Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Compelling Letter from Elizebeth Edwards re: Patty Sheehan

This letter is over a week old, but I appreciate Elizebeth Edward's heartfelt message below......

Dear Friend,

Casey Sheehan was born May 29, 1979, the first born child of Cindy and Pat Sheehan. It was a long labor. Fifty-one days after Casey was born, our first child, Wade was born, also after a long labor. They started school the same year, played the same games, watched the same television shows, loved the same country. On April 4, 1996, three weeks after going to Washington as a winner in a national contest about what America meant to him, Wade died in an automobile accident. On April 4, 2004, eight years later to the day, Casey, who loved his country enough to wear its uniform, died in Iraq. Cindy and Pat's hearts broke, as had ours.

We teach our children right from wrong. We teach them compassion and honor. We teach them the dignity of each life. And then, sometimes, the lessons we taught are turned on their heads. Cindy Sheehan is asking a very simple thing of her government, and she and her family, and most particularly Casey, have paid a very dear price for the right to ask this.

Cindy wants Casey's death to have meant as much as his life - lived fully - might have meant. I know this, as does every mother who has ever stood where we stand. And the President says he knows enough, doesn't need to hear from Casey's mother, doesn't need to assure her that Casey's is not one small death in a long and seemingly never-ending drip of deaths, that there is a plan here that will bring our sons and daughters home. He doesn't need to hear from her, he says. He claims he understands how some people feel about the deaths in Iraq.

The President is wrong.

Whether you agree or disagree with every part, or any part, of what Cindy wants to say, you know it is better that the President hear different opinions, particularly from those with such a deep and personal interest in the decisions of our government. Today, another voice would be helpful. Cindy Sheehan can be that voice. She has earned the right to be that voice.

Please join me in supporting Cindy's right to be heard.

I grew up in a military family. My father and my grandfather were career Navy pilots. I saw what it meant to live a life every single day when the possibility of an honorable death is always there, at the dinner table, on the playground, at the base school. Will someone's father not come home tonight? And I didn't just feel the possibility, I saw the real thing, and, believe me, it stays with you, it changes you.

I also saw, then and more recently as I campaigned across this country and spent time with courageous military mothers and wives, how little attention is paid to the needs and the voices of military families. It has to change. The sacrifices that our military men and women make assure us that we have the strongest military in the world, but the sacrifices that their families make are too often ignored. The President's cavalier dismissal of Cindy Sheehan is emblematic of a greater problem. This is a mother who raised her son to love his country enough to serve. This is a mother who lived the impossible life of a mother of a soldier serving in Iraq, unable to sleep when he sleeps, unable to sleep when he is on duty, unable to watch the television, unable to stop watching the television.

And when the worst does happen, when the world comes crashing down and she puts the boy she bore, the boy she taught, the boy she loved in the ground, what does that government say to her? It says we'll do the talking; we don't need to hear from you. If we are decent and compassionate, if we know the lessons we taught our children, or if, selfishly, all we want is the long line of the brave to protect us in the future, we should listen to the mothers now.

Elizebeth Edwards

Monday, August 22, 2005

2 THOSE WHO CARE: Marie B. Stanley

If I ever get around to writing a book about being an elected official I'm going to have a section on committed citizenship. Marie B. Stanley will be featured. Mrs. Stanley attended about every meeting in my six years as a County Commissioner. She successfully lobbied our Board, meeting after meeting, and in my 5th year on the Board--we funded the Mobile Medical Unit. That was her burning passion and desire for the citizens of Guilford County. A desire born out of her life experience due to her husband's stroke and decline.

To have a van that would check on the elderly in their homes. Those too sick to go without help, but not needing or wanting a prolonged hospital stay.

She is a primary example that one person can make a difference in a lasting way. I attended the 2 Those Who Care banquet tonight just because I appreciate her determination and spirit.

In her words, she's one great reason why "we should not forget to help the helpless!" (Usually at this point 30 seconds after the speaker's from floor buzzer has sounded) :}

Triad Orioles Pull Away as Regular Season Champs!

For the third year in a row, we've won the Regular Season Championship in the MSBL! While we got off to a slow start the Orioles turned it on in the closing weeks to win the Regular Season.

While there is a veneer of success, the real challenge will be to win the tournament which has been elusive over this same span. You'll be kept informed....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Kinky Friedman for Governor!

This guy is a trip and a walking sound bite!

Kinky Friedman was on ABC and CBS this morning. "I'm for gay marriage! Gays have just as much right to be as miserable as other married couples. While for gay marriage, he also stands strongly behind the 10 commandments. He calls them "the 10 suggestions" to soften it a bit. For the death penalty, but not for "killin' the wrong person".

On Faith: "May the God of your choice bless you!" On Education: "Texas is in a race with Mississippi to get to the bottom. We are 1st in Executions and 49th in education" On Politicians getting reelected: Never Re-Elect Anyone... Politics is the only profession where the participants get worse with experience! On fiscal policy: Referring to father, when I die I want my last check to bounce! On Energy Policy: Willie Nelson (supporter of bio-diesel) will be my Energy Czar.

Want some Kinky salsa? Kinka talking action figure? Pay $5000 to golf with Kinky, Jesse Ventura, and Willie Nelson?

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Triad Highland Games a HIT!

Triad Highland Games were a huge success again this year. At noon the weather was a nice and toasty 90 something. My people, from the Isle of Lewis, would have never made it in the heat!

My people were from the Highlands of Scotland (and Ireland). I'm kin to Connor and Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod from the Highlander movies. Clan Lewis is part of the Clan McLeod.

I'm Jeff Thigpen, of the Clan McLeod. Highlander.

Oh well, I think the heat go to me....

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Best Bed and Breakfast in Annapolis! The Flag House Inn!

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Check out The Flag House Inn the next time you are in the Annapolis area! Great accommodations with wonderful hosts Bill and Charlotte Schmickle--former Guilford College faculty and staff members.

Mention that Jeff sent you and get a FREE pamphlet on "The Yeltsin Revolution and Russian Export Protectionism" with a Blood Pressure check and Strep Screen/Throat Culture as part of your vacationing package!

Just kiddin! But great place to stay!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rhino Times broke the White Supremist Candidate Story in Charlotte!

Rhino Times Charlotte, little brother of Rhino Times Greensboro, broke the story of the Doug Hanks, a Republican at-large candidate for city council.

This is a disturbing piece and another related to his postings on Mark Pellin, Editor, does a great job of researching and exposing this guy.

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J.D. Rowland Retires.

J.D came by yesterday morning after he informed the County Manager of his resignation as Budget Director after 33 1/2 years. We shared some special moments talking about our mutual respect for each other and I'm truly honored to have the opportunity to work with him.

J.D. Rowland is THE definition of "public servant". I cannot say how much integrity and class he carries within and I strive to have his commitment. JD has had the truest and purest desire for the goodness of Guilford County government that I've ever seen. While the public sees the ongoing craziness (and insanity experienced or insanity manufactured or accurately or inaccurately reported on in mass), JD has always been a stabilizing force as Budget Director.

I have so many fond memories, but I'll only share one. In 2003, when our Board was totally split on the hiring of a county manager after Roger Cotten retired, we offered JD the position. He turned us down at least 5 times privately.... But the way he turned us down was truly inspiring and he challenged us to get beyond our differences and work together on the decision ultimately. In closed session we unanimously 11-0 voted to hire JD. And yes, he turned us down once again--but the tone of the discussion and debate changed. We had so many good things to talk about with him. JD's mere presence and authority helped us make a way out of no way.

Within the hour we unanimously hired Willie Best as our new manager.

JD, of course, would never take any credit and would only say privately that he was grateful if God used him to help us through a difficult situation.

The Board of Commissioners will surely find a new Budget Director. My hope and prayer is that they can find a true public servant like JD Rowland.

I can't wait to see how JD's granddaughter develops and grows because she'll be getting a full-time Grandfather!

Good luck JD. I'm sure you know God has done great things with you as Budget Director. Farewell my friend.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Congress should get involved and take action re: Major League Baseball Drug Policies!

Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC) discusses his position on drug testing in Major League Baseball in the News and Observer. I agree with his position.

As a baseball player (MSBL- Orioles Senior League Farm Team- haha), I am really disappointed in the cloud surrounding many potential Hall of Fame players- McGuire, Palmiero, Bonds, Ivan Rodriquez, and others. I agree with Washington Nationals Coach Frank Robinson. "If they used the juice and its proven, then it's just like they didn't play". With the hyper-modern home run races over the last few years, its interesting the #'s are reduced in proportion to the light now being shed on the doping issues. It smells and looks really bad. Something should be done immediately and more than MLB's doing now.

What's the juice? Androstenedione; Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), Gestrinone and Trenbolone and other anabolic steriods that build muscle mass.

Friday, August 05, 2005

CAUTION: CHED MYERS: From Country Road to Mean Streets!

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Ched Myers video from lecture on the Emmaus Road in the Gospel of Luke at Washington's Catholic Cathedral from April 27th, 2005.

CAUTION: Do not watch unless you want your world rocked....and your faith 'Shock and Awed'!

The Message Thing: Jim Wallis gives Faith Talk to Democrats!

Jim Wallis charts out ideas about how the Democratic Party can recapture the message thing re: Faith in a New York Times piece. (You may have to register with NY Times to get the article. It's free).

It's a fresh piece and a good read.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Good Deeds Team makes $300 for Charity!

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The Good Deeds Team sold coffee and baked goods yesterday morning for the Prayer Shawl Group through First Lutheran Church and Creative Hearts and Hands through Fellowship Presbyterian Church. These two charities make blankets, hats, and other clothing for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. ROD staff selected these charities to support in this first two-month period.

Our first event was a tremendous success and we will be planning others! Special thanks to ROD staff, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and TATE STREET COFFEEHOUSE for their in-kind donations!