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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trains, Planes & Automobiles

I love Cleveland. The first time I drove from Columbus to the City on the Lake was to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art. It was springtime and the cherry blossoms were in bloom. As I turned the corner and first saw the stately marble building, there sat Rodin's great sculpture, The Thinker. It was love at first sight.

Since then I have made many trips to Cleveland, always discovering some new gem each time I would visit. Cleveland has buildings by two of the greatest living architects:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by IM Pei

and, the Case Western Reserve law library, by Frank Gehry.

Each time I would get in my car and drive to Cleveland, I would discover another hidden jewel in the City on the Lake. But here's the point of my story. Each time I want to visit Cleveland, I have the dreaded two and a half hour drive to get there. The anticipation of the destination was enough to sustain me for the first three or four trips, but that wore off a long time ago.

I never go to Cincinnati. It's a wonderful city with lots to see and do. But the freeways terrify me. On one trip to Cinci, I ended up in Indiana when I missed my exit. The last time I visited I got stuck on the freeway in five o'clock traffic. It was terrifying. I haven't been back.

What's the alternative? It's crazy to think about going by airplane. The wasted time at the airports and the thought that I might be stuck in a steel tube on a runway has been enough to turn me off to flying.

The solution? Trains. I want trains to take me away to Cleveland and Cincinnati and points in between. And none of those wimpy trains that the governor is proposing. I want fast trains, like they have in Japan, France, Germany, Sweden and England. The question becomes, are we building the foundation for the future, or stagnating in the past? As our highways become more and more congested and gasoline prices continue to rise, what are we doing in the present to fast forward Ohio into the future?