Archive for responsibility

President Obama's Weekly Address: Happy Father's Day!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Obama Father's Day

In President Obama's Weekly Address, he wishes all dads a Happy Father's Day and emphasizes the crucial role fathers play in our society.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

GM's Mary Barra Fires Employees But Spares Herself

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

GMGeneralMotorsTowerw276h222

Doesn't it seem to always be the case when there's a corporate problem, the first thing the bosses do is point fingers? The toppers never want to take responsibility themselves. It was some low-ranking employees and the CEO was left out in the dark. Somewhere along the line, after they've fired those who were directly hands on, the light starts to reflect back at them. Then there's very few places they can hide.

Well today, the lights at General Motors were shined on 20 key employees, 15 of whom were fired and 5 who were reprimanded over the company’s failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths.

This all stems back to 2001 and has continued up until recently -- both in General Motors lethal inactivity in responding to an issue they were totally aware of as well as their attempts to sweep this deadly flaw under the carpet.

Washington Post today reports:

Mary Barra jpeg

“I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it,” [General Motor's CEO] Barra told employees in a town hall meeting at GM’s suburban Detroit technical center. “But I want you to hear it. I want you to remember it. I want you to never forget it.” Barra promised to “fix the failures in our system.”

Does Barra really mean what she's saying? Consider this, she's not among the 20 people singled out for firing or discipline.

Why should she be? Because a quick look at her employment at GM. She started working for General Motors at the age of 18 in 1980 and subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including being manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly. Is she trying to say she had no idea what was going on? I suppose it's possible, but...

From General Motors website:

Prior to her current position, Barra served as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing Supply Chain since August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

Previously, Barra served as GM Vice President, Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and in several engineering and staff positions.

Hello. The ignition catastrophe was an engineering design problem. That falls right under Barra's purview which brings us all back to the beginning. Finger pointing and assigning blame when it's really the guilty who should be taking the fall. I don't think Barra directly was responsible for the design flaw. But was she aware of it if these other 20 people were? Apply some simple logic here and decide for yourself-- in this case, did a guilty co-conspirator get promoted in order to put out the fire?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Senior Assisted Living Doesn't Mean Senior Assisted Raping

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
Edgewood Vistaw Senior Living

Edgewood Vistaw Senior Living

My mother is in a seniors' assisted living and care facility. She's 95 and I'm glad to say doing very well. She's still able to amble around on her own and her faculties are perhaps even better than mine. And with nearly a century of memories to deal with, the loss of a husband and a son, she's lived through a lot. And her care is most important to me.

Safety in her housing is something that I thought was a given, but this story from Minnesota has my ears pricked up. Of course this story isn't the norm, but if it can happen in one state, it could happen in another. Bottom line is it's shocking. Anyone who has an aging relative should watch this. Then afterwards, read the horrific rest of the story.

So if this brutal attack wasn't enough, what happened afterwards was incredulous.

The Raw Story:

 The nursing home transferred the woman to a psychiatric ward at St. Luke’s Hospital for nearly three days.

“The room she was in was dark and cold … and they locked her in at night and all she had was a blanket,” nurse examiner Theresa Flesvig said in the court documents.

When Flesvig was finally able to examine the victim, she found the “biggest tear” as a result of rape that she had ever seen in her career.

Testimony filed with the court said that the nursing home’s clinical services director, Marilyn Moore, tried to defend that rapist after he had confessed to police.

They send the victim of a vicious rape to the psych ward and the 30 year old man who rapes an 89 year old woman isn't? Help me see how this isn't so wrong that it's sick.

The rapist gets 4 1/2 years in prison and 10 years of registering as a sex offender. Sadly his victim probably won't live long enough to get beyond this trauma. But so far nothing has been done to the nursing home -- though this upcoming trial could find them paying some pretty hefty fines. But to think this nursing home would defend a confessed rapist for an attack in their senior facility is totally off the charts.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Mainstream Press Drinks Polluted Water -- Gets Dysentery

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Duty

Two nights ago, Lawrence O'Donnell, as he often does, takes a breaking national story and rather than become a mouth-piece lemming and following along, or a parrot repeating back talking points, he examines the full story with an eye from overhead, giving him a wider view. Instead of flowing downhill with the jabberhead mainstream press through heavily germ-filled waters of bunk, spin and political pollution, he looks a bit deeper and sees some runoffs that might actually lead to fresh water.

Such is the case with Robert Gates new book, his memoir of the few years he served in the Obama Administration. Many thought it was a strange choice to keep Gates as he served in the corrupt GW Bush administration, but President Obama saw something in him. Perhaps it was his boldness. Maybe his honesty. Or possibly something else, he was a near perfect barometer. Perhaps Obama knew that if Gates was in favor of something, the wise choice was to do just the opposite.

DUTY: MEMOIRS OF A SECRETARY AT WAR, according to O'Donnell, actually makes a good argument for that. Gates was a litmus test. That's always good to have around when there's a toxic situation.

At yesterday's press conference the adjective "explosive" was tossed about like a hot potato. It was used so much, it was obvious that it was a prepared, planned buzzword. It's like "IRS Conspiracy," "Benghazi," and "Trainwreck" when referring to the ACA rollout. Explosive was the word of the day that Jay Carney needed to defend. If only he had Lawrence O'Donnell with him it would have been a cake walk.

During the Rewrite segment on THE LAST WORD yesterday O'Donnell took great delight in pointing out these explosive revelations are perhaps not as damaging as the headless chickens of the beltway press would have you think. Rather than look at what the ex-CIA chief and defense secretary really said, these brainless reporters took to their imaginations and interpreted what was really written. They took words like "vaguely" and changed them to "definitively" and phrases like "conceded political opposition to the Iraq surge" meant Obama's opposition, not his parties or the nation's opposition. When you twist words, you can get them to say almost anything.

Watch this systematic destruction of the "explosive accusations" in the book, and enjoy how it's actually becomes a most complimentary Obama piece. For instance, Gates writes Obama's decision to launch an attack on Osama Bin Laden (against Gate's advice) was, "One of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House."

Yes sir. This book is not a hammering away at Obama. It's a tribute to a fine military and diplomatic leader.

Take a look. This clip is bit longer than I usually add, but I think every minute of it's worth it to understand just how much the White House really loves what William Gates had to say, as it makes Obama one of the strongest and definitive leaders ever to rule the roost. This is one time that Obama is no Jack Kennedy, and we're all better because of it. (Watch the clip and you'll understand that reference.)

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

When's A Co*ksucker Not A Co*ksucker? When Geraldo Says So

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

hate speak

First we have the recent past firing for homophobic remarks by Alec Baldwin. Then we get the Martin Bashir grotesque Sarah Palin comment. Now we have the ensuing kerfuffle going on with the racist and homophobic Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) in a GQ interview. Seems like outrage and a bit  more as opponent and proponents are bashing each other, each side staking out the first amendment claim.

Fox News put their "A" team on the issue of limits and virtues of freedom of speech. Who better, right? These are the folks that discovered WMD in Iraq, the conspiracies behind Benghazi, the IRS, even the secret war on Christmas. They definitively proclaimed Santa AND Jesus are white. Face it, when there's a controversy, there's no source better suited for getting to the bottom of an issue than Fox News. God bless Rupert Murdoch's merry band of men and women.

According to crack reporter and commentator Geraldo Rivera, he's determined that there are times when offensive speak isn't really offensive. It all has to do with your background. If you grew up in a neighborhood where racial or homophobic slurs were part of everyday vernacular, he's discovered a new defense. The Peter Pan doctrine. You never have to grow up. You can use all the hate speech you want because you're inbred with it and don't have to change or learn with the times. It's okay with Geraldo if you go out there and call him a spic-kike cocksucker because that's what he heard growing up.

HUFFPO:

In a bizarre pronouncement by ever-colorful Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera, the veteran commentator has defended Alec Baldwin's recent homophobic outburst toward a paparazzo, claiming "cocksucking faggot" isn't necessarily a gay slur.

"I don't think all insults are equal," Rivera said during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show December 19. Rivera was chiming in to a heated discussion between Hannity and panelists Rachel Sklar and about whether or not A&E made a mistake by suspending “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for recent anti-LGBT and racist statements.

See for yourself how Sean Hannity, Geraldo Rivera and Rachel Sklar feel about this controversy. It just makes you hear that old bromide defending children for doing horrific bad things and not wanting to make them take responsibility--

"You know, it's just boys being boys. Cut 'em some slack. You were a kid once."

And just to clear it up for Hannity, both Baldwin and Bashir were fired. For professional courtesy, they were technically invited to resign which they did. Nobody fired Phil Robertson. He's only been suspended. So there's a bit of a double standard, perhaps, but the Duck Dynasty guy will still has a show -- Baldwin and Bashir don't.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Parents & Courts Condone and Encourage Child Bullying And Harassment

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Levi Null

So this is what society has  come down to. Encourage bullying and terror.

Say you're blessed enough to become a parent. Sadly, your child is born different -- with a disability. Perhaps autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Tourettes or one of many other afflictions.  Wish, will and pray as you might, you hope that by the time they reach school age, they'll be well enough to attend. To be as much like one of the other kids as possible.

You get to the point that you believe this will be a solution. Perhaps integration into a social environment of school peers will be the panacea. At least, you figure your child will be protected, be kept safe.

But what happens when you realize your prayer isn't answer and hope is not a viable option? You find yourself up sh**s creek without a paddle. You've been deserted. And not just by the kids (who we know can be cruel) but by the teachers and the school officials as well.

How do you stand by when you report your child's abuse to the school and they side with the bullies? How about when they even blame your abused child as bringing it on himself?

Then you, as the heartbroken parent find you're faced with public ostracism over Facebook, blaming you for your child's behavior. Does this seem fair? Just? Right? How do you think you feel when you find the bully kids posting videos on the Internet of  their abuse which also shows teachers in the background witnessing this harassment and just turning their backs?

The cherry on this disgusting sundae comes when the parents of the bullies defend their kid's offensive actions on TV news, and they get hundreds of responses, applauding their support of their bullying kids.

Watch this story of 13 year old Levi Null, from the Melcher-Dallas school district in Texas.

The message here is that sadly, ignorance and inhumanity is passed down from generation to generation. What we do as parents matters. As the parent of both a boy and a girl, I know how hard it was to reprimand them, and I did it sparingly but judiciously. I did it to make them better children. But not doing anything or worse, condoning such bad behavior leads to a total deterioration of society.

Just over a month ago I reported on a 12 year old girl, Rebecca Sedwick in a post on how cyber bullying led her to climb up a grain silo and jump to her death.

HERE'S AN UPDATE on this related story. The two kids who drove Sedwick to her suicide were suspended from school but just yesterday, the court made their determination on any charges, reported by the New York Daily News:

Charges against two Florida girls accused of bullying a 12-year-old former classmate to her eventual suicide will be dropped, local authorities announced Wednesday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd confirmed Wednesday evening that two of Rebecca Sedwick's accused cyberbullies, 14-year-old Guadalupe Shaw and a 13-year-old girl, will have their charges of aggravated stalking dropped.

Is this the fair signal to send in addressing an epidemic of harassment and bullying?

Parents condone it. Courts refuse to condemn it? Buckle your seat belts. We're in for the proverbial bumpy ride.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

L.A. County Sheriff Shoots Six And Is Allowed To Shoot A Seventh Victim

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

1521839_ME_0910_OIS

Los Angeles County police, as far as we can tell, don't have as a policy that you should just go out and randomly shoot (and sometimes kill) people. They usually require just cause and in a city the size of LA, it's probably not hard to find. We've got lots of nuts roaming the streets. It used to be said that if you could lift up the United States, all of the nuts would roll downhill and land up in California. That may be true. But it may also be true about crazy County Sheriff's all across America landing up in the L.A. Sheriff's Department.

Now to be fair, this story really is about the LA County Sheriff's Department. I make that distinction because out here we have LAPD, CHP, County/Municipal, and Sheriff's patrolling. But in the spotlight at he moment is the LA County Sheriff's Department.

Take the case of their very own, Deputy Anthony Forlano. He's in an agency where even one officer-involved shooting in a career is rare. So what do you call it when he has just been involved in his second..., third..., fourth..., fifth..., sixth... No wait, his SEVENTH officer related shooting. That's right, his seventh.

The question I'm having is how was this man even allowed to carry a gun, let alone patrol the streets? Why not put him behind a desk? It seems they did, but then decided to set him back out on the public.

THE L.A. TIMES:

Following his sixth shooting, Forlano was pulled from patrol duty and assigned to a desk job. He was also disciplined for "tactical deficiencies" in that shooting. But recently, he was allowed to return to the streets.

What could go wrong with putting him back among the public with a gun strapped to his side?

Records show that three of Forlano's previous shootings involved suspects who were unarmed.

District attorney officials have reviewed three of Forlano's past shootings, concluding in each that he legally acted in self-defense and in the defense of others, according to the office's records. That's three.  What about the other three?

Forlano told investigators that he had seen the suspect place a large silver object in his pants pocket and run holding his left hand near his waistband before he stopped and turned. The silver object turned out to be a cellphone.

Regarding a September 12, 2004 shooting,

Forlano opened fire after the other deputy shouted, "He has my gun" during the struggle. Forlano said he was unable to see whether Montoya had his partner's gun because it was dark and he was behind Montoya. Once Montoya was (shot) handcuffed, Forlano was able to see that the gun was in his partner's holster.

And in he third "other" shooting:

Forlano was involved in a high-speed chase that ended in another shooting. Forlano and his partner told investigators they gave chase after Osvaldo Ureta waived a small black handgun at them and struck their patrol car with his vehicle, according to a district attorney memo. No handgun was found in Ureta's vehicle

Now to the defense of Sheriff Lee Baca, the head of the LA County Sheriff's Department, putting Forlano back on the street was not his direct order. It came from then-Undersheriff Paul Tanaka who, coincidentally is currently a candidate for Sheriff Baca's position.

Consider this -- who did Tanaka report to when he was undersheriff? The boss, Lee Baca. And if there was no conversation between Undersheriff Tanaka and Baca over putting (then six-time shooter) Forlano back on the streets, you have to wonder what kind of communications go on in that department. If this decision didn't rise to the level of need to know, what does? Maybe neither man is right for the job.

Once again, I support the police. But an event like this -- or should I say a 7th event like this, is cause for concern -- from the top on down. Maybe LA deserves better.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare