News and Tribune

November 9, 2013

DODD: It’s nifty to give $50

By LINDON DODD
Local columnist

— Now that Halloween is out of the way and a couple of radio stations are playing 24-7 Christmas music — yep, that’s way too early — I guess I can revisit a bit of Christmas planning.

I see that some stores have started the 50 percent off deals early as well. I am one who thinks we need to do away with the Black Friday nonsense before we start having deaths from the fracas that occurs when you let a mob of people race to buy one $4,500 television for $300.

Hey, it’s not just the $300 television; rather, it’s the human nature of the sport and the natural occurrence of mob violence that happens during undisciplined open season. It’s Pavlovian theory taken to the extreme, but when the dogs don’t all get rewarded, they turn and attack each other.

I am trying to get into the spirit of the season and will again address my $50 for 50 ideas. The plan is that simple. I am looking for 50 people willing to join me in giving a complete stranger $50 for no other reason than the spirit of giving. I had some response from the earlier column mention and figured I would extend an invitation to join us once again.

Simply send an email to the address listed at the end of this column and I will be sending out the final details in a private folder e-mail list. I don’t think it’s wise to give out the place and times publicly for the same reason I don’t support Black Friday.

For those who will and those who have already responded, look for an e-mail to give more information in the next couple of weeks. We have picked our date and a backup date in case there are scheduling conflicts. More details will be forthcoming.

‘BABY MAMA’ RESPONSE

There has certainly been a bit more than normal written and said in person response to last week’s column. I am pretty sure I have lost my card-carrying liberal status.

Let me simply recite some research. Fifty-one percent of all babies born today are on WIC assistance. Fifty-two percent of all babies born and 72 percent of all African-American babies are born out of wedlock. Just more than 50 percent of all newborn babies are born to a mother already receiving TANF (welfare).

Obviously, some of you thought I overstated the problem. If the above are not what I would certainly term “problem” statistics, then we simply agree to disagree on my opinion about that subject.

I am one who has always supported social programs and helping people help themselves. If being a liberal means in addition to supporting and helping people who need a hand I have to accept irresponsible patterns of behavior for which I must pay for a person that continually makes the same decisions, then I am certainly not one.

If you have never met nor known about one of the “extreme” cases to which I referred then you have lived a much more protected world than the one in which I live. I have even heard some of these people mock work ethic.

It’s all supposed to be a bridge and not a lifelong path. I have heard and read many an anecdotal story about a young person who has had a baby out of wedlock and without a father in their life. I admire those who work hard and with some government aid overcome their lot in life. That is much different from the subject of last week’s column.

I stand by last week’s column as it was literally written and not as much as to how some people read into it or misunderstood what I was trying to say. I thought it was pretty clear. Overall, I received much more positive response than I did negative response.

RIVER DOCKS AND WALKING BRIDGES

I have read several things and had some discussion with people on the above referenced topics. I also read Ed Zastawny’s letter to the editor last weekend in the News and Tribune on the total projects proposed by Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore and how the costs exceed the tax increment financing funds available.

First of all, I will once again express my feelings on TIF. I think for the most part there should be more restrictions on how and where these funds should be used. As it is, I think it is one big slush fund for mayors and city councils to use in any way they wish. The current TIF arrangement also takes away from school funding.

Zastawny makes some specific points, if all the facts are correct. I think that Mayor Moore needs to clarify where all the funds will come from for all of his proposed projects. I would have liked to see the mayor respond to Ed’s newspaper column directly point-by-point instead of going on Facebook and calling the council political obstructionists. It’s not always easy for those of us out of the inside political circle to know who’s telling the truth.

I also read on Facebook where the mayor holds the state accountable for the delay regarding the Big Four Bridge project. I would like to see either Ron Grooms or Steve Stemler let us know if indeed the state is responsible and if so why.

I was walking with Kim on the Kentucky side on a beautiful day earlier this year. As we reached the Indiana end and walking most of the way back, we heard many ridiculing comments about why the Indiana side ended in mid-air and was blocked off at our end. It was a bit embarrassing.

— Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com