Posted by David Keelan on Friday, April 20, 2007
I know Evan Coren and Ian Kennedy to be thoughtful, deliberate, and serious people. Now I don’t always agree with them. If you read this blog you probably read their blogs – so you would know that already. However, we do agree more often than not and I respect them for their usually sound arguements (Tom Birkhouse might weigh in here so I need to be careful – Tom if you read this be nice.) So, if it matters at all I endorse both Ian and Evan. They will inject much needed new energy, vigor, ideas, and civility into the Columbia Council.
As far as Barbara Russell goes, I admire her for standing up and supporting a County Executive candidate and refusing to backdown when confronted by ill informed people. She had every right to do what she did and (from an IRS perspective) she didn’t jeopardize anyone person or organization in doing so. I understood this right away (and I am not very smart) but a past and current candidate for Columbia Council did not. If he couldn’t grasp this fact nor take the time to read the Columbia Association Charter before leveling charges of misconduct against members of the Council then it is a stretch for me to believe that Bill Santos has the abilities necessary to serve on the Columbia Council. I think it is likely he will continue to be reckless with his words and deeds and only create further acrimony on the Council. Something that no one needs more of – it should stop.
If Ms. Russell loses to Ian Kennedy I am certain she will remain engaged and active in the community and will make an even larger contribution to the community by serving elsewhere.
Posted in David Keelan, Howard County | 8 Comments »
Posted by Ed C on Sunday, April 15, 2007
From the Examiner, Officials not held negligent for failing to protect slain family.
The judge cited the 1986 Maryland case Ashburn v. Anne Arundel County as addressing the duty owed by police officers to the public. In that case, it was determined that a policy that places a duty on a police officer to insure the safety of each member of the community would create an unnecessary burden on the judicial system.
The ruling upheld a Baltimore court ruling that dismissed a $14 million lawsuit that was filed by relatives of Angela and Carnell Dawson and five children who were murdered by a drug dealer because they complained repeatedly to the police. The family made 109 calls to 911 from Jan 1, 2000 through Oct 16 2002, the day they were killed in a fire bombing attack.
In order for State and local governments to be responsible, the police must established a “special relationship”:
[The Judge Dale] Cathell also pointed out that there are circumstances under which a police officer “by his or her affirmative acts,” could create a duty to a specific individual by establishing a “special relationship.” In that circumstance, it must be shown that the local government or the police officer acted to protect someone, “thereby inducing the victim’s specific reliance upon the police protection.”
But the judge found “there is no fact establishing a special relationship between the city and the Dawsons on the basis of the 911 calls.”
The judge wrote that the only “affirmative act, if any existed at all” was the suggestion by police that the family move. Cathell noted that the family wasn’t injured because they moved, but because they stayed.
As our elected representatives contemplate legislation that affects how we can defend ourselves and our families, they need to be reminded the state has no duty to protect an individual.
Posted in Ed C, Maryland | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ed C on Sunday, April 15, 2007
The status of the local bills pushed by the Howard County delegates in the MD General Assembly previously discussed in the post here (the numbers in parentheses refer to previous post) and as reported in the Examiner – Delegate nab state funds for local projects .
Other bills that passed this session included:
- Property Tax Credit for properties jointly owner with HoCo Housing Commission (6)
- HoCo Annual Report Filing Date (7)
- Board of Education – Qualifications and Election of Student Member (12)
- Union Service Representation Fee (11)
Posted in Ed C, General Assembly, Howard County | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ed C on Saturday, April 14, 2007
From the Baltimore Sun’s article Miller shows he is firmly in control
Baltimore Democrat Del. Maggie L. McIntosh is quoted “Excuse me, these bills make money,” she said. “They don’t spend money; they make money.”
Democrats have proposed raising income, sales, gas, tobacco, developers and are eying a special session to push these proposals to “make more money.” How high can taxes go? Well, according to Democrats, it is a careful balancing act; the role of government is to collect (and spend) as much as possible. From the Howard County Spending Affordability Advisory Committee Report The question is “…what level of service can the county provide to county residents and still maintain a level of taxes and fees citizens will pay.”
I wonder what the budget and taxes would look like if our current legislators looked at the issue the other way around; – What is the minimal level of services that residents are willing to accept.
Posted in Budget, Ed C, Taxes | 8 Comments »
Posted by David Keelan on Friday, April 6, 2007
On Friday before the Baltimore St. Patrick Day Parade I was called by RTE Ireland. They are the Irish National Radio Station – akin to a BBC. They wanted to interview me about the Irish in America and how Americans celebrate St. Patrick Day.
In fairness I tried to get the radio host to call the current Chairman of the Parade, Ann McDonnell, but he insisted that he wanted to interview me. I think he just felt he had a live person and wouldn’t let go.
Honestly, this is probably the one thing I miss most about being Chairman of the Parade – the press interviews are fun. No one is trying to trip you up, looking for dirt, or take you out of context. They just want to do a fun story without controversy. Very novel.
Anyway the interview starts in Dublin, Ohio, then to Shamrock, Texas, then to Georgia, and then they saved the best for last – Baltimore. When asked I was kind to Governor O’Malley.
If you are interested and have RealPlayer installed take a listen.
BTW: I got a good phone call yesterday afternoon. I was accepted into an area college’s Executive MBA program. It was a good day yesterday.
Posted in David Keelan, General | 4 Comments »
Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, April 5, 2007
Maybe Secretary of State.
Anyway, when I saw that the Speaker was traveling to the Middle East I really didn’t think much of it – at first. I certainly didn’t understand President Bush’s concerns either. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it. What could she do? Start a war with Dubai?
Then the flap in Syria when she misrepresented statements from Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert. Treating Assad like he was the queen of the ball instead of the fiend even the Post agrees that he is. I just rolled my eyes – she doesn’t make foreign policy and she is just making an #$$ of herself I thought to myself. I wondered “What do these people think of her?” I think she is in over her head in foreign policy and the Israeli government was very kind to her in their response to Pelosi’s “break through peace deal”. She meets privately with Olmert for the first time in her life and walks away with a foreign policy break through – hooray! She must have had loads of her staff negotiating with Israel and Syria for the last three months.
Then the Washington Post put it into perspective for me.
The Speaker of the House is two heartbeats away from the oval office. What they say and do matters – a lot. Perhaps Bush had an idea of what Pelosi was up to. Maybe he was concerned about her inexperience in foreign affairs. Maybe he was trying to protect the rights of the Executive Branch – after all the Executive is responsible for foreign relations and not either chamber in Congress.
As the Washington Post said:
HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad.
Granted other members of congress have made similar trip even very recently. But as the Post reminds us:
…those other congressmen didn’t try to introduce a new U.S. diplomatic initiative in the Middle East. “We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace,” Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.
You have to read the rest of the editorial. It is scathing. The sense is that Mrs. Pelosi is full of herself at the moment.
After coming off of a major legislative victory (funding the “war on terror” with an expiration date) she must feel pretty good. Never mind she had to bribe 1/2 of her party members with pork projects (business as usual – somethings will never change) to squeak by a victory, had to put down a minor revolt in her party (congratulations), and she hasn’t enough clout/bribes to muster a veto override. Soon the fruits of this victory will turn to ashes in her mouth.
Speaker Pelosi is going to be a major stumbling block for Democratic Congressional and Presidential hopefuls in 2008 until she comes back down to earth, gets some practical work done, is careful about what she (as speaker of the house) says in diplomatic circles, or better yet leave it to the professionals.
Posted in Democrats | 5 Comments »