Archive for the ‘Delaware’ Category

Will The Vets Regret Their Bets?

January 27, 2013

     Most everyone has at least heard something about the recent dust-up over slot machines in the VFWs and other veterans clubs.

    It seems as though the state of Delaware was fine with looking the other way for quite some time, while the vet clubs were taking in thousands of dollars off of what can only be described as, illegal gaming machines.

   It seems as though no one cared that these organizations were breaking the law by having these machines in their clubs and using them to raise money and paying out winnings to their members, which was clearly against the law.

  That was until Gov. Jack Markell decided that it was time to shut them down. The clubs and organizations received letters stating that they would have to remove the machines  immediately, or face prosecution and punishment.

  This led to an outcry from both the organizations and the community, how dare the state and the Governor dare to enforce a law that they had ignored for ten or more years? How dare they hold the veterans to the same standard of the law that they held everyone else to?

  I actually heard some people say that the state should just go back to the way it had been, in other words, ignore the law and those who were breaking it.

  If this had been some immigrant who owned a gas station with these machines, would there have been the same reaction? I doubt it. It is obviously due to the fact that it involves veterans, that accounts for the fact that many of the same people who would normally be demanding that the law be exercised equally, would now be in favor of not only an exemption, but out right calling for the law to not be enforced.

  Let me first say that I am against any exemptions of any law. For a law to have any effect, to have any real meaning, then the law must be enforced upon society in an equal manner upon all its citizens, otherwise the law is meaningless.

  So if there is a law that says these machines can only be placed at the three racinos run by the state, (oh! I am sorry, I meant regulated by the state), of Delaware, then that should be the way the law is enforced.

 If on the other hand some feel that the law gives unfair advantage to one group or against another, then it is correct to work to change the law, which is what the veteran organizations have done, with the backing of the community they have lobbied the Delaware legislators to do just that.

  That is where we are now, the Delaware legislators have passed a three-month stop-gap bill that buys them and the vets time for the legislators to come up with a permanent solution, one that I am sure will look a lot like the three-month stop-gap bill.

  Basically the bill states that the vet organizations can keep the machines in their clubs, the machines will be mandated to pay out between 50 and 70%, of the proceeds left, the clubs will be mandated to pay 45% to the state. Unlike the machines at the three race track casinos who have a mandated payout of 89% at a 45% tax rate. I make no claim to be good at math, but to me this seems to me to mean that the state will take a larger cut of the overall proceeds from the vet clubs than it currently takes from the state-run (oh! I did it again, I mean regulated by the state) casinos. The state will also decide who the venders will be who supply the machines and they will be tied into the state Lottery system.

 So, what has the state of Delaware gotten from now enforcing the law?

 Well first of all it has gotten the respect of those who believe that the law must be enforced in an equal manner, not based on emotions and special interest considerations.

  Beyond that what the state has gotten is another flow of revenue, the state will now be able to use this stream as another projection towards balancing the budget. Let us never forget that the state of Delaware has a constitutionally mandated balance budget amendment. Of course this is the biggest lie in all of government, because the way in which the state balances its budget is to first decide how much it wants to spend on all of the different programs and agencies, it then has to come up with the matching funds, or revenues.

 The way this is done is to first look at the more reliable revenue streams, such as income taxes and corporate taxes and any other form of taxes that from year to year are little changed. Of course since government grows every year without fail, there is always a short fall between the revenue stream and the expenditures, so how does the state fill this gap?

 Why with projections of course! And the most seductive form of projections in recent years for the state of Delaware has been gambling revenue. These projections are such a favorite of law makers because there is really no way to determine how much people will or will not gamble in any given year. At best the state can only hope to hold to the previous year’s rate, but of course since the cost of government goes up every year, so must the revenue projections.

  The only way this is possible is to constantly increase the amount of gambling within the state. Delaware has continued to do this by adding more and more types of gambling, from slots to table games, from sports betting to now keno. The state is running out of types of gambling that it can constitutionally run,( damn! did it again, REGULATE), so they are now going to begin looking to expand who can legally be involved in getting the state’s product out to the people in a hope of expanding the number of people who will throw their money into the rat hole of state-run gambling,(Oh! hell, let’s face it the state of Delaware runs gambling in the state of Delaware).

 The veteran’s organizations are simply the next step in this experiment of expanding gambling beyond the casinos. We have seen sports betting in bars, we are now seeing keno in any number of locations, and now we will have state sanctioned gambling in private clubs. And the best part for the state? These organizations demanded that they be allowed to be controlled by the state.

  These groups are populated by people who are also some of the same people who have been politically active in recent years, they have been vocal in pointing out the ever-expanding government and the tax burden that goes along with it, yet they took no time to consider the ramifications of their actions in demanding that the state allow them to keep these slot machines.

  The fallout from this for these organizations and the rest of the state could be extremely negative.

 These groups will now fall under the regulatory arm of the state of Delaware, this means that they will be mandated on every aspect of the operation of these slot machines, and one has to wonder how the state will be able to expand just what that will cover? Will it for instance in the future mean that the state will be able to mandate certain aspects of how the vets spend their take of the proceeds? Will for instance the state be able to mandate that these groups must spend equal amounts in their charitable spending on diverse groups? Say if an organization gives to an all boys  team, will they be mandated to give an equal amount to an all girls  team? Or will there be mandates on percentages spent on minorities?

 These are all things that the vets have not considered. They were in such a hurry to cry foul at being held to the same standard as everyone else that they did not consider the end game here for the state, that being to create another revenue stream and to control it as the state controls all gambling in this state, with an iron fist.

  The main fallout for the vet groups will be a loss of independence, ironic, seeing as they fought to protect independence for the rest of us and they did not simply give it away, they demanded that it be taken from them.

  There will also be political fall out from this as well. By Gov. Markell’s move on this, he has positioned Republicans between the dog and the hydrant. Delaware Republicans in general, and Sussex Republicans in particular have been historically opposed to expanding gambling within the state. What this case does is it puts Republicans in the position of either continuing to oppose gambling and in doing so, opposing veterans, or Republicans would have to reverse their position on gambling to be able to be seen as supporting the veterans.

  Since the stop-gap bill has already passed that is in the past. In the coming three months I would recommend to the veteran’s organizations that they reconsider their position on this. I would recommend that they take the time to seek other forms of revenue that would allow them to maintain their independence as a non-profit organization.

  I would suggest that any Republican who supported the stop-gap bill also reconsider their position. I feel that any who have opposed the expansion of gambling have been on the right side of that issue, not because of any of my personal faith beliefs, but because government should not be in the business of, well that pretty much says it, government should not be in any business.

 This issue is not and never has been about the veterans, though certain opportunistic politicians have played this to their advantage coming out with this stop-gap bill in an attempt to make it seem as if they are on the side of the vets. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This bill is not intended to help the vets, it is intended to enslave these organizations to the state. They will become little more than satellites of the casinos, they will lose their ability to make certain decisions for themselves and they will no longer represent the veterans who are their members, but will have become another branch of the government growth that so many of them have stated an opposition to.

GOP Response

January 25, 2013

   It is good to see that the Delaware GOP is not allowing the Delaware Democrats and the Governor get too far out in front of them in doing nothing on gun violence.

   This morning I heard that the Delaware Republicans in Legislative Hall have come up with their own set of proposals, and while I am at work and have not been able to actually study them in-depth, from what I am hearing reported these will be as worthless as the democrat proposals.

  it seems that the Republicans  think that by simply increasing the penalty for existing laws, that this will some how deter insane people from acting insane. Really? This is the best we can do?

  I still fear that we are working towards a compromise that will boil down to nothing but increased background checks, that will boil down to nothing but increased numbers of law-abiding citizens being denied gun ownership.

  As Senator Dianne Feinstein stated in her presentation announcing her sweeping gun ban bill, the intention is, “to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.”. I believe that the background checks being proposed are intended to aid in this “drying” up of those who will be able to legally purchase guns.

  One other proposal was for a “panic” type button, much like banks use to be pushed in the case of an event. I can see the usefulness of this in quickening the response time of law enforcement, and I see more merit in this as opposed to the “panic’ doors previously suggested.

  I am glad that there is give and take on both sides here, my only concern is the final outcome and how it will negatively affect gun ownership.


January 22, 2013

     We as Republicans have been asking ourselves for sometime now, why does it seem that we are losing the battle of ideas, when it comes to convincing voters that we are the party best suited to lead the nation, and for that matter the state of  Delaware.

   Now I know that some of my more liberal friends will tell us that it is because the ideas, the principles and the values of the Republican party, and that of conservatism, no longer represent those of a majority of  the  American people.

  Then again, there are members of the Republican party that will say it is because the Republican party no longer holds true to the conservative values that once placed the GOP at the center of  American politics.

   There may possibly be truth in both of those views, however, I have come to believe that the Republican party and the conservative movement are not losing the battle of ideas, it is not that the ideals and values of the GOP and conservatism are not representative of those of the American people.

  In my view we are losing the battle of perception. The problem we are having in winning over new voters, both for the GOP and from the ranks of the growing pool of independent voters is how we are perceived by the majority of voters.

  So what is the perception of the Republican  Party and the conservative movement?

  Currently that perception is most influenced by what has become known as the TEA Party, but what is more accurately titled the TEA movement. The term TEA grew out of the feeling by a large number of citizens that we were, “taxed, enough, already”, but has grown into a movement that now seems to have no real direction nor goal. The TEA movement has been taken over by any number of sub groups with wide-ranging, separate agendas.

  What was once a movement of rallies and marches to demonstrate a discontent with the size of government and the tax burden that goes along with it, has now become little more than a hodge-podge of groups that spends most of their time attempting to show their conservative credentials.

  In reality there isn’t really even a TEA movement any longer, due to the constant bickering the movement has splintered into any number of movements.

   Now you would think that since the TEA movement has splintered, that it would have lost any influence that it once held over the GOP, and to some extent, this is true. However what is happening, is that though the TEA movement no longer seems able to move the GOP in one direction or another, even so,  the sub groups are still seen as being the face and voice of the Republican party, or at least the media is more than willing to paint them as such. And in so doing, any negative behaviour of these groups is attributed to the GOP.

  We as a nation, and as a state here in Delaware are currently having a debate how best to solve the ongoing issue of gun violence and mass shootings. I do not want this to turn into a debate about that problem, I am merely using it as an example of how we in the conservative movement and the Republican party are losing the battle based largely on perception.

  The problem as I see it is that there is a loud and vocal faction within the GOP and the conservative movement that believes the best way to make their argument is to constantly state that the liberals and the Democrats and government are coming to take our guns, that the proposals that have been made by Pres. Obama and in Delaware by Gov. Markell  are a direct assault upon the 2nd Amendment.

  These people use words like tyranny and confiscation. They become loud when speaking on the issue. Some of them speak of armed revolution. They say things like, “they can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers”.  When they are opposed they resort to calling people names like RINOs, liberals, tyrants, stupid or worse.

  Their clarion cry is, “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”. Any law that they disagree with become unconstitutional. Many of these people have but a passing relationship with the document at best, and have mostly gathered what they do know, from the talking points hurled at them at some sub group meeting that gathers to make their members feel as if they are actually making a difference.

  Some of these angry people have actually run for office, they delude themselves that they are in the majority and cannot lose, and when they do lose elections, well then it is always some grand conspiracy, it is never because they are angry and out of touch with the citizens.

  It is when these angry, narrow-minded, intellectually vacant people run for office and are afforded a stage to propagate their tiny shriveled view of what conservatism is, that they are most dangerous to the conservative movement, the Republican party, and to the future of the nation.

  It is when they have any sort of stage at all that the media then is able to label them Republican, they are said to be representative of Republicans and conservatism, and why not? Do they not continually tell everyone and anyone that they are the deciders of who is or is not a true conservative?

  These people are held up as examples, when in reality they are little more than a noisy pest.

  The question that the Republican party and conservatives must ask ourselves is, do we want to be known for shouting down our opposition as we run up and down the aisle of some meeting, waving our arms in the air, shouting “TYRANNY! TYRANNY!”?  And be perceived as nothing but the fringe lunatic?

  Or do we want to be known for being reasonable and for winning, by using logic and reason to convince people  our ideas and values are actually the better alternative?

   Let us take the issue of gun ownership once again, instead of talking about the attack on the 2nd Amendment, something that most average citizens, either doesn’t understand or doesn’t believe is happening, maybe we should be talking about why the proposals that have been made will not help protect our children in schools.

  Maybe instead of dividing our citizens, we should be attempting to unite them. Instead of calling the people we disagree with names, maybe we should be seeking ways to communicate our ideas better.

  As long as we allow these fringe elements to be the face and the voice of the GOP and conservatism, we will be allowing the media and our opposition to paint the entirety of conservatism and the Republican party as the fringe lunatic, and we will continue to lose elections, not because our ideas are not good and right, but because of how we are perceived in the media and by the citizens.



Credit, When Credit Is Due

January 17, 2013

   I have in the past been very critical of Rep. John Atkins(D), when I felt he deserved it, and I hope that I have been fair when he deserved that as well.

   I have had conversations with Mr. Atkins that would be described as friendly, and some that would be described as tense.

   I would like to thank Rep. Atkins and encourage him to keep doing what he did yesterday and this morning, and that is to be outspoken in opposition to the five point proposal of Governor Jack Markell to further restrict gun ownership.

  When this issue first came up I was pretty sure that Rep. Atkins would oppose any legislation that restricted gun ownership, he has always been a defender of the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

  Yesterday he was on The Susan Monday Show on 105.9 and took time to explain his concerns about the Governor’s proposals, as well as what might come from the federal government, though he would have little to do with or about that.

  This morning he was on The Bill Colley Show on 92.7, he again attempted to explain his views on how best to combat these proposals. However the audience of the Colley show is quite different from that of Susan Monday.

  Rep. Atkins was presented with call after call decrying the view that the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was under attack and that this was nothing more than a gun grab by the government.

  Rep. Atkins attempted to explain that he could only work against the Delaware proposals based on the Delaware constitution, and that is why he was focussing on hunting and sporting. The callers in my opinion couldn’t or wouldn’t understand the difference, and so Rep. Atkins points were falling on deaf ears and closed minds.

 Let me take just a moment here to say that I feel that if all that heard in opposition of these proposals, both from the Governor and the President, is the battle cry of “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!”and “CONFISCATION”, then it will make it very easy for those who would restrict our right of gun ownership, to paint all of us as fringe and lunatic. We would be better served to speak reasonably and to point out the flaws in these proposals, and maybe even have some alternatives.

  I hope that Rep. Atkins will continue to speak out for the rights of gun owners here in Delaware, he is bucking the Democrat party line to do so, and is in a unique position to do so, since if Republicans speak out too loudly, they will be accused of not caring if children are murdered.

  Good job Rep. Atkins, and thank you.

Richard Corn Arrested

January 16, 2013

 Since Mr. Corn is a Democrat and to avoid accusations of partisan politics I will only link to a post at Delaware Liberal.

Beware The Background Checks

January 15, 2013

  As Delaware Governor Jack Markell unveiled his plan for so-called gun control we find that for the most part there is nothing new in the Democrat agenda to oppose the rights of gun owners.

  Gov. Markell announced, with the help of Lt. Gov. Matt Denn and Attorney General Beau Biden, yesterday his five point plan, which includes the usual ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns, a restriction on possessing a gun within 1000 feet of a school, and finally background checks designed to close the so-called gun show loop-hole.

  I have heard a lot of people voicing their concern over the ban on certain guns and the high-capacity magazines, personally I am more concerned about the background checks and how intrusive they may end up being.

  In Maryland it is being proposed that anyone buying a gun be forced to submit their fingerprints as well as going through a background check.

 One has to wonder whether this will also end up in the final Delaware plan, as well as the federal plan?

  Of course we will now hear from the supporters of these intrusive measures that if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear.

 The problem I see, is that the collection of fingerprints prior to committing a crime may constitute illegal search and seizure. I also am concerned with the collection of such information that may in the future be used if we ever reach the point where the government actually does try to confiscate guns.

 Let me say that I do not believe, as others do, that we are currently at that point, but we certainly are looking down a very dangerous road.

 While I agree that we need to be as concerned about certain weapons being banned, I feel that the larger danger to our freedoms is the intrusion into the private live of law-abiding citizens.

I Am Not A Criminal

January 12, 2013

   I am not a criminal, and so I am asking President Obama, Vice President Biden and every state legislator who are now rushing to pass legislation to further restrict gun ownership, to please not make me a criminal.

  There has been a constant battle cry from the anti-gun lobbies since the Sandy Hook shooting, for there to be action taken by law makers to pass laws and restrictions in an attempt to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

  Unfortunately, in my opinion, there is no law, no restriction, that can stop a person from killing another person if they truly want to do so. Let us remember that Abel was murdered with a rock.

  What I find most troubling is the rush to act, to do something, anything, no matter if it is the right thing, or if it will actually do what it is proposed to do.

  The fact is, nothing that I have heard proposed would actually stop even one person from killing another, in my opinion, because all of the laws will do nothing except punish someone after the fact.

 We know that most, if not all, of the recent shooters have broken existing gun laws, yet some believe that if we only pass more laws we can stop future shooters.

  Some think that if we reduce the size of a gun’s magazine capacity, then we will reduce the number of people killed in these types of events. Maybe, but are we saying that to kill only ten people as opposed to thirty is morally acceptable? And even so, if a person goes out and buys an illegal magazine, they are unlikely to be arrested until they use it in some other illegal act. So this means that if they buy it illegally, then they shoot up a school, the people are just as dead, even if the shooter is later charged with owning an illegal magazine. The same goes for banning certain types of guns.

 Now let us talk about another favorite of those who would restrict gun ownership, background checks.

  Some believe that if only every person who buys a gun would go through a background check, then there would be fewer gun crimes. Sorry but I don’t see this either.

  If I buy a gun from a friend or a relative for home protection and never use it, then why should I be a criminal for having bought it? If on the other hand a person buys a gun on the street and then kills ten people with their legal sized magazine, how does charging them after the fact for not having gone through a background check solve anything, or help those murdered?

  This would also do nothing to stop the cases where a person buys a gun and completely follows the letter of the law, is sane, has no criminal background, yet at some point after buying the gun has some mental breakdown and use the legally purchased gun with its legal sized magazine to kill ten people.

  Now let us look to legislation that is being proposed by a Delaware state senator, Sen. Robert Marshall of Wilmington(D). Sen. Marshall has of course jumped onto the Democrat bandwagon of banning so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but he has gone even further in suggesting that along with any state restriction upon gun owners, that local town and counties within the state be given the authority to also impose even more gun owner restriction such as requiring local licensing laws.

  This could mean that every town in the state could require a gun owner to apply for and of course pay for a separate license, or to totally ban guns from within their limits.

  This is completely absurd. The logistical nightmare alone should be prohibitive of such a law. Under the proposal, the state would be in charge of setting the punishment for breaking these laws and in many cases for enforcing them, since many of these towns do not have their own law enforcement.

 But let us look at this from the view-point of a gun owner. I would have to be aware of possibly thirty to forty different gun laws just to travel through the small state of Delaware, how many laws might I break just going from one side of Sussex County to the other? Not to mention people traveling through the state from other states.

 Even if it was limited to just allowing the three counties to set their own restrictions, is this a good idea? Again I think not. I am a citizen of the state of Delaware, why should I be required to have a law degree just to be able to travel legally through my state with a weapon that I obtained legally and which I have a state permit to carry concealed.

 There is of course much here to be supposed upon. Would this be a case of the stricter law taking precedent, so that if the state law is stricter then that is the law, or if the town law is stricter then that is the law.

  Now before some of my fellow conservatives begin to see this as a way to gain more local control, think this out my friends.

  I feel that of course it will be a case of the stricter laws taking precedent. So what that means is, if one town wants to pass a total ban on guns they will be allowed to do so, however if another town wished to allow gun owners to own high-capacity magazines and assault weapons they would not be allowed to because the state would have already banned them.

 This clearly brings up a question of equal protection under the law. Is it equal protection under the law if one community has the power and authority to make and pass laws that reflect their views and wishes on gun issues, yet another community ten miles down the road is not afforded the same powers and authority?

 Clearly Sen. Marshall is anti-gun, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is in his own mind, acting in the best interest of the citizens of his district. However, I feel that if such legislation as he and others are proposing were to be passed, they would actually be putting the very people they profess to want to protect at the greatest risk. That is the law-abiding citizens, and they would be making criminals of those who would still seek to protect themselves, even at the risk of being made a criminal.

 The final word as always on this topic is that criminals will always be criminals, we do not create fewer criminals when we rush to pass new and expanding laws, we create new criminal, and usually they are what in any other case would be considered law-abiding citizens.

  I would ask the Delaware legislators to slow down, do not take the lead of Washington, please think about what it is you are doing and whether or not it is actually going to change anything, or are you simply acting so that you can say you acted this time, so that the next time, you have cover?

 Don’t make a criminal out of me and my fellow citizens who simply want to protect our families and home. I am not a criminal, so don’t make me one.


What Is A RINO?

January 6, 2013

   Recently someone posed the question of what exactly constitutes being a RINO?

   I have thought about this since that question was put forth and it was suggested that a post should be written to answer this question.

  First for anyone who is not aware that RINO is an acronym for “Republican In Name Only”, meaning that while someone may be a registered Republican, in someone elses view they are not a “TRUE” Republican.

   The phrase RINO is most often used by those who have decided that they are the keepers of the conservative flame, and it is used much in the same way that racist use the “N” word “Jew” as a pejorative. It is ment to be-little the person being attacked, to end discussion and to draw a line of degrees between the self-righteous hurler of the phrase and the person be disparaged.

 First let me say that I have in the past used this term RINO, and for the exact reasons that I have listed above. As time has passed I have realized that the term is not accurate to the intended meaning of the user. I believe that what is actually intended, at least in my case is NARC, “Not A Real Conservative”, since it is the matter of degrees of conservatism that we are talking about.

 I will come back to that point a little later. Right now I want to address this idea of Republican in name only idea. If someone is going to judge the republicanism of another person, then they must have a clear and defined definition of “EXACTLY” what a Republican is.
  As I have said, I too used this term, and yet I cannot tell you that there is a strict definition of what constitutes a Republican. We need to remember that Republican is a party, and so it is by definition made up of many differing parts of the conservative ideology.

 I have come to understand that there are differing types of Republicans, there are liberal Republicans, who may see social issues as unimportant, and may even believe that some social entitlements programs are needed, yet on some of the larger fiscal issues they are more in line with the Republican party’s line of thought. Or maybe they are in favor of abortion, but against homosexual marriage. In any case they see themselves more aligned with Republicans and will most times vote for Republican candidates. Yet there is a group of people who would attack them as RINOs and say that they have no business being Republicans. This is no way to grow the GOP!

  There are some people who are registered Republican that are considered “MODERATE” Republicans, these are people who also are labeled RINOs due to the fact that they are not conservative “ENOUGH” for some small group of people who have come to believe that they can see into the heart of others and determine the Republicanism of each individual rank and file voter within the GOP. A moderate Republican is a person who attempts to see both sides of an issue, and may vote for either Democrats or Republicans, though again are more likely to vote for  Republican candidates. The keepers of the gate of Republicanism again would run these people from the GOP, so as to keep the party pure in their view.

  There is a third group within the Republican party, these are the hard right conservatives, these are the people most likely to use the pejorative RINO. They see themselves as the “TRUE” conservatives, as the “TRUE” Republicans, they see it as their duty to point out those who do not meet their standards of Republicanism, they see it as their duty to run all who do not meet these standards from the GOP. They see their form of Republicanism as the “ONLY!” “TRUE!” form of Republicanism.

  The trouble this last group has, is that they have in a large part gone so far right, that they are becoming what they claim to oppose. They have become progressive conservatives. They are fine with growing government in scope and cost, as long as it fits their view of the world, which they can and will change to fit their current desires and wants. Which may actually make them the real RINOs.

 The problem with the term RINO is that it is not possible for any one person or group to determine who is or isn’t a Republican. And really should they?

  Republican is a party, we can only grow the party by being inviting to people, if on the other hand we are uninviting to people, then the party will continue to shrink in size and influence.

  So I hope I have given at least a view of what I see the term RINO to mean. Even though I have used it in the past, I now see it for what it truly is, a word meant to attack that which we cannot refute or that which we dislike.

 I believe that there are many types of Republicans, and we need all of them to defeat Democrats. If we continue to segregate within the party, we will never unify the party. The definition of the word party as it pertains to politics is, “a group of persons with common political opinions and purposes organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy”, notice that it says “common” not “identical” opinions and purposes.


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.


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.