships with adults are critical for raising young people who are healthy and resilient. Support means freely giving young people love, affirmation, and acceptance; surrounding young people with caring families, guardians, friends, teachers, neighbors, and other adults; and helping young people know they belong, are not alone, and are both loved and lovable. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #5 – Caring School Climate
Dear Mister Kamps:
Last year during the campaign, someone asked me what Donald Trump has done to me to cause me to oppose him so much. My answer was very simple. While he never did anything to me, I believe that his character makes him grossly unfit to be President and that he represents the worst elements of this country.
It has been known for years that spending time in a natural setting is beneficial for your physical and mental health. But in the past few decades the research has been mounting to prove that access to greenspace is very beneficial. Dr. Kathleen Wolff of Cleveland's Natural History Museum stated, "A growing body of research shows the mental and physical benefit of greenspaces including reduced stress and depression, better immunity, and improved work performance." www.GreenCities:GoodHealth
I am a former Boy Scout. I never made Eagle Scout; but came close, reaching the rank of Life Scout. A major part of why I never made Eagle was that there wasn't a scout troop in my neighborhood until I was almost 14 years old. So when I was 16, I joined an Explorer Post which is more attuned to high school age boys. However I did attend the 1964 Boy Scout National Jamboree that was held at Valley Forge Pennsylvania. For me it was exciting to be at Valley Forge PA since my high school was named after that location in history. I graduated from Valley Forge High School in 1966.
One of my daughters married an athlete. They have two sons and a daughter. The boys are also athletes and their games are family affairs with everyone from both sides of her family attending. The girl is is the youngest of the three, just seven years old. After attending the boys' games most of her life, she decided she wanted to play baseball. She wound up as the only girl on her team. Folks, I'm a realist and the reality is that in a sport like baseball girls just don't have the physical attributes to compete with boys. So, on the afternoon of my granddaughter's first game I headed out to the ballpark burdened with low expectations and armed with words of encouragement and consolation.
Recently much has been said and written in the media about Medicaid and who receives Medicaid. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding Medicaid eligibility and who actually receives Medicaid. Much of this information was reported in Cleveland.com, the web site of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and it is information that is readily available to the public. I feel that it is very important to share this information so people can have a better understanding about a very important part of our health care system.
Sometimes it's the drama I find most hilarious. Like Nancy Pelosi saying Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord was tantamount to murder. Sometimes it's the spin. Like, Lee Kamps saying “more than 90% of climate scientists agree that human activity is accelerating the warming of the earth.” The truth about that lies at ProCon.org. The site, in a fairly unbiased manner, provides both sides of whether or not humans are responsible for global warming. The “more than 90%” figure was erroneously taken from studies like the 2013 Cook review of 11,944 peer-reviewed studies on climate change which found that 97% of the studies expressing a position on the issue said that humans are causing global warming. Environmentalists translated that to 97% of all climate scientists. Per ProCon, the Cook study actually said:
We put together some fun points any Parmidian will understand. You know you’re from Parma when…
There is a very dangerous belief in the United States right now that one’s ignorance of something is just as credible as another’s knowledge of that same subject. When more than 90% of climate scientists agree that human activity is accelerating the warming of the earth; as an educated nation, we should take heed of that finding and take steps to reduce the cause of that global warming. But a sizable number of people in the United States including our current President believe that climate change is a hoax. They cite no studies and offer no proof of their belief other than snow in their backyard last winter.
You may find this a little difficult to swallow but we are blessed to live in this area of the Great Lakes. As far as can be seen, we will have enough water to last for so great a time as to not be concerned about going thirsty. There is hope that there will not be some sort of disaster that would alter the situation, perhaps a meteor that would displace the lakes or an invasion from outer space or mass pollution by industry, something along the these lines. Just look at other areas of the United States. California can’t make up its mind if is going to burn, earthquake or mud slide off of the face of the earth. The South has no water then it is deluged with rain, the Plains first are running out of ground water then get flooded, the East Coast has plenty of hurricanes to keep them guessing. There is an outside possibility that we may drink the Lakes dry. It is a rare sight when one is seen without a bottle of water. Sitting at a desk where water is close at hand, wouldn’t want to dehydrate from the stress of working a key pad. Walking outside, one is often seen with a bottle in hand. What would be the consequences of having to go to a water fountain and get hydrated? Although water fountains are becoming less conspicuous with all the water being purchased. Look at the sport venues, not a water fountain to be seen, smart, the venue can sell much more water, you have a captive audience. Whatever happened to grabbing a drink from a water spigot? That used to be a frequent occurrence in by-gone days.
Back in 1972 I was a high school science teacher at a semi rural school district in northwestern Ohio. One of my students, call him Bob, came up to me after class and said to me that he didn’t need to learn “all that boring stuff” because his father was going to get him in at a local Ford plant when he turned 18 years old. Bob was 15 then, in the 9th grade and failing my class as well as his other classes. He also said that his father didn’t even get that far in school and was making more money at the Ford plant than our high school Principal.
At the Cleveland International Film Festival back in April I saw an excellent documentary titled The Age of Consequence. The movie dealt with the subject of climate change, but approached it from a different angle; that of national security. Retired, former and active duty military personnel from the United States gave evidence that many word events and unrest are a direct result of climate change and that this poses a definite threat to our nation’s security. Global warming and the spread of deserts in parts of the world are creating refugees on a massive scale not seen since the end of the Second World War. Many military officials see the resulting displacement of people as well as crop failures leading to failed states and a rise of terrorist organizations looking to exploit this problem.
The May primary election will bring Issue 4 to ballot. Issue 4, if passed, will cause the Seven Hills Charter to be amended. That amendment will cause the mayor's current part-time position to be changed to full-time. The part-time position - 32 hours per week - costs taxpayers $14,000.00 plus benefits. The proposed change to full-time - 40 hours per week - will raise the salary to $70,000.00 plus benefits. The cost of benefits could amount to $15,000.00+. The net result is that extra 8 hours per week will cost taxpayers approximately $1000.00 per week. WOW!
Last month Lee Kamps wrote a piece about how bad the Republican alternative to the ACA was. Well, sort of. Actually, only the title and the first paragraph were about that. The rest was an attempt to defend the ACA. But there was a common thread to the piece. It was all far left talking points that, as usual, were nothing more than spin, innuendo, half-truths and lies.
Recently someone posted a picture taken from the air of the Cuyahoga River emptying into Lake Erie in Cleveland that was taken back in 1967. The picture shows the Cuyahoga River as a rust colored river spreading a rust colored plume into Lake Erie..
The other day a friend asked me to translate something to Spanish for him. I told him I couldn't because I didn't speak Spanish. That seemed inconceivable to him. "But you're Mexican," he said. "Your parents came here from Mexico. How can you not speak Spanish?" Yes, my parents came here from Mexico. But the reason they came here was to be Americans and they believed that if they were allowed to become Americans and reap the benefits of being Americans, it was their responsibility to be Americans, not Mexicans living in America. And since the language of Americans is English, they refused to speak Spanish to me and my siblings. Consequently, I don't speak Spanish. And as I told my friend, I'm not Mexican, I'm an American of Mexican descent just like he is an American of German descent. And as such, I don't speak Spanish just like he doesn't speak German.
After seven years of promising a “market based” alternative to the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, the Republican Party finally delivered. However their plan is a disaster and would cause more problems that it would solve. When the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, AARP and the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Toby Cosgrove oppose this proposal; you have to realize that this is a real stinker of a bill. No matter how much they dress this up and spin it, no matter how much make up they put on this pig; it is still a pig and a very bad bill that should be soundly defeated.
I have been reading an excellent book, Once in a Great City by David Mariniss. This book tells about Detroit during the time period from the autumn of 1962 through the spring of 1964. This was a time when the auto industry was booming and Detroit was selling more cars than ever. It was also a period when Motown was beginning to take the music of Detroit out to the world. With good wages, strong labor unions and plenty of good jobs, the working men and women of Detroit enjoyed a higher standard of living.
“How about a dinner date?” His eyes twinkling and filled with hope that I would accept his invitation. This was to be my first date with someone other than my late husband in over forty years.
Spin, Innuedo, Half-Truths and Lies
At present we have over three hundred million people, and growing, living in the United States. Not that long ago it seemed like two hundred million people were more than the planet could support with food. Ralph Nader wrote a book about population growth called Zero Population Growth concerning the expanding population. It is simply wonderful how the agricultural and scientific communities have combined to increase the food supply. With a little manipulation of genes and introduction of a chromosome here or there it is overwhelming as to how the scientific community created answers where once there was only concern. Production per acre compared to only a few decades ago is unimaginable, not only to the layman but to the farmer as well. Nothing is all good or all bad. Is there a cost to the increased production of food, remembering that it is done with gene manipulation? Up to this point there is no published research to indicate that there is any harm in the genetically modified produce. But then look at cigarettes and the amount of time it took to publish cigarettes’ harmful effects. This is information that the tobacco industry was aware of and buried. They attempted to protect their income and not the people who used their product. If their information had been released to the public it would have affected the sales of tobacco. Could a similar scenario be in play with the food we consume? The unscientific observation that brings this question to mind is of how many people are adversely affected by what is produced on most farms. One of these is the peanut allergy. Not that long ago it didn’t seem as though there were many people allergic to anything. It was unusual to have allergies before G.M.O.s. And let us not forget the steroids and antibiotics that are injected into livestock. Today it seems that wherever you go you see warnings about peanut exposure. There are those who, if they are in the same room with anything made from peanuts, have a reaction.
Last November, Lee Kamps wrote a piece for the Observer titled We Are The United States Of America in which he said we're all Americans and so (he concluded in roundabout way) we should all get behind our newly elected president and other representatives. Obviously the piece was written before the election and anyone who has read just about anything Mister Kamps has written understands he wrote it because he believed his candidate, Clinton, would win. If you have any doubt of that, read some of his past Observer pieces. For example, last February, he wrote that Republicans, especially Trumps, are Xenophobic. In August, it was Republicans, especially Trump, are only pandering to our fears. My personal favorite came in October when he wrote that electing Trump would guarantee that we would have another Watergate.
The final number of the musical Hairspray is a rollicking number involving the entire cast titled “You Can’t Stop the Beat”. It is performed after the Corny Collins show, a teen dance show like American Bandstand, becomes integrated. The setting of this play is in Baltimore in 1962 when the civil rights movement was gaining strength. The song is about how no one can stop the movement of progress no matter how hard they try.
In December, Derek Schafer from West Creek Conservancy along with representatives from studioTECHNE architects appeared before Parma City Council and presented their plan for the West Creek Quarry District, part of the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative. What they proposed is a plan to support and adopt complete street initiatives, create bike/pedestrian safe access and facilities, support economic development through place-based transportation and land use recommendations, and connect these proposals with existing assets and investments. They would further integrate principles of accessibility and environmental justice ensuring the benefits of growth and change are available to all members of the community, integrate and link recreation assets, and provide people with safe and reliable transportation choices that enhance their quality of life.
With the election of Donald Trump as the next President and with the Republican party in control of congress beginning this month, is there a future for the ACA or Obamacare? While the Republican party has made a lot of noise about repealing this act, actually undoing it will be much more complicated and could have serious and unintended consequences.