Smart policing. On a micro-level, each community, in large part, is responsible for its own safety. And the police in Ada, Ohio, have come up with a common-sense strategy to enhance safety in that village. They just put in two speed radar signs at the village limits on major roads coming into town. The police chief told me that this, in fact, does two things. One, a good number of motorists slow down when they see their digital speed. And two, instead of having squad cars regularly posted at each of these locations, police are now freed up to do more of other sorts of policing throughout the village. Note: Ada also has a SAFER Program, which is part of a Community Oriented Policing model. Liaisons, through regular meetings, and such, are established between village residents, businesses, school officials and the police. The synergy of these groups working together has created, well, a much ‘safer’ environment here. Note 2: Our campaign is big on backing Community Oriented Policing programs. See our position paper on crime…
If we are serious about reducing our carbon footprints, we have to change our individual lifestyle patterns and, basically, get tougher in some areas. I, for instance, ride my mountain bicycle around town about 50% of the time — during winter. What’s more, I interviewed our local bicycle store owner for an article on “winter bicycling,” and he said with the proper thermal attire, studded tires, fat tires, and the like, winter biking is, indeed, quite doable. We keep pointing at the next Climate Summit emission reduction promises, which we should. But pointing at these, we have to also realize there are three fingers (Covered with thermal bicycle gloves, hopefully.) pointing back at us. Incidentally, as president, I’ll be bicycling around DC in the winter as well. And won’t that be fun for the Secret Service. LOL. Can’t you just hear that: “He’s going to do what?”
I was doing some research this afternoon, in the context of how man-made pollution is disrupting “eco-webs.” And, as this diagram illustrates: “…energy moves through an eco-system in a complex network of feeding relationships called a food web.” God has set it up this way. The above illustration is particularly about ocean life and the healthy balance needed to maintain this eco-system. However, massive amounts of toxic chemical farm run-off, massive amounts of plastics, and so on, are being injected into this eco-system, majorly affecting the balance. And coupled with this, when it comes to the oceans, there’s a massive amount of over-fishing as well. Disrupting these balances, on these levels, are having major consequences now, and potentially catastrophic consequences for generations to come. Psalm 14:1 — “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” We are like teenagers trashing one of the rooms (the earth) in God’s universe. What’s more, the Catholic Catechism draws the 7th Commandment into this mix: “Thou shalt not steal.” The Catechism notes that we are “…to have concern for the quality of life of our neighbors, including generations to come.” We are, in essence, in the above illustration: stealing clean water. That simple, and that sinful. For more on our stance on the environment, see…
In doing a series of stories about small, local businesses, one of the ones I focused on was Ten Thousand Villages. Ten Thousand Villages (there are 100 stores nationwide) contracts with Third World artisans and offers them, not sub-standard, but rather “fair” prices for their products. In “caring for the earth,” Ten Thousand Villages often contracts with artisans who use locally sourced, recycled and renewable resources. Ten Thousand Villages is non-profit, and also often contracts with the disabled, women, “…and others often excluded from the global economy.” The store manager noted that the organization provides 50% of the purchase price up-front to artisans for materials, and such — because often these people can’t get small business loans from their local banks. What’s more, the other 50% is paid when the product is complete — whether it sells, or not. Note: Our administration’s global trade policies, in part, would embody this kind of ethos, simply because it makes ethical/spiritual sense.
I just interviewed a local Scoutmaster for a newspaper article about his troop. His standard sound byte is: “We put the outing in scouting.” He said once a month, the troop goes camping as one, of many, scouting activities. He said it’s good to regularly get kids “…off screens and out into nature.” I agree. During our travels, we met with David Orr, who was the head of Oberlin College’s Environmental Science Department at the time, and also an author. Among a number of books, he wrote: Earth in the Balance. He said many kids, and adults, these days, have developed “bio-phobia.” And, often, the closest they get to nature are things like: The Weather Channel. Our position paper on the environment is a structured set of strategies revolving around emphasizing the importance of nature, in all it’s dimensions.
I just did a newspaper article about a local community center that puts on an annual Thanksgiving Dinner event. Attendance this year, according to the director, broke all kinds of records. The director surmised ‘inflation creep,’ number one, is attributable, to the rise in attendance. And two, after all the Covid lockdowns/restrictions the past two years in this country, she said people simply like “…getting out again.” In fact, she continued, the laughter, the smiles, the conversations in general at the tables, were quite poignant to her. And on a contemporary affairs front, it’s not hard to seen why the protests over stringent (Zero Covid Policy) lockdowns in China are erupting. As president, I would stand with the general populace in China — unlike what the current U.S. administration is doing. Human rights should always trump trade concerns, and so on. Especially if you’re coming at it from a spiritual angle.
If we were, sincerely, ‘talking to God’ as a country: abortion would end; the Marriage Equality Bill currently being pushed in the Senate would fail; the breakdown of the nuclear family would, well, stop breaking down… And I’m just scratching the surface. Incidentally, Donald Trump declared to run for president again last night at his Mar-a-Lago resort. He’s not the answer. Biden is not the answer either. That is, if we want the country to align with the things of God across the board. Our campaign, while not perfect, comes way closer to the answer for that. Just sayin’. See…
*Veterans Day. Towns across America are adopting the “Military Banner Project.” And I am totally on board with this project. These men and women were/are willing to make the “ultimate sacrifice.” They should be ‘front and center’ in our communities. As we should be ‘front and center’ in helping them, not only in the service, but when they get out. There are, indeed, some good Veterans programs. But there, most assuredly, needs to be more. One newscaster today said that 17 Veterans take their lives every day now. And some 33,000 Veterans are currently homeless. Our position paper on the Military addresses this in Section 11. Note: We have traveled the country extensively interviewing Veterans in crafting part of the latter position paper.
A TV newscaster last night said that with Mid-terms 2022 now in the rearview mirror (sans, of course, several ongoing “toss-up” races), the Campaign 2024 presidential race now “officially” begins. Huh. I wish someone would have told me that. I’ve been campaigning, on and off, the whole last year, at least. I really need some campaign consultants! LOL. Incidentally, and on a more serious side, our positions spin around: “uncommon common sense.” (You read that right.) And if you ‘read’ our positions, you’ll see what I mean. What’s more, you’ll see that what we propose is pretty much the only hope for America now. Again, seriously. Most everything else coming out of DC at this point is metaphorically synonymous with: REARRANGING DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC!!!
Oregon City Schools Quiz Bowl graphic
I just wrote a two-part newspaper series on high school Quiz Bowl. One of the local faculty advisors here said, yes, part of it is about academic preparedness. But he also said the ‘genius’ of it is that football players, cheerleaders, and students who aren’t either, sit side by side on the team, and can’t help but develop some bonds. They are students, he said, “…who wouldn’t normally mix socially.” This is, systemically, a big part of changing the culture in high schools that will lead to, number one, more camaraderie between diverse students. And two, this will, inevitably, cut down on violence/shootings in the schools. And during our travels, I researched a program at Ohio’s Wilmington College where moderators facilitate weekend encounter groups at local high schools, mixing various clique groups. (Think the movie Breakfast Club, without the detention.) I have plugged in more information about this in our position paper proposing a “U.S. Department of Peace.” (See Section 15, Trust and Resolution)