Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
I had read a little about the terrorist the day before, mostly because I wanted to read more about the hero who bravely stopped the terrorist and burned himself severely while he took the terrorist down.
Today, as I read about Flight 253, my mind was boggled! How on earth are we going to stop the terrorists?
We have troops in Iraq. We have troops in Afghanistan. Bin Laden is supposedly hidden in the hills and caves along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We hear most of the actual terrorists are in Afghanistan and Pakistan and we should have never taken that left turn to Iraq because we are wasting our resources and making more enemies. Now, we are hearing that the latest terrorists are being trained in Yemen. Two of the Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen were prisoners Bush released in 2007 from Guantanamo. According to ABC news: "American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials."
This latest terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is not your typical terrorist. He looks like a young Eddie Murphy. He is Nigerian and comes from a very wealthy family. He was educated abroad, including studying mechanical engineering in London graduating in 2008. He was to continue his education but instead abandoned his plans and moved to Yemen. His family became worried about him. They said he was changed.. brainwashed. About 2 months ago, they reported him to the Nigerian security agency and other agencies to gain their assistance in returning him home.
The terrorist boarded his flight in Kenya, carrying only a small bag; then stopped in The Netherlands, then on to Detroit. (this was NOT in the U.S.--- the security was in Nigeria and The Netherlands) One of the passengers of Flight 253 relates his experience with airport security in The Netherlands, "At Amsterdam we went through security, and what seemed like the time was good security. At the gate everyone was interviewed by a team of around 10 personal screeners, who asked us a battery of questions in quick succession. This was something I had only experienced at Tel Aviv airports and it came as quite a surprise, but one that I welcomed. After personal screening we passed through metal detectors and a baggage X-ray. Even though I had all the change out of my pockets, cell phones, and belt removed I still set off the detector (perhaps the rivets in my jeans). As soon as that happened I was frisked so thoroughly by the young Dutch security guard that I began to wonder if he was enjoying himself. Later on when I read the news reports I realized that if Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab had the explosives stashed in his underwear, even if he had been thoroughly frisked the only way the guard would have noticed anything is if he literally put his hands down the guy's pants, and searched his groin."
I have to agree with the Flight 253 passenger. ABCNews provided this picture of the bomb that the terrorist was carrying. It was small, not much larger than a tampon. The lower picture shows the PETN explosive. It's just a powder. The tragedy was averted because the detonator, acid in a syringe, didn't work. There was no metal. Merely powder and plastic, again, the size of a plastic tampon. Officials indicated this tiny bit of powder was more than sufficient to blow a hole in the plane. There was no way for anyone to find this small amount of powder in his underwear unless they made him do a complete strip search, and once his underwear was off, tear apart the underwear. Women wear much larger pads just in the course of their monthly cycles.
What boggles my mind is, this young man came from a very wealthy family. He had the world at his fingertips. He was educated in one of the best schools in the world, in London. He never suffered anything. His family was utterly shocked by the immediate change in him. He was willing to die for this new cause he was "brainwashed" into believing.
What is becoming abundantly clear is, we are NOT going to stop any terrorists if we are not UNITED in our fight against them. I go back and think of that right wing shock jock promoting racial profiling of all Muslims or anyone he thinks "fits the profile." He blames Obama. He blames Napolitano. He keeps pointing his fingers back at our own people. We cannot blame ourselves. We need to unite with each other and try to understand what each of us should do to help each other and stop the insanity of terrorism.
Here are the questions we should be asking ourselves:
1. How do we stop the Brainwashing?
2. How do we stop people who are willing to kill themselves for their cause?
3. How do we UNITE and help Homeland Security/our Country?
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The once vibrant 25-year-old was shot in the face. He lost sight in one eye, lost his right arm and suffered facial damages after lawmen say Dannie Baker opened fire through a window of a town home on Cofre-Fernandez and other Chilean students about 1:45 a.m.
Five students, four men and a woman, were eating and discussing job opportunities in Destin when Baker shot them with a rifle at Summer Lake town home subdivision on Scenic Gulf Drive. Walton County sheriff’s deputies arrived to find two of them dead and three wounded. Baker, 61, barricaded himself inside his nearby town home until he surrendered shortly after 6 a.m.
If Baker is not deemed competent, the hospital will continue to treat him and provide annual reports to Wells, Elmore said. If he is deemed incompetent for five years, the case must be dismissed. However, charges can be re-filed if he ever becomes competent, Elmore said.
“It is very difficult to accept something like that. I know that a mentally sane person cannot do something like Baker did, but it should not go unpunished,” Cofre-Fernandez said.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I remember a Christmas song my mother taught us as children and it still resounds in my memories today:
"Ya rompió el alba del día, nació el niño manuelito, cantemos con alegría, a la lu, Niño chiquito. A la lu, Niño chiquito. Cantemos con alegria, Cantemos con grande fe, alaven los dulces nombres de Jesus, Maria y Jose. De Jesus, Maria y Jose."
ANTIs Misinterpretation of a so called Murder for Speaking English! Too Bad They didn't read Original Article OR Police Report!
Sat, Dec 20, between 3 a.m. and 3:34 a.m., the victim and his friends gathered at a laundry area at the farmworker tenant apartments on Colorado Avenue, Immokalee, FL . There already were three others there and the two groups began talking until a dispute erupted involving the victim's group speaking English, not Spanish. The argument turned physical when an unidentified man and one of the victim's friends began a fist fight.
Based on the names of those involved, this is what we do know:
. neither the accused nor the victim were involved when the argument became physical.
. citizenship not a question in the report
. occurred on farmworker tenant apartments (assume all Guest Workers, here legally, latinos)
. Accused said he was defending himself.
. no question about WHY English may have been an arguing point. Did someone call someone a name in English? No details.
. ALL were drinking.
From the police report: The argument turned physical when an unidentified man and one of the victim's friends began a fist fight. Escalante was identified by witnesses as being one of the three men originally in the laundry area. So we see the victim and the accused DID NOT START THE PHYSICAL FIGHT.
Then: When the fight began, he (the accused) fled to an apartment about 100 feet away and ran back with a 8-inch long weapon with a brown or yellow handle. He ran toward the victim and began fighting, hitting him in the stomach. "(The victim) screamed as if he had been severely injured and then retaliated by striking Mr. Escalante (the Accused) with his fist several times," the report by Investigator William Still says. "The men fell to the ground and (the victim) landed on top of Mr. Escalante."
At this point, according to the police report: "The others separated the men and scattered in opposite directions. The victim walked a short distance before collapsing of injuries from at least three stab wounds to his right chest, right lower abdomen, and left groin area."
1. a fight originated by those other than the accused or the victim.
2. drinking was involved.
3. the accused is claiming self defense
4. While a question re: English being spoken is in the news article, it is not in the police report nor suggested by the accused, who claimed self defense.
Shame on Brent Batten. He CHASTISES and BLAMES an ENTIRE GROUP of People over HIS JUMPING TO HIS OWN CONCLUSIONS ON ONE NEWS STORY. He has an obvious, biased and racial agenda, it is very, very clear.
To make matters worse, over 90% of those commenting on the his negative Blog agree with him, jump to the conclusion that "illegal immigrants" were involved, and blame the ENTIRE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY over this one isolated, drunken crime. Now Alipac.us and other ANTI Immigrant HATE sites have picked up on Batten's blog to blame the entire Immigrant community over this crime.
Even one of my Anonymous commenters has been nagging me to write about this incident suggesting it was a Hate Crime. How ludicrous. This crime was not one of the weekly "Beaner Stompings" in Patchogue, or one of the murderous attacks on Latinos in Shenandoah, nor was it a murder of innocent Chilean students by Dannie Baker in NW FL, nor was it an a murderous attack of a 9 year old child by a plotting group of Minutemen in Arizona. It wasn't even an assault/attack on countless Latinos speaking Spanish while on their cell phones or walking around Walmart. The facts are, there were a group of individuals who were drinking and people other then the accused or victim initiated the fight. The accused is claiming self defense. It was not premeditated nor was it a Hate Crime. We do not even know the citizenship status of those involved. So tell me WHY all the ANTI Immigrant groups are making such outrageous claims. I say they are RIDICULOUS!!
Rivera, who has blasted the nativist Dobbs for his “slander” against Latinos,
tells us [New York Daily News], “I never threatened to quit.” But he did let
Ailes know he wouldn’t welcome working with the man who has called him a
“cowardly liar.” Says Geraldo: “The last time I checked, no one here was
talking to the a——.”
Still, Ailes is said to be considering Dobbs for the Fox Business Channel. “The trouble is Dobbs wants too much money – like $8 million a year,” says an insider. “But Dobbs doesn’t have much leverage.
Since he quit CNN, he can’t go to CNBC.” Hiring him at Fox Business is bound to irk that
channel’s Dobbs-phobes, John Stossel and Stuart Varney. But a rep for Ailes insists he isn’t eyeing Dobbs for anything.
Chances are Rivera’s spat with Dobbs has become deeply personal. In October, Riveracredited Dobbs for being “almost single-handedly responsible for creating, for being the architect of the young-Latino-as-scapegoat for everything that ails this country.” Dobbs responded by describing Rivera as “annoying” and full of “vile stupidity and ignorance that he spews everywhere he goes.”
Curiously, Rivera doesn’t seem to have a big problem working with other Latino- and immigrant-bashers at his network. The blame doesn’t just rest on Dobbs’ shoulders when it comes to generating an atmosphere of hate, misinformation, and fear that surrounds the immigration issue. Fox News anchors Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and many others have all served up a daily dose of slander. While Rivera has heatedly challenged his colleagues’ views, he certainly hasn’t put his job on the line over such differences.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Breaking News: Federal Judge Denies BAIL for Brandon Piekarsky & Derrick Donchak for "Kick in the Head" Hate Crime Murder of Luis Ramirez
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM (AP) – 8 minutes ago
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A federal judge has denied bail for two Pennsylvania teens charged with a hate crime in the death of a Mexican immigrant. Eighteen-year-old Brandon Piekarsky and 19-year-old Derrick Donchak pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court in Wilkes-Barre (BEHR'). They were arraigned on charges stemming from the July 2008 beating death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in the town of Shenandoah.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Movie Review: "Avatar" An Amazingly Beautiful Movie Experience! (Though Right Wingers will Shudder at the Plot)
In the year 2154, a Human corporation is engaged in the colonization of Pandora, the lush moon of Polyphemus, which is light years from Earth. The Humans seek to exploit Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral called unobtainium. Pandora is inhabited by an indigenous species of humanoids called the Na'vi. This indigenous species stands nine feet tall, with tails and sparkling blue skin. The Na'vi live in peaceful harmony with the natural world that surrounds them although they are considered primitive by Human standards. Humans are unable to breathe the Pandoran atmosphere making peaceful interaction with the Na'vi difficult. Human researchers, led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) created the Avatar Program. This program takes Human DNA and Na'vi DNA, using it to genetically engineer "human-Na'vi hybrid bodies" called "Avatars." A Human who shares genetic material with the Avatar can be mentally linked to it, allowing the Human to control the Avatar's functions and experience what it experiences, while their own Human body sleeps.
Jake Sully is the movie's hero. He is a former U.S. Marine who was wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. His twin brother Tony was a scientist who died while working on the Avatar program. Jake is recruited, offered and accepts the opportunity to take his brother's place since he shares Tony's genetic DNA and is therefore compatible with his Avatar. However, Dr. Grace is not happy about Jake taking his brother's place since Jake did not have a doctorate, nor over 5 years of training to participate in the program, and never learned the Na'vi's language as his brother had.
Once Jake occupies his Avatar, he is delighted at being able to walk and run once again as a whole being. So begins the adventure. As the adventure unfolds, roll in the love interest, the tame animals, the beauty of the planet, the greedy industrial forces teamed with the military out to deplete the new planet of their rich natural resources, and you see where this adventure can take you.
This movie reminded me of "The Matrix" -- humans in pods whose minds enter a new world; or the episode of Star Trek with crippled Captain Pike inhabited a healed body in a new world.
I enjoyed the movie "Avatar" even though it did run two and a half hours. Yes it was predictable. However, it is probaby the most absorbingly beautiful two and a half hours you will ever experience. You are, after all, taken into a whole new world, complete with your 3D Glasses.
One more note: Yes it probably was a little too politically correct and the right wingers will probably groan through the end if they think about it, but then, they probably don't go to these types of movies anyway. I did read a review by one of them: "The corniest movie ever made about the white man's need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt."
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Breaking News: Feds Indict "Kick in the Head" Murderers of Luis Ramirez with Hate Crimes; Shenandoah Dirty Cops with Corruption!
WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury has returned multiple indictments arising out of a fatal racially motivated beating and related police corruption in Shenandoah, Pa., the Justice Department announced. The three indictments include federal hate crime, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, official misconduct and extortion charges. The indictments were unsealed today, after being returned under seal on Dec. 10, 2009.
INDICTMENT 2: OBSTRUCT JUSTICE INDICTMENTS: A second indictment charges Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor, Lt. William Moyer and Police Officer Jason Hayes with conspiring to obstruct justice during the investigation into the fatal beating of Ramirez. Moyer has also been charged with witness and evidence tampering, and with lying to the FBI. If convicted, the defendants face 20 years in prison on each of the obstruction charges and an additional five years in prison for conspiring to obstruct justice. Moyer faces an additional five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI.
INDICTMENT 3: EXTORTION & CIVIL RIGHTS INDICTMENT: A third indictment charges Chief Nestor and his second-in-command, Captain Jamie Gennarini, with multiple counts of extortion and civil rights violations. According to that indictment, from 2004 through 2007, Nestor conspired to extort cash payments from several illegal gambling operations in the Shenandoah area and obstructed the investigation of the extortion scheme. The indictment also alleges that on May 17, 2007, Nestor and Gennarini committed extortion by demanding a $2,000 cash payment from a local businessman and his family in exchange for releasing the businessman from their custody. "The power granted to law enforcement officers does not place them above the law. We will continue to aggressively enforce the law to combat obstruction and corruption in law enforcement agencies," Assistant Attorney General Perez said. "We thank the FBI for their work in this investigation." If convicted on these charges, Nestor and Gennarini face maximum penalties of 20 years in prison for each of the extortion counts. Additionally, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy to violate civil rights.
The FBI wants to hear from anyone who may have information regarding alleged civil rights violations or public corruption in Schuylkill County, Pa.. If you feel you have been victimized or have any additional information, please call FBI Special Agents Alan Jones or Anthony Cavallo at the Allentown, Pa., Resident Agency of the FBI at (610) 433-6488. An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
DOJ Press Release
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Over the last week or so, I have been receiving numerous emails from Minuteman X. As my long time readers know, Minuteman X is my Minuteman informer that provides me insider emails which detail the ANTI/Minuteman infighting and backstabbing. The recent escalation in emails that I (and others) are receiving is a clear sign the infighting is escalating.
Since last year, there has been an all out war between Jim Gilchrist vs Jeff Schwilk, SDMM Leader and William Gheen, head of Alipac.us. They all are fighting over who is the leader of the ANTIs, who is legitimate, who is a racist. In this YouTube, Gilchrist publicly declares Schwilk and Gheen are RACISTS.
In the emails I received from Minuteman X:
Subject: Re: American War Hero Jim Gilchrist?
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 21:46:41 -0800
From: Jeff Schwilk
Why does this feel like a gay edition of "Fatal Attraction"?? Does he hate me or is he obsessed with me, or both??? You decide. Fuckin psychopath. His Vietnam buddies would be horrified by what this man has slipped into - a mental coma for sure.
Subject: Re: Schwilky's pics
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 21:51:39 -0800
Another JGMMP fag boy - no wonder they hate us straight Patriots. I wouldn't go near your fag frat house if you paid me. How long have you and Jimmy been gay lovers? You both seem so proud of your open gayness. Sorry about Prop 8 passing, that must have been devastating for you two "love birds". I've never beat a woman in my life but I'd smack the shit out of Jason and his boy-lover in a heatbeat!
I'm not the only person receiving these emails, although I think I have been receiving them the longest. Gustavo Arellano has been receiving them also. Here is the
"I think we all have had enough of the counter-productive antics of
grifters posing as patriots," Gilchrist wrote. "In my opinion, the
aforementioned charlatans of patriotism are incurable racists who limit activist
participation to only white persons, bigots who hate you if you do not
unequivocally support Ron Paul for president, fascists whose shortsightedness
limits their association only to those who will goose-step according to their
Gheen and Schwilk respond:
"Is there anyone close enough to Jim Gilchrist to stick a needle full of Thorazine in his arm?" Gheen shot back, before threatening, "If any harm does come to ALIPAC because of it, even one donor departs due to false
statements by Gilchrist or a pro amnesty blogger then we have what we need to file a lawsuit."
"Desperate words from a sad, fallen hero," Schwilk responded. "Looks like the pressure is getting to him. Considering his documented mental instability/illness and PTSD, let's hope and pray he does not resort to murder like his Border Directors did."
Ridiculing a Purple Heart veteran's war scars and insinuating he might snap? CLASSY--but what does one expect from Schwilk?
Here is FB's Blog about the infighting.
Readers: I leave it to you decide. Are they racist? Are they crazy? Why are they infighting? Why are they sending me (and others) their insider emails?
Rep. Luis Gutierrez renewing push for immigration reform Tuesday
December 11, 2009 8:56 AM
. Professional and effective border enforcement
. Smart and humane interior enforcement
. Protecting workers
. Verification systems
. Family unity as a cornerstone of our immigration system
. Future flows of workers
. DREAM Act
. Promoting immigrant integration
Saturday, December 12, 2009
In a statement on Tiger's official website he said: “After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I’ve done, but I want to do my best to try.”
I am disappointed in Tiger. I have always viewed him as a role model. The story of his dad mentoring his young son at such an early age into becoming the world's greatest golfer and achieving the American Dream was a lesson all father's wish they could achieve. I compare Tiger to any minority who has acheived great success, including our President Barack Obama.
To find, alas, that Tiger is just a man is disappointing, but understandable. As I've reported previously, several studies tell us that 50 - 60% of men cheat on their wives. These same studies say 45 - 55% of women cheat on their husbands. For a celebrity of Tiger's stature, with women constantly being the aggressor, it is understandable, though I am extremely disappointed in him.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Think Progress Reports:
Sotomayor’s opinion marks the Supreme Court’s first use of the term ‘undocumented immigrant.’
Yesterday, the Supreme Court “released its first four decisions in argued cases this term,” including one marking Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s debut. The case concerned “whether federal trial-court rulings concerning the lawyer-client privilege may be appealed right away,” to which Sotomayor said no. The New York Times notes one particularly noteworthy part of Sotomayor’s opinion:
In an otherwise dry opinion, Justice Sotomayor did introduce one new and
politically charged term into the Supreme Court lexicon.
opinion in the case, Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter, No. 08-678, marked the
first use of the term “undocumented immigrant,”
according to a legal database.
The term “illegal immigrant” has appeared in
a dozen decisions.
El Paso Times reports:
The time has come for the U.S. government to focus on other aspects of immigration besides enforcement, a panel of national security and law- enforcement experts said Tuesday. "While we have made unprecedented investments in security at the border, more enforcement resources alone will not make us more secure," said James W. Zig lar, ex-commissioner of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute. The experts said an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants are living in the United States.
"Comprehensive immigration reform will allow law enforcement to focus limited resources on criminals who continue to evade the law, and help re-establish trust between law enforcement and everyone living in our communities," El Paso Chief of Police Greg Allen said.
Stewart Verdery, a former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary, said Tuesday's conference was timely because Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to address the Senate Judiciary Committee today. She is expected to provide details about recent enforcement improvements, as well as the need for broader legislative reforms.
"While the vast majority of those who are here illegally are hard-working residents seeking to support their families, right now we don't have any way of differentiating those who come to work from those who are violent or repeat criminals," Ver dery said.
Allen said El Paso attained its ranking as the second- safest city of its size in the United States by developing close ties with community residents. "We don't want to seek out people only for their immigration status," he said. Ziglar said proposed immigration reform fell victim to partisan politics in 2006, mainly because of concerns over gaps in border security. However, he said, the government has made important strides during the past six years. For example, the annual budget for Customs and Border Protection doubled from $6 billion to $12 billion, and the number of armed Border Patrol agents increased to 20,000, most of them deployed to the southern border.
The federal government also completed 700 miles of border fencing, which incorporated technologies, physical barriers and other structures that helped agents deter illegal immigration. In recent years, the flow of undocumented immigrants has slowed because of increased enforcement and the recession. Further enforcement measures could see diminishing returns, Ziglar said. Border Patrol statistics for the El Paso sector show that apprehensions of undocumented immigrants have dropped by nearly half in recent years.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I miss my family very much, but there were other factors. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Fish and Visitors Smell After Three Days." I always remember Ben's words after Family Reunions, Funerals and family gatherings such as this. I love my extended family, my brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. It was especially good to see all of my sisters together again. We range in age with an 18 year difference in ages from the youngest to the oldest. We all stayed at another brother's house. My brother was a hero for having us stay at his home. His wife is the most gracious old-fashioned homemaker, much like our own mother.
After visiting our ill brother each day, "the Aunts" (as we were called) went to dinner or stayed in and watched movies or played scrabble. We are all competitive when we play games. Some of us have very different political views. We are each matriarchs of our own families. We each live in different cities/states. I guess you would be right if you said each of us was a bit bossy and tend to get our own ways with our own families. With all the stress of our brother's illness, I knew it was just a matter of time before the tension built up.
My oldest sister is an old-fashioned type of girl. She was a beauty queen in high school and still carries on some of her old daily prep routines. Every morning she prepares herself, like a ritual, for the day. She showers, applies make-up, including mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner. Her hair is thinning so she wears a small hair piece. She always dresses nicely, making sure she is color coordinated in a pantsuit with matching shoes and jewelry. Politically, she is a Republican. She does not like our President. She mentioned to me that she doesn't know for sure about Obama being a Muslim or a citizen but she does know that he was born out of wedlock and a President should not be born out of wedlock. There are higher standards for President. I love my sister so I didn't disagree with her. I just shrugged my shoulders and changed the subject.
The rest of my sisters are more casual. At home we wear jeans/slacks and tops. My second oldest sister doesn't wear make-up. I wear very little. The two youngest tend to glam it up a bit with make up and do's. They also tend to stick together. Both are as competitive as the rest of us.
What is interesting is, my two oldest sisters and I, especially my oldest, with the most opposite view in politics and in life --- we tend to get along together more so than with the younger ones. We don't say this out loud. It tends to go unsaid. It may be because we have quieter life styles. Our "party days" are long gone. We enjoy staying home, watching TV, blogging, playing games on the internet and occasionally going to the Casino.
Call me silly, but I did enjoy the sound of my husband begging me to come home early vs waiting for the end of the week. I enjoyed my son calling me and telling me he missed me, asking when I would come home. I enjoyed my son and daughter in law texting me and saying they missed me too.
Even in these sad, stressful times of my brother's illness, it's just like Judy Garland said, "There's no place like home!"
Sunday, December 6, 2009
With two of the seven defendants pleading guilty to charges in connection with the hate killing of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero, legal experts say more pleas can be expected as the case moves toward trial.
"It usually ends up being a little bit like bowling pins," said Bruce Barket, a Garden City defense attorney not affiliated with the case. "Once one falls, it tends to cause others to obtain a plea." With Pacheco testifying against the group, it may be possible for the remaining defendants to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully this will deter future potential Hate Crime attackers from hurting anyone else.
NY teen guilty of hate crime in Ecuadorean's death
STOP HATE CRIMES! Sunday Marks One Year Anniversary of Marcelo Lucero's Murder!
Friday, December 4, 2009
About a year and a half ago my brother was perfectly healthy. He had retired and he and his companion were living the typical retiree's American Dream of traveling around the country in a 5th wheel and travel trailer. Out of nowhere he started seeing some symptoms. He started dropping things, then tripping or falling. He is a widower with four daughters. At his daughters' insistence, he underwent a complete physical. He is a veteran and went to the VA for his physical. They diagnosed ALS. As the disease progressed, he began losing more muscle control. He stopped traveling. Soon, he couldn't lift things and stopped walking and became confined to a wheel chair. At the insistence of his daughters, he moved in with his oldest daughter so she and her son could care for him. He lost more and more control over his body. He went on a breathing ventilator. Soon he was bed ridden and relied on machines not only for breathing but for eating and for urinary and bowel movements.
He was fortunate that he had proper insurance and was well covered. Not only the VA, but Medicare and supplemental. I shudder to think what he would have done without his medical coverage. He is on home care and his bedroom/bath were updated to care for his needs. His only joy now, besides seeing his family, is watching television on a big screen TV with surround sound. He stopped using a computer months ago.
It is difficult visiting him. He can barely talk. He has tubes in his arms, across his body and in several orifices. He has to have air pumped into his lungs to help him talk. His daughter has to come in, pump him with air, and he is able to speak in short gasps. He says it hurts him to talk because he can't breathe when he talks.
Before he became so disabled, he used to say, "I'm not sick, I am disabled." You see, he has full mental capacity. It is just his body giving out.
I used to think that my father and mother had it rough at the end. My dad, at 79, had a stroke a few years prior to his death. Afterwards, he had the mind of a 3 year old. However his body was fully functional and he was able to walk and feed himself his last few years, though my mother had to change and bathe him. My mother died last year at 93. She had those tiny mini-strokes six months prior to her death and had trouble with her memory and she became bedridden then died. I also had 2 older brothers who died. One died at 66, though he had just been diagnosed with leukemia, he actually died from an aneurysm that burst. His death was sudden. I had another brother who died from years of lost hope. His death was also short in coming. We were shocked by both brothers' deaths.
Today, thinking about all of these deaths in my family over the last several years has caused me to be very contemplative. Death is inevitable. Sometimes, I think we in the U.S. don't think about it enough. We are all going to die. If death is a natural part of life, then we should stop to consider our future destiny and document our wishes. The use of the term "death panels" is absolutely ridiculous. The doctors and nurses have talked to my brother's family extensively about my brother's last days, hospice, nursing, making choices about life and death. They have spent much time talking about his options. You have to be able to discuss your options at his point in his life.
In meeting with many family members here this week, I also find that three more of my nephews are heading off to war. One is currently in Iraq - his 3rd tour, another is on on his way to Afghanistan - after 2 tours in Iraq, and one who is in training is going overseas in a few weeks. Additionally, I spoke with some of their younger brothers and sisters who are planning on enlisting or going into ROTC. Many are planning careers in the military. Service to our country and the economy are major factors in their decisions.
Watching the news, I see that so many national/global issues personally impact my family and most families across America. In thinking about this all week, it is absolutely clear to me that we should all be supportive of:
1. Universal Health care with a Public Option so that Insurance is affordable and provided to all Americans. Pre-existing conditions should NEVER be a factor.
2. The Wars in the Middle East and the Economy: the state of the economy is causing more and more young people to go into the military, not only for their service to our country, but for economic reasons.
Readers: We need to talk about life and death. Death is part of the natural order of things. Tell me your thoughts of death. I grieve for my brother's illness and pain, not for the natural order of life and death. I grieve for those who do not have enough health care coverage. I grieve for those who do not have enough care in their hearts to want others to receive proper health care. I grieve for our young people going off to war whose lives are being cut short. While I support our President in sending more troops to Afghanistan, I continue to believe our involvement in Iraq was wrong. However, I still grieve for the soldiers who are dying every, every day and pray for the safety of my nephews.
And readers, please do not send condolences or say you are sorry to hear about the illnesses and deaths in my family. I received several nice messages from you when my mother and brother passed away. I ask instead for your ideas on how we can talk about the inevitability of death and how on earth are we going to be able to cope with the needs of all of the Baby Boomers as they (including me and mine) approach our Golden Years. Yes. We are all going to die. Yes, many of us will need extensive health care in our Golden Years. This care will range from days to months to years; from occasional to daily on-hands care by medical professionals. This is the reality. We all need to be thinking and planning for our own futures and do each of us want our children to go through what my brother's daughters are going through right now? Or do you want to go to a nursing home? Are you prepared to give up all of your worldly goods for hospice care? Or, instead will you live in denial and say "No! That will not happen to me."
When I was a child I thought as a child: "Only old people die. They close their eyes and go to sleep."
Today: "The Boomers will all die. Some will require years of hands-on medical treatment by family and medical care providers."