Visiting those in prison…

On the way back from my kid’s soccer game in Archbold, Ohio, I stopped at the McDonald’s in Defiance, Ohio, to do a little “populist stumping.” While passing out campaign cards, I got in a conversation with this guy, Jay Solether. He’s a personal trainer, was on his way to a Revival Rally in Defiance, and told me he’s also been part of the Bill Glass Prison Ministry. (Glass, who just passed away, was a well-known,Cleveland Browns lineman during the ’60s, who parlayed his notoriety into creating a nationwide prison ministry.) Solether’s enthusiasm for his faith was palpable. Note: I also got in a conversation with a couple older gentlemen, one of whom said that while he’s a Democrat, he didn’t vote in the last election. He said everything was getting so crazy in the country he didn’t feel much like participating.

‘Wheel Estate,’ a new homeless population emerges in America

A library “Adult Book Study” in Ada is currently reading this book. I sat in on the group last night for a story for the local newspaper. The crux of the book is that there is a relatively new, elderly “houseless” population that has sprung up in the past 10 years, or so. These aren’t seniors out there doing RV retirement leisure travel. These are seniors who lost jobs in their professions during the Great Recession of 2008, lost their homes, and lost most hope of being hired back into their professions at another place at their age. So they travel in old campers, and such, doing tough seasonal jobs in warehouses, in farm fields during harvest, and so on. Meanwhile they park their small campers, vans, and so on, on side streets, in Wal-Mart parking lots, etc., just trying to get by. The ages of these nomads range from 60 to 80. Our administration would address this, in spades, by increasing, exponentially, the “social security” safety net for elders in general. See the following… https://www.voteforjoe.com/social-security-c2wv

Ohio back road stumping

…banking on Bascom

While other presidential candidates are campaigning across New Hampshire, and such, I’ve decided upon Ohio. Not only because I live here, its a low budget campaign, and so on; but because when you look at presidential politics — if you don’t carry Ohio, you’re not going to carry the country. On the way to my kid’s Regional Finals Track Meet one evening recently, I stopped in the small town of Bascom where I stumped with a cashier in this general store. She said, in turn, that she’d put some of my campaign cards on the store’s front counter. Yet another “Joe campaign coup”! Note: Our Jonathan’s 4 x 400-meter relay team qualified for State this night! I’ve got to have the fastest of any presidential candidate’s kids — yet my poll numbers show I’m, oh, still a bit behind the front runners. (Pun intended.)

On eagles wings, in Kosovo

Kosovo’s national symbol, like in America, is the eagle. Here the graduates strike a traditional “eagle’s wings” pose at the graduation ceremony.

I just wrote a local newspaper article about a special group of students who just graduated with their Masters in Law from Ohio Northern University. They are all from the country of Kosovo. What’s more, one man told me that when he was four-years-old, he was in a refugee camp during the Kosovo War. He said the only thing on his mind then was: “staying alive.” Now he’s got a lot more on his mind, like, for instance, going back to his country to help increase the “rule of law,” as Kosovo continues to stabilize after the war. He also told me he has tremendous empathy for the plight of refugees worldwide these days. Our campaign does too…

They all gave all…

At the Memorial Day Parade in Bluffton yesterday, I took this photo. Most of these guys are Vietnam Vets (there was just one WWII veteran at the event). These guys’ sacrifices can’t be quantified, but it can be honored. And that’s, exactly, what our position paper on the military calls for in the Veteran’s Affairs section (topic #11).

Religious liberty and peaceable assembly

During a village council meeting I was covering last night, the village administrator said he’d been contacted by this church about them holding an open-air morning service in the downtown park. Back and forth discussion ensued among the council members about the interface of “church and state” in regard to allowing this. Then the mayor, who took on sort of a wizard (in the Wizard of Oz) sage-like role, said the U.S. Constitution provides for “peaceable assembly” on public land. He surmised the worship service would, indeed, be ‘peaceable,’ and the park is ‘public land,’ so, huh… I once gave a talk at Greensboro College in North Carolina. I said that while I was for “separation of church and state” the way the founders intended, that didn’t mean, for instance, that you can’t have a politician who, say, pushes for legislation that matches his/her moral compass. In fact, I’d imagine in a sane society that you’d want that.

Joe foreign policy

I just wrote a newspaper article about Food For The Poor, Inc. The organization provides food, clean drinking water wells, agricultural help, adequate housing… for people in 17 Third World countries. This is for people who, say, live in mud huts, with meager daily rations of rice, flour… while many Americans live in palaces, by comparison, and either throw away, or let spoil, 33% of our food. Our foreign policy spins around, not as much about “American interests,” as, well, these peoples’ interests. Wouldn’t you think it would be the same with God? Just askin’.

When one butterfly flaps its wings…

For Earth Day, I wrote a newspaper article about Bluffton University’s Sustainability Club. The students got a campus restaurant to ban non-biodegradable plastic straws, they are lobbying for food composting at the cafeteria, they are proposing an “Energy Savings Challenge” between dormitories… I ended the article by posing: Can one small university in Northwest Ohio save the entire planet? A proverb: A lone butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can set in motion a chain of events that can, ultimately, cause hurricane force winds in another part of the planet. For more on our platform on the environment, see…

Treatment in lieu of incarceration

Ohio District 4 House of Representative’s

I attended a keynote speech at a Criminal Justice Education Conference at Ohio Northern University. Representative Robert Cupp said the House was working on a bill to make 4th and 5th degree felonies misdemeanors in some cases that involved drugs and alcohol. He said the prevailing thought is that ‘treatment in lieu of incarceration’ is often better for the criminal, and the community. The belief is that if the drug and/or alcohol problem isn’t dealt with, the recidivism rate will continue to be high for addicts/alcoholics. I would agree. For more on my take on addiction in society in general, see…

Is our country “full”?

Brittanica.com photo

Just this week I interviewed a woman who came to the U.S. from Jalisco, Mexico in 1999. At the time, she was a 23-year-old single mother of two young children, and her husband had left them. As with many place in Mexico, Jalisco had a lot of poverty and this woman was struggling to provide for her kids. Her sister had immigrated to the U.S. several years prior, and had started a Mexican restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. The young mother joined her sister, worked hard in the restaurant, learned the business, and eventually opened her own restaurant in a small town in Northwest, Ohio. It’s a great restaurant. Her business employs a number of local people. And she is active in her church and the community. In other words, she’s been a real gift to our country. Note: As I write this, Trump is saying our country is “full.” My take is, it isn’t. And, in fact, we could use a lot more people like this woman. For our position paper on Hispanic Immigration, see…