Sunday, August 31, 2008

Taking command - The McCain way

Boston Sunday Globe

Front page.

Above the fold.

A story of how the future President developed his leadership style in his post-POW Navy career.

Taking command - The McCain way

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Political Analysis or Sooth-Saying

My Darling Chief pointed something out for us over at the Castle.

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency."

So, if the Dems are saying she's "a heartbeat away from the Presidency," that has to mean they figger McCain's gonna be elected...

Democrats - Keeping It Classy!

Go over here.

Read the post.

Watch the video.

And then.....I don't ever want to hear about heartless Republicans.

Unless you are specifically addressing me.....because that would be true.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Crying Laughing Over David Brooks

Do you remember this?

Did you like it?

Well then, you will love this!

August 29, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

A Speech to the Delegates
By DAVID BROOKS
DENVER

My fellow Americans, it is an honor to address the Democratic National Convention at this defining moment in history. We stand at a crossroads at a pivot point, near a fork in the road on the edge of a precipice in the midst of the most consequential election since last year’s “American Idol.”

One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.

We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will never die! For this election isn’t about the past or the present, or even the pluperfect conditional. It’s about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that’s where all his accomplishments are.

We meet today to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans, a generation that came of age amidst iced chais and mocha strawberry Frappuccinos®, a generation with a historical memory that doesn’t extend back past Coke Zero.

We meet today to heal the divisions that have torn this country. For we are all one country and one American family, whether we are caring and thoughtful Democrats or hate-filled and war-crazed Republicans. We must bring together left and right, marinara and carbonara, John and Elizabeth Edwards. On United we stand, on US Airways, there’s a 25-minute delay.

Ladies and gentleman, I never expected to be speaking before you today. Like so many of our speakers at this convention, I come from a hard-working, middle-class family. I was leading a miserable little life, but, nevertheless, overcame great odds to live the American Dream. My great-grandfather fought in Patton’s Army, along with Barack Obama’s great-grand uncles’ fourth cousin once removed.

As a child, I was abandoned by my parents and lived with a colony of ants. We didn’t have much in the way of material possession, but we did have each other and the ability to carry far more than our own body weights. When I was young, I was temporarily paralyzed in a horrible anteater accident, but I never gave up my dream: the dream of speaking at a national political convention so my speech could be talked over by Wolf Blitzer and a gang of pundits.

And today we Democrats meet in Denver, a suburb of Boulder, a city whose motto is, “A Taxi? You Must be Dreaming.”

And in Denver, we Democrats showed America that we have cute daughters who will someday provide us with prestigious car-window stickers. We heard Hillary Clinton’s ringing endorsement of “the weak-looking thin guy who’s bound to lose.”

We heard from Joe Biden, whose 643 years in the Senate make him uniquely qualified to talk to the middle class, whose family has been riding the Acela and before that the Metroliner for generations, who has been given a lifetime ban from the quiet car and who is himself a verbal train wreck waiting to happen.

We got to know Barack and Michelle Obama, two tall, thin, rich, beautiful people who don’t perspire, but who nonetheless feel compassion for their squatter and smellier fellow citizens. We know that Barack could have gone to a prestigious law firm, like his big donors in the luxury boxes, but he chose to put his ego aside to become a professional politician, president of the United States and redeemer of the human race. We heard about his time as a community organizer, the three most fulfilling months of his life.

We were thrilled by his speech in front of the Greek columns, which were conscientiously recycled from the concert, “Yanni, Live at the Acropolis.” We were honored by his pledge, that if elected president, he will serve at least four months before running for higher office. We were moved by his campaign slogan, “Vote Obama: He’s better than you’ll ever be.” We were inspired by dozens of Democratic senators who declared their lifelong love of John McCain before denouncing him as a reactionary opportunist who would destroy the country.

No, this country cannot afford to elect John Bushmccain. Under Republican rule, locusts have stripped the land, adults wear crocs in public and M&M’s have lost their flavor. We must instead ride to the uplands of hope!

For as Barack Obama suggested Thursday night, wherever there is a president who needs to tap our natural-gas reserves, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a need for a capital-gains readjustment for targeted small businesses, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a president committed to direct diplomacy with nuclear proliferators, I’ll be there, too! God bless the Democrats, and God Bless America!

h/t David Frum's diary.

McCain/Palin Ad

This vid was put up two months ago by StudentsofAmerica on YouTube. I like some of their stuff and this one stuck with me.

Some People Walk the Walk

Cindy McCain visited a school and former government building housing hundreds of Georgians forced to leave their homes for the relative safety of Tbilisi in the conflict with Russia.
"Each time I see and talk with refugees it breaks my heart," McCain told reporters after visiting the two camps which are supported by the World Food Programme (WFP).

My Cousin Martine Just Called

"Is Jennifer going to vote?"

LOL

YES!

"Oh good, I'm happy there will be peace and harmony with you two."

Martine said that she didn't know much about Palin. I explained that while I was rooting for her for a while I kept it a little quiet. I'm superstitious. I was quick to say "I don't want Huckabee!" or "It won't be Pawlenty." But I kept my "Please, please give me Sarah Palin!" to myself.

Got to watch out for the bad juju, doncha know.

*Don't worry, Jennifer would never not vote. She takes her rights and responsibilities as a voter seriously......she just would have made my life miserable as she exercised her rights.*

Palin

I first read about her at the Castle, I think it was Kat that put up the post. Or it might have even been in the comments. Anyway, it was back in the early spring. So, I poked around and liked what I saw. I've been talking her up ever since.

But the Phibian is an even bigger fan.

I'll roll the Bones --- It's Palin.

Read the comments too.

Whew!

Jen's ok with Palin!

She just called from the car. We were supposed to do something together later this morning and she's going to handle it herself. She laid out the logistics and it just makes sense.

Then I said "Besides that......you don't want to be with me later when McCain announces it's Palin and not Romney."

She laughed and said "I'm fine with that. I'm fine with that. But when I heard it this morning I turned to the person next to me and said 'My sister is some kind of political fuckin' genius!' All I heard was Rommney/Pawlenty...Pawlenty/Romney....maybe Ridge....maybe Hutchinson....you were the only one saying Romney/Palin!"

Well, I don't think it's genius......it's just that I am a political junkie.

And now Jen will go vote for McCain will no screaming or kicking.

Whew!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How's Your Shakespeare??

Thou doth protest too much.........

Again Obama talks about his patriotism. Sounds a little angry to me. LOL He brings it up more than anyone else.

I also like "We might not agree on abortion." LOL No shit, Barry! I think if the baby survives the abortion, you should wrap it in a blanket and let a doctor tend to it.

It's Not A Tumor!!!!

OK, so there was this post where I found out I had the very beginning of a tumor on my left hip. I was bumming. Up to now I have been asymptomatic. And I have been very happy about that. So to hear that there was some actual damage as opposed to just numbers on a blood test......no fun.

So today was a followup Dr. Hochstin appointment so I could ask all the questions I had accumulated between meeting Dr. Miller and all the reading and the MRI and Dr. Oliver.

First thing is while I am at the insurance/referral/billing desk the phone rings. Elizabeth answers and gives the phone to me. What? How am I getting phone calls there? LOL I take the phone, it is Central Scheduling, can I come in for a contrast MRI at 1345 on Friday? My primary wants it to happen ASAP. Sure, I say.

Then we go into his office. The first question out of my mouth is "Did you see the MRI?" He smiles and says "Yes....Wasn't that where we did your bone marrow biopsy? Let's call Dr. Kelly." He calls, I ask more questions in the meantime. Dr. Kelly comes on the line. They discuss the bone marrow biopsy. Dr. Hochstin concludes by saying "Do you see any value in a contrast MRI?"

It's not a tumor! LOL I look at Jen, I see my astonishment reflected there.

Then we went on to discuss my visit with Dr. Miller. My type of myeloma, how fast could I get going on treatment. He is pushing me to get going. He pointed out the Dana Farber will likely recommend the same cocktail. That if it's different, the difference will likely be to add a 3rd drug which they can do after September 17th anyway.

I also figured out why both Miller and Hochstin are so hot to have me do the bone marrow transplant. While my type of myeloma is not aggressive (aka - lazy), it is also somewhat non-responsive to drug therapy. As Dr. Hochstin put it "IGA doesn't behave well." Jen and I looked at each other and laughed. Suits me, doesn't it? IGA only occurs in 20% of MM cases.

Then he talked about one of the more perplexing aspects of my case. I have a normal Beta-2 microglobulin. It's very unusual that it's not elevated. I'll have to read up on that.....

So, I still have to meet with Dr. Schlossman on the 17th, but I think I will begin treatment before that. Dr. Hochstin feels that it will not impact what Dana Farber may want to do, should I choose them. If they change anything it will be to add a third drug.

So, it looks like we will go with Revlimid, the derivative of Thalidomide - which BTW I thought affected a lot more than 17 American babies. I thought it was some kind of epidemic, but it was bad in Europe and Africa not here. Although 17 is 17 too many. Anyway, back to the topic, lol. I will take Revlimid every day for 21 days, then a week off. My blood will be tested to assess effectiveness. I will also take 4 days of steroids every two weeks.

Anyway.....the important thing for now......IT'S NOT A TUMOR!!

Cindy McCain Rocks!!!

Go over to the Phibian's......Cindy McCain is headed for Georgia on a humanitarian mission.

McCain Heading to Georgia

She is amazing!

And The Obama-gasm Begins!

I liked the narrator saying his childhood was like anyone else's. Yeah, I spent time in foreign countries as a young child....lol.

And the introduction......dick durbin.......he blows and I didn't capitalize his name on purpose.

OK, I Am A Mean Heartless Republican

Full disclosure - Princess Crabby could be truthfully described with the adjectives.......zaftig.............Rubenesque.....buxom. Kate Moss, I'm not. You've read about my M&M addiction.

But I have little sympathy for most of the speakers in this "American Voices Program".

Roy Gross – Michigan Teamster car transport driver affected by decline in car manufacturing
Monica Early – New to campaigning, this Akron mother & grandmother is an Obama volunteer
Janet Lynn Monacco – Struggling small business owner from Melbourne, FL with health issues
Teresa Asenap – Albuquerque, New Mexico public school worker concerned about economy
Pamela Cash-Roper – Unemployed nurse and lifelong Republican from North Carolina
Barney Smith – Marion, Indiana plant worker - lost job of 30 yrs when plant moved to China

Especially the two women complaining about the lack of health insurance and serious health problems. I understand a lack of health insurance is tough. I understand I am wicked lucky.

But take some responsibility for yourself.

If Kohler, Hochstin, Miller, et al, told me that my M&Ms were my problem, I would fucking stop eating them.

Don't stand there and blame George Bush for you heart bypass and your diabetes when you outweigh me by 50 to 100 lbs.

For pity's sake!

I know, I know, I'm mean.

Ah! AH! AHHHHH! It's Al Gore!!!

2046 - Be still my heart!

Global warming!

We must stop global warming!

Hey Al, how did you arrive? Bicycle? Birkenstocks?

Hmmmmm, I don't think so!

2048 - Sea levels are raising! Runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

It's a planetary emergency!

2050 - LOL Come on! John McCain has allowed his party to "browbeat" him.

Cut the shit Al! Are you telling me that a guy who didn't crack in the Hanoi Hilton was "browbeat" by Republicans? LOL

2053 - It's a brain twister!

2055 - We are waiting for a sign. Keep looking, Al.

2057 - Obama is Lincoln, a "clear thinker". Geez.......I don't know how much more I can take. When will it stop? He sounds kinda rushed. Maybe someone is signally "wrap it up".

2100 - It's over! I made it!

Meanwhile, Back In Denver....

Stevie Wonder is singing "Signed, Sealed, Delivered".

I hope this doesn't ruin this song for me....I really love it.

Tim Kaine

Not for nothing....I'm sure he is sincere......but if a Republican had talked that way about his faith....he would have had to listen to a lot of crap. All the "Progressives" would have wailed and nashed their teeth about "scary evangelicals" or "separation of church and state"......yada yada.

But a Democrat quotes the Bible and talks about missionary work and it's all good.

*****Update*****Ramesh at the Corner had the same thought....hehehe!*****

Congratulations, Sgt. Nazario!

Jury acquits former Marine in killing of Iraqis
By CHELSEA J. CARTER – 1 hour ago
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A former Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi detainees was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday in a first-of-its-kind federal trial.

The jury took six hours to find Jose Luis Nazario Jr. not guilty of charges that he killed or caused others to kill four unarmed detainees on Nov. 9, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq, during some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The verdict left the 28-year-old defendant in tears. He cried so loud that the judge smacked his gavel to call for order. Nazario's family and friends also sobbed in the courtroom.

"It's been a long, hard year for my family," Nazario said outside the courtroom. "I need a moment to catch my breath and try to get my life back together."

Thursday's verdict marks the first time a civilian jury has determined whether the alleged actions of a former military service member in combat violated the law of war.

Read the rest here.

He's got some legal bills, go here and make a donation.

I Love My Bad Boyfriend More Than Ever!

Quick Update - It's Not A Tumor!!!!!

What they see on the MRI is not a tumor.

I'll explain more later.

Yea!

Lt. Nixon nailed it in the comments - Yes, the girls in the office made that joke all afternoon.

She Left The Front Door Open

So it's not my fault.

I have a Dr. Hochstin appointment at 11 and Jen is coming with. Her jury duty got cancelled, so she's home anyway.

So I walk in.....toast a bagel.....steal a cookie.....pour some orange juice.....turn on FoxNews.....enjoy the spectacular view from her windows (she's right on the water, I am 400 feet up the hill).....and hop on her computer.

If you don't want to be invaded, don't leave the door unlocked.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"...Kerry is such a human toothache."

LOL - Jonah Goldberg at the Corner on Kerry's speech

I find it all sort of sad and pointless. Yes, Kerry served. He demonstrated love of country and commitment and all that when he did so. But I think his explanations of what patriotism is are, and have almost always been, incredibly muddled and at time embarrassingly sanctimonious and bitter. And his lack of graciousness toward McCain, given McCain's support for Kerry in 2004 is just a small example of why Kerry is such a human toothache. What an awful, awful president John Kerry would have been.

What Is Wrong With Kerry?

He's is fumbling. His voice is hoarse. It's awful.

Very little original content. He even trotted out his 2004 mantra "Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time." Buddy, get over it!

He just said "in closing"....what a relief!

God! What an asshat.

It's all the worse since he's basically following Bill Clinton. Say what you like about Clinton he is a great public speaker. I wonder if Clinton realized that his little "right side of history" crack was a dis of Gore & Kerry. If Clinton won because he was "on the right side of history" and Obama *will* win because he is "on the right side of history"......where were Al & John? LOL

If Galrahn Is Not Up To Date........

.....what hope do I have?????????

From Information Dissemination

Think you are up to date with events taking place in the Black Sea? I thought I was, but now I'm not so sure...

The Temple of Obama

It's small. It's petty. But it's a good laugh.

Obama speech stage resembles ancient Greek temple

AUDACITY WATCH: Special Not Ready '08 Edition: Temple Of Obama

You know, sometimes Obama just steps in it so bad you can't help yourself, you have to laugh.

So, You Know I'll Grasp At Any Straw

I found this blog by a guy who has Multiple Myeloma. Good stuff. Then I got to the post about his naturopath....................

In addition, she suggested that I eat more meat! Naturopaths tend to lean toward the vegetarian end of the chow spectrum, so she admitted that this was strange for her, but she thinks I might benefit from red meat: beef, lamb, bison, mutton, venison, salmon, and perhaps not so much chicken as I eat now. Huh. We originally cut back on meat to reduce inflammation, but my inflammation markers are quite low, so I'm up for this change.

Yeah, baby!!!! Princess Crabby is all about the red meat and anything past medium is overdone. My preference is medium rare.

The Armorer Is Going To Like This....

He already joked that my current medical is the result of a bad reaction to Sailors........

August 27, 1918

On this day in Boston history, two Sailors come down with the flu and kick off "La Grippe" in America.

Flu Epidemic Begins In Boston

...in 1918, two sailors housed at Boston's Commonwealth Pier reported to sickbay. The men were the first Americans stricken with a strain of influenza that would prove far more dangerous than the German army. By the end of the week, 100 new cases a day were being reported among the sailors at the pier. The disease spread with terrifying speed through both the military and civilian populations. In the next 24 weeks, the epidemic would affect more than 25,000,000 Americans. More than 675,000 would not survive the illness. The flu would take far more lives than the war then raging in Europe. Worldwide, between 50,000,000and 100,000,000 people would die before the epidemic abated in December.

Leno on Biden

Jay Leno:

.... John McCain is an older, white-haired man who has been in the Senate for over 20 years, voted for the Iraq War, and said Barack Obama did not have the experience to be president. I’m sorry, that’s our intro for next week when Joe Biden is on, I got confused.......

Chief of Department Kevin MacCurtain Is Wrong

Event to honor firefighters canceled

Firefighters at the West Roxbury firehouse contend that Cahill, who was assigned to Engine 30, and Payne, who was on Ladder 25, deserve to be remembered without controversy.

"They are very missed guys," said Lieutenant Robert Cardillo, who has been assigned to the West Roxbury firehouse for four years and who was interviewed before the cookout was canceled.

"No matter what happened, two guys are dead, and the families are still hurting," he said.

Cardillo and firefighters at the Centre Street firehouse declined yesterday to talk about the circumstances of the deaths of their colleagues and the political turmoil that has followed.

But Cardillo said firefighters decided they needed to show appreciation to their West Roxbury neighbors, who showed strong support for the firehouse in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

"We want to tell them that we appreciate what they did for us," said Cardillo, "and to also recognize the two guys that died.

"They were two guys that were loved, really."

The firehouse members took out an ad in the neighborhood newspaper last week announcing the cookout and inviting residents to the firehouse for hot dogs, hamburgers, and "heaping helpings of thanks."

The firefighters raised $1,400 among themselves to buy commemorative plaques for Payne and Cahill that will be installed on the firehouse wall and planned to unveil them before the cookout.

But yesterday, after word of the plans reached fire headquarters, Chief of Department Kevin MacCurtain ordered the cookout canceled. He said in an interview last night that he did not feel that a cookout was an appropriate way to recognize a tragedy.

"I feel from a standpoint of tradition and respect that's just not the right thing to do at this time," MacCurtain said, adding that an observance of the deaths will still go forward with a short prayer service at 1 p.m. and the unveiling of the plaques.

MacCurtain is wrong.

If this were my neighborhood and I had been planning to attend the cook-out, I would just bring cook-out stuff and go. I would talk to my neighbors and make sure they brought stuff too. What's MacCurtain going to do if you show up with hamburgers and hot dogs and potato salad?

Poverty In America

From Chuck at America's North Shore Journal

The Census Bureau has released its annual report and Chuck has done his annual analysis.

There are multiple posts in a series.

The average poverty rate for all Americans for the first seven years of the Reagan terms was 14.2%.

For the first seven years of Bill Clinton’s terms, it was 13.6%. Under George Bush, the average poverty rate for 2001-2007 is 12.4%.

American women reached record wage parity with men in 2007. Women earned 77.8 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The poverty rate for people over 65 was at a record low in 2006, 9.4%, and is at its second lowest for 2007, 9.7%.

There is an overview here with links to multiple posts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Keynote Address From Former Governor Mark Warner

Transcript from CNN

My fellow Democrats. My fellow Americans. The most important contest of our generation has begun.

Not the campaign for the presidency. Not the campaign for Congress. But the race for the future. And I believe from the bottom of my heart with the right vision, the right leadership and the energy and creativity of the American people, there is no nation that we can't out hustle or out compete. And no American need be left out or left behind.

Yes, the race for the future is on, and it won't be won if only some Americans are in the running. It won't be won with yesterday's ideas and yesterday's divisions. And it won't be won with a president who is stuck in the past.

We need a president who understands the world today, the future we seek and the change we need. We need Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.

Now, I have a unique perspective on this race for the future. Like many of you, I was the first in my family to graduate from college. It was made possible by supportive parents, good public schools and since my folks didn't have the resources, thank goodness for the student loan program.

After I graduated law school, it didn't take long to realize that America really wouldn't miss me as a lawyer. So I started a business. My first company failed in six weeks. My next one was much more successful. It failed in six months.

And then, a buddy of mine told me that there was this new idea. This thing called "car telephones" ... "cell phones." Friends told me, "Warner, you're crazy. Get a real job. ... No one's going to want a phone in the car." But I saw a different future. And with luck and a lot of hard work, I got in on the ground floor of the cell phone industry.

There's only one country in the world where I could have received that education, where I could have been given not just one chance or two but three, and where I could have succeeded. And that's this country, the United States of America. At our best, it's not your lineage or last name that matters. It's not where you come from that counts; it's where you want to go.

In America, everyone should get a fair shot. Barack Obama understands this, because he's lived it. And Barack Obama is running to restore that fair shot for every American. When we look around today, we see that for too many, Americans that fair shot is becoming more of a long shot.

How many kids have the grades to go to college but not the money? How many families thought their home would always be their safest investment? How many of our soldiers come back from their second or third tour of duty wondering if the education and health care benefits they were promised will actually be there?

Two wars, What does OIF or OEF have to do with a "warming planet"? Nothing. What does OIF or OEF have to do with America's energy policy? Nothing. Mark - you are conflating things simply to perpetuate the "blood for oil" lie. It's disgusting. a warming planet, an energy policy that says let's borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don't like us. Drill here. Drill now. How many people look at these things and wonder what the future holds for them? Their children? Their country? How many?

In George Bush and John McCain's America, far too many.

Let's be fair, some of these challenges were inevitable. But all of them are more severe, more immediate and more threatening because of the misguided policies and outdated thinking of this administration.

Folks always ask me, what's my biggest criticism of President Bush? I'm sure you all have your own. Here's mine: It's not just the policy differences. It's the fact that this president never tapped into our greatest resources: the character and resolve of the American people. He never really asked us to step up.

Think about it: After September 11, there had been a call from the president to get us off foreign oil, so we may no longer be funding the very terrorists who had just attacked us, every American would have said, "How can I do my part?" This administration failed to believe in what we can achieve as a nation, when all of us work together.

Here's my question Mark - you needed to be asked?

John McCain promises more of the same. A plan that would explode the deficit and leave that to our kids. No real strategy to invest in our infrastructure. And he would continue spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. I don't know about you, but that's just not right. That's four more years that we just can't afford.

Barack Obama has a different vision and a different plan. Right now, at this critical moment in our history, we have one shot to get it right. And the status quo just won't cut it. Now let me tell you, if you think you've seen dramatic changes in the world and in technology in last 10 years, you ain't seen nothing yet. The race is on, and if you watched the Olympics, you know China's going for the gold.

Mark - China is not the boogie man. They are not our friend, but they are not our enemy and it's wrong for you to try to use them to frighten Americans to vote Obama. As long as China is working toward their own economic success and becoming part of the global economy they present no clear and present danger to us. Sure there will be stops and starts, but their interconnectedness is our hope as well.

You know, America has never been afraid of the future, and we shouldn't start now. He's just told yu to be afraid of China and now he tells you not to be afraid. If we choose the right path, every one of these challenges is also an opportunity. Look at energy. If we actually got ourselves off foreign oil, Mark - It's not just about our energy independence, we have to solve it for everyone. For all that high oil prices hurt America, they are compounded many times over in poorer countries. We must pull everyone up with us. we can make our country safer. We'll start to solve global warming. And with the right policies, within 24 months, we'll be building 100 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid vehicles right here with American technology and American workers. Hybrid vehicles will not solve everything, such technology is merely one part of the solution.
Look at health care. If we bring down costs and cover everyone, not only will America be healthier, we'll be more competitive in the global economy. Just think about this: In four months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science! Will he believe in math, Mark? Because the inauguration is nearly five months away, not four. And then we can again lead the world in live-saving and life-changing cures.

Think about education. If we recruit a new army of teachers and actually give our schools the resources to meet our highest standards, not only will every child in America be given that fair shot, the American economy will be given a shot in the arm. Whether they want to be an engineer or an electrician, every kid will be trained for the jobs of the 21st century.

Or look at America's standing in the world. If we rebuild our military and rebuild our alliances, we can rally the world to defeat terrorism and restore America's leadership.

Which candidate understands these opportunities, and which candidate knows we don't have another four years to waste? Barack Obama. And Barack Obama also knows this, as well: We need leaders who see our common ground as sacred ground. We need leaders who will appeal to us not as Republicans or Democrats but first and foremost as Americans. No matter how you slice it, McCain is much closer to mainstream America than Obama.

You know, I spent 20 years in business. If you ran a company whose only strategy was to tear down the competition, it wouldn't last very long. So why is this wisdom so hard to find in Washington?

I know we're at the Democratic Convention, but if an idea works, it really doesn't matter whether it's got a "D" or an "R" next to it. Because this election isn't about liberal vs. conservative. It's not about left vs. right. It's about the future vs. the past. You've got me there Mark, I guess that would be why McCain is famous for reaching across the aisle (to the despair of hard right Republicans).

In this election, at this moment in our history, we know what the problems are. We know that at this critical juncture, we only have one shot to get it right. And we know that these new times demand new thinking. We believe in success. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to get ahead. And with success comes a responsibility to make sure that others can follow.

I think we are blessed to be Americans. But with that blessing comes an obligation to our neighbors and to our common good. So you give every child the tools they need to succeed. That means quality schools, access to health care, safe neighborhoods. Not just because it's the right thing to do -- of course it is -- but because if those kids do better, we all do better.
It doesn't really matter. You can be soft-hearted or hard-headed; both are going to lead you to the same place: We're all in this together. That's what this party believes. That's what this nation believes. That's what Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe.

And we can do it. Sure, we can. When I became governor, this is what Virginia faced: a massive budget shortfall, an economy that wasn't moving, gridlock in the capital. Does that sound familiar?

So what did we do? Working together -- a Democratic governor with a 2-to-1 Republican legislature and a whole lot of good folks who didn't see themselves as Democrats or Republicans but as Virginians -- we closed the budget gap, and Virginia was named the best-managed state in the nation.

We made record investments in education and in job training. We got 98 percent of eligible kids enrolled in our children's health care program.

We delivered broadband to the most remote areas of our state, because in this global economy, if you can send a job to Bangalore, India, you sure as heck can send one to Danville, Virginia, and Flint, Michigan, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Peoria, Illinois. Because in a global economy, you should have to leave your hometown to find a world-class job.
Let me tell you about a place called Lebanon: Lebanon, Virginia. Lebanon is in the coal fields of southwest Virginia. The population of that whole town could fit right here on the convention floor. Lebanon is like many small towns in America: It has seen the industries that sustained it downsized, outsourced or shut down.

Now, some folks look at towns like Lebanon and say, "tough luck. In the global economy, you've lost." But we believed that we couldn't and shouldn't give up on our small towns and expect the rest of the state to prosper. And that's what brought me, toward the end of my term, to the high school gym in Lebanon. To announce that we were going to bring over 300 high-tech jobs. Jobs that paid twice the county average.

One student told a reporter from the Washington Post that before this, he always thought he'd have to move away to raise a family and get a good job. I just heard from this young man, Michael Kisor. Today, he is a junior at Virginia Tech. His older brother just moved back home to Lebanon because there was an information technology job open for him that was just too good to pass up.

That's a story worth rewriting all across America.

With the right leadership, we can, once again, achieve a standard of living that is improved, not diminished, in each generation. We can once again make America a beacon for science and technology and discovery. Ladies and gentlemen, we know how to do it. The American people are ready. And Barack Obama and Joe Biden will get it done.

As governor of Virginia, it was humbling to occupy a position that was once held by Thomas Jefferson. Almost as daunting as delivering the keynote speech four years after Barack Obama ... or speaking before Hillary Clinton.

Toward the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson -- the founder of our party -- wrote one of his frequent letters to his old rival, John Adams. He complained about the aches of getting old, but what was on his mind was what would life be like for the next generation of Americans. As Jefferson was ready to go to sleep, he closed his letter by writing, "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." I am once again reminded why I am an Adams girl and not a Jefferson supporter. You must know and learn from history. You need only go back to the Carter administration to see why you can not elect Obama.

Jefferson got it right at the dawn of the 19th century, and it's our challenge to get it right at the dawn of the 21st. This race is all about the future. That's why we must elect Barack Obama as our next president. Because the race for the future will be won when old partisanship gives way to new ideas. When we put solutions over stalemates and when hope replaces fear.

Tonight, looking out at all of you, and with a deep faith in the character and resolve of the American people, I am more confident than ever that we will win that race and make the future ours.

Thank you.
God bless you.
And God bless the United States of America.

So, It's Not Like I Don't Know What This Is.....

*****UPDATE****It's not a tumor!!! It's where they did the bone marrow biopsy! Yea!!!!*****
When I feel overwhelmed, I want to sleep. I am sitting at my desk, yawning. I am not bored. I had a good night's sleep. I had a good lunch. I'm just bummed out.

A few months ago I was noticing that I was waking up with an ache in my right hip. I didn't think much of it. Getting older. Need a new mattress. Whatever. It's never bad enough to need an aspirin. It doesn't happen every morning. It fades as the day goes on.

Well of course, multiple myeloma causes bones to degrade from the inside out and there is bone pain. So I mention it to Dr. Hochstin and he says according the the skeletal survey, the right hip looks fine.

I mention it to Dr. Miller, mostly so I can come up with something. You see, everyone keeps asking me about pain and when I say there is none....they are perplexed. This got even worse once I was found to be Stage 1 and not smoldering. Dr. Miller asks what testing has been done, I explain about the X-rays. He said that wasn't enough and I should have an MRI.

So....I get that yesterday and off to Dr. Oliver's office I go. I have seen Dr. Oliver once before......he is dreamy, lol.

After he looks at me and looks at my paperwork and test results he explains.

My right hip likely hurts because when I was having the boys, their big fat heads stretched my pelvis. Dr. Oliver see this as common in women my age who have had normal vaginal births.

So there you go!

Oh.............

On the other hand......

While they were looking........

There is a luminescence????????? around the left ilium

It's the very, very, very beginning of a tumor.

I hadn't realized how much I was holding onto being asymptomatic.....until I wasn't.

Cue the M&Ms.

Anti-Obama Ad

So.........my understanding is that this is the ad that Obama's camp is going crazy over.

So....tell me which part is untrue?

BZ John Melson!

Humble guardsman recalls life-saving heroics
By Mike Underwood Tuesday, August 26, 2008

National Guardsman John Melson was praised by medics for saving motorcyclist Mark Cronin’s life after his leg was torn off in a horrific wreck with an alleged drunken driver.

Here, the modest 37-year-old gives his harrowing account of the crash scene and the lifesaving steps he took, as told to Mike Underwood.

“I was at the intersection at Neponset Circle on my motorcycle. I was coming up to traffic and I saw a bike go up over the (Neponset) bridge. I knew something was wrong.

“I made my way through the traffic, I must have been about two minutes behind him.

“I went to come up over the bridge and saw headlights coming toward me. As I got closer I realized it was a vehicle that had stopped on the wrong side of the road.

“The front end had been smashed in and the airbag had been deployed. I saw a woman standing there and I slowed down to see if she was OK. I then saw this bike on the road in pieces and saw this guy lying on the ground.

“There were about four or five people around him. One woman had a blanket on his leg. They were waving for help.

“I pulled over and ran over to him. I told him to keep talking and asked him his name. He said his name was Mark. I looked to the woman who was holding the towel or blanket on his left thigh.

“He kept asking me to save his leg, that his leg hurt. I asked the woman if there was anything under the blanket and she just shook her head.

“I went to take my belt off to make a tourniquet and noticed he was wearing a belt. So I pulled his belt off and tied it around his left thigh, about four or five inches down.

“I just kept talking to him to stop him slipping away. I must have been holding the tourniquet for about 10 minutes when the EMS guys showed up. I didn’t want to let go until they arrived. I gave them a run down on what I had done and then they took control of the situation.

“His leg was cut off just above the knee. I knew what to do. To treat such a traumatic injury was like second nature to me because I have had to do them for soldiers.

“I’m just glad he is OK. I remember he kept asking me to save his leg.

“The woman from the car, I don’t think she had any idea of how serious it was.

“She was standing right there with a big smile on her face when the police were putting her in the cruiser.

“I had watched her do the field sobriety test and she failed it. I’m sure her life has been turned upside down as well.”

Quick-thinking Iraqi veteran saves life of Quincy cyclist
By Sue Scheible
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 26, 2008 @ 08:38 AM

QUINCY —
The wife of a Quincy man whose life was saved early Saturday by a quick thinking passerby on the Neponset River Bridge finally got her chance late Monday to talk to him and say thank you.

Caroline Cronin, the wife of Mark Cronin, 41, who lost his leg in an accident allegedly caused by a drunk driver, called John Melson, 37, an Iraq War veteran who returns to his fifth tour of duty there in two weeks.

Melson grabbed her husband’s belt and applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding after his leg was sheared off in the collision.

Police have charged a Quincy woman with drunk driving in the accident. Cronin, a laborer, was riding a motorcycle across the bridge when her car, going the wrong way, crashed into him.

Mary Sullivan of Quincy, Caroline Cronin’s mother, said that when Melson stopped at the scene, there was blood all over, Cronin’s leg was missing, and he would have bled to death within minutes.

“That young man pulled away the blanket that others had placed over the injured leg and made the tourniquet,” Sullivan said. “Caroline told him that his actions were the only thing that saved Mark’s life.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, That Didn't Work

I got up this morning determined to get back on Atkins and go to the gym.

It was going along pretty well until I got that call to pop down to get the MRI. Stopping in the middle of the work day, driving down, even though it isn't far, spending nearly an hour there. Coming back and answering everyone's questions - it's a small office, they all want to know every detail.It threw me off as far as how late I had to stay at work.

But that's ok, I would just work a little later.

Then there was a phone call from a friend. That went on for a while.

So no gym.....but that's ok.....I would just go home and watch the DNC and go to bed.

Up and at 'em again tomorrow, right?

Then on the way home I really thought about how upset my friend was about my situation.

You see, I am not afraid of this diagnosis, truly I am not. It will be what it will be. I am not angry. But I just dread how it affects other people. I don't want to tell them. I don't want to look at them when they get upset.

So this was weighing on me during my short drive home and while I moved about the house trying to decide what to say in my email to him.

Then I saw the bag of M&Ms.

Well as Scarlett said "After all... tomorrow is another day!"

Change of Plans

The hospital called at 1530......."Can you come right now?"

So I dash down to Jordan and I am whisked right in. Walking down the hall answering questions.....no pacemaker....no orthopedic implants.....remove your necklace..........

I get into the room and they have me point my toes. Then they slip a pillowcase over my feet and tied them together. I asked if it was the afternoon bondage session. They promised they were just getting started.

25 minutes later I saw the wisdom in lashing my feet together. I nearly fell asleep several times. I would never have been able to keep my feet still.

So that's taken care of!

I Have A Late Night Date!

LOL, they can fit me in for an MRI at 2245 tonight. Sounds like fun, huh?

So today is My Darling Chief's birthday......I got reminder from Yahoo. I sent him an email:

"So guess what popped up in my calendar?"

His reply -

"Ummmmmm -- another doctor's appointment?"

Smart ass!

"Nooooo......your birthday..........so baby..........how shall we celebrate?"

I loved the reply -

Hmmmmmm. You could pose for the cartoon...

Ohhhhh yes........I get to be next! Here's the first one.

Any suggestions for how I should pose..............or will it do to just pose suggestively?

The Ogre Surfaced!

He took a moment out of his Hurricane Fay preparations and called me Saturday night.

What a nut!

He's crazy and I want to go back to New Orleans for another crazy weekend with him.

Back To The Grindstone

When I left work Saturday afternoon, Jen & I headed off to a family party. We had a great time! By the time we left, our goddaughters had settled everything in their social lives and were able to come home with us.

We had a late dinner and watched "Untraceable". Good, somewhat gory. Then the girls and I slept in the cottage. Lately I spend more time in other beds than my own. It's disorienting.....although the bed in the cottage is much more comfortable than troop berthing on the Kearsarge.

My uncle Walter was not supposed to arrive until late afternoon on sunday....that turned out to be 1300. The girls and I were still laying around, sluggish from our carb fest brunch.

Then it was off to Jen's where we did nothing but lay about on her deck and read and eat snacks.

Finally.....the beach. I love the late day tides. That water was warm, the sun was low, I had Cosmo and cookies, lol. It really doesn't get much better. The girls and I stayed until the tide chased us out of the last sunny spot.

Meanwhile dinner preparations were underway back at the house. We came back to steak tips and chicken wings and corn on the cob.

I was lucky that I was able to get behind the wheel and drive the girls to the train station.

Now I am in work. Booo! LOL

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"They're Paying Attention Now"

"They're Paying Attention Now"
Peggy Noonan
Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.

It's hard for our political class to remember that Mr. Obama has been famous in America only since the winter of '08. America met him barely six months ago! The political class first interviewed him, or read the interview, in 2003 or '04, when he was a rising star. They know him. Everyone else is still absorbing.

This is what they see:

An attractive, intelligent man, interesting, but—he's hard to categorize. Is he Gen. Obama? No, no military background. Brilliant Businessman Obama? No, he never worked in business. Famous Name Obama? No, it's a new name, an unusual one. Longtime Southern Governor Obama? No. He's a community organizer (what's that?), then a lawyer (boo), then a state legislator (so what, so's my cousin), then U.S. senator (less than four years!).

There is no pre-existing category for him.

Add to that the wear and tear of Jeremiah Wright, secret Muslim rumors, media darling and, this week, abortion.

It took a toll, which led to a readjustment. His uniqueness, once his great power, is now his great problem.

And over there is Mr. McCain, and—well, we know him. He's POW/senator/prickly, irritating John McCain.

Read all of it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden on Obama - Biden on McCain

I can feel the endorphins surging through my body everytime I read the words......Obama picks BIDEN for his running mate.

Does It Get Any Better!!!!!

Rachael is one of my girls in the office. I have known her since she was 5. She was one of my Tommy's first and best friends. When we were looking for a little part time office help, I suggested her to my boss. It worked out so well that it went fulltime and we're all very happy.

Once in a while Rachael will bake us a treat. Last night as she was leaving work I called out that if the cookie mood hit her.......I was working in the office from 9 until 2. She laughed.

I came in this morning and...........

It's a Starbucks vanilla chai latte, a bear claw and a plate of homemade Tollhouse bars!!!!!!!

MMMMM

Did I mention that I have gained fifteen and half pounds since my diagnosis????????? LOL

Then I turn on the computer and it's BIDEN!!! Yesssssssss

I am only working until 1400 because I am leaving for a family party. My cousin Kathy (who read about the cancer in the blog and called my mother) is having a party for her daughter's birthday. This will be the first time she sees me since then, she better not get deep or serious. My parents and sisters will be there. I am hoping my brother shows up. Mind you this is the tiniest bit odd......Kathy and her husband usually celebrate MaryKate's birthday with a small family party, siblings, parents, grandparents. And it's not milestone year, she is turning 24. I am thinking my situation is making Kathy feel the need to see family more. I could be wrong, after all we are lots of fun at parties....I would invite us too!

Then Jen and I will bring our goddaughters back to stay overnight. Tomorrow the high tide is at 1750. Those are my favorites! The late afternoon sun. The water coming in over the sun warmed flats. I will soooooooo enjoy that.

So in answer to my question "Does it get any better?" No it doesn't!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Having Palpitations!!!

Howie Carr says FoxNews is reporting McCain just picked Romney!!!!

Now my sister will vote!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The One - Road To Denver

I find these ads hilarious. This isn't going to make anyone vote for McCain. McCain's just slapping him. Taunting him. And Obama can't stay cool. It's wrong for me to laugh. But it wouldn't be so funny if Obama didn't let it rattle him.

Well You Know That Didn't Work

I forgot about getting the disk with my skeletal survey (a series of X-rays) from Dr. Hochstin's office until it was literally time to go to the train station. Nic was walking behind me to her car when I remembered. I briefly considered going without them and quickly discarded that idea. What was the point of going if I wasn't going to do it right? So instead I told Nic to nevermind (actually I said fuck it, don't tell my mother) I'd go get the stupid X-Rays and drive in. I had plenty of time, it was noon and the appointment was at 1430.

On to Boston. Traffic wasn't bad, but I started to think about the ride home. My car does this thing when it's in stop and go traffic. The transmission misbehaves as the motor heats up. So I decide to get off in Weymouth and trade cars with Jen. She was out to lunch but we were able to make the trade in plenty of time. I get to NEMC and there is regular garage parking and valet. You know how lazy I am. I pick valet. The attendant cautions me that they close at 4 pm. I tell him not to worry, my appointment is in 20 minutes and there will be nothing said that I want to hear for over an hour.

I had called ahead to register and I was told to pick up my "blue card" on the fourth floor. I go to the fourth floor.....it's Plastic Surgery. No Patient Registration. So I go to the 8th floor, where Dr. Miller's clinic is. I'm early enough to get better directions, get the card and be back on time. I exit the elevator, both sides say oncology, I turn left. Probably because I am left handed and almost always turn that way when there is a choice.

There are two young ladies sitting behind two windows, both of which are open. One window is occupied, so I step up to the other. "She'll take care of you in a minute." No apology, no explanation. I bite back a sarcastic suggestion that she close her window or put up a sign. I realize that my current predicament has made Princess Crabby.....crabbier....

Ok, I get behind the blue line on the floor as the sign on the wall suggests. This is to respect the privacy of the patient currently at the window. The current patient has an absolutely adorable perfectly chubby baby in a carriage. I smile at the baby and my blood pressure drops.

They finish and move away.

I wait to be called.

And I wait.

A lengthy conversation commences between the two girls regarding lunch. Miss "I'm too stupid to close my window" suggests that Miss "I will sit here ignorantly and ignore the only patient in shouting distance" go have lunch. Miss Ignorance exclaims "You haven't aten (spelling?) lunch?" Miss Stupid lets her misspeak two more times before correcting her, "eaten". This sets off an exchange about Miss Ignorance saying that Miss Stupid should not make her feel bad just because Miss Stupid has a college degree.

Yesssssssss. Because it takes a college degree to correctly pronounce "eaten". My blood pressure is rising. Where is that baby?

Finally, Miss Ignorance deigns to address me. I step past the blue confidentiality line and state my name and my appointment time. Miss Ignorance speaks over me and asks for my blue card. I begin to explain why I do not have it. Big sigh.

Due to a reserve of restraint I did not know I possessed, I refrain from making physical contact.

"Pardon me. As I was saying, I am early for my appointment because I know I have to go get the card. However, I was told to go to the fourth floor and that is plastic surgery. If you care to direct me to the correct location I will go get the card and be back in plenty of time."

Miss Ignorance has opened her desk drawer and there are a multitude of blank blue and red cards. She begins to finger them. "Oh, ok, well I will get you a card. You can just go over to the other side, that's where Dr. Miller's patients are seen. I will bring it over to you."

"Thank you."

I go and wait. This is clearly a more patient friendly operation. I was sitting for no more than five minutes before someone came over to inquire if I was being taken care of.

Fifteen minutes later Miss Ignorance showed up empty handed. She could not complete the required task.

Ignorant and ineffective.

Excellent!

However, she was smart enough to hand me over to Barbara, on Dr. Miller's staff. Barbara made one 30 second phone call, directed me to the first floor and I had a card in less than five minutes. there you go. That was all I needed. I just needed someone to explain that I wanted the first, not the fourth floor.

So there was blood work, and other vitals, a short interview with Dr. Miller's Fellow, Alex. Each staff member was pleasant and professional. I did have to dash out and retrieve the car from valet and move it to the parking garage since the appointment did run well over 1600.

Dr. Miller himself was very pleasant. He repeated most of the questions from the interview with the Fellow. I felt he was waiting for something from me. Alex, the Fellow had described me as knowledgeable about my situation and Dr. Miller threw out some technical terms to test me.

He asked me if I felt well. I get this a lot. Apparently it is unusual to be at this stage and be asymptomatic. Then he asked "Would you see a doctor?" I thought that was oddly phrased and interpreted it to mean "Do you have any complaint at all for which you would see a doctor?" So I replied "No, and I don't want to see you." He laughed and asked what I meant. I told him that I didn't want to be there, I wanted to be at the beach. That I was there out of guilt and shame. That if it were strictly up to me, I would ignore this until I was forced to deal with it. But I can't because of my family and friends.

He asked what beach. I was startled and told him my own. He laughed again and said he thought I might mean Hawaii which he considered to be paradise with working toilets. Clearly he's never been to Dubai. So I told him no, I meant my own beach. I am a New England girl.



For the physical exam he brought nurse practitioner into the room. He explained that he brought in another woman so I would not feel outnumbered. I told him that was very considerate, but I am never outnumbered.

We discussed treatment options. He told me repeatedly that I had many options......I am young and healthy, doncha know. Anyway, one pleasant surprise, the two drugs he wants to start me off on should not cause me discomfort. I should tolerate them well and they should interfere with my life. There will be an increased risk of blood clots, so he would want me to be careful should I change my mind and head to Hawaii. I told him that I was going to Vegas and he said I'd have to be careful and get up and walk around a lot.

Dr. Miller also cautioned me about the mood swings I would experience. I told him no one would notice if Princess Crabby got nastier.

Dr. Miller is also keen on the bone marrow transplant. He said we would be discussing it when I reach a plateau with the drug cocktail. Probably in about six months.

He knows I am meeting with another doctor at Dana Farber before I make my decision.

He asked me to meet with bone marrow transplant coordinator. She was very nice and I learned that I would only be in the hospital for 3 weeks, not the six I thought. But I would not go back to work for two months after that.....so still three months out of work, they just slice it up a little differently.

I would go in as an outpatient and receive a whole day of chemo, three strong doses. then return a week later for the bone marrow harvest which they would freeze "over there" and she indicated a building across the street. Then I would go in a week later for a "big blast of chemo" and they would give it back.

Peachy.

I left there at 1708..........and after all that......they didn't take the stupid CD of X-rays. When I offered the disc to Alex........he looked at it, took it out of it's case, turned it over, put it back in the case and handed it back.

Story of my life.

What I'd Rather Be Doing

In an hour I will hop on the commuter rail and visit my first potential "team leader" at NEMC.

I don't want to.

I want to go to the beach.

I want to go home and change into my bathing suit. Grab my big heavy, but comfortable chaise lounge. It will hit the mid 70s today. The high tide is at 1500 or so. I could pick up lunch on my way. I might even finish Barnett's "The Pentagon's New Map", I am that close.

I could relax and read and swim until it was cocktail hour and then have the boys bring Cape Codders down to me until the bugs became annoying.

Isn't that a better plan?

Captain Ed Freeman, USA 1927 - 2008

From the Castle of Argghhh!!!

Medal of Honor helicopter pilot dies
By Jessie L. Bonner - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Aug 21, 2008 6:09:22 EDT
BOISE, Idaho — Edward Freeman, a former Army helicopter pilot awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics during the Vietnam War and portrayed in the Mel Gibson movie “We Were Soldiers,” has died. He was 80.
Doug Freeman said his father died Wednesday in Boise from health complications due to Parkinson’s Disease after spending several weeks undergoing treatment.
The Mississippi native braved intense enemy fire in the Ia Drang Valley as he carried out rescue missions
on Nov. 14, 1965, during what was considered one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War.
After an Army battalion was surrounded by enemy forces, Freeman flew his unarmed helicopter through enemy fire to evacuate 30 seriously wounded soldiers and bring them to safety. He also delivered water, ammunition and supplies.
Actor Mark McCracken portrayed Freeman in the 2002 film.
Freeman was 73 years old when President Bush awarded him the Congressional Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony in 2001.
During the ceremony, Bush said Freeman initially won the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions, but his commanding officer and other witnesses believed he deserved an even higher honor.
In a statement, Doug Freemen described his father, who lived in Idaho for the last 30 years, as a “humorous person with a lot of integrity.”
“People could relate to him,” Doug Freeman said. “He made an impression on people.”
Lt. Col. Tim Marsano, with the Idaho National Guard, said funeral services have been scheduled for Saturday. Freeman will be buried at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery in Boise.
Freeman was born in Neely, Miss., in Perry County, in 1927 and was a graduate of Washington High School. He was the sixth of nine children.
After his retirement from the Army, Freeman served as a pilot for the U.S. Interior Department and retired a second time in 1991.
He also flew as a civilian pilot with the National Interagency Fire Center, which is located in Boise.


MOH CITATION: Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Landing Zone X-Ray, Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 14 November 1965. Born: 20 November 1927, Neely, Mississippi. Entered Service At: Hattiesburg, Mississippi Citation: Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The infantry unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water, and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle's outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have experienced a much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers -- some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freemans selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance, and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freemans extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

The DomestikDiva Sends

It's early, but I think this will be the best email all day.

How to save $5 million

A president's pension currently is $191,300 per year.

Assuming the next president lives to age 80. Sen McCain would receive ZERO pension as he would reach 80 at the end of two terms as president. Sen Obama would be retired for 26 years after two terms and would receive $4,973,800 in pension.

Therefore it would certainly make economic sense to elect McCain in November.

How's that for non partisan thinking???

Sherri also reminds us to go vote in this poll.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holy Shit!

I have never heard anything so repulsive in my life.

Full disclosure - I am Catholic. I am pro-life.

However, I understand it's not a black and white thing for lot's of people. I have many friends who are on the other side of this issue. And generally I don't think a Presidential candidate's stand on abortion is a major factor for me. I don't feel that the President has a lot of sway here. Sure the President is going to possibly name Supreme Court judges, but their stand on Roe vs. Wade is one of many things to take into consideration.

Still, I can't think of one person (that I know personally) who would defend, much less advocate the practice that Obama is arguing to continue in this video. This goes so far beyond mainstream opinions about reproductive rights. This is obscene.


h/t The Corner on National Review Online.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From My Cousin Chrissie

HOW TO START EACH DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK

1. Open a new file in your computer.

2. Name it 'Barack Obama'.

3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.

4. Empty the Recycle Bin.

5. Your PC will ask you: 'Do you really want to get rid of 'Barack Obama?'

6. Firmly Click 'Yes.'

7. Feel better?

GOOD - Tomorrow we'll do Nancy Pelosi!

Crossposted From The Castle

Kat is discussing a particular question from the Saddleback Forum and Obama's response.

I posted on one I found very telling.

Speaking Our Favorite Saddleback Moments

Following Kat's lead of looking at responses to Pastor Rick Warren's questions........

This is my favorite

Warren: What's the most gut-wrenching decision you've ever had to make and how did you process that, come to that decision?
Obama: Well, you know, I think the opposition to the war in Iraq was as tough a decision that I’ve had to make not only because there were political consequences but also because Saddam Hussein was a bad person and there was no doubt that he meant America ill, but I was firmly convinced at the time that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction and there were a lot of questions that as I spoke to experts kept on coming up, do we know how the Shiites and the Sunnis and the Kurds are going to get along in a post Saddam situation, what's our assessment as to how this will affect the battle against terrorist like al-Qaeda, have we finished the job in Afghanistan so I agonized over that and I think questions of war and peace generally are so profound you know when you meet the troops, they are 19, 20, 21-year old kids and you are putting them into harm's way there is a solemn obligation that you do everything you can to get that decision right. And now as the war went forward, very difficult about how long do you keep funding the war if you strongly believe that it's not America’s national interest at the same time you don't want to have troops who are out there without the equipment they need. So that all those questions surrounding the war have been very difficult for me.

So......here's is my question (I know there are some who think I am using this as an excuse to hold up my Bad Boyfriend in a favorable light because his answer was so wayyyyyyy bettah, but no, I am just discussing Obama's answer):

Shouldn't your most gut-wrenching decision be one that had a fucking consequence?

What was the fallout to Obama's agonizing decision making process?

Perhaps Obama's staff could remind him that at the time that OIF commenced, he was still in the Illinois legislature and not the US Senate.

Not to be overly dramatic (although it is my specialty), this? This! THIS is your "Garden of Olives" moment, sir?

BHO, proving once again that he has no grasp on the word "responsibility".

Monday, August 18, 2008

OMG! I Am Thinking Of Buying Another Book

I hope you don't mind my gallows humor here (but if you do, sod off, lol). But a thought crossed my mind the other day that if my hand is forced and I have to have the bone marrow transplant..................

"Hey, I'll have time to read all those books in my house!"

LOL

So of course the next thought is......."and now I can buy more!"

The Corner NRO led me to this book review.

In It To Win
Reviewed by John A. Nagl
Sunday, August 17, 2008; Page BW05
THE STRONGEST TRIBE
War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq
By Bing West
Random House. 417 pp. $28
We interpret reality through the clouded prism of our own experience, so it is unsurprising that Bing West sees Iraq through the lens of Vietnam. He served as a Marine officer there, and he thinks politicians and the media caused the American public to turn against a war that could have been won. Now a correspondent for the Atlantic, West has made 15 reporting trips to Iraq over the last six years and is almost as personally invested in the current conflict as he was in Vietnam; this book, his third on Iraq, is his attempt to ensure that the "endgame" in Iraq turns out better than in his last war.

My Friend Gary and the MCPON

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, left, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Joe Campa Jr. speak with soldiers, sailors and Marines during an all-hands call at Provincial Reconstruction Team Sharana. Roughead and Campa traveled throughout the Central Command Area of Operation to visit sailors, thank them for their contributions and hear their thoughts firsthand.
MC1 TIFFINI M. JONES / NAVY

You can read more about their tour of Iraq here.

Army Gold

Olympic skeet gold medal winner Pfc. Vincent Hancock, center, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, is flanked by silver medalist Tore Bovold of Norway, left, and bronze medalist Anthony Terras of Italy on the podium Aug. 16 in Beijing.
photo by Tim Hipps

USS Kearsarge in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua

Well this was fun! I am flipping through some online pics and this one caught my eye.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Danae Eskridge and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Richard Utley, both embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge, carry a Nicaraguan woman who was complaining of chest and arm pains into an improvised medical examination room at Juan Comenius High School in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, on Aug. 13. Kearsarge is deployed as the primary platform for supporting the Caribbean phase of Continuing Promise, an equal-partnership mission between the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
MC1 DAVID G. CRAWFORD / NAVY
Why?
A - It's about the Kearsarge on their humanitarian mission.
B - The young lady on one end of the stretcher, Danae, had the rack two above me while I was on the ship. She (like our other coffin mates, lol ) was funny, smart and psyched for the mission. I liked her very much. (p.s. she is much prettier than this pic let's on - I know, I know that's not the point of the mission, yada yada - But Chuck asked me to point out the pretty girls.)
C - The pic was snapped by MC1 Crawford. Crawford was one of the media specialist who guided us on our trip while on Kearsarge, sharing stories about his work, his life in the Navy and about himself. He is married with two small children. You can tell a lot about a person from the way they talk about their children

Welcome To My Bandwagon, Baby!

I just got an email. One of those round robin deals where several people were discussing Saturday night's Saddleback thing. People were saying that what they heard has them coming around to support McCain.

You know my answer................

Welcome to my bandwagon, baby!

It Comes Back To Character

You already know how I feel about my Bad Boyfriend's character and Obama's lack therof.

Yesterday the NYT just highlighted the difference once again.

I was reading over at the Phibian's place and he had a little highlight video from Saturday night. Clearly McCain does very well. But don't worry Obama lovers - the NYT has got your back!

As I commented over at Salamander's place

This was huge for McCain. He did well and it's a demographic he needs. But don't worry, Obama's people and the MSM (but I repeat myself) are already picking away at the victory. They are saying that McCain cheated. They can't prove it, but that doesn't stop the accusations. NYT reports that McCain was in his motorcade while Obama was being questioned.

The Obama camp's assertion seems to be that he was listening to it on the radio or Internet.

Of course when they speak, I hear something else. I hear the Obama people saying "I would have cheated given the opportunity....so you must have as well."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chris Albon on the Kearsarge

Go over to this post at War and Health

A Day In the Life

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Somehow I found myself alone in the house this evening. A very rare occurence, I assure you. I was going to flip to FoxNews or CSpan Book TV and then start some project. I was popping back and forth when I chanced on Fox Movie Channel. They were about to show "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing".

I sat down for a minute.

Two hours later I was still there watching Jennifer Jones cry at the top of that hill. I had been crying since Holden left for Korea.

LOL

I got up and did some laundry. I came back and now it's "Last of the Mohicans". I remember watching it in Dubai with SouthieBoy. After a long day in the sun I fell asleep halfway through. He laughed because I had insisted on watching it. I told him it didn't matter, I knew the ending.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Now? Now!

Jen just called. She has no car. She wants a pizza.

WTF?

McCain comes on in 9 minutes.

She's a pain in the ass.

Not only that, but she will beef about being made to watch the debate instead of the Olympics.

SCF - Cont.

Warren asks Obama when life begins.

His reply - "It's above my paygrade."

Great dodge! I've used it myself in other situations.

Saddleback Civil Forum

It's on CSpan right now. It's a novel idea. This pastor, Rick Warren is talking with Obama now. John McCain is being sequestered so as not to hear Obama's answers. This will go on for an hour. Then McCain will be brought out and asked the very same question.

Whenever I hear this guy Warren's name, I think of that lady who was taken hostage and read the convict passages from Warren's book. The guy had escaped from a courtroom hearing and shot and killed a guard. He broke into this ladies' apartment. She had the book and it moved her. She read it to him and he was so moved he released her and turned himself in.

That's my only Rick Warren frame of reference.

Right now Obama is discussing his reliance on his faith in Christ.

Staircase To Nowhere

When we were out on the gallery deck Chris spotted a ladder that went down the side of the ship to a small platform. He walked back to Danny, Bruce and I laughing when he realized if he had fallen, no one would have noticed. Danny and I walked down to see it. I started down when Danny pointed out that someone might not be happy with me if I went down. I told him that the nuns were almost never happy with me. LOL

The view was incredible. I have never been that close to water that blue. It's funny that the ocean can still enthrall and surprise me. I have lived all my life never more than a mile from the Atlantic. I was born a quarter mile from the Navy Yard. Then we moved from St. Mary's parish to St. Francis de Sales and I was a quarter mile from the Mystic River basin....also known as "Montego Bay". I summered 1000 feet from the ocean on Boston's South Shore....aka the "Irish Riviera". When I was first married we lived in Beachmont, a hop, skip and a jump from Revere Beach. And then finally back to the Irish Riviera and a home 400 feet from the Atlantic.
All that green water.

I was mesmerized by all this blue water. It was unreal.

video

Don't Tell Jen

But for me the moment I will most likely remember out of the 2008 summer Olympiad is the good sportsmanship displayed by Dara Torres before her race and convincing win.

At the start of this semifinal, Torres was playing mom -- concerned about helping Sweden's Therese Alshammar fix her torn swimsuit.
"I tried to help her with it, tried to do it up, and it ripped again," said Torres. "I was saying, `Her suit's ripped' and waving my arms around."


Don't tell Jen - she's a "Phelps Phan".

Princess Crabby Doesn't Camp

Although...........I would mind an ocean side treehouse in Maine for a week.

From today's Boston Globe

At Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground in Searsport, Maine, campers pitch their tents near the ocean, just a short walk from the campground computer station, which offers free Wi-Fi. It costs $38 to $54 per night to pitch a tent, and Saturday night there's a $42 lobster bake served with fresh flowers, homemade breads, freshly picked roasted corn, organically grown vegetables, and - lest anyone's hands get dirty - packets of moist towelettes.

Co-owner Astrig Tanguay plans to add a small subdivision with treehouses in the fall. They'll have crows'-nest-style balconies, she says, "so you can sit up there and drink cocktails." Tanguay says her campsite attracts a sizeable population of "luxury campers" who have come to associate camping with comfort and convenience