Cousins: No Closer Connection

cousin-sayingsI should probably preface this post with the fact that this is a very personal commentary and if you want to stop reading now, I will totally understand.  This topic is completely out of the realm of politics, sports or any other topics that I have touch on in the past.  I just need to get this out, in a cathartic sense because I just really can’t keep it in any longer.

Growing up I was blessed with 23 first cousins, six on one side and seventeen on the other.  With that many cousins, I really didn’t have a need for friends because I already had 23 of them.  My childhood memories are filled with times with my cousins.  Family events, holidays or just a summer picnic at a local park.  Still today, decades later, I am still very close with the overwhelming majority of them.  With many of them, we’re still making memories even as we have grown up and started families of our own.  Their kids and mine are best of friends.  It is beautiful to see.

There is one though, that I can no longer make memories with.  We lost him in an accident last year and it was a loss so deep and profound it is still an open wound. There are still tears, there are still flashes of old memories that come crashing back that are followed by an outburst of tears much like the tears that were shed when the news came some 16 months ago.  Ricky was one of those people that you just felt blessed knowing and even more so having the privilege to call family.  He had one of those larger-than-life personalities that made connections with people that left an impression that you always carried with you.  People like him are rare and nothing short of a treasure.

I was blessed to be his big cousin by some 14 years.  To say I adored that little boy would be an understatement.   We lived an hour or so away from each other so whenever there was an opportunity to spend time with him, I would jump at it – he and I just had a connection.  One of the fondest memories I have of him, is when I was in college and he was about five – he would wake me up early on Saturdays when he was visiting and we would make cereal and sit on the living room floor together and watch cartoons.  There I was in my twenties, often hung over and there was no place I would rather be than sitting there on the floor with Ricky.

I would look over at him and find him staring back at me with the biggest smile and those dimples of his – just looking back at me with so much love – it still brings me to tears just thinking about it. This freeze-framed memory is simply burned in my memory. There was just something magical about the time we spent together.  Even when his dad took a job that brought them out of the country for a few years, and I moved out of state, that connection was still as strong as ever.

Until the moment we lost Ricky, the most difficult time in my life was the loss of our grandmother some 23 years ago.  I loved my grandmother more than anyone else in this world, she wasn’t just my grandmother, she was my friend.  The day of her funeral, after the services were over at the cemetery I just couldn’t leave her side.  The rest of the family had walked away and started getting into their cars but I just couldn’t leave her alone.  That is all I kept thinking, “We can’t just leave her here alone.”  Two uncles tried to get me to leave her side, my dad and mom as well and finally someone asked Ricky to try to come get me.

He came to my side, saw my tears, and without a word,  just held out his hand for me to go with him.  I look at him and took his hand and we walked in silence holding hands back to the rest of our family.

He was 12.

The boy from that day grew into a man much like the 12 year-old version of himself.  He just knew instinctively what to say and do in situations where others would be unsure of their next move.  It was one of his many gifts.

Sadly, as with many families, when there is a death, there are harsh words over materialistic things and then hurt feelings and in the worst cases, family stops talking to each other.  This was the case for Ricky and I and for over a decade we were keep apart.  My cousins and I became collateral damage.  I actually had to do an internet search to see photos of him in college to see what he looked like. Looking back, how pathetic is this simple act? Thankfully he played sports in college so I was able to find him with little effort and was brought to tears to see him.

Finally, at a family wedding, we were all together in the same room for the first time since we said goodbye to my grandmother.  Time had healed some wounds and we were able to at least be sociable as a family and have fun together again.  Ricky and I picked right up where we left off and while the boy had become a man he still remembered our Saturday morning cartoons and the closeness we shared.  It was as if the time apart had been weeks instead of years.

I was so happy to have him back in my life, for him to meet my children and for them to get to know him on their own terms.  They, of course, took to him in a heart beat and quickly found out just how amazing he was.  Sadly, that was short-lived.

A family divorce caused similar issues that plagued us when my grandmother passed away.  Thankfully, this time, we were adults and living on our own and could stay in touch through social media and phone calls.  Yet, when he was in town, he was forbidden to see me.  To “keep the peace” we obliged because if the wrong person found out that certain cousins saw the others, it would be hell for him.

Ricky’s death hurt more than losing my grandmother.  Why?  Because with Grandma, she was sick and we knew here time was finite.  Ricky’s death was so much more horrific because his life had just started, it was so unexpected and for me personally, I had hoped that with time, we could have the kind of relationship we were supposed to have once the aftermath of the divorce wore off.

I harbor so much resentment and loathing for the one person who insisted that my cousins and I be pawns in this game that no one was ever going to win.  We were never part of each other’ special moments, graduations, weddings, new additions to the family – all the moments that are supposed to be shared as a family were the very moments that we were cheated out of.

Recently, Ricky was recognized posthumously at his alma mater and we were thankfully part of the weekend of events yet I am again filled with anger and resentment for all that I missed out on in his life and now, there will never be an opportunity to recoup, to rebuild or reconnect.  All I have are fragmented memories, anger and regret … but I will always have Saturday cartoons.  No one can take them away from me – they are mine and mine alone.








HP: Tech Support Horror Story

HPIt is now 9:03 pm.

I have been either on the phone, or waiting for steps that I was told to take on my laptop since just after 5 pm.  I am spent.  I simply cannot believe that a company that I had complete trust in, has become my newest nightmare.


For the past few months, my daughter’s laptop had been dropping the wi-fi signal.  She never told me about it until one day about three weeks ago.  So we started calling HP Support.  We probably had three or four technicians walk us through various steps, troubleshooting and no one seems to know what was wrong or how to fix it.

Well, as of today, the warranty has 16 days left.  So, I came to the realization that they were, most likely, just pushing us through to the deadline.  But, I thought I would give them one more try.  I called them again today to see if they could try again.  Lord knows how many hours we have already dedicated to this but I was willing to try nonetheless.

The technician we received, once I explained the problem and what I was seeing on my screen thought he had a grasp of the problem.  Yet, after about an hour of troubleshooting, be told me we had no other choice than to do a complete system restore back to the factory settings.

He walked me through it and then said he would call back because there were a few things he had to do to the computer remotely before the problem could be fixed.  He said he would call back in an hour once the system restore was complete, because there were some settings he wanted to change or adjust.  So, I sat here waiting for the system restore to go through all of its steps and setting up the computer again as if it just came out of the box.  Then I had to set it all up, user and etc.

The technician called back but hung up before I could get to the phone.  I figured he would call back, he never did.  I was sitting right here next to the phone the entire time, and even checked for a dial tone a few times just to make sure.  He never called back.  It was about 7:40 by this time.

So, I called HP back and asked to speak to the technician I had before.  I was told that couldn’t be done.  By now we were well into hour three of this fiasco.  Technician #2 said he looked at the case notes and that if the system restore was done, there was nothing more to do, everything must be working fine.  That is when I started to lose it.  I raised my voice and told him that the previous technician said there were things he had to adjust, things he had to do to make sure the wifi didn’t drop anymore.  “Ma’am, there is nothing more that needs to be done, your computer should be working fine. ”  He continued to argue with me for another few moment and I just hung up on him while he was doing his whole, “Thank you for calling HP, have a nice day.”

I gave my daughter her computer back and in less than an hour, the signal dropped again. Now we were into hour four of this disaster and approaching hour five.  I called the 800 number AGAIN and this time refused any tech support help and said I want a brand new, fresh smelling, right off the factory floor laptop.  I didn’t want a refurbished one, I wasn’t going to have my daughter without her computer for two weeks while they tried to “fix” it.  Because we all know that by the end of this something is going to get screwed up and we’re going to be told that the warranty date has passed and we’re out of luck.

So, I was told that a brand new computer is not an option, I was told that it could be sent in for repairs and I said, “We’ll, what about the warranty?” The supervisor said he could extend it for 90 days.  I told him it wasn’t good enough.  I told him that I have always had HP products; laptops, printers and have never had any problems with customer service technicians who didn’t know how to fix a problem.  In the past four months, we not only had the laptop issue but the wireless printer refused to stay online.  I easily wasted half a ream of paper on print jobs that were partially completed or pages that only print the top half and then the thing quit on me.  When I asked for a new printer, because it was still under warranty, they were disingenuous because they agreed, but sent me a refurbished printer, not a new one.  The problem still exists and now I have to shut the printer down and restart it just about every time I want to print something.

Got an extra six months on the warranty for the laptop.  It is going to be sent in for repairs, a new wireless card or something to that effect.  The only reason I gave in was because we were going to be on vacation next week and I knew that she wouldn’t need the laptop for school.

So, I’ll get back to you all in about 10 days with an update … I just hung up with the supervisor at 9:47 pm.








A Thought From the Left: Who Gets to Define Racism?

CB-RacismWhile following a tweet thread related to the recent Twitter Deverfication scandal with Beritbart Tech Editor, Milo Yianniopoulos, I stumbled upon a Twitter account of someone who claimed to be a sociologist.  She is clearly a neo-feminist, among other things, and I actually got a headache as I reviewed her Timeline.  Once I got past the fear of sharing the same planet, let along country with this person, I simply had to call out the lunacy.

Among a litany of other insane comments which would give me blog content for the next few years, she stated that white people cannot define racism.  I almost let that go but then I kept circling back to it.  Based on what I could glean, she is probably a grad student, but I guess we’ll let her claim of being a sociologist go for now, but her comment opened up a floodgate of thoughts – the least of all being, that we as conservative have a obligation to engage with people who think like this because, in all honesty, they have gone unchecked for far too long.  Unless we’re talking about a hot-button issue that has polarized liberals and conservatives for decades, each side tends to keep to themselves – yet with social media, that has dramatically changed and we have to step up and start making an argument.

I hate to break it to my little pseudo-sociologist but racism was around long before Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci – it wasn’t something invented in the Colonies or even crystallized here – it has been around for millenniums.  I may be mistaken but I think that slavery existed in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome and Greece and as inconvenient as it is,  in pre-colonial Africa. While the left loves to make their narrative pliable and play-doh-like to fit their version of the truth, in this case there is no wiggle room.  Racism isn’t going anywhere.

Attempting to redefine racism as uniquely a black vs. white context is disingenuous and weakens the argument in question.  Racism isn’t new, it isn’t of American invention, it has been around and will always be around because at the heart of racism is power and the need for power and control over other human beings for your own personal benefit.  It has much more to do with an individual’s personality and life experience than it does the pigmentation of someone’s skin.

Yet arguing about the definition of racism and who can define it and who can’t is a liberal rabbit hole that they all seem to enjoy climbing into together because it apparently makes them all feel better.  The left has gotten so far gone with these that we now have spin-off of things like perceived racism, systemic racism, white guilt, white privilege and so many more.  It seems entertaining new ways to define it has become a hobby of theirs.

So does this mean that only women can define Feminism, not men?  (Which was actually another claim of this “sociologist”).

But, for fun, let’s follow this train of thought …

Who among women is better able to define feminism?  Does she just need to have that XY chromosome combination?  Does she need to be of a certain color? nationality? political affiliation? Does she need to have boobs? Boobs and a vagina?  What about Caitlin Jenner?

Based on this logic are the following assertions correct as well?

Only liberals can define liberalism?

Only conservatives can define conservatism?

Only communists can define communism?

Only fascists can define fascism?

So what about things like:

Ageism?  At what age do you have to be to be able to define ageism?

Sexism?  What sex do you have to be to define sexism?  (Again, the Caitlin Jenner question)

The more I read and attempt to grasp the rationale here, I come to one haunting conclusion, they need all of these definitions, phrases and terms to avoid the root of a problem.  The labeling, name-calling and accusations are nothing more than a ruse to avoid having a legitimate debate for fear of destabilizing their victim-ridden belief that they can fix all of the world’s ills and lead us all into an Utopian state.

For a group of people who claim they despise labels so much, they sure dedicate an overwhelming amount of time inventing them, defining them, redefining them and then, of course deciding who has the right to define them in their world view and who doesn’t.

But that would indicate a bias based on a prejudice …

Current Events, MSM, Politics

Has Twitter Crossed the Liberal Line? : Deverification Destroys First Ammendment


Until a few days ago, I had no idea who Milo Yiannopoulos was.  As someone who supports gay rights and is a conservative, I should probably apologize to Milo for not know who he was … so, sorry, Bud!  But I know who you are now and you now have a new fan/follower.

Milo, a Brit by birth, is the often sharped-tonged Tech Editor for conservative news site Breitbart.com and has taken on some  savory topics as of late – which way well have had a hand in his recent trip to Twitter Jail.

In a nutshell, taking a page from the IRS who attempted to take away access to conservative groups requesting non-profit status, Twitter has decided that the best way to silence conservatives on their site is to use mild character assassination.  Milo is still unclear, some 48 hours later, as to why he lost his powerful verification check mark on his profile. Milo has yet to be told specifically what landed him in Twitter Jail even after repeated attempts for clarification.

The check mark’s purpose is to merely confirm the identity of the account.  So, Twitter choosing to use deverification as a punishment for an unspecified terms violation is somewhat suspect because suspending someone’s account is the norm for them. The beauty in all of this is that it has backfired on them and this may well only be the beginning.

Yet, this is a questionable narrative for Twitter to take against a B-List conservative with some 140,000 followers.  While liberals staunchly sit on their platform of equality, freedom of speech, acceptance and tolerance – clearly these are tenets that only fellow liberals are allowed access to in the Twitterverse.  Conservatives need not apply.

By taking control of the playing field as it were and limiting who is allowed to wield their tenets, it shows a calculated flaw in their narrative by syncing the message to the spin of their world view they limit what the general public has access too and indirectly allows ill-informed conclusions to be made.  The liberal MSM here in the US and Europe has enjoyed control for the past few decades yet their recent blatant bias against conservatives has more than enough people taking a pause – which is very good.

Moreover, what this tells those intuitive enough to grasp the overarching story line is that liberals, here specifically Twitter, can’t make a legitimate argument against the conservative narrative so they just simply cut it off at the knees.  The classic case of taking their ball home because they don’t like the score.  It shows a weakness, an inability to argue their case, an inability to have a clear understanding of their point of view but feebly defend it because they don’t want to be proven wrong.

It is also important to note that an unverified Twitter account under the name Michael Margolis , (@Yipe) who claims to be an Engineering Manager at Twitter, was most likely the individual who reported Milo to Twitter’s Terms of Service. His Twitter tagline reads, “Engineering Manager at . RTs are official endorsements. Tweets definitely express the opinions of my employer.”  Margolis has, interestingly enough, delete all of the tweets related to this incident that supposedly happened on Friday 1/8/2016 and is believed to have been in response to a tweet that Milo sent out to a fellow (female) conservative where he writes, “You deserve to be harassed.”

The fact that the recipient of Milo’s joke was female, the feminists have blindly come out in droves in support of Twitter’s retaliatory response to free speech.  (Please tell me I am not the only one seeing the sarcastic irony here).  Which leads me to my favorite tweet of the day where Twitter user Terri Hoy schools Huffington Post’s Jessica Thompson for her pseudo-feminism.

Milo has not taken this deverification sitting down and he has rightfully taken his argument to anyone who will listen.  He has changed his Twitter account from @Yiannopoulos to @Nero and taken to the hashtag #JeSuisMilo, a spin-off of the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag which took hold in January of 2015 to show the importance of freedom of the press after a French paper was terrorized and 14 employees were killed in a terrorist attack at their Paris offices.

There is also another conversation taking place between Milo and the folks at @Recode in response to their take on Milo’s verification loss – which again can be equated to the punishment not fitting the crime because verification only confirms identity and nothing more.  It is interesting that Recode’s article refers to Milo’s employer Breitbart.com as “a tabloid.”  But we’re not supposed to read anything into that, are we?

Milo told @Recode:

“If Twitter has decided to make partisan political editorial decisions, that’s their prerogative. But they must be honest with the public about it. Otherwise they risk damaging their key users’ reputations with ‘unverifications’ and suspensions that give the false impression of harassment, abuse or some other kind of bad behaviour, of which of course I am not guilty.”

Sadly, the left doesn’t play that way, they would never come out and admit that they were playing partisan politics because their modus operandi has always been to hide in the vagueness of reality with ambiguity as their ally while they continually ask for forgiveness instead of permission.


Current Events, Fleecing of America, MSM, Obama Administration, On the International Front, Politics

Are They All Truly Refugees?


Where are their wives, children and the elderly?
Where are their wives, children and the elderly?

It has been difficult the past few days, since the Paris attack, to watch social media and read how some feel that there is no real threat, that these people are true refugees yearning to breathe free.  Someone actually posted on Facebook that they felt they had to re-evaluate their view of me because they held me in such high regard … until they found out my stance on the Syrian refugees.

What people seem to be missing is that we are not getting the full story.  Over the last 40 years or so the media has discovered that their job is no longer to report the news in an unbiased fashion, it is now to use their position and the public’s trust to influence their opinions, thoughts and perspectives.  Even in some of the most liberal nations of Europe where the citizenry is being literally overrun by refugees, they are crying out for help that is far too late to ask for.  Mothers are seeing their daughters raped by refugees who devalue women as property.  Women, gays and other protected groups are being beaten in public because of the way they dress, walk or talk or because they may have glanced a bit too long at these outsiders that politicians happily welcomed but didn’t have to live with.

Today I watched an interview on Morning Joe on MSNBC where they interviewed NY-R Congressman Peter King about the concern over the refugees.  At one point King and co-host Mika Brezinzki got into a back and forth over whether or not these refugees were being vetted properly.  King insisted that based on what he has been told by people at the highest levels of government at Homeland Security and the FBI, there is no way to definitively vet these refugees because there are no databases or even collective agencies in their native country that can verify that they are who they say you are.

Naive Mika insisted that they were being vetted, they were being interviewed, they were getting medical histories and medical exams, etc.  Well, as I pointed out to Mika in a tweet, that’s not vetting – that is processing.  No one has any way of confirming that what US officials have been told about these individuals is true.  We have to take everything either at face value or with a grain of salt.

Far too many are trying, and unsuccessfully I might add, to equate these modern-day refugees with those who came on the Mayflower, those who were war refugees in the 60’s and even some from World War II.  While these individuals from history were clearly fleeing some type of persecution of evil.  We cannot be so sure about this conclusion with this group of “refugees.”  Why?  Well, there are several reasons, the most recent being the Boston Marathon Bombing which was carried out by two radicalized Muslims who were here as refugees and getting a significant amount of tax payer dollars to live while plotting their attack.

Going further still, many radical groups have come right out and told us, in no uncertain terms, what their plan is and how the will carry it out.  Our weak borders and illegal immigration issues are going to be what threatens us most as all of this becomes a definitive perfect storm.  Yet the elites of Washington and the governors of states who welcome these refugees will not be the one who suffer from the violence that awaits us.  And awaiting us it is.  The sleeper cells are here, they are waiting for the go-ahead and it will be everyday Americans like you and me who will suffer the chaos, the death and the tears.

They will be in our neighborhoods, in our schools with our children; not near the politicians who allowed them to come here.  It is elitism in its purest form.

I would ask you to watch this, and decide if you want this in your neighborhood.  Around your children, your elderly parents.  HERE

Current Events, People of Interest, Sports

The Patrick Kane Story: What We’re Missing

Chicago Blackhawk Patrick Kane

Hockey fans, particularly those from Chicago, have been intently watching the Patrick Kane saga unfold over the past few months. Those critical of Kane’s bad-boy image in the past were sure that this was another case of the cocky Kane thinking he was above the law. His critics were sure he was guilty, his fan base refused to believe it. He has remained relatively quiet throughout the process, letting his legal team handle things and attempting to keep himself under the radar. He has let his on-ice persona do the talking for him.

Things heated up around September 19th of this year when the Buffalo News leaked that the rape kit showed DNA from two individuals, neither of them Patrick Kane. A short time later, things took an ominous turn when the attorney of the alleged victim came forward with an evidence bag, claiming that it was left by someone anonymously on the doorstep of the alleged victim’s mother. Two days later we then learned that this was a ruse that the mom in question employed to most likely take away from the DNA news which crushed her daughter’s allegations. The District Attorney gave a very forceful news conference where he clearly explained the origins of the bag and confirmed that the rape kit was still under lock and key. This lead to the alleged victim’s attorney removing himself from the case for ethical reasons. He was lied to by his clients and no longer wanted any part of this scandal that was spinning out of control.

While recent news of the alleged victim signing an affidavit that she no longer is willing to cooperate with the investigation has many Kane supporters breathing a sigh of relief, there are still some things that need to be said. Social media has blow up during this scandal with many attacking Kane for his lack of insight or outright stupidity for inviting girls he just met back to his place at 3 am. Die-hard Blackhawks fans have lashed out at Kane for being so naïve to think that he could live a normal life like everyone else. He is the face of a franchise, he is an elite player, he should have known better and he is now bringing the franchise down with him, ad nauseum.

Yet, I think we’re missing a more important piece of the story … the false accusation of rape. Most might not have caught it but the DA slipped during his news conference and actually said the accuser’s name, I think it was Lexy so that is the name I am going to use here. Few are discussing what Lexy has done and how this adds another layer to the problem of rape in our culture. Far too often women are making false rape allegations for their own personal reasons and refusing to recognize the impact this has on the rest of the female population.

Those with legitimate allegations of rape are now going to have to deal with more scrutiny because of Lexy’s selfish actions. Did she want money? Did she think it would garner attention for her? Did she think it would make some other guy feel sorry for her and give her some attention? Did her mom put her up to it? We could go on and on with the questions of why but the bottom line is, Lexy did more damage to women in general than she did to Patrick Kane. She has now turned the tables making Kane the victim.

What about all those men who are falsely accused of rape who don’t have the financial means to get high-priced attorneys? Their cases don’t get played out in the press and if they ever are exonerated, people only remember the accusations, not the fact that these individuals were later found innocent. The damage has been done already, lives, family and futures are destroyed. Why? Because some chick wanted revenge, money, attention?

What does this all mean? Whether we like it or not, this entire incident is going to make things that much harder for the next woman who legitimately has the right to cry rape. Thanks, Lexy.

Update: Shortly after posting this article the Chicago Tribune reported that Erie County, NY District Attorney’s Office will not be filing charges against Patrick Kane. 

Current Events, People of Interest

Tony Stewart: Ward Family Denies Validity, Accuracy and Admissibility of Toxicology

ADDS MANDATORY CREDIT- This June 28, 2014 photo provided by Empire Super Sprints, Inc., shows sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., at the Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Canada. Ward was killed Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Central Square, N.Y., when the car being driven by Tony Stewart struck the 20-year-old who had climbed from his crashed car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart following a bump with Stewart one lap earlier. (AP Photo/Empire Super Sprints, Inc.)
 (AP Photo/Empire Super Sprints, Inc.)

NBC Sports reported late Friday night that the Family of Kevin Ward, Jr. are now contesting the toxicology results that were part of their son’s autopsy in August of 2014.   While a court date has not been set for the pending civil case between the Ward Family and NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart, there are still lots of questions swirling around this civil suit resulting from the untimely death of Ward. Jr on August 9, 2014 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

We have actively discussed in detail the questions that have arisen from the potential criminal lawsuit in a previous post and in another we looked at what the specific track rules were in place at the time of the incident. This all calls into question whether or not the family can even file a suit because of the waivers signed by all drivers prior to the race.

In their civil suit the Ward Family made no reference to the 2014 toxicology report that stated Ward had ingested marijuana within five hours of his death; enough to be determined “judgement impaired.”  Many feel that, along with the video of the incident, the toxicology results were the key points used by the Ontario County grand jury that decided not to file criminal charges against Stewart.

The NBC article states:

In the filing, Kevin and Pamela Ward, “admit that a toxicology report exists that allegedly found Kevin A. Ward, Jr. to have smoked marijuana within at least five hours of participating in the August 9, 2014 race. However, Plaintiffs deny the validity, accuracy, and admissibility of said report.”

So, this again opens us to some more things to consider.  When the Ward’s were first made aware of the toxicology reports they denied their validity stating publicly that they did not believe their son was impaired.   They said it immediately after the results were made public in September of 2014 and again when the civil suit was filed last month.  

If they are denying the validity, accuracy and admissibility of the report why haven’t they vehemently fought this, asked for retesting, samples sent to an alternative lab for a second opinion, etc.  For over a year they did nothing to disprove the findings.  

Would it have made their civil case stronger if, in the past year, they made attempts to disprove the toxicology?  Not just for the civil suit but to clear their son’s name? Some may say that they might not have been able to afford it.  A GoFundMe account or something of that nature could have easily been established.  Even after the news of the marijuana use became public, there were still plenty of people, even in their local area, that were still supporting the stance of the Ward Family that Tony Stewart was responsible for their son’s death. 

Another topic that is worth discussing briefly is the side comments made by a few members of the Ward Family asking why Tony Stewart wasn’t tested for drugs immediately after the incident. I believe it was Mrs. Ward who made the comment in their first official interview with CBS last month as well as Kevin’s Aunt Wendy back in 2014 asking why they would drug test Kevin but not Tony Stewart.

Quoting from the Ontario County District Attorney’s Press Conference on September 24, 2014:, when a reporter asked if toxicology reports were presented to the grand jury the response was: 

There is toxicology evidence in the case relating to Kevin Ward that actually indicated at the time of operation, he was under the influence of marijuana. There was no toxicology performed on Tony Stewart, however a certified drug recognition expert had interviewed him on the night of the collision and determined that he found no basis to observe any alcohol consumption or impairment by drugs.

When asked,  “Why no toxicology report on Tony Stewart?”  DA Michael Tantillo answered,

In New York State, law enforcement cannot compel any person to provide any blood samples, urine samples of that nature unless they’ve been arrested for a crime. Obviously, Tony Stewart wasn’t arrested, therefore there is no legal basis for law enforcement to attempt to acquire that.

When asked further about Stewart’s and the possibility that he was under the influence of some sort of substance, the DA educated the press on exactly who one of the  participants was in Tony Stewart’s interview that evening. 

The drug recognition expert did meet and speak with him, and a certified expert requires a certain level of training. He determined there was no basis to draw the conclusion of alcohol or drug involvement.

Going further, to answer the Ward’s question,  It appears that whenever someone dies in an accident or unexpectedly, moreover when there is the possibility of criminal charges,  toxicology testing is standard in all autopsies.  While the Ward Family might not like it, this general article from WebMd supports the processes that Ontario County followed in this case.   

Looking at the validity and accuracy of the test results, unless they have some damning evidence that they have not made public, they would need some legal basis for questioning the toxicology results.  From previous articles, it was clear that the coroner tested the toxicology results three times I believe, before he contacted the DA’s office with his findings.   

If the Ward Family is hoping to insinuate that because Ontario County is small, rural, etc. that the Coroner’s Office does not have the experience or expertise to review cases like this one, it is worth noting some statistics.  According to the New York State Health Department website,  there are approximately 29 unintentional injury-related deaths per 100,000 people  in Ontario County annually.  As of 2013, the population of the county is just over 109, 000.   This seems like more than enough experience to handle this case.  

Going further, the coroner who did the Ward autopsy, Kevin Henderson has been in office since 2010, is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners, also works as a funeral director in the area and is a retired County Sheriff Deputy with 24 years on the job.    Additionally, he is  a member of Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team Region 2 as a mortuary officer. 

It will be interesting to see how the Ward Family and their legal team plan to disprove not only the test results but the admissibility of the results.   It is well known that the burden of proof is significantly lower in a civil vs. criminal suit yet, even with that on their side, the Ward Family has a long road ahead.