October 2008

A recent comment in our local newspaper forum led me to think about the state of our national politics. The writer mentioned the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and similar government employment programs during the reconstructionist/New Deal era. The WPA of the 30’s helped to energize the economy and quash the great depression. Though the writer mentioned how useful programs like that could be in today’s economy, I believe the over-the-top rhetoric of the ‘conservative’ community many have made that impossible. Any endeavor in which public money is used for public service programs is now deemed “Socialist” and, if enough money is proposed, even “Communist.” (more…)


Just read American Photo 30th anniversary issue, and remembered my subscription is up for my renewal early in 2009. I realized I’ll have been reading this mag for 20 years. I started in 1989 just before they changed their name. American photo has been as inspiring as it is informational.

I also realized that 20 years was enough. I’m not renewing. (more…)

More and more, I’m seeing abortion in the news. It’s not a new issue, to be sure. But, for whatever reason, it’s taken center stage with fact that we’ve been attacked by a terrorist organization, that our sisters and brothers are now dying in an unending war, and our economy has crumbled around us. Why? If I had to guess, I would say the republican party is pushing the issue because they are losing on so many others (ecpscially the economy). And, like the lemmings we are, we go ahead and accept this as a valid issue to ruminate and wring our hands about. Yes, abortion is an important issue. But, it’s mind-bendingly important to a small, vocal group of people. They have led us to believe that we mus exhibit the same amount of moral indignation as they do, or risk being labeled a “baby murderer.” Horrors. It is an excellent marketing campagin. And it is working. 10 years ago, this was a fringe issue; now it’s center-stage. I’ve even found my moral compass being spun a few times when entering these murky waters. (more…)

Ohio’s new constitutional amendment, Issue 6, would allow the operation of a casino in small southwest Ohio city. This is the first time a casino has been allowed to operate within the state. The text of the amendment will allow the casino to operate in a way similar to normal Vegas casinos and allow it to be taxed up to 25% of its revenue (30% initially). I’m the first to admit that this is not the best law to have in our state constitution, but it just happens to be exactly what this Ohio government deserves. (more…)

…..Early last year, my we were house-shopping. We’ve been renting a house for several years, and decided it was time to move up. Our credit isn’t perfect, but not bad. We were pre-approved through Wachovia (or so we were told). We found a place and called our Wachovia contact to finalize the deal. As he explained the terms, I started to get concerned. The loan’s rate only lasted 12 months, then jumped to almost 30%. I asked what this was all about. I was being given one of those sub-prime mortgages that were already ravaging the country. He said all we’d have to do is refinance in 12 months and we could avoid the jump in interest. “Its all pretty normal. lot of people use it.” I realized that these only work if you know that some loan officer will definitely give you another mortgage a year from now. Insane. There is no way anyone would be able to say that with confidence. You’re leaving your home and financial future to a person who may or may not even exist. Truly insane, and he knew it. The more I asked, the more nervous he got. Obviously, I turned him down. Later, I learned that he didn’t work for Wachovia- he was in independent broker. (more…)