Sunday, December 31, 2006

Welcome Home Solider

Last salute to long-ago war hero
Vietnam vets travel from across region to honor soldier

Sunday, December 31, 2006

They began arriving at 6:30 a.m., nearly three hours before the funeral that would honor a man they had never met.

They pulled up, saluted and quietly prayed for the family of Army Master Sgt. Norman Payne in a way that only they could. Vietnam veterans from across Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania remembered a fellow soldier who returned home Saturday in a way they never wanted.

"We don't look at this as a funeral," said Richard Pennybaker of Alliance. "We look at this as a welcome home and the honoring of a war hero. For nearly 40 years, he lay in a rice paddy somewhere. Today, he's here for us to thank."

More than 200 people attended services to remember Payne, a humble man with a broad smile who was reported missing in Laos on Dec. 18, 1968. He was 27 at the time. Military officials identified the remains of the Special Forces soldier earlier this year.

......... Payne epitomized the greatness of the Army's Special Forces, where he served in the Studies and Operation Group. The unit handled clandestine work during the war in Vietnam.

Thirty minutes later, at Cleveland Memorial Gardens, 20 veterans ringed Payne's casket with U.S. flags. As winds whipped across the muddy field, Army Master Sgt. Larry Brooks presented a folded American flag that had covered Payne's casket to his wife. He called it a small gift of appreciation for her husband.

Minutes later, Vietnam veterans mingled with Payne's family, each thanking the other for their gifts to the country.
Norman Payne, Sergeant, reconnaissance patrol member, Command and Control North, MACV-SOG. Born on 14 July 1939 in Greenville, Alabama. Entered service on 8 July 1957 at Cleveland, Ohio.

Missing in action since 19 December 1968, when his reconnaissance team was attacked 6 miles inside Laos west of the A Shau Valley just before nightfall; last seen by the team leader, Sp. 4th Class Donald C. Sheppard, as Payne left the team to join another group, which had slid down an embankment; Sheppard later followed this route along a creek bed, but efforts to locate Payne failed.

During extraction, Sheppard heard garbled emergency radio transmission, the last word of which sounded like "bison' (the code name for Payne), but a later ground search was blocked by hostile activity.
Dear Sgt. Payne,

Welcome home brave soldier, you have been away for quite sometime. You don't know me, I was only 2 yrs old on that fateful day in December 1968. I want to thank you for proudly serving your country.

Your family has missed you. From the Mekong Delta to the DMZ, in Laos and Cambodia you and your veteran brothers served proudly with honor and valor. The war is over now, you may rest in peace now that you are home.

Please know that your veteran brothers never forgot you. They had Rally's, Tiger Cage walks, car shows, motorcycle runs, etc..... all to remember and work towards the return of soldiers like you that still need to come home.

You were welcomed home like the Hero that you are. Your fellow veteran brothers were welcomed home to crowds of protesters calling them horrible names, being spit on, being shunned by WWII veterans and were not allowed to join the VFW.

Many sold or removed their uniforms before coming back to the states. Unfortunately for some, in their minds, they are still fighting the war. I am sorry for the way our country treated you guys.

Our country failed all who served in country and when they came home. To help heal the scars of the war for our country and the veterans, in 1982 they made a 493.5' long, cold, black granite wall to remember you and your veteran brothers who paid the ultimate price.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated to the soldiers and not the war in which they fought. The "Wall" is a solemn and an awe inspiring sight. The sight of your fellow veteran brothers making peace with their ghosts and talking with fallen comrades is enough to make the hardest man weep.

You are now with your veteran brothers again, please let them know we are proud of them!

Thank You

Ralph King

Friday, December 29, 2006

Workers Rights or Abuse of OBWC?

Denial of on-job injury pay upheld
Stubborn teen gave up rights, top court rules
Thursday, December 28, 2006 Plain Dealer

Columbus -Bosses told him not to, but the 16-year-old fast-food worker tried to clean a pressure cooker by boiling water in it. And when co-workers warned him not to open the lid, he ignored them, too, releasing a powerful blast of scalding water that severely burned the teen and injured two other workers at the Dayton-area KFC restaurant three years ago.

The case of the teen who wouldn't listen sent a shock wave through the state's workers' compensation system Wednesday when the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the denial of job-injury payments to the teen while he recovered from his injuries.

Trial lawyers and two of the court's justices who dissented said they fear that the decision injects fault into what is supposed to be a blameless system for injured workers and their employers. "Workers' comp has always been a no-fault system," said Gary Plunkett, a Dayton lawyer who represented the teen. "The decision is surprising."

Plunkett said he and the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers intend to ask the court to reconsider.
The Supreme Court's decision said the sole issue before the justices was whether the Ohio Industrial Commission abused its discretion when it decided that David M. Gross voluntarily abandoned his job by repeatedly ignoring safety rules and instructions.

The court's decision called concerns about injecting issues of negligence and fault into workers comp claims "thought-provoking" but said the particular facts of the case weighed against further discussion of the issue.

Five of the court's seven justices agreed the Industrial Commission had not erred. Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton and Paul E. Pfeifer dissented. "If we conclude that this was a voluntary departure that precludes payment . . . I believe that this will place us on a slippery slope toward assessing fault in industrial accidents," Stratton wrote.

....Slippery Slope towards assessing fault? How about expecting people to act responsible and not expect to be rewarded for ignorance or negligence.....

Phil Fulton, a workers' comp lawyer who wrote a brief on behalf of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, in an interview said so-called "job abandonment" defenses were meant to protect employers from employees who were fired and then later claimed job-related injuries.
"If the reason you're not working is other than your injury, you're not entitled to workers' comp," Fulton said.

He said the Supreme Court's ruling changes the nature of the workers' compensation system, which was intended to avoid disputes over fault on the part of either the worker or employer. "If you get to argue fault in every case, why not get rid of workers' comp and go back to suing?" Fulton said. "I don't think the business community wants that either."


--- I think what the business community and residents of the of Ohio want the OBWC to act responsible like they did in this case. When an employee continually refuses to obey directions and willfully ignores safety precautions, he forfeits his rights for any care or benefits available from OBWC.

Not only did this idiot kid above harm himself, he put other employees and customers in danger and should be charged with a crime.

No-Fault seems like it stacks the deck against employers. No wonder we have tons of money being spent on false workers comp claims with this bleeding heart no-fault system! Thank God for conservative judges.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Saddam Hussein Death Sentence

Saddam Hussein on Trial WACO, Texas --

Saddam Hussein's death sentence is drawing mixed reactions around the world.The range of reactions reflects new geopolitical fault lines drawn after the U.S. decision to invade Iraq.The European Union welcomes the verdict. But the EU said Saddam should not be put to death. At the Vatican, Pope Benedict's top prelate for justice issues called the sentence a throwback to "eye for an eye" vengeance.

A respected Muslim cleric in Thailand calls the Saddam case "the problem of America and its domestic politics." He said "Maybe Bush will use this case to tell the voters that Saddam is dead and that the Americans are safe." But as he puts it, "actually the American people will be in more danger with the death of Saddam."


The US might make a martyr of Saddam Hussein
2006-11-08 18:02 Source :

Saddam Hussein has been demonised quite a bit by the media and he does deserve it, to a fair extent. But when his trial has been such a travesty of justice, does he now deserve the death sentence? Wouldn't life imprisonment have been better, especially since the Americans have hardly got Iraq under control to begin with and their former president's death at the hands of an occupying power could so easily set the country up in flames?

Financial Times, South Asia correspondent, Jo Johnson told CNBC-TV18, "I think the verdict may be just but the sentence is wrong and a big political mistake. No one disputes that Saddam was guilty of many of the crimes for which he was tried. I think the political mistake is that countries which are behind trying him are seeking to impose the death sentence on him."

"For eg. Britain opposes the death penalty at home and normally wouldn't extradite people to countries which have the death penalty - it does seem to be extraordinary that our foreign secretary seems to be endorsing the death penalty. Britain seems to be caught in a complete political quagmire of its own making. A life imprisonment would have been much more consistent with Britain's stand on the death sentence."

But Strategic Affairs editor from Indian Express, C Rajamohan feels that to expect amnesty is futile because "we are talking about the consequences of war and it is not the first time or the last time, when victors have delivered justice. Given the conditions that exist in Iraq today, and in the broader context of the Middle East - the point is that a dictator pays for his sins and it's a reasonable outcome out there."

"You can keep questioning the process but it won't take us very far because he (Saddam Hussein) is a divisive figure in Iraq. If the Sunnis or the Iranians had got their hands on him, they would have handed out their own justice. So, we've got to see this in the right perspective rather than be troubled by whether the highest level of western jurisprudence will be applied."

National Public radio, South Asia, Philip Reeves disagrees and explains, "I feel the issue here is the moral authority of the people who are now running Iraq, be it the US or the Iraqi government.
I think the task they have is to recover some moral authority, which they have lost over the last three years. And by applying the death penalty, they are missing the opportunity to show that they could have handled this differently, that they could have given him a life imprisonment and dealt with all his crimes and given the Iraqi people time for reconciliation."

Chief correspondent, South Asia, Al Arabiya, Walel Awwad feels that this sentence has made any ordinary American a target, anywhere in the world. He says, "I think counterproductive measures have been carried out by the American administration." But Reeves says that this would give rise to even more anger among the Sunnis and Saddam Hussein could become a martyr if executed.

Also there is the timing of the verdict. It's come just in time - right before the November elections in the US, and no one is surprised because it seemed like a foregone conclusion - that the judgment was delivered just in time to boost President George Bush's rating at the hustings.
So now, America seems to be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea and with no face-saving measure in sight to retreat with any amount of grace. --- Manali Rohinesh

--- Personally, I support the death penalty. There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam deserves the death penalty. I would have to disagree that his execution should be carried out within thirty days. To execute him before all his trials will be a BIG mistake!

The courts in which he was convicted were an international joke. By Iraqi law, his sentence will be carried out within thirty days and he will be tried in absentia for any future trials. Seems to me the Shiite dominated court is trying to exact revenge instead of justice.

I believe to execute him so quickly can have more negative results -- turning him into a martyr for the Sunnis, increase the insurgency, lend credence to thoughts that Iraqi government is just a pawn of the USA, and a vital opportunity may be passed up.

To have the USA ask that his execution be held off, can possibly serve us well. With the threat of a rope around his neck - We can try to turn Saddam into an "asset", show that Bush did not go to war with Iraq just to "get" Saddam because of Bush Sr, and get a larger return on our investment of playing both sides during the Iran/Iraq War, to name a few.

Simply put, offer Saddam a chance to save or extend his own life. I feel his public defiance will slowly be waning now that he knows there is a rope waiting for him. Utilized the right way, he can become a very effective tool.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Twas the Night before Surrender

Posted on: Right Angle at Human Events
by Robert B. Bluey — 12-22-2006 @ 01:08 PM

Catherine Moy, co-author of "American Mourning: The Intimate Story of Two Families Joined by War, Torn by Beliefs," has written an excellent poem dedicated to U.S. troops.

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the land, we argued about our troops in the faraway Sand. Our politicians grabbed pork with so little care, while our soldiers risked life, limb and soul over there.

Congress was nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of another win danced in their heads. Our soldiers dodged bombs, bullets and suicide freaks, while protesters hung their effigies on our streets.

Inside the Beltway there arose such a clatter, another Kennedy crashed a car, its window in shatters. The Capitol police flew like a flash, but the Kennedy’s just gave them some cold, hard green cash.

Thousands miles away, how could our soldiers know, that our support was more than just pomp, smiles and show? When, what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a half-baked report that made surrender clear.

What of Justin and Casey, once lively and strong, they’d given their lives, how could it be wrong? Patriots fought back, called the cowards by name, “Come from under your beds, have you no shame?”

“Now Murtha! Now Al Gore! Now Obama! Now Kerry! And your first woman speaker, oh, this could get hairy! Our soldiers stand strong as you cut off their funds, they leave behind their blood, as you cut, turn and run.

Stop where you are, Kennedy, get out of the booze, our colors don’t run, we can’t and won’t lose. Remember Sept. 11, and the radicals who pray, that they cut our throats and kill Santa’s great sleigh.

And now, as we look to the north for the miracle star, we get on our knees, and pray for peace here and far. We will not falter, if we stand all together, in cold desert nights, whatever the weather.

We love our men and women, so far from their home. This Christmas we pray for them, so they don’t feel alone. We will stand by them, as they drive the enemy from sight, then Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Unions Contributions

Senators consider limiting union gifts
From the Plain dealer;

Columbus — Racing to complete the legislative session, Republicans in the Ohio Senate offered changes to a campaign finance reform bill that would limit the contributions labor unions could make to political candidates.

Under the provision offered into House Bill 694, unions would be able to give only $2,000 to any political candidate for statewide or legislative office — down from $20,000 per election cycle they can now give.

The changes to the bill also include a similar provision establishing a $2,000 limit for individuals and companies seeking to do business with the state. As of midnight, the Ohio Senate was still meeting and had yet to officially vote on the language offered by State Sen. Jeff Jacobson, a Dayton-area Republican who serves as the second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate.

Tim Burga, director of government relations for the Ohio AFL-CIO, called the effort “déjà vu all over again,” referring to similar efforts launched by Republicans that are still tied up in the courts. He said Republicans were “once again trying to silence the voice of common, everyday working people.”

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans had managed to pass, by a 31-1 vote, a $1.8 billion capital budget bill laden with dozens of community projects and almost $700 million in school facilities money.

Also under consideration was legislation enacting the new voter-approved state minimum wage.

----- This is a HELL of a good idea! I am very PRO-Union and have always been considered a "Friend of Labor". The unions have gotten away from standing up for the common working man.

The unions will go protest at three steel workers homes, who HAD to cross the picket line to support their families, but not support the workers being forced out of work at Topp's.

Here is where we can insert the questions - Who do the unions care for more, dues paying members or politicians? Who do the union care for more, due paying members putting on Anti-War Rallys and paying for Cindy Sheehan to come to Cleveland?

As a young kid, I remember loading buses for the steel workers to go to Washington, DC during the Cleveland Bar Mill issue. When the unions "Fought for the dues paying members"!

Tom Burga needs to concentrate on the unions supporting the members and stop crying that they won't be allowed to give away dues money to candidates, while they allow workers to be kicked around.

I find it very ironic and sad that, here in the Cleveland area the unions have backed non "labor friendly" candidates. Will endorse an incumbent who does not support labor. And has backed candidates who did not even use union printers for their campaigns. So much for standing strong for union members!

The labor movement and labor was a very important period in our country. The unions are a very important institution and integral part of the strength of our country. They need to stand proud and get back to their roots and stop trying to be a political arm of the Democrat Party.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Is Santa Claus a Conservative

All I care is that I get COOOL presents!! But this is interesting............. King

Posted on; Riehl World View
I came across something worthwhile at Sweetness and Light tonight regarding Thomas Nast. Nast, credited with providing us with the traditional American image of Santa Clause, was clearly a dedicated Republican.
He also created our two most recognizable political images - the Republican Elephant, and the Democratic Donkey.

However, I bring it up not in the sense of politics, but more so in the sense of the Iraq War. One of Nast's more well-known works, pictured lower right, was called Compromise With The South - larger version here.

Thomas Nast was a Radical Republican, a liberal, progressive, nationalistic, and Protestant wing of the party. Nast was a fierce supporter for the Union cause who skillfully used allegory and melodrama in his art to support the cause he believed was just. "Compromise with the South," published in Harper's Weekly on September 3, 1864, shows Columbia weeping at the grave of "Union Heroes in a Useless War" as a weary Union amputee shakes the hand of a neatly groomed Southern soldier. The image is said to have brought Nast "instant fame" and was reprinted widely by the Republicans in their effort to have Lincoln re-elected.

Fascinating how history repeats itself and how our just and justifiable efforts in Iraq today could use their own Thomas Nast. Yet, in another sense he's been replaced by an army of bloggers, so one can't really argue time stands still.

Well, maybe it does here just a bit. Click the link to take a look at a wonderful collection of Nast's Christmas images - enjoy.

Muddling & Meddling in the Middle East

Sen. Kerry Urges Talks with Iran, Syria
Friday, December 15, 2006 -From Fox News

CAIRO, Egypt — Sen. John Kerry, on a Mideast tour taking him to Damascus for talks with President Bashar Assad, said Friday that the Bush administration's rejection of dialogue with Syria and Iran to try to calm Iraq is a mistake. -----
  • 2004 Presidential Loser Kerry also had this to say...

"Now that the Democrats are in control of Congress, we have an even larger responsibility to set a direction ... as a counterbalance to policies that have gotten us into trouble," he said. Kerry, who met Thursday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was heading to Jordan, then to Iraq. He visits Damascus early next week, where he will hold talks with Assad. He also planned stops in Lebanon, Israel and the West Bank in the nine-day tour.

Sen. Arlen Specter Planning Trip to Syria Despite Bush Objections
Friday, December 15, 2006 - From Fox News

WASHINGTON — Longtime Republican Senator Arlen Specter said he will visit Syria despite loud objections by the Bush administration, saying the situation in Iraq is so dire that it is time Congress step up to the plate and see what it can do. Specter, has been in the Senate for 26 years, said in an interview late Friday he is planning a trip to the Middle East that will include Israel and Syria.

Sen. Bill Nelson Meets With Syria's Assad in Damascus
Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - From Fox News

WASHINGTON — In a direct affront to the Bush administration, a Democratic senator spent an hour Wednesday with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, asking him to do more to stabilize Iraq. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, met with Assad after the State Department said that it disapproved of his trip. The United States has limited diplomatic ties with Syria because of its support of Hezbollah and Hamas, which the U.S. deems terrorist organizations, and President Bush has expressed reluctance to seek help from Damascus on Iraq until the Syrians curb that support and reduce their influence in Lebanon.

Obviously after sampling some "Poppy" from Afghanistan he continued --

Assad "clearly indicated a willingness to cooperate" in controlling its border with Iraq, Nelson told reporters in a conference call following the meeting. The U.S. says foreign fighters often enter Iraq across that boundary. Nelson said he reported the information to embassy officials and will brief his congressional committees on the trip. He said he expects Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., to also visit Syria.


Why is that some people just don't understand? We are definetly getting too many cooks in the kitchen! Syria, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq all have interests in seeing the United States fail in the Middle East and the War on Terror.

Now that the Iraq Study Group Report is complete, seems the War in Iraq and the War on Terror is going to get even MORE politicized!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tri-County Holiday Party

The Tri-County Holiday Party for Cuyahoga, Geauga & Lake County Republican Parties, was a smashing success!!! The volunteers and organizers for this event must of had some help from Santa Claus! They did a great job overcoming unexpected obstacles. Unfortunately, due to an illness in the family, Senator Hagel had to cancel at the last minute. Well, what a Christmas present we got - State Auditor elect Mary Taylor!

State Auditor elect Mary Taylor is going to be a rising and shining star in our party for many years to come. After listening to her speak, shows she truly understands how to make our party strong once again. Then of course we can't forgot our "Rock Star" in the Cuyahoga County GOP, State Representative elect Josh Mandel. These two individuals will become the new face needed for our party and will proudly lead us successfully into the future.

After short speeches by CCRP Chairman Rob Frost, LCRP Chairman Dale Fellows and GCRP Chairman Lou Mucci, the festivities began. As always the food at Villa Di Borally was excellent. Along with the usual appetizers, there was roast turkey and/or roast pork with a pork gravy on the side for the main dinner. With salad, pasta, garlic bread and a WHOLE bunch of other great food.

The holiday spirit was all through the room, with music playing, people laughing, drinking and dancing. Since I do not want to offend anybody by forgetting them, I can't even begin to name all the smiling faces. We can be sure there were old friendships renewed and new ones created. In all corners of the room people were having a great time. This is what the holiday spirit is all about!

Again, this was all possible because of the tireless efforts of a few on the behalf of many. To the volunteers and organizers of the Tri-County Holiday Party - Thank You!


527's & FEC Rulings

Having worked with the Swift Boat Veterans and POW's for Truth during the '04 elections, this is very upsetting to me. I was introduced to these groups by Paul Schiffer of The Schiffer Report and my friend, Ron Lisy. For the record, it was Paul Schiffer, who was instrumental in getting these groups thier initial exposure.

We worked together putting on several showings of the famously censored movie
"Stolon Honor" here in the Cuyahoga County area. Never once at these showings did any of these veterans tell anybody to "Vote for George Bush". These groups simply existed to make sure the American public was aware of the truth about John Kerry's traitorous actions against our soldiers and country during the Vietnam War. Evidence of this is the disgusting and fabricated lies of the "Winter Soldier Meeting" hosted by John Kerry in 1971.

Once again, these Swift Boat Veterans, Steve Gardner (PCF-44 Gunner / Sampan Incident), Dick Pease (PCF-3 Driver/ Rassmenn Incident - Bronze Star & Purple Heart No. 3), Mike Salburg (PCF-99 & PCF-57) and Ken Cordier (POW 12/2/66 - 3/4/73) from POW's for Truth, served thier country proudly! Thanks for coming to Cleveland!

FEC fines Swift Boat, MoveOn groups - UPI
Dec. 14, 2006 at 1:00PM

The Swift Boat Veterans and the Voter Fund have settled with the Federal Election Commission for political activities during the 2004 U.S. elections. In its ruling that the two organizations failed to register as political committees -- which have stricter fundraising rules -- the FEC fined the Swift Boat group $299,500 and Voter Fund $150,000.

The commission, in a release Wednesday, said the organizations violated election finance rules because they advocated the defeat of Democratic challenger John Kerry and Republican incumbent U.S. President George Bush, respectively. The organizations had 527 tax status, which limits contributions directed to political parties but allows unlimited contributions to groups that advocated issues.

Campaign finance watchdog organizations said the FEC's actions were not enough. "Effective enforcement of the campaign finance laws cannot be established through a case-by-case approach that resolves massive violations of campaign finance laws more than two years after a presidential election," officials of Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center said in a statement. The commission also fined two groups affiliated with the League of Conservation Voters for failing to register as political committees. Those fines totaled $180,000.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Words of Wisdom

Thoughts On The Election
I came across this quote attributed to Noah Webster, best known for his 1806 “A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language”. This speaks volumes about elections and leaders.

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.”
Hear, hear.

--If only voters would truly understand the powers and responsibility that comes with our DUTY to vote!