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Blog of Mass Destruction

Standing Guard

By The Reverend Published: July 21, 2011

I'm just so sick of the D.C. debt ceiling amateur theater production that I thought I'd share something a bit more personal today.

Last week was a sad week for The Reverend household. Two extended family members died untimely deaths from cancer. The 55 year old was a great guy with a sharp wit who worked hard all of his too-short life. Drove dump trucks and worked commercial construction, no pretenses....good man...I liked him a lot. He died way too soon. The pain was so bad during the closing weeks, he injected his own morphine. The cancer was relentless....as it always is. It wasted his body away...as it always does. He left a wife and two grown children. It was standing room only at the memorial service.

The other death in my family was my nephew's wife. Age 42. Cancer took her mother. Now it's taken her too. She was the mother of two. Her youngest is 5. Everyone loved her.

I need to tell you a little about my nephew and my nephew's wife...in order to make my essential point. Both my nephew and his wife worked for police departments. The nephew rose to Lieutenant before being downsized and going to work as a bank fraud manager, the nephew's wife was an award winning dispatcher for a local police department. My nephew's wife was highly regarded in the police and EMT community.

At the funeral services, police and EMT representation was nothing short of amazing. It was difficult for even a hard-assed cynic like me to hold back the emotions. Every fifteen minutes two uniformed "guards" rotated standing attention each side the coffin during calling hours. These are men and women who serve the public, often during dangerous situations. They work for a living. They are not wealthy. They care about each other. They are professionals. They deserve our respect.

And so while I'm taking in this honorable family-like tribute by the colleagues of my nephew and his wife, fighting back the tears...my mind immediately went down political corridors. And I thought....now, these are the very men and women....the men and women who make up the backbone of our townships, counties and cities....who Governor LittleJohn Kasich of Ohio decided to pick on. How could it be?

How could a pipsqueak manager of an ex-Lehman Brothers skimmer shop get away with picking on the standard of living of these police personnel and EMT's? These uniformed public workers are not in the top two percent in income like the Ohioans who are having their estate taxes cut to zero by the year 2013. Why should these public workers, of all people, have to sacrifice their modest lifestyles, while our state's wealthiest receive tax breaks?

Retracting the collective bargaining rights of these public servants...claiming you must...in order to balance budgets? And then giving our state's wealthiest a handout? This cannot stand....and it won't after November.

I've spoken to numerous teachers, police and EMT's.....good peoples....who have been angered by Kasich's runaway attack on labor and public workers, on unions. Many, if not all of those I've spoken to, are more conservative than I could ever be. Many voted for Kasich in 2010. I can't tell you how worked up they are about what Kasich is doing to our public sector union workers. Pensions, retirement, health care costs....are all up in the air if LittleJohn's political act of mass destruction isn't rescinded by voters.

Ohio voters only really get an opportunity to speak on election day. I am convinced that hordes of regular-working Ohio stiffs and stiffettes will flood ballot boxes all over this state this November......to "guard" over the working families of Ohio by rejecting SB5 and the GOP Tea Party horse it road in on.

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