2011 - The Year We Take Back Congress and Make Obama's Life Hell!

Monday, April 28, 2008

There's Something Not "Wright" About That Obama Boy,...

"I'm black and I can say what I want! Neener-neener-neener!"

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright grabbed the spotlight for the fourth day in a row Monday with a taunting and mocking speech that once again cast a shadow on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Wright, the former pastor of the Chicago church where Obama is a member, provoked and chided a group of journalists gathered in Washington on Monday during remarks and a question-answer session at the National Press Club.

And he mocked people from the moderator — a USA Today reporter — to the vice president as he criticized the national media for not understanding the black church, and as he re-expressed his criticism of the U.S. government’s culpability for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and other points of contention.

Obama, in a widely praised speech in Philadelphia on March 18, tried to put to rest questions over his relationship with Wright, but Wright on Monday likely provided new fodder for Obama’s detractors.

In response to a question about Obama’s speech, Wright said, “Several of my white friends and several of my white, Jewish friends have written me and said to me. They’ve said, ‘You’re a Christian. You understand forgiveness. We both know that if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected.

“Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors. They have a different person to whom they’re accountable.”

In response to a question over whether he owed the American people an apology over his saying “God damn America,” Wright wrapped in an aside to say he would not let Obama off the hook, either, if he becomes president.

“I said to Barack Obama last year, ‘If you get elected November the 5th, I’m coming after you, because you’ll be representing a government whose policies grind under people.’ All right? It’s about policy, not the American people.”

Wright continued: “And if you saw the Bill Moyers’ show, I was talking about — although it got edited out — you know, that’s biblical. God doesn’t bless everything. God condemns something — and d-e-m-n, ‘demn,’ is where we get the word ‘damn.’ God damns some practices.”

And, asked if he was disappointed that Obama put distance between himself and Wright, Wright said: “He didn’t distance himself. He had to distance himself, because he’s a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was anti-American. He said I didn’t offer any words of hope. How would he know? He never heard the rest of the sermon. You never heard it.

“I offered words of hope. I offered reconciliation. I offered restoration in that sermon, but nobody heard the sermon. They just heard this little sound bite of a sermon.”

When moderator Donna Leinwand of USA Today followed up with a question about whether Obama was a regular attendee, or if he dozed during services, Wright aimed his response back at the moderator.

“He goes to church about as much as you do. What did your pastor preach in the last week? You don’t know?” he said.

University of Virginia Center of Politics director Larry Sabato said Wright is dragging down Obama’s campaign.

“This is not helpful to them. Remember, Barack Obama is trying to run a post-racial campaign because after all, he has to win tens of millions of votes among whites, Asians, Hispanics, in order to get elected president,” Sabato told FOX News. “African American votes are a good base. That will be maybe 10 percent of the overall turnout, but it’s not nearly enough.”

Sabato said Wright represents one of the “worries” for the Obama campaign that can lose him votes.

“I think he (Obama) has to distance himself further, probably continuously, between now and the November election if he’s the nominee. … Obama has to hope that Jeremiah Wright enjoys this time on the stage and then maybe takes a long trip abroad in September or October,”“I think when politics doesn’t work for people its because its become about that politicians ambitions. When you become—when politicians are most passionate about their political survival, that’s when they get really fired up, is because they’re worried about losing, that’s when you end up losing your focus, that’s when you go astray, that’s when you start being willing ot say anything or do anything, and that’s what I’ve been trying to guard against and my faith helps me do that.”

Sabato said.

Democratic strategist Bob Beckel tells FOX that Wright’s moment in the spotlight serves to improve his image.

“I think it softens his edge, but I think enough is enough,”“I think when politics doesn’t work for people its because its become about that politicians ambitions. When you become—when politicians are most passionate about their political survival, that’s when they get really fired up, is because they’re worried about losing, that’s when you end up losing your focus, that’s when you go astray, that’s when you start being willing ot say anything or do anything, and that’s what I’ve been trying to guard against and my faith helps me do that.”

Beckel said, agreeing that time out of the spotlight for Wright would aid in improve Obama’s chances.

Wright also said:

– American soldiers in Iraq have died “over a lie” and called the war “unjust.”

– In response to a question on his patriotism: “I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic? How many years did (Vice President Dick) Cheney serve?”

– Regarding his comments after Sept. 11 that “chickens have come home to roost”: “Jesus said do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.”

Click here to read a full transcript of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s remarks and question-answer session at the National Press Club.

But during his remarks, Wright also sought to put space between what he called “attacks” on the black church and possibilities for racial harmony.”The most recent attack on the black church, it is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright, it is an attack on the black church,” Wright said.

He frequently criticized the press, but also said the heightened scrutiny of him and the black church could serve as a bridge for reconciliation and a decrease in the kinds of racial hatred that were exhibited during slavery, apartheid and by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

“Maybe this dialog on race … can move the people of faith in this country from various stages of alienation and marginalization to the exciting possibility of reconciliation.”

Obama’s association with Wright came into question after media reports this spring examined speeches over the years by Wright. At one point he bellowed, “God damn America,” and he has referred to the United States as the “U.S. of KKK-A.” Wright recently retired as senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Obama has attended for the past 20 years.

The pastor has set out to set the record straight, last Friday appearing on Moyers’ PBS program, Wright’s first interview since the controversy erupted. Over the weekend, Wright gave two sermons and made an appearance at an NAACP event Sunday night in Detroit.

On Monday, his address in Washington was part of a two-day symposium on the African-American religious experience being hosted by Howard University.

On the Campaign Trail

But the controversy isn’t appearing to go away.

On Monday, Obama largely avoided the subject. Facing a question about religion at a town hall event in Wilmington, N.C., he did not mention Wright’s name, saying “when politicians are most passionate about their political survival, that’s when they get really fired up, is because they’re worried about losing, that’s when you end up losing your focus, that’s when you go astray, that’s when you start being willing ot say anything or do anything, and that’s what I’ve been trying to guard against and my faith helps me do that.”

And even though last week, Republican presidential candidate John McCain condemned the North Carolina GOP for focusing on Obama and Wright’s relationship in a new advertisement, another ad — this time in Mississippi congressional district race — has surfaced.

The ad comes from Republican candidate Greg Davis, who is running against Democrat Travis Childers.

The ad says: “Obama says Childers will put progress before politics, but when Obama’s pastor cursed America, blaming us for 9/11, Childers said nothing. When Obama ridiculed rural folks for clinging to guns and religion, Childers said nothing. Travis Childers: He took Obama’s endorsement over our conservative values. Conservatives just can’t trust Travis Childers.”

Click here to see the ad on YouTube.

In an interview with “FOX News Sunday” this weekend, Obama admitted his relationship with Wright is a political issue. The title of Obama’s best-selling book, “The Audacity of Hope” is borrowed from one of Wright’s sermons.

“I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past,” Obama said. “The fact that he is my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.”

But, Obama said, “it is also true that to run a snippet of 30-second sound bites, selecting out of a 30-year career, simplified and caricatured him, and caricatured the church. And I think that was done in a fairly deliberate way.”

While McCain has denounced the North Carolina GOP ad, he was critical of Wright on Sunday, criticism that drew a rebuke from the Obama campaign.

McCain told reporters that after seeing newly surfaced Wright speeches comparing U.S. Marines to Roman legions that killed Jesus and a comparison between Al Qaeda and American flags, “I can understand why Americans, when viewing these kinds of comments, are angry and upset.”

“By sinking to a level that he specifically said he’d avoid, John McCain has broken his word to the American people and rendered hollow his promise of a respectful campaign. With each passing day, John McCain acts more and more like someone who’s spent twenty-six years learning the divisive, distracting tactics of Washington. That’s not the change that the American people are looking for,” Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugnan said.

On Monday, when reporters sought comment from Hillary Clinton on the Wright’s latest remarks, she said, “I regret the efforts by the Republicans to politicize this matter, and I believe that if Senator McCain were serious, he would do more than send a letter” to put a stop to the North Carolina ad.

“I think he could very clearly tell the North Carolina part, tell the Mississippi party, that he would not tolerate those kinds of advertisements. And I’m waiting to see whether he does that,” Clinton said.

Clinton also repeated her stance that she would have not kept Wright as her pastor with the remarks he has made.

“I would not have stayed in that church under those circumstances,” Clinton said Monday.

The TrekMedic meditates:

Gentle readers, all racial stupidity and Rosie O'Donnell-esque foot-in-mouth histrionics aside, just what sort of "man of the cloth" uses the Lord's name to damn the very country that allows him the freedom to practice his faith without fear of government reprisal?


Labels: , , ,


Does anybody see a gun being pointed at her head in these pics??

LOS ANGELES — Miley Cyrus is taking issue with a photo of herself that's going around, and it's not another amateur, truth-or-dare Internet snapshot — it's the handiwork of Annie Leibovitz.

"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," Cyrus said Sunday in a statement through her publicist. "I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about."

The photos, appearing in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, were taken by Leibovitz, a renowned celebrity photographer whose edgy, silver-toned portraits have included subjects such as Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson and a naked, pregnant Demi Moore.

Click here to see the Vanity Fair photos.

"I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted," Leibovitz said in a statement released by Vanity Fair. "Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot it. The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful."

The Cyrus pictures accompany an interview with the 15-year-old pop star and her father, singer Billy Ray Cyrus. One photo in particular is causing the biggest stir: the teen idol is wrapped in what appears to be a satin bedsheet, looking over her shoulder with her back exposed.

The Disney Channel, which airs Cyrus' TV show "Hannah Montana," was also critical of Vanity Fair.

"Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines," a network statement said.

Vanity Fair defended the story and photo shoot in a statement of its own.

"Miley's parents and/or minders were on the set all day," the magazine said. "Since the photo was taken digitally, they saw it on the shoot and everyone thought it was a beautiful and natural portrait of Miley."

In a caption released by Vanity Fair with the photo, Cyrus expressed her comfort with how the apparently topless picture turned out.

"I think it's really artsy," she told the magazine at the time. "It wasn't in a skanky way. Annie took, like, a beautiful shot, and I thought that was really cool. That's what she wanted me to do, and you can't say no to Annie."

A handful of borderline racy snapshots of a girl who appeared to be Cyrus have appeared on the Internet in recent months, including images of a girl posing in her underwear and bikini last week. In one shot, she's draped over a young man.

Cyrus is one of the biggest — and most G-rated — acts in the country and is often considered a role model for young girls. Her "Best of Both Worlds" tour sold out arenas, and her successful 3-D concert film collected $31.3 million in its opening weekend in February.

The TrekMedic ponders:

Hypocrisy for the sake of a few more magazine sales??


Is this pic:

Any worse than what can be found after a few moments of Googling:

Feh! Tempest in a "B" cup! Call me when she starts smoking dope and popping out fatherless children at age 17, then we'll talk!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Medicine from Shrillary's Nationalized Healthcare?

HT to Isophorone for this gem:

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 25, 2008

More Philly FD Woes!

PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ― When no other emergency units were close enough for a medical rescue, a Philadelphia firefighter took matters into his own hands. He saved a woman's life, but now he is in trouble of his own.

"If this man did not react the way that he did and so quickly, I would not be standing here," Michelle Smith said.

The man Smith is referring to is a lieutenant with Engine #72 in North Philadelphia. The lieutenant is in trouble for actions he took when he responded to Smith's 911 call. Smith was at a friend's house in Logan when she had an asthma attack.

The lieutenant transported Smith to the hospital in a fire truck, which is against department policy.

According to sources, the squad that responded called dispatchers who told them the ambulance was 12-15 minutes away.

However, Smith said that she did not have that much time, saying, "I don't think I had five."

The lieutenant has been taken out of his fire house and transferred to another engine company.

"It's an outrage, I understand rules are rules, in some cases, you have to make exceptions," Smith said.

The captain at Engine #72 has placed the lieutenant's name in for an award for saving Smith's life.

Officials from the Philadelphia Fire Department declined comment. The firefighter's union said they are waiting to see if any disciplinary action will be taken before they comment on the incident.

The TrekMedic adds:

5 more medic units and we STILL have this issue?? Three things come to mind:
1 - Nearest unit was 12-15 minutes away? Was it another broken hangnail "emergency?"
2 - Mayor Nutter - you can put 100 more trucks on the street, but you 9-1-1 call-takers need to TRIAGE the calls - life-threats before hangnails!!!
3 - I thought the duty of the PFD was to save lives and prevent property destruction. The L/T was a paramedic; he did what was in the best interest of the patient. If they followed policy, we'd be looking at yet ANOTHER lawsuit for malpractice. THINK, Nutter, THINK!!!!

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Thought It Was Freedom OF Expression?

HT to Jay at Stop the ACLU!

Of course anyone could see this coming from a mile away. The ACLU oppose license plates that say “pro life”! Did Florida really think they could get away with putting an expression of faith on a license plate for people to purchase? Why, that is just another step in the march to tear down the wall of seperation of church and state that the ACLU have worked so hard to build from their imagination. Crosses are the most offensive thing on the ACLU’s list of offensive things! There is no way the ACLU will not challenge this without equal production of license plates expressing Buddist, Wiccan, Satanist, Islamic, and every other religion in existence.

MIAMI (AP) - Florida drivers can order more than 100 specialty license plates celebrating everything from manatees to the Miami Heat, but one now under consideration would be the first in the nation to explicitly promote a specific religion.

The Florida Legislature is considering a specialty plate with a design that includes a Christian cross, a stained-glass window and the words “I Believe.”

Rep. Edward Bullard, the plate’s sponsor, said people who “believe in their college or university” or “believe in their football team” already have license plates they can buy. The new design is a chance for others to put a tag on their cars with “something they believe in,” he said.

If the plate is approved, Florida would become the first state to have a license plate featuring a religious symbol that’s not part of a college logo. Approval would almost certainly face a court challenge.

The problem with the state manufacturing the plate is that it “sends a message that Florida is essentially a Christian state” and, second, gives the “appearance that the state is endorsing a particular religious preference,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.”

The TrekMedic adds:

Isn't freedom of religious expression on of those pesky Bill of Rights things the left is always trying to quash?

And can you imagine the uproar from the towel-head sector if Florida denied an Islamic-themed license plate??

Labels: ,


OK,...I get Megan Fox at Number 1,...


BRITNEY SPEARS made the Top 100 cut??


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Random Thoughts,....

I don't care how anti-septic and MRSA-methyl-ethyl-bad-bug resistant my uniform is, navy blue polyester out to be banned on days over 65 degrees!

Just because MY party got its nominee straightened out a long time ago, the MSM shouldn't call me "disenfranchised" today. I actually enjoyed watching the little Socialists-in-training run around the UPenn campus today chanting "Barack the Vote!" I just yelled back "Use your brain, vote McCain!"

OK,..its Earth Day. I'm supposed to recycle, reuse, replenish, etc. So,..if I tell someone to "eat s**t and die" today, am I asking someone to recycle biowaste?

Let me know,....the phone lines are open.


Monday, April 21, 2008

50,000 Disgruntled People, Clinging to Their Bibles

And Bill Maher was nowhere to be found,....

NEW YORK - He was here as a visitor, but when Pope Benedict XVI stepped out of the home-team dugout at Yankee Stadium yesterday afternoon, the crowd roared.

About 3,000 of those voices belonged to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, whose members shouted and waved white kerchiefs as Benedict proceeded onto the field for the start of his farewell Mass.

It was the coolest and grayest day of Benedict's six-day visit to the United States, which took him to Washington on Tuesday and New York on Friday. He left for Rome yesterday evening.

Most of the Philadelphia "pilgrims" were seated on the upper deck to the left of home plate, with excellent views of the white, purple and gold altar erected at about second base.

"This is my third pope," said Katherine English, 57, of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament parish in Philadelphia. "I saw Paul VI in Rome in 1977, and John Paul in Philadelphia in 1979, so I didn't want to miss it. I wanted to see this pope."

Like English, most of the Philadelphia crowd had boarded buses about 7 a.m. for the 110-mile trek to the Bronx, and arrived at the "cathedral of baseball" shortly before 10.

"I've not seen him before," said Larry Donato of Media, who boarded a bus at West Catholic High School in West Philadelphia with his wife, Jean, and their 13-year-old daughter, Brenna.

"When John Paul came to Philadelphia in 1979, I didn't go see him. I've regretted it ever since."

The Donatos and others on the bus joined in a short prayer service as it made its way onto I-95.

Like most of the Philadelphia crowd, Donato and English got tickets through a parish lottery. The papal Mass was a special celebration of the creation of the Dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Bardstown, or Louisville, Ky., 200 years ago this month.

Benedict began the day with a visit to ground zero, the site of the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

There, he read a prayer that asked God to "heal . . . the pain of still-grieving families" and "turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred."

It was a moment that Elsie Goss Caldwell, of Our Mother of Sorrows parish in West Philadelphia, would like to have witnessed.

"It would have been rewarding," she said, as she waited in the stadium bleachers for the pontiff to appear. "My son, Kenny, died in that," she said, and pulled open her wallet to show a photo of the 30-year-old she lost that day. "He had such a beautiful smile."

She said she came to New York hoping to feel the same peace she felt in 1993, when she saw John Paul arrive at World Youth Day in Colorado.

"John Paul was like a good friend," she said, adding that she did not "have a feel" yet for Benedict. "I'm hoping that when he arrives, I feel his presence."


But the 41/2-hour wait was packed with entertainment, including dancers waving giant fabric doves in the wind, singers José Feliciano and Harry Connick Jr., an English boy choir, the Harlem Gospel Choir, Irish tenor Ronan Tynan belting out "God Bless America," and Italian tenor Marcello Giordani.


Then, about 2:10, there was a roar as his "popemobile" emerged out onto left field, and began circling the infield.

"Benedicto!" cried Sister Stella Maris from the Mision Santa Maria in Avondale, Chester County, and in a moment all 57,000 were chanting with her.

The pontiff exited the popemobile and passed through the Yankees dugout to change into his Mass vestments, and emerged just after 2:30 to cheers.

In his homily, he acknowledged the creation of the four dioceses in 1808 out of what had been the national Diocese of Baltimore, and went on to praise the rise of the Catholic Church in America from a suspect minority to the nation's largest denomination, now with 67 million members.

"The Catholic community in this nation has been outstanding in its prophetic witness in the defense of life, in the education of the young, in care for the poor, the sick and the stranger in your midst," he told the crowd, who listened attentively.

After the consecration, about 300 deacons and others fanned out across the stadium to distribute Communion.

The Mass ended at 4:45, with Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony as the recessional hymn.

"It was good. It was great," said Caldwell as Benedict departed. "I liked his message about the contributions all the immigrants made to this country," she said. "The bottom line is, we're all one."

"It was incredible," exclaimed Mary Worthington, 25, of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Overbrook Farms. "It felt like he was here personally for every one of us."

See a slide show on the pope's day in New York http://go.philly.com/pope.ny

Labels: ,

A Call for Help!

Passing along a story from the Ambulance Driver,...


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Conservatism Losing Steam?

Lisa, local columnist and blogger from Bluftooni makes the point:

Last week, the news broke that for the first time ever, Montgomery County has “turned blue,” meaning that registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by almost 10,000.

And Montgomery County is not alone.

Just this past weekend, formerly Republican Bucks County also went over to the dark side.

Folks who have been paying attention know that Republicans have been losing ground for years.

But the party leadership — local, state and nationwide — has been slow to recognize this trend or do anything to turn the tide.

Even now, I believe many people are simply attributing the surge in Democrats to vote switching for the primaries or the fact that the Republican primary is essentially meaningless. They are happily skipping down the primrose path believing that Republican registration will bounce back in the fall. This is foolishness.

Repeat after me: The tenants of conservatism are — smaller government, less taxes, fiscal responsibility, respect for law and order and promoting moral behavior.

Part of the problem is that conservatism and the Republican Party have gone separate ways.

Regular visitors to this space know that this column has, on many occasions, staunchly supported the Bush foreign policy, including the war.

This column has stopped short in endorsing domestic policy. “Compassionate conservatism” has been a dismal failure.

It could never be compassionate enough for liberals and it could never be conservative enough for conservatives. It was a policy that spent huge amounts of political capital in futile attempts to cross the aisle and resulted only in scorn from the left, bitterness from the right and a huge expansion of government for the country to support.

Many conservatives at the grassroots level worked long and hard to see a Republican majority put in place in Congress. Then, after all that work, the people got corruption, out-of-control spending and fiscal irresponsibility.

In fairness, it’s easier to lose your way in public office as a Republican than a Democrat.

For one thing, scandals don’t matter to Democrats. Question a Democrat’s character and you’ll be told, “It’s a private matter” or “It has nothing to do with how he governs.”

Conservatives hold the (perhaps, antiquated) notion that a moral compass matters because it’s easy to do the right thing when everyone is looking and it’s what you do when no one is looking that determines character.

And too many Republicans have thought no one was looking.

Secondly, having a budget at one’s disposal is a powerful thing, and adding a little pork to a bill is something “everyone” does.

However, when Republicans do it, it’s to “curry favor with the voters.” When Democrats do it, it’s “to help the little guy.” And all voters see are the tax bills.

But perhaps the biggest factor in the turning tide from Red to Blue is that conservatism has lost whatever appeal it once had.

It’s easy to blame the mainstream media for their part in selling liberalism, but the conservative message has been sullied by the elected folks who’ve betrayed us once in office.

Party leadership at every level has been largely unsuccessful in fielding optimum candidates.

And, finally, conservatives at the grassroots have been ineffective in getting out their message.

Conservatives believe in rugged individualism, liberals in collectivism.

Conservatives believe work should be rewarded according to effort, liberals believe in the leveling the playing field. Conservatives think government involvement only serves to slow the wheels of progress; liberals believe that progress can only be achieved through government.

And perhaps at a more subtle level, liberals have the “cool” factor going for them. Democrats can trot out the Hollywood elite, rock stars and hipster candidates. They’ve got the appeal for the people whose identity is wrapped around being in with the “in” crowd.

Conservatism dictates that you alone are responsible for your destiny; liberalism says it’s not your fault if you fail, and we’re here to help you.

Liberalism is more compassionate. It’s nicer and it’s easier. That’s why it’s become more popular.

But there’s a huge downside to liberalism that conservatives need to get better at articulating.

Liberals are like the parents who continue to bail their adult children out of bind after bind.

Conservatives are more of the tough-love school. They are willing to let their children fail, knowing that the lesson will be better learned if the child can get out of it on his own.

The conservative parents’ goal is independence for their children.

Liberal parents keep their children dependent because that’s how they retain power over them.

Because independence is what this country was founded on, perhaps we need to take another look at why this is such a hard message to sell.

Contact Lisa Mossie at LisaMossie@yahoo.com and visit her blog at http://bluftooni.blogspot.com.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It Could Happen Here,...

If you vote for either Shrillary or Obama bin Bitter:

MADRID, Spain - Here's an image Spaniards will not soon forget: their new defense minister, reviewing trim, crisply uniformed soldiers, with her baby bump on display.

The surprise appointment of Carme Chacon, age 37 and with no military experience, is the boldest statement yet from a Socialist government that has made gender equality one of its top priorities.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who won re-election in March, unveiled a Cabinet Monday that not only gives Spain its first female defense minister but also features nine women to eight men. That compares to a 50-50 split in his first term, when there were 16 ministers.

Photos of Chacon , who is seven months pregnant , reviewing the soldiers ran on the front page of seven national newspapers on Tuesday, and footage of the appearance dominated Spanish television. Her photo was also on the front page of the International Herald Tribune.

Although women's rights advocates have Chacon's appointment, some conservatives have raised objections. A group of retired officers criticized her lack of military background while insisting her pregnancy was not a problem.

Chacon is now one of the most visible members of a government that has enacted sweeping social legislation designed to rid traditionally male-dominated Spain of gender discrimination.

It legalized gay marriage, streamlined divorce procedures, forced political parties to field more female candidates and passed a law designed to promote women in the workplace and pressure companies to put more of them in their boardrooms.

This time Zapatero even created a new department, the Equality Ministry, to press these goals. The portfolio went to a 31-year-old woman, Bibiana Aido.

Women's advocacy groups are delighted with the prime minister's choice of Chacon to oversee a military force that was not even open to women a generation ago. Now 15 percent of its 130,000 troops are women.

Feminists see a twin statement from the prime minister: Not only can a woman hold a senior position in government or business, but she can do it while expecting a baby.

"Perhaps the message is that even the highest responsibilities have to be compatible with the issue of individual and personal responsibility. That is the real political message behind this," said Marisa Soleto, vice president of a Madrid-based advocacy group called the Women's Foundation.

Chacon, who was housing minister in the last government, wore heels, a black pant suit and white maternity blouse as she reviewed troops Monday at a ceremony in which she officially took over her post. Her husband is Miguel Barroso, who in the past has worked in Zapatero's press office.

She called the troops to attention, ordered them to join her in saying "Long live Spain, long live the King," and gave a brief speech in which she said her appointment was a sign of progress.

"The fact that a woman is taking over responsibility for the Defense Ministry is proof of integration between Spanish society and its armed forces," Chacon said.

Spaniards are now wondering how the military will digest having a female boss.

A senior military official told the newspaper El Pais anonymously that "we receive her with the same respect as her predecessors, and with even more politeness."

The Association of the Spanish Military, made up of retirees, called Zapatero's decision a mistake , not because of her pregnancy but because it feels she is too inexperienced.

The conservative newspaper El Mundo said it has no problem with seeing a female defense minister, but a pregnant one raises all kinds of concerns, such as whether she will take all of the 16 weeks of leave she is entitled to when the baby is born in June.

The combination of a crisis situation among Spanish peacekeepers in Afghanistan or Lebanon and a defense minister on maternity leave would leave Spain in an "absurd" situation, it said an editorial. Plus, Chacon has no knowledge of military affairs.

"All signs are that Zapatero is using the armed forces as a guinea pig for a provocative experiment," it said. "Time will tell if this is major progress or nonsense."

The TrekMedic ponders:

Now, gentle readers, before you slam the TrekMedic, this isn't an anti-women posting. The TrekMedic has no problem with women in leadership positions.

This is, however, a classic Socialist move: meeting a quota, rather than employing the most qualified.

Labels: ,

Sick, Funny, and Accidentally TRUE!

HT to MaddMedic:

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Guess He Can't Call for a "Hail Mary" Pass Anymore, Either?

A New Jersey school board was within its rights to tell a football coach he cannot kneel and bow his head as his players have a student-led pregame prayer, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia reversed a lower-court ruling made almost two years ago. Each of the panel's three judges wrote an opinion on the case, which pits the right to free speech against the freedom from official establishment of a religion.

The judges agreed that the East Brunswick Board of Education's policy barring school staff from joining in student-led prayer was constitutional.

But the judges differed on what exactly a coach should do when his team prays.

From the time Marcus Borden became the Bears' coach in 1983, he was deeply involved in team prayers; for a time, he led them.

In 2005, school officials received complaints that he was leading prayers and asked him to stop participating. He sued the school board, seeking to be allowed to bow his head and kneel when students led their own prayers. A lower-court judge found that should be allowed.

But Judge D. Michael Fisher wrote in the lead opinion yesterday that Borden's past action of leading the prayers made his head-bowing seem inappropriate: "A reasonable observer would conclude that he is continuing to endorse religion when he bows his head during the pre-meal grace and takes a knee with his team in the locker room while they pray."

Judge Theodore McKee wrote that kneeling or head-bowing would look like an endorsement of religion even to someone who did not know the coach had led prayers in the past.

Judge Maryann Trump Barry wondered what a coach in Borden's position should do. "Surely he would not be required to keep his head erect or turn his back or stand and walk away," she wrote. "Any such requirement would evidence a hostility to religion that no one would intend."

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the school board, said the case showed that school employees should avoid looking like they're endorsing religion in any way.

"Extreme care needs to be given to any involvement by school personnel even with student-led religious activities because it's very easy to cross the line and find yourself over the constitutional cliff," Lynn said.

Borden's lawyer, Ronald Riccio, said he would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case to clarify what he said was murky law - especially given yesterday's decision - about student-led prayer.

"As the matter now stands, some coaches can bow their head and take a knee," Riccio said.

The TrekMedic simply shakes his head and thinks:


Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Because I AM a Bitter, God-Fearing, Gun-Toting Pennsylvanian!

HT to jk at Three Sources:

Labels: ,

From MY Cold, Dead Hands!

Video courtesy of MaddMedic:

HT to Grassroots PA:

Philadelphia DA Lynne Abraham says the city's newly enacted gun control laws are unenforceable.

At a hearing on Tuesday before City Council, Abraham said that in her opinion the laws passed last week (see related stories) are illegal and will be challenged as soon as the first person is charged under the new statutes.

And, she added, she thinks any defendant bringing a court challenge to the new laws would be successful.

The new laws include a requirement to report lost or stolen guns, and a one-per-person-per month limit on gun purchases.

Abraham agrees with state lawmakers that state law pre-empts the city in such matters and prevents any city in Pennsylvania from passing any such laws on its own.

When asked point-blank by a city councilmember if her office would enforce the new city gun control laws, she replied, "Nope." She warned that if police began making arrests under the new laws, the city could face a wholesale wave of civil rights lawsuits in response.

In reaction to DA Abraham's remarks before City Council, Mayor Nutter said he hopes to discuss the DA's position further with her, and he hopes that his law department can convince Abraham that the laws are defensible:

"Much more conversation (with the DA) needs to take place about this. I think that these are legitimate pieces of legislation."

And Nutter also hopes to convince Abraham that the legislation is needed:

"Clearly we need this kind of help and support, and I'm hopeful that the DA will be a partner with us."

The TrekMedic adds:

Welcome to the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, Mayor Nutter,...ALL 67 COUNTIES!

Labels: , ,

The Audacity of Barack Obama!

Cross-posting from PA's Number 1 blogger, Tony Phyrillas:

No amount of damage control is going to save the Barack Obama campaign over the candidate's latest condescending snipe at "bitter" working-class folks.

Maybe it was the fact that he was surrounded by "his kind of people," the social and economic elite in San Francisco that prompted Sen. Obama to insult so many people with one thoughtless remark. The "bitter" people Sen. Obama referred to includes about 85 percent of Americans who believe in God and the majority of Americans who understand that the Constitution protects the right to bear arms.

A true picture of Sen. Barack Obama is beginning to appear. It's not the color of his skin that is causing people to have second thoughts about Obama, it's the content of his character. Obama is nothing more than a rich, elitist snob who looks down on average Americans.

Three days after the comments, Obama is still claiming that his words were "twisted and mischaracterized." Just as his 20-year association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the American-hating preacher was twisted and mischaracterized? Just as his wife's comment about never being proud of this country until her husband started winning primary elections in 2008 was twisted and mischaracterized?

To borrow a phrase from John Edwards, there are two Americans. The one where liberal elitists like Barack and Michelle Obama live and the one where the rest of us live.

Here's a roundup of commentary compiled by the Republican National Committee about Sen. Obama's most recent misstep.

"A lot of people have been whispering, look this guy is just a charismatic Michael Dukakis. This was always the hit on Dukakis -- that he was always a bit of an elitist. An East Coast elitist who just doesn't relate to the common man very well. … There is that sense sometimes that [Obama] doesn't connect on a personal level to small town America." – Chuck Todd (MSNBC, 4/11/2008)

"The swipe at small-town voters hurts with the former Reagan Democrats, a promising voters group for Obama… Many Americans (especially potential "Obamacans," as he calls his Republican supporters) embrace religion not because they’re bitter but because they believe it, and because it brings them daily purpose and comfort. The comments could prolong the Democratic race as it heads into Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana." – Mike Allen (Politico, 4/12/2008)

"I think it's a big problem for Senator Obama politically. Regardless of what he really meant by it, the idea that you're calling unemployed people bitter does not come off so good. I think that he's going to spend a lot of time on this between now and however long the election goes on." – Jill Zuckman (MSNBC, 4/11/2008)

"But the politics are unquestionably dangerous for a candidate whose appeal depends on him transcending traditional political adjectives like 'liberal' or 'elite.' Despite his working class upbringing, Obama's hyperconfidence sometimes translates as holier-than-thou, elitist, aristocratic, Dukakis-esque." – Marc Ambinder (Atlantic, 4/11/08)

"That sentence will lose him the election. He just announced to rural America: 'I don't like you.' Now you can vote against that guy not because you don't like him. You can vote against him because he doesn't like you." – Grover Norquist (ABC News Sneak Peak, 4/11/2008)

"If he said it, it's bad. He was making some effort to go after union members and working class whites in Pennsylvania. I think this will damage that effort, most certainly." – Mort Kondracke (FOX News, 4/11/2008)

"It drips with condescension. This is latte liberal condescension. … This is incredibly disrespectful and it tells you about his character." – Charles Krauthammer (FOX News, 4/11/2008)

"To count the ways in which this is bad: It sounds condescending. It tells people you want to like you that you think they're "bitter" about their lot. It suggests that guns, which are a huge voting bloc in Pennsylvania, and religion, which is huge everywhere, are manifestations of bitterness." – John Riley (Spin City Blog, 4/11/2008)

"Nobody wants to be called bitter." – Chris Matthews (MSNBC, 4/11/2008)

Condemnations of Obama's comments are coming from the political left, right and center, as it should. Obama is running television ads and making speeches saying he will unite this country. It's hard to take anyone serious as a unity candidate when they show such disrespect for so many Americans.

The TrekMedic appends:

Gentle readers, make no mistake: Obama has clearly lost the moral high ground the MSM crowd has foisted upon him for months. No amount of spin will gain him the respect of middle America again.

The longer this Democratic fiasco drags out, the more likely Sen John McCain will emerge victorious in November!


Saturday, April 12, 2008


SAN JUAN DE LA VINA, Mexico — People wondered about the bearded stranger with a foreign accent who moved into a rustic cabin weeks ago in the pine-clad mountains surrounding this picturesque village.

Some thought maybe he was a drug trafficker — something not unheard of in these parts. It was not until Friday when they saw Cpl. Cesar Laurean's photograph in the local newspaper that they learned he was a U.S. Marine suspected of killing a pregnant colleague.

Police arrested Laurean, 21, on Thursday as he was walking along the main street in San Juan de la Vina in the municipality of Tacambaro, ending a three-month manhunt. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, who had accused him of rape.

Lauterbach's burned remains were found in January in the backyard of his home near Camp Lejeune, a coastal North Carolina base that is home to roughly 50,000 Marines.

FBI Public Affairs Specialist Amy Thoreson said FBI agents were present at Laurean's arrest in Mexico, but it was unclear what role they played.

Bearded and thin, Laurean told police he survived for months largely by eating avocados from the orchard in the mountains where he lived in Michoacan state.

After his arrest Thursday, a slightly disoriented Laurean spoke briefly with The Associated Press while being held by Mexican police.

"You know my name. You know who I am," Laurean said. Asked if he wanted to say anything, Laurean answered, "Proof," but would not explain.

Asked what he would do next, he replied, "Do I have a choice? ... I don't know."

Residents here said Laurean lived in a three-room wood cabin with a corrugated metal roof where he slept on a bed of crushed cardboard boxes. On Friday, there was a notebook on the cabin's floor showing that he kept a diary of his daily exercise routine, including push-ups, sit-ups and crunches. There were two shelves filled with canned tuna, instant soup and candy.

He walked to town daily, greeting those he passed, and spent hours at the local Internet cafe.

"He always seemed really happy to see us. He was serious, respectful," said Tomasa Boteyo, 78, who lived near his cabin.

Then on Thursday afternoon, state police officers drove through town looking for someone, residents say. They spotted Laurean walking toward the Internet cafe.

Lorenza Olayo, 96, who would greet Laurean daily from her front stoop, said he did not fight back when officers grabbed him.

She said she did not know why the young man was taken away until she saw his picture in the local newspaper the next day.

Lucio Tapia, 22, said before his arrest, Laurean told him he had just returned from Spain and that his parents were punishing him by making him live on an avocado orchard in Mexico.

Laurean was born in Guadalajara but reportedly moved to the U.S. more than 10 years ago.

"I thought he was a drug trafficker," Tapia said. "There's a lot of drugs here and drug traffickers hide out in the mountains here."

On Friday, Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Laurean and his wife, Christina, sent Internet messages to each other through the MySpace social-networking service. Christina Laurean used her sister's computer, which was seized, Hudson said.

Christina Laurean did not break any laws by communicating with her husband as long as she did not provide him with money or aid of any other kind, Hudson said.

Onslow County Capt. Rick Sutherland said Cesar Laurean "repeatedly asked for resources from family members" and that his wife "specifically denied those resource when she was asked."

Christina Laurean fully cooperated with investigators, he said, "and got us to the point where we are today."

The FBI said Cesar Laurean, of Las Vegas, is awaiting extradition to the U.S., although local authorities in North Carolina cautioned the process could take a year or more if he decides to fight it. They encouraged him Friday to waive extradition, saying the process — however lengthy — will inevitably lead to his return. Laurean was being held at a Mexico City prison.

Hudson, the district attorney, agreed not to seek the death penalty against Laurean in order to win the cooperation of Mexico authorities, who refuse to send anyone back to the U.S. unless assured they will not face execution. Hudson said Friday that Mexican law requires an extradition process that will take at least 60 days to complete.

Authorities believe that on Dec. 14, Laurean killed Lauterbach, who was eight months pregnant, after forcing her to remove money from her bank account.

On Friday, Navy investigators said they would wait until Laurean is returned to the United States to perform a paternity test to determine if he was the father of the unborn child, because they want a reliable DNA sample from him.

Lauterbach and Laurean were both personnel clerks in a logistics unit at Camp Lejeune. Detectives have said Laurean left behind a note for his wife in which he denied killing Lauterbach but admitted burying her remains.

In the note, Laurean said Lauterbach committed suicide by cutting her own throat, an assertion authorities have rejected, citing evidence that she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Maria's mother, Mary Lauterbach, said Friday that a sheriff telephoned her with news of Laurean's capture.

"This has been a terrible tragedy, not only for our family but for Cesar and Christina and Laurean's family," she said as she backed out of her driveway at her Vandalia, Ohio, home.

In a separate statement released through her attorney, Lauterbach added that "nothing can replace the pain" of Maria's death. "At the same time, we know that Maria would want justice to be done in this case."


Obama Chokes on T-Bone?

(HT to AlexC's PAWaterCooler for the pic)

Typical liberal elitist: Obama serves up another gutterball

Before I get to Barack Obama’s snobbish, condescending, and arrogant comments about small-town Pennsylvania, I wanted to share a little more about my visit to Harrisburg last week.

As I mentioned, I was up in Pennsylvania to speak to Real Alternatives, an inspiring non-profit charity that provides alternatives to abortion for young women in crisis pregnancies. The group has its roots in historic, early support from the late, pro-life Democrat governor, Bob Casey.

“Our business is to fight the poison of hopelessness with love,” Gov. Casey told counselors and volunteers at the first PA Alternative to Abortion Services Program Banquet. Real Alternatives encompasses a statewide network of social service agencies, pregnancy support centers, maternity residences and adoption agencies that offer comprehensive, life-affirming alternatives to abortion to women dealing with unplanned pregnancies. They’ve served more than 135,000 women since 1996–receiving just a fraction of the money that the massively taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood abortion empire receives.

At the RA annual banquet last week, I met volunteers and counselors from all walks of life–black, white, Latino, Catholic, Republican, independent, young, and old. I noted that while Beltway blowhards bloviate about hope and change, they were true agents of hope and change. I was moved by the tireless spirit and enthusiasm of Real Alternatives’ president and CEO, Kevin Bagatta. I met his mom, his wife, new baby, his son, his office mates, former co-workers, counselors from across the Keystone State, other pro-life activists from Texas and Maryland who are on a similar mission. This army of compassion has succeeded against enormous odds. They are doing God’s work–and their success is being replicated across the country.

When I think of “small-town Pennsylvania,” I think of the people of faith and fortitude I met last week–with open hearts, big smiles, and
a boundless belief in the ability to help others, even on a shoestring budget and a steep political incline.

Which brings me to Obama. A HuffPo writer reports that during a fund-raiser with wealthy San Francisco liberals, Obama (now Snob-ama) said the following:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama said. “And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Now, we don’t need to guess anymore what he’s thinking when he’s on the campaign trail in rural and small-town Pennsylvania. Instead of hard-working, patriotic, faithful Americans, he sees “bitter,” “frustrated,” resentful scary people whom he’ll readily diss while sipping Chardonnay in Baghdad by the Bay.

A real man of the people, that Barack “37” Obama, ain’t he?

The TrekMedic appends:

Terrific post by Michelle (aren't they all?). For my outside-of-Pennsylvania readers, the demographics of the Commonwealth are like this: you have the 5-county "State of Philadelphia" region in the southeast corner. We are the population and, arguably, cultural center of the PA. The city is almost exclusively Democratic and largely black. They're slanting towards Obama. To the west, you have the City of Pittsburgh and the Alleghany Valley. Also heavily-Democratic, they're slanting towards Clinton, as she favors the unions that are the backbone of the region's Democratic Party.

Everywhere else in Pennsylvania, outside of a few small urban areas, is almost exclusively white, Bible-Belt Christian, rural, and conservative. We call it "The T." "O" just dissed "The T" with his remarks. Anybody living in "The T" that still supports this bloviating buffoon deserves to have his/her head examined!

NB: This is not an endorsement to vote for Shrillary on April 22. The TrekMedic would rather drink Coors Light and bathe in raw sewage before doing something like that!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

An Appeal for Help

As many of you know, the TrekMedic is,..well,..a paramedic. Today, he received this appeal for help for a fellow ChesCo medic:

April 7, 2008

All Personnel:

We have received information this morning that Paramedic Tim Hornberger of Medic 93 was seriously injured this past weekend while working on a tire. The exact details are coming to us through a third party; however it seems that Tim was inflating a tire that exploded striking him in the face. Tim was flown to Reading Hospital, where he is in a chemically induced coma in the surgical intensive care unit. We are being told that he will be in the hospital at least 1 week and out of work potentially for the next three months.

The Fire and EMS staff here in the City of Coatesville is working on collecting money to put together a nice gift certificate for Tim and his family to help them through this tough time. Our thought was if each of us would donate $10 we can provide a bit of relief to our friend and co-worker. Any and all help would be appreciated.

Please forward any donations you would like to make to the Station 41 EMS Supervisor David Faust. Dave is normally at the station Monday through Friday. He can be reached at (717) 683-5199. We would like to send the gift by April 25.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

David Faust David Varner Jim Lentz
EMS Supervisor EMS Chief President IAFF L-3790
Cell (717) 683- 5199 Cell (484) 571-1793 Coatesville Firefighters
Office (610) 384-6464 Office (610) 384-6464 (610) 636 6867

Labels: ,

Monday, April 07, 2008

What Makes Up a Conservative?

So asks Jenn, the Conservative Chic:

I've always considered myself a Conservative, but lately a question has come up that I felt I needed to delve into deeper. What is a Conservative? The official definition is this......

[Conservatism is a term used to describe political philosophies that favor tradition and gradual change, where tradition refers to religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs. Conservatism as a political philosophy is difficult to define, encompassing numerous movements, and conservatives sometimes disagree about which parts of a culture are most worthy of preservation.]

As I've been reading about it, I've discovered that it means many different things to different people. ["Conservatism is made up of several different ideologies; Religious conservative, cultural conservative, economic conservative, compassionate conservative, social conservative, paleo-conservative, and neo-conservative."] It isn't just a black and white picture. There are too many gray areas, that I am just beginning to understand. Robert recently did a post regarding his take on Conservatism and I highly recommend you check it out here. I agree with many of his points regarding less government control over our lives. Now on the other side of the spectrum, I suggest you visit a post called Truly Conservative by Tom. He is a liberal and has different viewpoints of what an actual Conservative is. He also makes many valid points.

For me personally, this is a learning process. I haven't been in this whole political scene for long and to be honest, don't have all the answers. (although some would probably be helpful) LOL The more I look into the policies and political issues, the more I realize that there is no one set answer. There is no clear definition and I think it is different for everybody. To help you understand where I am coming from I will give you a few examples from my point of view.....

1. Gun control - I feel it is my right as a United States Citizen to own a gun, although I feel there should be adequate safety procedures to keep everyone safe.

2. Abortion - It is wrong to kill an innocent baby for your convenience. If there is an oops, or even God forbid a rape, then there is always the morning after pill, which I have no problem with.

3. Illegal Immigration - No amnesty. I welcome all immigrants who come to this country legally.

4. Terrorism - Keep our country safe from terrorists at all costs. Without security we don't have a country to worry about.

5. Social Security - It's broken and needs to be fixed. Refer to Roberts post, because I think his idea has merit.

6. Entitlements - I think there needs to be strict guidelines regarding them but some are necessary to preserve the lives of those not educated enough, poor, or unable to work, to make sure theie basic needs provided for. (And I don't mean designer clothes)

7. Bible - I believe in the Bible and use it as a guideline, although I don't take every word literally. I use it along with my own brain to make my decisions, rather that a strict set of rules to follow.

8. Politically Correctness/ACLU - I'm not sure which one of them I hate more!

The following is three quotes someone wrote, not getting into names, that I felt the need to comment on.

[For example, Church organizations and charities are wonderful ways to assist the poor and show our Christian love for our neighbors, but it is not Biblical for people to be forced to provide for the poor through taxation, nor to provide so many government sponsored entitlements that the poor ceases to work towards earning their way out of poverty, instead becoming dependent upon governmental assistance.]

[The American pursuit of happiness, then, naturally includes the pursuit of wealth. In the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith's character seeks wealth so that he can take better care of his son, and not have to remain in a position of poverty. Reaching financial success, for him, was happiness, not because of the money, but because of the security for his family.]

[In a competitive world, success is naturally defined in the terms of money, power, and influence.]

Yes, some people do abuse the system and there should be strict guidelines in place to prevent that. I am on disability. I can't work, although, the past few years I've tried really hard. I worked as an EMT until my anxiety got in the way of helping others. I have no choice. I didn't just decide one day that I didn't feel like working anymore, quit, and then decided to take from the government. Believe me, I would trade my health in a heartbeat to be able to go back to work again. My husband works his ass off because my disability check sure isn't going to pay the bills. We manage to keep our heads above water for the most part. Does being on disability make me lazy or poor? No, but it does make us dependant on the government. What entitlements do you think we should do away with. Disability? Unemployment? Food Stamps? Discount lunches? Please don't get me wrong, I feel that those with money have earned it and I don't envy them nor do I feel they should be punished for their success.

When I think of happiness, I don't think of wealth, power, nor influence. It's having a loving family around me, knowing that they are safe and protected and knowing they have a roof over their head, healthy food to help them grow and an education to help them learn. Happiness to me is in the simple things. Watching the boys play baseball and laughing because they look more like the bad news bears than the Yankees. I'm kind of getting off topic here, but think you understand what I am getting at.

I came across this post called if Conservatives have their way, along my journey and would really like your input on it. Although I didn't agree with most of it, there were some things that made me go hmm. I consider myself a Conservative, but what that means to you and what that means to me, may be two totally different things. Knowledge is a strong tool and one that I strive for. The farther I get into politics the more I take away from different viewpoints. And I look forward to hearing yours. What makes you a Conservative? What makes you a Libertarian? What makes you a Liberal?

The TrekMedic adds:

Works for me,....

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Easter Holiday After-Action Report,...

or,...stepping on the scale after the holidays.

Following along with fellow bloggers Ambulance Driver and Wyatt, the TrekMedic made his monthly weigh-in this morning.

The results,....

238 lbs!

Grrr...that's up 5 pounds from last month.

Well, that's what happens when you lump Palm Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, St Joseph's day (Patron Saint of Abbruzzi) and Easter Sunday into one week!

OK,..no sweating allowed. Just time to rein it back in! With the Phillies season starting, I'm sure the brisk walk from the Broad Street Subway up to my usual perch in the 425 section will help burn a few calories.


A Legend Passes,.....

Charlton Heston dead at 84

LOS ANGELES - Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing "Ben-Hur" and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the '50s and '60s, has died. He was 84.

The actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said.

Powers declined to comment on the cause of death or provide further details.

"Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played," Heston's family said in a statement. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country."

Heston revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease, saying, "I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure."

With his large, muscular build, well-boned face and sonorous voice, Heston proved the ideal star during the period when Hollywood was filling movie screens with panoramas depicting the religious and historical past. "I have a face that belongs in another century," he often remarked.

The actor assumed the role of leader offscreen as well. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute and marched in the civil rights movement of the 1950s. With age, he grew more conservative and campaigned for conservative candidates.

In June 1998, Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle. He delivered a jab at then-President Clinton, saying, "America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns."

Heston stepped down as NRA president in April 2003, telling members his five years in office were "quite a ride. ... I loved every minute of it."

Later that year, Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life," President Bush said at the time.

He engaged in a lengthy feud with liberal Ed Asner during the latter's tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild. His latter-day activism almost overshadowed his achievements as an actor, which were considerable.

Heston lent his strong presence to some of the most acclaimed and successful films of the midcentury. "Ben-Hur" won 11 Academy Awards, tying it for the record with the more recent "Titanic" (1997) and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003). Heston's other hits include: "The Ten Commandments," "El Cid," "55 Days at Peking," "Planet of the Apes" and "Earthquake."

He liked the cite the number of historical figures he had portrayed:

Andrew Jackson ("The President's Lady," "The Buccaneer"), Moses ("The Ten Commandments"), title role of "El Cid," John the Baptist ("The Greatest Story Ever Told"), Michelangelo ("The Agony and the Ecstasy"), General Gordon ("Khartoum"), Marc Antony ("Julius Caesar," "Antony and Cleopatra"), Cardinal Richelieu ("The Three Musketeers"), Henry VIII ("The Prince and the Pauper").

Heston made his movie debut in the 1940s in two independent films by a college classmate, David Bradley, who later became a noted film archivist. He had the title role in "Peer Gynt" in 1942 and was Marc Antony in Bradley's 1949 version of "Julius Caesar," for which Heston was paid $50 a week.

Film producer Hal B. Wallis ("Casablanca") spotted Heston in a 1950 television production of "Wuthering Heights" and offered him a contract. When his wife reminded him that they had decided to pursue theater and television, he replied, "Well, maybe just for one film to see what it's like."

Heston earned star billing from his first Hollywood movie, "Dark City," a 1950 film noir. Cecil B. DeMille next cast him as the circus manager in the all-star "The Greatest Show On Earth," named by the Motion Picture Academy as the best picture of 1952. More movies followed:

"The Savage," "Ruby Gentry," "The President's Lady," "Pony Express" (as Buffalo Bill Cody), "Arrowhead," "Bad for Each Other," "The Naked Jungle," "Secret of the Incas," "The Far Horizons" (as Clark of the Lewis and Clark trek), "The Private War of Major Benson," "Lucy Gallant."

Most were forgettable low-budget films, and Heston seemed destined to remain an undistinguished action star. His old boss DeMille rescued him.

The director had long planned a new version of "The Ten Commandments," which he had made as a silent in 1923 with a radically different approach that combined biblical and modern stories. He was struck by Heston's facial resemblance to Michelangelo's sculpture of Moses, especially the similar broken nose, and put the actor through a long series of tests before giving him the role.

The Hestons' newborn, Fraser Clarke Heston, played the role of the infant Moses in the film.

More films followed: the eccentric thriller "Touch of Evil," directed by Orson Welles; William Wyler's "The Big Country," costarring with Gregory Peck; a sea saga, "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" with Gary Cooper.

Then his greatest role: "Ben-Hur."

Heston wasn't the first to be considered for the remake of 1925 biblical epic. Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster and Rock Hudson had declined the film. Heston plunged into the role, rehearsing two months for the furious chariot race.

He railed at suggestions the race had been shot with a double: "I couldn't drive it well, but that wasn't necessary. All I had to do was stay on board so they could shoot me there. I didn't have to worry; MGM guaranteed I would win the race."

The huge success of "Ben-Hur" and Heston's Oscar made him one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood. He combined big-screen epics like "El Cid" and "55 Days at Peking" with lesser ones such as "Diamond Head," "Will Penny" and "Airport 1975." In his later years he played cameos in such films as "Wayne's World 2" and "Tombstone."

He often returned to the theater, appearing in such plays as "A Long Day's Journey into Night" and "A Man for All Seasons." He starred as a tycoon in the prime-time soap opera, "The Colbys," a two-season spinoff of "Dynasty."

At his birth in a Chicago suburb on Oct. 4, 1923, his name was Charles Carter. His parents moved to St. Helen, Mich., where his father, Russell Carter, operated a lumber mill. Growing up in the Michigan woods with almost no playmates, young Charles read books of adventure and devised his own games while wandering the countryside with his rifle.

Charles's parents divorced, and she married Chester Heston, a factory plant superintendent in Wilmette, Ill., an upscale north Chicago suburb. Shy and feeling displaced in the big city, the boy had trouble adjusting to the new high school. He took refuge in the drama department.

"What acting offered me was the chance to be many other people," he said in a 1986 interview. "In those days I wasn't satisfied with being me."

Calling himself Charlton Heston from his mother's maiden name and his stepfather's last name, he won an acting scholarship to Northwestern University in 1941. He excelled in campus plays and appeared on Chicago radio. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and served as a radio-gunner in the Aleutians.

In 1944 he married another Northwestern drama student, Lydia Clarke, and after his army discharge in 1947, they moved to New York to seek acting jobs. Finding none, they hired on as codirectors and principal actors at a summer theater in Asheville, N.C.

Back in New York, both Hestons began finding work. With his strong 6-feet-2 build and craggily handsome face, Heston won roles in TV soap operas, plays ("Antony and Cleopatra" with Katherine Cornell) and live TV dramas such as "Julius Caesar," "Macbeth," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Of Human Bondage."

Heston wrote several books: "The Actor's Life: Journals 1956-1976," published in 1978; "Beijing Diary: 1990," concerning his direction of the play "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" in Chinese; "In the Arena: An Autobiography," 1995; and "Charlton Heston's Hollywood: 50 Years of American Filmmaking," 1998.

Besides Fraser, who directed his father in an adventure film, "Mother Lode," the Hestons had a daughter, Holly Ann, born Aug. 2, 1961. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1994 at a party with Hollywood and political friends. They had been married 64 years when he died.

In late years, Heston drew as much publicity for his crusades as for his performances. In addition to his NRA work, he campaigned for Republican presidential and congressional candidates and against affirmative action.

He resigned from Actors Equity, claiming the union's refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in "Miss Saigon" was "obscenely racist." He attacked CNN's telecasts from Baghdad as "sowing doubts" about the allied effort in the 1990-91 Gulf War.

At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing.

Heston wrote in "In the Arena" that he was proud of what he did "though now I'll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time. On the other hand, I doubt I'll get a traffic ticket very soon."
The TrekMedic adds:
An icon has passed, but the government never took his guns "from his cold, dead, hands!"

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

No Liberal Bias in Our Halls of Higher Education?

As we approach the 30th anniversary of the first, fatal Philadelphia vs MOVE confrontation, comes word from the Anti-Move blog that a Drexel University professor is circulating a petition to free the murdering scum who killed P/O James Ramp in August 1978 and set the stage for an even bigger confrontation years later.

One name stuck out to me on the "Free The MOVE 9" petition, not only because of the geographical location of the signer, but because of the absolutism of his inaccurate comment.
His name is Dr. Robert Zaller and he may be teaching your kids History at Drexel University.
I find this interesting as Drexel University is very near the location where MOVE killed Officer James Ramp and nearly killed several other Police Officers and Firefighters as it is rare that anyone in Philadelphia is ignorant enough to support MOVE, but that an actual teacher of History makes the mistake to support killers is particularly notable. If that is what this man, who makes the point of being a Professor, and also name drops the University is doing online, one has to wonder what kind of teaching is going on in his class room.

And for the record, these are the comments of Dr. Zaller:

"270 years of collective punishment for the single shot that killed Officer James Ramp is surely sufficient by any yardstick of justice. No one was ever indicted, let alone punished, in the death of eleven MOVE members in 1985. I am not a member of MOVE, but a citizen seeking fairness and equity in the administration of justice. I hope that the Board of Probation and Parole will act favorably in this case, and help all Philadelphians begin a process of healing and reconciliation.
Sincerely, Dr. Robert Zaller Professor of History Drexel University"

I find the above comment repellant not just in it’s inaccuracies, but with the arrogance with which they are presented.

It is a fact that MOVE members are in prison for much more than the killing of James Ramp, something that the Professor either doesn’t know or pretends not to. And as un-important as these other ignored victims of MOVE are to people like Dr. Zaller, what is clearly important is to regurgitate MOVE’s tale of victimization while making the point that he isn’t a member of MOVE, as if that fact in and of itself is a mark of credibility.

He ends his plea for the release of un-repentant murderers on parole by arguing that in doing so there will "begin a process of healing and reconciliation" This of course, is one of those "feel good" platitudes employed by the herbivore left that echoes well through the halls of academia and allows for those inhabiting ivory towers to rest easier at night as they suffer through the delusion that everyone does indeed just want to get along.

However, Dr. Zaller fails to recognize that Philadelphians are hardly clamoring for such a process with MOVE, especially considering the fact that the MOVE members in jail remain defiantly absent of any sense of remorse or responsibility for their actions. Certainly, in terms of offensiveness, Dr. Zaller’s lack of empathy for MOVE’s victims are more egregious than those deluded children who are ready made fodder for MOVE propaganda. As a Professor, one would think that Zaller would at least feign intellectual curiosity, but it appears he has willingly abandoned his critical faculties in the name of ideology and a desire to make a political point in signing a petition in support of a reactionary, violent, and anti-intellectual, death cult that abuses the children in it’s midst.

Dr. Zaller does have a background in fighting against the death penalty, and I have no quarrel with him there, as I too, like an ever growing segment of the American populace, have an issue with murder by the state. Unlike the death penalty, where there are plenty of shades of grey, enough to keep the debate going on for years to come, the MOVE case is rather clear, that is of course, if you bother to do your homework. Dr. Zaller has failed to do his, and in doing so has made the mistake of blindly supporting the release of un-repentant cop-killers. Shame on him.
His action in support of those who killed a servant of the people of Philadelphia are a blight upon his profession and disgrace the University where he teaches.

Please send Professor Zaller an email and help educate him about the reality of MOVE.
He can be reached at robert.michael.zaller@drexel.edu and it is he who is in need of an education.

The TrekMedic adds:

The anti-Move 9 petition can be found here.

In the early days after this fracas, there was one "journalist" who supported the Move 9 in the press.

His name? Mumia Abu Jamal!

(Second link here)

Go figure,.......

Labels: , , ,