Because Ohio just isn't weird enough, state Representative Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) is sponsoring a bill that would allow you to bring a gun to your kid's day care or your CSU biology class.
Brinkman's bill is a response to the huge outcry among parents whose children are presently barred from bringing handsome Chinese assault rifles to Show and Tell. Moreover, a recent study by the Board of Regents found that four out of five college students, upon getting a bad grade, would prefer to threaten their professor with a Glock, since it's easier than mustering a persuasive argument.
Brinkman's bill would also get rid of a rule forcing drivers to keep their piece either in plain sight or locked away. This carries the support of fiscal conservatives, who believe it will now be easier to shoot cops, thus reducing the payrolls of strapped municipalities.
Democrats criticized the measure, saying the bill offers no training to improve the aim of preschoolers and college students, and that it's merely a sop to criminal special-interest groups.
When we last left Mary Ann Mosack, one of Ohio's leading abstinence promoters, she was trotting out studies claiming that if you keep kids sexually uninformed, they won't get pregnant, drop out of school, and become state senators ("Keep Out," November 3, 2004). Mosack was particularly enthusiastic about a Case Western study of her group, Operation Keepsake, hoping it would prove once and for all that ignorance is indeed bliss.
Alas, the verdict is now in, and that dog don't hunt. The Case study found that her program did nothing to postpone teen sex -- though kids did show 4 percent improvement in remembering all the words to the Lord's Prayer.
So is Mosack eating crow? Naah. She's launching her next salvo.
The latest flap was caused by the state health department's decision to drop keynote speaker Maggie Gallagher from next month's abstinence conference.
The conservative columnist was charging $5,000 to yap; the state figured it had better ways to waste money. Moreover, Gallagher was recently caught taking $21,500 from the Bush administration to tout its marriage initiatives -- without telling readers she was paid to shill.
Of course, none of that matters to Mosack. She accuses the state of "values profiling," saying it dropped Gallagher due to an outcry from the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, which didn't cotton to the columnist's anti-homo blathering.
Memo to Mosack: Time to drop abstinence gig. That whole Intelligent Design thing is a much more promising racket.
Let's (not) talk about sex
The Lakewood Junior Women's League raises money for the city's most deserving causes. So when Mayor Tom George addressed the group earlier this month, he came with his A-list economic-development material.
But when George opened the floor to questions, he was blindsided by a query about sexual offenders. It seems that Lakewood's streets house more pervs than potholes.
The ever jocular George quickly recovered. "But a lot of those are 19-year-olds who had 17-year-old girlfriends," he cheerfully responded, adding that Lakewood's pervert ratio is no worse than any other large suburb's. At the first opportunity, he asked for another question:
I've noticed there's some dirty sidewalks downtown. Can anything be done?
"That's an excellent question!" the mayor beamed, then launched into his Sidewalk-Grime Action Plan, relieved to be fielding softballs again.
"I've got political enemies everywhere," George lamented afterward. "Who's in favor of sexual predators? I don't know what to add that's more than the obvious. I have a bad habit of being honest."
(To find the degenerate on your street, consult cuyahogacounty.us/sheriff/sou/default.asp. )
Jane's at it again
Most people go to Save-A-Lot for the cheap food, but shoppers recently discovered something even cheaper than the creamed corn: Mayor Jane Campbell.
She arrived at the East 125th-St. Clair store to recognize its service to the impoverished community -- providing food at rock-bottom prices so its underpaid, part-time employees can afford it.
Campbell strolled the aisles with manager George Hearst, but it wasn't the blow-out sale on green beans or the wide selection of mustard (brown and yellow) that she was after. She was shopping for photo-ops with real, live black people!
"Let me help you with that, ma'am," said Jane, as she helped an elderly woman peel open a produce bag. It was a humbling moment for the mayor -- made even more humbling by the fact that the woman didn't appear to know who she was.
The mayor presented Hearst with a certificate of recognition; in return, Hearst presented Campbell with a Save-A-Lot jacket -- which, judging from her approval ratings, will come in handy after November.
We suck at sports
Back in June, Punch massacred the Indians for replacing our beloved Omar Vizquel with Jhonny Peralta (First Punch, June 8). It was a shameless move, designed to play on the sympathies of bedraggled Clevelanders at a time when the Tribe was struggling.
That's what we're here for.
But seeing how the writer plays golf and ties sweaters around his neck, he wasn't exactly qualified to write about manly topics involving men with clubs.
Three months later, Jhonny (pronounced Jo . . . Christ, we don't know) is making us look even dumber than normal. As Scene went to press, he was third among major league shortstops in home runs (23), third in RBIs (77) and fourth in batting average (.293). Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Omar is eating salmon rolls and pacing the Giants to their worst season since before Barry met BALCO.
Scene: Free and uninformed, every Wednesday!
Tune in next week when Punch breaks down the Browns' new 3-4 defense, penned by a guy who plays tennis.