Some more vignettes from our recent Buckeye Back Roads Tour: In Beaverdam, Ohio (Well, if you don’t carry Beaverdam, you’re not going to carry the country.), I put up a campaign flier at the local market. Then at Benroth Body Shop, just a few miles west of here on Route 30, I talked with owner Todd Benroth. He said he believes if Americans go in to protect a country, “…we should get paid.” …And it’s the Albino people in Tanzania who could currently use some protecting. In Gallion, Ohio, Fr. Robert Hauss (who does mission work in Africa) said the Albinos are absolutely “hated” in Tanzania, and continually subject to rape, dismemberment and murder. Fr. Hauss said when he talks about this on, say, radio shows in the U.S., the interviewers will often be aghast. Fr. Hauss, however, said he often follows this up by saying the same thing goes on here on an even much wider scale — with the killing of unborn babies. I once saw a bumper sticker in Mansfield, Ohio, that read: “Call me an extremist, but I think dismembering babies in their mothers’ wombs is wrong.” During a talk at the University of Notre Dame several years ago, I said, basically, that we are a society gone mad… In Bucyrus, Ohio, I, in a rather impromptu fashion (I’m like that), sat in on a weekly Bible study. These guys, too, were talking about how “dark” our culture is getting with abortion, redefining marriage, the breakdown of the family in general, sex and violence in the media, sex and violence on the streets… It’s sure not ‘Mayberry’ anymore. Note: The New York Times today noted that the current Mideast protests are “…swept up in the colliding cross currents or regional politics.” That is in the wake of the Arab Spring, people there are freer to protest in general. Also, the “War on Terror,” while supposedly only targeting fundamental extremism, sometimes appears to be a war on Muslims in general (from the general populaces’ perspective there). As a result, the controversial film mocking the Muslim religion is sparking a push back. During the Democratic National Convention, Jimmy Carter said many things playing out on an international stage can seldom be summed up in a TV political ad sound byte. But rather they embody, more often than not, a complex set of circumstances that need considered analysis and measured action.