Local News Since 1890 Now Online!

Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

What was the “crucible event” that changed your life?

In Opinion, psychology, Religion, sociology, Uncategorized on October 30, 2013 at 9:15 am

DEER IN HEADLINES

By Gery L. Deer

GDEERDIH3Some people believe one is destined to become whatever is predetermined by their god, with all of life’s events planned in advance by some divine manifest destiny. For others, that destiny is in a constant state of change, altered by the ebb and flow of cause and effect, guided not by the hand of a supreme being but by our own choices.

Generally, however, there are some events in life that we can pinpoint as our time of transformation; a crucible, if you will. Within it, parts of us are burned away leaving a changed, newly-formed person, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.

Divorce, extended health problems, the loss of a home, personal income or a job, can all bring about emotions and primal reactions for which we are rarely well prepared. Perhaps the most powerful events that permanently change us are related to the death of someone close such as a family member, mentor or good friend.

For many the death of a loved one can be a crucible, forcing to the surface thoughts and emotions perhaps long buried, or never before experienced. How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life, but we seldom take that concept to heart.

Even as a topic of conversation, death is to be avoided. Its unmistakable finality has so marked humanity that coping with the end of life has served as a catalyst for the formation of enduring religious beliefs, some of which comfort, others frighten.

What may be surprising is that a ‘crucible event’ does not necessarily have to be a negative or unhappy experience. The same kinds of life-changing occurrence can come from positive influences as well such as the birth of a child, a marriage or sudden financial windfall.

The events themselves, however, aren’t what change us; we do that on our own. Most people don’t realize they have the power, for the most part, to alter how they react to outside influence. Feelings are generated by thoughts, so if we control our thoughts, we can better manage our feelings and make more productive decisions during difficult times. That’s a tall order though when it feels like the world is collapsing around you.

I’ve had many challenges in life, from an early age, but the most influential times were during my mother’s long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. The role reversal (the child becomes the parent), watching helplessly as the illness ravaged her mind and body, and helping to do everything from administer medication to hand-feeding her took a toll on me emotionally that I probably have yet to fully realize. But it did change me; in ways I can’t even imagine yet.

I look at the world a little differently now, having experienced for myself, largely for the first time, the fragility of life. But it was the experience of caring for my mom over the course of a couple of years that slowly burned away layers of my rigid exterior, making me “feel” more than I had previously been accustomed.

It’s really what we do with those feelings that make the difference in the long run. While an experience like I had with my mother could have left me bitter and resentful, I ended up taking to heart a more positive side and a greater appreciation for my family as a whole. Others aren’t so lucky.

Many people emerge from crucible events in a much darker place, filled with resentment or guilt or other emotions that eat away at their core, keeping them from seeing the good that came out of whatever had happened. And, there is always some good – sometimes it’s just very hard to see. Either way, we are changed, different, but it’s up to each of us to decide how those events ultimately affect our lives.

 

Watch independent columnist Gery L. Deer monthly on WDTN-TV2’s Living Dayton. More at http://www.gerydeer.com.

Advertisements

Author celebrates first anniversary of children’s book with reading November 2

In Books, Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, Literature, Local News, Print Media, sociology, Uncategorized on October 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm
Author Teasha Seitz, "Little Leah Lou and her Pink Tu"

Author Teasha Seitz, “Little Leah Lou and her Pink Tu”

XENIA, OH – Author Teasha Seitz is a Miami Valley native who has always enjoyed sharing and discovering stories with children. Her stories entertain, enlighten, and encourage young readers to explore their own world and discover who they are. Her first children’s book “Little Leah Lou and Her Pink Tu,” was released last year (ISBN 0985662506).

To help celebrate the book’s first anniversary, Blue Jacket Books in Xenia is hosting a reading and signing event beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 2. The author will read from her book and the store will have free printed activities for children to do as well.

Illustrated by Jean Ditslear, “Little Leah Lou and Her Pink Tu” tells the story of Little Leah Lou, who loved to wear her pink tutu. She wore it everywhere she went and pretended to be a princess. But when she wore it to the zoo she encountered a giraffe with the munchies and Little Leah Lou was left with just half a tutu. Her tutu was ruined! Could this mean she’s no longer a princess? Little Leah Lou was shocked, but not for long. Her solution to the tutu tragedy will not only surprise and amuse readers; it will win her the admiration of one of the zoo’s flashiest residents.

In addition to copies of “Leah Lou” at a dollar off the cover price, children’s tutus will also be available for purchase as a “package” with the books. Blue Jacket Books is located at 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia, Ohio. For more information call the store at (937) 376-3522 or go online to http://www.teashaseitz.com.

Little-Leah-Lou-and-Her-Pink-Tu-Seitz

Referral marketing organization to hold visitors day November 14

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, News Media, Uncategorized on October 24, 2013 at 7:00 am

097DAYTON, OH – The Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter of Business Network International (BNI), will hold a visitors day event from 7:30 am to 9:30 am on Thursday, November 14, at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Avenue in Dayton. The free, no-obligation networking event is open to all entrepreneurs, business managers and sales professionals in the Dayton/Miami Valley region.

The Greater Dayton Professionals BNI Chapter is one of the oldest of 23 in the Miami Valley region. Founded in 1985 by professional networking guru Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI has more than 6,400 chapters world-wide.  According to the leadership team of the Greater Dayton Professionals chapter, BNI’s purpose is to help members create a wide-reaching, profitable referral network free of internal competition, something unavailable from chamber organizations or service clubs.

Along with the open networking opportunity, each participant will have the chance to introduce themselves to the group and give a one-minute sales presentation. Many of the Greater Dayton Professionals BNI members will feature table displays and there will be a special presentation on referral-based marketing by BNI Executive Director Darrel Bender.

Gery L. Deer, of GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing, is the vice president and public relations coordinator for the chapter. “We are interested in meeting highly motivated, professional business leaders who want to increase their sales as much as 30-percent from referral marketing,” Deer says. “This event provides our visitors with the opportunity to observe the process first-hand and see the success achieved by our members.” He also added that so far in 2013, his chapter has passed between them nearly a half-million dollars in closed business.

Using the organizational philosophy called “Givers Gain” members trade in fully-qualified, outside referrals rather than open-ended, unchecked leads. “In order to pass a referral to another member of our chapter, the giver is required to have already communicated with the subject beforehand,” Deer explains. “Qualifying the referral in this way before passing it, rather than giving random leads is what separates BNI from other organizations and nearly assures a closed sale.”

At present, the Greater Dayton Professionals BNI Chapter is looking for applicants to fill a host of classifications including mortgage broker, banker, health insurance provider, property title agency and more.  Visitors to the chapter are encouraged to bring plenty of business cards and invite others to accompany them to the event.

A brief visitor orientation will be held immediately following the business meeting. For more information go online to http://www.greaterdaytonpros.com or contact chapter public relations coordinator, Gery L. Deer, at (937) 902-4857 or email gdeer@gldenterprises.net.

Vanessa Freeman interviews GDP-BNI VP Gery Deer and President Justine Kangas about upcoming visitors day. http://www.wdtn.com/living-dayton/business-network-international

Vanessa Freeman interviews GDP-BNI VP Gery Deer and President Justine Kangas about upcoming visitors day. 

Editor’s Note: Click to view the  LIVING DAYTON interview with Greater Dayton Professionals Chapter President Justine Kangas, of Manning & Associates CPAs and PR Consultant Gery L. Deer discussing the visitors day and the future growth of her BNI chapter. 

Once innovative, Apple’s image is bruised by publicity stunts

In Economy, Media, National News, Opinion, Technology, Uncategorized on October 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm
Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting at Steve Jobs' right at an event in 2007. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting at Steve Jobs’ right at an event in 2007.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

The business community can learn an important lesson from Apple – on what not to do. At one time Apple was the pinnacle of panache when it came to unveiling new innovations.

Back in those days, the media and the faithful alike waited with baited breath as the late Steve Jobs glided to the stage in his signature black turtleneck, taking the pulpit from which to spout gospel to millions of faithful disciples. Once there, he had the audience in the palm of his hand, they’d buy just about anything he was selling because it was innovative, new and, above all, elitist.

Since Jobs’s death, however, the company seems to be trying to recapture that fanaticism in a way that seems almost a parody. As hard as he may try, Apple CEO Tim Cook, just isn’t the ‘cool guy’ that Jobs personified on stage. He doesn’t easily pull of the slacker look in an untucked black button-down and jeans. Plus, there is little innovation in what he has to unveil, just more of the same.

Even avid Apple followers have been disappointed with the company’s offerings over the last year. Many snobby Apple-ites seem to think the plastic-bodied iPhone-5C, a unit developed to be cheaper and more colorful, tainted the line, allowing too much riffraff amongst the Apple crowd. Now, if you can afford cell service, you can probably afford an iPhone – not so elite anymore. It’s like the country club admitting anyone who can tie a necktie. How dare they?

The “big unveiling” announcements are, to say the least, becoming tiresome. They were great when there was true innovation to be released – the iPhone, the iPad, etc. – but now, it’s just more of the same thing. Sure, they’re lighter, a bit faster, and offer prettier colors, but there’s really nothing that is substantially new about any upcoming product from the corporate giant.

In the past eighteen months, Apple has seen a decline in sales for its iPhone and iPad devices, partly due to excessive cost. During that time, the company lost market share, slipping from 65-percent down to 50, with Android-based phones and tablet computers now boasting control of the other half, and that number is expected to grow as more applications (apps) become available. So the need for Apple to make another announcement before the upcoming holiday shopping rush was vital. For the business community, however, all eyes should be on Apple’s marketing mistakes right now.

Tablet computers, for example, are in a market that is still coming of age. It’s a critical time for manufacturers, including Apple, who will need to work harder to set themselves apart from the competition. It’s likely they are all making more money from replacement devices than from new sales.

As mentioned earlier, other than minor alterations to existing equipment like extended battery life, larger screens and lighter weight devices, there are very few additions to Apple’s product line. Cost is still excessive for most consumers. A larger MacBook Pro, with a 15-inch screen, comparable to the average Toshiba or Dell laptop, will average more than $2,100 while its closest competitor barely exceeds $1,500 with similar specifications.

Additionally, there are just too many of these unveiling announcements and the format and style just don’t suit the new leadership. There is just no way to recapture Jobs’s methods and energy and they shouldn’t be trying. Overuse of such a public relations event becomes tiresome, not just on the media but on the consumer as well. If Apple is going to make such a big deal out of these announcements, there should be something worth hearing about – lately there hasn’t been.

It seems like Apple is done shooting for innovation but now relies instead on brand loyalty and publicity stunts, such as offering free operating system source code. It might take a while, but without something original on the horizon, new users are going to continue to migrate toward Android and Microsoft devices.

 

Western Ohio Writers present live Halloween reading at Books & Co., Oct 26.

In Books, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Education, Entertainment, Literature, Local News, Media, sociology, Uncategorized on October 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm
WOWA editorial committee member Bill Bicknell reads from his work at Books & Co. during last year’s “Beatnik Café” event.   Photo by Debra Bays, GLD Enterprises

WOWA editorial committee member Bill Bicknell reads from his work at Books & Co. during last year’s “Beatnik Café” event. Photo by Debra Bays, GLD Enterprises

Beavercreek, OH – Beginning at 7 pm on Saturday, October 26, author members of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA) will take the microphone at Books & Co. to present their popular, “Beatnik Café” event. Writers from all genres will regale visitors with tales of Halloween through short works of fiction and poetry. The event is free and open to the public.

The live reading pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960’s, but with a more modern style. Reading aloud from original work, each writer will take the stage for 10 to 12 minutes, dazzling audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what.

Greene County native, Gery L. Deer is the co-founder and executive director of the organization. A professional freelance journalist, editorial columnist and commercial writer, he started WOWA in October of 2008. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” he says.

“Annual workshops are held all around the country, with two of the most well-known right here in the Miami Valley. But for most writers to thrive that type of support needs to come on a more regular basis,” Deer says. “Our group consists of professional writers and editors, college professors and everyone is ready and willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive.

Flights of Fiction. Cover art by Michael Martin

Flights of Fiction. Cover art by Michael Martin

October 2013 marks the organization’s fifth anniversary and these talented scribes definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Handcar Press (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly, free, public presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. Books & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Follow the WOWA on Facebook and Twitter.

Reduce spending, the deficit and congress

In Economy, Education, Jobs, National News, Opinion, Politics on October 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm

DIH LOGOHow long can the national debt continue to increase before it finally collapses under its own weight? Congress seems to think it’s indefinite but when the debt is growing twice as fast as the economy, the country’s financial stability is so compromised it’s making the rest of the world nervous.

Just like having a credit card with an over-extended balance that racks up fees and penalties when defaults occur, the federal deficit grows exponentially with time. Even knocking a few billion off here and there won’t make much of a difference if the economy remains as stagnant as it has in the last several years. America cannot simply keep borrowing more money to cover debt that should have been reduced far earlier.

Photo Courtesy USA Today - www.usatoday.com

Photo Courtesy USA Today – http://www.usatoday.com

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it means to raise the debt ceiling. But continually increasing the amount of money the country is allowed to borrow will only add to the problem. Amid the congressional battles and strong-arming is a dance that averts the actual problem – the only way to reduce the deficit is to cut spending – period. That’s a tall order when all congress seems to want to do is sit by and watch the country hemorrhage money.

As the government shutdown enters a third week, congress is no closer to a solution than it was on October 1st. Government employees are still either furloughed or working without pay. Sure, they’ve been promised back pay, but how does that help when a family has mouths to feed and an upside-down mortgage to pay?

The real question is, apart from the small percentage of Americans who work for the federal government, who has really noticed the shutdown? Many experts say, very few. There are even those who say the park and memorial closures were done more as a publicity stunt to elicit public outrage towards the Republicans than to save money.

Looking at it objectively, that actually makes sense considering that government workers will receive back-pay for any and all days missed on furlough or unpaid time. If the shutdown of national parks services was really because “there was no money to pay them due to the fiscal crisis” during the shutdown, why would there be back pay to offer?

It has also been suggested that the shutdown has exposed another inherently expensive issue within the federal government – redundant or unnecessary employees. Excluding the military from the discussion for the moment, a certain level of redundancy is necessary for various reasons, but there is such a thing as overkill, even at the federal level. That overkill could be costing the taxpayers billions spent on unneeded civilian, contracted and other extraneous personnel.

After all, if you were running a small business and hired six employees when three would have sufficed, your business would soon be in financial distress. After a period of time, even large companies feel the effects of that kind of waste. It’s entirely possible that the government hires many more people than it needs (yeah – shocking, right?). This happens for a number of reasons from bad accounting to nepotism, but it does happen.

Which brings back the original point – Reduce spending and the deficit will come down. Clearly there are cuts that could be made without affecting the government’s overall operation or causing widespread layoffs. Reducing congressional salaries and perks would be a great place to start – particularly their perks. But the shutdown is proving that there are other areas of waste to be addressed. The trick is going to be finding the ones that are genuinely wasteful compared to those that need to be funded.

The difficulty exists in coming to an agreement about what needs to be cut and how much. Different sides have opposing ideas about the definition of “necessary” and required. Eventually they’ll have to come to some common ground and work it all out, but for now things still seem stalled.

The president’s approval rating, according to the Associated Press, is down to 37-percent and congress still lags behind at less than 20-percent. If people re-elect any of these people to congress they have only themselves to blame when this all happens again.

 

Greene County traffic fatalities down by 75 percent

In Education, Health, Local News on October 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

XENIA, OH – The Greene County Safe Communities program reports that as of October 1, 2013, there have been a total of three (3) traffic fatalities in Greene County. This compares with a total of twelve (12) traffic deaths during this same time period in 2012. This is a decrease of 9, or 75%.

Safe_Communities_LogoThe crash dates reported occurred on June 1, June 25 and August 20. The top five (5) causes for the majority of Greene County crashes that have resulted in death and/or injury are following too closely, failure to yield, failure to control, improper lane change and distractions (i.e. cell phone use/texting). These deaths, while tragic, and injuries sustained were all preventable.

Drivers are encouraged to avoid all distractions, drive sober and obey all traffic signs and signals. The Safe Communities coalition will continue to work with schools, businesses and the general public to provide educational materials and information to keep Greene County citizens safe on the roadways.

The safety of Greene County residents while they are traveling on the roads is the coalition’s biggest concern. Safe Communities would like to remind all drivers to buckle up, park the phone and drive responsibly or secure a designated driver.

The Safe Communities program was developed to help communities decrease traffic injuries and deaths, increase safety awareness, decrease the amount of money spent on traffic-related injuries, and increase the number of people involved in keeping communities safe.

The next meeting of the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition is Wednesday, November 20, 9 a.m. at the Greene County Combined Health District in Xenia. The public is welcome and invited to attend. For more information, contact Laurie Fox at 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org.

Not without honor, except at home

In Economy, Entertainment, Jobs, Local News, Opinion, State News, Uncategorized on October 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

DIH LOGOIn the Bible, the book of Mark, chapter 6, verse 4, Jesus says, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” The quote refers to the question of Jesus’s work being rejected in his own hometown. That was a couple of thousand years ago but, sadly, this same lack of local support and recognition is still rampant today.

We are constantly barraged by the pleadings by civic and business organizations encouraging us to “buy local.” But, when push comes to shove, even these organizations utilize outside resources more often than not.

The best examples of this kind of behavior are evident in the entertainment industry. I know dozens of performing artists, from musicians to specialty acts, who never seem to get work in their own home areas.

Most make a good living but will always have to travel, which is, of course, somewhat of a necessity for securing regular pay in that kind of business. At the same time, most of them offer much lower fees to work closer to home and yet are rarely taken up on the option in favor of “outside” help.

Someone out there is probably saying, “Well, maybe they’re just not very good.” There is an ignorance surrounding the concept that if someone chooses to remain in their home region, they must be less than expert at their particular job. If not, they’d have been moved to relocate due to excessive demand – untrue.

If these folks are as untalented as that statement implies, why would they have the opportunity to do so much elsewhere? An entertainer or other professional tends to earn far more money on jobs where travel and extended booking time is necessary than if they do a single project in their own community. So why would they be paid more and requested so often out of the region if their talents are less than ideal? The logic there makes no sense.

Take the country singing group, The Statler Brothers, for example. From the 1960s through the early 2000’s, these Staunton, Virginia boys sold millions of records, performed all over the world and yet never relocated from their home town. For more than 25 years, they even did an annual 4th of July concert there to raise money for local charities. And they’re not the only story like this.

Ignorance of local talent is not limited to the entertainment world, however. Other professionals are frequently dismissed in their own communities as well; that is unless they achieve some wider attention and suddenly discover people stacked like cordwood on their coattails.

The point here is that, regardless of the product or service needed, if civic and business organizations are going to practice what they preach, they need to utilize more local talent, and not just the big players on the block. Sadly, with so much “good-old-boy” nepotism at play, without some folks stepping outside the proverbial clique, this is unlikely to change anytime soon. When people do make the effort to connect with local providers, they tend to expect a lot of freebies or slashed pricing. That’s not only unfair, it’s downright disrespectful.

For example, say a chamber of commerce wants to hire a local printer to help with event materials for a charity fundraiser. Often, the organizers want to exchange the work for advertising or sponsorship credits rather than paying the printer’s quoted rates.

In most cases, local business will offer some kind of discount or even an exchange if given the opportunity, but it is disrespectful for the organizers to expect it. Your cause is not the reason the business owner opened his doors. Be prepared to pay for their services.

It would be great if small businesses, local entertainers and other professionals were more appreciated and supported in their home regions. The long term rewards to the community could be unimaginable.

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday, November 5th!

In Economy, Education, Local News, Politics, Uncategorized on October 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Effect of local elections outweighs that of national races

countingvotTuesday November 5th is a general election in Greene County, Ohio, consisting of numerous city, township and county issues and political seats.  Voter turnout is vital in smaller races where it only takes a few votes to change a loss to a win.

While it might seem otherwise, local elections are far more important to the average citizen than those on a national level. Most of the governing that directly affects people is done at the local level – city, township, county and so on. Local tax levies (whatever they may be called by the proponents) have an immediate and direct effect the individual citizen and, subsequently, the economy.

In a local election, there are no “electoral college” votes or polling numbers – every single vote counts. That’s why it is so important to make an extra effort to keep your community running the way you want it to and be as knowledgeable as you can about the candidates and issues before heading to your polling place. Polls are open on November 5, from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM.

GET OUT AND VOTE NOVEMBER 5!

In order to help our readers make informed decisions this election day, The Jamestown Comet has provided this useful information on Greene County’s election (courtesy of the Greene County Board of Elections).

Direct Link to the Greene County Board of Elections

(Includes information about polling locations and more.)

Click here for the Greene County Board of Elections Certified Candidates List (In PDF format.)

The following is a list of issues as posted by the Greene County Board of Elections. NOTE: There are no state issues. There is no issue #1. Local option and overlap questions are not assigned issue numbers.

Questions and Issues:  November 5, 2013 General Election Ballot

#2 Greene County – Children’s Services – Renewal – 1.5 mills
#3 Greene County – Developmental Disabilities – Renewal – 3.5 mills
#4 Greene County – Greene Memorial Hospital – Renewal – 0.5 mills

#5 Beavercreek City – Streets, Roads & Bridges – Renewal – 1 mill
#6 Bellbrook City – Charter Amendments
#7 Xenia City – Current Operating – Renewal – 3.5 mills
#8 Xenia City- Electrical Aggregation
#9 Jamestown Village- Streets, Roads & Bridges – Additional – 1.8 mills
#10 Spring Valley Village – Current Operating – Replacement – 1 mill
#11 Spring Valley Village – Current Operating – Replacement – 3 mills

#12 Spring Valley Township & Village – Fire & EMS – Renewal – 2 mills
#13 Spring Valley Township Roads & Bridges – Renewal – 1.5 mills
#14 Caesarscreek Township –– Fire & EMS- Renewal – 2 mills
#15 Jefferson Township –Roads & Bridges- Additional –5 mills
#16 New Jasper Township –Streets, Roads & Bridges – Additional –1.5 mills
#17 Ross Township – Current Operating- Renewal – 1.5 mills
#18 Sugarcreek Township –– Fire & EMS- Renewal – 2 mills

#19 Beavercreek CSD – Emergency Requirements– Additional- 6.3 mills
#20 Yellow Springs EVSD- Permanent Improvements – Renewal – 1.2 mills
Kettering CSD –Overlap-Current Expenses-Additional- 4.89 mills
Wayne LSD – Overlap – Current Expenses – Renewal – 14.05 mills

#21 Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District- Defraying Expenses- Renewal – 0.4 mills

Spring Valley General Valero – Local Option Precinct 435 – Sunday Sales

Sugar Valley Golf Club – Local Option – Precinct 153 – On/Off premise sales
Sugar Valley Golf Club – Local Option – Precinct 153 – Sunday Sales

(If you live in another county, just go to GOOGLE.COM and search for the county’s board of elections website.)

27th Amendment: Congress gets paid no matter what.

In Economy, history, National News, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized on October 1, 2013 at 9:57 pm

DEER IN HEADLINES

By Gery L. Deer

Did you know that the 27th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibits Congress from changing its own pay? The exact wording is, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

congress 1Although the amendment was submitted to the states for ratification way back in 1789, it was not adopted until 1992, more than 200 years later. It was conceived to prevent the legislative branch from giving itself unwarranted and outrageous increases in pay, but it also works in the reverse. So, according to the constitution, congress gets paid, no matter what happens.

Amid a government shutdown unnecessarily created by a congress that simply refuses to compromise (on either side), it is thoroughly reprehensible that they are not also deprived a paycheck. Compensation certainly outshines performance, particularly by congressional leaders.

According to an article published in 2011 by the Center for Public Integrity, “No legislator – living or dead – has been paid a higher salary by the taxpayer than Speaker Boehner.”

The article notes that the Speaker earns the highest annual salary of all his peers, at $223,500. On the other side of the dome, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other congressional leaders are paid much less; just $193,400 per year.

Poor folks; It’s hard not to feel bad for them. Really, it must be terrible to have to struggle by on a measly couple-hundred-thousand a year. Yes, that was sarcasm.

There should be some way to cut Congress’s pay in midterm when they’re not living up to expectations and actually doing more harm than good. If they had to work a normal job, the current level of unsatisfactory performance would have gotten them all fired a couple of years ago.

con1Apparently, the only way to do have any financial impact on these people is to amend the 27th Amendment, allowing for congressional pay reductions at the will of the people. Administering such a procedure would be something of a logistical and legal challenge, but working it out would pay off in the end.

Direct and immediate job performance accountability, like everyone else endures at work, might actually motivate congressional leaders to the action of the people. At the moment, the only action they are taking is that which gives them the most spots on the Sunday morning news shows.

While hard-working government employees and their families go without pay, some struggling to put food on the table due to recent sequestrations, congressional big wigs luxuriate in the perks of the office, content in their jobs and in the foolhardiness and shockingly short memories of their constituencies. While there may be a few normal people on Capitol Hill, they are greatly outnumbered and hopelessly meek-voiced. A whisper from the back of the hall is nothing to the roar from the leadership seats.

Congress is currently enjoying its lowest approval rating ever, 87 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’s performance according to an October 1st CNN poll. But until the American people say, “enough is enough,” this pointless bickering over the country’s finances will never cease. It’s as if the House and Senate are like an old married couple arguing over the checkbook register and who spent too much on the new blender they both needed.

Ridiculous filibusters and other Washington-style temper tantrums accomplish nothing, except to secure free press by presidential hopefuls no one has ever heard of now clambering for the spotlight. But, if members of Congress suddenly knew their pay would be cut and their jobs were in danger – now, not two years from now – they might make some effort to straighten all this out.

Until the 27th Amendment is amended, however, every single ineffectual member of congress will continue to collect their overstuffed paycheck. It’s time to show these people how the rest of America has to live because they clearly have no idea.

 CLICK HERE TO SIGN A PETITION TO AMEND THE 27th AMENDMENT …