Archive for December, 2012

Does This Help Anyone?

December 29, 2012

    I am going to go out on a very thin emotional limb here. I know that this may not be a popular opinion, but I have to put this question out there anyway.

   It is being reported that, quote, “the first legal action”, has been filed in relation to the Newtown, Conn. shooting.

    A $100 million claim on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor, identified as “Jill Doe”, claiming that the child heard, “cursing, screaming, and shooting” over the school intercom when the gunman opened fire, according to New Haven-based attorney Irv Pinsky.

  The claim states, “As a consequence, the … child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined,”

  The claim was filed on Thursday with state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr., who will decide whether the claim can be filed as a lawsuit against the state.

   Pinsky’s claim said that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from “foreseeable harm.”

   The claim also charges that the state agencies failed to provide a,  “safe school setting” or design “an effective student safety emergency response plan and protocol.”

  So my question is, does this type of action help anyone? Will the $100 million dollars help anyone? Even the child? The reports state that the child’s parents approached Mr. Pinsky, I seriously wonder about that, but even so, will a monetary award help their child more than loving care at home. Maybe the parents should be focussed more on their child and a little less on money. (I told you this would not be popular.)

  Have we actually come to the point where we believe that government can and should be able to protect us from every foreseen and unforseen danger? And when government fails to foresee some unforeseeable danger, should our first response be to sue?

  I have read that the Sandy Hook Elementary School was seen as being state of the art when it comes to security measures, so what is it this lawyer and the parents expected the state to do more of? Would they, before this tragedy, have approved of armed guards patrolling the halls? One has to think that not knowing then, that this gunmen would show up and do this terrible thing, that most parents would have seen the suggestion of armed guards to be outrageous. Yet now in hindsight, they believe that enough was not done.

  I understand that these parents who lost children have every right to overreact, I understand that the parents of the surviving children are overwhelmed with fear that their child might have been one of the children who were taken at such a young age.

  What I don’t understand is how one believes that suing the government will solve the nightmares that their child will deal with.

  I have stated that I am against the knee jerk reaction of the anti-gun lobby who would take away every gun, if they could, in an attempt to stop this from happening again. I have stated that I feel that to take guns away from law-abiding citizens in response to one person’s evil act, fails to see the personal responsibility of the person who performed the act. Even if he were mentally ill, he, not the gun and certainly not any other gun owner, was responsible for the shootings.

  I would say that to sue the government in some misplaced attempt to ease their fear and pain, also fails to deal with the personal responsibility of the parents to deal with their own fears and pain and that of their children. In suing the government they are attempting to deflect their inner fear that they may have failed as a parent to protect their child. Let me say that I do not believe that the parents, anymore than the government, could have done anything to stop this mad man. But as a parent, we feel that we should have done more.

  This type of law suit may be a parent’s misguided attempt to offset a misplaced guilt. No matter, this type of law suit will surely divide, not unite the community of Newtown at a time when they need each other the most.

  I would suggest that instead of turning to lawyers, that the people of Newtown turn towards each other for support.

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If We Had Only Known

December 28, 2012

   Like so many people in our lives I didn’t take the time to get to know Jerry Wood, if I had only known that his time was so short, I might have taken the time to find out more about him personally.

  That being said I won’t now attempt to say that I knew him well at all, at least not on a personal level.

  I first saw Jerry at Sussex County GOP meetings that I was attending as a visitor, at that time Jerry was just another of the older gentlemen across the room. My first conversation with Jerry was at a meeting to organize volunteers for Christine O’Donnell.

   On a personal level what I remember most about Jerry is that he was one of the quiet ones at meetings, but when he did have something to say it was usually of a positive nature, always it seemed with an eye towards moving the GOP in a more conservative direction.

  I only knew Jerry for a short time, however it was a very challenging time for the GOP in general and for the Sussex GOP in particular.

  As I have said Jerry was working for Christine O’Donnell at a time when that may not have been the most popular thing to be doing, but Jerry, like myself and others, must have felt it was the right thing to do.

  Jerry’s most stand up act for the Sussex County GOP was when he threw his hat in the ring to become the chairman of the GOP Committee after Glen Urquhart was forced to resign to run for office.

  At the time Jerry took over the chairmanship, the committee was having some serious growing pains, and there was a lot of in-fighting. I do believe that it was Jerry’s election that brought some stability to the committee, though some felt he may not have been aggressive enough to handle the multiple personalities of the Sussex GOP. I would say that he did the best he could with a most dysfunctional family.

  One of the largest challenges that Jerry faced was the state senate race for the 19th district. The primary was contentious and through it Jerry attempted to allow the system to work. Of course what followed was a complete shock to everyone. With the accusations made against the GOP nominee Eric Bodenweiser, the general election win for the GOP candidate was called into serious doubt.

  Jerry played a large role in first convincing Mr. Bodenweiser to suspend his campaign, and then to completely withdraw his name from the race, thus allowing Brian Pettyjohn to petition to have his name added to the ballot.

  Jerry also worked with others to see to it that Brian Pettyjohn’s name was added to the ballot and thus making it possible to win the 19th district for the GOP, which we did. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Jerry Wood and others. It was this type of devotion to the Republican Party that Jerry demonstrated many times in the short time I knew him.

 I will remember Jerry Wood as the quiet gentleman across the room, the guy with the wry, subtle sense of humor. I will remember him as someone who stood up and took on the mantle of leadership when few wanted the job.

  It is often said at times like these that we should keep Jerry in our prayers, but I believe that Jerry is beyond the need for prayers, for he is with our Father. I believe that Jerry is praying for all of us now.

  Jerry, I wish I had taken the time to get to know you better, if I had only known.

 

2013 Cut Backs

December 23, 2012

  It has been announced that due to rising healthcare cost that will be imposed on small business owners as the health care plan now known as Obama-care is implemented, some small businesses will be forced to make deep cuts into their work forces and to make changes to the full-time status of many employees.

  Unfortunately this will include the small business known as North Pole Enterprises, also know as Santa Claus.

  Santa has announced that in the coming year of 2013 he will be forced to cut his elf force in half, and the remaining elves will be cut to only 38 hours a week and no longer considered full-time employees due benefits.

  This of course will put a great burden upon the remaining elves to fill the growing demand for toys. It is believed that Santa will most likely have to pick up a hammer himself and possibly even Mrs. Claus will be forced out of the kitchen and into the work shop to help save the struggling business.

  Of course these changes will affect the amount of toys that can be produced and delivered, it is believed that the Chinese are already ramping up to fill the gap left by the declining production numbers from the North Pole.

  Pres. Obama in a statement assured the people of the world that he and his administration would do everything possible to see that the elves who are laid off will be able to receive unemployment benefits forever. He also has called on the remaining elves to unionize and force Santa to keep them at any cost, even if it means completely destroying the business.

  Pres. Obama went even further and said that if all else fails, he is willing to nationalize North Pole Enterprises, he believes that by combining GM and NPE he could revitalize the failing union system.

  This announcement by Santa is merely the leading edge of what is to come in the coming years of Obama-care. We can expect similar announcements from the Easter Bunny, and I have heard that the Tooth fairy is borrowing 90% of the money she is leaving for children and cannot sustain this for more than another two years and will be turning over operations to a family in West Virginia who have great experience with the loss of teeth.

  Are we looking towards a future that sees small businesses disappearing only to be replaced by nationally subsidized quasi private ownership? I fear so.

Goodbye!

December 21, 2012

  Just in case all of the talk about the end of the world is true, I just wanted to say goodbye.

  Most people have at least heard something about the world ending related to the Mayan calendar. The way it goes is that because the Mayan calendar doesn’t project beyond Dec. 21, 2012, well the world will end today.

  Actually it has come to light, but has not been reported as loudly, because a good end of the world story rocks, the calendar actually does project past 20112, but hey, let’s not ruin their fun.

  I tried to tell my wife I didn’t need to buy Christmas gifts, well because the world would end before Christmas. She wasn’t having any of that and said if there were no gifts, then the world would actually end.

 So let me say that it has been fun knowing you all here in blog land, and if the world doesn’t end, I’ll see you all after Christmas.

 I hope that the holidays finds you all well and safe, may God bless you and your families, and let us all keep the families of  New Town, Conn. in our hearts and our prayers and remember how blessed we are.

 Merry Christmas!

Cragg For Chairman?

December 19, 2012

   There has been some quiet talk  about former Republican candidate for governor of Delaware,  Jeff Cragg, as a potential challenger for the GOP state chairmanship.

   It would seem as though many of the party’s members are less than happy with the current party chairman John Sigler, and also less than happy with state-wide election results in this past election cycle. Of course no matter how popular a person is when taking the office of party chairman, the person will soon be blamed for everything that goes wrong and little that goes right.

  That being said there are some who again feel it is time for a change at the top of the party’s leadership.

  One name that has been spoken of as a replacement for Chairman Sigler, is Jeff Cragg. Mr. Cragg ran against Jack Markell for governor of Delaware this year and though he was unsuccessful, he did manage to make Gov. Markell spend a fair amount of campaign funds that might have been used elsewhere.

 One recurring theme in Mr. Cragg’s campaign was that to win state-wide the party must learn to put aside its internal disagreements long enough to defeat the Democrats, because until we win a majority we do not get to govern.

  This is a message that Mr. Sigler may share, but one he has been unable to deliver on, maybe by no fault of his own, but non the less, the party is as fractured, if not more so, than when Mr. Sigler took the seat as chairman. The two main goals of a chairman in my opinion is to promote party unity and to raise money.

  I will leave this as an open thread for all to give their opinions of the idea of Jeff Cragg as state GOP chairman. Please as always be respectful.

Tragedy Or Opportunity

December 17, 2012

   One has to wonder how some of our political leaders see the recent events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Conn..

  Do they truly see it for the tragedy that it is, or do they merely see it as an opportunity to again push for gun legislation?

  I was listening to news reports the day of the shootings and the clamor for gun legislation began immediately from both the media and Washington, including the President himself, who pushed for it in his news conference, even as investigators were trying to piece the crime scene together to discover what may have taken place and why.

  I am not insensitive to those who were murdered, I am not blind to the added emotions that are brought into play when so many of the victims are children. I understand the emotional knee jerk reaction to attempt to find a way to stop this from happening again. But can we?

 I am not sure that anything we do as a nation or as a society, or as the human race can stop this type of evil from finding a way to do evil things.

  What I am sure of, is that gun laws will never stop evil, this type of insanity is beyond the law.

  If this disturbed young man had instead decided to take a car and drive through a playground and had murdered the same number of children, would we be talking about stricter car laws? If he had use some sort of household cleaners to create a chemical bomb to murder these children, would we be talking about banning bleach and ammonia?

  What I think is, far too many of our political leaders will take advantage of this terrible evil to move a political agenda, to use this to push gun control legislation that they have wanted for some time. This in my opinion is low, even as families are reeling from the realization that their child will never hug them again, that they will never know what great things their child may have done, as these families of both adult and child victims of this monster try to come to some understanding of why this has happened, should we be using their suffering to make political points? I say no.

  We all knew that we would be having this conversation, we have it every time one of these shootings take place, but what bothers me most is that the media and those who would use this event for their political gain, seem insensitive to the feelings of the survivors.

  Have we become so jaded by these types of events that we no longer can allow the wounds to heal even a little before we begin to use the event for gain?

 Notice that I have not mentioned any political party, or political ideology, this is not about political affiliation, it is about human decency, I wish only that we as a people could wait to allow the heat of the moment to cool somewhat before we attempt to address the issue. However our political leaders will see this as weakness, they feel that they must get out in front of the issue to beat the drum for their agenda, no matter how this may add to the pain that the survivors of this tragedy are dealing with.

  I imagine in the coming days and weeks that we will be submitted to visions of small caskets with voice overs of newscasters talking about the unspeakable tragedy and the need to reform the gun laws that allowed this to happen. To trade on such a moment is in my opinion lower than low.

  I would suggest that as we lay our heads down at night, that we offer a prayer for the souls of the victims and for their families and for the entire community of  New Town, Conn.. May God watch over them and may God bless us all and keep us from evil such as this.

Ayotte Loses Again

December 11, 2012

   Well I haven’t written about a monthly Sussex GOP meeting in quite some time, but I felt tonight was worth relating.

   At last months meeting there were several names put into nomination to become Election District Chairs. One of the more notable names was Ron Sams, former county chairman. Mr. Sams has always been a person who has worked to elect Republicans and I guess he feels that it is time for him to step back into the fray.

  Ron Sams was run out of his position as chairman after the elections of 2010 because some felt that he had not supported certain candidates as forcefully as he could have.  There was also a lot of criticism about how he chaired the monthly meetings.

  Well it would seem as if some people are still holding a grudge against Mr. Sams, in this case that would be former councilmatic candidate who was defeated by Democrat Joan Deaver, Don Ayotte.

 As Mr. Sams’ name was read so that he could be voted on for confirmation, Don Ayotte sprang to his feet (as he is want to do) clutching what seemed to be a prepared statement and a copy of the rules for nominating and voting on nominees. His complaint was that Mr. Sams had not been nominated properly according to the rules, and I must state that according to the rules, technology he was correct. As usual Mr. Ayotte presented his case with an angry tone, at one point he told another person to “shut up” and another to “kiss my ass”. One can only wonder why he didn’t win his election.

 Unfortunately for Mr. Ayotte, due to another attempt to block other nominations from being confirmed in the 35th District the rules were suspended and not only were the nominees in the 35th district confirmed, but so was Ron Sams.

  It would seem as if some people believe that we need no new volunteers, that we can afford to push people away.

  Thank goodness that once again Don Ayotte lost, come to think of it, thank goodness Don Ayotte lost.

Beebe Doesn’ t Care About Patient’s Health

December 8, 2012

  Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Delaware has announced that as of January 1st they will no longer hire anyone, I repeat, anyone who uses any form of tobacco products.

   Beebe will institute a screening policy in their hiring process to determine if an applicant is a tobacco user. The policy,  according to a Beebe spokesperson is to see that Sussex County is the healthiest county in the nation, starting with the medical center’s own staff.  Current staff will, for now, be exempt from the zero tolerance policy, but would anyone be surprised to see in the future an attempt to force people to stop smoking?

  Now of course this has drawn the usual cries of outrage and accusations of discrimination from smokers and non-smokers alike. Many are calling on Delaware legislators to pass laws protecting the rights of the potential employees to use what is still a legal product on their own time in their own homes.

  I must admit when I first heard this story, I too felt that the potential employees were being discriminated against and thought that they should be protected.

  However when we look at this from another point of view, I see it differently.

  Let us consider the rights of the employer, does an employer still have the right to make decisions that will benefit their own interest? I say they do. Now some will say, but tobacco is a legal product that does not affect the way a person performs their duties when on the job.

  Okay, but we know that smokers are more likely to be sick more often, we know they take more breaks if allowed to, we know that smoking can lead to more serious health issues in the future like cancer. All of these have a cost to the employer.

  Now consider the idea that people should be allowed to do as they see fit on their own time, as long as what they are doing is legal. Well as we have seen in recent referendums in several states, marijuana has been made legal. Should an employer still be able to have a zero tolerance policy against drugs in the work place, even if that drug is legal? Of course they should, the same as alcohol is prohibited from the work place.

  Should marijuana be made legal here in Delaware, shouldn’t Beebe and other employers be allowed to set their own policies on who they hire base on long used drug screening policies? I think they should, this is not an infringement upon the rights of the potential employee.  The employee is free to look elsewhere for a job, though this type of policy may be implemented by more and more employers based on insurance rates and soon Obama care.

  All that being said, I do think that Beeb has, without thinking this through, set a policy in place, that tells the patients of the medical center that they care more about the politically correct aspect of banning smokers from their work force, than they care about the health of the patients.

 Let us think about what this zero tolerance policy will lead to. Imagine if you will that there is a position open at Beebe, now let us imagine that ten people apply for that position, out of the ten only the least qualified person is a non-tobacco user, this would mean that based solely on the fact that the person does not use tobacco, they get the job, even though there were nine people more qualified.

  This is a policy that directly affects the health and safety of the patients of Beebe Medical Center. I am not sure that this was even taken into consideration when the idea of banning tobacco users from employment came up, but it deserves to be.

 While I feel that the employer has a right to set hiring policies, and I feel that the employee is free to, not work there,  if their outside interest and habits are more important to them than the job is, I do feel in this case that Beebe is putting their patients at risk. I feel that Beebe should suspend implementing this policy until they can think it through and find a way to insure that they hire only the most qualified employees and not jus the most politically correct employees.