The Enquirer today spotlighted Crossroads — a community church in Oakley that doesn’t use the word “church” on any of its promotional materials — describing it as place where “entrepreneurs from across the region gather to work in space not for Earthly profits, but for winning converts to God.” In order to better connect with the G-O-D but definitely not try to conduct business and make money, the facility’s atrium offers free coffee, free wireless Internet access and free parking. Crossroads has grown from a fellowship of a dozen in 1996 to more than 15,000 today, and senior pastor Brian Tome described the church’s business-like approach: “Things that look like a church, people don’t go to... if you really want to be successful, you have to give them what they don’t know that they want.” Tome noted that in this case, it was his flock wanting to come as close possible to not wasting their Sundays in church as they could get without actually not going to church.
THURSDAY AUG. 29
In a move likely to garner mass likes and shares from your more sheltered or stupid Facebook friends, a Buckeye State politician is pushing legislation that will require drug testing for welfare applicants. Republican Sen. Tim Shaffer is calling for this measure even though the number of people on welfare in Ohio is the lowest it has been in decades, and most of the people who benefit from the program are children. Critics have lambasted such policies in other states, noting that they stigmatize the poor and waste tax dollars that could maybe even be used to help the poor. The Associated Press reported recently that Utah spent $25,000 to screen applicants and only 12 of them tested positive for drugs, while Michigan’s drug-testing law was deemed unconstitutional because it forced all applicants to comply with screenings even if there was no reason to believe they were users of illegal drugs. Shaffer hopes to avoid this pitfall by only requiring applicants to be subject to testing if they specify on a questionnaire that they have taken drugs within the past six months. The ACLU doesn’t plan to do anything about the proposed legislation in Ohio, since it agrees with the reasoning that anyone not smart enough to lie about drug use when confronted about it in such a situation doesn’t deserve to get much of anything from anybody.
An immigration reform rally was scheduled outside House Speaker John Boehner’s office in West Chester today because reformers are upset that Boehner has said he’ll reject a bill passed by the U.S. Senate which includes a set of steps for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. Boehner prefers what he calls a “common-sense, step-by-step” approach to the issue. He also wishes the protest at his office was scheduled for the same day as the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s delivery of the “I Have A Dream” speech on Capitol Hill so he could use one excuse for ignoring both events.
SATURDAY AUG. 31
Whenever deadline approaches on an installment of this quality and entertaining column, perusing the local political organization COAST’s website is a surefire way to get the ball rolling. This week, they deemed Councilman Chris Seelbach’s $1,218 trip to Washington, D.C. to receive a White House award for his LGBT work “a travel scandal” and are threatening legal action to try to get Seelbach to pay the money back. COAST stopped short of comparing this disagreement over allocation of funds to lives lost in 9/11 as they did two years ago while protesting the streetcar project, but its leaders still think the government shouldn’t spend money on LGBT issues because they are gay.
SUNDAY SEPT. 1
People who buy stuff in Ohio will now pay a quarter-percent more in state sales tax, according to the first rate increase in the state in a decade. The increase amounts to 25 cents per $100 spent and will help fund the state’s $62 billion operating budget for the next two years. Lawmakers hope that people will not gripe too much about this or call into question how much money the state lost every year until 1994 when the ban on Sunday liquor sales was lifted and neither the Bengals or the Browns could ever win a goddamn game.
MONDAY SEPT. 2
Miami Heat superstar Lebron James will partner to produce a sitcom called Survivor’s Remorse, according to the Associated Press. Survivor’s remorse is a mental condition that afflicts people who have survived traumatic events during which other people died. The show will instead focus on the guilt felt by those with fame and stardom when they are around regular, everyday folk. The plot focuses on two characters from Philadelphia who become rich and famous and are faced with awkward situations that arise from realizing that everyone they know is still a paycheck-to-paycheck loser. If the show is well received by critics and the ratings are where they’re supposed to be after the first season, Lebron will be offered a chance to film another show tentatively titled Fuck You, Cleveland. I’m Outta Here.
TUESDAY SEPT. 3
An unfinished skyscraper named The Walkie-Talkie in London’s business district is getting lots of publicity. Unfortunately, it’s because glare off the building is so strong that it melted sections of a car parked in its path. Architects failed to take into account that the reflective surface of the building would emit a heat ray strong enough to burn vehicles, doors and products inside shops in the district. The building’s owners have pledged to pay for the damages their creation caused and have advised residents that their possessions melting will only be a problem on the 20 or so sunny days a year London has.
CONTACT ISAAC THORN: firstname.lastname@example.org