It's been a week since residents of the two nursing homes at Park View Health Center moved into the new building, and the smile on Ron Fauk's face is still ear-to-ear.
"When I walked in here I couldn't believe it. I thought it was just beautiful," Fauk said.
Fauk, 61, is a divorced father of two who managed men's clothing stores in Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Wausau before moving into Pleasant Acres a year and a half ago. He has cerebral palsy and other health conditions, and uses a wheelchair.
Dressed smartly in a blue lambs wool sweater and pink and blue striped polo shirt, Fauk admitted he still enjoys shopping. He greeted visitors in the main lobby of the new $23 million building Wednesday.
He pointed to the polished wooden doors at the entrance to the great room and spoke animatedly about the real tablecloths and napkins in the kitchen of Woodlands South, the wing of the building he shares with about 20 other residents.
"The food isn't delivered to us on trays. It feels like you're in a restaurant or something," he said.
The flat screen TV in his room and his own private bathroom are pretty cool features, too.
Fauk is one of the 168 residents of Pleasant Acres and the Rehabilitation Pavilion, Winnebago County's two former nursing home buildings, who moved into their new homes last Tuesday and Wednesday.
Jeff Healey, a Canadian guitarist, singer and songwriter whose band sold millions of blues-rock records and who also pursued a passion for old-time jazz, playing the trumpet and clarinet, died on Sunday in Toronto. He was 41.
There has long been good reason to worry about Diebold voting machines. Many are “black box” electronic machines that do not produce paper records, so voters have to accept the results they report on faith.
Diebold, however, has not inspired much faith. It has been accused of illegally using uncertified software on its voting machines, exposing elections to possible tampering, and of making glitchy machines that misrecord votes.
Then there’s the little matter of the company’s CEO signing a letter before the 2004 election — in which his machines would be counting many of the votes — saying that he was committed to helping deliver Ohio to President Bush.
(The Onion has a hilarious video up on Youtube, a mock news report about Diebold accidently releasing the results of the 2008 presidential election before the voting occurs. View it here.)
Now, there’s a new reason to worry that Diebold plays such a large role in presidential elections. United Technologies has made an unsolicited $3 billion bid to take over Diebold.
United Technologies is one of the nation’s leading defense contractors, which means it has an enormous corporate interest in who gets elected President.
When we heard the news, we couldn’t help thinking of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous warning, in his farewell address, about the dangerously increasing influence of the “military-industrial complex.” (Watch a video of a key part of the speech here.)
Eisenhower told the American people that
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
Given his blunt warning, we suspect that Eisenhower would be appalled to learn that a defense contractor could be counting the votes in the next presidential election.