Buckeye Back Road Tour: We went to Lordstown High School where I talked at a Candidate’s Forum put on by political science teacher Terry Armstrong and his classes. Mr. Armstrong took a good number of students to the Iowa Caucuses, helped arrange for some students to go to Hillary Clinton’s talk in Lordstown the week before, and contacted the candidates for this forum so his students could be informed voters. What a refreshing teaching style, huh. …I turned the talk into quite an interactive, and unscripted, “Town Hall Meeting,” if you will. The students became tremendously animated and engaged in what turned out to be a lively debate. One student asked me my stance on embryonic stem cell research. I said I believed life began at conception and that this was a form of abortion. Some of the students grumbled. I asked to see a show of hands: “How many of you have been embryos?” The grumbling subsided a bit. The students wanted to also talk about immigration, poverty in the inner city, the Iraq War… One student pointed out that before we went to war with Iraq, Saddam Hussein was “torturing” people. I asked the students how many of them thought water-boarding (simulating drowning), which the U.S. is doing with terrorist suspects now, is “torture.” A majority raised their hands indicating they believed it was. “So we’re doing the same thing Hussein was doing?” I asked. That seemed to give everyone pause. Almost as much pause as when I said that we went into Iraq looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction “…yet we have 10,000 of them aimed all over the world!” Many say we’ll never use them. I say: “Tell that to the little children who were incinerated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Note: The first local candidate to speak after me was the current County Coroner. He ended his talk to the students by saying: “You can be thankful you’re seeing me socially here — and not professionally at my office.” A coroner with a sense of humor. He got my vote.