Monday, November 30, 2009

The Names Of The Slain Officers Were Relased

They were identified as:

• Sergeant Mark Renninger, 39, with thirteen years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by a wife, two daughters and a son.

• Officer Ronald Owens, age 37 with twelve years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by a former wife and a daughter.

• Officer Tina Griswold, age 40 with fourteen years of law enforcement experience. She is survived by her husband and two children.

• Officer Greg Richards, age 42 with eight years of law enforcement experience. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Across the country, thousands of people have joined a Facebook page dedicated to the four slain officers. By 9 p.m. Sunday, the page had nearly 20,000 followers.

Those interested in supporting the families of the slain officers are welcome to make a donation through the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) Benevolent Fund at PO Box 99579, Lakewood, WA 98499. Please visit the Web site for more information.

Thank You Aaron Tipton

aaron tipton and mike

I received an email from my youngest son who is currently stationed over in Iraq. He told me that he and his soldiers had turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, macaroni and even egg nog for lunch. Then for dinner the Mason lodge there invited all his Soldiers over for a cookout and they grilled a turkey and some steaks it was really nice of them.

After dinner he got to meet Aaron Tipton who took time from his own friends and family this holiday season to give to our troops. He sang his big songs like "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagles Fly" and "Kiss This" but he told everyone he used to be a truck driver and he wanted to sing some good truck driver music. This was youngest son's favorite part of the show because youngest son and his brother have always loved the movie Smokey and the Bandit and they LOVED the song "East Bound and Down". Well I can't tell you how much it meant to my son to hear his favorite song.

Thank you Mr. Tipton from the bottom of my heart for making this holiday for our men and women who are serving our country in Iraq a little brighter.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stepping On The Wrong Feet In The Mommy-verse Of Blogging

Picture me two years ago, blissfully unaware of bloggers except those of the political stripe. I seldom visited them but I when I did I would glance on posts from both sides of the political aisle. You are just as likely to find me on the Democratic Underground as you are to find me on the Free Republic. I am not a troll on either site and truly believe that both sides make valid points for their sides and are passionate about their beliefs. Somewhere in between the great divide lay the truth.

Then about a year ago I noticed all kinds of blog giveaways popping up on Online-Sweepstakes. I was curious and noticed that the odds of winning were better for me than a larger sweepstakes. I decided to give them a try. Many of them asked me for my blog's name and I had no blog. Well none unless you want to say my myspace diary was my blog.

So I dived into the world of blogging and decided to give it a try. I actually began winning some blog giveaways and for some reason, don't ask me why, I actually began to care if people showed up on my blog. At the time I was juggling work, sweeping, and three blogs. Craziness. If I wanted my blog to be successful I had to figure out where it was going, what it was going to be about, and how I would market it.

For one of my blogs, I have been surprised at its success. Well success in my opinion anyway. I have over 1,500 registered readers and over 9,000 page views per month. This still amazes me and began trying to figure out what other bloggers do to get their blogs in the major leagues.

It was not until I won my trip to BlogHer that I realized that there was a whole Mommy-verse out there. It seems that women write blogs that cover their baby's teething, first steps, diaper rash, and more.

What surprised me most of all was that there was a contingent of Mommy Bloggers who are superstars. They hold themselves out as Quasi-Rock Star, Reality-Show Moms who sometimes wonder just how much they should reveal about their lives and they are certain no matter where that line is drawn they are still leaving their followers begging for more.

Perhaps that is so. Maybe because I don't have any small children anymore, maybe I just don't "get it". While many of the women I met at BlogHer were very nice there were a few women who felt that not only was the pen mightier than the sword but that their Mommy blog controlled the universe.

For example, I stopped at one break-out where one Mommy blogger was complaining that she had been told that she would be test driving a new dishwasher but after waiting for almost a month the sponsor asked if she would please accept a new washer and dryer instead. She sighed that sigh of those who feel they have been incredibly inconvenienced and said, "I agreed but I think they should give me the dishwasher too for the inconvenience I have suffered." WHAT?

I realized very quickly that I was in the wrong kind of blogging business and I had missed the right one some 30 years ago. I slunk back to Georgia with my tail between my legs and decided to cut back a little on my work on this blog and focus more on my other blog. It seemed a better choice to work more on a successful blog than to plug away even more on one that seemed to have a small albeit, loyal following.

I think the thing I felt worse about was that I missed many of my old and dear friends at Online-Sweepstakes. There are so many of them whom I love and care for and it seemed like I had pulled back away from them. I felt so lonely.

This weekend I signed on to enter some sweeps and saw a post about a Mommy Blogger who is part of the "In Crowd" So Powerful that she called for a PR Blackout and there were lots of people jumping on the bandwagon.

Color me stupid but it just seems that if someone felt that doing reviews was overwhelming to them then perhaps, just perhaps, they should take a break from it for awhile. To me, the whole call for a Blackout seemed hypocritical and on the surface a blatant publicity effort for Oh wait, did you know that her PR Blackout was the same week she announced she was going to be blogging for Sam's Club???

So what you say? Am I immune from hypocrisy? Am I free to judge? Well I'm certain an extremely thorough examination of my life would discover instances of me not being the kind of person I would hope I would become. Fair enough.

Why then am I daring to step on the Toes of one of the Big Movers and Shakers in the Mommy-verse of Blogging?

This all goes back to OLS. This weekend I've been moving, unpacking, and other unpleasant chores. I decided to take a break to see what was going on in my home away from home OLS.

It turns out that the big controversy online involves none other than the owner of I almost didn't read the post. That was because I felt it would be another post talking about how some of the people on OLS don't like blog giveaways. I understand that. I really do. Something made me take a look though and I was shocked at what I learned.

Trisha, from decided to take some photos of people at an airport, post them on her site and mock them. Trisha is not a 15 year old girl, but one of the young women she chose to mock obviously is. We have young women in our country who have terrible body image. Some girls commit suicide or go to far to the other extreme by becoming anorexic.

This kind of behavior is grounds for writing a student up in most schools. Bullying is not acceptable. It reminds me of something Jr. High girls might do in the mall because they are so insecure about themselves.

It is very sad for me, a child of the sixties that a woman is still judged more by her outward beauty than any other aspect. My mother would say, "How do you know that this little girl might not grow up to discover the cure to breast cancer?" Even if she doesn't perhaps she will one day become a loving wife and parent and that is definitely saying something as far as I am concerned.

I couldn't imagine walking into my classroom and saying to a student "Oh Gosh you're fat." I've had a young lady in my class who was a "little Person". She was very sweet, very bright, and is now in college studying business (the class I taught her). What if instead of encouraging her I laughed and said "Oh my gosh you're way to small for those chairs in college?" I'd want to rip my own tongue out for such a thing.

By now, surely Trisha knows that there is a petition out there asking sponsors not to support her site. Someone has already informed her that people on OLS are contacting her sponsors. She claims she must now hide her personal posts because there has been a death threat. Really, a death threat? Well if that's true then that's wrong.

There are lots of people, like myself, that felt if we gathered in one place we could find sponsors for our sites. Like me they hear stories of women who are able to quit their day jobs and stay home with their family. They look at Trisha and say "Can you help me?" Some women reach out for the community of her site, but I suppose but I was never really part of that clique.

I've noticed that there are apologists for this particular post. One person said she was just trying to point out obesity is rampant in our country. True enough. Wouldn't it be better if you presented this information in a different way? Recently I posted a story about a 900 pound man who died on his anniversary. I didn't call him names. I didn't mock him. I pointed out that his wife felt that he needed medical attention that was out of his reach financially. I pointed out that people are wrong for mocking someone who is over weight while touching on the health crisis that the excess weight we carry as Americans has taxed our medical system.

So I stand now in solidarity with others from OLS who feel that poking fun of people you don't know is not acceptable. This is not the right thing to do and she should post that on her front page. Perhaps say, I'm wrong.

I had to do that myself. I published a story that I found very interesting about a man who posted his suicide note on MySpace before he killed himself. In this letter he was very specific in telling his friends and family that it was his seventeen year old girlfriends fault that he killed himself and then published her name, address, and cell phone number. Two days later one of the relatives of the man contacted me and told me that my post, which featured his suicide letter, was painful to them. Even though I knew the same information was available on several other sites I chose to take down the information. I also wrote a letter to his family apologizing for causing them such pain.

Obviously she doesn't know the name of her victim but she can rectify it rather than run away from it.

Please do not take this to be a post that is anti anyone who is a member of or Mommy bloggers in general. As I'm sure you know there are really great women out there and some of them blog. This post is aimed at the one post I read on I found it to be of the kind of quality one would expect of someone who is considered to be such a success.

Four Police Officers Shot To Death Near McChord Air Force Base

Four police officers were shot dead in a targeted ambush at a Lakewood, Wash., state coffee house, a sheriff's official said Sunday.

The attack occurred at Forza Coffee Co., a popular local chain, which is located on a side stree near McChord Air Force Base abot 35 miles south ofTacoma, Washington, about 35 miles south of Seattle.

Officers are searching for one male suspect who opened fire in the shop before he fleed on foot.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said the four officers killed — three men and a woman from the Lakewood Police Department — were in uniform and catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts when they were attacked at 8:15 a.m.

This was more of an execution and it is believed that the shooter walked in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers.

Streets around the coffee shop were blocked off late Sunday morning, and a police helicopter hovered over a large crowd of investigators. TV video showed police taking possession of a pickup truck parked in a grocery store in Parkland.

Local authorities are urging anyone with tips related to the suspects to call the Crime Tipline at (253) 591-5959. They are also offering a $10,000 reward for any information on the suspect(s).

My heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers of these officers, as well as the entire law enforcement community.

I will update this story as I know more.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiger Woods Victim of Domestic Violence?

California v Stanford

I've NEVER heard anything bad about Tiger Woods. If anything he seems be the consummate gentleman.

What I am saying is who didn't see that this "accident" involved one very angry wife and not some golfer "accidentally" hitting a fire hydrant.

My husband and I were very busy with moving, Black Friday Shopping, etc. so amazingly enough we did not have time to listen to the news. We did catch a brief headline blurb something about Tiger Woods hitting a fire hydrant with his Escalade and his wife having to "break the window of his vehicle to get him out."

I looked at Darryl and said, "There's got to be more to that story." Obviously a statement like this doesn't take a rocket scientist. The question was the why did this happen? What charges did the police say were forthcoming? Why had Tiger been hospitalized?

Later we heard a little more about the incident that occurred at 2:25 a.m. Friday. Police classified the injuries as serious. About 13 hours later Wood's spokesman said that it was a "minor accident," and Woods was in good condition after being treated and released.

Saylor said his two officers found the 33-year-old Woods lying in the street with his wife, Elin, hovering over him.

Saylor said Woods' wife told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and "broke the back window with a golf club." He said the front-door windows were not broken and that "the door was probably locked."

She supposedly got him out and laid him on the ground," he said. "He was in and out of consciousness when my guys got there."

This information only made me more certain that this was the work of a very angry wife.

Tiger has yet to be formally interviewed by the Florida Highway Patrol but these are the alleged details about what happened before the accident.

According to the news Tiger said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.

That does sound far more plausible than his wife Elin Nordegren trying desperately to FREE him from his vehicle with a golf club.

Guess we will have to wait for the 911 tapes to be released.

While I'm on my soap box I would like to remind my readers that domestic violence is perpetrated by females and males but the majority of domestic violence is perpetrated upon women by men. Men are often the victims of domestic violence in an emotional or verbal sense, although more men are reporting physical abuse. Domestic violence affects the entire family. Domestic violence is usually hidden from outsiders, not talked about and a secret kept within the family unit. Male victims are embarrassed to file domestic violence injunctions if they are battered by their spouses or significant others.

Some people scoff at the idea that men could be the victim of domestic violence. The idea that men could be victims of domestic abuse and violence is so unthinkable that many men will not even attempt to report the situation.

If this is a situation of Domestic Violence then my concern is for their two children. As a child I witnessed my father's abuse of my mother. One would think this would steer me away from a violent relationship. The fact is we are comfortable in what we know and tend to be more likely to accept the abuse dished out upon us. I married a violent man the first time around and put up with that abuse for years.

Stop the cycle! End the violence.

I'd love to hear from you. Do you feel that this was a domestic violence incident? Do you think it's really none of our business? Should Tiger keep the facts secret in order to "protect" his family and his privacy?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Come On Birthers Get Real

Last summer my husband and I read Dreams From My Father by Barrack Obama. Actually we also read his book the Audacity of Hope last summer also. We felt it only fair that we hear what Obama had to say about himself in his own words. Both political parties had a vested interest in portraying him in a particular light but we wanted to know what he proclaimed to have influenced his life, his views, and his values. We learned much.

One of the first things you learn is really kind of inconsequential at first glance. He was born in Hawaii. Now while I might think it would have been ironic had he come from Alabama or Mississippi his birthplace was but a side note in what I wanted to know about Obama.

It appears that my husband and I missed one of the big controversies of the whole book, and that it "Is Barrack Obama an American"? Well DUH.

Now I'm no expert but I do happen to know that Hawaii became a state in 1959. How do I always remember this? Well that's because I was born in 1959 and that's when Hawaii and Alaska were admitted to the union. Last I check I am older than the President. Again, I'm no genius but his mother was American, he was born here in America, and spent most of his life in America, move on, get to the real issues and those issues are far bigger than is Obama an American.

More interesting is that there was a group who said that Obama's step-father actually adopted him when he married Barrack's Mom. If this were true then it does change things somewhat. How exactly? Well Barrack's Step-father, his sister's father, was not American and he took the family back to his native land. If the adoption took place when it is alleged, when they were living in Jakarta Indonesia then Barrack would no longer be American. Just like when a child is adopted from China here in America they become American and not dual citizens the same is true in Indonesia.

This adoption rumor was hot and heavy for a little while but was dropped in favor of the Obama wasn't born in America. My guess is because it's an easier story to remember. Supporters of the birth certificate theory, known as 'Birthers,' believe the Certification of Live Birth produced by the state of Hawaii is a forgery. I do NOT believe that it is. I absolutely believe he was born in Hawaii.

The "birther" movement is akin to people who proclaim that they were taken up by flying saucers and people who believe the earth is flat by those on the left. While my view on this is not as extreme I think that it is definitely wrong headed. I believe that the people who buy into the "birther" movement are disaffected voters who feel frustrated that the government has been ignoring their concerns for a number of years. First by Bush and his failure to address the immigration policies and the devastating financial problems caused by real estate speculation. Now they feel that Barrack Obama is no better.

Now we have people who are throwing up billboards with a birther theme. The billboard, located at 4855 Miller Road, shows two cartoonish images of Obama wearing a Muslim turban and reads "PRESIDENT or JIHAD?"

It also says "BIRTH CERTIFICATE - PROVE IT!" alluding to the conspiracy theory which claims Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii, which would disqualify him for the office of President.

While I believe you can be for or against Obama on a myriad of issues I think that saying he is not American is counterproductive.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Want My Money

Even when I was young I seldom watched Saturday Night Live. Still I recognize that there have been some great comics who have come from this show.

A friend sent me this clip and I was rolling on the floor. Put politics aside, have you ever had someone borrow money from you and they were slow to pay it back? Perhaps it was a real hardship for you to lend them that money but because you trusted that person your noble, selflessness, decided to loan the money to your friend or co-worker expecting to be paid back.

The promised pay day comes and goes. Weeks become months and still no money. At first you say nothing because you feel it would be wrong to ask because you don't want to appear to be putting money ahead of your friendship. At some level you don't want to appear that you don't trust your friend to do the right thing. As time goes by though you may hint or even ask, "Hey do you have that money I owe you?"

Sometimes the debtor apologizes and then assures you that on some new specified day the money will be repaid. He may even apologize for not getting it back to you sooner. There may be an attempt to let you know who earnestly he wished to have repaid the debt on time but circumstances got in the way.

The new date comes and goes with not one thin dime being paid towards the debt. The debtor, now read deadbeat, is avoiding you. Confrontations concerning the debt have lost the niceties and have become hostile. The circumstances that prevent repayment have become worse. Deadbeat either uses this to plead for more time and reassure you once again that when things settle down you will definitely be repaid OR deadbeat avoids you.

Meanwhile, word trickles back to you how deadbeat has bought a $200 tattoo of Daffy Duck or you run into him at the mall while he's using a credit card to pay for his $300 purchase of Georgia Bull Dog paraphernalia. Maybe you learn that he's ready to depart for a cruise with his family or buy a new car. You wonder why your friend continues to spend money while he has apparently avoided paying his debt to you.

Now scratch the whole friend thing because obviously we are not friends with China. We owe money to China. The Chinese own more U.S. government debt than any other nation - about $800 billion worth. And the U.S. pays China $50 billion a year just in interest.

As the old saying goes, "He who pays the fiddler calls the tune." How true. We do not have enough money to tip the fiddler a fiver let alone pay the man. Some would say that we are spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave but I think that's insulting to drunken sailors everywhere.

The Rolling Stones once sang "You can't always get what you want" but our President and Congress don't seem to understand that. In the mean time the American public is being sold snake oil and being told that it's liquid gold. Where is the bail-out for the American people? How in the HELL do you calculate Jobs saved? How in the hell does the President point to a website telling us the number of jobs saved that is filled with distortions? Why are we not being told the cost of of each job "created" and how the majority of them are temporary jobs.

If the plan created the maximum number of jobs forecast (4.1 million) for the minimum projected expense ($770 billion is the most widely bruited amount), then the cost of the plan will be roughly $187,800 per job created. If the plan is minimally successful, then the sum of $1 trillion dollars being proposed by Democrats in Congress will yield a mere 3.3 million jobs, or a cost per new job of $303,000. If government statisticians are to be given any credence at all, then the real figure will probably come out somewhere between these two extremes. And the money the government spends to create the new jobs would have to come out of the economy one way or another (taxes, borrowing, inflating the money supply) — causing lost jobs.

Wow that's a deal though because cash for clunkers wound up costing me $24,000 per clunker. Gosh I wish the government would have sent me $24,000 to buy a new car. Instead I'm still riding around in my hoopdie. What strikes me as being even funnier is that the "artificial demand" created by the cash for clunkers was used by the government to prove that we've "turned the corner" on this recession. Pa-LEEEZE.

Any way, I really loved this video from Saturday Night Live and it had me rolling on the floor. Obama, I too would like to be kissed and romanced a little before you and all the rest of the politicians, Republicans and Democrats "Have the sex with me."

Friday, November 20, 2009

900-Pound Man Dies after Cut from Chair

I've heard someone say that fat jokes are still the last bastion of sanctioned jokes that people make mocking others. I would have to agree. While jokes of a racist or sexist bend are rejected outright, fat jokes are still considered "safe territory." I would also agree that when you are Obese people judge you unfairly and yes there are people who gawk at people who are fat.

Still I understand why people are very interested when they hear about someone who weighs 900 pounds. Many of us try to wrap our head around this concept that someone could actually become so morbidly obese.

We ask ourselves and others questions about how they will be buried? How did they get him out of his trailer? Why didn't he just put down the Twinkies some would say instead of asking the question that they might want to ask which is "what is his personal accountability in his situation." I don't think these questions are fair or compassionate.

Daniel Webb, 33, died after being taken from his home on County Farm Road Wednesday. Webb had been in a medical chair for nine months, covered in sores and human waste.

Authorities say Webb died from cardiac arrest on his second anniversary. His wife, who met him on MySpace, took care of him over these past months when he became confined to the chair.

He weighed around 900 pounds and had to be cut out his chair in home. Authorities say he was stuck to a chair for nine months.

Webb hadn’t left his house, or even walked for almost nine months. His wife Ada Webb says he hurt his knee and could no longer walk. He sat in a Lazy-boy for the rest of his life. "If he would have had the proper care we tried to get for him back in March this would have never happened," his wife said during an interview Thursday afternoon.

Ada Webb says she and her husband tried to get disability and insurance but could not and she says she didn’t know where else to turn. "I only hope something good comes out of this because it was so unnecessary," Webb said. They say he went into cardiac arrest but I say he died of a broken heart."

Emergency Medical Services Personnel says morbid obesity has become a real issue, and now they carry special tools onboard.

Daniel Webb helped found the True Christian Fellowship in Westminster and was still an associate pastor.

Some point to this case as one that brings attention to the need for universal health care. Others ask about personal responsibility, could he have changed his diet? What part did his wife play as an enabler? Whatever your belief you should be aware that obesity is historically linked to about one third of the increase in domestic health spending since the mid-1980s and is a key factor in the rise in private insurance premiums, Medicare and Medicaid spending.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Did Oprah Go Too Far This Time?

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up. Step right this way. For just one dime, one tenth of a dollar, you can see something AH-MAZING! Before your very eyes we will reveal something you have never seen before, something you can only see here. Fix your eyes this way ladies and gentlemen...."

Let's start by saying that I have been an Oprah fan for many years. There were so many times I watched her show and appreciated the things that I learned from her or from her guests.

So right from the get-go I want you to know I don't hate Oprah. I admire her. She is a savvy business woman and very bright. I have read many of the books on her book list and I still like watching her show when I'm able to do so.

Yet this time I wonder if Oprah has jumped the Shark. This time she may as well have been a circus barker at the side show saying "take a peak". Has she really sunk to this level? I realize I haven't watched her show in about a year but has there really been such a downward slide to this?

Charla Nash was attacked by a chimp. She was horrible mutilated. I can't believe she agreed to go on Oprah's show. She wore a veil because she wants some privacy. Why couldn't she have that? Did you really need to exploit her for the ratings? Have your ratings fell that low that you have to resort to that? What's next? Will you be having teens take pregnancy tests to confront their baby daddy? Perhaps you could have couples come on and engage in hair pulling, chair throwing, and breast exposing?

All I can say is Oprah I am very disappointed in you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Execution Of D.C. Sniper John Allen Muhammad

Beltway Sniper John Allen Muhammad Executed by Lethal Injection at 9:11 PM, November 10, 2009.

I wanted to make sure that his victims are not forgotten.



James Martin
James Buchanan
Premkumar Walekar
Sarah Ramos
Lori Ann-Lewis Rivera
Pascal Charlot
Dean Harold Meyers
Kenneth Bridges
Linda Franklin
Conrad Johnson


Caroline Seawell
Iran Brown
Jeffrey Hopper

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tonight The DC Sniper Will Be Executed

Has it really been seven years ago when Muhammad and Malvo seven years shot and killed 10 people over a three-week span that terrorized the Washington region? Each new report would bring memories of my hometown rushing back. How easily it could have been for me to have been one of those places where the shootings had occurred. How easily one of my friends could have been one of the victims.

Born John Allen Williams, Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam in 1987 and later changed his surname to Muhammad. Drawings by Malvo describe the murders as part of a "jihad" (Arabic for "struggle in the way of God"). If you remember we were told that we had nothing to fear from domestic terrorists so they were careful not to label these murders as acts of domestic terrorism. (Sound familiar?)

As a member of the Nation of Islam, Muhammad helped provide security for the "Million Man March" in 1995, but Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan has publicly distanced himself and his organization from Muhammad's crimes. Muhammad moved out of the country and spent time with his children in Antigua around 1999, apparently engaging in credit card and immigration document fraud activities. It was during this time that he became close with Lee Boyd Malvo, who later acted as his partner in the killings. John Allen Williams changed his name to John Allen Muhammad in October 2001.

After his arrest, authorities also claimed that Muhammad admitted that he admired and modeled himself after Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and approved of the September 11 attacks. One of Malvo's psychiatric witnesses testified in his trial that Muhammad had indoctrinated him into believing that the proceeds of the extortion attempt would be used to begin a new nation of only young, "pure" black people somewhere in Canada. Oddly enough, Muhammad witnessed the Mark Essex shootout live on television when he was 12.

At Muhammad's trial, the prosecutor claimed that the rampage was part of a plot to kill his ex-wife and regain custody of his children, but the judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support this argument.

Today the courts will carry out their sentence and execute John Allen Muhammed.

Attorneys for John Allen Muhammad asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to stop his execution. The Supreme Court denied the appeal.

Muhammad's lawyers also have asked Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for clemency, saying Muhammad is mentally ill and should not be executed.

In a 40-minute video to Kaine last month, attorneys, mental health experts and witnesses describe Muhammad's illness. Muhammad's attorneys claim he has brain damage, brain dysfunction and neurological deficits, as well as psychotic and delusional behavior, exacerbated by the Gulf War Syndrome he suffered as a sergeant in the first Iraq war.

They also submitted an interview with a juror who said that she would not have sentenced Muhammad to death if she had known of his severe mental illness.

The Supreme Court has banned executing the insane or the mentally disabled, measured by an IQ less than 70, established by the age of 18, and the lack of basic adaptive skills.

Like Virginia's current governor, Kaine, I am also Catholic and as I said before it is a crisis of faith for me. Do accept church dogma that ALL life is sacred and pray that we do not put this man to death? On the other hand do I ask about the souls of those who died at his hand and wonder if this is one of those render unto Cesar moments because the death penalty is the law? Is it an eye for an eye moment and if so what does that make of me? Does Governor Kaine feel conflicted on this matter? Does he choose to deny clemency because he feels it is morally right for us to execute this man or is he looking towards re-election and realizing that doing anything other than allowing the execution to go forward would prevent him from being re-elected? On what side of the debate do I stand? Why do I continue to straddle between the two divergent views on the death penalty?

So tonight the DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammad, will be executed. Under Virginia law, an inmate is allowed to choose the method by which he or she will be put to death—either lethal injection or the electric chair. Because Muhammad declined to select a method, by law he will receive a lethal injection.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Golden Girl Rue McClanahan Doing Well After Heart Surgery

Rue McClanahan Portrait Session And Book Signing At Book Soup

Golden Girls star Rue McClanahan is doing well after undergoing a cardial bypass, according to the actress' rep.

On Monday, the 75-year-old actress's doctor noticed that her heartbeat was irregular. She was asked to check into the hospital where she later underwent the procedure.

McClanahan had to cancel her appearance at an event to be held in her honour in San Francisco. She is expected to make a full recovery and begin work on a new film project very soon.

Ft. Hood Shooting Victims

Twelve Dead In Mass Shooting At Fort Hood

When people die in tragic circumstances we hear their names and then the press brushes these victim's lives aside as though they were not important. For the families and friends of these people they are left to deal with their pain and anguish while the Nidal Malik Hasan is getting press in rock-star fashion.

We analyze his motives. We question how the war might have affected his decision to go on a rampage. The press interviews his family and friends and examines his writings seeking an answer to something that truly makes no sense. Talking heads point out that the Nidal Malik Hasan was a victim himself. He was taunted and teased.

My heart goes out to the people who died during this tragic incident at Ft. Hood. Their names are listed below. They had lives, hopes, dreams, and they should have been allowed to live their future but that was stolen from them in one selfish, sick act.

So tonight, please remember these men and women who lost their lives so tragically on November 5th. Tweet their names with a hashmark in front. Let people celebrate the lives of these soldiers who were serving our country and had their lives stolen from them.

Army Spc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn., died in the attack Thursday. Xiong graduated from St. Paul's Community of Peace Academy in 2004. He was at Ft. Hood preparing for a January deployment. ( MyFoxTwinCities )

Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Tipton, Okla. was one of 12 soldiers killed. Known as J.D., Hunt was voted "most quiet" in his senior class. ( )

Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis., was killed. The sergeant with the Madison, Wis.-based 467th Medical Detachment had arrived at Fort Hood on Tuesday and was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in December. ( Herald Times Reporter )

Spc. Michael Pearson , 21, of Bolingbrook, Ill., was killed in the shooting. ( MyFoxChicago )

Francheska Velez, of Chicago, was killed in the shooting. She recently had returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. The 21-year-old was in the building where the shooting occurred filling out paperwork due to her pregnancy. ( MyFoxChicago )

Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah, was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in January, his family said in a statement. Nemelka had enlisted in the Army in October 2008, Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Lisa Olsen said. (AP)

The names of those wounded:

Amber Bahr, 19, was shot in the stomach but was in stable condition, said her mother, Lisa Pfund of Random Lake, Wis. (AP)

Spc. Keara Bono, 21, of the Army Reserve, called her mother from a hospital and said she had been shot in the back. ( MyFoxTwinCities )

Matthew Cook, son-in-law of Jamie and Scotty Casteel. Cook is from New York State and has been home from Iraq for about a year. "He's been shot in the abdomen and that's all we know," Jamie Casteel told The Associated Press.

The Gunman Shouted "Allahu Akbar!"

Federal Buildings' Flags Fly At Half Staff For Ft. Hood Shootings

Police raided the apartment of Nidal Malik Hasan at Casa Del Norte apartment complex on N. Fourth St. around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Federal authorities seized Hasan's computer Friday during a search of his apartment, said a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Neighbors said Hasan handed Qurans and donated his furniture to anyone who would take it. He was described as a quiet man (aren't they almost always?) who began wearing "Arabic clothing" in recent weeks. Many of his neighbors were suprised to discover that a man of that rank was living in a $350 per month apartment.

Recently had a religious bumper sticker torn off his car and someone else had keyed his car. A report filed on Aug. 16 with Killeen police says Hasan's car had been scratched causing $1,000 worth of damage. The report says an Army employee had been arrested. It didn't provide more details about what happened.

The shooting spree began as some 300 soldiers had been lined up to get vaccinations and have their eyes tested at a Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening. Nearby, others were lining up in commencement robes for a ceremony to celebrate troops and families who had recently earned degrees.

Soldiers reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — an Arabic phrase for "God is great!" — before opening fire, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander. He said officials had not yet confirmed that Hasan made the comment.

According to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Hasan's record at Walter Reed wasn't sterling. He received a poor performance evaluation and while he was an intern, Hasan had some "difficulties" that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time

Recalling Ft. Hood Horror

(This still image from a convenience store surveillance camera shows Major Nidal Malik Hasan on November 5 morning in Texas, before he shot and killed 12 people and wounded 31 others at the Fort Hood US military base.)

Recalling Ft. Hood Horror

Soldiers and military family members tell their story of the shootings at Fort Hood whie donating blood for wounded victims. Video by Nick de la Torre. Nov 5, 2009.

Update-Gunman Was Taken Alive

Although originally it was reported that the gunman responsible for the carnage yesterday at Ft. Hood was dead, however, Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of the Army’s III Corps, said at a press conference late Thursday that the gunman was actually captured alive.

Eleven of the victims died at the scene, military officials said. A 12th died later at a hospital, NBC station KCEN-TV of Waco reported. Cone said that most of those who were shot were military but two were civilians. The gunman, identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was wounded at the scene but was captured alive and was in stable condition.

Col. Ben Danner said the suspect was shot at least four times. "I would say his death is not imminent," Cone said, adding that Hasan was in custody at a hospital.

Noting the Arabic nature of the gunman’s name, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington interest group, condemned “this cowardly attack in the strongest terms possible and ask that the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of the law.”

”No political or religious ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence,” the council said in a statement. “The attack was particularly heinous in that it targeted the all-volunteer army that protects our nation. American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured.”

I also learned this morning that the death toll rose to thirteen. Another update is that the female police officer that took down the gunman is also alive. She was originally identified as being among the dead but this is not true either. Finally one other person was taken into custody in regards to this incident.

What I find interesting is that yesterday I went on the DU and one of the posters had mentioned that her son was a soldier stationed there. She said her son told her not to believe what was in the news about this incident. One of the people that responded made a snarky remark about how one should always disount those kinds or remarks.

Well perhaps what that soldier knew wsa that this gunman really wasn't dead. Perhaps the military wanted to keep that under wraps because of the sensitive nature of the whole incident. Imagine, here you have someone shooting fellow soldiers, and he survives. For his own protection I imagine, they didn't make the announcement right away. As a matter of fact it seemed awhile before they even announced his name because it was a "Muslim Sounding name".

Today I learned that News Channel 25's (KXXV) Natasha Chen has learned the suspected shooter Maj. Malik Hasan had "Allah" keyed into his car last week. He reported it as a hate crime.

Please send your prayers to those soldiers and their families at this Facebook site that was set up for that purpose.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

12 Dead In Masacare At Ft. Hood

I just got home and learned of this horrendous situation. An officer who was getting ready to deploy to Iraq opened fire on Ft. Hood today. At this moment 12 people are dead and 31 are wounded. The gunman was killed by a civilian police officer who was also killed. Originally two other people were picked up as suspects, however, it turned out they were trying to stop the violence. A third suspect has been taken in for questioning.

The shooting took place 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the post's Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers undergo medical screening before being deployed or after returning from overseas.

The base and area schools were on lock down after the mass shooting, and all those on the Army post were asked to gather for a head count.

The name of the shooter has been released on KDFW. He is Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan. Hasan, said to be in his 30s, is allegedly responsible for opening fire at about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Killeen, Texas post. According to sources, Hasan attended the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He graduated in 2003 with a degree in Osteopathy and later finished his residency as a psychiatrist.

In 2009, Hasan completed a fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry at the Center for Traumatic Stress.

According to spokesman Lt. Gen Bob Cone from Fort Hood, the suspect was armed with two handguns.

An unidentified official says investigators are trying to determine if Hasan was his birth name, or if he changed his name and converted to the Islamic faith at some point in his life.