Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Right Wing Extremists Lying. Abdullajab's Visa Issued 2 Years Ago.

It is maddening to read some of the right wing extremists' hate sites and see how they are lying about the terrorist attempt on Flight 253 and use it to fuel their hatred against President Obama and Janet Napolitano. William from Alipac.us asks the question: "Is it Treason? Homeland Security issued a visa to a man on the terrorist watch list that would be consider an "enemy combatant" during a time of war. Is it Treason or do you think that word goes to far?" All of his blind followers agree with William.
The Hate Sites are spreading LIES! The Visa was issued 2 years ago, not recently. True Americans DO NOT follow those who LIE and misrepresent the facts.
True Americans are NOT the followers of lying gossip. True Americans read the facts about when Abdulmuttalab's Visa was issued and the report his parents provided to their local embassy. True Americans search for the truth and support our President and our leaders during these times of War.
Yesterday the State Department told journalists that the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab went to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja on Nov. 19 to share concerns about his son's radicalization. Abdulmutallab had already received a two-year U.S. visa back in June 2008, some 17 months before, spokesman Ian Kelly said. At the time the visa was issued, Kelly said, "there was nothing in his application nor in any database at the time that would indicate that he should not receive a visa. He was a student at a very reputable school. He had plenty of financial resources, so he was not an intending immigrant. There was no derogatory information about him last year — last June — that would indicate that he shouldn’t get a visa, so we issued the visa."
After the father's Nov 19, 2009 visit, the State Dept. then sent what it calls a "Visas Viper" report on Abdulmutallab generated from the interview to the National Counterterrorism Center. What happened after that? POLITICO's Carol E. Lee talked to a source familiar with the watch list process and reports: "Once Abdulmutallab's dad went to the embassy Nov. 19 and made a complaint, a report was generated and sent to NCTC. "Once NCTC receives such a report, an intelligence analyst checks to see if the person has any other associations in the database. If it’s the first time the person’s name is coming up, NCTC creates a record under the person’s name, as was done with Abdulmutallab, and that name is added to the TIDE [Terrorism Identities Datamart Environment] list. Agencies across the federal government have access to TIDE. "Once a person is added to TIDE, as Abdulmutallab was, an intelligence analyst determines if there is 'reasonable suspicion' that he is engaged or intends to engage in a terrorist attack. If the person is found to have “reasonable suspicion,” then an unclassified list with that person’s name on it is sent to the Terrorist Screening Center. That did not happen with Abdulmutallab because the intelligence analyst at NCTC did not find 'reasonable suspicion' based on the State Department report, which the source said consisted only of what the Nigerian man’s father said — that he was concerned about his son.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Only Way to Stop Terrorism is to be UNITED!

I was listening to talk radio today and the right wing shock jock was going on and on about the terrorist on Northwest Flight 253. He blamed the Obama administration and Janet Napolitano in particular for this latest threat. He said Homeland Security needed to start racially profiling terrorists and stop picking on grandma at the airport. He said we needed to stop being so "PC" and have airport security zero in on those that look like terrorists.

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

Hate Crime Murder Trials in 2009: Pledge to Viewers - I will Continue to Track Status!

The FBI has reported that Hate Crimes against Latinos have increased by over 40%. As my long time readers know, I have been tracking 4 Hate Crimes against Latinos which occurred over a 10 month period. I want to shed enough light on these crimes to ensure the perpetrators of these crimes are punished to the fullest extent of the law. That way, potential future Hate Crime Murderers will know and if they follow through and commit the crime, they will be identified and punished. Hopefully, this will deter them from the committing these crimes at all.
Most Heinous Hate Crimes Against Latinos in 10 month time period:
1. Luis Ramirez murder - July 12, 2008; Piekarsky, Donchak Trial: May 2009, found not guilty of most serious crimes. Sentenced to 6 months for minor offenses. Dec., 2009, DOJ Grand Jury indicts for Hate Crime Murders. In Prison. No Bond.
2. Marcelo Lucero murder - Nov. 8, 2008 by Caucasian Crew who regularly went "Beaner Jumping": Dec. 2009, Crew defendants plea bargains against charged murderer Jeff Conroy.
3. Chilean Student Murders - Feb. 26, 2009; Two innocents murdered, three wounded. Nov. 19, 2009: Dannie Baker found mentally incompetent to stand trial. Sent to FL State Mental Hospital.
4. 9 yr old Brisenia Flores and Dad - May 30, 2009; Minutemen Leaders Shawna Forde & Gunny Forde indicted for 1st degree murder with death penalty. Trial date tbd.
While I am confident in murders 1, 2, and 4 holding the perps accountable, I am still concerned about Dannie Baker receiving his proper punishment. Here is the latest update from one of Baker's surviving victims.
NWFDailyNews reports:
MIRAMAR BEACH — Francisco Javier Cofre-Fernandez’s life changed dramatically the morning of Feb. 26.
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.
He was held at the Walton County Jail from then until Circuit Judge Kelvin Wells ruled Nov. 19 that he was incompetent to stand trial. Florida State Hospital is required to report Baker’s mental-health status to Wells within six months, although it can report that he is competent at any time, Assistant State Attorney Bobby Elmore said after the November hearing.
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

Christmas in Heaven: Do You Believe?

My oldest brother will be celebrating Christmas in Heaven this year. He passed away this week. As I have previously written, he has suffered from ALS for over a year and a half. It progressively became worse and worse until he became totally disabled and was bed ridden, paralyzed, relying on machines to feed him, breathe and for bowel movements. The end was the worst for him, lying in pain. He wanted to turn off the machines but changed his mind too many times for him to actually be able to do it. In the end, his body just gave out and he passed away. Now, he has joined our mom and dad and two brothers who passed before him. Knowing that he is joining them is comforting. He is at peace now. Gone is the pain and the fear.

I wonder if I could stand the thought of death without knowing there is God, Heaven and an after-life.

My mother taught us to go to church every Sunday and to celebrate Mass on Holy Days, especially Christmas. She taught us to dress up on Sunday, go to church, honor God, honor the day and spend time with family. Later, she encouraged us to become active at church, join the choir, teach Catechism and to feel love for our fellow man. She taught us so many songs, both for church and for Holy Days. She taught us to sing from our heart and to show love for our fellow man! She taught us to say the Rosary. She taught us to say grace before meals. She said religion, our souls, is what makes us different than the animals. We believe in God. We believe in Heaven. We believe in Eternal Life after Death.

Holidays were always special times. She taught us, as her mother taught her, the Posadas. During the Christmas Holidays, everyone helped to festively decorate the church. Las Posadas were a special time in our church. We reenacted Joseph´s journey with Mary to Bethlehem. Las Posadas started on December 16 and continued through Christmas Eve. Our families went to church every evening during this time for the reenactment. We went from house to house and sang songs. It was a beautiful time of togetherness. It also helped all of us understand the true meaning of Christmas. Mary and Joseph arrived at the inn and we were all welcomed in for the birth of Christ. When I think of those times, I think of the birth of Christ, the singing and the feeling that we were all joined together in this Celebration of the True Meaning of Christmas!
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."

As I sit and contemplate Christmas, life and death, illness and health, this life and the next, I wonder what I would be thinking right now if my mother did not instill these beliefs in me?

ANTIs Misinterpretation of a so called Murder for Speaking English! Too Bad They didn't read Original Article OR Police Report!

Several ANTI sites including Alipac.us are going bonkers over a BLOG that misinterpreted a recent murder investigation. According to original article NaplesNews.com article and 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.
. all involved in the argument were Latinos, all male, range in age from teens to early 30s.
. 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."
Based on the original news article and the Police Report it is clear:
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.
Now comes a BLOG written by Brent Batten, an ANTI with obvious racial and ANTI Immigrant tones. Batten FABRICATES an entirely DIFFERENT story. He begins by talking about a totally unrelated story about the Sheriff's Dept. targetting illegal immigrants running afoul of the law. Next, he assumes that those involved in this fight/murder were Illegal Immigrants , then He concludes the fight "erupted over the victim’s group speaking English, not Spanish." Then out of the blue he says "So much for the notion that illegal immigrants are universally a hard-working, law abiding set committed to doing the jobs Americans won’t do, all while trying to assimilate."

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!!

Geraldo - Dobbs FaceOff: Will Geraldo Quit If Dobbs Joins Fox?

ThinkProgress reports:
The New York Daily News reports that a “well-placed source” claims that Geraldo Rivera has told Fox News president Roger Ailes that he’ll quit if former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is hired by the network. Rivera has denied by the rumor, but has also made clear that Dobbs would not be welcomed with open arms:

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, Rivera credited 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

Breaking News: A Federal Judge Denies BAIL for Brandon Piekarsky & Derrick Donchak for "Kick in the Head" Hate Crime Murder of Luis Ramirez. Piekarsky & Donchak MUST STAY IN JAIL. Piekarsky was scheduled to go home from Prison on Thursday for his previous "slap on the hand" convinction by a local jury.
AP Reports:
Pa. teens plead not guilty to hate crime charge
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.
Judge Malachy Mannion has denied them bail and said they are dangers to the community. A jury previously acquitted the teens of the most serious state charges, angering Hispanic leaders and civil-rights groups. Gov. Ed Rendell asked the Justice Department to pursue civil rights charges.
Three police officers were charged last week with obstructing the investigation into Ramirez's death.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Movie Review: "Avatar" An Amazingly Beautiful Movie Experience! (Though Right Wingers will Shudder at the Plot)

My husband and I saw the movie Avatar this weekend. This is Hollywood's most expensive movie ever made, costing over $500M to produce and distribute. It should recoup its costs however, especially since, during the first 3 days of opening, this movie made over $232.2M. Just imagine what it will make overall. Even at two and a half hours, the 3-D special effects of this film were amazing and beautiful to watch. The action sequences were fully packed, and sometimes back to back.

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!

Breaking News: Feds indict Piekarsky and Donchak for Hate Crime Murder! Charge Shenandoah Dirty Cops for Cover-up and Corruption! Justice at last! May those who even consider Hate Crimes in the future remember these charges and know they will be charged for their Hate Crimes IF they commit them! Thank you DOJ!! (Could Arpaio be next??)
Two Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Men and Four Police Officers Indicted for Hate Crime and Related 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 1: HATE CRIME INDICTMENTS: The first indictment charges Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky with a federal hate crime for fatally beating Luis Ramirez, a Latino male, while shouting racial epithets at him. (Both Piekarsky & Donchak are now in county prison after being convicted of simple assault and alcohol-related charges for the murder; Walsh testified against them at the DOJ Grand Jury). According to the indictment, on July 12, 2008, the defendants, and others, were walking home from a local festival when they encountered Ramirez. The defendants then attacked Ramirez in a public street by striking and kicking him while members of the group yelled racial slurs at him. Ramirez died two days later from his injuries. The indictment also alleges that, immediately following the beating, Donchak, Piekarsky and others, including members of the Shenandoah Police Department, participated in a scheme to obstruct the investigation of the fatal assault. As a result of this alleged obstruction, Donchak is charged in three additional counts for conspiring to obstruct justice and related offenses. If convicted, Piekarsky and Donchak face a maximum penalty of life in prison on the hate crime charge. Donchak faces 20 years in prison on each of the obstruction charges and an additional five years in prison for conspiring to obstruct justice. "Violence motivated by bigotry and hate has no place in America, and yet it remains all too prevalent in many of our communities," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice. "The Civil Rights Division stands ready to bring perpetrators of hate crimes to justice."

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.

These cases were investigated by Special Agents Alan Jones and Adam Aichele of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI, and are being prosecuted by Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys Eric L. Gibson and Myesha Braden.
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.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

From Minuteman X: Gilchrist Calls Schwilk and Gheen Racists! Schwilk, Gheen Retaliate

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.

The Fight:
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

Still get your gay jollies from photoshop pictures, eh Gilly? Does your wife know?
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
article he wrote about them:

"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?

Breaking News: Rep. Luis Gutierrez to Introduce Immigration Reform Bill on Tuesday

Breaking News: Rep. Luis Gutierrez will introduce Immigration Reform legislation to Congress on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009. I will be joining Local and National leaders who support CIR tomorrow for a sneak peak at the bill and to learn more about why the Congressman is moving forward now and how we will make reform a reality in 2010. Stay tuned for continued updates over the days and weeks ahead!
Chicago SunTime.com
Rep. Luis Gutierrez renewing push for immigration reform Tuesday
December 11, 2009 8:56 AM
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity"
- to be Introduced December 15(Washington D.C.)
On Tuesday, December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gutierrez will be joined by members of many different faiths and backgrounds, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11), Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus
Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), Chair of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32)Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-7)
Rep. Pedro R. Pierluisi (PR-At large)
Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)
Rep. Jose E. Serrano (NY-16)
Other Members of Congress
What: Introduction of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation
When:12:30 pm, Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Where:Room 2220, Rayburn House Office Building
"We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President," said Rep. Gutierrez. "The time for waiting is over. This bill will be presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year. It is the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. It is an answer to too many years of pain --mothers separated from their children, workers exploited and undermined security at the border-- all caused at the hands of a broken immigration system. This bill says 'enough,' and presents a solution to our broken system that we as a nation of immigrants can be proud of."

Legislation Core Principles:
. Pathway to legalization for undocumented workers
. 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
. Promoting immigrant integration

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Walks Away from Golf After Admitting to Affairs!

TIGER Woods has decided to temporarily walk away from golf after admitting his affairs for the first time. Last month, Tiger crashed into a tree just yards from his front door. After his accident, he required hospital treatment. This raised a media frenzy, especially in light of the fact that TMZ.com exposed the issue of Tiger's affair with New York socialite Rachel Uchitel. According to TMZ, this led to a confrontation between Tiger and his wife shortly before he got into his SUV that morning. Since the accident, several other women have come forward admitting their affairs with Tiger, including admissions of infidelity in his own home. All of this news coverage has impacted his family and his golf career.

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.

Anyone who puts themselves in the public eye and commercially sells their image to various marketers should expect the American Public to question their public indiscretions. In the past, I've written about misdeeds of various politicians or individuals in the public eye. Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary and continued to cheat even after he was discovered. Yet he lied not only to Hillary but to the American Public. SC Governor Sanford lied to his wife and to the American Public and later crooned about his profound love for his mistress. Jenny Sanford is divorcing him. Former Presidential Candidate John Edwards lied to his wife and to the American Public about his affair with his mistress, promising to marry her after his wife Elizabeth died. These three politicians bear much more responsibility to the American Public then National Golf legend Tiger Woods. At least Tiger is admitting the truth and is stepping out of the Public View temporarily.

I realize Tiger and his family are in great pain right now. How do you forgive the unforgivable... the overblown ego that permitted these actions, the loss of trust, the sex acts themselves? I can't imagine the pain their family and extended family are going through right now as they go through these trials so much in the public eye. Tiger's mother and mother-in-law are particularly suffering.

I am also suffering and so are all of Tiger's admirers. He was our role-model, our icon who acheived the American Dream. "If he can do it, we can do it...Si Se Puede!" And what is worse, all those naysayer/backstabbers who wished and dreamed Tiger would fail, all those golfers who had no hope of ever even coming close to Tiger's stats, are all laughing now. Remember Fuzzy Zoeller's comment when Tiger won The Masters? Zoeller, referring to the following year's Master's Club Champion's Dinner, for which the defending champion selects the menu, said, "He's doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it." Zoeller then smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away before turning and adding, "or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve."

For many years to come, Tiger will be a figure of fun to comedians great and small. Tiger Woods will have to put up with those jokes and jabs for at least 20 more years. My prayers go to his wife, his children, his mom and mother-in-law, and to Tiger himself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Police Statement Says Jeff Conroy Confessed in "Beaner Stomper" Murder of Marcelo Lucero!

A knife in his right hand extended outward, Jeffrey Conroy went toward the "Spanish guy" who was swinging his belt, according to a written statement he made to Suffolk police hours after the fatal stabbing of Marcelo Lucero ."His back was to me and as I ran towards him he turned to face me," according to the statement, made Nov. 9, 2008. "He was about four or five feet from me, I continued to run towards him and stabbed him once in either his shoulder or chest."Minutes later as police approached, Conroy confessed, according to his statement. "I told the cop that my knife was tucked in my boxers and I was the one who stabbed the guy," he said in the statement obtained by Newsday. "I don't blame the Spanish guy for swinging the belt at us. It was obvious that he wanted to get the [expletive] out of there. He was ready to defend himself . . . "The "guy" was Lucero, 37, an legal Ecuadorean immigrant whose death authorities have labeled a hate crime. Seven former Patchogue - Medford High School students were charged with gang assault and conspiracy in connection with Lucero's death. Conroy, now 18, of Medford , was also charged with murder and manslaughter as a hate crime. Nicholas Hausch and Jose Pacheco have pleaded guilty; the other five, including Conroy, are awaiting trial. Pretrial hearings begin Wednesday on whether Conroy's statement was taken appropriately and can be used in a trial.

Conroy's attorney, William Keahon of Islandia , did not return calls for comment Tuesday. He previously has said police were "creative" in taking the statement. When asked two months ago about excerpts from Conroy's statement quoted in court papers, in which Conroy referred to regularly going out and looking for Latino people to beat up, Keahon said, "He never said those words, he never said anything like it."Handwritten statements by each of the seven teens - written by Suffolk detectives based on interviews and signed by the defendants - were obtained by Newsday.The statements tell a similar story of the night of Nov. 8, 2008: a group of teenagers hanging out at a local park, eventually leaving, determined to find Latinos to beat up.In each statement, the seven defendants said they were near the Patchogue train station, where several of them approach Lucero and a companion and provoke a fight. Both Lucero and his companion defended themselves by swinging their belts, according to the statements. One of them "yelled at us that he had been in this country 20 years," Jordan Dasch's statement read. None of the other six defendants witnessed Conroy stab Lucero, according to their statements, and none realized Lucero was stabbed until Conroy told them as they walked away."Jeff said . . . 'I stabbed that guy.' At first I didn't believe him, but when he showed me his knife with blood on it I knew it was no joke," read Kevin Shea's statement. Shea's attorney argued in court last week the statement was coerced.One defendant suggested Conroy toss the knife, according to multiple statements.

"I tried to wash the blood off in a puddle, but there was still blood on it," Conroy's statement read.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Justice Sotomayor introduces "Undocumented Immigrant" into the Supreme Court's Vocabulary!

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is already making a difference! She is introducing Humanitarian Language to the Supreme Court's Vocabulary! Thank you Justice Sotomayor!

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.
Justice Sotomayor’s
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.

The Experts have Spoken: "The Time for Immigration Reform is NOW!"

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

Fish and Visitors Smell After Three Days -- There's No Place Like Home!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my brother is ill and our family around the country was called in to say good-bye to him. We didn't know exactly how long we would stay. Some of us planned to stay a week, others 10 days, some thought they would wait until the end. With each passing day, each of us realized that while his illness is severe, he may possibly hang on for days, weeks or months. We all have our families and jobs and lives at home. I decided to come home today.

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

Justice for Marcelo Lucero: Another Defendant Plea Bargains!

Jose Pacheco, one of six remaining defendants awaiting trial in the fatal stabbing of Marcelo Lucero, a legal Ecuadorean immigrant in New York has pleaded guilty to gang assault as a hate crime. Jose Pacheco agreed Wednesday to testify against other defendants accused in the death of dry-cleaning worker Marcelo Lucero. Lucero was stabbed in the chest Nov. 8, 2008, in Patchogue, N.Y. Authorities say seven teens went "Beaner Jumping" looking for a Latino victim. Last month, another defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy and hate crime charges and agreed to testify. The year since the Lucero slaying has put national spotlight on the area's race relations. The U.S. Justice Department launched a probe of hate crimes and police response to them.

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

Remember...You Must Die -- What will happen as all the Baby Boomers enter their Golden Years?

I haven't written a blog for a few days because I am out of town visiting my brother. He is in the last stages of ALS and is dying. We don't know if he has a few days or weeks to live, but the doctors tell us he doesn't have much time. ALS is a particularly cruel disease. You may know it as Lou Gehrig's disease. From a layman's point of view, you continue to lose muscle control over your own body until you die.

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."

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