Don't Ask if You Don't Want to Know the Answer

Despite my last article, I keep hearing things like: “Don’t you think that everyone should have equal access to quality healthcare?” “Don’t you think tort reform would bring down costs?” and “Don’t you think it should be illegal for insurance companies to drop your coverage?” As I said, I think I’m done talking about the healthcare issue. But, since I can’t seem to get away from the endless discussion, here’s exactly what I think (with apologies to Crash Davis)…

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Volume 5, Issue 19, Posted 9:31 PM, 09.23.2009

Please Stop Shooting the Messenger

It’s like running in mud: the faster you try to move, the more you slip and slide, getting nowhere quick and getting plenty dirty. So, after weeks and even months of debate, here we are, still talking about healthcare, though judging by the clips making the news, there doesn’t seem to be much actual discussion going on. Too many people with too little information are talking at each other and not with each other. Attempting to debate the issues recently, I’ve been called many names, had my character, ethics and moral guidelines questioned, and I have even been challenged on the validity of my personal faith.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:06 AM, 09.09.2009

Getting Schooled by a Former Flunky

Though the temperature might not agree, fall is coming. The sun is setting earlier, and our disappointment in baseball is slowly fading into a sense of dread over the coming football season. What that means to most families is that either school has just started or will begin shortly. I can tell I’m getting older because, at this point, about the only thing I remember about going back to high school was the feeling of dread about finding my new locker, remembering the combination, and trying not to get lost learning my way to a whole new set of classrooms.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 3:05 PM, 08.25.2009

Health Care: the Next Generation

With all of the blockbusters that have come out this year, I think my favorite so far has been the newest addition to the Star Trek series. I was a big fan of the original show in syndication, and an even bigger fan of the later entries, including "Star Trek: The Next Generation". When I went to see the latest movie, it occurred to me what a politically diverse crowd was in the theatre. While I didn’t take time to interview each audience member, based on the conversations I overheard during the previews, I think it was safe to say that Republicans and Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives, all were sitting side by side in eager anticipation.

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Volume 5, Issue 15, Posted 11:55 PM, 07.28.2009


Here’s a question for you: Three frogs are sitting on a log; one decides to jump into the water. How many frogs remain on the log? The answer is: Three. The statement might suggest commitment, but it doesn’t confirm action. Likewise, with all the celebration regarding the Fourth of July, it occurred to me that the big event was actually July 5th. Our founding fathers spent quite a long time debating the proper course of action, putting pen to parchment to declare their intentions and then signing on the bottom line. But with that done, the real work started the very next day, as the time for talk was over, and the time for action had begun.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 8:40 PM, 07.14.2009

All Work and No Play...

I have to admit, I’m frustrated to the point of becoming angry. When I turn on the news, I see politicians doing little but blaming each other, spending money faster than they can print it, and clinging to the idea that the bigger the budget, the stronger the stimulus. It’s getting to the point that I understand what happened to Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie “The Shining”. No matter what I intend to write about, I find myself coming back to repeating the same line over and over again…

You can’t spend your way out of debt. You can’t spend your way out of debt. You can’t spend your way out of debt… All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy.

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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:40 AM, 07.01.2009

What Do They Take Us For? Actually, Quite a Lot.

Forget about financially troubled California for a while. Forget about Detroit and the auto industry. And take a step back from any talk of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Let’s just focus on our own state for a minute. I’ve been talking until I’m blue in the face about a simple premise: You cannot spend your way out of debt. Yet, here we go again. Faced with a looming budget deficit, and despite campaign promises to the contrary, our representatives are once again flocking to federal funds and pork barrel spending to fill the gaps in their spending spree.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 8:16 AM, 06.19.2009

You Can't Just Sweep this Under the TARP

“Shall a levy renewing an existing levy be imposed by the city school district for the purpose of providing for the emergency requirements of the district in the sum of $1,850,000?”  This was part of the language that appeared on the ballots in Warrensville Heights back on May 5th.  An initiative that passed with over 60% approval. Similarly, the City of Parma had a decision on their ballot, yet the voters there said “NO!” by a resounding 2-1 margin. And I think I know why. Frankly, they probably came to the conclusion; why vote for a tax levy now, when the government just passed a huge tax levy, albeit without our individual vote, just a couple of weeks ago? 

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 6:42 AM, 05.20.2009

The Root of an Evil Conservative

Okay, I’ve now been writing this column for a couple of years, and since I preface most of what I write about with a little slice of my personal background, I’m sure that anyone who has read more than one or two articles already knows more about me than they are comfortable with. I know that not everyone understands my sense of humor, gets my sarcasm, or can stomach my brashness, but there’s a reason I am who I am. There’s a simple explanation as to how I became the person I am today, and it’s spelled… M-O-M.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 5:36 PM, 05.06.2009

...I Know You Are, But What Am I?

When I was a kid, I got picked on repeatedly. I was the target of just about every bully in the neighborhood. By the time I got to high school I was a bit bigger than my classmates, so a lot of that trouble started to disappear. When I got to college I was a solid six foot four inches tall, two hundred fifteen pounds, and with the knowledge and confidence of being a wrestling coach I found it very easy to take a job working as concert security at the local arena.

But after working dozens of concerts, I noticed something strange, in all of those events; not once was I ever in a scuffle with anyone my size or bigger. It didn’t take long to figure out that there seemed to be two distinctly different yet similarly aggressive stereotypes out there. When I was little, I’d fallen victim to the bully who uses his size and strength to intimidate smaller and weaker kids. However, once I filled the role of bigger and stronger, my nemesis became those with a “Napoleon complex”, someone who tries to overcome feelings of inferiority with increased antagonism.

This dynamic came to mind when I saw the unfortunate choice of cover stories on Newsweek magazine during holy week. While millions of people celebrated Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Newsweek questioned the possible “Decline and Fall of Christian America”.

Citing the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey, the article points to a 10 percent decline in the number of self-identified Christians since 1990. Unfortunately for Newsweek, according to a Pew Research Center survey, another thing that seems to suffer the same decline is the readership of print and online newspapers and news magazines. The problem with this is that Newsweek never came close to matching Christianity’s popularity in the first place, so if both trends continue, I’d feel more secure in my faith than I would in having a job reporting its demise.

Aside from being an obvious ploy for readership, this is just another case of the little guy taking a swing at the bigger and stronger, hoping that they will somehow erase their own perceived inferiorities. What I think really burns their bylines is that even though Jesus hung on a cross more than two thousand years ago, more people today believe in the relevance of his teachings than the credibility of the media. It bugs them that a much larger portion of the population seeks truth from the Bible than from the pages of their magazines.

But if you watch or read any news lately, is it any mystery as to why that is?  While we’re still a ways away from declaring Christianity dead, ethics in Journalism seems to be a whole other matter. I don’t care who you are or what your political leanings, I dare you to sit down and make a list of the journalists or reporters that you trust. Then ask yourself whether you would rather lend your car to anyone on that list, or the priest, minister or pastor of a local church you don’t even attend. Yeah, I gotta go with the man of the cloth on that one.

Actually, the biggest hurdle in that task might just be making the list in the first place. When I googled “most trusted journalist” a New York Times article on Jon Stewart topped the list.  However, the most revealing part of that experiment was not seeing the words “Jon Stewart” and “Journalist” in the same sentence; it was that the search only revealed 350,000 hits, a mere pittance in search engine terms.  For example, google the term “asparagus ice cream” and you get 2,430,000 hits.

You just can’t settle on any one news source anymore. Finding the truth requires you to do your own research. When you hear a story on the news, if you want to find the truth, you have to trace it back as close as you can to the source. You must peel back the layers of opinionated reporting and weed through the half truths and manipulated statistics to have any hope of digging up any hint of reality. If you showed someone 30 minutes of MSNBC and 30 minutes of FoxNews you’d be hard pressed to convince that person that they were talking about the same country, let alone discussing the same issues.

Maybe, just maybe, if Newsweek spent half as much time investigating the benefits of a strong Christian society as they do looking for a reason to denounce it, they might find the correlation between a focus on a higher moral responsibility and such devastating side effects as trustworthiness, honesty and reliability.

Even though the belief in journalistic integrity only requires a minimal faith in humanity, it still can’t hold a candle to Christianity which requires a huge amount of faith in the divine. 

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 8:27 PM, 04.21.2009

Do as I Say, Not as I Do by Bret Callentine

How old were you when you first figured out that someone was lying to you? Or at the very least, when did you begin to notice the difference between someone’s words and actions? You know, that moment when you finally say, “Hey, why doesn’t Dad get punished for swearing like I do?” Or similarly, how did you feel when an adult opted out of giving you a full-fledged explanation for the old standby, “because I said so”?

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 3:27 PM, 03.26.2009

Sticks and Stones...

 “In things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” – Attorney General Eric Holder

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 10:54 PM, 03.11.2009

Family Roll Call

As I have mentioned before, groups don’t fail nearly as often as an isolated individual. And a strong family at its broadest definition is the best defense against hardship and struggle. So, it’s time you got reconnected and reacquainted with your extended family. Every family has the “goof off”, everyone has at least one member who’s a pack rat, and there is always one person in the family who can hang a spoon from their nose at weddings (okay, maybe that’s just my family). The point is, it’s time to find out who you are and who your brothers and sisters might be.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 6:24 AM, 02.28.2009

My Brother's Keeper by Bret Callentine

Los Angeles, California: A man, recently unemployed and spiraling into debt, decides to take his own life after ending the life of his wife and five children rather than face the hardship and harsh reality of joblessness.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 9:15 PM, 02.10.2009

Welcome to the USA - Version 44.0

I don’t know if it was anything that the founding fathers actually intended to establish, but the United States is the most schizophrenic country in the world. And believe me, in the world we live in today, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Every four years we have the ability to completely change face, alter our collective personality and start over. Even if you hate George W. Bush with every fiber of your being, you’ve got to admit that it is very handy to be a planetary pit bull when the fight is on, then, with one simple vote, POOF! We’re as cuddly as a kitten.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:23 PM, 01.27.2009

Pokemon Battles the Big Three by Bret Callentine

When I was growing up, I loved to play games. When the weather was nice, we played stickball, football and basketball, and when it wasn’t we played every board game available. The game didn’t matter, it was more about the spirit of friendly competition that flowed through myself and my friends. 

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.14.2009

Merry Chrismahanukwanzeid! And a happy New Year!

It doesn’t matter if you believe in God. It doesn’t matter if you believe in a virgin birth. And it doesn’t even matter if you believe in a jolly fat man with a distinguished red suit. The true nature of Christmas is a gift for everyone. It can’t be earned, it can’t be bought, and it certainly can’t be legislated in or out of the human spirit. Put aside the annual discussion on whether or not cities should put up nativity scenes. Take a break from bickering over what songs are okay to sing in public schools. And, don’t bother to question the connotations of saying “Merry Christmas” as opposed to “Happy Holidays”. It’s just not worth the trouble.
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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 11:05 AM, 12.02.2008

What Now? Lessons Learned from the Campaign Trail

Wow. It’s been so long since this whole election process started that I hardly know what to do with myself now that it’s over. Now that we no longer have to sort through tons of political junk mail, now that our phones have stopped being assaulted with automated messages, and now that the focus of the entire nation is no longer on our state, now what do we do? Well, just like after every other general election, we get back to taking care of ourselves, resigned in the knowledge that we’re not likely to see or hear from any of those politicians until the next election cycle...
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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 3:20 PM, 11.14.2008

Be Prepared: This is a Lot More Important Than an Algebra Test

With the election now only days away, I have only one request. Regardless of your voting history or your political leanings, I ask that you prepare yourself properly for this most important civic duty. With the current status of the economy and the fragile nature of world governments, now is not the time to leave your vote up to the same type of decision making process usually reserved for picking reading material in the checkout line at the grocery store. On many of the ballots, there are more than twenty choices (not counting uncontested candidates), all of which will, like it or not, affect your life and livelihood. And I feel inclined to point out that, unlike high school, you can take notes into the voting booth. In fact, I personally recommend a full-fledged cheat sheet...
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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 11:50 AM, 10.20.2008

The Worst Article Since the Invention of Movable Type

No, I am not getting into the business of editorial review; I’m just testing out a theory. Before I get started, let me ask you something: How many of you are reading this simply because of the title? Be honest. Thank you. You just proved the point. When it comes to advertising, sex sells, but when you get into the business of news, the time honored tradition is…“If it bleeds, it leads.” And if you think you’re above it, ask yourself whether you would have continued reading if the title was “Not my best effort, but still worth a glimpse”? Yeah, I thought so...
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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 1:40 PM, 09.20.2008

Experience Counts, but for What?

So, how long did it take you to get that all-important, resume-saving experience? If you’re a recent graduate, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Did you ever sit through a job interview virtually begging the person to give you a chance to prove yourself? neither...
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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 9:03 AM, 09.06.2008

Now THAT'S Rich

So, let me get this straight: two multi-millionaires are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising to try to convince us that they’re in touch with the middle class. Wonderful. Talk about a catch-22. If a candidate is wealthy, they are accused of having no sense of what middle class America is dealing with, but if a candidate isn’t wealthy, then the chances of them making it in national politics is virtually non-existent...
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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 10:56 AM, 08.26.2008

An Open Letter to the RTA

To Mr. Joseph Calabrese,


While I appreciate your openness in holding public hearings, I remain unimpressed with what I saw at the event held in Rocky River. Not because I’m opposed to rate increases, or because I insist on the continuation of any specific route or service; instead, my misgivings are due to the lack of trust in the leadership that was on display that Monday night...

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 9:54 PM, 08.10.2008

The War of Words

Guys, do you remember the first time you tried to talk to a girl? I don’t know if it’s the same for girls, but I have a theory. Looking back, I believe that the odds of your words coming out exactly as you wanted them were directly proportional to your age and indirectly proportional to the cuteness of the target of your potential conversation. To put it simply, if you were young enough, and she had the kind of smile that knocked you loopy, even if all you wanted to say was, “Will you go out with me?” the only thing that came out of your mouth was a few unintelligible grunts...
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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 8:05 AM, 07.28.2008

Defining Principles

Maybe it’s a good thing that the Olympic games are starting soon. Even if they are held on the other side of the world, I think it’s as good a time as any to remind this nation of the spectacular feats of strength, speed, and sport that can be accomplished when talent is combined with hard work and perseverance. But more than just being a welcome distraction for sports fans, I’m hoping that the entire nation takes note of these individual stories of trial and success...
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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 8:53 AM, 07.14.2008

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Nothing!

Okay, I know, summer just started, but since I’m not suited for the really hot weather of July and August, I was more than happy to take a week off in late June for a little rest and relaxation. Admittedly, if we had the free time and a little more money in our savings account, we might have planned a little more than we did, but for now, I’d say we absolutely got our money’s worth...
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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 3:40 PM, 06.28.2008

Can it be? That ‘L’ on My Forehead Might Not Stand for “Loser” After All

The big question is: How would I feel about voting for a third party candidate? A lot of people suggest that voting for someone like Bob Barr is essentially throwing my vote away, since he stands little chance of winning. Others say that I would be splitting the vote, which only helps the Democrat win (I guess they’re assuming that I would have voted for McCain otherwise). But when it’s all said and done, how do I not vote for the candidate I would most like to see running the country, regardless of party affiliation or his overall odds of winning?

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 10:56 PM, 06.15.2008

A New-Found Love and Respect for the IRS

So, proposing an energy plan is easy (well, at least for those of us not in Congress), but the next thing I’d like to see our government do is a little more intrusive.


I know I’ve complained about this already, but I’m convinced that the United States tax code exists solely for the purpose of creating millions of jobs in the accounting industry. I’m guessing that once you pass the test to become a CPA, there’s actually an oath you have to take that makes you swear not to reveal the fact that there is no real logic or reason involved in the method for which ordinary citizens pay the price of public services. After all, once the masses figure out that it is only confusing for the sake of being confusing, then the jig is up...

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 2:19 PM, 05.31.2008

Sorry Bambi, but We're Going to Need Some of that Forest.

Okay, I’m not the unibomber, and this isn’t exactly going to be some deep, thought provoking manifesto that will solve all of the world’s ills. But I think I’ve given more than enough time to the things that frustrate me, so perhaps it’s time to spend a little ink going into what I’d do to solve them...
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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 5:59 PM, 05.17.2008

A Math Problem for Howard Dean

Here’s a little math problem: Train A leaves its station in New York heading west for Denver, Colorado. Shortly thereafter, Train B leaves a station in Chicago, also heading for Denver. Train A has 144 cars and travels at 70 miles per hour; Train B has 163 cars but only travels at 65 miles per hour. If both trains are scheduled to arrive in Denver at the exact same time, will either train survive the impending collision, and if so, will either have the ability to continue on the single track that heads toward Washington, D.C.?
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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 7:57 AM, 04.19.2008

'Cause I'm the Taxman

Welcome to the most feared day of the calendar year for many Americans: Tax Day. The day of reckoning...
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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 6:36 PM, 04.05.2008

A Little Performance Anxiety

I don’t know how things are for you, but where I work there is a very comprehensive annual employee review process. In the normal work world, it seems, there is still a premium placed on actual results. And, employers still require that you meet your personal, departmental, and corporate goals. This is yet one more major area where the political world differs from the work world. If you went to your boss and used some of the same tactics and terminology used by just about every political candidate, you might last a little while, but eventually, the bottom-line nature of corporate America would catch up to you...
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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 11:50 PM, 03.21.2008

Indecision '08, Part Two

For those who didn’t read my submission in the previous issue (and shame on you for that), I’m having more than a little trouble figuring out who I’ll be voting for in the fall. Thankfully, declaring my status as an “Independent” meant that I only had one circle to fill in on Super Tuesday II, and it did not have a person’s name attached to it...
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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 7:59 AM, 03.08.2008

An Independent Thought on Collective Health Care

I’m going to let you in on a trade secret. The very nature of writing for this paper means that I have to be a little bit psychic. You see, while you’re reading this article today (and by “today” I mean at least March 4th), I’m actually writing this article almost two weeks ago (February 22nd). To have my article published properly, the volunteer army of editors, designers, and printers need to have it submitted about a week and a half in advance of the date of print...
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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.23.2008

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Here we go again. Perhaps it’s only a sad indication as to what Columbus really thinks of us, that we’re once again discussing a proposal for state-run gambling. Our government has got to either think we’re stupid enough not to remember Issue 3, or that we’re lazy enough not to care. Either way, I’m not impressed...
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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 9:01 PM, 02.07.2008

Checks and Balances

While I still don’t consider myself old, I think I can accurately say that I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve seen and done things, and I’ve racked up more than a little life experience. Some good, some bad, and more than a bit of it questionably grey. That’s why I was more than a little skeptical when the government announced its economic stimulus solution a couple of weeks ago...
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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 9:12 PM, 01.25.2008

The Sure Thing

So, I was at Thistledown racetrack with a few friends last year, and we were sitting outside on the benches just off the rail. As the horses rounded the final turn and headed for the wire, the crowd started to pour out with enthusiasm...
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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 4:53 PM, 12.27.2007

The Religious Right...and Wrong

Let’s get something straight, right at the outset. I prefer the term “Jesus Freak”, not “Bible Thumper”, “Holy Roller”, or even “Religious Fanatic”. “Jesus Freak” is just fine...
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Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 5:11 PM, 12.03.2007

My Primary Concern in the Primaries

While I’ve only just recently started paying close attention to presidential campaign issues and debates, I think I’ve already come across the single most frightening term used by a candidate...
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Volume 3, Issue 24, Posted 2:19 PM, 11.16.2007

The Mortgage Vulture

With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe, and real poets everywhere, I thought the classic could use a little updating. Happy Halloween.
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Volume 3, Issue 22, Posted 9:58 AM, 10.19.2007


Ten years ago when President Clinton’s behavior in the White House was making headlines, William Bennet wrote a book, “The Death of Outrage,” asserting that Americans had lost the capacity to be morally furious.
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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:41 PM, 10.06.2007

It's Time to Cut Our Losses

I’ve taken a lot of flack since I started writing for this paper. I’ve had people tell me that I’m wrong. I’ve had people tell me that I’m misinformed. I’ve had people tell me that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Perhaps it’s fate that this article marks my first full year of putting myself and my thoughts out there for everyone to judge, because for the first time, I think it may finally be time to start anew and admit that I might have been wrong, or at the very least, that I’ve had a change of heart.
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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 2:42 PM, 10.05.2007

Witness the Possibilities

I was wondering when it was going to happen. Maybe I’m spending way too much time watching the evening news, but lately, I’ve found that I’m almost too bitter to actually write. There’s lots of topics out there that pique my interest, but the trouble is that most of them do little more than focus on the worst in people, and quite frankly that type of thing disgusts me so much that I don’t even know where to start.
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Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 4:27 PM, 09.07.2007

Private thoughts on Public Television

I’ll admit it; I spend entirely too much time watching television. But in my defense, the virtual explosion of both technology and selection has created a source of entertainment that is simply unmatched in today’s world. I’m hooked. Cable TV is my personal drug of choice. The first sign that I might have a problem came with the realization that one of my favorite shows is little more than a stationary camera broadcasting Hi-Def bliss from some isolated corner of the world. The showSunrise Earth can easily be considered as the flag-bearer of a cable system that I think can honestly deliver something for everyone at any given time.
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Volume 3, Issue 18, Posted 4:47 PM, 08.22.2007

Defending the Student Athlete

I’m a big fan of college sports. And no, ever since my brother played football for Northwestern University, I haven’t been much of an Ohio State fan. While I casually pull for many different schools and teams, as my friends will tell you, my two favorite are my alma matter, the University of Dayton, and whoever is playing Notre Dame. However, given the recent events at the University of South Carolina, I may just have to add one more team to my list of favorites.
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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 3:22 PM, 08.10.2007

The Rules of Engagement

I really didn’t want to do this, however, with the politicians ramping-up their campaigns, I definitely want to say my piece before the Hollywood “B-listers” once again undertake their verbal assault on my answering machine.
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Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 5:47 PM, 07.28.2007

The New Definition of "Junk" Mail

Does anyone over the age of ten actually look forward to checking their mailbox anymore? I’m not talking about your e-mail mailbox, I’m talking about the actual box in front of your house that, unless you are unusually lucky, contains only two types of items: bills and bulk advertising.
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Volume 3, Issue 15, Posted 5:16 PM, 07.13.2007

The "Dave" Challenge

I’m man enough to admit that I like a good, cheesy movie. If it’s wholesome, lighthearted, and has a happy ending, I’m pretty much hooked. Given that, it shouldn’t surprise you that I watch the movie “Dave” every time it is on television. If you’re unfamiliar with the film, it stars Kevin Kline as a happy-go-lucky temp agent who just happens to look exactly like the President of the United States. Through a twist of fate, the title character actually becomes president, if only as an unwitting accomplice to a much more diabolical plan.
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Volume 3, Issue 14, Posted 8:12 AM, 06.29.2007

I Protest Your Protest

I’m not an expert in physics, chemistry, or biology. I don’t have a doctorate in climatology, paleontology, ornithology, or even scientology. That said, I can tell you honestly that I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but probably not independently. I believe the United States Government keeps many secrets, but an alien crash site isn’t one of them. I believe the moon landings were real, but Walter Cronkite’s hair wasn’t. I’m a skeptic, a critical thinker, and a person who will never cease to question authority. However, quite frankly, I’m baffled by what I encountered in Sinagra Park when coming home from work awhile back.
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Volume 3, Issue 13, Posted 8:25 AM, 06.15.2007

Com ∙ mence ∙ ment [kuh-mens-muhnt] (noun) : the start or beginning

With high school graduation ceremonies right around the corner, I offer my sincere congratulations to the class of 2007. Although I don’t want to take anything away from your impending celebration, I feel obligated to offer a few pieces of advice. With high school behind you, you might think that it’s time to relax, but guess again. The second that diploma hits your hands you are officially on the clock and in the driver’s seat.
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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 4:47 PM, 05.18.2007

An Anonymous Call to Arms

I’m here for one simple reason: to put forth my own opinion. If my personal point of view at all matches yours, consider it coincidence, not the result of any personal attempt on my part at mainstream acceptance (I gave up any attempt to be “popular” back in junior high school). That’s not to say that I don’t welcome your feedback or won’t accept your criticism. But, let’s get one thing straight: I don’t take requests. So, don’t ask me to champion your cause. And, if you want an article written on a specific subject, write it your darn self!
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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:03 PM, 05.03.2007

Straight Shooting on Gun Control

Suffice it to say, for the United States of America, April 2007 was not exactly the bright, shiny, feel-good spring month that everyone needed and expected. However, like most periods of tragedy, there is a time for mourning and a time for healing, and, then, it’s time to move on. For some, the period of sadness, loss, and even anger will continue for quite some time. For the rest of us, for those that can, it’s time to reflect and, if needed, act.
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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 5:33 PM, 04.21.2007

Don't Just Punch the Clock

I won’t go into all of the details, but I was unexpectedly faced with the need to contemplate my career path last week. And, while I don’t think anyone still expects to get that gold watch after holding the same job for the same company for their entire career, I wonder if people put as much thought into their jobs as they should.
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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 2:22 PM, 04.10.2007

Wanted: Pride in Our Neighborhood

Spring is in the air. The birds are chirping, the flowers are springing to life, and the paint on my front porch is really starting to peel. As the cold recedes, my wife will spend countless hours spreading grass seed that the birds will eat, planting bulbs that the squirrels will dig up, and generally touching up the “curb appeal” of our old Victorian home.
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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:33 PM, 03.22.2007

Responsibility - And the Reason I Write

I didn’t want to do this. I had a nice little article all planned out (a dash of political rhetoric, a handful of sarcasm), but then it happened. I opened up the local news website to find the City of Lakewood smack dab in the middle of yet another controversial lawsuit.

The parents of a child who has been bullied are suing the school district.
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 11:58 AM, 03.09.2007

From Friars to Fryers

Just as the swallows return to Capistrano, and the buzzards to Hinckley, so too are we blessed with the annual tradition of the Friday Fish Fry returning to Lakewood. Drive down Madison and Detroit and you’ll see what I mean. With such a dominant presence of Bar and Church within our city limits, you’re never more than six days and six blocks away from a batter-dipped blending of faith and food.
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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted

Random Thoughts from the Sports-Deprived

Okay, the Super Bowl is over, Opening Day for baseball is still weeks away, and the NBA and NHL seasons are at that mark where the games just don’t seem to count for much. This is the closest us couch potatoes get to an “off-season.” But, beware wives everywhere. I know it might seem like a good thing to have a little non-sports time with the hubby, but the lack of athletic stimulation can do funny things to a man. Without a specific sporting event to capture my attention, I find my mind wandering towards a multitude of other issues.
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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 3:03 PM, 02.09.07

A Cold Night Out To Raise Awareness

Detroit Road is never quieter than at five o’clock in the morning. With a light snow falling, illuminated by the bright and colorful signs of half a dozen Lakewood businesses, it’s strangely peaceful.
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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 11:11 PM, 01.29.07

Resolutions Revisited

If the statistics are correct, then, by the time you’re reading this, you’re halfway through a bowl of ice cream wondering what happened to your vow to lose weight. You’ve only gotten four pages into that great American novel you swore you’d read. And, there’s still a pile of wood where you promised your wife a handmade bookshelf using your brand-new power tools.
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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 6:06 PM, 01.09.07