Griner has change of heart about national anthem after imprisonment | Letters

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) holds on to a rebound in the first half against the Los Angeles Sparks at Arena in Los Angeles on May 19, 2023.

WNBA star Brittney Griner, back in the United States after being imprisoned in Russia, is now standing for the national anthem, something she previously refused to do. It's another example of how we don't appreciate the freedoms that our country offers until we're forced to see things from the "other side."

I'm personally glad she saw the light, albeit belatedly, because it creates the hope that others will vicariously experience what caused her transformation.

Howard Nielson, West Chester Township

Defaulting on our commitments isn't what's best for America

U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup has signed on to House Resolution 1096, a bipartisan bill celebrating the history of the Marine Corp. This is timely and well deserved as Memorial Day approaches. Those who have given their time, energies and even their lives deserve our respect and appreciation.

At the same time, his party is working toward the first-ever default on our national debt, which will have disastrous consequences for our troops in uniform and veterans. I urge Rep. Wenstrup and his colleagues to put partisanship aside and consider what is best for our country. Defaulting on our commitments isn't what's best for America. Congress can use the budget process to better match income to expenses, but crashing our economy over an artificial debt limit is an attack on the American people.

Certainly, the past few years dealing with the pandemic has necessitated unusual spending to protect public safety. At the same time, the last administration passed a huge tax cut. It seems that this put us on the path to a "perfect storm" that now must be reckoned with. There is room for negotiation by both sides in dealing with government spending. Members on both sides of the aisle must work to resolve this impasse before default on the debt becomes a reality.

Peg Fisher, Milford

Lapham deserves spot in Bengals Ring of Honor

The Cincinnati Bengals have recently announced the nominees for the Ring of Honor. The 13 nominees are all worthy of this award. However, there is one nominee that has dedicated more of his professional life to the Bengals than all other players being considered.

Dave Lapham played for 10 years for the Bengals and has been the team’s biggest and most consistent fan for over 30 years in the broadcast booth. His induction into the Cincinnati Bengals Ring of Honor would recognize his contributions to the franchise and the Cincinnati community.

Chris MacConnell, Indian Hill

Compromise is imperative to avoid default on federal deficit

Our democracy faces many important issues such as AI, cyber security, and immigration.  However, only one is truly imminent … defaulting on the federal deficit.  Unless you want our country to fail for political or personal gain, it is imperative that the default is avoided.

In today’s political environment, compromise is an ugly word, whereas in the past, it has often been a key strength of our government. I’m sure books have been written on the art of compromise. To me, it simply means give and take, partially win and partially lose.

The deficit and budget are a prime example where compromise could prevent a looming crisis. I don’t know which areas are best for compromise, but all sides need to be able to claim some degree of success for their constituents. Maintaining intransigent positions are not the answer. I appreciate this is a very difficult uphill battle.

We need a home run. Compromise and put the potential crisis behind us.

Tom H. Ohren, Amberley Village

Senate Bill 83 overrides tradition of peer review of colleges

I have serious concerns regarding Ohio Senate Bill 83. One of those concerns: accreditation. Regional accreditation bodies are established to provide peer reviews of colleges and universities in the United States. These accreditation associations are general accreditation bodies, as distinct from program accreditation, and determine whether a school has a stated mission, and represents to the public through its public statements that it has the faculty and resources necessary to fulfill its mission.

No two schools are the same. They have different missions, different resources. Therefore, there are no specific policies that apply to all schools. One size doesn’t fit all. And prospective students have an array of choices. So what if a school is determined to be "noncompliant" with norms and best practices? It can be placed on probation, or lose its accreditation and close. Students are the biggest losers.

Question: If SB 83 proposes to set government standards for what is acceptable in our colleges and universities, overriding a long tradition of peer review, is the Ohio Legislature prepared to sanction schools that are found to be "noncompliant" with the government’s polices? The implications are vast and not at all pretty.

Robert Zimmerman, North College Hill

Social Security, Medicare always threatened during debt crisis

Regarding, "Debt crisis, government running out of money," (May 22): All I know is it looks like the government's checking account is going dry. It seems odd that every time this happens, it's the programs the working people pay into − Social Security, Medicare and so on − that are in trouble?

The give-away freebees never seem to be in jeopardy. Can anyone explain that to me? Our government never seems to have a layoff? We have plenty of money and aid for other countries, except our own? We pay people, even in Congress, who won't or can't do the job elected to do, but there is no shortage of money for them. I'm confused.

Thomas Fester, Bridgetown

Don't act tough now on debt ceiling

Looks like the United States won't have a debt ceiling problem. Our current administration is sending Ukraine another $375 million so we should be OK. Of course, the government produces no income so I guess the money to Ukraine will be paid by U.S. citizens. It's only money but nice to know Congress should have a deal working. No sense in the Mitch McConnell do-nothings to act tough now, just do what you always do: Print more money; act like you are watching spending; and vote yourself a raise. Just don't cut off the poor in the name of your phony baloney jobs.

Lee Eyerman, Amelia

Cut back on spending outside of enumerated powers of government

Help me to understand what I'm missing here. I keep hearing about the potential default on debt payments. That would be unconstitutional. Has anybody in the federal government considered cutting back on spending that is outside of the enumerated powers of the government? (With few exceptions, that means that spending is unconstitutional.)

Using fiscal year 2022 (Oct 1, 2021 – Sept. 30, 2022) as an example, I found that the deficit was nearly $1.4 trillion. Well, what about eliminating the Department of Education for $615 billion? The Department of Health and Human Services is $2.5 trillion. Where is the constitutional authority for any of that? And if you say the general welfare clause, then what was the purpose of the enumerated powers per Articles 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution?

John Becker, Eastgate

Take the bus, if you have hours to spare

How about taking a MetroNow ride for $2 each way? Oh, sure. Take the bus if you have hours to spare. And where's mention of MetroNow service for O'Bryonville, Hyde Park, Oakley, and Mt. Lookout?

Stu Mahlin, Hyde Park

America is like a squabbling, dysfunctional family

America today seems like a large, squabbling, dysfunctional family. It has its aunts and uncles who want to do things "the old way" and its rowdy, disdainful nieces and nephews who would rather change it all. We have our grandpas who worry about the dangerous family down the street and our grandmas who think we don’t go to church enough. There are "black sheep," long-lost cousins, and apathetic teenagers galore.

Things are messy and in constant motion in our family. The next crisis is always just a moment away. There is frequently a lot of noise even when not much of real substance is getting done. Thinking about our family dynamics, the literary families of Oedipus, Hamlet, and Agamemnon come to mind.

There is still a faint hope, however, that the youngsters will graduate, the parents will find adequate employment, and the grandparents will live a happy retirement.

We’ll see.

Tom Geier, Loveland

Ohio becoming the Florida of the North

After reading the article about Ohio Representative Don Jones introducing house bill 103, I cannot help but think that the Republicans are turning us into Nazi Germany. They are doing away with the state school board to replace them with partisan conspiracy theorists, who want to tell us what we can read and think. They want to base social studies on the American Birthright Model taking in Donald Trump’s 1776 report. I wonder if they will completely whitewash how America was taken from Native Americans and how we enslaved African Americans. We can’t leave the education of Ohio’s future leaders to people like Don Jones and Donald Trump, who couldn’t pass an American history exam if their lives depended on it. Unfortunately, Gov. Mike DeWine is turning us into the Florida of the North. I hope businesses relocating to Ohio take notice of this.

Gregory Reece, Pleasant Ridge

Republicans seek to criminalize being transgender

House Bill 183 would require Ohioans to use bathrooms matching their biological sex rather than their gender identity. As a non-binary individual, I stand against this blatant discrimination. Rather than the GOP making life better for all, they decided to make it worse for transgender individuals.

Among transgender individuals who undergo hormone replacement therapy and other forms of gender-affirming care, only 1% express regret over receiving treatment, opposed to nearly 30% of spinal surgery patients. The GOP seeks to criminalize trans people's very existence. I urge my elected officials to kill HB 183.

Ben August Klapper, College Hill

Pay lifeguards at city pools $25 an hour

Here we go again. It's always the same problem. Our kids from lower-income families, who do not have access to private swim clubs, desperately need access to this summer form of recreation, and especially swim lessons, which are the difference between life and death for so many children.

Kings Island pays lifeguards $25. The city of Cincinnati never seems to get how difficult a job this is. My goodness, who among us could imagine taking this on? Lifeguards are at a public pool that is open to all kids, including teenagers, without other adult accountability and supervision, in a situation where falls and drowning are constant risks.

Come on, City Council. Please offer the $25 an hour salary that is commensurate with this level of serious responsibility. I have written this same letter every year.  Please "go for broke." Raise the hourly wage to $25 so those who can handle this level of responsibility are moved to apply for and take these jobs so that all of our children can have safe access to all the city pools.

Julie M. Murray, Clifton Heights

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Griner now standing for national anthem after losing freedom | Letters