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I’m a little disgusted with some peoples’ focus today, but it’s really nothing new.

Over the past two days, I presented a program on hand safety at the industrial facility where I work.  Since 2001, 45% of our company’s injuries involved hands.  The program included a film produced by another one of our company’s facilities.  The video is pretty good; it was produced well, several people from various departments at the plant discuss hand safety and why it’s important to not only be aware of where you’re putting your hands, but also to watch out for fellow employees.  An incident where one of the plant’s employees was injured moving a drum was discussed, and another employee discussed how his brother was injured at another local industrial facility, and could no longer use his arm.  

The only thing I didn’t like about the film was that it shows people working with their hands while people talk about hand safety.  These scenes are slightly out of focus, probably for some kind of visual effect.

The mechanics in our Maintenance department are notorious for bitching.  So, of course, during the film, instead of focusing on the message, an employee asks, "Why are certain parts out of focus?"

As part of this program, we interact with the groups and ask questions like, "What kind of tasks put you at risk to a hand injury?", "What can you do to prevent these types of injuries?" and "What can management do to assist?"

One of the mechanics spoke up in the last of the four meetings I had and said, "Signing the work permit is probably the most hazardous thing we do out here."  

Work permits are used to review the hazards of the job prior to the job being started.  The mechanics gripe about this because only the shift supervisor can sign the permit, and it takes time when you have seven people waiting to get signed off on a permit.  Again, whining about something not related to hand safety.

The other thing that happened yesterday was a couple of soldiers in Texas shot 43 people, killing 13 of them.  On one of my friend’s facebook pages, a video of Obama’s press conference from Fox News was posted.  Obama is introduced and he thanks his cabinet for showing up at whatever conference he happened to be at and then he also "gives a shout out" to the Congressional Medal of Honor winner who is in the audience.  Then he addresses the shootings.  If you saw this video on MSNBC (or Daily Kos TV, via the MSNBC presentation), you didn’t see the intro.

My friend posts a comment along with the video with numerical points, stating that the President mentioned 5 things before addressing the "horrific outburst of violence".  If you notice the title of the YouTube video, you can see that’s the slant that Fox was also taking.

What happened in Fort Hood is terrible.  But why focus on the "odd shout out" that the President gave before his speech?  Yeah, okay, I guess if I really thought about it, it is sort of odd, but who cares?

Part of me wants to (and will) launch into a rant about how in a country where anyone can go buy a gun and ammunition, it should be expected that this sort of thing could happen.  People want to know why things like the Virginia Tech school shootings happen.  They launch investigations to find out why.  How do you explain crazy?  Put crazy in the same room with guns, ammunition, and a little bit of anger and what do you think is going to happen?  Why are we surprised when this happens?  Quite honestly, I am amazed it doesn’t happen more often.  Should the President take time to address every shooting that occurs in the country, or should he spend his time trying to solve other issues, like health care, and doing what he can to create jobs?

I’m just asking people for a little more focus, okay?  Can we try to solve the root causes of the problems in this country instead of worrying about the President essentially saying "Hello" to somebody?  Go save a kitten, or something.

Originally posted to jezmez68 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:39 AM PST.

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