Why have we killed Thanksgiving, one day a year that we could have set aside for family or just ourselves? It started in August with the first appearance of Christmas or, rather, holiday decorations in the back aisles of a few stores.
Then we blew through Halloween, barely giving this day the time to display its wares before red and green lights and wreaths push the black and orange into the clearance aisle.
Now, we are in full-blown, end-of-the-year sales mode. Radio stations have begun to play Christmas music, houses are already lit brightly with colorful lights, lawn decorations are out, and the television is full of advertisements for gifts that we apparently cannot live without.
There is even a guy willing to give up not only Thanksgiving but a whole week of his life, camped in front of a big-box store in a tent so that he can be the first in line for Black Friday.
Some stores are open all day Thanksgiving or they are open early in the evening, trying to get the jump on the competitors. Thanksgiving has become the nonholiday.
We may get the day off, but it seems it is only to rest for Black Friday sales. The political campaign ads pale in the face of the onslaught of holiday gift ads.
We have nearly killed Thanksgiving. Well, you can count on not seeing me in the stores this Thursday. I will be home enjoying the family and being thankful for what I have, not hoping for what I might get.
The really sad thing is Christmas is next. You can bet the “after Christmas sales” will start the evening of Christmas Day.
Stand up for Planned Parenthood
On Nov. 13, the Ohio House Health Committee voted 11-9 along party lines to pass House Bill 298, the clear purpose of which is to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio.
Despite testimony from doctors, clergy, rape survivors, advocates, social workers and others — all in opposition to the bill — it now heads to the full House for a vote.
Planned Parenthood is the main gynecological resource for those people who cannot afford services otherwise. Defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to more unwanted pregnancies, abortions and children raised on welfare and in hunger because their parents could not afford to have them in the first place.
Birth control is what will lead to fewer abortions – not defunding the only place many can go to get birth control.
Do you think your “personal” economy is safe? Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Is your house in foreclosure? What would an unplanned pregnancy do to your life?
We need to support Planned Parenthood because these people are the first line of defense for so many women who are conscientious and who want to prevent a pregnancy.
Take this away and watch our welfare costs rise and taxes increase to fund welfare programs, food programs and Medicaid.
Call Gov. Kasich at (614) 466-3555 to tell him what you think. Take a stand for your state and all those who live here, not just the wealthy or well-off. Those who suffer in poverty are people as well.
Get beyond the bubble
Following the re-election of President Obama, I admit to watching Fox News and thoroughly enjoying the regulars there squirming, trying to explain what to them was incomprehensible. I have since heard this dubbed “living in a bubble.”
But, really, don’t we all? Are not our basic beliefs established very early in life, and don’t we spend a lifetime associating almost exclusively with those of similar thinking?
To this end, what Democratic and what Republican voters didn’t know two years before a billion dollars of relentless, ugly attack ads which party’s candidate they would choose?
Don’t we all know right now which party’s candidate we will support in 2016?
I suppose this is the same as it ever was, except for one change: television, radio, newspapers and, particularly, social networking now allow us to select reinforcement of what we think is true a thousandfold more than in earlier times, until we are absolutely confident that we alone know the truth.
As for the other guy, the one holding an opposing view of things, well, of course, he or she must be a scoundrel or an idiot, to be totally dismissed, discredited and beaten down.
Anything less would be compromising our principles and giving in to lies or lunacy.
In this sort of America, what is the most pressing danger? Is it an inevitable progression by Obama from socialism to communism to Godless totalitarianism? Or is it conceding to an oligarchy run by the rich for the rich, replacing a compassionate democracy? Or is it an abject refusal to peer outside our bubble and acknowledge that someone with opposing views has come to his or her set of truths from a lifetime of experiences?
No, the threat to our democracy, as it has been from the beginning, is to dismiss the truths and needs of one segment of the people as being not worthy of consideration or real give-and-take compromise.
It’s time for our politicians to do the thing that real politicians do best: To work out fair deals. And it’s time for the people to give them free rein.
On behalf of Summit County Children Services, I would like to sincerely thank every voter who supported our recent renewal levy. Not only was the levy’s passage gratifying in and of itself, but the tremendous size of the final margin (68 percent to 32 percent) was a true testament to the public’s recognition of the important work our agency does on behalf of children and families.
Over the coming years, we truly look forward to repaying this strong vote of confidence by continuing to provide the residents of Summit County with innovative and fiscally sound programs designed to help promote child safety, permanency and well-being.
Summit County Children Services
Michele Bachmann thinks that we need to have a detailed report of what the president knew and when he knew it and exactly what happened the night that our ambassador and three of his staff were killed in Benghazi. She cites the fact that the White House quickly released information in great detail about the slaying of Osama bin Laden as being “proof” that such information about Benghazi should be made available.
Congresswoman Bachmann is not the brightest star in the firmament, and it shows in her choice of examples. It is far, far easier to tell details of an operation planned and executed by one’s office than it is to gather and sort and put in some order the details of an operation planned and executed by one’s enemies.
Sen. John McCain had sense enough to shut up after he heard David Petraeus’ testimony. He at least knows when he’s wrong.
End the gridlock
Now that the election is over, it is time to get down to the business of creating jobs and addressing the deficit. Organized labor put a lot of boots on the ground to help get out the vote for President Obama. It was the right thing to do. Mitt Romney’s past did not bode well for workers, organized or not.
The president has proved he will not let China have a blank check on stealing our jobs. He has acted on tires, auto parts, glass and steel products, just to mention a few.
Romney talked tough about China, but at Bain Capital he did not walk the walk as they helped in shipping thousands of jobs to low-wage countries like China.
Labor is only looking for a level playing field. If we can get that, we feel very comfortable we can compete with anyone in the world.
Both parties in Congress need to fix taxes, the deficit and create jobs now. Republicans can either be part of the solution or prove they are the problem. Americans voted against gridlock on Election Day. The ones who still want gridlock will face stiff competition in 2014.
President, USW Local 2L
FirstEnergy plans to “trim” up to 400 “positions,” blaming it on losses due to reduced sales margins, lower distribution deliveries and a higher effective income-tax rate. According to Morningstar, FirstEnergy’s 2011 compensation for its top six executives was $56 million.
If they had taken only $1 million apiece, there would have been enough to pay each of those 400 people $62,000 per year for two full years.
In the meantime, FirstEnergy has been dragging its feet when it comes to reducing energy waste and investing in energy efficiency programs. It needs to worry less about quick profits and more about reducing waste and improving efficiency.
Let’s hope the Public Utilities Commission decides in favor of protecting Ohio consumers.