A few months ago, my family and I moved a little farther out into the country. We have a nice side yard and my kids love running around out there, but there is one big problem. I know that dealing with wildlife comes along with getting out of town. Even people in town have the occasional raccoon in the trash can, a flower eaten off the porch at night, or a jack-o-lantern gobbled down before Halloween. As crazy as it may sound, the deer in my neighborhood have taken things to an entirely different level; they are in my yard all the time. The fence does nothing to stop them, they're not scared of people and you have to get close enough to touch them before they will move. Now, I don't want to seem like I'm complaining too much because the deer are cute and they sure are quiet. My cousin in Alaska has to carry a rifle with him when he goes for a walk because of grizzly bears, so I could have it a lot worse. The only problem is the mess. I need at least a 30 minute of notice before the wiffle ball game starts so I can walk around the yard with a shovel, cleaning up after the extended-deer-family trespassing on the property. In the summer, my daughter likes to run around outside barefoot and it's like dodging landmines.
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Those of you who have known me for more than a few years have undoubtedly been exposed to what my wife likes to call "one of my political rants." She swears that she can tell when I am making a political post to my Facebook page simply by watching how I hit the keys when I am typing. I suppose that is the result of my frustration with what the political process--one that I will be entering in a few months--has become.
No one will dispute the fact that the process has undergone dramatic changes in the past few decades. There was a time when courtesy, dignity and compromise ruled the day, but those days are long gone, having been replaced by hostility, partisan rhetoric and gridlock. Public confidence in our leaders is at an all-time low, and it seems as if the only thing coming out of Washington these days is more of the same regurgitated garbage telling us why everything we are unhappy about is the other guy's fault. To make matters even worse, while our political leaders sit in their offices trying to come up with newer and better ways to attack one another, "we the people" sit back and point the finger of blame back at them. "Corrupt politicians. The only thing they are concerned about is getting re-elected. They're all in somebody's pocket." It's a vicious cycle that some are convinced is unbreakable. While it is certainly more comfortable for us to place the blame for an increasingly dysfunctional system at the feet of someone else, I would like to make a suggestion that, while uncomfortable, I believe is a much more accurate conclusion. I believe we have no one to blame but ourselves.
This past February, Ray Rice beat his fiancée until she was unconscious in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. The video of that incident, which is widely available on the internet, is shocking and disgusting. Despite the horrific and unacceptable nature of Mr. Rice's deliberate and intentional acts, the NFL suspended him for just two games; a mere slap on the wrist. For a league that is so image obsessed, this decision is baffling. There is never any excuse for violence against women. Ray Rice holds himself out as an NFL tough guy, an image the NFL itself is happy to promote. Now here that tough guy is, doing one of the most cowardly things I can imagine. What message is the NFL sending to its fans when it basically condones such activity?
The weekend that Ohio Valley football enthusiasts look forward to all summer is finally here. Yes, the OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Charity Football Classic and all its exciting festivities have arrived once again. While I love football just as much as the next guy, Sunday night's Ohio vs. West Virginia matchup (O-H!) isn't what I'm most looking forward to. No, my sights are keenly set on this evening's Queen of Queens competition as 25 young women vie for the 2014 crown and title. Why am I so interested, you ask? My little sister, Halli, is one of the 25.
I may be biased, but Halli is without a doubt one of the best people I've ever known. She is more calm and level-headed than every other member of our family combined and we are all thankful for the lessons and advice she never seems to runs out of. Her faith in the Lord and all He has in store for her is unfaltering and unwavering and perhaps what I admire most about her. It's remarkable how much my family and I look up to someone so much smaller than us.
This spring, I was fortunate enough to be hired as the Communications and Philanthropy summer intern at Bordas & Bordas. Each week is a new adventure, and I can honestly say that I have been so busy with a variety of different tasks that it seems impossible to become bored. My first few weeks here were a bit overwhelming, especially after meeting the large, but very friendly staff. I learned so many different names that I almost felt the need to make flash cards to study so I would know who everyone was. Since I didn't really get the chance to chat and get to know many of my co-workers, I think it would be appropriate if I let everyone know a little about my past.
I am a Shadyside High School 2011 Alum, and will be heading into my senior year at West Liberty University in August. I am a public relations major and marketing minor, which has opened up many doors of opportunity for me. Although I have worked hard to get where I am thus far, I have to give some credit to the little jobs that have taught me to have a strong work ethic from the beginning.
We still do not have all of the details surrounding what happened to the Malaysian Airline's flight that was shot down over the Ukraine border last week. It seems clear enough, however, that the plane was brought down by a military-grade surface-to-air missile and that the plane, carrying hundreds of innocent civilians, was hit while cruising at over 30,000 feet.
I served in the United States Army as a Field Artillery Officer and it was part of my job to direct fire, including rocket and missile fire if need be. Regardless of the circumstances, I had an obligation to do what I could to verify the identity of any target I meant to destroy. Assuming what happened over Ukraine last week wasn't a deliberate act of terrorism, and at the very least, whichever entity fired the missile failed to verify that they were shooting at a legitimate combat aircraft instead of a civilian airliner. Due to the previous statement, fault for this catastrophe lies exclusively at the feet of whomever fired the missile and any command and control system that authorized the shot.
The news recently broke that Valley Pain Management in McMechen, West Virginia has been reusing needles and using the same vial of medicine or saline on more than one patient. Even those who use intravenous drugs know that the first rule of "shooting up" is to always use a new needle. So how could medically trained professionals fail to follow this simple rule?
Valley Pain Management is run by Dr. Roland Chalifoux, a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Chalifoux practiced in Texas until his license was revoked because of his substandard treatment of patients. He was originally brought up on charges of providing substandard care to thirteen patients. The Board found that the care was bad enough in three of those cases to revoke his license.
For those of you that received an AARP bulletin/newspaper, you will note in the July-August 2014 edition that there was a special report on antipsychotics in nursing homes. This article, written by Jan Goodwin, discusses a case involving Patricia Thomas, who went to a California nursing home with a broken pelvis. The only prescriptions that she had used were for blood pressure and cholesterol, and she had an inhaler for a pulmonary disease. By the time she was discharged 18 days later, her daughter claims she wasn't her mother anymore. She was withdrawn, slumped in a wheelchair, head down, chewing on her hand, and her speech was garbled. Within a week, she was dead. She ultimately filed suit against the nursing home, and a representative for AARP learned of the suit and wrote the special report.
AARP quoted Charlene Harington, a professor of nursing and sociology at the University of California San Francisco, who stated that as many as 1 in 5 patients in the nation's 15,500 nursing homes are given antipsychotic drugs that are not only unnecessary, but also extremely dangerous for older patients. She continued to say that the problem stems from inadequate training and chronic understaffing, as well as an aggressive push by pharmaceutical companies to market their products.