Author Archives: Doug

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Founder, visionary, and editor of Doug's Views. Need more info - see the About page linked below the masthead.

Amy Roth Joins the Tone Police and ‘Dear Muslimas’ Atheist Billboard

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created image with word Atheists!!!A freethought group in the Cincinnati area raised $10,000 to pay for a billboard to counter the taxpayer funded Ark Encounter amusement park, sprung from the mind of serial creationist Ken Ham and features a life size version of Noah’s Ark. Of course not all atheists are happy with the protest. I was shocked that blogger Amy Roth would try to protect Ken Ham’s feelings and use an argument she has rejected when directed against her.
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A $15 An Hour Minimum Wage Would Help All Of Us

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image of protestorsA meme showed up in my Facebook feed the other day that tried to undermine the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 and hour by comparing ‘burger flipping’ with a ‘real job’ as if that proved the protestors are wrong. It actually points out how broken our economic system is for middle-class workers and those who make the current minimum wage and lower. $15 an hour should be the starting point not the end.
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The Economist Shines A Light On Blue-Collar Workers In Findlay

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logo for the magazine The EconomistA columnist for the venerable European publication ‘The Economist’ visited Findlay before the recent Ohio election primary and did a good job highlighting the inconsistent views of a white blue collar electorate who tend to vote against their own best interests.

I’m sure some Findlay promoters would take exception to describing Findlay as “a frayed-at-the-edges town of 41,000 people” but the rest of the article seemed spot on.

A day before the Ohio primary Lexington travelled to Findlay, a frayed-at-the-edges town of 41,000 people which is home to one of Ohio’s larger tyre plants. The smell of cooking rubber hangs over its streets. Twice under Mr Obama, anti-dumping tariffs of up to 88% have been slapped on imported Chinese tyres at the prodding of the United Steelworkers union (USW), to protect jobs at plants including the Cooper Tire & Rubber factory in Findlay. Mr Obama cited the tariffs in his state-of-the-union message in 2012, declaring: “Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tyres.”

Such tariffs are rare, making Findlay’s tyre-builders an unusually well-protected minority. Their plant offers a glimpse of what might happen if a President Trump (or Sanders) fulfils his promise to use tariffs and taxes to keep manufacturing jobs in America. Economically trade barriers are a bad and harmful idea, but what Findlay offers is a case study in the politics of trade.

An evening shift-change saw lines of men leave the Cooper plant, lunch-boxes in hand. Most felt that tariffs on China had helped them: one called them a “game-changer” that had saved jobs and prompted extra shifts. But, strikingly, praise for the president was mostly dwarfed by anger at the state of the country. Some workers said they were Democrats but felt underwhelmed by Mr Obama. Others, Republicans, expressed suspicion verging on contempt for the president. Mr Obama is “the worst fucking piece of shit in this country, he should move to China”, spat a bearded worker in a camouflage hunting jacket who declined to give his name, turning back to add, pre-emptively: “And I’ve got black friends, so it isn’t that.” Another worker, Josh Wilkerson, a Trump supporter, said that anti-China tariffs were good, but he shared his colleague’s belief that, mostly, “Obama is for the people who don’t work.”

The view from the rustbelt

The sum of the viewpoint of some of the Cooper workers is “Obama helped us keep our jobs but he still sucks….”

I understand, and have said myself, that politics shouldn’t just be a one note tune. People should take the whole of a potential leader and decide if one should support them for office.

Some people have false ideas about a candidate. If their view of the whole is so distorted then how can one make an informed choice?

Republicans play into the misinformed electorate by hyping false narratives and by stoking fears of the “other”.

The Economist article pointed out that not all blue collar workers are raving bigots.

In dozens of interviews at the tyre plant, one person backed Mrs Clinton: Rod Nelson, president of the Cooper plant’s union branch, Local 207L of the United Steelworkers, and that was in the “realist” belief that she will be the Democratic nominee. At Lexington’s request, Mr Nelson gathered ten Cooper workers for a group interview. Asked to sum up Mr Obama, the men replied variously that he was a good man, a disappointment, a “great speech-giver”, a victim of Republican obstruction in Congress and a man who had failed to rein in the super-rich and their influence over politics. The president was praised for bailing out the car sector and other industries soon after taking office. He was thanked for tariffs on China, but his support for the TPP caused baffled dismay. Mr Nelson ventured that perhaps the president is using trade as “a diplomatic tool” to win allies.

Workers at a tire plant like Cooper aren’t all stupid or bigots but candidates need to address the issues these people care about like jobs and putting healthy food on the table for the family.

Fear-mongering rants, like building a wall to keep the Muslims out, are just a side show and doesn’t speak to the real issues people care about. I wish the mainstream media here in the US would get on the same page as The Economist.

More Proof Ohio Republicans Really Don’t Want You To Vote

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image of people votingIntroduced Monday, March 14th, Ohio SB 296 would require people petitioning a court to extend the hours of a polling location(s) past the official closing time to pay a cash bond equal to the cost of keeping the polling place(s) open. Yes, a poll tax would charged to make sure everyone in line can vote. Then to add insult to injury the law would make you cast a provisional ballot if it is after official voting hours.

SB 296 seems to start out great by creating “overtime” pay for election officials at polling places if they are kept open past the official closing time.

(K)(1) Prior to the day of an election, the board of elections shall prepare and file with the office of the secretary of state an estimate of the hourly cost of keeping a polling place in the county open after the time for the closing of the polls pursuant to a court order issued under section 3501.321 of the Revised Code. The estimate shall include the cost of compensating the precinct election officials who are assigned to a polling place at the rate specified in division (H) of section 3501.28 of the Revised Code. The secretary of state shall make the estimate available on the secretary of state’s official web site not later than the time for the opening of the polls on the day of the election.

(H)(1) A precinct election official who works in a polling place after the time for the closing of the polls, as specified in section 3501.32 of the Revised Code, as a result of a court order to keep the polling place open after that time shall be compensated at a rate of twenty-two dollars and fifty cents per hour for the period worked as a result of the court order.

S. B. No. 296 as introduced 03/14/2016

The law also allows for Cost of living adjustments each year! That’s usually something Republicans hate to do when tax dollars are involved.

Then the other shoe falls.

The reason to create the “overtime” pay and to figure out the costs of keeping the polling place open past the official closing time is because the law would require people who petition a court to extend polling hours would have to put up a cash bond equal to the costs of running the location(s) after hours.

Sec. 3501.321. (A)(1) A person who seeks an order that one or more polling places in a county remain open past the time for the closing of the polls, as specified in section 3501.32 of the Revised Code, shall file a petition in the court of common pleas of that county. Upon filing the petition, the petitioner shall serve notice of the petition upon the secretary of state and the attorney general. Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(2) of this section, the petitioner also shall post with the clerk of the court a cash bond in an amount equal to the cost of keeping the relevant polling places open for the requested period of time, as estimated by the board of elections in accordance with division (K)(1) of section 3501.17 of the Revised Code.

This would be like a poll tax to extend the polling hours for reasons outside the control of the voter.

Reasons to extend polling hours can include running out of ballots, long lines due to a lack of voting booths, a bad traffic accident that would keep people from getting to the polling place on time, technical issues with the voting equipment, and problems with registration.

The law also states if you had the bond waived and succeeded in your petition, you and any others included in the petition would be the ONLY ones allowed to vote at that polling location held open.

The bond requirement reminds me of the extra charges a utility charges to restore service after hours if you have your service disconnected. The extra fees are to discourage you from letting your service be disconnected. The GOP wants to discourage you from petitioning the court to hold open polling places.

Then so as to really make a petition action less likely to occur, the Republicans include this:

(C) An elector who appears in a polling place to vote after the time for the closing of the polls pursuant to a court order shall cast a provisional ballot under section 3505.181 of the Revised Code.

BOOM!

That means that should a court order extend polling hours, any votes cast after hours won’t be counted election night, if at all. In Ohio, provisional ballots are held for 10 days and if not needed to decide a race, are tossed in the trash.

The state would also be allowed to appeal the extension and if the court then decides the polling place shouldn’t have stayed open, those provisional ballots would be trashed even if needed to decide a race.

This law reminds me of the TRAP laws being used on clinics that provide abortion services. Yes you can still get an abortion but the regulations are so onerous you are extremely limited on finding a provider to get one.

SB 296 doesn’t keep you from voting, per se, but the new regulations make it less likely your vote would count because of something out of your control at the polling place on election day and the Republicans are hoping you will give up trying to vote if there are problems.

If that isn’t undemocratic I don’t know what is?

Story Behind ‘Miracles From Heaven’ Show No Miracles

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screencap of Queen Latifah, Kylie Rogers. and Jennifer Garner in scene from Miracles From Heaven
Queen Latifah, Kylie Rogers. and Jennifer Garner in scene from Miracles From Heaven

The film ‘Miracles From Heaven‘, which debuts in theaters next week, is getting the heavy Hollywood promotional campaign. Stars of the film include Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah so it isn’t a ‘straight to video’ movie. Looking at the real story the film is based on shows that once again a faith-based movie isn’t what it seems.
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