Mike's Newspaper Column

Mike's Newspaper Column
Read Mike's column weekly in the Times Community Newspaper Family, including the legendary Kettering-Oakwood Times, and posted here the following week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rain:A Tribute to The Beatles

It was like stepping back in time! Awesome!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ever wonder why...............

.......they're called JUMBO SHRIMP?

.......they have a
SEAFOOD RESTAURANT at SEAWORLD? Are we eating the slow learners?

.......they call

.......businesses will post signs that say "NO PETS EXCEPT FOR GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND"? Now just who is going to read that?

.......doctors seemingly always want to PRACTICE MEDICINE? Wouldn't you think for their salaries they'd have it down?

.......psychics need to work at all? And wouldn't they know you were coming to see them WITHOUT you needing to call and make an appointment?

.......prisons won't execute an inmate on death row if they have the flu? They have to wait until they're well enough to die.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mike's Columns

Bottoms Up!


On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."

His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Nearby there stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

I began with John 2:1-11 to offset any “religious” objections to what I am about to bemoan. We demonize alcohol in this country, and in doing so make it more of a problem than it should ever have been. From pulpits, town council chambers and holier-than-thou do-gooders the fruit of the vine is blamed for every evil thing in our society.

Our family Thanksgiving holiday was spent with in rural Mississippi. I found out, after the fact, that I could have been thrown in the slammer had I been stopped at a checkpoint en route to the family home. You see, I had some beer in my cooler that I was transporting from our home here in Ohio to The Magnolia State. It wasn’t open, and I hadn’t been drinking it; it merely existed. And that, My Friends, is a crime.

I had to drive 30 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart (told you it was a small town) only to find out that county was “dry” and I couldn’t get my wife’s celebratory wine after all. When visiting neighboring Tennessee, which we do so often, one community allows you to have beer and wine but they can’t sell it in the restaurant. You can bring in anything you want to drink with your meal. There are other communities in the same state where you would be arrested for trying the same thing.

Right here in the Buckeye State, there are many varying laws in municipalities. A few years ago New Carlisle was a dry city but you could take two steps over the city limits sign and buy all you wanted. I think it’s still a dry community.

Elsewhere in the state (somewhat anecdotal because all the rules make my head spin) you can’t buy wine at all but can buy beer after 1:00 PM on Sundays and none between 1:00 AM and 6:00 AM………I’m sure I messed up the times, but you get the picture.

If I want to get smashed, why wouldn’t I just buy my booze on Friday and save it for the forbidden times? Or I could stock up during the week.

We allow 18 year olds to face mutilation, amputation and even death in a war zone but they have to wait three more years after that to buy alcohol on the economy.

When something is forbidden and viewed as taboo by “us old folks”, but we do it anyway, it’s a red flag being waived for kids, even good ones, to become investigative.

Again anecdotal, but I have heard France has a much lower alcoholism rate than most civilized countries. They raise their children appreciating fine wine and it becomes a part of everyday life, and not an adventure to pop a cork behind the woodshed.

One of my opening and closing remarks on my show (which drives many of my listeners into fits of rage) is “Two adult beverages a day, that’s all I ask”. Study upon study has shown that drinking, in moderation is not only okay, but actually healthy with some few exceptions.

The key is moderation. I can O.D. on Twinkies, cough syrup or even (and this is a true case recently reported from California) drinking water!

This is not a suggestion that our high schoolers go out and get blasted. What I am saying is; rewrite our antiquated laws and allow the purchase of alcohol any time, educate your children, don’t just warn them, and realize that it’s no sin, or crime, to kick back after a long day and have a drink. Of course, never drive after indulging and don’t overdo. But, as the spiked eggnog is lifted in a toast, don’t feel guilty this Holiday season to shout out “Cheers”!

Print is NOT Dead

When I started in radio and TV in Dayton over three decades ago there were two newspapers; the morning Journal Herald and the afternoon Daily News. The Herald was my favorite since I tended to read morning papers more and it was conservative. By 1987 the Herald was no more, and the Daily News took over the morning slot.

In 1985 I started my only year of hosting a radio show in a market other than Dayton. I had a huge picture window studio across the street from the state house in Columbus for a year. The morning paper in Columbus was the Citizen-Journal (another conservative offering). The afternoon paper was the Dispatch. The C-J, as it was called, folded on December 31, 1985 with the banner headline “Goodbye Columbus”. The Dispatch then became the sole paper and moved to mornings.

I broadened my radio and TV horizons by starting my newspaper column in 2000 at the Tipp Herald. The Independent Voice came along a few years later and the Herald became an insert in an out-of-town paper.

Now, either I am a paper killer, print is dead or the times, they-are-a-changin’. If I were the paranoid type, I might think it was me.

Truth be known, circulation is down at many print publications and papers are folding every day. But there are some very real reasons why print isn’t taking its final breaths.

In my opinion, the national papers that try to compete with a multitude of 24 hour news channels are doomed. The news on the tube is instantaneous, in virtually every home and can be viewed on almost every kind of personal gizmo on the market. Why wait until Wednesday morning to read “Obama Wins” win you watched it happen Tuesday evening.

In the better part of a decade that I wrote for the other Tipp paper, using my same irritating yet enlightening style, I can count on one hand the number of comments I received about my writings……….and in a paper with a relatively higher circulation. In the couple of months they’ve let me pour salt on wounds in the Independent Voice, I’ve been pelted with tomatoes or hugged and kissed at nearly every turn for my opinions. Well, perhaps it hasn’t been quite that physical, but a day doesn’t go by that somebody doesn’t comment on something I wrote………..and by the way, most say I look more like Indiana Jones than John Muldowney with the hat on……..…or course I knew that.

My wife, Kathy is probably right. Her explanation is that those who read the Independent Voice tend to be those who are activists, and care more about the news and life itself in a very “hands-on” way.

If it sounds like I am fishing for brownie points from my Editor and Publisher, I’m not. I won’t get a raise for writing this. It’s simply the truth. This paper is growing and is now the only local outlet for a couple of basic reasons; it hasn’t lost sight of its local focus and it’s offering a very up-do-date Internet option for those who prefer to travel that route solely, or to complement the print version.

Joe and Mary still love to hold their son Johnny’s touchdown story, and /or photo, in their hands at the breakfast table, then clip it and put a copy on the fridge and send one to Grandma living in Topeka. They can also email Uncle Ernie in London to check out the web page. But it’s local. Even when one of my opinion columns is about something in Washington or Columbus, I’m local and you can grab me by the scruff of the neck and slam me up against the wall to make your point………..although I recommend against that method of expression since I hold two black belts………and one is reversible!

No, print isn’t dead. In fact I believe it has a whole lot of life left in it as long as it remembers what the focus, and the market, should be. I mean, when I sit down to read in my favorite reading room at home, it’s a little tough to balance my desktop at the same time……think about it. If you live out in the township and didn’t get that, drop me a line….I’ll explain it. Of course, don’t some of you out there still read by the light of the half-moon cut just above the door of your reading room anyway? Remember my black belts! And make note of my new blog address…..check it out!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Big Three Bailout News on The Mike Scinto Show