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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bush Leaves the Fox Guarding the Hen House at OSHA

Is it just a dream comes true for business owners to know that this President has their backs when it comes to the $12 dollar per our employee and the fight for a safe work place? Placing a “Do not disturb” sign on the doors at OSHA is pretty much what we have today thanks to this sitting President.

I’m sure that the President has a very good explanation why he thinks that workers safety is not part of the “Decider” mission statement. If all of those pesky workers were smart then they would have contributed just as much as the rich business owners to the Republican Party. Then the “Decider” could have been moved to at least pretend that he cares about the working class of America before he gutted OSHA and its enforcement policies. OSHA is a gelding and the martinis are being toasted over a job well done by the millionaires club of lax business owners.

I could not make this stuff up if I wanted to and the good people over at The New York times have this to say on it…

Picture Courtesy of The

OSHA Leaves Worker Safety in Hands of Industry

Published: April 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 24 — Seven years ago, a Missouri doctor discovered a troubling pattern at a microwave popcorn plant in the town of Jasper. After an additive was modified to produce a more buttery taste, nine workers came down with a rare, life-threatening disease that was ravaging their lungs.

Puzzled Missouri health authorities turned to two federal agencies in Washington. Scientists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which investigates the causes of workplace health problems, moved quickly to examine patients, inspect factories and run tests. Within months, they concluded that the workers became ill after exposure to diacetyl, a food-flavoring agent.

But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, charged with overseeing workplace safety, reacted with far less urgency. It did not step up plant inspections or mandate safety standards for businesses, even as more workers became ill.

On Tuesday, the top official at the agency told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing that it would prepare a safety bulletin and plan to inspect a few dozen of the thousands of food plants that use the additive.

That response reflects OSHA’s practices under the Bush administration, which vowed to limit new rules and roll back what it considered cumbersome regulations that imposed unnecessary costs on businesses and consumers. Across Washington, political appointees — often former officials of the industries they now oversee — have eased regulations or weakened enforcement of rules on issues like driving hours for truckers, logging in forests and corporate mergers.

Since George W. Bush became president, OSHA has issued the fewest significant standards in its history, public health experts say. It has imposed only one major safety rule. The only significant health standard it issued was ordered by a federal court.
- The New York Times

The only key sentence in this piece is the very last one that I posted. It does not take much to understand President Bush and his mentality of your safety in a manufacturing job. The only action taken for your safety in the work place didn’t even come from him. It came from a judge sitting on a bench in a court of law.

President Harry Truman used to have a plaque on his desk that simply read “The Buck Stops Here!” He had that little notice on his desk because he despised waste in our government and was the first to go after war profiteers. I’d like to take up a collection to get one for President George W. Bush and his desk in the oval office. “Good Government, Insert Check Here!”

It gets worse…

Instead of regulations, Mr. Foulke and top officials at other agencies favor a “voluntary compliance strategy,” reaching agreements with industry associations and companies to police themselves.


“OSHA has been focusing on the best companies in their voluntary protection program while doing nothing in the area of standard setting,” said Peg Seminario, the director of occupational safety and health at the A.F.L.-C.I.O. “They’ve simply gotten out of the standard-setting business in favor of industry partnerships that have no teeth.”

Wait it gets even worse… Mind you I am not making this up…

The agency had long been the target of businesses that criticized its rules as arbitrary, costly and confusing. Three of the biggest industries regulated by OSHA — transportation, agribusiness and construction — have given more than $630 million in political campaign contributions since 2000, with nearly three-quarters of that money going to Republicans. The Bush administration has promised to address their concerns.

Now if you read the article and come away with the same conclusion that I did then the only way to fix workplace safety is to sign a big ass disgusting contribution check over to the Republicans. That check will have a magical effect and make real government regulations simply disappear. All those pesky work place insignificant situations that could possibly take your life are instantly fixed. More good government is available from our friends over on the political right for just a few measly dollars.

I am not saying that all business owners do not care about the people that work for them but there are far too many that push the envelope of their employees safety. In many manufacturing businesses the quickest solution to fixing a work related injury is to hound the injured worker till they quit. Does that practice solve the initial root cause of the injury?

I suppose from the CEO’s desk this President is like a God to his or her bottom line. It is President’s like George W. Bush that were so much in bed with the Barons of industry of the past that made the necessities of strong Unions to preserve the safety and rights of the working class. What I find very humorous about this article and this subject regarding OSHA is the fact that the agency was created by a Republican President. Richard M. Nixon, the man most would call a criminal had vision into the working class and what our government needed to do to protect its work force.

In less than two terms as President we as a nation have become the servants of the mega rich and big business. George Orwell was right in his book; he just had the year off.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Marketing Voices in your Head?

Put yourself in this scenario. You are at the grocery store picking up a few necessities for your next adventure of cooking for your family. As you pass the bakery section you hear a voice in your head pointing out the scrumptious cakes and fresh baked breads. You know for a fact that you didn’t think it because it wasn’t your voice. Nobody else is around you. Do you freak out or just simply cave in to the new voices in your head and buy a cake and some fresh baked bread?

I first heard about this story from talk radio on Eagan and Braude from 96.9 FM in Boston and I was frankly shocked. The whole discussion revolved around this amazing and informative article in the Boston Globe…

The marketers have your ear
Beam of sound aims its messages
By Jenn Abelson, Globe Staff April 24, 2007

Advertisers have a new way to get into your head

Marketers around the world are using innovative audio technology that sends sound in a narrow beam, just like light, making it possible to direct messages right into consumers' ears while they shop or sit in waiting rooms.

The audio spotlight device, created by Watertown firm
Holosonic Research Labs Inc., has been used to hawk everything from cereals in supermarket aisles to glasses at doctor's offices. The messages are often quick and targeted -- and a little creepy to the uninitiated.

Court TV recently installed the audio spotlight in ceilings of bookstores to promote the network's new murder-mystery show. A voice, whispering, "Hey, you, can you hear me? Do you ever think about murder?" was beamed toward customers as they browsed the mystery section in several independent bookstores in New York.
– Boston Globe

I’m sorry but this kind of marketing should be made illegal immediately!

This kind of marketing reminds me of the advertising on television that was banned in the late fifties or sixties. Don’t quote me on this because I only recall this from a discussion my mother and grandmother had in the seventies. Advertiser would pay television stations for subliminal ads that would only run for one to three seconds. With the result being that you never saw the ad but something triggered a memory in you head.

My main concern regarding this laser like sound advertising is the many people that are on serious mental health medications because they already have too many voices in their head. This kind of marketing could trigger a relapse of individuals that have worked for years with therapists, counselors and psychiatrists on how to live and function in society with their personal mental health disorder.

My second concern is that if this technology is being used to sell merchandise that you never needed or wanted then what or whom is going to stop the myriad of possible abuses of the same technology? This technology in the wrong hands could be lethal. Picture the scenario of this technology being beamed at men and woman in bars to drink suggested high alcohol content products, they get behind the wheel and drive drunk and could possibly kill someone. Can the person that killed someone while drunk driving after being targeted by this type of marketing honestly and legally held accountable for the crime?

My third concern is the personal invasion of privacy. You can change the channel of a television or radio program that offends you but you can not avoid someone invading your personal space as you shop for your daily needs if they are targeting a beam of sound directly at you to sell products.

I would highly suggest to all stores or places of business that want to embrace this technology to think twice about it. Consumers should be forewarned that this technology is in use at the businesses they visit. Warning signs should be posted that this store and its new marketing technology may just send your twelve year old son or daughter into a relapse but thanks for buying those scrumptious cakes and fresh bread.

What is your opinion on this technology?

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Russian First Elected President Boris Yeltsin has Died

Personally, I am not a favorite advocate for Boris Yeltsin as a man or as the first freely elected President of Russia. I am however appreciative of what he brought to his people and that is freedom. The price of that freedom from the oppression of the communist regime since the days of Stalin came with a heavy price and yet the Russian people survived it. Most of them did anyway.

Former Russian Leader Boris Yeltsin, 76, Dies

By Lee Hockstader
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 23, 2007; 11:36 AM

Boris Yeltsin was once asked to name his greatest goal as president. He answered that more than anything, he wanted tranquility for Russia.

Ultimately, Yeltsin failed to achieve it in his own term. But the burly Siberian who was Russia's first freely elected leader in 1,000 years did more than anyone to raze the rotting communist superstructure of the former Soviet Union and build from its ruins the framework of a newly democratic and capitalist country.

Yeltsin died today at 76, a Kremlin official announced, without providing further details. The Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified medical source as saying Yeltsin died of heart failure.

Like Peter the Great, the 18th century czar he once mentioned as his model, Yeltsin was no great democrat. In ordering the war on the breakaway southern region of Chechnya in 1994, he was responsible for the violent deaths of more Russian citizens than any Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin. As president he tolerated--and even authorized--the excesses of a system in some ways as corrupt and morally adrift as the one it replaced.

Yet like the autocratic Peter, Yeltsin took hold of a stultifying, hermetically closed country and flung open its doors to fresh ideas, methods and influences.
"He created a new kind of power," said Vladislav Starkov, editor of the weekly newspaper Argumenty i Fakty. "He created a new economic situation. A new psychological situation. A new international policy. A new Russian mentality. Of course, there were many mistakes, stupidities. But today we live with and take for granted absolutely new political ideas and institutions . . . This is Yeltsin's legacy."
– The Washington Post

Boris Yeltsin was not the picture perfect first president other than the fact that he was the one man with the power and convictions to end the madness of his government and replaced it with his own corruption ridden rule. Beside his best efforts to profit from his own government the larger idea of a free Russia stuck with his people and sometimes the good comes with the bad.

Ending the Communist Party and its oppressive mentality of government that suppressed the people of Russia and any state that the former Soviet Union touched is Boris Yeltsin’s legacy. Americans only have to look ninety something miles to the south of the Sunshine State of Florida to see the continued existence of the failed experiment of the communist mentality and government system.

I admire Yeltsin for what he did to truly end the misery of his people but I frankly can not shed a tear for what he did as President of Russia to make sure it continued. His own people will tell his history and that is how it should be.


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Books that are relevant to this post…

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

America and its love affair with books…

I’m starting something new here at Papamoka Straight Talk with posting books relevant to the topics I cover. Having that option to not just give my opinion to people but suggest some great titles by some very applicable authors on the topic in print is a service I would like to think that my readers will appreciate. Knowledge and understanding from respected authors is immeasurable when it comes to your outlook on life. The more you know, the better you are as a person to form an opinion that is your own.

We can click all over the internet trying to find information on any subject but when you really think about it; there just might already be a book out there that covers it. I’m a firm believer in reading up on all that you can on any topic and yes I am guilty of not reading up on every topic. Blogger privileges to write from the heart over rules having all the facts first hand. That is when I count on my readers like you to correct me and slap me up side the head for being stupid in the comment section.

From time to time I may be guilty of shameless plugs for authors that I appreciate and then again I will also offer authors that I by no means on this good earth agree with. Writing opinion sucks but everyone has one. I offer you mine and appreciate any feedback you deem necessary. The books I suggest to you for reading are just that, suggestions.

One last shameless plug, will be the suggested link to the titles I put up and I appreciate your support of Papamoka Straight Talk with your purchases.
Let me know what you think about this change and I will gladly reply back in the comment section.


Shameless plugs via Amazon …

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Solar Power Education and Marketing

If America and the world for that matter is ever going to be independent of the turmoil that is the Middle East then we all need to belly up to the bar of knowledge on new sources for our energy needs. One such source is Solar Power, a resource for electrical power that has made enormous technical advances over the past ten years alone.

For many home owners there is a fear of dealing with anything electrical once you get past the point of plugging in the blow dryer or hitting the start button on your microwave oven. As long as you pay the electric bill every month and the lights go on when you turn a switch then that is all you want to know.

The world as we know it is getting smaller and the resources to keep those lights on need to change over the long term. If not for political hot points in the world such as Iraq and Iran over oil availability then for green house gas and global warming reasons.

Energy consumption and the education we need to change our perspective on one source of energy are covered in this interesting piece over at the New York Times…

Today’s Topic Is Solar Energy Systems

Published: April 19, 2007

QUICK, true or false: Solar energy systems work only on hot, cloudless days. Rooftop systems come in one configuration — big and ugly. And if you generate more energy than you use, there is no way you can sell it elsewhere.

For the record, the answer to all of those is: false. But last summer the Sharp Electronics Corporation, one of the biggest makers of rooftop solar panels, asked about 1,000 people those questions and was astounded at how many answered wrong.

So Sharp, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sharp Corporation of Japan and RiechesBaird, the ad agency it hired in July, tabled their original plan to push the virtues of Sharp systems among installers, builders and distributors. Instead, they embarked on a six-month campaign to teach homeowners in California — the state with the most generous government incentives for solar energy — how it works.

Their hope is that — to borrow a phrase from Sy Syms, the discount clothing entrepreneur — an educated consumer will eventually be their best customers.
– The New York Times


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Friday, April 20, 2007

Howie Carr the Political Racist Columnist

If you have ever been graced with the reading of the Boston Herald they have some really great reporters and columnists that provide true journalism with a typical Boston twist. Much like all papers there are the people on the staff that dare to call themselves reporters or a columnist and are simply below the bar or severely lacking with the endowment or gift of the respected titles.

Back in the day of Billy Bulger and his iron clad hold on the state senate president’s office Howie Carr served a purpose as a much loved columnist to the Boston Herald paper and the people that spat out the grotesque and flagrant actions of a legislative body without an ounce of honest spirit in it. Billy Bulger is long gone and yet Howie Carr is still rambling on. Reaching for the stars and trying his damn well best to paint anyone even remotely liberal as a piece of crap.

His method of attack on anyone is simply to use his column as a bully pulpit and bash the intelligence of anyone he cares to bash. Democrats hold a favorite spot in his heart to publish away as incompetent infidels to his picture perfect idea of society. This week it’s our distinguished Senator John Kerry. Even better he was able to toss a stone among the many at Don Imus simply because John Kerry thought that the punishment did not fit the crime.

Earth to Kerry: Shut up, already
By Howie Carr

Boston Herald Columnist
Friday, April 20, 2007 - Updated: 01:46 AM EST
John Kerry - a day late and a dollar short, again.

Can we have an intervention, please? Stop this preening fool before he inserts foot in mouth again. The man has a disease. For Liveshot, one camera is too many, and a thousand are not enough.

Just consider the past couple of weeks. I know, he’s been out pushing a book, “This Moment on Earth.” But just because someone shoves a microphone into his face doesn’t mean he has to take the bait. Sometimes, you have to know when to leave something alone.

What’s the old saying? Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

So he’s out there hawking product when the story breaks about Hillary Clinton and Barry Obama raising record amounts of campaign cash in the first quarter. On top of that is the lingering John Edwards sympathy factor. Almost by the day, Kerry is an ever-more distant memory in the rearview mirror of history.

Liveshot’s reaction? He tells the first interviewer he runs into that perhaps he will be running for president again. Or maybe not.

See, he was running for president before he was not running for president before he was running for president before he was not.

Then there was his “debate” in D.C. with Newt Gingrich. Gingrich said nice things about Liveshot, almost hugged him, and then promptly collapsed in the Republican presidential polls. You might say Newt “pulled a Kerry.”

Next, along comes Don Imus, on whose abysmal talk show Kerry once uttered yet another botched joke about the Italian military, (and wasn’t Kerry fortunate his slur didn’t make anyone’s top 10 list of Imus embarrassments last week?).

Kerry’s people say he issued a statement last week denouncing the I-man’s racist crack. But like all the other Beautiful People, Kerry (for once) wasn’t exactly rushing out to the microphones to tell the TV audiences that maybe his pal the I-man should put his brown shirts away.

End of story?Not quite. This week, with Imus dead and buried, guess who stepped up and stepped into it?

In New York, Kerry was asked about it by a TV reporter, and he opined that the punishment should fit the crime.

After all, it was only a botched joke.
– The Boston Herald

Is it any more possible to wear your self espoused conservative die hard right wing mentality agenda and put it in print any more clearly than what Howie Carr (Wreck) does and get away with it. Can he just preach the hate and hypocrisy of his own article somewhere else? Canada could use a great liberal bashing columnist. No, we can’t do that to Canada, they might retaliate with someone twice as worse and extremely liberal. England could use a good right wing columnist like Howie. Any where but here works for me.

It is high time we point out the people that want to sell hate in no matter what form it is presented. Reporters preaching hate of any individual should receive the same treatment as Don Imus. They should be trashed and public opinion should be moved to force them out of a job. We should be pointing at the haters amongst us and casting them out of our society at large.

We should all take every sentence that every single writer in America writes and it should be reviewed by a legal court to decide what is offensive, racist, politically incorrect and shameful. We should start the investigations with Howie Carr of the Boston Herald. Once we have him canned lets move on to George Will. Then we can go after that old bugger from the New Yorker that has that snooty attitude toward the lesser educated amongst us. Frank Rich has to go next because he is just too extreme with his liberalism and self righteous attitude with every work he presents for print in the New York Times. Rush Limbaugh, jackpot of jack asses has got to go to the unemployment office and stop at the Target Pharmacy, Walgreen Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy, Brooks Pharmacy and one or two Mom and Pop Pharmacies after we get rid of his racist commentary against anyone that does no tow the strict line of rich folks against poor folks.

Any one at Fox News or works for the network should just pack your desk. Same goes for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Boston Herald, all hell shut all the newspapers down.

Talk radio, umm, ya they are gone too. They talk about to many things that make people think. That isn’t good for a free America. Magazines other than the ones that do nothing but nice pictures of fuzzy bunnies and puppies, and babies are okay. While we are at it, the flag needs to be redesigned too! Any suggestions from anyone other than the stars and stripes forever will be appreciated?

While we are revising the Constitution and the freedom of the press somebody just might want to make a call into the White House and see if the President can go over to the Smithsonian with his burnt umber crayon and just draw a line through the first and second amendment. Then again, why stop at two amendments?

As much as one amendment seems to conflict with the other, neither can exist without the other.
Question for the Readers of Papamoka Straight Talk... Where do you stand on the freedom of the press dealing with and reporting on the Virginia Tech Massacre? Second question... What do you think about the second amendment and the right to bare arms?


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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech Murders and Massacre

With all the hype from the main stream media they are forgetting the children murdered by this idiot and madman. Probing into why he did what he did is redundant if you splash his picture over and over all over the media. What about the kids that died? What about their damn pictures on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC or FOX? What about them and the future they ultimately had posted and talked about on the networks?

With this latest media hype on the death of these college kids is a substantial critical price in boasting all the unknown facts of their killer. Why the media chooses to make the murderer the headline is beyond me? Nobody should be talking about this monster and hoping to even remotely understand what was in his mind and why he committed this horrible crime against the students of Virginia Tech. The kid was freaking nuts and totally out of control. His desire for attention is so graciously being granted every single time his face is slammed up on the television by all of the major networks.

I don’t even own a hand gun or a rifle so I have no dog to hunt in the argument of gun owners rights. I am however a firm believer in the second amendment to the Constitution. This murderer followed the laws of the land to obtain his fire arms used in this crime. He broke no laws in getting the guns as far as I know and what the main stream media reported. This crime against America is not about gun ownership. If he wanted to get a gun to do this horrific crime then he could have had access to them from a multitude of avenues available across America and in every city that are illegal.

One of my friends stated in deference to what happened that if the rest of the students had fire arms then they probably would have taken him out before he fired his third shot! That is a thought to think about.

The main stream media should let the families of the dead grieve as they will need to do and leave it at that. Stop glorifying the murderer of these poor children of Virginia Tech. If it was attention he wanted then he got it with more than I can stomach from the Main Stream Media!

NBC was lacking clear judgment when they repeatedly aired this monsters rant. Their decision over at NBC to air the video that the monster mailed off to them in-between his killing rampage just shows a total lack of respect for all the innocent lives lost at Virginia Tech.

The following is a list of known victims from The Virginia Tech website...

Virginia Tech – In Memoriam

We Remember

Ross Abdallah Alameddine
James Christopher Bishop
Brian Roy Bluhm
Ryan Christopher Clark
Austin Michelle Cloyd
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
Kevin P. Granata
Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
Caitlin Millar Hammaren
Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
Emily Jane Hilscher
Jarrett Lee Lane
Matthew Joseph La Porte
Henry J. Lee
Liviu Librescu
Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
Lauren Ashley McCain
Daniel Patrick O'Neil
J. Ortiz-Ortiz

Minal Hiralal Panchal
Daniel Alejandro Perez
Erin Nicole Peterson
Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
Julia Kathleen Pryde
Mary Karen Read
Reema Joseph Samaha
Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
Leslie Geraldine Sherman
Maxine Shelly Turner
Nicole White

The preceding victims have been positively identified, and their next of kin notified. Names of all 32 victims will be added as they become available. – Virginia Tech

I am thankful to the Virginia Tech site for not listing the murderer amongst the victims. My thoughts and prayers will be with the many families and friends that lost a loved one at Virginia Tech.


Books on Virginia Tech... My apologies to the families for having to pay the bills...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Permanent Link to Reflections On A Massacre

This post has been offered by my very good friend Michael Linn Jones from the Gun Toting Liberal for this web site. Thank you Mike!

Written By: Michael Linn Jones

Permanent Link to Reflections On A Massacre

It has been roughly 24 hours since the slaughter ended at Virginia Tech. Details of the mass murderer are coming out in dribs and drabs, but at the time of this writing it is becoming apparent that he had a grudge. Whether triggered by a romantic failure, a dispute over grades, or just an overflowing disgust with those things American, Virginia Tech was a scene of terror. For whatever the cause, terror is what it turned into.

I noticed that while the bodies of those poor kids had not even been removed from the scene of their horrible death, Brian Ross of ABC had an article out about how the assailant “could” have used high capacity magazines, and that such was due to the failure of Congress to reimpose the assault weapons ban. It would not be beyond the impossible to assume that the article was ready and waiting for a day such as yesterday. That is not journalism, but pushing an agenda at a very coarse point of a already horrible day.

President Bush has visited Virginia Tech, and ordered flags at half mast. Flowers are going to abound in areas so as to allow people to genuinely grieve. Their world has been shattered, and as for those who lost loved ones, words are difficult to produce to descirbe their anguish, or to alleviate their sorrow.

Many other things will happen: concerts, speeches, religious services, memorials, days of remembrance, and the ever increasing anniversaries of that day; with each succeeding year the event will convert from a glowing hot memory of today to the colder climes of history. The heat of it will only reside within those who sent their loved ones to a place of learning only to bring them home in a coffin. It is sad indeed to see a parent bury a child.

The closure will come, as best it can. For some it will never even visit, but remain aloof and distant, like a mirage of hope. The hurt never goes away and despite all the technology available, it must be dealt with in private.

There is something unseemly in using this massacre as a vehicle for an agenda; any agenda. This is America; we’re full of agendas and it is safe to say they will never go away. But they can wait a week or so.

The unkindest thought that has crossed my mind comes more in the form of a question, and is not part of any agenda. This question, which arose in my mind late last night is this: should we grieve more for the families of these victims of lunacy more than we should the families of those dying and being maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan?
It is ironic, and also sick, that our lost soldiers and lost students share one common thing: they were targets of people who hate the United States and the American people.

Like after 9/11, we must come to terms with the fact that hatred is a powerful force in the world, and it oozes through cultures without regard to borders. What the scumbag did yesterday in Blacksburg is no different than what the scumbags did on 9/11, or what the scumbag did in Oklahoma City. They not only wanted to end as many lives as they could, but they wanted (and still want, in great numbers) to end the lives of everyone else through fear.

In other words, one’s heart may still beat and the lungs may pull air, but the heart is stilled through fear. The aim is to make us as rabbits in a thunderstorm, too frightened to move. Or think.

In time, a memorial to these people at Virginia Tech will be erected. That is right, and proper. Yet if you want to contribute to a memorial to them yourself, or to those of 9/11 or Oklahoma City, then LIVE. Without fear? No, of course not. But live DESPITE whatever fears you have. That is courage, and courage is what will defeat terrorism, in whatever form it takes.

May these poor people find eternal rest. May God have mercy and welcome their souls with open arms.

But no rest for the living. We have challenges to meet; to overcome. Freedom is truly not a gift; it must be fought for by each generation. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, we are perhaps not at the beginning of the end, but rather the end of the beginning.

We will never lose the struggle for freedom on our own shore unless we lose it in our own hearts.
Michael Linn Jones

Personal Note to my friend, thank you for offering me your talent for this post. It is an amazing and thoughtful piece.

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Virginia Tech Massacre Hits Home in Mass.

Picture Courtesy of The Boston Herald

My heart and soul are praying for all the parents that have already received the call that their baby was a victim of the madman at Virginia Tech. There is no way to express my sorrow to the many Mothers and Fathers and the rest of the families or friends of the victims for what happened at Virginia Tech.

I’m shocked, disgusted, outraged, and fearful for our nation’s youth. America is no longer that safe haven where apple pies and a Chevrolet are the norm. Sending our sons and daughters away to college is never going to be the same again. What was once a right of passage for a young adult became many parents all across America’s nightmare? I will be praying for all of the families of this devastating event in our nation’s history and praying that it can never happen again.

The Boston Herald has this to say about the Mother in Saugus that lost her son…

Saugus mother mourns son,
By Joe Dwinell, Jessica Van Sack, Laurel J. Sweet, Jessica Heslam/ Dave Wedge, Michael Givens and Anita DavisTuesday, April 17, 2007

The bloodiest shooting rampage in the nation’s history has claimed the life of a promising young Saugus man, a sophomore gunned down in his morning French class at Virginia Tech.

“I just got word he was of the ones killed in the classroom,” said a sobbing Lynnette Alameddine moments after a chaplain called with word that her 20-year-old son, Ross Alameddine, was among the dead. She was too grief-stricken to speak further.

Earlier last night, the tormented Saugus mother was waiting by her phone. She spent hours calling police and hospitals, which she said were unresponsive to her frantic pleas for information.
– The Boston Herald

I’ll be thinking of the families over the weeks to come. This is not and should not be a political issue for people to talk about now. Many families have lost so much and for no logical reason.

It would be wise for the mainstream media to not so quickly lay blame and I am just as guilty of it from my previous post. That was my gut reaction and I apologize to anyone offended.

What is your gut reaction to this horrible event?


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Don Imus on Satellite Radio?

Picture Courtesy of Herald Tribune

Having been expelled from the school of public broadcasting by CBS Radio and MSNBC I would not be surprised to see the I-Man land on his feet in outer space… on satellite radio that is. When you think about it, his nine to ten million listeners may or may not already have satellite radio and if they want to hear the grumpy old son of a biscuit eater then they are going to have to sign up for whoever catches the Imus gold mine radio machine.

Some folks don’t see either of the two players in the satellite radio market wanting him? I would have to disagree with The Post Chronicle that has this piece on the future of Don Imus…

Don Imus To Sirius Or XM Satellite Radio? Not So Fast Cowboy
By Mitch Marconi
Apr 13, 2007

Don Imus Update - Don Imus, The I-Man as he is affectionately known, was fired by CBS yesterday which was inevitable. The other Imus Inevitability, (at least in the eyes of some) is where he will end up. Is it going to be Sirius or will it be XM. One might make an argument for either satellite radio entity. I'm going to argue that it will be neither.


XM has I-Faves Opie & Anthony and probably has the most money to spend, although I'm no financial analyst. Sirius on the other hand has Mel Karmazin, a former I-Boss, who knows Imus about as good as anybody in the industry. Plus Imus has often spoke fondly of Sirius.
– The Post Chronicle

Having listened to the Imus in the Morning Show for over twenty years now I can not for the life of me see him just fading away. Granted he is probably a very wealthy man but his on air personality was never about the money. No, wait a second it was, but I honestly can’t see him calling his career ended. For that matter I don’t think for a minute that his wife Deirdre will put up with his sorry ass moping around the ranch in New Mexico or the apartment in New York City. Feeling sorry for himself is not a part of Don Imus reformed ______ (insert addiction here) personality. It just isn’t!

That got me to thinking that people like Don Imus are not stupid when it comes time to signing contracts with his employers. Then it hit me!

How many lawyers does Don Imus know? You can’t count them all if you wanted to do so even with a calculator. I’m thinking grumpy old bastard and any lawyers involved with his business contracts with CBS Radio and it gives me a very warm fuzzy feeling. This is the same guy that went after a major New York Newspaper for even thinking that any of his charity work at the Imus Ranch in New Mexico was even remotely questionable.

I came across this piece in the Herald Tribune from Southwest Florida…

What's next for Don Imus? Obscurity? Satellite radio?
The talk-show host's career could rise from the ashes, as it has in the past.


NEW YORK -- Back on the radio? Or off to retirement?Answers about the future were hard to come by Friday, when 66-year-old radio legend Don Imus remained silent on his first day of unemployment after nearly 40 years -- a change from his repeated apologies and media appearances of the last week. The biggest question was whether he would try rehabilitating his image or simply slip into obscurity.

Both options held certain appeals for the I-Man, who was fired for a racist and sexist remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team and took just eight days to morph from "Imus In the Morning" into "Jimmy the Greek" Snyder. The Greek never landed another job after his 1988 firing as a CBS football analyst for racially tinged remarks.

Before either happens, Imus will sit down with officials from CBS Radio to work out the financial details surrounding his abrupt dismissal. Imus recently negotiated a new five-year CBS contract that reportedly paid him $10 million a year. (Imus had no contract with cable network MSNBC -- a unit of NBC Universal, owned by General Electric Co. -- which simulcast his show in a licensing deal with CBS.)"

I see many people in suits with briefcases haggling over Imus' contracts," said Tom Taylor, editor of the trade publication Inside Radio. "I see a lot of that. There's a lot of money on the table in this thing and a lot of issues."Once they're settled, Imus presumably could try to restart his career on radio -- either satellite or terrestrial -- or perhaps on television.
– Herald Tribune

Don Imus may be down and out for now but he isn’t done for. At least as a long time fan I hope he is not. Was he stupid with his comments about the Rutgers Girls Basketball Team? Absolutely! Was he forgiven by the team as a person with a huge heart and someone that knows the difference between right and wrong? Yes he was!


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Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Massacre

With the madness of one individual comes the endless horror of parents scrambling to find out if their babies are okay. I honestly hope and pray for the families of all that lost a child at Virginia Tech today. My prayers are with the families and for the innocence lost.

I am a firm believer in the second amendment but it is times like these that challenge my beliefs. All it takes is one gun to kill and yet no matter how many laws our nation passes to protect the innocent their will always be one nut job that will break those laws and commit such a horrendous crime. The Washington Post has this piece on todays tradgedy...

Students Recount Shootings
By Joe Holley
Washington Post Staff WriterMonday, April 16, 2007; 3:10 PM

Kristen Bensley, 18, a freshman who lives on the third floor of West Ambler Johnston Hall, just below the floor where the first shooting at Virginia Tech occurred this morning, learned of the violence when her resident adviser knocked on her door and instructed her and her roommate not to leave their room. Bensley, from Bel Air, Md., said police cars lined the road outside her room, and an amplified announcement blared across the campus urging students to remain indoors.

She, like many other students locked down in their rooms in Blacksburg, spent their morning receiving e-mails, contacting loved ones to let them know she was safe and watching the news about their own campus on national television. They traded rumors and bad news and eventually shared their grief.

"I have a few friends on the fourth floor," Bensley said. "They were all evacuated, and they weren't allowed to go back there."

Dustin Lynch, 19, sophomore, from Churchville, Md., north of Baltimore, was out on Drill Field at the time of the shootings, raising money for philanthropy with fellow fraternity brothers from Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He saw police officers carrying unresponsive students out of Norris Hall, a classroom building where most of the shootings took place. He also saw many students evacuated from the building.

"I had seen a bunch of cop cars and heard a lot of sirens," he said. "They were already booking it around Drill Field. I saw them all converge on this one building. The next thing I know, I see different spurts, it looked like different classrooms had gotten out. Hundreds of kids were running out with their hands up showing that they were harmless. There was a small wall that they had to jump over in the grass, and everybody was just running frantically in different groups. After most of the groups got out, I saw a lot of ambulances, probably three or four ambulances, go up as close to the buildings as they could.”
– The Washington Post

In our society we prefer prescription drugs for our children to mask the sense of reality and when the prescriptions run out this is and probably will be yet one more incident of a child that has grown into an adult that did not know how to deal with life. That is just my assumption and I have no facts to back that up. I am simply stating as fact that so many of our children have been drugged up to not experience what real life is and when the medications are gone as an adult and post teen level progression into the real world they can not deal with that reality.

I absolutely hate to bring this discussion up but it is what it is. Parents across America are drugging the kids up because mental health professionals have declared war on kids that do not fit in the normal box. If you walk your child into a mental health clinic then that child will walk out of there with a prescription to not have to deal with reality. It’s the sixties generation of free love and free drugs gone mad.

If you think I am wrong then please say so. Do yourself a favor and call your local school nurse and ask her how many medications related to so called psychologically troubled children that need medication to function are dispersed every day in the school environment?. Let me know what you think after that phone call.

What happens to these children when they are fed up on being drugged? Reality is not a friend to anyone and if you can think of someone that has stopped their medication abruptly then you know what situations happen.

In the sixties and seventies this story about what happened today at Virginia Tech never happened. Reality and letting children grow up and function as a human being was meant to be and resulted in grown men and woman that functioned based on past life experience. It’s hard to do that if you are on a constant high from the age of six till eighteen when the med supply stops. That big learning gap on life was missed by many of our children today because the meds junior was on made everything fuzzy so junior was easy to deal with for mom and dad.
What do you think about this travesty of life?


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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Imus in the Morning returns…

With the forgiveness of the Rutgers Girls Basketball Team being given to Don Imus there comes with it a fresh start. Or at the least that is how it should be. With MSNBC and CBS Radio pulling the plug on the Imus in the Morning show it basically buried Don Imus at the demands of the few. Mind you the Rutgers Girls Basketball Team never demanded that Don Imus be fired. Were his comments disgusting and racist, you can bet your last dollar on that fact. Was he remorseful and begging for forgiveness? Yes! Was the moronic and defacing comment hurtful and wrong? Yes! Was CBS Radio and Les Moonves wrong when he caved in to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in firing Don Imus? Yes, he ultimately told all of Don Imus fans to bugger off as the Brits like to say!

What about all the listeners that have supported the Imus in the Morning show through the years by buying the products his radio networks and affiliates sold? Do the listeners of the Imus in the morning show have a voice in this discussion? Apparently, we do not and that is very wrong. I for one will vote my disapproval with MSNBC and CBS Radio with my wallet. If they choose not to forgive Don Imus as the Rutgers Girls Basketball Team did then I choose not to support them and their advertisers. Over at the Boston Herald they had this little piece on not supporting the networks decision…

Small Calif. radio station to air the ’Best of Imus’ next week in defiance of Don Imus’ firing

By Associated PressFriday, April 13, 2007 - Updated: 12:20 PM

ESTSAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A small radio station intends to run the ”Best of Imus” next week in defiance of Don Imus’ firing.

Fred Lundgren, chairman of 1,400-watt KCAA (1050 AM), said the station would start the series Monday with the program that wound up getting Imus cashiered.

”I’m not going to let networks dictate to me who I run on my station,” said Lundgren.

The station, which has broadcast the shock jock’s morning show since 2003, also plans to air mostly supportive listener mail and e-mail reacting to the controversy.

The station can be heard in communities east and south of Los Angeles. The Imus material also will be available on the station’s Web site at Monday.

Calls late Thursday to Westwood One Inc., which syndicated Imus’ morning program, were not immediately returned.

Lundgren said the motive for broadcasting the Imus reruns is in part financial.

”I hate to say it, but without Imus, we’re pretty much toast,” said Lundgren, adding: ”What Imus did was deplorable, inexcusable, but it shouldn’t end the career of a man who has done so much good. This is an overreaction beyond anything I’ve ever seen in radio.”
– Boston Herald

I fully support the decision of the young ladies from Rutgers that were the point of this racist comment. I fully support the decision of these same young ladies to offer forgiveness. That is the most admirable act I have witnessed in my entire life. They are the spirit of America that is lost on the horizon to many of our nation’s melting pot society. This is one group of very brave young woman that have taken the higher road and chose to forgive rather than to divide. That my friend is what pure class looks like no matter what angle you choose to view it from.

As a long time listener of the Imus in the Morning Show I support the actions of the radio station in California for flipping the bird to the corporate networks. You have to realistically look at the big picture and see that Don Imus is not just one man. He was the source for many families paychecks across America with his rash remarks to politicians and celebrities that people loved to hear. Don Imus was never afraid to tell anyone what he thought on any issue and perhaps that was his downfall. What about all the families working for small stations that simulcast his show? Are they at the mercy of Al Sharpton? With the never ending callous reactions from this man of the cloth there will be thousands of families across America without a paycheck to put food on the table. How is the Prime Rib in New York Reverend Sharpton?

Al Sharpton made it clear Friday that he is “Big Brother” from the George Orwell book and he will be burning the books and radio show host, and television broadcasters at the stake to make sure that we are stead fast in our nations compliance and ve vill comply mine Fuhrer! NOT!!!

Racism does not know or reside in only one racial group in America but it is a double edged sword that cuts both ways. Not one American is totally innocent of not having this horrible human trait. Much like anger, we can confront it and deal with it face to face. Don Imus choose the path that was very honorable to talk with the people he wronged and was forgiven by the people that he needed it from. His first mistake was talking to Al Sharpton but you can never take back a stupid mistake. That point was made very clear by MSNBC and CBS Radio.

Can Al Sharpton say the same? I don’t think so. Al Sharpton loves the attention of issues like this but he does not realize or even comprehend the double edge sword effect that racism is not just about one race against the other but cuts back with the same swiftness. Hate of race has no place in America Reverend and you are the first to cry wolf. We don't hear to many heart felt apologies from the self proclaimed righteous Reverend though do we? That doesn't sell in the media even when you know you are wrong.

We as a people need to keep this discussion moving forward and get it out into the light to learn from it. This isn't just about African Americans. This about America and we need to end this idiocy that is so very wrong. We as a people need to know that your families history is not as important to America as to what you as an individual can be for your nation. That is the beauty of America because we can all discuss this and paint it as the monster that we do not want to ever see again. We as a nation of Americans can rise above this and be better for it. My brother is my keeper and I am the defender of my brother. You are an American and need to voice that first.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. That message never gets old for me. What about you?

God Bless the young ladies of Rutgers for rising above this crap. They are the true Americans hear.


Others talking about this issue…

Molten Thought
Legal Right

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