Vindication

we-are-enterprise-logo-150x150When is an apology not an apology?

If you have followed this story for the past 19 months you know my take on it. If you haven’t or if you want a refresher you can see it at the links below.

Watch Your Back published 11/22/2014

YOU Are Not Alone published 12/01/2014

Watch Your Back (UPDATE)  published 02/23/2015

The Silenced Majority published 03/29/2015

The details of this issue were summarized very well in the article by Michelle Mann in the Southeast Sun on 05/25/2015,

ECS Superintendent apologizes to teacher

What is new in this story is the prepared statement called an apology that was read by the superintendent in the board meeting on 05/24/2016 which brings me back to my original question.

When is an apology not an apology?

Think about any apologies you have received or given as you read this one.

“The intent was not to cause embarrassment to Mrs. Dean and if this was done in error, we apologize.”

You can watch and listen to it being read on YouTube at

Enterprise School Board Meeting 05-24-16

She could have just said, “I didn’t do anything wrong but if you think I did then I am sorry.”

For that story you can see the story in the Enterprise Ledger,

School system resolves litigation with teacher; teacher responds

The “intent was not to cause embarrassment” part of the statement was not believable if you were at the meeting as I was. The fact Judge Clark let the lawsuit move forward based on, “exceptions are recognized when a state agent acts in bad faith or with malice or willfulness or under a mistaken interpretation of the law,” seems to support my interpretation and contradict the first part of the prepared statement as well.

Let’s think about this for a minute. Does anyone believe Sonya Dean would have gone to the trouble and expense of bringing a lawsuit against the board and superintendent if there wasn’t some embarrassment caused?

The “if this was done in error” also stood out to me. Any time I hear an “if” as part of a so-called apology that is a red flag for me and indicates the so-called apologizer does not believe they did anything wrong and are being forced to apologize out of some obligation so they need to qualify the “apology”. In this case a legal obligation was the impetus.

It wasn’t always this way

I remember a time when it was common for people to accept responsibility for their actions and offer a sincere apology when warranted. This was never universal but it did happen more often that it does today. Today, it is more common to claim victim status and try to shift the blame to someone else.

Is this the example the superintendent wants to set for the students? Would she accept an apology from a student if it was filled with qualifiers like “if I did anything wrong“?

Maybe I am just old fashioned and a minority in my thinking but I was taught for an apology to be authentic you have to take responsibility for your actions.

Questionable Advice

For the sake of argument if you take the Superintendent’s words as true, it appears the advice she said she received to name the employee and allegations publicly, even though it had never been done before or since, was not the best advice. In all likelihood the prepared statement would not have been needed if the original advice had not been given and followed. That makes me wonder about the quality of legal advice being received by the board and superintendent. Is it in their best interest?

Enough said

That is enough said on my part. I don’t want to belabor the story any more as I know Sonya Dean and her family are ready to put this chapter of their lives behind them. I am one of those who has much respect for Sonya for standing up to the bullying initially and now accepting the prepared apology and settlement and moving on.

Sonya shared the letter below with me after the board meeting and it expresses her side of the story she has been unable to share until now. With her permission you can see it below in its entirety. It is appropriately named, My Turn.

SonyaDean_MyTurn_p1

 

SonyaDean_MyTurn_p2

 

SonyaDean_MyTurn_p3

Until next time…

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Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 05/26/2016

Enterprise incumbent council remains

350px-boll_weevil_monumentThat is the title of the story in the Southeast Sun on September 5, 2012. The story is about the city elections held a week earlier on 8/28/12. You can see the full story here, Enterprise incumbent council remains.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In case you were unaware or had just forgotten in the midst of all the graduation events, dance recitals, spring fever and life as you know it, there will be another city election in a little over 3 months, on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. Whether the news reports will have the same title this year is a choice the citizens of Enterprise will make, either by participation or lack thereof.

2012 Observations

A couple of things stand out to me when looking at the results from 2012. One is the “unopposed” beside most positions. The small number of votes cast was the other notable item to me. 155 and 106 votes respectively were the difference in these two races.

District 2

Tommy Johnson – 304

Jim Reeves – 149

Total Votes – 454

District 3

Kirk Donaldson – 368

Viki Davis – 262

Total Votes – 630

Your vote does count

No one in Enterprise should have any misconception about their vote not counting. As you can see by these numbers everyone’s vote does count and does make a difference. As I have mentioned before to many of you who read this blog there is a silent majority in Enterprise that can swing any election. Regardless of what you are prevented from saying or doing in public because of the intimidation you feel in your workplace, when you step inside that voting booth you can make the choice you really want to make and it will make a difference, but only if you do step inside that voting booth.

Candidates are needed if change is to be made

The only way you will have a chance to vote for someone other than the incumbent is if someone steps up and decides to run and then serve. There are only two announced candidates so far I am aware of. Eugene Goolsby is running for District 2 Councilman and Perry Vickers is running for District 3 Councilman. The experience both of these men have in business and education in Enterprise would bring some fresh ideas that only that type of experience can provide.

If not now, when?

So, if you have some good ideas of your own that would make Enterprise better or know someone who would be a good public servant, and you want to see a change in the makeup of the leadership of Enterprise, what are you waiting for?

Status quo will roll on

On the other hand, if you are happy with the way the city is being run and those who have been running it for many years you probably don’t have to do anything to see the status quo continue. It will continue if candidates do not commit and voters do not show up.

It is election year

I expect you will notice the city officials seemingly paying more attention to your requests and trying to placate your concerns over the next three months. Don’t allow the most recent interactions to outweigh all the interactions or lack thereof that went before. It is election year.

If you play golf and have ever had the experience of making that 45 foot double breaking downhill putt on number 18 you know that is a good feeling and great way to end a round. That is just human nature to get a little excited about that putt.  However, in golf, you have to count the scores on all 18 holes. When you total your score you have to include the previous 17 holes and often realize the round really wasn’t that good, even though it did end on a good note.

Similarly, in elections we should consider the entire term of the incumbent’s service. Their actions in the first 45 months should carry just as much weight as their actions and promises in the last 3 months.

Three months

I am one of those who grew up in Enterprise and moved back home a few years ago and currently do have an Enterprise address. We live just outside the city limits and cannot cast a vote in city election. However, that has no effect on my desire for my hometown to keep moving forward to be the best place to work, live and raise a family in Alabama. I will be watching with interest and expect it will be interesting to see what Enterprise chooses to do over the next 3 months.

We will get the leadership we deserve. 

Will the headlines in 2016 be the same as in 2012?

Until next time…

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The Doctor makes a Trump House Call

Like many Ben Carson supporters I have had a lot to digest over the past week, from the suspension of his campaign, to My Faith Votes, to his recent endorsement of Donald Trump.

A lot for my simple mind to digest

After the suspension of his campaign and beginning his new role as chairman of My Faith Votes I did not expect him to endorse anyone during the primaries. I did not expect it because that is what he said on March 4th,

“I have committed to not endorse a specific individual, but rather ‘We the People.'”

Since my primary was over, I had resigned myself to let the primaries and convention play out and watch old westerns on TV much more often than so called political “news” reports where pundits talk about what is going to happen and what they think needs to happen more than what has happened.

CPAC – Campaign Suspended

Among the things Ben Carson said on March 4th at CPAC was,

“I will still continually be heavily involved in trying to save our nation.”

I was glad to hear that because his goals ever since he entered the political arena have been to save America for future generations and return the control of government to We the People. I was glad to hear he wasn’t giving up that fight.

Then, the endorsement happened

When I first saw reports of Ben Carson endorsing Donald Trump I did not want to believe it. I decided, as I have learned during this campaign, to wait to hear from Dr. Carson and, if this was true to listen to his explanation.

One of the reasons I support Dr. Carson is I believe the combination of  his experience, knowledge and judgement far exceeds that of any other candidate and he has the courage to speak the truth that many Americans do not want to hear. This endorsement was the first real test of whether I really believed what I said I believed.

Don’t get the wrong impression here. I don’t blindly follow anyone but there are people who I do trust. Ben Carson is one of those people, so, after this endorsement I had a choice to make.

A time for choosing for me

Should I just cast that belief aside and jump to a conclusion because he has made a decision I do not understand and, at first glance, do not agree with?

OR

Should I trust that he has more information than I have and give his judgement (that I say I trust) the benefit of the doubt here?

What to make of all this?

After listening to what Dr. Carson had to say and sleeping on it a couple of days I am now clear on where I stand today. I have decided to give Dr. Carson the benefit of the doubt and trust his judgement is sound in this endorsement. For more on how I came to this decision, keep reading.

Donald Trump – Not a Fan

Just so you will know where I am coming from, I am not a fan of Donald Trump. I do appreciate the excitement and conversations his campaign has generated. He has made both Republicans and Democrats discuss topics they would rather have just swept under the rug, as politicians often do with most difficult issues, such as illegal immigration. I do agree with some of the things he has said but often don’t agree with how he says them. I don’t believe his history matches and supports many of the things he is saying now and, therefore, have questions about whether he would follow through if elected. One of the claims many have made against him is he was painting in broad strokes and light on policy details.

What did Ben Carson do?

Ben Carson called Donald Trump and said, “Donald we need to talk.” Donald Trump replied, “Absolutely” and the doctor made a house call, a Trump house call. The meeting was actually at a resort restaurant but house call sounds better than resort restaurant call so I am going with that.

The Doctor makes a House Call
The Doctor makes a House Call

Dr. Carson asked questions to diagnose the sincerity and knowledge of the important issues facing America and how he planned to address them if elected. He said if those answers had not measured up to his standards he would have been out of there. I think you will agree doctors are adept at asking questions and evaluating the answers as they do this every day with every patient they see. This experience and judgement was important in this interview for Dr. Carson. According to Dr. Carson,

“I needed to know that he could listen to other people, that he could change his opinions, and that some of the more outlandish things that he’s said, that he didn’t really believe those things.” 

He must have learned something significant he was not expecting. Otherwise he would not have broken his commitment to not endorse a specific individual.

What did he ask for?

The obvious question is did they discuss possible positions in a Trump administration, cabinet member or even Vice President? They did not. The only stipulation Dr. Carson had was that he would be helping to formulate policy details. Remember that criticism of Trump being light on policy details? Dr. Carson has detailed plans and this is his best chance to have any of them implemented. The two areas discussed at their press conference were health care and education. They may have discussed others as well. Ben Carson will be working on formulating policy for Donald Trump’s campaign, and if he is elected, his administration. That will be good for America.

The Carson Factor

With Ben Carson now supporting Donald Trump that can help ensure the GOP nominee is chosen by We the People, not the political class. If his endorsement helps Donald Trump secure the 1,237 delegates he needs during the primaries then the backroom deals by the political class at the convention can be avoided. That will be good for America.

Ben Carson is THE candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democrats fear the most. His support for Donald Trump and credibility that comes with that support will help defeat the Democratic candidate in November. That will be good for America.

What if seeking counsel from Ben Carson and his association with him over the next 7+ months opens Donald Trump’s eyes to what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ really looks like? What if this collaboration even leads him to either begin or improve his own personal relationship with Jesus Christ? That is the absolute best thing that could happen for Donald Trump and, if he is elected President, will also be good for America.

His influence now instead of after the nominee is decided will have more weight and afford him the opportunity to wield more influence, both inside the Trump campaign and in the upcoming primaries. After the nomination is locked up there will be many more endorsements and people “wanting to help.” I believed Dr. Carson’s ideas would be good for America when he was a candidate and that has not changed. Getting some of Dr. Carson’s policies implemented instead of none will be good for America.

What are the downsides to this endorsement?

For Dr. Carson many of his supporters will immediately abandon him, saying he has sold out and become a politician – something he said he would never do. It is a given his detractors will push this narrative. Some will see this as a loss of credibility for Ben Carson instead of a gain in credibility for Donald Trump. Many will say he broke his commitment to not endorse a specific individual. He did, but at the same time this was also an endorsement for We the People as his comments below explain.

“The key thing for me was recognizing that the political establishment was pulling out all the stops to try to stop Trump. It seems to me that’s thwarting the will of the people. The people are the ones who are supposed to make the decision.”

There are no downsides for Donald Trump or America.

The only downsides I see fall directly on Dr. Ben Carson.

As Ben Carson said when he endorsed Donald Trump,

Watch, read and listen for yourself

If you haven’t yet and do want to see Dr. Carson’s thoughts on this decision his interview with Neil Cavuto (about 12 minutes) will provide some of those. You can see that here

Dr. Ben Carson explains why he is backing Donald Trump

Ben Carson Endorses Donald Trump FULL Press Conference (3-11-16)

How Carson Arrived at Trump provides a little more backstory on their relationship.

UPDATE: 3/19/16 – The interview/explanation below is the best I have seen to date on this endorsement from Dr. Carson. Highly recommended reading. It includes this prayer from Dr. Carson.

BenCarson_Prayer_United States

Interview: Ben Carson Explains Decision to Support Trump

So where does that leave me?

After digesting the events of the past few days for myself I still do not see myself being an active and vocal Donald Trump supporter. I don’t consider myself a Trump supporter at all. However, after this endorsement I do have hope Dr. Carson will have a positive influence on Donald Trump and his campaign and that is something I did not have before this endorsement. That is “yuge.”

I will be watching to see evidence of this influence and hope it will be easy to recognize. If it is evident it would help me make a FOR vote in November instead of an AGAINST vote. I am still a Ben Carson supporter. However, I still plan to watch more old westerns than political “news” going forward, keeping in mind,

It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about America.

If We the People can all evaluate and make decisions over the next few weeks and months through this prism, America will be better off and maybe even “Great Again.”

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.