Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sunset on the Delta

Dear Scoop Readers and Contributors,

Sorry about the long absence, but I have finally gotten settled in my new home... in Savannah, GA. It has been quite an ordeal... finally selling my family home, and most of my possessions to seek "greener" pastures in my latter years.

Greenville will always be my home, but it has changed... and unfortunately not for the better. I am near retirement and will be doing consultant work in a local hospital. Savannah is breathtaking and reminds me in some ways of the quaint "old" Greenville that I knew as a child.

I leave behind many good friends, co-workers and no doubt many enemies who have disagreed with my "opinions" over the last 7 years. The important thing to remember is that they were "opinions"... things that we all have, but rarely get to share in a public forum. The "Delta Scoop" has truly been an enjoyable outlet and forum for me to host... but it is time for me to step down as blog master.
I wish nothing but the best for Greenville and its residents. I hope someone will continue this forum, perhaps under a new name with "new" ideas to stimulate conversations.

I can honestly tell you that hosting a blog is not difficult with today's technology and Google. I have genuinely enjoyed hosting the "Scoop" and believe that WE have contributed to the betterment of
Greenville... through our opinions, criticisms and recommendations, needed changes came about. Our voices were heard!

I have always been loyal to the complete
anonymity of myself and all contributors. It is not important who said what. It is important to simply let your voice be heard! I will not take down the "Delta Scoop" for those who enjoy the comments section. Hopefully, someone will come up with a new blog, but until then, you can continue to post your comments here on the Scoop. I wish you all peace and prosperity in the future. I will never forget my home town.

I am not good at good-byes, so I leave you with this quotation from former President Carter at his farewell address to the nation:

"We live in a time of transition, an uneasy era which is likely to endure for the rest of this century. During this period we may be tempted to abandon some of the time-honored principles and commitments which have been proven during the difficult times of past generations. We must never yield to this temptation. Our American values are not luxuries, but necessities – not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself."



Monday, June 06, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Heather Goes to Washington...

Mississippi's longest serving congressman, Bennie Thompson, is likely to be challenged in 2012 by a fellow Democrat with name recognition in the Delta.Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer Hudson told her hometown newspaper, the Delta Democrat Times, that she's preparing to run in the 2nd Congressional District, where Thompson has been the incumbent since 1993.

Thompson, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he is seeking re-election next year.

"The good thing about America is that people have choices," Thompson said in a written statement. "Those who are qualified and wish to seek public office can. I am busy protecting the district's interests in the upcoming Farm Bill, and fighting to save Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from Republicans who are trying to end those programs.

"I look forward to continuing my work with local elected officials who have demonstrated a commitment to bettering their communities," he said.

Hudson was attending a fundraiser Monday night in New York and said she has hired a national Democratic political strategist and pollster, Celinda Lake.

Thompson faced his last significant Democratic primary challenge in 2006, when he received about 65 percent of the vote to defeat state Rep. Chuck Espy of Clarksdale.

Thompson won the 2006 general election with roughly the same margin over Republican Yvonne Brown, who had been mayor of Tchula.

Mississippi has four U.S. House districts and the 2nd is the only one with a majority-black population. Historical voting patterns show Republicans struggle in the district. In November, Thompson easily defeated Bill Marcy of Vicksburg, a black Republican who courted tea party voters.

Thompson and Hudson are black, as are Espy and Brown.

Thompson ended 2010 with nearly $1.7 million in his campaign fund, according to his latest report filed on the Federal Election Commission website.

Kathie Stromile Golden, a political scientist and head of the international studies program at Mississippi Valley State University, said Tuesday that no member of Congress, including Thompson, should be surprised by drawing an opponent.

"I think quite a few people will be excited by the fact that here you have a black female who currently holds a political position who has some national exposure," Stromile Golden said of Hudson. "She's known within the Democratic Party. She's young and she's energetic."

Hudson, who's now in her mid 30s, was elected Greenville mayor in 2003 and 2007. She said in January that she won't seek a third term.

Thompson, 63, was chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee from 2006 through 2010, when Democrats held the majority. With Republicans now in the majority, he's the committee's ranking Democrat.

The 2nd District is more than 200 miles long, stretching through the cotton and soybean fields and catfish pond areas of the historically poor Delta. The district wanders through the Civil War battlefields of Vicksburg and down past the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant in the woods outside Port Gibson. The district also encompasses most of Jackson.

If anyone in Mississippi could beat Bennie Thompson, it might well be Heather... particularly after a few phone calls from "Daddy". She has all of the qualifications: black, female, rich daddy with political pull, and a proven track record of incompetence in city government! What more could we wish for?

Bennie takes a more "optimistic" view of this situation stating that in America, we still have choices... and he is quite right. As the political satirist Lewis Black so aptly states, "we now have a choice between two bowls of shit."

Either way, for Greenville, this will be a win-win decision. We will have proven that "black, female, and well educated" are not the essential qualities of a good mayor for our city... and we will save thousands of tax-payer dollars on eliminating body guards!

"Heather goes to Washington"... what great potential for a movie sequel! I can see it now as the black screen illuminates into early dawn... the sun rising in the distance as the camera pans slowly onto a parked pick-up truck in Arlington... Cemetery...


Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Sins of Our Forefathers...

At 52 years old, I've discovered that enslaving blacks was absolutely the worst thing that could have happened to this country. Over 200 years later, they are still complaining about it with hard feelings. If our forefathers had only realized what a terrible thing they were doing to the country by bringing the blacks here and enslaving them.

The black people are over 80% of our prison population, 80% of our public assistance programs, yet they say they are only 13% of our total population. What have we done to these poor people to make them behave like this? The majority of them are all driving new cars, thanks to the welfare programs they are on. The police departments probably spends 70-80% of their time picking on the poor black man for minor offenses like armed robbery, rape, murder, drug dealing. They should leave these poor black people alone, they are saints.

It's us, the white people who get up and go to work everyday, who are to blame for all of this. We have left them no choice but to behave like this. After all, we've only offered them the same educational opportunities our kids have for the last 50 or 60 years. We all have to realize why they run in gangs and beat up the White children. It's because of us, the white despicable bastards, who won't give them more.

Look at affirmative action for the last 50 years, giving jobs to under qualified blacks instead of qualified whites to make up for what was done to their forefathers. Now look at our government agencies, just try to get something done where the blacks are running it unless you're another black. Affirmative action does not work. The Rev. Al Sharpton says we should give each child $25,000 to put them on a level playing field with white people. The poor black farmers have only gotten close to $150,000, also to bring them up to a level playing field with the white farmers. That's not counting the 40 acres and a mule they were given after the Civil War, something the whites were not given.

Where would are country be without them? ... A lot better off in my opinion. President Lincoln wanted to send them to Panama. Too bad he got assassinated before he got this done. If you are around black people and you don't see anything wrong with their culture or the way they behave, you are just like them.

Why didn't we just pick our own damn cotton??? Just my thought for today.

Working stiff

While I do not agree with "working stiff" that our country would be better off today without "blacks", I do see merit in his assertion that it is time for "affirmative action" programs to come to an end. "Quotas" for certain racial and ethnic groups are no more fair than discrimination on the basis of gender or religious belief.

A famous Sociologist once noted: "The societal pendulum of America must swing just as far to the left as it does to the right, before it eventually comes back to the middle." By my clock, in the 21st century, we should be very close to plumb center by now.

When I was in school, I went to major universities which challenged me to study, learn and achieve. These universities were open to all students of any race who had a sincere desire to learn and improve their lot in life. I went to school for 2.5 years to earn my master's and 4 more years to achieve my doctorate degree... a total of over 10 years in universities for my education.

Today, I see traditionally "black" universities which are simply "degree mills". They grant Bachelor's degrees in 2 years, Master's and Doctorate degrees in 9 months! Most of these student's emerge from these degree mills with 3rd grade reading and math skills. They annihilate the English language, both written and spoken, and have essentially no knowledge of "cultural diversity" since they have never been exposed to any other culture than "black".

Instead of trying to improve the quality of education, the instructors at these "black universities" are more concerned about watering down the curriculums and meeting the quotas of graduates needed to secure their jobs. Ignorance begets ignorance... and the cycle goes on and on!

The "entitlement mentality" is the chief product of these degree mills. Armed with a worthless piece of paper, these graduates enter today's work force with only a minimal ability to read and write.

When they can't get a job, it is never because they "chose" one of these degree mills over a true university; NO... it is pure and simple... discrimination!

At least in the post Civil War era, most blacks would have known what to do with 40 acres and a mule. Today, I would pity the mule.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Exodus: The Final Chapter

From the Delta Democrat Times:

The population of Washington County has decreased by 18% according to the 2010 census. The truth hurts. Washington County is losing its population faster than anywhere else in the state. It is a daunting statistic and one that we can’t ignore. What does it all mean? It means that our once great city and county have lost the one thing that determines its future, the prosperity of its citizens. Gone are the days when manufacturing companies would clamor for our non-union, lower paid work force. Major corporations have found an even cheaper place to make their wares – away from the borders of the U.S. While this is the general cause for the root of our problems, generally the residents of Washington County can blame no one but ourselves. Once the writing was on the wall and we saw that plants were losing and jobs were leaving town, our community leaders should have tried to come up with a plan to help stem the tide.

Unfortunately they were unsuccessful. Now we must put the past behind us, and step up to the plate. It is time we come together and make some hard decisions on what Washington County is, and what we want its future to be. We need to come together, draw the line in the sand and say enough is enough. Here are some things we need to think about over the next year to address the issue:

1) It’s an election year. When you make your choices in the election of our county and city leaders, make sure they have vision. Let’s just not elect the lesser of two evils. We need leaders to help provide solutions and welcome the ideas of others. We do not need status quo.

2) We need a strong Delta Economic Development Center. The EDC is important because it is supposed to be run by people who have no agenda except to see our town grow. A strong businessperson is always looking for growth, and no matter what type of business they have, more customers means more business. Providing the community with more opportunity should be the sole purpose of the EDC. The EDC leadership should have no political agendas. The EDC needs a strong executive board that will provide that leadership for our community. Hopefully the new director will provide Washington County with a good first step.

While most people will point to a poor school system, or high crime rate as the reason for our population decline and lack of new job creation, the truth is that these are just bi-products of our lack of vision. The problems Greenville faces are not unique and it needs strong leadership to help show us the way. While we face an uphill battle, we do have some strong positives that we need to leverage into the future. Our solid agricultural foundation provides a great base for us to grow. And with commodity prices on the rise, what better place to be than in the Delta – our soil is one of the best in the world.

We are also the retail hub for the entire region – we have more retail stores than any other town or city within 100 miles – and we should use that to our advantage. While good political leadership would be helpful, it’s the community leaders and pro-active residents who can take us to a place of greatness that can be even better than before.

While I am not quite as "optimistic" about Greenville's future as the above author, I do suspect the accuracy of the 2010 census figures.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in our state wants to "stand up and be counted". If you are a participant in any type of welfare fraud, the last thing you want to do is tell the truth about who you are, where you live, your employment status and how many dependents you have! Revealing any of this information could get you and your family kicked right off the "Gravy Train". This group is not worried about the number of seats in the house and senate; they are worried about THEIR seat at the at the ever-growing table of fraud and abuse.

Recently, I was in a local restaurant and overheard an irate woman complaining to her friend. The gist of the conversation was that her "no good" daughter had rushed down to the tax office the first week of January and claimed all 7 of her "deductions" (children). Then when the complainant recently tried to claim these same "deductions" on her tax form, the government refused her!

Apparently, our government applies a "first come, first serve" policy with regard to dependents. Once the SS# has been used as a deduction, it's off the table, regardless of legal custody or birth-right.

Now, I do not doubt that Greenville's population is significantly changing, but I would consider it more of a "shift"... from "taxpayers" to "tax-recipients". With a population reduction of 18% one would expect to see similar reductions in crime rates, unemployment and welfare costs? Not so in Greenville! The only thing decreasing in Greenville is the revenue generated from tax-paying citizens.

Now... who wants to be Mayor? Is there anyone left who would consider the job, other than those Hudson flunky wanna-bees? What about a successful businessman or a competent attorney? Hell, what about a house-wife who can balance a checkbook? The bar is currently set rather "low".

It is almost "amusing" to me that in my home town, the most controversial issue has become the banning of plastic flowers in the cemetery. Somehow, I think this speaks volumes about the direction in which Greenville is looking...


Thursday, January 06, 2011

America, home of the lazy, disrespectful, free-loaders!

Why is it that people can break every rule in the book yet people who follow rules and work hard seem to get disrespected? People who break rules and take everything for granted pass through life with ease while everyone else who takes pride in what they do, works hard, and respects earning everything they have has to jump through hurdles, in the snow, bare foot, both ways, with one arm tied behind their back. Can you see where I’m going with this?

Let me tell you a story. I worked for a company for nearly 4 years and truly enjoyed my job. Like so many other manufacturing plants in this area, it went out of business. Everyone was laid off. This, however, spawned a great opportunity. I was told I could go to college and would receive unemployment benefits until I graduated. I hate the idea of living off the government. However I would much rather have had my job back. This was not something I asked for. Well, a year from graduation and the government backs out of their end of the bargain. So the people we elect to represent us pass garbage like NAFTA to allow all our jobs to go overseas and then give you a kick in the butt back home. No big deal, work is good for you. Ill get a job. A friend of mine got me a job working third shift at a furniture factory. It’s a bottom of the totem pole, manual labor, sweat dripping job. I have learned from watching my dad to put as much effort into everything you do, regardless of what it is, work hard, respect others and you will be rewarded. For the past 2 months I have been going to school full time during the day and working full time at night. I know a few other people doing the exact same thing. its tough but I know it will be worth it in the long run, right dad?

Now here it gets a little more personal. This part is about one of the toughest women I have ever met. My soon-to-be mother-in-law. Lets just say Jane-doe. Jane and her husband each held a full time job, acquired some land, and built a house. The American dream. A couple years later her husband develops a condition that prohibits him from working. To save the house and family, she steps up and gets a second job. She toughs it out and after another couple years her main employer goes out of business as they cannot compete with China (sound familiar?). Everyone was laid off. Now after a few months of job searching she has no luck in finding a permanent full time job. Why is it that hard working, prideful people always seem to be the ones pushing this heavy boat?

So lets flip the coin for a minute and talk a bit about the people IN the boat. You probably know someone who doesn’t work by choice, someone who thinks everything should be handed to them, someone who thinks they don’t need to work hard. I have run across several. I have overheard conversations about people bragging about how much food stamps they get and then complain about working too many hours. I have heard someone say “don’t get that second job, you can make more in food stamps.” I see people buying $7 steaks with food stamps and selling what they don’t spend. No, I don’t have a problem with feeding the hungry….IF feeding the hungry is actually what is going on. I have seen first hand a friend of mine refuse to flip burgers but spend the gas money making countless trips to the social security office attempting to get on disability.

So the place in which I work. These people lurk there too. A week after I was hired, the company announces a small lay-off, volunteers first. After everyone was informed of being eligible for unemployment, there were more volunteers than they need. There are also those who do not think they should follow rules. If I’m not mistaken rules are established for a reason, right? Workers get a paycheck for DOING work, right? Not the case at my current job. There are a few “chosen ones” who seem to have special privileges working folks only dream of. But it doesn’t stop there, some are lucky enough to get into management positions. Put it all together, throw in a few complaints by hard working individuals, and what do you get? Lazy, disrespectful, poor workers defending lazy, disrespectful, poor workers with no disciplinary action taken. It a shame to see people who don’t work hard when we live in an economy with record unemployment.

I am often dumbfounded at how others think with no logic and no (not so common) common sense. When did we lose pride in this country? When did we take the notion that settling for whatever is free is the best thing to do? When did we lose our American culture? My grandfather told me that if its not worth doing right then its not worth doing at all. One of the greatest quotes of all time, JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I am tired of supporting everyone who puts forth no effort in bettering themselves or the ones around them. I’m tired of pushing the boat while a steady flow of people jump in. I’m tired of seeing people with the drive and heart to succeed being kicked to the curb while everyone else is given opportunity ,after opportunity, after opportunity. It is time we step up. It is time we start having a little personal accountability. It is time we start taking pride in what we do. Its time we all start contributing to society instead of being a leach. It is time to re-define the word AMERICAN!

I don't think I can add anything to this commentary... except "Amen!"


Thursday, December 09, 2010

A New Day for DRMC

Delta Regional Medical Center named J. Stansel Harvey as its new Chief Executive Officer and President Wednesday.

Stancil, who grew up in Ruleville, will assume his new post on Jan. 3, 2011.“It feels good,” said Harvey, who signed a two-year deal. “I’m coming back home.”

Harvey, who has a Master of Health Services Administration degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is leaving his job as a healthcare consultant in Granbury, Texas. However, he has more than 28 years of hospital leadership experience, including nine years as president of Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital, a 229-bed facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We have the right man for the job,” said Billy Schultz, DRMC’s Board of Trustees chairman. “We looked at about 10 candidates and began to narrow our
search down from there. “The board of trustees unanimously selected him based on his proven leadership in hospital administration and positive track record in financial and operational accomplishments,” he said.

Harvey succeeds Mazie Whalen, who became interim CEO and president on April 15. She will return to her post as Senior Vice President of Nursing Services. “It was a good experience for me,” said Whalen. “It was a challenge but we have someone to take over.”

Schultz said he and the board were pleased with Whalen’s job. “She was fantastic,” said
Schultz. “This is nothing against her at all. In fact, she didn’t want the job. I can’t say enough praise about what she did.” Harvey and his wife, Lisa, have a son, Ben, who lives in Arkansas.

Welcome Mr. Harvey and your family. You have an incredible opportunity to provide DRMC with the leadership and integrity that has been lacking for many years. As the Delta's largest medical center, DRMC has some truly great employees who have long been hoping to have a leader who is both fair and honest.

Change comes slowly in the Delta, but it can come. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer... and always be sure that you can discern the difference between these groups.

Boards and doctors don't run a hospital, but they will if given half a chance. Trust your instincts and administrative knowledge to make needed changes. Listen to your employees. As Henry Ford once stated, "I never learned anything about car making sitting in a board room. Most of what I know today, I learned from listening to the men on the line."

Best of luck in your new position.