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Posts Tagged ‘safety’

        Did you ever stop to think about the ways in which a driver can be impaired?  I mean besides the obvious impairment of drinking or drugging, and then driving?  I read a very sad news story recently about an elderly driver who ran a stop sign and killed another person.  That elderly man has recently had to go before the court on charges of killing another human being.

         Did that driver intentionally kill the other person; no, he did not.  However, it is alleged that because of his age…his driving skill was impaired.  It is said that his reaction time was greatly diminished and he should never have been driving.  This man is in his 90’s and will possibly, upon sentencing…be serving time in jail.  He didn’t mean to cause the death…but still, someone else’s loved one died. 

          It is a fine line in knowing when a persons driving is impaired because of age, disability, irresponsibility, or illness.  I think about all of the young men and women who have physical or mental disability who see their peers hitting the milestone of turning 16 and getting their driver’s licenses.  I know their heart aches to do the same. 

          It is up to the parents to decide when and if their child is able to drive and make appropriate choices when doing so; whether that child is disabled or not.  If they are disabled physically, emotionally, or mentally; and, it will impair their driving skill…it is up to the parents to withhold the priviledge of driving.  It is hard to deny them that priviledge but sometimes necessary.  It is better to have them dissappointed or angry than to have them dead or causing the death of another person.

           The same holds true when it comes to being the adult child of a parent who is past the ability to drive safely.  No one really wants to give up their freedom to drive when they have done so throughout their adult years…but, when an elderly person has gotten to the point to where their driving skills are in question…it usually falls to the adult child to have a discussion about giving up the right to drive.  Maybe there is a medical condition that causes concern…or a medication that hinders safe driving.  Precautions must be taken for everyone’s sake.  This is a delicate subject; care must be given to not treat the person as a child.  Alternatives have to be considered for how that elderly person is going to come and go in their everyday lives.  Think about how they feel…get their input on how to resolve the situation. 

            That is not an easy conversation to have with an elderly parent.  It is not an easy conversation to have with a child who has disabilities.  It is not an easy conversation to have with anyone who is impaired by anything that affects the drivers safety or the safety of others on the road…yet, it is a conversation that must take place if you care about that person.

             Back to the elderly person in the news who now bears the responsibility of having taken a life with his driving.  The picture of that man in the police booking photo would break your heart.  It is the picture of a broken man.  It is terribly sad to look at that photo and put anyone that you care about in that picture frame.  It is sadder yet for the person who lost a loved one to such a situation. 

             Please take the time to evaluation the decision to allow the people you care about to drive.  If your teen wants to drive but makes reckless decisions…wait a while longer until they prove more responsible.  They might be angry…but at least they wont be in the position of that elderly man.  If your disabled loved one is not ready to drive…don’t let them just because they are of age.  It is a burden they might not be ready for.  If you know someone who is consummed with road rage…talk to them about not driving.  If you know someone who is constantly distracted on the road…they should not be driving.  If your aged love one is past the age of safe driving; and, is making mistakes on the road…have that conversation with them in a caring way.  Respect them…but, be sure to explain your concerns.  Take their feelings into account and think about how you want to be treated in the same situation when the time comes.

           It is hard…but, if you know that accidents are happening that shouldn’t; and, you don’t do or say anything to them…and something horrible happens…can you live with the consequences of death or jail time that will affect that person? 

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         A very sad news story this past week has brought to mind how important it is to have integrity in all that you do.  Thousands have been made sick in China due to the greediness of milk producers who added the chemical melamine to the raw milk used to produce milk, yogurt, and baby formula.

         Adding the chemical to the raw milk used to produce the powdered baby formula appeared to fool the quality checks as to the content of the milk.  This chemical can cause kidney stones, irritation to the eyes and to the skin, and it can also cause ulcers in the urinary tract of the individuals who ingest the tainted dairy products.  There have been over 4 deaths to babies and well over 6,000 are ill from the effects. 

           These concerns are in the short term…what about long term effects?  What about people who will discover health problems down the line from kidney stone formation or other effects?  China’s population has been devastated in the past year by the severe earthquake, flooding from the after affects of the earthquake, the collapse of schools during the earthquake; and now this tainted milk disaster.   The future impact on China remains to be seen from all of these losses. 

           Parents have a right to be angry and fearful for the well-being of their children.  Adults are being advised that drinking 2 liters of milk a day or less will not produce ill affects in healthy adults.

           We used to talk about the milk of human kindness…lately, we seem to see more of the greediness in individuals; and, it isn’t limited to China.  People need to exhibit integrity in their day- to- day actions; and, realize that what they choose to do affects others around them.  There have been arrests in this recent disaster relating to the tainting of the milk.  Those involved in the decision to add the chemical could actually face the death sentence for the choices that they have made. 

            In the meantime, the tainted products have been pulled from the shelves in China…but, some of the products have been exported to other countries.  It is imperative to check the labels of any products that used milk products, that have come from China, at this time for the safety and well-being of those who would consume the products purchased.

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        It is time to get out of the way, now!  Don’t wait…find a way to get to safety.  Don’t try to stay to protect your possessions…nothing that can be replaced is worth dying for.  There is a new hurricane threat to the coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico.  The hurricane named Gustav, is at the moment a category 4 with winds around 150 miles an hour.  It has been pounding Cuba and it is gaining in strength.

         Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin is calling it the storm of the century.  This is frightening…because hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans.  People need to get out of the area now.  There has been a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans ordered by the mayor. 

         To enable the flow of traffic out of the city…the highway is directing all of the lanes of traffic to head away from the coast.  There will be no traffic allowed to travel into the city starting at 4 am Sunday.  Predictions are that the hurricane will become a category 5 by tomorrow.  This is the type of storm no one should stick around to witness.  It is the kind of storm that nightmares are made up of.

          With hurricane Katrina…many people tried to stay and ride out the storm.  The mayor of New Orleans is advising against that…because they will be running the city with a skeleton crew of emergency responders.  There will be no one to help once the storm hits. 

           Remembering the disaster of Katrina…I feel for all of the people of the Gulf.  May God protect them and their homes.  Fear, loss, and depression still lingers from the effects of Katrina.  It is such a terrifying thing to not know what to do or where to go.   It was being reported that some gas stations along the main highways were running out of gasoline to help the people being evacuated out of the area.  We need to pray for everyone who is being affected by this hurricane season.

           Where the Gustav will land is not known at this time…Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and parts of Texas are all under a hurricane watch.  To find out the latest on hurrican Gustav click on the site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here: http://www.noaa.gov/

          

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       Labor Day is celebrated traditionally on the first Monday in September every year in the United States.  The original idea came about in 1882; it is a bit of a controversy who came up with the idea but most agree it is one of these two men, Peter J. McGuire a carpenter or Matthew Maguire a machinist brought the idea to the American forefront.  The reasoning behind a Labor Day was to celebrate the men and women in this country who work so hard to contribute to the infrastructure of our country by the manual labor and the sweat of their brows.  This Day is to honor them by giving them a day off from work and to recognize all that they do for their families, their employers, and their communities.

        It has become a national holiday, that over the years …the reason for the celebration has been diluted by the activities surrounding it.  There are picnics, festivals,tele-thons, fireworks, cookouts, parties and get-togethers…all of which are wonderful.  However, the reason for the Labor Day needs to once again be brought to the forefront; as people work harder than ever to build businesses, products, and services…but, seemingly the American Worker gets farther and farther behind in their earnings and their savings.

         Today, it was announced in the news that personal incomes dropped by 0.7% in the month of July alone…this is the most noteable drop in income, in over three years.  This comes as a disappointment as the government had issued those tax incentive rebate checks that were supposed to stimulate the economy.  It just goes to show that the fine balancing act that is the American economy, is more than just a little off kilter.

          The American worker works longer hours, and has more financial burdens than they need; and, are saving less than ever before.  The uncertainity of job security hangs over everyone’s heads as corporations and businessess outsource work to citizens from other countries, or outright move their businesses overseas to save money.  It costs more to do business now just as it costs workers more to exist. 

            The cost of living seems to be raising the stakes as workers struggle with rising gasoline, food prices, health care, education costs, home heating fuel and fluctuating mortgage payments, foreclosures, and bank failures. 

            Business companies and workers alike need to come back to the idea of the solid  American work ethic and the celebratory rewards from their employers for loyalty of service to their employees by investing back in the American economy.   CEOs and Administrators need to stop demanding and expecting so many perks and rally up behind some sacrifices that pump some new lifeblood into the network of reliable work histories of the American people.  Workers need to work hard to build up the assets of their employers.  We can learn alot from our forebearers in how they earned, saved, and how this country was built from the ground up.  The American worker who went before, often worked in unsafe working conditions. 

              We have come a long way in making working conditions safer due to labor unions and the worker creating an awareness about those issues, as well as child labor laws.  We can learn from both the good and the bad.  People who work hard and are reliable and trustwory as well as dependable; should be rewarded with job security, appropriate income, and benefits.  Companies who value their workers and develop stability should be praised and encouraged.  Together they are what this country needs to get the balance back where it needs to be.  We need to encourage more teamwork between employers and employees.

               So this weekend, as you celebrate your well earned time off to spend with your friends and family with a variety of R & R…let’s keep our priorities straight.  Celebrate and honor the traditions of those who came before and helped to trailblaize for the American worker of today; when you work…work hard and give your best quality.  Companies…if you have workers who don’t do their jobs and don’t give of the appropriate level of work…let them go…there are plenty of workers out there who will. 

                America has become a bit off balance.  There are those who work hard and are proud to do so…and there are slackers who are proud to be slackers.  There are companies who struggle to provide good products, and services who honor their workers with appropriate rewards and there are companies who don’t.  Unions sometimes will get behind a worker who shouldn’t necessarily be backed up if they are in the wrong.  There are occasions where it is hard for a company to dismiss a worker who isn’t working up to the appropriate standard of employment…don’t back up the worker who is in the wrong…it costs the company money, it costs the laborers in morale and it takes jobs away from workers who really want to work and would work hard for what they earn. 

                The next American President needs to create more opportunities for workers to have jobs and not just in the large metropolitan areas…there are plenty of potential employees who live in the suburbs and in the country areas who need good paying jobs.  We need to teach our young people how to work, how to take pride in a job well done and how to respect those in authority over them so that they learn how to be a good employee.  Maybe the next American President could take a page out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy and create something like the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps which created an environment of employment, did amazing things for our environment, provided for families, and built a generation of dedicated hard working individuals who gave something meaningful to their country and their communities.  That would be amazing!

                We want to celebrate the best of the best.  Whether you are an executive, a laborer, a clerk, a stock person,a doctor, professor, janitor, or a truck driver, etc…it doesn’t matter, it is about the quality of person that you are; your integrity, and the willingness you have to earn what you are paid for. So what does Labor Day mean to our country today?  It could very well mean the difference between building up our economy or the total collapse of the very infrastructure that this country was founded on.  Buy American… Happy Labor Day weekend!

           

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       A week ago we were all horrified to learn of a young 22 year old man who was stabbed to death while he slept on a greyhoud bus that was traveling through Canada.  This young man did nothing wrong and yet, he was vicously stabbed over and over again; and then, sorry for having to say this…was beheaded by his attacker.  The attacker, Vince Weiguang Li, then ate parts of the body.  That is a violation of mind, body and spirit and is hard to understand how someone could act so normal and be so unbalanced.

         As all of this was happening, the other bus occupants left the bus for their safety.  An officer reported seeing some of the horrifying actions of Vince Li.  He was arrested and has gone before a judge who asked him if he wanted a lawyer.  He supposedly shook his head and said, “Please Kill Me”.

          Killing him would be all too easy.  Yes, I am sure there are many who wish that to be his punnishment.  Even if that is the end result, it is not going to be that easy.  There will be a process for Li that takes time.  You don’t request death and it is done instantly through legal proceedings.  It is not going to be that easy for Li.  He will have a long time to relive the horror that he perpetrated.  Over and over again, he will be tortured by memories of what he did.  (more…)

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        A family from Israel made news over night by leaving their three year old at the airport.  Remember the old movie, Home Alone, where the parents are bustling around trying to catch an airplane with all of their children and belongings?  Well, this case seems to mimic the movie to a degree.

         The family was running behind trying to catch a plane to Paris for a vacation.  The parents and their five children were hustling, they made it…well, most of them anyway.   Eighteen pieces of luggage and four of the five children boarded with the parents; the fifth child was left behind without the parents realizing it.  She had to be full of fear.  A little over half of an hour into their flight they were informed by an airline employee that they left their three year old daughter at the Ben Gurion airport in Israel. 

         I can’t begin to imagine the terror of that.  Anytime i leave home for an extended period of time…i torture myself going over the thousands of things that i imagine that  have been forgotten!  Their daughter was found by a policeman; but, it was too late…the parents and siblings had left on the plane.

       The family reunited when an airline employee and the child took another plane to Paris.  No doubt that when they return the family members will be questioned about the incident…they could even face charges of neglect or abandonment. As long as it was an accident and not a purposeful child endangerment; hopefully, further trauma will be avoided by not pressing charges. Thank God the child is safe.  I would imagine that when they fly home they will have some sort of safety, buddy system procedure in place to prevent another terribly scary incident.

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         Can this story end on a positive note, please?  I am tired of hearing of these poor children who are taken by a parent and something really horrible happens to them; or, they just disappear.  All over the news this week we have heard about a man who took his seven year old daughter by force, from a supervised visit.

        The man’s name, you ask?  Well, i wish I could tell you for sure.  He has many names from the sound of it.  He has used the alias’ of Clark Rock, Clark Rockefeller, among other names.  He has allegedly implied that he was related to the Nelson Rockefeller line.  He appears to have been living the golden life of priviledge; now he is just a ghost.  He and his wife Sandra Boss divorced and she had custody…he got supervised visitation.  He allegedly assaulted and injured the social worker who supervised the visit; and, he took the child.  He has escaped, and the authorities have issued a federal kidnapping warrant for his arrest.  (more…)

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        With recent terrorist attacks on civilians in China; and, a video promising more of the same, up to and during the Olympics; you have to wonder…are the Olympics in Beijing, China safe to attend?  Will the threat of terrorist attacks weaken the support for the games?

         There have been attacks on buses and on a plastics factory, allegedly by the Turkistan Islamic Party…they have claimed to be responsible for the recent attack of the bus bombings.  They are promising to attack Chinese cities by “means that have never been employed” before.  With the whole world watching, the temptation to use violence and fear, to control large numbers of people who would go to support the Olympic games, appears to be irresistible.  The threats must be taken very seriously. (more…)

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      Once again the news has been covering a recent trend of crimes regarding an obsession with what lies within; another woman has been found dead after having her baby cut out of her womb.  This scenerio has been happening all too frequently over the last decade or so…women being killed for the babies that they carry inside of their wombs.  It leaves a terrible legacy of emotional difficulties for family and friends not to mention the child; if it miraculously survives the amateur delivery.

          In many of the cases, the women who do the killing have had an obsession with having a baby or being pregnant; often they have tricked those closest to them into believing they are pregnant and about to deliver.  Then, after they have stolen an infant, they try to pass it off as their own birth child.  (more…)

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        Senator John Warner has asked Samuel Bodman the Energy Secretary to review information that would reveal what the ideal speed limit would be that would allow the most efficient use of gasoline in our vehicles today.  With gasoline prices topping $4.15 cents a gallon around the country the timing couldn’t be better to encourage changes in the way that we drive.

         Many Americans have already started to alter aimless driving habits.  I see nothing wrong with that…we all could do better in planning where we go and what we do while we are out and about.  Some people are in denial about the severity of the situation regarding supply and demand as well as all of the damage to our planet that our carelessness has brought.  

         Would the general population get behind a national drive 55 speed limit?  I think it is going to take some convincing as it will be viewed by many as an inconvience after being legally allowed to drive up to 70 mph on some highways.  After all, it will take longer to get where they are going.  I think more people would be willing to do it if they felt that the automakers were doing more to ensure that we were getting more miles to the gallon by the way that they factory set the computers on our vehicles to use the gasoline we spend our hard earned dollars on. (more…)

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