In the last Cheers and Jeers, I quoted Jesse Jackson who said that he hopes there is a special place in Hell for the four people who had desecrated graves in a Chicago-area cemetery to make $300,000 in a scheme to resell the gravesites. Well, Hell is going to be a busier-than-usual place. Seven additional spaces are needed for the men from the panhandle of Florida who killed Byrd and Melanie Billings in a home invasion robbery.
Byrd and Melanie Billings
According to local police chief, David Morgan, the men had been planning and practicing for a month prior to committing the crime. There is no doubt the men could have entered the house, tied-up the couple, and taken the safe they stole, without killing the couple in their sleep. The Billings were very special people who had adopted 12 special-needs children, some with disabilities and others who have had trouble with the law. They also had four natural children, two each from previous marriages. There aren’t very many people who would be willing to adopt that many children with special-needs, not even one. So while their death is senseless anyway, it is compounded by their devotion to these children. And on top of all of this, three of the children saw the men, so how scarred are they by this event. As a rule, children with special-needs are sensitive in nature, so there is no telling how much of an impact this may have on them, and they may not be able to communicate that. Generally, I’m a pretty calm, rational man, but I can’t express in words what I feel for these men, otherwise I might get arrested myself for vulgarity. But I don’t think I’m alone. The impact from this is not just local, but national in scope. I will say this, I’m not too sure Hell isn’t too good for these men. As for me I am deeply touched by this event. (See Cheers below)
There are some things that change that should for reasons stay the same. On Thursday the Sears Tower in Chicago was renamed the Willis Tower. UGH! Even though Sears hasn’t occupied any of the space in the building since the 1990s the building has been known to the World as Sears Tower for the last 36 years.
Photo by Business Wire
The City of Gatlinburg had something similar happen. One of the main thoroughfares in town is called Airport Road, even though there is no airport located on it. People were calling hotels on Airport Road to make reservations but deciding not to stay because they didn’t want the noise of being near an airport. Hoteliers would explain that it was the name of the street and there is no airport nearby. There were complaints made to the City Commission, so the name was changed to Historic Nature Trail. Local businesses were forced to change their addresses, but locals and long-time tourists still called it Airport Road. The name Historic Nature Trail didn’t last long, but the City Commission instead of reverting back to the old name renamed it once again to Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road. Hmmmmm…
It is very likely that very few people will call the Chicago skyscraper Willis Tower. I will always know it as Sears Tower and I am sure millions of others will too. Let’s make a law…once named…named forever.
Will America ever be able to resolve the health care issue? Based on the program promoted by the Obama administration the cost would be over $1 trillion over ten years. Allegedly, the program would cover 95% or more of the public. Currently 50 million people lack coverage, and under the offered coverage, 15 to 20 million would still lack coverage at the end of the decade. Plans being worked on by Congress would subsidize fewer moderate-income families, increase Medicaid costs to the states, and prevent workers from leaving their employer-provided plans unless they leave the company.
While proponents of government health care programs point to Canada and the UK as how well a system like this works, there are inevitably horror stories about negligence and long waits for care. There are still too many details to be worked out including funding options, and who gets care and how.
One question that arises in my mind that is not being addressed, would one economic level take advantage of the program, at the expense of others? Are there alternative ideas and options yet undiscovered that would find a more balanced way of doing it? While the President wants votes passed in Congress before their August recess, I think this is one time we need to slow down, look at different plans and options before we make a huge costly mistake that will wind up being nothing more than a boondoggle. Mr. Obama, I agree this is a pressing issue, but what difference would a couple of months make in order to find a compromise that will work better and more efficiently for not just the government, but the people as well.
A big cheer goes out to the family members of the Byrd and Melanie Billings for taking in the 12 special-needs children, and not throwing them back into the system where they came from. Adopting any child is one challenge, but caring for children with special-needs is quite another. I am sure the children have been and probably will continue to be, split up amongst various family members. And I am almost certain these people know how much these kids need to see each other frequently, because for them, sense of family is very real. God bless each and every one of these people and families. I am sure there will be a special place in Heaven for all of them. A trust fund has been set up, and donations are being sought, to help with the needs of the children.
No you’re not dreaming. Depending on where you live, those are bells you hear, Christmas bells. Due the state of the economy the Salvation Army has hundreds of employees and thousands of volunteers out on the street across America with the red kettles and the bells trying to raise money to help those in need. Aid is in great demand, greater than it has been for decades. The Salvation Army proudly states, and rightfully so, that 81 cents of every dollar raised goes to help those who need it the most. That is an outstanding record. The Better Business Bureau states that a charity is worthy of consideration for donations if the nonprofit uses 64% or more of their receipts for programs.
At 81% the Salvation Army has got to be near the top of the list of worthy charities. Forget going out to dinner this week and write a check for the amount you would spend to the Salvation Army. Don’t forget to send the amount of the tip as well.
Like Sen. Graham (R-NC) said the first day of the confirmation hearings, if Judge Sonja Sotomayor doesn’t have a meltdown, she more than likely will become the next Justice of the Supreme Court. At first I wasn’t too sure about her, but after reading about her record, watching on television how well she has handled the confirmation committee, and seeing her coolness, and directness, I feel she would make a good Justice. However, just as the Democrats did with John Roberts, the Republicans will cast a revenge vote just to get back. To me that’s not what politics should be about. It has become a silly game of tit-for-tat, rather than casting votes that are in the best interest of the public. Oh, well…
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