mock prom crash… and a broader lesson

mock-prom-crash scene

Students at a nearby high school were treated to, perhaps, the most elaborate Mock-Prom-Crash-Scene of anywhere in the country. Seriously! *Local college theatre make-up artists made the crash victims look realistic. There were two totaled cars face to face in the parking lot, as EMS, police and firefighting vehicles successively showed up. Firefighters cut the kids out with Jaws of Life. A Life Flight helicopter then showed up. A volunteer parent, playing the role of the mother of one of the kids that were supposedly hurt, showed up and started screaming at the driver. I wrote a newspaper article about it all, explaining how realistic, and how poignant, it all had been. And yeah, drunk driving, distracted driving… can, indeed, lead to some extreme tragedies. But what about the ‘tragedy’ of setting up a transportation infra-structure that is tremendously dangerous in the first place. What’s more, we then condition our kids to assimilate into it. Some 33,000 people die on American roads every year now. That would be like a half-full airliner going down every day in America! We’d close the skies. Yet we drive on, and on, and… Our position paper on transportation is a look at a much safer, and saner, transportation infra-structure, which we should shift to, quick!

A “Catch-22” in Cuba

Cuban flag

Cuba continues to be a Communist country, ruled by an iron-fisted government. It has a reputation of being replete with human rights abuses. Concurrently, the U.S. Trade Embargo with Cuba has recently passed the 50-year mark. However, Obama did loosen restrictions on Cuban/American travel, and some business ventures. Trump, however, rolled that all back. Recently, the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister was interviewed by network news here. Another issue between the countries is Cuban refugees continuing to come to this country, fleeing poverty and the oppressive Cuban government practices. Cuba currently allows one plane load a month of refugees to be sent back to Cuba from the U.S.. And the Foreign Minister, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said his country might consider taking back more refugees. But here’s the rub… Given the Cuban government’s “iron-fisted-ways,” and its record for mis-treating so-called dissidents, and such, one would have to wonder how these fleeing refugees will be treated after they are sent back? Note: Our administration would put in place a comprehensive re-settlement program, across the board, for refugees fleeing poverty, war, oppressive governments… And parts of our, for instance, Hispanic immigration position paper reflects that, in spades.

Carrying our cross, worldwide

Good Friday 2024 …photo by Joe

And a little child will lead them… This was a scene from a few weeks back in my hometown. Each year, there is a Good Friday “Crosswalk.” People, including children, take turns carrying this heavy, rough-hewn wooden cross from church to church in the downtown area (there are six churches). At each of the churches, a pastor gives a “Reflection.” For example, Presbyterian Pastor Bill Carr said that “…the way of the cross is a way of suffering.” He noted that Christ was flogged/scourged, but steadfastly kept going on the way to His crucifixion. Likewise, the pastor continued, Christians are called to carry their own crosses, metaphorically. [*And what’s more, Christians are called to help others carry their crosses as well, whether that’s helping people in Haiti, Gaza, Ukraine… or America’s inner cities for that matter. For our Foreign Policy position paper, which is heavy on all this, and a good deal different in its intensity and scope than most American politician’s stances, see…]

‘Surfing’ Ohio’s infra-gravity waves

“Up, up, and away…” –photo by Joe

Bluffton was one of 53 sites along the recent total solar eclipse “Path of Totality” for NASA’s Eclipse Balloon Project. College teams from as far away as Alaska participated, with the University of Wyoming team traveling some 1,200 miles to get to Bluffton. Team leader Phil Bergmair told me the helium balloons (sent up each hour over a 30-hour span) were attached to devices to monitor the fluctuation of temperature, humidity, and the presence of lower atmospheric infra-gravity waves. *If you didn’t know there are lower atmospheric infra-gravity waves — you are not alone. *Note: While interviewing the students, I learned that a good number of them, involved with the overall project nationwide, were majoring in STEM, and some would be publishing their data in various scientific journals. Note 2: During a talk at the University of Notre Dame a number of years ago, I said that NASA is using the brightest minds to calculate getting us to places, like the moon, Mars, et. Al, where there is virtually no gravity, no oxygen, no soil to grow stuff in… The caveat to this post of course being: Is the science these students are engaged in, in this case the Balloon Project, actually worthwhile? It’s a question we should be asking a lot more of in America, with subjects across the board.

“Better living through (pharmaceutical) chemistry?”

I recently interviewed a former Assistant Dean in the Pharmacy School at a local university for a newspaper article. He said modern pharmaceutical costs are, indeed, admittedly high. Conversely, he said that baked into these costs were advertising expenditures; drug development (including all the time that goes into experimenting with new drugs that never make it into the market), and so on. Note: We, as a society, have tremendously bought into the axiom “…better living through (pharmaceutical, in this case) chemistry.” Our healthcare platform challenges this to a degree, a large degree. We believe there should be a lot more focus on preventative strategies, in tandem with a much more holistic (natural medicines, and such) approach to healthcare strategies.

SOTU R-Rebuttal short on sound spirituality

Joe as a Rec. Center coach in the heart of Cleveland

Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) gave the Republican response to the State of the Union Address from her kitchen in what I am sure is a pretty nice, well-appointed, safe home in the suburbs. She echoed the predominant Republican talking points: a more secure border; a better economy; protecting the American Dream in general. Problem is: These are, for the most part, selfish talking points. A majority of people coming here from south of the border are in desperate straits from extreme abject poverty, cartel violence… The answer isn’t to shut them out. The answer is to have a simple, user-friendly asylum process, and concurrently, a sound vetting process. And middle-class, and up (like Ms. Britt’s family), Americans should be sacrificing their lifestyles to help as many people as possible make a solid transition to our country. Or, frankly, many of us are going to meet a (tall) border wall at Heaven. And on the better economy and the “America First,” protecting the American Dream deal… Once again, this, in its current paradigm, is so tremendously First World selfish — in the face of billions of people living in deplorable slum conditions world-wide. People who are continually food insecure world-wide, don’t have access to clean drinking water, adequate medicine, adequate schools… Note: And the reason for the photo above? For five years, our family did outreach in a hardscrabble part of Cleveland, amidst poverty, gang violence, drugs… These kids, these families, in our cities, have also been abandoned by many of our myopic pursuits, and upward ascent, of the American Dream as well. And, with some more sacrifices, we have the wherewithal to help them considerably too. For more on our experience in the city, see…

State of the Union Rebuttal (Part II)

State of the Union Rebuttal (Part II)… Biden’s agenda, on multiple fronts, as mentioned in the last post, is, indeed, nothing short of tremendously evil. No question. However, sprinkled into his agenda (because who, of course, would go along with a totally evil platform), is some good points. He wants to expand access for children in poverty to go to day care. He wants public school teachers to get a raise. He wants big corporations to pay their “fair share.” Biden is pushing to raise the federal minimum wage. He wants to keep battling climate change, including establishing a “Climate Corps,” similar to the Peace Corps, for some 20,000 young people. Now, I’d be on the same page, or close, on most of the latter. But our campaign, as is noted throughout this paper, would propose going much further in each of these areas. *And we would be doing it, not to covertly sell the evil (abortion, gender fluidity…) See the following “Fireside Podchats” to listen to what our going further with all this would look like. *And State of the Union Rebuttal Part III will soon follow.

State of the Union rebuttal (Part I)

State of the Union rebuttal (Part I): I gave a State of the Union Address in an auditorium at Notre Dame University in 2010, the same night Obama was giving one of his. Thinking about it now, in the aftermath of Biden’s State of the Union Address last night, the only thing that’s changed since 2010, through the lens I look at things, is most everything has gotten worse, way worse… A lot of women in the audience last night were wearing white, symbolizing “reproductive rights.” They should have worn red, symbolizing “blood,” as the baby is ripped apart in the womb. Biden said, if elected again, he’d restore “Roe” as the law of the land. Biden bills himself as a “faithful Catholic.” The Catholic Catechism expressly calls abortion, at any stage (even embryos), as unequivocal “murder.” Biden is deluded, with a tremendous exponent! What’s more, most of the Catholic hierarchy in America don’t have the spiritual balls to confront Biden (Pelosi, Tim Kane…) on a public level — even though these people are the biggest players in this modern-day Holocaust. Biden said “…freedom is under attack.” These little babies are under attack! Mother Theresa continually said abortion (world-wide) could well lead to a nuclear Holocaust. We stand at the brink. We’re looking at the World War III, which is currently incrementally unfolding, as a geopolitical chess match. We should be looking at our collective, world-wide, HUGELY grave sin with abortion (and that’s just one grave sin of many at this point), and realize God seems to merely be incrementally taking His hand off the world… And in this grave sin ballpark, you’ve also got Biden pushing gender fluidity to the hilt — something his (cough) Catholic Church labels as mortal sin. And, according to the Bible, sin that is an absolute “abomination” in God’s eyes. And with this also becoming mainstream around the world, that’s right, God, once again, could well be allowing the global society to self-destruct. It would happen to the Israelites every time they got far afield from God. And we’re SO beyond ‘far afield’ at this point, it’s not even funny, but rather tremendously tragic. *Stay tuned for more…

Time to replant…

…photo by Joe

I just wrote a newspaper article about a neighboring village that takes trees seriously. Ada is a Tree City USA municipality, with a “village forester,” a Tree Commission, and a university (Ohio Northern U.) that is a Tree Campus USA school. The Tree Commission, for example, is forever doing tree-planting projects. Our position paper on the environment notes that, while we get nuts about the clear cutting going on in, say, the Brazilian Rainforest (which, indeed, should be a concern), we conveniently forget that we clear cut almost the entire eastern half of the U.S. when we were settling this country. Time to replant. And time to use Ada, Ohio as a model.

And a (calamitous) river ran through it…

atmospheric river rendition @

The Bible’s “Book of Jeremiah,” at one point (Jeremiah 11), references “Judah’s Broken Covenant.” The cliff note: God tells Jeremiah to “broadcast” to the people of Judah that He’s going to bring “calamity” on them because they keep following “…their evil desires,” and not His commands. Now… Playing point guard for “evil desires” in America, would, most decidedly, be: California — and its over-the-top liberal bent when it comes to abortion, gender fluidity, et. Al. And if that isn’t bad (read: evil) enough, at the heart of California is a Hollywood, which is beaming images of all the latter sin behavior, and much more (violence, sex/immodesty, rampant materialism…), out into the world at large. Well, as I type this, yet another ‘calamitous’ atmospheric river is hitting California. The series of these this winter have been record-breaking and wreaking all sorts of havoc out there. I heard a Weather Channel personality recently say that the flooding in California is reaching “Biblical proportions.” Hmm. I wonder if anyone is “…following the bouncing ball,” on this one. A device (bouncing ball) used, ironically enough, in “motion pictures.”