- Columbus voters will have no choice
- ‘Edibles’ can poison
- The livin’ bejeebus
- Are teachers ready for the consequences
- Which is scarier?
Which is scarier?
Ingrid Jacques’ Aug. 19 column, “Trump is unfit to be president, but Biden has big problems that we can’t ignore,” accuses President Joe Biden of “potential involvement in the son’s shady foreign business dealings and influence peddling …”
Notice the word “potential.”
It’s important, because Jacques offers not one shred of evidence that these accusations have any basis in fact.
If the Department of Justice wishes to investigate Hunter Biden even as Trump, a former president and a presidential hopeful, is indicted by four grand juries and charged with unprecedented crimes and corruption, fine.
But insisting that the alleged crimes of Hunter Biden, a private citizen who has never held a government position, are as alarming and dangerous as the evidence-based charges against Trump, is akin to banging on a pan with a spoon over here while robbers make off with the silver over there.
Biden’s age is a concern, yes.
But Trump’s age is the least of our concerns, and he’s approaching 80 himself — accompanied by all those indictments and criminal charges, and with a desperate desire for the protection of another presidential term.
Which is scarier?
Margo Bartlett, Delaware
‘Edibles’ can poison
In hospitals across the country, children are presenting to emergency rooms with alarming symptoms: Many arrive somnolent, and some require breathing tubes.
Others develop seizures or heart problems, including cardiac arrest. The culprit behind these symptoms is poisoning from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) a chemical found in cannabis.
Thousands of children in the US experience THC poisoning every year, and cases are on the rise.
Accidental ingestion of THC-containing snacks or candy known as “edibles” are often the cause. Even ingestion of products marketed as “CBD” or “delta-8” THC— which are legally available across Ohio without a medical marijuana card — can be toxic.
And, THC edibles are irresistible to kids, marketed in bright packaging that is often nearly indistinguishable from household candy brands.
As a pediatrician, I’ve seen THC poisoning traumatize children and their families.
We need to take steps to protect kids from this fate. One place to start is by enacting laws that require edibles to be sold in opaque child resistant containers that don’t look like food packaging.
We can also educate our community on the danger these products pose to kids and remind families to lock them out of sight and out of reach, just like with any other potentially poisonous product.
Katherine Lehman, Columbus
The livin’ bejeebus
Today I take mouse in hand to reply to the supremely eloquent and extremely well-written Aug. 23 letter by Sally J. Francis “Ohioans are not extreme or radical.”
I concur with the main thrust of this letter but would raise one minor point of disagreement.
Francis stated: “Outrageously, the Republicans at the Statehouse are so accustomed to taking directions from partisan special interest groups and fearing the lobbyists’ power, that they cannot even imagine a process where fair-minded citizens work together to draw fair electoral maps.”
While this may be true, I believe it is equally likely true that these career politicians can indeed imagine such a process, and that it scares the livin’ bejeebus out of them, inasmuch as a fair process is the last thing on earth they want to see.
Jeff Huntley, Columbus
Reading the Aug. 23 Dispatch front page story regarding 46 schools in Ohio arming teachers and staff, with 24 hours training (“46 Ohio schools planning to arm teachers and staff”), I thought back to high school.
If irritable Sister Consilia had packed a piece in French class I would have died in 1969.
Shoot outs are not choreographed like in the movies. Ohio lawmakers have removed themselves from reality.
Hold my popcorn.
Patricia Wynn Brown, Columbus
Are teachers ready for the consequences
Re “46 Ohio schools planning to arm teachers and staff, August 23: Forty-six Ohio schools have chosen to arm teachers and staff who have completed 24 hours of firearms and situational training.
Police officers, on the other hand, who must complete 700 hours of training before they are authorized to carry firearms, sometimes make mistakes… like misjudge a situation, use unwarranted deadly force, or strike an unintended victim.
And even 700 hours of training cannot guarantee how someone will react in a life-or-death situation, where an instantaneous decision must be made whether to use deadly force. Are schoolteachers and staff prepared to deal with the psychological, and possibly financial, consequences of unintentionally shooting a student or a fellow teacher?
I realize lawmakers and school administrators have the best intentions in authorizing teachers to carry firearms, but the best intentions do not guarantee the best results.
If an armed presence in the school is deemed necessary, a better solution would be to hire a resource officer.
Neal Snyder, Columbus
Columbus voters will have no choice
Columbus residents will finally vote this November under the new city council structure that city officials advised them to adopt in 2018. Defects have become apparent in the system, however.
The changes approved in 2018 expanded council from seven to nine members, with each member residing in a separate district of the city, but all members still elected citywide. The changes were to allow voters to choose a council representative for each district.
A problem with the new system is that for the nine seats up for election this year, six are uncontested in a city of over 900,000 residents. Four of the incumbent council members are unopposed, as are two new candidates also supported by the incumbents’ political party.
Thus, despite the serious problems and controversies in Columbus in recent years, voters will have no choice about the makeup of two-thirds of city council.
Not much has changed since a Feb. 11, 2019 Dispatch editorial lamented the “failure of democracy” in Columbus, including a lack of candidates for city offices.
To have a real democratic system with choices for voters, reforms that should be considered include a lower number of petition signatures needed to run for office, public financing for campaigns, public-access TV to enable candidates to appear on television for free, and candidate debates on the governmental and commercial TV channels.
Those changes would mean less difficulty for potential candidates to get on the ballot. And the public would learn more about the positions of all candidates, giving each one an actual chance of winning.
Joseph Sommer, Columbus
Winning friends by trying to overturn elections
On Aug. 20, an infuriated letter writer charged that we have “rot” within our political system (letter “A rot within our political system”).
This man blames the Democratic Party much as I and many others blame the Republican Party.
His strong suggestion was that Donald Trump is being treated unfairly by our system of justice.
A number of judges have disagreed with Trump’s assessment of things, especially with regard to the 2020 election. One might expect disagreement when a president tries to overturn election results in order to stay in power.
Some Republicans did save us from Trump’s attempts to overthrow the president we elected in 2020. Most Republicans, however, shamelessly supported the former president, colluded with him, or were silent.
Authoritarian rule must be okay with them, and that is inexcusable.
Nobody ever desired that we would march down a banana-republic path. Because of Trump’s behavior, if we are ever to return to quiet, constitutional governance, we must follow these legal cases to their conclusions.
Agnes I. Martin, Jackson