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Archive for the ‘Ohio on my Mind’ Category

Apparently I’m not going to post anything but faux-salacious headlines today. But I thought a line in this comment from a Columbus Dispatch poll was too funny to pass up sharing:

Illegals also steal hard earned money in the form of taxes to take pay for their housing and health needs. I am a struggling single parent who resents seeing illegal neighbors in a nearby twin single with 8 cars parked on the street (2 Lincoln Navigators), constantly drunk, stealing expensive dogs for resale and gang attacking innocents on the street. Wake up Big Brother – Kick ’em out!

Indeed. We must put an end to illegal immigrants taking America’s jobs dogs.

P.S. People are dumb. Note that in the poll, 54 percent of respondents say immigrants “mostly take jobs away from Americans who need them” rather than “they mostly take jobs that nobody wants” — in a poll attached to a story that opens with “A national crackdown on illegal immigrants could put the squeeze on an already tight labor supply for several industries in central Ohio.” The article continues:

In central Ohio, the restaurant, hospitality, landscaping and farming industries would be the most significantly affected, said Jim Newton, chief economic adviser for Commerce National Bank.

“Those industries are going to be competing for employees that other companies have,” he said. “It’s going to be kind of unpleasant to find entry-level workers, and it’s not that easy now. These people would be exiting at a time when the unemployment rate is relatively low.”

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Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek apparently makes a habit of writing letters to “troublemakers” in his neighborhood. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an article up about one of those letters because a mother is calling it racist and claims the councilman is threatening to kill her son.

Winston’s mother, Tonya Lewis, said she plans to speak to her attorney, former City Council President George Forbes, about filing a lawsuit against Polensek. She said she also has written a letter to black activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Lewis said she views Polensek’s letter as a death threat against her son because the councilman said “he didn’t care which one came first, that he went to jail or the cemetery.”

She also complained that the letter referred to Winston as “dumber than mud,” which she considers a racist remark because mud is black and dirty.

I think the racism claim is extremely thin, if not completely absurd. And it seems clear that the context of the councilman’s “jail or cemetary” comment is less of a threat than a warning about what happens to drug dealers in the long run.

But here’s the part of the article I thought was revealing and pretty much undercuts the mother’s position.

Lewis said her lawyer advised her not to discuss any legal matters involving her son. But she said she does not condone criminal behavior.

“If he did the crime, he has to do the time,” she said. “If he has to go to jail or probation, then that’s what he has to do.”

IF he did the crime? IF he has to go to jail or probation? Is she trying to affect an air of reasonability? Well, it fails miserably beneath the weight of her own suspicion of what her son has been up to.

She wants to make this about her son receiving harshly worded letters from the city councilman, but frankly I appreciate what the councilman is doing. It’s not as if he’s calling press conferences and publicly shaming a private citizen. All the publicity over this is being generated by her complaints, not his.

I like the in-your-face candor of the councilman. I don’t know much about him. Maybe he’s a total ass. I have no idea. But rather than bemoan the psychological, cultural, political, economic, and/or social ills that plague our urban communities and theorize endlessly about root causes and who is to blame, Councilman Polensek confronts the thugs and criminals directly, while they’re commiting their crimes, and says get the @!@#*! out of this neighborhood.

More please.

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Having a rapist’s baby is so empowering. I mean, imagine you’re raped, right? And then you find out you’re pregnant. Sure, you might feel hurt, angry, depressed, scared, worried about how to take care of the child, etc. You might even consider having an abortion. Or giving the baby up for adoption. But think of the opportunity you’d then pass up! I mean, every time you look at your child, you can be reminded that you were attacked and violated! Isn’t that awesome? I mean, surely that’ll show your rapist who’s boss! Revenge is yours! Ha!

Oh wait, did that last paragraph really make absolutely no sense at all? I’m sorry. I was just echoing the sentiments of Cincinnati pro-lifers pushing an Ohio abortion ban with absolutely no exceptions. Via As Ohio Goes:

Paula Westwood, executive director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, [argues] that men win and women lose when a child of rape is aborted.

“What has happened is, men know, ‘Well, if I happen to rape a woman, I can have her get an abortion,’ and then even if he goes to prison he’s free of all responsibility,” she says. “If (victims of rape) can carry the child to term, they’re free from any guilt from an abortion and they’re also freer because the man really has no hold on them, because even though the man fathered the child the woman has some victory over it.”

You hear that? Every time you hold your rapist’s child, Victory! Cause nothing says he-has-no-hold-on-you-now like raising his bastard child for 18 years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, okay, we’ve shown Ohio’s proposed abortion ban legislation shouldn’t have a rape exception, because rape babies are so awesome, but what about an exception for the life of the mother? I mean, “pro-aborts” are always blathering on about how women are, like, actual human beings whose lives we should value and stuff, right? So what about cases where a woman will die if she gives birth?

Ha! Don’t let them fool you! That’s just a myth spread by the Feminist Ministry of Propaganda Planned Parenthood, the creator of the bill assures us.

“It’s a fallacy perpetrated by the Planned Parenthood people,” Brinkman says. “My doctors tell me they’re never in that type of dilemma.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Kos analyzed some of the actual language in the bill Tuesday. My favorite part is probably this:

All abortions are prohibited in this state. Whoever violates this section is liable to the pregnant woman, to the person who was the father of the fetus or embryo that was the subject of the abortion, and, if the pregnant woman was a minor at the time of the abortion, to her parents, guardian, or custodian for civil compensatory and exemplary damages.

Why would the pregnant woman who had the abortion be owed damages? Does Brinkman imagine that doctors are running around performing abortions on pregnant women against their will? Or that women are just too stupid to judge (and be held liable) for their own actions, so even if they requested an abortion it was only because they didn’t know any better and the doctor should still be punished for treating them as if they had free will?

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Via As Ohio Goes, the Cincinnati-based (and Daddy Dobson affiliated) conservative christian group Citizens for Community Values (the driving force behind Ohio’s recent draconian strip club legislation and the perpetuators of Ohio’s 2004 amendment banning gay marriage) are now suing opposition group Citizens for Community Standards for copying their name.

Charles Allen, a Virginia attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights and represents the Christian group, sent a letter Tuesday to opponents demanding that they stop using the name. Allen accused opponents of picking a similar name “with the intention of creating confusion and misleading voters.”

That’s not the case, argues Sandy Theis, spokeswoman for Citizens for Community Standards. “We picked the name for one reason because it accurately reflects what we stand for,” Theis said. “We believe local communities should determine what is good for them, and we define ’community’ as a local government.”

CZawadzki at OAG speculates:

This is how I imagine the thought process went: ”You can’t say you have “standards”. We’re the only ones who represent the community and have standards. In fact – we have a lawyer who is going to take you to court and say we own the word “community” and all political groups that use it have to ask our permission. Nah Nah Nenah Nah”

And if the suit actually goes to court, things could get complicated. In June, the state of Ohio announced that it would initiate a probe into the 2004 anti-gay marriage campaign, after a complaint was filed by Progress Ohio alleging that the amendment’s backers used CCV to channel campaign donations, since Ohio law requires political campaigns to report contributors but nonprofit charities don’t have to.

A group that in 2004 advocated for passage of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage appears to have intentionally concealed its campaign donors and expenses, according to a complaint filed earlier today with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Citizens for Community Values Action raised and spent more than $1.4 million to promote the amendment, known as Issue 1, but filed no campaign finance reports in 2004 or 2005.

Now Dave Harding wonders whether this new trademark suit might be a dangerous proposition for CCV.

Careful there CCV . . . Trademark law is designed to fulfill the public policy objective of consumer protection, by preventing the public from being misled as to the origin or quality of a product or service. If you go to Court, you’re going to have to disclose the “services” that you provide that are the basis for your trademark claim. Those “services” are the same ones that Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is already appointing a special counsel to investigate. Are you sure you want to expose all that information to legal discovery in Court over a trademark complaint?

Regardless, Joseph at Plunderbund notes that the names may sound alike, but so do the names of at least 50 other Ohio community groups.

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Oh dear god (meant in an extended eyeroll kind of way, not an exclamatory kind of way).

An Ohio legislator just introduced a bill that would ban ALL abortions in the state with absolutely no exceptions:

Less than three months after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on a controversial late-term abortion procedure, a Cincinnati Republican has reintroduced legislation to outlaw all abortions in Ohio. Rep. Tom Brinkman Jr. hopes his bill will become the vehicle for overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which legalized abortion.

It’s a ridculous, introduced-for-attention-getting-purposes-only piece of legislation, because there’s no way anything like this could become law in Ohio right now — even if it managed to pass the legislature, Gov. Ted Strickland (who rocks, p.s.) would veto. And “pro-life” legislators admit that they don’t have a veto-proof majority.

But still ….. don’t these people have anything better to do then introduce pointless radical legislation? Aren’t there, like, actual problems in Ohio? Would it be too much to ask that our elected officials paid attention to things that might actually be beneficial to state citizens, instead of measures designed solely to demonstrate their superior morality?

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Oh goodness. My home state is banning-things-crazy these days. In 2004, it was gay marriage. 2005, smoking. 2006 — I don’t know, I think perhaps we were too temporarily consumed with the midterm elections to ban anything this year. We’re making up for it in 2007, though. The past few months, have been all about banning touching at strip clubs, and discussing banning school choice. And now? Gambling.

Gov. Ted Strickland and Attorney General Marc Dann this morning called on lawmakers to ban nearly all forms of gambling in Ohio, including so-called games of skill that Dann had attempted to legalize.

(For the record, Mark Dann is an idiot who will sign on to just about any old thing in order to get his name in the news. In the months leading up to the November election, in which he was running for Attorney General, he sponsored all sorts of nonsence bills about “Myspace predators” and other frivolousness).

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One Day

One day. No conference. Just a car.ohio1.jpg

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The MPAA has joined the fight against an Ohio law (SB16) that would unfairly restrict strip club workers and owners (and possibly shut them down). I wrote about the bill a few weeks ago, when a group calling themselves Dancers for Democracy gathered in front of the Ohio Statehouse to protest the proposed legislation, which would prohibit any touching between nude or semi-nude dancers and customers, and require the clubs and adult bookstores to shut down most activity at midnight (there was a provision that dancers — even fully clothed — must stay 6 ft from patrons at all times, but that was at least removed).

Now the MPAA has sent a memo to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s office asking him to veto the bill if it is passed as is, and warned legislative leaders that if the bill becomes law, there’s a chance of a lawsuit. The reason MPAA cares about any of this has to do with the adult bookstore/film portion of SB16. The Columbus Dispatch reports:

In the bill’s definition of sexually oriented businesses, the bill says it “does not include a business solely by reason of its showing, selling, or renting materials rated NC-17 or R by the Motion Picture Association of America.” The proviso was added to exempt mainstream movie theaters and video stores from the proposal. But the Hollywood types never want to see their rating system appear in law, and the group has been successful in knocking down laws in other states that have tried it, said Vans Stevenson, a top lobbyist for the group. “You can’t incorporate a private trade association’s voluntary rating system into law and make it a legal standard,” he said. “It would be comparable to letting the NRA have their standards for gun laws.”

Although proponents of the bill, a group called Citizens for Community Values, seems to think it’s some sort of MPAA/pornography conspiracy (“nothing more than a ploy by the MPAA and the pornography industry to deceive Gov. Strickland into thinking that he needs to veto the (bill)” because “the association between the pornography industry and the MPAA is well known” …), the MPAA’s protest will really do little to stop the more heinous provisions in the bill, which passed in the House last week and is expected to pass in the Senate today, according to the Dispatch. The MPAA just wants its ratings system left out of it.

The Other Paper has a piece about House Speaker Jon Husted and other Ohio legislators moaning about how reporters keep wanting to talk about “the stripper bill” instead of their tax policy or whatever. Dude, what do you expect? You don’t introduce or support legislation like this unless you WANT people to talk about it and know how moral you are as a legislator, especially when you’ve got a big ol’ “community values” group being very vocal about the bill and your support.

At least this guy seems to have some sense:

Democratic Rep. Michael Skindell offered a better idea during Tuesday’s committee meeting. If Citizens for Community Values wants to put the issue on the ballot, “Let them do so,” Skindell said. “I believe we have spent enough time—and way too much time—and energy on this ridiculous issue.”

On that point, it seems Skindell would agree with Husted. But unlike the speaker, Skindell backed up his words by voting “no.”

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This is great. Ohio strippers gather in front of the statehouse in “Dancers for Democracy” t-shirts to protest proposed legislation that would require dancers to stay 6-feet from patrons at all times and some clubs to close at midnight.

Good for them. Fucking smarmy politicians, though … I don’t know why, but I find this whole bit pretty condescending:

Some Ohio lawmakers laughed as they entered the House chamber yesterday, while others sported nervous grins as they walked a gantlet of beautiful young women in pink T-shirts that read “Dancers for Democracy.” Some said it was the closest they had ever been to a strip-club dancer. Others joked about going through the line twice. “Constituent services,” said one member, after shaking hands with a few of the women.

All fun and games that we may be taking away these women’s livelihoods, man. ‘Cause stripping isn’t a real job and dancers aren’t real employees. Sigh …

“If you do not like adult businesses, I support your right to stay home,” said Charity Fickisen, 23, a Columbus State student, dancer at the Doll House in Columbus and leader of Dancers for Democracy. “But no one has a right to trample on our rights or take away our jobs.”

More here and here

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I can’t believe this is still going on in the Ohio legislature: legislation to require strip clubs to shut down at midnight and customers to remain at least 6 feet from performers at all times.

It’s so ridiculous, because there’s no way it can even be plausibly explained as anything but an attempt to force strip clubs and strippers out of business. I mean, even if you’re arguing that strip clubs are bad for neighborhoods or whatever (which I wholeheartedly disagree with, but that is an argument that is made), this is not a logical extension of that argument. There’s no logical excuse for either of those requirements, other than to try and backhandedly shut them down by nitpicking them to death. It’s so frustrating, especially because while it may will hurt the club owners to a degree (closing early), the people it’s really going to hurt the most are the dancers, who could no longer give lap dances or accept tips on stage. It’s much like arresting prostitutes for prostitution — criminalizing the people who have the most stake in the matter but the least culpability, if you look at it in those terms, and a gross and blatant example of the kind of illogical but sadly popular lawmaking that says if you don’t like something, or find it offensive, that’s good enough reason in and of itself to restrict it or shut it down.

And what’s especially reprehensible is this:

In fact, in a floor debate more puzzling than pointed, most senators who spoke condemned the measure. “I would suggest to you if it were a silent vote, I’m not sure it would pass,” Sen. Larry Mumper, a Marion Republican, said as the debate on Senate Bill 16 wrapped up.

So it’s another case of lawmakers being scared into voting for measures they don’t really support for fear of facing the wrath of conservative christian groups.

But kudos to this guy:

The measure … is being pushed by Citizens for Community Values, a group of social conservatives from the Cincinnati area. And it just so happens that the CCV posse ended up in the lunch line at Einstein’s Bagels, just across High Street from the Statehouse, behind a Dayton-area strip club owner, Luke Liakos.

Fed up with the CCV, which spent the morning making its case to a House committee about why strip clubs are harmful to communities, Liakos decided to have some fun.

“They went to put their order in and the lady at the counter said, ‘We kind of have a problem. That guy just bought all of the bagels in the place,'” said Liakos. “They all kind of looked down the line staring at me. I thought it was pretty comical.”

The dozens of bagels bought by Liakos (about 85 or 90 bucks worth, he said) didn’t go wasted as the Baby Dolls manager called en route to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank to donate his bread.

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I hope the Cavs keep him forever. As a former Ohioian, I am still a die hard Cavs fan (and Indians)!
This makes me giggle.

A first-floor master suite, which includes a two-story walk-in closet, will be about 40 feet wide and 56 feet long — bigger than half the houses in Bath Township.The house has a dining hall, roughly 27 feet by 27 feet, a “great room” at 34 feet by 37 feet and a bigger, two-story “grand room,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal, which reported on the blueprints.The “family foyer” off the six-car garage near the elevator will be dwarfed by a “grand foyer” inside the front entrance with a sweeping, divided staircase leading to four second-story bedrooms. An outer wall will feature a limestone sculpture — a bas-relief of LeBron’s head, wearing his trademark headband.

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Via To the People, a piece on Philly.com about “smoke-easies.”

Now “smoke-easies” are nothing new. When my former hometown of Columbus, OH, banned smoking last year, my favorite bars generally didn’t pay heed. One of my favorite neighborhood watering holes got rid of their tell-tale signs of being a smoking establishment, ashtrays, and replaced them with altoid tins. It was a marvelous system. If you were “in the know,” and you wanted to smoke, you went up to the bar and asked for an altoid tin. I think it was all somehow operating under the dubious theory that if that powers-that-be entered the bar, everybody could quickly put out their cigarettes and close up the tins and the authorities would simply think the place was a mysteriously smoky pub full of altoid fiends.

I don’t think anyone seriously thought this would work, but it lent the whole thing an air of being a member of some sort of secret hipster smokers club with its own secret symbols, which everyone generally seemed to appreciate. Then, one day, the local alternative weekly, The Other Paper, published a big, front-page feature on the “smoke-easies” showcasing a large altoid tin on the cover. Upon first glancing at the cover, my friends and I were outraged. Our favorite bar had been outed! How could an alt-paper betray us all like that?

As it turns out, our special-secret-altoid-tin-using bar wasn’t even mentioned in the story, nor did it even fall in the top-ten smoking-ban offenders. Apparently, altoid tins as ashtrays was pretty common throughout the cities bars, not some special province of our bar down the street. It was very disappointing, in that same blow to hipster-hubris way as hearing “I Think I Need a New Heart” being used in that dog-food commercial.

The above story has nothing to do with anything, in fact. Sorry. I just got caught up in a moment of Columbus nostalgia.

What I wanted to point out was the greatness of the opening lines to the philly article:

I’M SIPPING A Blue Moon ale in a Philadelphia bar, Janis Joplin is wailing about Bobby McGee and I’m thinking a smoke would go great about now.

I take out one of Baby Cakes’ Parliament Lights and fire it up.

I’m smoking in a bar in Philadelphia and nobody says, “Boo!”

It’s one of those leads that makes you go, man, I know it’s only 10:17 in the morning, but why aren’t I sitting in a bar in Philadelphia sipping a blue moon and listening to Janis Joplin right now? because, my god, that sounds fabulous…. (then the writer mentions beer pennants and the NCAA, and the aura is blown, alas!).

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After years of Gov. Taft and Ken Blackwell and all the other jackasses who were running the fine state of Ohio, it’s so nice to finally hear good news coming out of the state on a semi-regular basis. From NARAL Ohio:

On Tuesday the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Governor Strickland is dropping his predecessor’s fight to uphold a dangerous state law that restricts the use of RU-486 for abortions in Ohio.

The law required doctors to use mifepristone — also known as RU-486, or the “abortion pill” — only during the first seven weeks of pregnancy, and only at the dosage of 600 milligrams. But 600 milligrams, it turns out, is much too much — three times the necessary dose, according to NARAL.

This requirement of increased dosages of RU-486 would have made this abortion option out of the reach of thousands of low-income women who could no longer afford the costs of the medication.

The law was written by Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Cincinnati, whom Ohio’s Chronicle-Telegram described as “an avowed abortion opponent” who, in 2004, said he feared that “women’s clinics are just passing these things out like candy.”

Strickland’s support, however, doesn’t mean the legal battle is over, as the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has vowed to continue to support the bill.

After the bill’s initial passage in 2004, various Ohio Planned Parenthood chapters and doctors filed a complaint challenging the constitutionality of the bill on the grounds it lacks a constitutionally- mandated exception for cases where off-label use is necessary to save a woman’s health or life, it is unconstitutionally vague, it violates a patient’s right to bodily integrity and it imposes an undue burden on a patient’s right to choose an abortion. After moving back and forth through Ohio’s lower and appellate courts, a federal appeals court voided the law last September. But, according to the Columbus Dispatch,

Although he voted against it as a state senator, Attorney General Marc Dann found himself in the position yesterday of defending a state law that restricts the use of a pill that causes women to abort their fetuses. … Dann said he voted against restrictions on the drug but concluded that the law adopted by the General Assembly and signed by former Gov. Bob Taft was clear.

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Capital Law School, in my old hometown, is holding an “Adoption and Father’s Rights” conference.

After a first glance at the title, I thought maybe the conference was about single father’s who wish to adopt children, or some other under-covered issue that might be sort of interesting. No! Of course not! It’s about how evil women are who give up their children for adoption when the father’s of those children really want to raise them!

“A lot of times we get to see it from the mothers’ perspective,” Wells conference coordinator Rachel Youngpeter said of adoption issues. The conference will take a look at the rarely thought of side in adoption cases, she said, by focusing on emerging topics such as safe haven laws.

The first discussion of the conference, “Safe Haven Laws: Where are the Daddies?” will be led by Northern Illinois University School of Law professor Jeffrey Parness, with commentator Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Safe haven laws allow mothers who do not want to raise their newborn children to anonymously leave their babies with a local agency such as a hospital or fire station.

While it is commonly agreed upon that the law is beneficial for young, unmarried mothers, some feel it leaves fathers out in the cold. “The problem with that is they neglect the father’s right to parent that child,” Youngpeter explained.

While I’m not negating the fact that their might be some fathers out there who felt shafted when their baby’s momma ran off and left their newborn child on the local nunnery’s steps in the middle of the night, I’m gonna wager that this probably isn’t super common. And I’m gonna say, with no-backing-it-up facts but 100% certainty, that it is nowhere near as common as expectant father’s abandoning the mothers of the children to raise those children all alone, or promising to help raise the child but ultimately leaving the mother with most of the burden. (more…)

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I see my former-home-city is still on its ridiculous street-car quest.

Mayor Michael Coleman last week announced his appointments to the city’s Streetcar Steering Committee which will determine whether a plan for constructing and operating streetcars in downtown Columbus is achievable given existing federal, state and local resources.

“Every expert we’ve spoken with has advised that we will see a positive return on this investment, up to 6-to-1, and people who are engaged in taking our downtown into the 21st century tell me that streetcars are a great way to reconnect neighborhoods, build up our convention business, help people get around the city and address the parking issues,” Coleman said.

Ahhh, yes. Nothing says 21st Century like …. streetcars.

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