Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Columbus Dispatch, April 23
Some students at Ohio University seem to have overly delicate sensibilities, as evidenced by a fray this month over what some saw as politically incorrect— gasp, objectionable! —speech.
Someday, these new adults will graduate and go into a world where they will meet people with whom they disagree, including maybe their employers. Best they start learning now how to get along and deal with diversity— not just of the human race, but of opinion.
The incident started on April 7 at the campus’ “graffiti wall,” an expanse of concrete where anyone may paint a message— but only, apparently, as long as it’s the right kind of thinking.
On that day, someone scrawled “Trump 2016” and “Build the wall,” a reference to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall on America’s southern border and to deport illegal immigrants.
Members of the Hispanic and Latino Student Union quickly painted over the writing with “Build Bridges Not walls.” This was quickly replaced with: “Trigger warning: there are no safe spaces in real life! You can’t wall off the 1st Amendment.” That was replaced with a bit of political oatmeal: “Bobcats stick together.”
The writing and rewriting isn’t the problem; the protests are. Some students, including Latino student leaders, were offended. They called an emergency meeting to discuss this trespass upon their feelings…
The Salem News, April 23
When he changed U.S. policy toward Cuba in 2014, despite widespread opposition in Congress, President Barack Obama insisted his goal was to improve life for the people of that island country.
Increasingly, Cubans are risking their lives on the high seas to make it clear Obama’s strategy is a failure.
More Cubans, not fewer, are fleeing the Castro regime. The current flow of would-be escapees is the highest in eight years, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
During the past six months, more than 4,300 Cubans attempted to reach the United States by boat, according to the Coast Guard. That is nearly equal to the number of refugees for the previous full year.
There has been no improvement in human rights for Cubans, an Associated Press reporter was told by a woman who works with refugees in Florida. Lourdes Mesias, herself formerly from Cuba, added that economic conditions there “are worse and worse every day.”
Since Obama revealed his plan to thaw relations with Cuba, about 75,000 people have managed to leave that country and come here…
The (Toledo) Blade, April 24
Last week, Gov. John Kasich’s administration announced a new initiative on suicide prevention. But last week, when he was asked about Leelah Alcorn’s suicide, Kasich said he wasn’t familiar with her case. That’s too bad. If he wants to reduce teen suicide, he should familiarize himself.
Leelah Alcorn was 17 in December, 2014, when she walked into traffic in the greater Cincinnati area. In an online suicide note that went viral, she explained that her parents had refused to accept her as transgender and she decided not to go on.
Trying to force someone to stop being LGBT is futile. Worse, it tells that person that who he or she is, is unacceptable. The law should protect children whose parents want to force them to become straight. Involuntary conversion therapy is abuse.
There’s also a broader point to be made about the acceptance of transgender people. Trans people are disproportionately likely to try to kill themselves, and one reason for that is the hostility they face from large portions of society— portions that, for some trans teenagers, such as Alcorn, include their own parents.
The law, of course, can’t make parents accept their children and love them as who they are. But public voices can say they should…
The Marietta Times, April 20
Remember when Congress said it was eliminating earmark spending? Absurd wastes of taxpayer money through pork barrel projects were going to be a thing of the past. Not so fast. These were politicians making those promises.
According to Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz, earmarks— even if that is not what lawmakers are calling them —are making a comeback. The difference? Now members of Congress do not have to attach their names to the items they slide into federal appropriations bills. If anything, the system is worse than it was before.
A few examples:
Defense officials say they did not request the $1 billion spent on a single Arleigh-Burke Class Destroyer. Someone in Congress told the Pentagon they needed another ship.
Ever heard of the Bilateral Economic Assistance Democracy Fund? It is meant for tasks such as “supporting democratic institutions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.” Even the Obama Administration has said it is not necessary, has not asked for more money, and wants to eliminate it. This year, Congress gave it $150.5 million…