Kagan's conflict of interest
I was so happy to read that Fire Chief Kevin Stunek will serve as the community ambassador for the 2012 Good Samaritan Bowl on May 6 (Sunday) and May 7 (Monday) at Jack’s House.
Chief Stunek grew up with my kids, so I have known him and his family most of his life. He is the finest gentleman and has the kindest and most generous family. About 15 years ago, several of my grandchildren were injured while sledding on the hill behind the high school. One of the kids raced up the hill and called 911 (it was BC – before cell phones). I think Kevin was a first responder at the time, as he was the first at the scene and gave first aid and comfort to all the kids until the ambulance arrived. All the children told me how nice he was to them.
Over the years I have heard many stories about Chief Stunek and his dedication to this community. We are so lucky to have him. He was a great choice for this honor.
We were all devastated when we learned the GSS bus had burned. Now everyone is excited to work to get a new one for the residents to visit the doctor, go shopping, etc.
I am so proud to live in the Brainerd community. We have so many great people, programs, projects and opportunities here. When I learned that the Good Samaritan Society has 240 Centers in 24 states in the USA, and all of them had fundraisers, and ours was the top one in 2011, I could not believe my ears! That is really saying something for our town and the generous people who live here. The Brainerd Lakes area is the greatest!
The Supreme Court has recently been hearing arguments over the Arizona immigration law. The law that the federal government apparently doesn’t like because it would force them to do their job of enforcing illegal immigration. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from this case because she had been the solicitor general building the government’s case against Arizona which would have been a conflict of interest in this case if she would have voted on it. To use a sports analogy, it would be like having a coach switch to being a referee in the middle of a game. She did the right thing by not sitting in on that case. The reason I bring it up is that she was also the solicitor general building the government’s case for Obamacare before she switched to being a Supreme Court Justice and she didn’t recuse herself from that case. I’m not a legal expert but, if there was a conflict of interest in the Arizona case, why wasn’t it a conflict for Justice Kagan to not recuse herself from the Obamacare case? There was an article in the Dispatch last week by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, questioning the impartiality of any justice that was asking questions about the Arizona case that didn’t agree with the government’s view. It would be nice if journalists like Mr. Milbank would ask some impartial questions about Justice Kagan’s recusal decisions.
The median income across America, depending on the state one lives in, is somewhere around $36,000 to $45,000 dollars per private sector employee. In government sectors (state, federal, county, etc.)
The median income is $44,000 to $70,000 dollars per government employee.
So with that information in mind does it really make sense that the private sector should also pay for most of the government sector health insurance, retirement packages, longer vacation time off and union representation in many government organizations.
When I worked my 35 years for the government, government employees typically whined about not being paid as much as the private sector, but the benefits were at least pretty good, thus it was a wash.
Now that government pay has exceeded private sector pay it would seem time for government employees to step up and pay more for their benefits and quit the whining.
A once great Democrat president said “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” America’s government entitlement class needs to step up and down-size in the middle/upper management levels, take cuts ,pay more for benefits etc… or we will lose America to our national debt and destroy the private sector.
We’ve said this before, but believe it needs repeating. The drawings by elementary school students make our day. The one by Meryl Tigenoah is a great example of the talented students who share their thoughts and drawings for all to share in!
Barbara and Chuck Watson