HB 319 repeal: it's on!!!!

I just got home a little while ago after a stop at Cuyahoga County Democratic Headquarters, where I picked up a short stack of crisp, hot-off-the-presses petitions to repeal HB 319 — the lopsided, confusing congressional map that treats voters like pawns in a partisan game.

I just couldn't wait. When I called them right before I left work and they said the boxes had just arrived from Columbus and they were unpacking them right now, I had to drop by (it's right on my way) and get some.

This morning in Columbus, the Ohio Democratic Party held a press conference to announce that they were pressing ahead with the THIRD repeal referendum in a mere eight months.


Titled Ohioans for Fair Districts, the campaign needs to gather 231,147 valid signatures by December 23. Redfern said, "[The Republicans in the legislature] rushed through the legislative process in just 48 hours an egregious map that was rated worse than any citizen-produced map. They left no time for public input, compromise or bipartisanship. The map was crafted behind closed doors for the sole purpose of protecting incumbent Republican members of Congress."


Exactly. It creates a 3-1 tilt in districts in a state that almost always splits close to 50/50, and most of those districts aren't remotely competitive. I mean, I like a safe Democratic district as much as anyone, but my district — the 11th — is almost 80 % Democratic under the Republicans' map. That's shameful and insulting. If they could fit every Democrat in the state into a handful of districts, they would. Oh wait, they did.

Not a newsflash. Josh Mandel = Screwup

Yeah, I know some days there's not much actual NEWS. And certainly it should be news to no one that the extraordinarily incompetent and unqualified Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel has made a mess of something.


It seems that that database of public workers' salaries that Mandel splayed all over the front page of his official state website is riddled with errors. Never mind that posting this information has little to do with the functions of the treasurer's office (not that Mandel would know what they were) and seemed designed simply to try to gin up more anger and envy directed at public workers for political purposes – to support SB 5.

"Some constituents accuse Republican Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, in records obtained by The Associated Press, of using the search tool to fuel antipathy toward government workers ahead of a Nov. 8 vote on Ohio's divisive new collective bargaining law."

Gee, you think?

Among the errors: "a retiree listed as a current worker, a misstated job title, and inflated salary figures by including overtime, summer pay for teachers or sick time payouts. One complainant said the site listed his daughter's stipend for graduate school as if it were state worker pay."

There's lots more:

And I just looooove this paragraph:

"[Mandel spokesman Seth] Unger said the site is no longer streaming salary data compiled by the policy think tank Buckeye Institute, in part because using outside data made it impossible for the state to fix errors that were discovered. He said the office has gathered source data directly from two government agencies -- the Ohio Departments of Education and Administrative Services, a move that was always planned."

Complacent on Issue 2? NOT!

I wasn't able to make the Issue 2 rally at Laborer's Hall in Cleveland yesterday with American Federation of Teachers nation president Randi Weingarten. But I did see the online photos showing the hall was overflowing with revved-up repeal supporters.

Then today I got this report on the event and others around the state from the AFL-CIO and I thought I'd share:

"With early voting deadlines fast approaching and only ten days left until Election Day, November 8, thousands of working families hit the streets and phones with a sense of urgency Saturday to talk to Ohioans about the need to vote NO on Issue 2 to repeal SB 5, the destructive bill that takes away the rights of workers and puts local communities at risk. Across the state it was standing room only at get-out-the-vote kick off events.

Volunteers from AFGE, OAPSE/AFSMCE, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, OCSEA/AFSCME, AFT, ARA, APRI, APWU, Asbestos Workers, ATU, BAC, BCTGM, Carpenters, CLUW, CFD, CSPCA, CTU/AFT, CWA, FOP, IAFF, IBEW, IBT, IATSE, Iron Workers, IUE-CWA, IUPAT, LiUNA, NAACP, NALC, OEA, OPCMIA, OPEIU, SEIU, SMWIA, SSLTA, TWU, UA, UAW, UFCW, UMWA, UNITE HERE, USW, Utility Workers, Working America and Workers United all participated in Saturday’s momentous effort to defeat Issue 2/SB 5.

Over 800 people rallied with AFT President Randi Weingarten, OFT/AFT President Sue Taylor, Cleveland Teachers Union David Quokle, Teamsters Vice President Al Nixon, Congress member Betty Sutton, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor Executive Secretary Harriet Applegate, and Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga in Cleveland.

This weekend in Occupy

There are a bunch of events going on around the state as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Occupy Columbus is planning a big general assembly tomorrow, Saturday, October 29 at 3 p.m. at Bicentennial Riverfront Park, following a Soapbox Session and entertainment at 2.
There's an agenda and more info here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=309241725757337.

Occupy Cleveland is doing an outreach event in Lakewood, an inner-ring suburb that borders Cleveland to the west, tomorrow, Saturday, October 29, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Marc's Plaza on Detroit Road. There members of the Cleveland Occupation will share information and answer questions.

Occupy the Hood Cleveland, which focuses on the outsized impact of economic injustice & corporate green on the black community, is hosting their Village Soup event from noon-3 p.m. Sunday, October 30, at 11250 Superior Ave. There will actually be soup there, along with community and sharing.

Immediately after that, from 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Occupy Cleveland will hold a planning session at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave., in downtown Cleveland. They'll be discussing events and actions going forward.

They are emphasizing that they are looking to expand and that ALL are welcome (as at all Occupy events), even those who have no interest in camping or marching or anything like that. They say, "If you support the cause, you don’t need to camp, but helping plan events, reach out to communities, and organize rallies is so important. If you have experience with this sort of event planning , you will be vital. If you don’t, but just want to help, there is so much our occupiers need on a daily basis, and this meeting will help you put your every-day skills to great use for #OccupyCleveland!"

Get ready to fight again for a fair congressional map

We learned today that the Supreme Court will not grant the Ohio Democratic Party's request to restart the calendar to gather signatures to repeal SB 319, the joke of a congressional map the Republicans rammed through with no outside input at all. This despite the fact that the delay in certifying the signatures occurred because attorney general Dewine blatantly did something he knew he could not do: reject the petition certification because the Republicans in the legislature inserted an appropriation into the bill specifically to make it immune to repeal. And the Supreme Court said he couldn't do that.

That means that we've lost a month, since the map was passed on September 26. However, the petitions, from what I understand, are ready to go, and this still gives us a little more time than we had to get the repeal of voter suppression bill HB 194 on the ballot. So once we hopefully get SB 5 repealed (NO on 2!), there is no time to rest on our laurels.

There are hints here and there (wishful thinking? fact based? don't know) that the Democrats' determination to go ahead with this has the Republicans ready to come back to the table and draw a reasonable map. I hope it's true. But if it's not, we need to get out there and tell everyone that we want a map that's about PEOPLE not POLITICIANS — a map that keeps communities together and creates compact, logical districts so we don't have one PTA represented by three different congresspeople.

Ultimately, I hope we can change the system of drawing districts long before the end of the decade, into a system that is always about voters, communities and people rather than the interests of any political party or elected official. In the meantime, the game of chicken over the congressional map goes on.

Some thoughtful coverage of Occupy Wall Street

I swear to god, I will scream the next time I hear someone say "We don't know what they want" or "We don't know what they stand of."

Please. If you don't know, it's because you don't want to know.


One short excerpt from the much longer article linked above:

"Occupy Wall Street is meant more as a way of life that spreads through contagion, creates as many questions as it answers, aims to force a reconsideration of the way the nation does business and offers hope to those of us who previously felt alone in our belief that the current economic system is broken."

Columbus Examiner points out Kasich's jobs failure

This story in the online news outlet the Columbus Examiner is worth reading:


"Governor Kasich's first year on jobs may be worse than Strickland's last year."

Well. That certainly wasn't what Kasich was promising. He blamed Ted Strickland for jobs lost in a horrendous national economy and presented himself as some type of miracle worker who could fly in the face of that continuing recession.

But, as writer John Michael Spinetti points out,
"Laughing at a driver stuck in a ditch is good fun until it comes times for the laugher to take the wheel and get the vehicle back on the road again. Kasich doesn't have much room to laugh anymore, now that he's behind the wheel. With jobs still being lost and home foreclosures not a thing of the past, Gov. Kasich is getting a taste of the lash he flogged Strickland with so mercilessly last year."


Pat Buchanan

I unfortunately listened to the interview Diane Rehm did with Pat Buchanan recently. It was a sad interview that illuminated a man who has spent his entire adult life in a world of BS and sophistry. As long as anything sounds good, well, that’s all that matters to him. It’s just sad.

Diane Rehm was interviewing Mr. Buchanan, because he has a new book out titled Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?

So one of the reasons why Pat Buchanan thinks America is on the decline is, because of those nasty Liberals who teach honest and true history like there was slavery in America. Those terrible Liberals also teach things like the inhuman treatment of Native Americans, the struggle for civil rights and worker rebellions. In Pat Buchanan’s mind all of this makes people feel ashamed to be Americans. They don’t take pride in their country. He seems to leave out that public schools also teach about the inventiveness of Americans from Benjamin Franklin, to Thomas Edison, to the Wright Brothers, to Garrett Morgan, to a host of others. I’m pretty sure they also teach the brilliance of the design of the U.S. Government, the writing of the National Anthem, heroics in many of the wars and on and on. I can remember learning this stuff when I was going through public schools. I’m pretty sure others can too.

But, are we a strong nation or are we a weak nation? Do we need to sugarcoat everything and ultimately lie about our past just to make ourselves feel good?

If we are a strong nation then we can admit that we haven’t been completely perfect in the past. Maybe one of the reasons to keep in mind, and to teach the truth about our past; both good and bad; is so that we don’t make the same mistakes twice. That logic seems to be lost on Pat Buchanan and others. And because of that we seem poised to repeat mistakes we’ve already made.

Anyone STILL wondering why OccupyWallStreet is happening?

How ’bout this?


Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America, rated the worst bank for customer service, told a gathering of employees last week — no, not that a renewed dedication to serving customers was going to be a company priority, but rather than BoA was the poor, innocent victim of unfair criticism.

Taking a lesson from the whiny baby Republicans, he played the victim to the hilt, saying he was "incensed" that the bank was faring so poorly in the court of public opinion, especially following its recent announcement that it would begin charging a $5 monthly fee on debit cards.

“I, like you, get a little incensed when you think about how much good all of you do, whether it’s volunteer hours, charitable giving we do, serving clients and customers well,” he said. And he directed this at critics: "You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling at us.”

Really? Charity? Volunteer work? How condescending! How noblesse oblige! Maybe people would prefer full-time jobs with a living wage — something big banks were complicit in destroying with their risky speculative investments and their hoarding of this country's wealth. I'm tired of seeing talented, hard-working friends stressing about their inability to find enough work to pay their bills. I just heard it again tonight from someone I know who's bright, capable, creative, and dedicated. Maybe Moynihan should live like the rest of us for one day.

And if he's still wondering why people don't like BoA, this HuffPost article enumerates some of the banks greatest misses:


Does Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel stand for ANYTHING?

OK, OK, that question is just TOO easy.

But seriously:


(Thanks to our friend Jill Miller ZImon for the link to the Cleveland Jewish News).

Do you remember Rich Iott, the Tea Party Republican who ran for Congress in Oh-09 against Marcy Kaptur last year? He really wasn't helped when it came out that he was a longtime, devoted Nazi reenactor.

Even Eric Can'tor, one of the worst Republicans in Congress, repudiated him. But Josh Mandel's campaign recently accepted a $1,000 donation from him. Because Mandel has shown time and time again he has no scruples, no principles. And I haven't seen the Republican Party, always ready to demand that Democrats return money from perfectly reputable sources that Republicans have decided to smear, demanding that Mandel give the money back and distance himself from Iott.

"[Iott] said war reenactments were a hobby he shared with his son, and he was only interested in the history and did not agree with Nazi ideology. He did not apologize for his actions and instead blamed Kaptur for the revelations."

Oh, of course. Whiny baby Republicans always blame their issues on somebody else.

Meanwhile, "Mandel was unavailable for comment."

As usual.

People, pay attention. Do you want someone with no ethical boundaries — who as a not-even-announced candidate already feels he's above answering to potential constituents — pretending to represent you?

Think about it.

Gov. on Hannity tonight, live from Ohio!

Want to see our beloved governor talking with Sean Hannity?

C'mon, dial down that loud chorus of "noooooooooo"s, OK?

Hannity will be interviewing the gov. live from Ohio at 9 p.m., and the gov. is so excited, he sent out an email:

"Here's what I'll be chatting with Sean about:

Since taking office in January, my administration has been focused on fixing years of mismanagement [lie #1] and laying the groundwork for job creation [lie #2] in our great state.

We balanced [lie #3] a nearly $8 billion budget deficit [lie #4] while preserving a vital income tax cut [lie #5], we eliminated the Death Tax, and we are removing job-killing [lie #6] red tape and regulations.

Part of our reform package [lie #7] is on the ballot in just 13 days as State Issue 2. It is critical that you vote YES [lie #8] in this election and give our local governments the ability to control their costs [lie #9].

Without Issue 2, we will see more tax levies on the ballot in our communities [lie #10], reduced services [lie #11], and fewer public safety officials like police and fire [lie #12].

These are the facts [lie #13] folks. Please vote YES on Issue 2 to keep up the momentum and move Ohio forward [lie #14]."

AFT president Randi Weingarten to rally the Cleveland No on 2 troops Saturday

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten was set up as the villain in the charter-school propaganda movie "Waiting for Superman," which Governor Kasich hosted at several screenings. That's all you need to know to realize what a hero she is for teachers and their charges.

Weingarten will be in Cleveland this Saturday to host an event at Building Laborers Union Local 310 at 3250 Euclid Avenue from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. She'll be there to speak to canvass volunteers prior to sending them out into the community to talk to people about why it's so important to repeal SB 5 by voting NO on Issue 2. She'll be joined by Ohio AFL-CIO president Tim Burga and other guests who will share why this union-busting bill is so bad for Ohio.


Two of Ohio's best progressives introduce jobs bill in Congress

Well, we all know that the Republicans in Congress, who got elected by saying that creating jobs would be no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 7, 8, 9 and 10 — and possibly as far as no. 100 — on their priority list, summarily dismissed President Obama's American Jobs Act.

A handful of Republicans — including, disgracefully, Ohio Senator Rob Portman — came up with their risible "Real American Jobs Act," which was nothing but a compendium of right-wing ideological policies that have definitively failed to create jobs for decades — tax cuts, deregulation, more "free" trade.

Luckily, Ohio has ONE Senator who really is focused on creating jobs: Sherrod Brown. He has introduced S 1550, the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2011. The bill creates a government-owned entity that issues loans to both public and private groups for infrastructure-related projects. It's part of the Democrats' strategy to introduce the American Jobs Act piece by piece and let the Republicans openly vote AGAINST jobs in a variety of sectors. Now they have the opportunity to vote against both construction workers AND the repair of the country's rapidly fraying infrastructure. Isn't that special?

Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has introduced a companion bill to S 1550 in the House, to give her colleagues like Paul Ryan, Allen West, John Boehner, and the vile Eric Can'tor a chance to show America just how unconcerned they are with putting Americans back to work — to prove they are the Party of No, the Republican'ts.

Congresswoman Fudge says in her press release today, "Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, we all have infrastructure that is crumbling, and we have people in our districts who are eager to get back to work. This legislation allows us to target the large number of deficient bridges in our communities and other dangerous infrastructure for repair, making travel safer for our residents. It will provide a path for Ohioans to get back to work."

If anyone wonders why Occupy Wall Street is happening ...

read this:


This Reuters story is called "First Look at U.S. Pay Data, It's Awful."

That's putting it mildly. It features one of the most eye-opening and haunting figures I saw last week, released by the U.S. government's Social Security Administration. It found that the median income of the American worker is $26,340. That means 50% of Americans make less than that. Subtract some taxes and you're probably down to around $23,000. That's just scraping by — if you're one person. If you are a single parent — with no one else working to boost family income — you're in poverty.

There's plenty of other bad news there too, about long-term unemployment and the drop in the number of people working.

Author David Cay Johnson goes on to say, "What these figures tell us is that there was a reason voters responded in the fall of 2010 to the Republican promise that if given control of Congress they would focus on one thing: jobs. But while Republicans were swept into the majority in the House of Representatives, that promise has been ignored."

He points out that the Republican proposals of even more corporate tax cuts won't create jobs; only more demand for services & products will — which means putting people back to work.

And he asks,

"Will official Washington look at the numbers and change course? Or do voters need to change their elected representatives if they want to put America back on a path to widespread prosperity? "

What do you think?

An interesting e-mail

Editor's note: we don’t normally post e-mail forwards, but this one was rather interesting - - it just might get someone thinking

"Folks: Lets keep a copy in our pockets for quick reference when speaking with, and sending out emails ... 'friends' on the other side. Now, since Obama's regime, all of a sudden, folks have gotten mad, and want to take AmericaBack...BACK TO WHAT/WHERE is my question?????

After The 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invadeIraq.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared inIraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major UScity, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.

I voted today!

NO, no and NO!

(And yes, Jeff Coryell (founder of this blog), I cast my vote for you for Cleveland Heights City Council.)

I got one horrific shock. After reading what was allegedly the ballot language I would see, I discovered that Issue 3 has entirely different ballot language. While it does indeed provide a list of some of the specifics (kind of vague specifics, actually) of what this Issue does, it is headed up by a misleading right-wing talking point masquerading as a description of the issue, which it is not at all. It even places dog-whistle Tea Party language on the ballot — that it "preserves" "freedom" to "choose your own health care." Frankly, that's so distorted, it's virtually a lie. Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike Dewine should be ashamed for approving this inaccurate and deceptive ballot language. Of course they aren't, because they are being good little partisan soldiers.

Because of this language — which is going to sound good to everyone — this issue will pass overwhelmingly. Count on it. It doesn't really matter. Its intention is to repeal the federal Affordable Health Care Act in Ohio — and it just can't legally be done. No state initiative can overturn a federal law.

We've also heard this will be a public relations coup for the anti-"Obamacare" folks, showing enormous public opposition to a bill that helps millions of people get health-care coverage they previously wouldn't have had access to. But that's simply untrue because most people voting "yes" on this will have no idea that's what they're voting to do — because IT DOESN'T SAY.

The summary is nothing but vague, nice-sounding words that say nothing. What does "freedom to choose your own health care" mean when insurance companies are charging you half your income for limited coverage?

HB 194 repeal looks like it's booked a place on the 2012 ballot

Last week, it was reported that the Ohio GOP had filed public-records requests of numerous boards of election across the state, apparently hoping to find irregularities to disqualify HB 194 (voter suppression) repeal petitions after 318,000 signatures were turned in to try to meet the requirement of just over 231,000 valid signatures.

Now that number probably would have done it, but it was a little close for comfort. And clearly, the Republicans were looking into anything they could to squeeze some signatures and petitions out of contention. But the repeal proponents had another two and a half weeks to gather signatures, and it appears they've hit this one well out of the iffy range — and probably out of range of any GOP challenge.

Friday the Ohio Democratic Party announced that another 150,000 signatures were collected in that additional time period.


With almost 480,000 signatures — more than double the number needed — you'd need exceptionally sloppy petition circulators to get enough invalid signatures to block the repeal from the ballot. So it looks like we'll be voting on this come November 2012.

Of course, things wouldn't be complete without a Republican whining like a baby. Cincinnati area state rep. Louis Blessing obliged by throwing threw a little hissy fit, saying, “If you continue to referendum everything, eventually a court is going to step in.”

Boo hoo. If YOU guys continue to ram through legislation that is clearly not in the interest of Ohio citizens, then those citizens will continue to referendum everything.

Barack Obama leading from behind?

So apparently the Republican/Tea Party/Christian Right amalgamation's newest criticism of Barack Obama is to say he led from behind with Libya.


Is this the same amalgamation that just a few months ago threaten to impeach Obama for leading us into Libya? Can they get anything straight?

Republicans and all of their right-wing friends aren’t the solution; they’re the problem.

And Democrats – take them to task for their hypocrisy.

#OccupyCleveland Arrest Footage

Midwest Powershift arrives just before the CPD. Quite a scene on a Friday night in downtown Cleveland

BREAKING LIVE : #OccupyCleveland Arrests Happening NOW

Live stream from Downtown Cleveland where police in riot gear have begun arresting protestors.

More at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupyclevelandcam1 or at http://occupycleveland.com/

Kasich's actions complicit in Zanesville animal deaths


In an extraordinary case of pretending his own actions just kinda sorta came out of the sky and had nothing to do with him, Gov. Kasich is pretending he didn't rescind the executive order on the private ownership of exotic wild animals that Gov. Strickland issued in January shortly before leaving office.

And then he makes all kinds of excuses for them.

But when even his lapdog the Columbus Dispatch runs a headline reading "Order that Kasich rejected would have barred man from having exotic animals," he can't escape the facts. He deliberately took the regulations off the table saying they would "hurt small business." He can claim Strickland's order "exceeded executive authority" or that legislation was required — but exceeding executive authority or even violating the state constitution hasn't proved problematic for Kasich when he supports something — like directing tax dollars to his cronies.

And when your foot-dragging — he empowered the creation of a work group to craft legislation on the ownership of exotic animals — and poor decisions led to tragedy, you should own up and say you made a mistake.

Instead, according to the Dispatch, Kasich said, “This has to be fixed." (You're in charge. So fix it — nine months ago.)

Then he said, “This is unbelievable that this even existed, and what's hard for me to understand is why Ohio over time didn't deal with this, but we'll deal with it now.”

This is a jaw-dropping statement. It WAS dealt with. Kasich UNdealt with it. What's unbelievable is that, even if Kasich believed Strickland's regulation exceeded its authority — and as we've seen, this is something he's usually unconcerned with — is that he caused the situation to RE-exist after it was dealt with.

We are the 99%

I recently came across the web site We Are The 99%. Visit:


It’s definitely an eye opener. It offers a plethora of photos in which people are holding up lettered testimonials identifying themselves as part of the 99%. Many of the people holding testimonials seem to be 25 or younger. They write about bleak job prospects, bleak futures and large amounts of student debt. One of the most disturbing pictures is one of a young child about 3 or 4 who holds a sign that simply reads:

”I have no health insurance. I am part of the 99%”

Think about that.

Another one reads:

”After His Honorable Discharge From The
US Army The Only Job My Cousin Donald D.
Could Find Was At Home Depot.
He Could Not Afford Health Insurance.
He Got Sick On A Friday. My Uncle Took
Him To A Hospital Emergency Room. He
Was Not Admitted.
He Returned To The ER Saturday And
Sunday. He Was Not Admitted Either Time.
On Monday He Died Of Viral Meningitis.
He Was 25 Years Old.
Home Depot Made $856 Million
In Profits That Year.

Donald Was The 99%.”

What kind of society are we becoming? A nation with no compassion? If you fall on tough times, we’ll kick you when you’re down. If you get sick with no health insurance – die quickly. (Tea Party/Christian Right – please remember to applaud). We’ve become a nation where your life is so priceless until you’re born, and then you’re a burden.

Human. What sets us apart from wild animals? Apparently it’s not that much anymore.

Occupy Cleveland to hold major rally tomorrow

Occupy Cleveland is going to be holding a major rally tomorrow. (Fri., Oct. 21)

It’s starting at 1:00pm and it will be in Public Square.

There will be speakers from 1:00pm to 3:00pm and then a march starting at 3:00.

Please attend if you can - - more information can be found here:

Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) proposes ban on ownership of exotic animals


She says in the above release, "Although an owner’s intentions to keep exotic animals may be good, unfortunately, most private citizens do not have the proper training or resources to take care of wild animals. Their properties often are not equipped to safely contain wild animals, which poses a danger to themselves as well as other community members."

According to her press release, "The bill, which includes an emergency clause, closely mirrors the expired executive order issued by former Governor Strickland in January of this year. The bill permits existing owners with federal licenses to keep their animals but requires that they must register them with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife. Owners must also embed microchips in the animals so they can be tracked if there is an escape from the owner’s property."

This needs to be done. Contact the governor immediately. I wonder if a tiger got lose in Westerville and his daughters were outside playing, how concerned he would be about the impact of these regulations on "business."

Will Kasich let stubbornness get in the way of animal — and human — welfare?

Unfortunately, probably. But you never know.

By now, almost everyone has heard about release of over 50 wild animals from a privately owned sanctuary in Ohio. Once again, Ohio has gotten a black eye around the world as local police had no option but to kill most of the free-roaming beasts. Some dreamy idealists think these animals could and should have been miraculously saved. But tranquilizing, capturing, transporting and housing so many animals at a moment's notice just isn't possible. I'm as disturbed as anyone at the photos of the dead tigers, tigers being my favorite animal. But I have no aspirations to own one. As close as I want to get is the nine-pound golden tabby sleeping on my sofa.

One of the goals of the Humane Society of the U.S. for Ohio was a ban on the private ownership of such animals. And late last year, Gov. Ted Strickland agreed to ban their ownership going forward, along with tighter restrictions. In April, Kasich let them expire saying, incredibly, it would "hurt business" to regulate ownership of lions, tigers, bears and other exotic animals. I wonder how business was doing in the area around the animal sanctuary the day after these animals were released.

The police were called to this sanctuary many times with neighbor complaints but there were no laws on the books they could enforce since Ohio doesn't regulate the ownership of exotic animals at all. We hear all the time about fights over banning pit bulls. Yet Ohio says owning a lion is OK.

Here is a petition started to urge Kasich to consider regulations on private ownership of wild animals:


Please consider signing it and following up by contacting the governor's office:

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