Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meow! Officer expects house cat, gets cougar

Meow! Officer expects house cat, gets cougar
Decides to wait for game warden with tranquilizer to handle problem
updated 3:24 p.m. ET, Tues., Sept. 30, 2008
CASPER, Wyo. - Police officer Mike Ableman didn't think much of a call to shoo off a bothersome "kitty cat" at a Casper home. But upon arriving at the scene, he ran for cover after seeing a male mountain lion weighing 80 to 90 pounds.
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Adding to deployment stress for soldiers is the economy

Soldiers going to Iraq worried about economy

By John Milburn - The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Sep 30, 2008 18:07:26 EDT

FORT RILEY, Kan. — Soldiers and families who deal with enough stress during 12-month deployment to Iraq now acknowledge they are keeping a little closer eye on their finances.

Turmoil in the credit and financial markets has members of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Infantry watching their money closely and planning for emergencies. They know their paychecks are secure, but it’s their investments, however small, that makes them worry.

Command Sgt. Maj. Julia Kelly is not amused with the talk of bailing out Wall Street with $700 billion when taxpayers are expected to pay for their own tough times. Kelly is trying to sell a house in Billings, Mont., knowing that some properties in that area have been on the market for as long as three years.

“I’m feeling that pressure right now with that,” said Kelly, adding that she didn’t want to find a renter because the last one cost her money in repairs.
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Uncle Sam (DOD) wants a few good computer hackers

Military needs hackers, StratCom chief says
Uncle Sam is looking for a few good computer hackers.

By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Sep 30, 2008 17:25:30 EDT

Uncle Sam is looking for a few good computer hackers.

The U.S. military needs a two-edged cyber capability that can not only defend its .mil and .smil domains from outside attacks but, if necessary, launch cyber attacks against intruders. To do that, the individual services need to recruit and train more cyber-qualified personnel, Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, chief the U.S. Strategic Command, said today.

The military is dependent on its .mil and .smil domains for everything from e-mail exchanges to employment of its nuclear arsenal. StratCom’s vast portfolio includes operating and defending those domains.

The importance, Chilton said, is self-evident.
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Gen. Wesley Clark revs up the crowd in Destin FL

Clark revs up crowd of 200

September 30, 2008 - 12:11PM
Tom McLaughlin
Daily News
DESTIN -- Bush-bashing, McCain cracks and Palin-knocking were all the rage Tuesday morning at Harbor Docks restaurant in Destin.

Gen. Wesley Clark was the man brought in to fire up the Democratic masses in support of presidential candidate Barack Obama, and, in Northwest Florida, the 200 or so who showed up to see him constituted a sizeable outpouring of affection.

"It's wonderful. It's this way all over the country," Clark said of the crowd's size and enthusiasm.

He added that the George W. Bush administration has helped fuel the fire for Obama.

"People know something's wrong. It's not like America to lurch from crisis to crisis. They're counting on Barack Obama to fix it," he said.

Those in attendance were young and old, black, white and Asian, veteran and non-veteran, even Republican. One man, 84-year-old Fred Hoole, told Clark he intended to vote for a Democrat for president for the first time since 1948.

Restaurant owner Charles Morgan set the tone for the Clark event with a shot at Okaloosa County Republicans, who were unable to land a national figure for a rally they held Sunday.

Listing some of the notable Democrats who had spoken in the past at Harbor Docks, Morgan noted "that may lead you to think we lean to the Democratic side of things."

"Actually, we'd be happy to host Republicans here," Morgan added. "But in a county where Republicans outnumber Democrats by three to one ... they can't get anybody down here to speak. I don't think we'd have any more success."
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Engineer's family shoulders profound grief from train wreck

Engineer's family shoulders profound grief from train wreck

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 30, 2008
At 11:30 on the morning of Sept. 19, some 60 engineers and conductors gathered at a modest La Crescenta house. They had come to memorialize Robert Sanchez, the engineer killed a week earlier when the Metrolink train he was driving collided with a Union Pacific freight train.

The service was supposed to have been held at a mortuary, but after reporters learned of the arrangements, the family hastily moved the memorial to Sanchez's home, hoping for the chance to gather privately with his former co-workers.

Since their arrival in California, their grief had been made much more difficult by a crush of media attention. They were accosted at every turn, and the pressure grew more intense after Metrolink announced -- far too quickly, in the family's eyes -- that Sanchez had failed to stop at a red signal and caused the crash.

The mourners came bearing pizzas, sodas and cakes. One brought a flower arrangement in the shape of a cross, which Sanchez's family placed far from the window for fear that someone might throw a brick. Three Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies stood guard outside.

A minister from Sanchez's union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, spoke. His co-workers recalled trading recipes with Sanchez and accompanying him to Mighty Ducks and Kings games. They told the family they would help find homes for Sanchez's four Italian greyhounds.
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Today is our 24th wedding anniversary with PTSD

24 years ago today I married my best friend. Back then I knew he had PTSD but I was not prepared for his condition to get worse. I honestly can't say what I would have done if I had known what we end up going through ahead of time. None of us really know what tomorrow will bring. It is what we do know that our futures are built upon. I knew I loved him and I knew his character. What fortified me was my faith and the knowledge of what my husband was going through. Even with that knowledge, without faith, without being able to reach out to God for the strength to get thru the heart wrenching times, we would not be celebrating this anniversary today. This is what I believe a marriage should be built upon.

1 Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

If we love our veteran and know what wound they carry, it becomes easier to find the compassion to stay with them and help them. If we know nothing then we assume that they have no love for us left within them and it's easy to leave. If we know them, know their soul, we understand they are not doing any of what they do in order to hurt us. We can see them as wounded and ill. The rational understanding that if they had any other illness, we would never think of leaving penetrates our conscience and we are more able to stay, put up with people telling us to get a divorce and find the strength to fight for our veteran's sake.

This, from St. Francis, is one more belief I held dear to help me when my selfishness began to take control over what I knew was the right thing to do.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Along the way coming into contact with others living with PTSD helped me, supported me and strengthened me. They came to me for help but together we ended up helping each other. I have never met such courageous people before in my life. They are filled with compassion for others and this part of their soul is what caused them to be wounded so deeply by what they had to endure. While they have broken my heart by the pain they carry, they have also filled me with appreciation of the human soul that lives on within them and the magnificence of their strength.

I look at my husband today, after 26 years of loving him on this day of our 24th wedding anniversary and I feel so blessed that God gave me all I needed to stay.

One of the Chaplains in my group sends out a daily devotion reminder. Today, this is the one he picked.
From Papa Roy

God Never Gives Up on Us

Our God is a God that will never give up on us. This fact is always a source of hope. There indeed may be times in which it seems like God has given up on people, turning a deaf ear to them when they are in need or sick, but we must be careful asking "why" when such events happen, for it is not the Lord abandoning His children.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

God did not abandon me nor did He abandon my husband. There are times in our lives when we feel that way. We find dark times and wonder if God is punishing us by ignoring our cries for help. We find times when we feel as if we should give up praying, give up reaching out for His hand and forgetting all the other times in our lives when He was there to help us. I'm probably more guilty of this than anyone else. So many times it was so easy to forget what God had done in my life before. It was as if I had the attitude "ya but what have You done for me lately" when another crisis came and I had fear. I wanted immediate help the way I wanted to be helped, not the way God saw fit to offer it.

What good is strength when the weight of the world is crashing down on us and everything we thought our lives would be vanishes? What good is reading words of someone written thousands of years going to do for us today when hateful words penetrate today? What good does it do us to know that "if we wait upon the Lord" our reward will be great for trusting Him, taking a leap of faith over Satan's foot if we fall flat on our face? It all helps when we understand that hold that world of pain above our heads is success when we get up the next day with enough hope to put our feet firmly on the floor and begin a new day. It helps when we understand that the moments keep passing and we are still here. It helps to know that when we do fall flat our face, we get back up again. Sure we have skinned knees and a few scars, but we are still standing. Then the day comes when our prayers begin to bear fruit, our souls are warmed by the Glory of God and we overcome the crisis of our days.

It would be wonderful if God handed us what we wanted, when we wanted it but if this happened, then our faith would just be common without being strengthened. Just as my marriage would have just been common and not strengthened by all we lived through together. The bond was there from the beginning. The love was there and today I can honestly say that I love him even more than I did the day we married.

If you want to read more of our life together, I have a free book on this blog you can open in Adobe on the side bar. For the Love of Jack is about 18 years of our life together. If you still wonder if anyone else knows what you're going through, this is it. There isn't much I have not lived through and it's all in the book. Once you read it, then remind yourself of this post and know that nothing is impossible with God if love is the basis of your desires. If we could stay together, still loving each other, anyone can. If my husband can come through the darkest days of his life and live a life again after all the years without help, anyone can. For the younger veterans and their families, you can do it too if love is there.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tractor-trailer hits van, kills six

Tractor-Trailer Hits Van In Fla.; 6 Killed
Truck Loaded With Sand Collides With Van, Killing All 6 Men Aboard
Comments 12
MOORE HAVEN, Fla., Sept. 29, 2008

AP) Six men in a van were killed when a tractor-trailer loaded with sand hit their vehicle Monday in south-central Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the tractor-trailer ran through a stop sign around 6:30 a.m. and struck the van's right side.
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Jaguars' Collier paralyzed, had leg amputated

Jaguars' Collier paralyzed, had leg amputated
Jacksonville lineman, who was shot 14 times, in stable condition, doc says
updated 6:36 p.m. ET, Mon., Sept. 29, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier, shot while sitting in a car outside an apartment complex earlier this month, is paralyzed below the waist and his left leg was amputated, his doctor said Monday.

Collier was on a ventilator for about three weeks and has no memory of the shooting, said Dr. Andy Kerwin, a surgeon for the University of Florida at Shands Jacksonville hospital.

“His overall condition has improved greatly,” Kerwin said. “We expect him to be discharged soon.”
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Scientists find why bad memories stay with us

Scientists find why bad memories stay with us
Glue that makes bad memories stick may help with Alzheimer's, study says

By Andrea Thompson

updated 2 hours, 25 minutes ago
Scientists may have found the glue that keeps fearful memories stuck in the brain, a discovery that could be useful in new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

That glue seems to be a protein that is key to maintaining the structure of cells and also is essential to embryonic development, a new study suggests.

The protein, called beta-catenin, transmits early signals in species ranging from flies to frogs to mice that separate an embryo into front and back or top and bottom. It also acts like Velcro, fastening a cell's internal skeleton to proteins on its external membranes that in turn connect them to other cells.

Previous studies have found other factors that govern our feelings of fear:

One study found a 'fear factor' gene that controls how neurons fire in the brain when mice are faced with impending danger.
Another found that the brain can learn to fear something, such as a bee's sting, when we view someone else's fear.
Another recent study detailed how primates and other mammals learned to fear and avoid snakes.

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2 Native Americans shot in possible hate crime

Native American shot in fight with White group
by Alyson Zepeda - Sept. 29, 2008 06:45 PM
The Arizona Republic
A Native American man was shot in the leg and two others were injured Sunday after several White males and females wearing "white pride" T-shirts attacked two of the men. A police bias crimes unit was investigating the case.

The two men, Native Americans ages 48 and 24, were walking home from a store near 48th Avenue and Thunderbird Road when they were confronted and assaulted by several White men and women about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Phoenix police said.
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Army forms military funeral coverage panel

Army forms military funeral coverage panel
By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, September 30, 2008
ARLINGTON, Va. — Journalists will now have a say on what the media can and cannot do when covering funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Secretary Peter Geren has signed a new media policy for the cemetery that calls for the creation of an oversight board that will include representatives from the cemetery, the Army and the media, including Stars and Stripes.

The board will serve as a forum to discuss "what is working well, what needs to be improved, what needs to be addressed in the future," said Army spokesman Paul Boyce.

Boyce said the board is expected to hold its first meeting in late October, and it should meet again before Veterans Day.

"The cemetery itself personifies the respect that we all have for our veterans," Boyce said. "We want to make sure that the media are part of that process, as transparent as possible, but while also respecting the wishes of the families and the deceased."
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Solider dies after boxing match in South Korea

2nd ID soldier dies following boxing match
By Erik Slavin, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Wednesday, October 1, 2008

CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier died Saturday night following an on-post boxing tournament at Camp Casey.

Pfc. Jason Price, 21, was pronounced dead at 10:40 p.m. at the 121st Combat Support Hospital at Yongsan Garrison.

Price, of 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, Company C, fought Saturday at the Area I boxing championship tournament, sponsored by Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation, according to division officials.

Out of "abundant caution," 2nd ID personnel won’t be participating in any further boxing tournaments pending the investigation of Price’s death, said 2nd ID spokesman Maj. Vince Mitchell.
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Japan Coast Guard Searches for Americans on Jade Princess after Typhoon Jangmi

Search continues for Americans missing at sea after typhoon
By Natasha Lee and Chiyomi Sumida, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Japan Coast Guard is continuing to search for four Americans reported missing Sunday near the Okinawa prefectural island of Ishigaki after their yacht encountered battering winds and crushing waves from Typhoon Jangmi, a Japanese official said Monday.

The four men were sailing from Malaysia to Okinawa aboard the 66-foot yacht Jade Princess on Sunday, when they sent out a radio distress signal at 11:06 a.m., said Takamichi Higa, Japan Coast Guard spokesman in Naha.

Rescue planes spotted the Jade Princess’ emergency locator radio transmitter and debris believed to be part of the yacht about 38 miles northwest from where the initial distress signal originated, Higa said.

The Japan Coast Guard said it had received reports that the yacht may have been equipped with a rescue raft, Higa said.

"The raft has yet to be found," he said. "In finding the raft, we keep our hope, slim as it may be."
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Campaign targets teen prescription drug abuse

Campaign targets teen prescription drug abuse
Story Highlights
One in five teens has admitted to abusing a prescription medication

Anti-drug campaign aims to educate teens and their parents of danger

"Not in My House" recommends parents take an inventory of meds

By Judy Fortin
CNN Medical Correspondent

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A dozen old family photos were strewn across the table as Gary Neal picked them up one by one.

The attorney from Tulsa, Oklahoma, reminisced about his teenage son, Harrison, who died two years ago at the age of 17 after fatally mixing over-the-counter cold medication and someone else's prescription painkillers.

"There's nothing worse as a parent than to see your kid on a gurney being rolled out of your house ... and placed in a hearse," Neal, 61, lamented. "There's nothing worse than that."

Hoping to get the word out that in the wrong hands, prescription drugs can be deadly, Neal joined forces this year with the New York-based Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

"We have 20 percent of our teenagers, one in five, who have admitted to abusing a prescription medication," said Steve Pasierb, president of the organization. "We know that is based on their attitudes and beliefs that this is safer."
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Army reviews possible chemical mishap in Iraq and Indiana National Guard

Army reviews possible chemical mishap in Iraq

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 29, 2008 17:29:34 EDT

Two separate investigations are being launched to determine if soldiers guarding a water treatment plant in Iraq were exposed to a cancer-causing substance in 2003.

The Army plans a 60-day investigation by a panel of personnel and logistics experts to review procedures that may have led members of the Indiana National Guard to be exposed to sodium dichromate at the Qarmat Ali plant in Iraq. Separately, a defense health board also will investigate if any ill effects resulted from the possible exposure.

About 140 soldiers form the 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment were deployed to the water plant near Basra in southern Iraq, according to Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who is urging the creation of a registry of exposed soldiers so they can be tracked to determine if they are suffering ill effects from the deployment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said about 600 soldiers were in the area and could have been exposed when wind blew the chemical over a large area.
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Kids' bodies kept in freezer, mom tells police

Kids' bodies kept in freezer, mom tells police
Story Highlights
Police find frozen remains while searching for evidence of abuse of another daughter

Mother tells officers corpses of two daughters were in freezer since February

Third child leaped out of window, showed signs of abuse

Mother admits hitting third child with "hard-heeled" shoe

(CNN) -- A Maryland woman told investigators that human remains found inside a freezer in the basement of her home are the bodies of two of her three adopted daughters, police said Monday.

Renee Bowman, 43, said the bodies of her daughters, born in 1997 and 1999, had been in the freezer since February, said Lt. Bobby Jones of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office.

In February, she moved to Lusby, in Calvert County, from Rockville, in Montgomery County, Jones added.

An autopsy is slated for Tuesday. Any decisions on charges would be made by the Montgomery County state's attorney's office, Jones said.

Bowman adopted the children in 2004, police said.

The bodies were found Saturday, when the sheriff's office searched Bowman's home after receiving a report that her third adopted daughter, age 7, had been found alone outside and showed signs of abuse and neglect.
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Afghan policeman opens fire on US troops, kills 1

Afghan policeman opens fire on troops, kills 1

By Jason Straziuso - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Sep 29, 2008 14:26:51 EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan policeman opened fire on U.S. troops inside a police station in eastern Afghanistan, killing an American soldier and wounding several other people, officials said Monday.

The shooting took place in Paktia province on Sunday after American troops and Afghan police brought militant suspects to the station. An officer already at the station then opened fire, a NATO official said on condition of anonymity because the information was not supposed to be released publicly.
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Obama aide declares self Fox's 'fact checker'

In heated exchange, Obama aide declares self Fox's 'fact checker' David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Monday September 29, 2008

After she gave Barack Obama a bracelet memorializing her son's sacrifice in Iraq, Tracy Jopek asked the Democratic presidential candidate not to use the memento as a political prop. When Obama mentioned the bracelet during last week's debate, though, Jopek said it was appropriate, and she grew dismayed at conservative critics' who turned his mention into "garbage on the Internet."

Story is the right choice of words but it didn't come from Tracy Jopek.

Steve Doocy said, "We're hearing more about the story behind that particular bracelet. And apparently, the mother -- Tracy Jopek -- asked your campaign that he not wear it anymore at public appearances."

For Fox, apparently, more actually means less, and Gibbs pounced on the co-anchor.

"That's not true," he said. "That's not true -- no, no, no, no!"

Gibbs mentioned the AP report and told Doocy to "get your facts straight first."

"That's why you're here," Doocy jibed.

"Yeah, I know, I'm a fact checker on Fox News," Gibbs replied.

The conversation continued, with Kilmeade breaking in to bring up the ex-husband's objections to Obama wearing the bracelet, to which Gibbs said the campaign wasn't trying to mediate the couple's divorce.

"And again, if you guys are going to ask questions about this, let's get the facts right ... before we start making stuff up on the news," Gibbs said, further enraging Kilmeade.

The people who keep repeating this are attacking a Gold Star Mom just because they don't like the person who is honoring her fallen son. FOX and the rest of the "right wing" should be very ashamed of this stunt. They honor no one but themselves.

The Associated Press tracked Jopek down on Sunday to get her own view on what was becoming a developing story. She said his mention was "an appropriate response" to McCain.
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Cephalon Inc agrees to pay $425 million in plea deal

Biopharmaceutical Company, Cephalon, To Pay $425 Million & Enter Plea to Resolve Allegations of Off-Label Marketing

Last update: 1:01 p.m. EDT Sept. 29, 2008
WASHINGTON, Sept 29, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Cephalon Inc. will enter a criminal plea and pay $425 million to resolve claims that it marketed three drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Justice Department announced today.

The lawsuits were brought by former Cephalon employees and filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The suits alleged that Cephalon engaged in a scheme to market Gabitril, Actiq and Provigil for unapproved uses in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which requires a company to specify the intended uses of a product in its new drug application to the FDA. Once approved, the drug may not be marketed or promoted for so-called "off label" uses -- any use not specified in an application and approved by FDA.

The suits against the company alleged that, as a result of Cephalon's off-label marketing campaign, false claims for payment were submitted to federal insurance programs such as Medicaid and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program which did not provide coverage for such off-label uses. A criminal information also filed by the Justice Department alleges that, between approximately January 2001 and 2006, Cephalon also promoted the drugs for uses other than what the FDA approved. The company is charged with one count of Distribution of Misbranded Drugs: Inadequate Directions for Use, a misdemeanor offense.

In a separate civil settlement executed contemporaneously with this guilty plea agreement, Cephalon will pay $375 million, plus interest, to resolve False Claims Act allegations arising from claims to Medicaid, Medicare and other federal programs, including TRICARE, the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, the Postal Worker's Compensation Program, the Federal Employees Compensation Act Program, the Every Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, Defense Logistics Agency, Bureau of Prisons and the Public Health Service Entities. The state Medicaid programs of California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia will share $116 million of the civil settlement.
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Chicago officer gunned down

Chicago officer gunned down
14-year veteran slain; suspect critical
By James Janega, Stacy St. Clair and Angela Rozas Chicago Tribune reporters
September 29, 2008

A solemn police chaplain stood before more than 100 weary Chicago officers gathered late Sunday in the parking lot of the Cook County morgue and asked them to close their eyes and open their hearts and pray.

The body of Nathaniel Taylor, one of their own, was wheeled toward the doors, led by two officers holding candles. Rev. Tom Nangle spoke: "This is one of those moments the public never sees, the politicians never see and that our families, thank God, never see. This moment is where the beating heart and soul of the Chicago Police Department is on view."

What a brutal end to a day when police held vigil at an Oak Lawn hospital, shedding tears for a brother wounded in an early-morning burst of gunfire.

Taylor, 39, was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Hospital at 6:02 p.m. Sunday, about 12 hours after he was shot while executing a search warrant. He was the second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty in the last three months.
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McCain blames Democrats of bailout failing, after he took credit for it passing?

This McCain said after he took credit for it passing 15 minutes before it failed. The man is out of touch with any kind of reality.

Political Intelligence
McCain blames Democrats for bailout defeat
John McCain responded to the defeat of the bailout bill with a stinging attack on Democratic rival Barack Obama and his congressional allies.

Death of Spc. Ryan Longnecker still unsolved

Guardsman’s death still a mystery

By Holbrook Mohr - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Sep 29, 2008 13:49:30 EDT

JACKSON, Miss. — Military investigators are still tying to determine what happened to a Kentucky National Guardsman nearly four months after his skeletal remains were found on a Mississippi base and urged anyone with information to contact them, authorities said Monday.

Spc. Ryan Longnecker, 19, was training at Camp Shelby in south Mississippi when he disappeared Aug. 6, 2007, just two days before his unit left for Iraq. Soon after he vanished, the military announced that Longnecker had run off with two guns and turned the case over to the U.S. Marshals Service.

His remains, however, were found by another soldier June 3 in the woods on the sprawling 136,000-acre training base between two roads and a few hundred yards from a building, authorities have said. Longnecker’s two military issue weapons, an assault rifle and pistol, were found nearby.

“It is an undetermined death investigation at this point,” Chris Grey, an Army spokesman, said.

The soldier’s father, Bryan Longnecker, a retired Marine from Milton, Ind., said there’s been much speculation about what happened, but nothing concrete has surfaced.

“It don’t make no sense,” Bryan Longnecker said. “I don’t want to call it a possible drug overdose, but that’s the only thing that’s made sense to me so far.”
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Killing ends a lifetime of spouse abuse

Killing ends a lifetime of spouse abuse
A Miami-Dade woman who killed her first abusive husband in 1993 was murdered by her second husband this month, police say.
Bullied and threatened for years to the point of near-suicide, Cassandra Johnson pulled a gun and shot her estranged husband in the head at a Liberty City strip mall in 1993.

She escaped a murder charge.

For the next 16 years, she rebuilt her life, undergoing intense counseling, cleaning condos for work and doting over two-dozen grandchildren -- until her next husband killed her, police say.

Randy Lipkins, father of her first child, stabbed her 22 times and pummeled her face with a hammer earlier this month, Miami-Dade police say. Lipkins surrendered to police Sept. 12 -- only after leaving her body to rot in his apartment for four days.
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Linked from RawStory

Liberals and Republicans United on Bailout Bill?

House Narrowly Defeats Bailout Legislation
President Bush Had Urged Quick Approval
By Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 29, 2008; 2:23 PM

In a narrow vote, the House today rejected the most sweeping government intervention into the nation's financial markets since the Great Depression, refusing to grant the Treasury Department the power to purchase up to $700 billion in the troubled assets that are at the heart of the U.S. financial crisis.

The 228-205 vote amounted to a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., and was sure to sow massive anxiety in world markets. Just 11 days ago, Paulson urged congressional leaders to urgently approve the bailout. He warned that inaction would lead to a seizure of credit markets and a virtual halt to the lending that allows Americans to acquire mortgages and other types of loans.

As it became apparent that the measure was heading to defeat, stock markets took a steep dive. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 700 points but then rebounded a bit. By 2:20 p.m. the Dow was down 455 points, about 4 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index was down 5.4 percent and the Nasdaq was off 6 percent.

Leaders met strong resistance from a liberal wing that opposed bailing out Wall Street's corporate executives and a conservative wing that denounced the measure as an abandonment of free-market principles.

Arguing that the country was on a "slippery slope toward socialism," Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) urged his colleagues to oppose the bill because of the "unintended consequences" to come. "If we lose our ability to fail, we will soon lose our ability to succeed. If we bail out risky behavior, we will soon see even riskier behavior," said Hensarling, the leader of a conservative caucus.

"It's not sustainable and we know it won't solve the underlying problem," said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), likening the proposal to the Bush administration's "surge" of troops into the Iraq war last year.

Many lawmakers cast the vote as the equivalent of a war resolution or a presidential impeachment. Their speeches invoked 19th-century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky and King Henry.

The House vote had been regarded as the most risky, because restive Republicans balked at the emerging proposal last week at a White House summit with Bush and the presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.). And Democrats warned that dozens of their members, hailing from poor and liberal districts, would never endorse such a bailout.
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While it is true that something has to be done, this is not the answer. The rules Bush and McCain put into place made sure this kind of thing would happen when they took away with regulations and rules to insure it would not. They just didn't care what would happen. The truth is, they never seem to think about what comes with what they want.

They didn't think about the troops when they pushed to invade Iraq either. Set aside your thoughts on what has been done in Iraq for a second and open your eyes on a fact that is consistently ignored.

They knew there was no need to rush to invade Iraq. This is no longer being disputed. Did they wait until they had everything in place for the sake of those they would send to do it? No. They took no regard for the troops in Afghanistan. They had no regard for the wounded two military campaigns would bring. In 2005, there were less doctors and nurses working for the VA than there were working after the Gulf War. No one in Washington seemed to have been doing anything about it. Plans were not made for them to return home or to be taken care of back home.

When they made the decision to remove the regulations on corporate activities was made, they didn't think about what would come either. Bush now just expected to borrow his way out of the mess after the rich got richer, greed took control and they went off on their merry way leaving behind a wreckage for the American people. Now they expect the American people who have suffered for all of what they did bail them out because they thought they could scare the daylights out of us? I don't think so. No one can cause us to be even more fearful than we have been all these years because of their actions. The only difference now is that their rich powerful friends are in trouble and now they pay attention to them. Much like the contractors they favored above the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. kc

Florida Coast Guard rescues woman after suicide attempt

Woman, 43, survives jump from top of Sunshine Skyway bridge
By Rita Farlow, Times staff writer
In print: Monday, September 29, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG — A woman jumped off the highest portion of the Sunshine Skyway bridge and lived Sunday evening.

Gina Rue, 43, fell the 197 feet from the center span above Tampa Bay at 5:15 p.m. Boaters alerted a nearby U.S. Coast Guard unit, which pulled Rue out of the water and brought her ashore.

She was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with serious injuries, including back pain and facial lacerations. But Rue was expected to survive, said St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue Lt. Joel Granata.

The Coast Guard unit was only about 200 yards away from where Rue splashed into the water. They were preparing to board another vessel at the time.

"We just happened to be at the right place at the right time," said Shawn Fitchko, 29, a boatswain's mate second class on the unit.

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Couple's fairy tale life ends as lethal mystery

Couple's fairy tale life ends as lethal mystery
By Stephanie Garry, Times staff writer
In print: Sunday, September 28, 2008

PINELLAS PARK — The young couple welcomed the New Year from the swanky Don CeSar Beach Resort.

Wearing silly hats and grinning at the camera, Owen Lollar and Paula Dale-Lollar had reason to celebrate. Married six years, they flew all over the world after collecting an inheritance. Pictures showed them at a ski slope, posing in front of a Christmas tree and drinking with friends.

They had "a very, very loving relationship," said Owen's stepbrother, Jason Armstrong, 33.

So how did they end up shot to death in a pickup truck in an abandoned parking lot on Monday?

Police think it was a murder suicide and wonder how the couple fell so far.

The family isn't so sure.
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When you read the rest of this story, you won't be so sure it was murder-suicide either.

Man accused of strangling wife, holding kids at gunpoint

September 29, 2008
Man accused of strangling wife, holding kids at gunpoint
RIVERVIEW -- An argument in the kitchen escalated into a domestic nightmare for one woman and four children, according to Hillsborough County deputies.

Jeremy Andre Richie Barton, 32, left, was arguing with his wife over "family issues" Sunday night, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter, when he placed his wife in a headlock, pushed her to the floor and punched her repeatedly in the ribs.

Barton, who is 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, according to his booking record, then picked his 32-year-old wife up and choked her, Carter said.

Somehow Barton's wife got free from him and locked him in the garage area, out of the house. Barton retrieved a loaded handgun and fired a single shot at the doorknob lock, Carter said, regaining entry.

Once inside, he lined up his wife and the four children who were in the home at the time against the wall, pointing the gun at them before he fled. The children were ages 2, 4, 8 and 9.

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Stop-loss payouts won’t be retroactive leaving out 148,000

Stop-loss payouts won’t be retroactive

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 29, 2008 7:30:37 EDT

A compromise defense funding bill includes a $500 monthly allowance for service members extended on active duty by stop-loss orders.

But the deal will disappoint more than 160,000 people because it is not retroactive as previously proposed.

Instead, about 12,000 soldiers would qualify for payments under the deal announced Sept. 23.

The stop-loss allowance is included in an omnibus appropriations bill that provides one year of funding for defense, veterans and homeland security programs but temporary funding through March 6 for other federal agencies.

Lawmakers are rushing to pass the omnibus bill before ending the current legislative session. Aides cautioned that while most differences have been resolved, the bill is subject to change if that is what it takes to get it passed.

“Everything is a little fluid at this point,” said a House aide who asked to not be identified.

Limiting the stop-loss allowance to troops whose duty is extended after the appropriations bill becomes law holds the cost to $72 million for fiscal 2009 — a small dent in the $487.7 billion set aside in the defense portion of the bill. Making the benefits retroactive would have cost about $280 million.
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Military Spouses for Change (MSC) Opposes Bailing Out Wall Street While Military and Veteran Families Lose their Homes

Military Spouses for Change (MSC) Opposes Bailing Out Wall Street While Military and Veteran Families Lose their Homes PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE THIS MORNING (http://www.votesmart.org/search.php?search=76544, then click "current elected officials") and tell them that unsuspecting home buyers, workers, and investors, like yourself and your spouse (who serve this country) deserve as much protection as the financially savvy, multi-billionaire corporations that preyed upon you for short-term financial gain. Today Congress is going to vote on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which IMMEDIATELY use $250 BILLION to buy banks' and other financial institutions' LEAST VALUABLE financial investments (i.e. what no one else would buy). The President will be given an additional $100 BILLION dollars to use at his discretion to bail these companies out. Finally, $250 BILLION is going to be set aside for future bailing out.

WHAT IS MISSING FROM THIS PACKAGE? Assistance for homeowners who were lured into home loans that they would ultimately not be able to afford. In May, Bloomberg.com published an exclusive report stating that "[i]n the midst of the worst surge in mortgage defaults in seven decades, foreclosures in U.S. towns where soldiers live are increasing at a pace almost four times the national average." Moreover, Paul Sullivan, from the non-profit Veterans for Common Sense told Bloomberg, "`We've never faced a situation like this, not in the Vietnam War, World War II, or the Korean War, where so many military are in danger of losing their homes.'' We don't know about you, but how many of us really know what "subprime" means? Or "adjustable" rate? Did you know that while veterans comprise eleven percent of Americans, they simultaneously represent TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of our homeless population? MSC does not opposed helping Wall Street.

We appreciate the need for the government to intervene. But we also believe that the individual tax-payer needs help too and this current plan rewards the predators and punishes the prey. When Congress tells us they do not have the funds to increase mental health services or family support services, how can we allow this bail out plan to move forward? We urge you to take a few minutes out of your morning to call just one of your representatives. Tell them who you are, where your spouse serves, and that you have had it with the rhetoric of supporting the troops (and veterans). Please spread the word. You have a voice. Don't be afraid to use it!

Your ally in change,

Carissa Picard--
Carissa Picard, Esq.President
Military Spouses for Change
P.O. Box 216
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
"Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, 'the greatest,' but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is."Sydney J. Harris

Man charged with attempted murder of Marine on leave

Bridgewater man faces attempted murder charge in shooting of Marine home on leave

BRIDGEWATER —A township man faces an attempted murder charge after he allegedly shot a 21-year-old Marine who was home on leave late Friday, authorities said.

Jared J. Armbruster, 26, allegedly shot Lance Cpl. Joseph Patischnock in the abdomen near 3rd Street and Fulton Street, Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest said. He did not immediately say what led to the shooting.

Patishnock was listed in stable condition Saturday after undergoing surgery.

At about 11:30 p.m. Friday, police responded after several 911 calls reporting that shots had been fired in the area, Forrest said. Investigators found spent bullet casings at the scene, but the victim had already been taken to the hospital.
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Stress takes toll on police officers' mental and physical health

Stress takes toll on police officers' mental and physical health
By Anxiety Insights

posted Monday, 29 September 2008

Policing is dangerous work, and the danger lurks not just on the streets.

The pressures of law enforcement put officers at risk for high blood pressure, insomnia, increased levels of destructive stress hormones, heart problems, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide, John M. Violanti, PhD, research associate professor at the University at Buffalo Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Public Health and Health Professions and colleagues have found through a decade of studies of police officers.

More than 400 police officers have participated in the study to date, with the researchers aiming for 500. The clinical examination involves questionnaires on lifestyle and psychological factors such as depression and PTSD, in addition to measures of bone density and body composition, ultrasounds of brachial and carotid arteries, salivary cortisol samples and blood samples. The officers also wear a small electronic device to measure the quantity and quality of sleep throughout a typical police shift cycle.

Results from Violanti's pilot studies have shown, among other findings, that officers over age 40 had a higher 10-year risk of a coronary event compared to average national standards; 72 percent of female officers and 43 percent of male officers, had higher-than-recommended cholesterol levels; and police officers as a group had higher-than-average pulse rates and diastolic blood pressure.

"Policing is a psychologically stressful work environment filled with danger, high demands, ambiguity in work encounters, human misery and exposure to death," said Violanti, a 23-year veteran of the New York State Police. "We anticipate that data from this research will lead to police-department-centered interventions to reduce the risk of disease in this stressful occupation."
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McCain list of votes against veterans is disgraceful especially from a veteran

Vets on McCain & Life On The Ledge
By jimstaro

Sun Sep 28, 2008 at 08:20:09 AM EDT
The following video ad was produced by veteran inlookout and linked, in the replys, in an initial writeup posted at Vet Voice after the Debate.
John McCain Loves Cutting Veterans Health Benefits

This is what is in the video description:
After watching McCain in the first presidential debate pander about how much he cared about veterans, I found his statements so disingenuous I decided to put together this video highlighting the hypocrisy of his words.
Those early thoughts on the Debate were given by veteran Brian McGough on the front page of Vet Voice McCain Overstretches his Support of Veterans and Troops

In tonight's debate John McCain said "I know the veterans, I know them well, and I know that they know that I'll take care of them, and I have been proud of their support and their recognition of my service to the veterans, and I love them, and I'll take care of them, and they know that I'll take care of them."

click link for the full text of how many votes McCain did not give veterans when he could have voted for them if he really did in fact support them. The videos are posted on the sidebar of this blog. Big thanks to Jim for finding these videos.

Minn. faith council convenes forum on Iraq vets

Minn. faith council convenes forum on Iraq vets
Associated Press

Last update: September 28, 2008 - 11:22 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Governor's Council on Faith and Community Service Initiatives is getting faith groups together this week to focus on serving Iraq war veterans.

The Minnesota Veterans Outreach Forum will focus on the needs of Iraq war veterans, current soldiers and their families.
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Don't deprive veterans of Montrose facility

Comment sent into Lower Hudson Journal news - West Harrison,NY,USA from member of NAMI

• September 29, 2008

Don't deprive veterans of Montrose facility
The decision on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs to turn over 100 acres of the 184 acres of the Montrose VA facility to developers is quietly "moving too fast and in the wrong direction," according to Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi and advocates for veterans rights. As the sister of a Vietnam veteran, I saw first-hand the devastating effects that war has on the human mind and spirit. I also believe that these facilities built to serve the needs of our veterans stand on sacred land bought and paid for with profound human suffering.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 500,000 veterans have a service-connected disability due to a mental illness. Other than orthopedic problems, mental health is the second largest area of need for veterans.

Understanding the crippling effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and the disproportionate percentage of substance abuse and suicides among veterans, it would seem that the Montrose VA would be expanding access to inpatient and outpatient treatment, housing, and supportive services that would enable these wounded warriors to partake of the American ideal that led them to serve in the first place.

Castle Point is not an acceptable alternative. How many Washington bureaucrats would sit still if their doctors expected them to travel 25 miles further from home for treatment?

I urge every citizen of Westchester County to speak out at the forum at the Montrose Complex on Oct. 14. Contact Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer and your local representatives.

Brigid E. Kenney


The writer is a board member, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Westchester.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Normandy D-Day Monument unveiled

Monument honoring Navy's D-Day efforts is unveiled in Normandy
By Matt Millham, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Sunday, September 28, 2008

SAINT-MARIE-DU-MONT, France — It’s been more than 64 years since Irving Shapiro was last in Normandy, and he had at least a couple of good reasons for not wanting to go back.

Each of them earned him a Purple Heart on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when, as a sailor aboard LST 492, he made two trips to and from Omaha Beach —Bloody Omaha, as it’s sometimes called — to drop off men and equipment and to pick up the dead and wounded.

Now in a wheelchair, something drew him back to Normandy and to the memories he said he’s tried hard not to think about.
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General Carter Ham would have 24 months between deployments

Just one more thing McCain got wrong when he voted against giving more dwell time between deployments. General Ham, well he has the best interests of the troops in mind.

Training soldiers for battle not only priority
By Nancy Montgomery, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Sunday, September 28, 2008

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Tough, thorough and relevant training for soldiers before they deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan is Gen. Carter Ham’s top priority. But it’s not the only one.

Ham has been assessing U.S. Army Europe policies and programs since his arrival as commander at the beginning of the month. He sees room for improvement.

On family support, he said, "I think we’re doing OK."

"First, they want their soldiers home," Ham said. "Next they want predictability. That’s a big rock in my rucksack."

Letting people know how often they’ll deploy and how much time they’ll have between deployments is difficult as the U.S. continues to call on its soldiers to fight two wars now in their fifth and seventh years and transform all at the same time — and with a new administration taking over in four months.

During a trip to Iraq last week, Ham and commanders there discussed the difficulty of repeatedly getting troops and equipment ready to deploy again after one year’s "dwell time," and spoke of how superior 24 months between deployments would be.

"A year sounds like a long time. But there’s block leave, returning equipment, schools …," Ham said. "You want to deploy them as well-trained as you can but you don’t want to deploy them tired. We want to give them as much time as we can at home."
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Obama and fallen soldier's name rumor-false

How did this end up making it's way around the net as "Obama can't remember the name on the bracelet he wears?" But after you read this, keep reading to find out how this one is not totally true either.

Sen. Obama responded saying, "I've got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant - from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, given to me in Green Bay. She asked me, 'Can you please make sure another mother is not going through what I'm going through?' No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain because they're carrying out the missions of their commander in chief. And we honor all the service that they've provided. Our troops have performed brilliantly. The question is for the next president: 'Are we making good judgments about how to keep America safe? Precisely because sending our military into battle is such an enormous step."


In February, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on the moment when Tracy Jopek gave Obama the bracelet, and Obama's mentioning of Jopek after he won the Wisconsin primary.

"We're here because of the mother I met in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who gave me this bracelet that I'm wearing," Obama said then. "Inscribed on it is the name of her son Ryan. Next to his name it says...'All gave some but he gave all.' We are here because it is time to ask ourselves as a nation if we are serving Ryan and his compatriots and all our young brave men and women as well as they are serving us. They need us to end this war and bring them home and give them the care and the benefits that they deserve."

Ryan Jopek was 20, a member of the Wisconsin National Guard like his father. He deployed to Iraq in 2005, was killed there in 2006.

In February 2008, Ryan's mother Tracy and his sister Jessica traveled to Green Bay and waited in the cold for 45 minutes to give Obama her son's bracelet. A campaign staffer arranged it so they could meet him.

"I didn't get to say what I wanted to say. I just cried," Tracy Jopek told the newspaper. "It wasn't for anything but for him to know this is real, something he needed to know. . . I do believe (the war) needs to end, but I believe it needs to be done very carefully and very thoughtfully."

She said she was honored by Obama mentioning her son in his speech.

"I couldn't believe it. It was such an honor, such an honor," she said. "To know that he does know his name. It means a lot."


But a month later, Ryan's father Brian -- who is no longer married to Tracy -- told Wisconsin Public Radio that his ex-wife had misgivings about Obama wearing the bracelet and mentioning their son on the campaign trail. It seems as though just as Tracy Jopek supports Obama and wants to end the war, Brian Jopek has a different take on what should happen in Iraq and may be more inclined to support McCain.

(You can listen to Brian Jopek about 10 minutes into THIS CLIP.)

After pointing out that he and Tracy are not married anymore, Brian says that "from what I understood from email exchanges with Tracy….she wanted to put a name, she wanted Sen. Obama to know Ryan's name...She wasn't looking to turn it into a big media event...She just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself."

Bryan Jopek went on to say that "because of some of the negative feedback she’s gotten on the Internet, you know Internet blogs, you know people accusing her of… or accusing Obama of trying to get votes doing it… and that sort of thing, she has turned down any subsequent interviews with the media because she just didn’t, she just didn't want it to get turned into something that it wasn’t. She had told me that in an email that she had asked, actually asked Mr. Obama to not wear the bracelet anymore at any of his public appearances."
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It's really amazing how people can be so fooled!

Then again they didn't notice that McCain lied about the way he feels about veterans either. He says he cares, but votes against them. As for other "issues" no one noticed that McCain doesn't wear a flag pin anymore. What's up with that?

Is there something wrong with is face? Seriously, he doesn't look right.

But then you'd have to believe everything you hear,,,,, turns out the first report on this post is not the whole story.

Soldier's mother 'ecstatic' about Obama's bracelet

AP foreign
Monday September 29 2008

Associated Press Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The mother of a Wisconsin soldier who died in Iraq says she was ``ecstatic'' when Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama mentioned during Friday's debate the bracelet she gave him in honor of her son.

Tracy Jopek of Merrill told The Associated Press on Sunday she was honored that Obama remembered Sgt. Ryan David Jopek, who was killed in 2006 by a roadside bomb.

Jopek criticized Internet reports suggesting Obama, D-Ill., exploited her son for political purposes.

``I don't understand how people can take that and turn it into some garbage on the Internet,'' she said.

Jopek acknowledged e-mailing the Obama campaign in February asking that the presidential candidate not mention her son in speeches or debates. But she said Obama's mention on Friday was appropriate because he was responding after Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, said a soldier's mother gave him a bracelet.

``I've got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant - from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, given to me in Green Bay,'' Obama said during the debate. ``She asked me, 'Can you please make sure another mother is not going through what I'm going through?' No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain because they're carrying out the missions of their commander in chief. And we honor all the service that they've provided.''
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As you can see, it turns out there is a lot of false reporting being done in this country. This is from The Guardian and an AP report. While McCain found it easy to just bring up the fact he wears a bracelet, and has done so many times, Obama respected the meaning of it too much to just use it as a "show of support" and only did it when McCain pulled his stunt.

Another thing that gets overlooked is the fact Obama is on the Veterans Committee and knows how McCain votes against veterans yet when Obama had the chance to correct the false claim McCain always comes out with when he had the chance, he didn't. He should have because the veterans in this country deserve to be reminded of how little McCain has "proven" how he says he supports them.

Unfortunately part of getting emails and alerts means having to read some idiot making false claims intended to damage the "enemy" in their own eyes. In the process these people are not only attacking truth, their lies attack the men and women who serve this country and are paying attention to what is truth and what is nothing more than attempts to keep the truth from being reported. This "Gateway Pundit" is notorious for doing just that.

Busted... Soldier's Family Told Obama Not to Wear Son's Bracelet!
By Gateway Pundit(Gateway Pundit) Matthew Stanley, a resident of New Hampshire and a soldier that lost his life in Iraq in 2006. Obama said that he too had a bracelet. After fumbling and straining to remember the name, he revealed that his had the name of Sergeant Ryan

This mother lost her son and asked Obama to wear his bracelet. While she is very happy that he did and understood when he mentioned the name of her son, what was being reported at first was that Obama couldn't even remember his name, which was proven false. Having failed at trying to spin that one, they turned around and further insulted this woman by saying she was against him wearing it. Now we know that is not true as well but these people have no shame and find no problem using anyone to support their twisted minds.

To support the above that Tracy Jopek was not against Obama, we have this also reported on Army Times, again the report from the AP,,,,,

Mom of GI defends Obama mention of bracelet
The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Sep 29, 2008 13:35:58 EDT

MILWAUKEE — After Tracy Jopek gave Sen. Barack Obama a bracelet in honor of her son who was killed in Iraq, she asked Obama not to mention the bracelet on the campaign trail.

But Jopek told The Associated Press on Sunday that she’s satisfied with how Obama discussed it during last week’s presidential debate.

Jopek gave Obama the bracelet at a Green Bay rally in February. It has the name of her son, Sgt. Ryan David Jopek, and the date the 20-year-old was killed by a roadside bomb, Aug. 2, 2006. “All gave some — He gave all,” it says.
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Gunfire at block party leaves 400-600 shocked and 2 dead

Two killed in gunfire at Apopka block party
Sara Clarke Sentinel Staff Writer
11:29 AM EDT, September 28, 2008
Two people were killed when gunfire erupted at a block part in Apopka on Saturday night, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
About 400 to 600 people were attending the block party in the area of South Hawthorne Avenue and West 15th Street in Apopka. Gunfire broke out at about 11 p.m, and five people were struck, authorities said.
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Chicago police officer shot, critically wounded

Cop shot, hurt critically
A Chicago officer and a suspect are both hospitalized in critical condition after a shooting early this morning.

A man in a parked car shot and critically wounded a Chicago police officer early Sunday morning on a residential South Side street, police said. The suspect was then critically wounded when officers returned fire.

Police Supt. Jody Weis said the 39-year-old officer -- a 14 year veteran -- was shot in the head and chest and taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. His identity was not released pending family notification.

Weis said the suspected shooter was listed in critical condition at Stroger Hospital.
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'My brother-in-law has been shot'
At the scene, at the hospital
One dead, one critical in South Side shooting

ILL Vietnam vet spent hours asking for help but ignored

"I'm pretty upset. I was willing to fight for my country," Carroll said. "I felt like a piece of dirt in the street.

Veteran: Requests for help were ignored
FULLERTON, Calif., Sept. 28 (UPI) -- An ill Vietnam War veteran in California says police and passers-by ignored his requests for help as he lay in the sun for hours.

Timothy Carroll, 61, of Fullerton said he was walking home from his doctor's office last Thursday when the 84-degree heat, combined with his diabetes and Bell's palsy, forced him to lie down in the grass exhausted, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Saturday.
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Orlando Reserve unit back from Iraq gets big 'Welcome home'

Orlando Reserve unit back from Iraq gets big 'Welcome home'
By Helen Eckinger Sentinel Staff Writer
September 28, 2008
When Donovan Lewis was 11 months old, his father was deployed to Iraq.

"It was difficult for him," Donovan's mother, Victoria Lewis, of Sanford said Saturday as she manned the refreshments table at a welcome-home ceremony for the Army's 841st Engineer Battalion at the First Baptist Church of Orlando while Donovan, now 2, rifled through a nearby cooler. "He's an only child, and he couldn't understand why Daddy wasn't there."

On Saturday, Donovan's father, Reginald Livingston, and about 30 of his fellow members of the 841st were honored for their service in Iraq, where they were deployed for 11 months before returning home in May.

During its deployment in Iraq, the battalion's primary mission was to find and remove improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. Over the course of the tour, the unit disabled 104 IEDs and cleared more than 88,000 kilometers — almost 54,000 miles — of roadway. It did not, Maj. Ernie Hernandez said, lose a single member.
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Tampa Bay Matt Bryant emotional after son's death

Matt Bryant leads Bucs to emotional win
Sep 28, 2008 16:11 -0400

Updated: 55 minutes ago
A day after burying his 3-month-old son, Tampa Bay kicker Matt Bryant hit a 24-yard field goal with 2:26 to play, giving the Buccaneers the lead and pushing them to an emotional 30-21 home victory Sunday over the Green Bay Packers at sold-out Raymond James Stadium.
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Gold Star Mother's Day needs to remember the suicides as well

How many mothers who have lost a son or daughter because of their service will not be remembered this day? How many will be left out of the "honor" others receive when a child is buried because they lost their lives in service to this nation?

Shortly after World War I the Gold Star Mothers Club was formed in the United States to provide support for mothers that lost sons or daughters in the war. The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their homes. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the military. Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, and those who had lost their lives were represented by a gold star. Gold Star Mothers are often politically and socially active. Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any American woman who has lost a son or daughter in service to the United States. On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother's Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor. USC Title 36 Sec. 111 The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.

If you think it's impossible for this to happen, it's happened hundreds of thousands of times, perhaps even millions of times since this nation formed. The sons and daughters lost because of the enemy within themselves. Post traumatic stress disorder, the wound no one can see with their eyes, has killed men and women with greater determination than any enemy could ever envision.

While we talk about the numbers on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, stunned by the loss, we refuse to acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of them took their own lives here back home where they were supposed to be safe and out of harms way. Could you imagine the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall with hundreds of thousands of names on it? We also don't see the names of those who have died because of Agent Orange.

While we talk about the numbers of the loss of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan under 5,000 combined, we fail to acknowledge that there have been tens of thousands more who have ended their lives by suicide.

Natural mothers, adoptive mothers or stepmothers, who are citizens or legal residents of the United States or of the territorial and insular possessions of the United States, and whose son or daughter has made the supreme sacrifice while in the service of the United States of America Armed Forces, or died as a result of such service are eligible for membership in American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

While I do not know if they allow parents of those who committed suicide to have the full honor as one who lost a child by a bullet or bomb, there are many in this country who believe that a suicide does not count as a loss due to service of this nation.

How many parents, wives, husbands and children are also left behind because someone they loved was willing to lay down their lives for the sake of this nation but came home, wounded by PTSD and lost hope enough that they saw their own way out of the pain they felt from this wound? Their way out was to end the life. They died as a result of this wound no less than those who have died as a result of a wound someone could see with their eyes.

We need to acknowledge all of the men and women who have lost their lives because of their service to this nation or we do not honor the loss at all.

We need to take action to save as many of them as we can and help them to heal this wound. If we do not, if we do not count all of them, take care of them, we have honored none of them.
Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

What Happens When We Die?

This is a fascinating article in the sense that it misses much of what is obvious to religious people.

What Happens When We Die?
By Ashley Neglia

Is the mind an extension of the brain or its own entity?

The relationship of the mind to the body has been a debate that’s raged on for centuries. Dr. Sam Parnia, critical care doctor, director of the Human Consciousness Project and author of “What Happens When We Die,” seeks to settle this debate through AWARE (AWAreness during Resuscitation), a division of the Human Consciousness Project. Find out what Parnia had to say when AOL Health sat down with him for an interview.
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Scientist fail to see that the "mind" is not really what they think it is. The human brain is not capable of doing what science thinks it can. Just as we say that people "have a good heart" the heart is only an organ that pumps blood. It does not feel, it is not touched by love and does not cause acts of kindness. The mind is not what feels the treasured memories it holds. It does not form character. It miss-functions. It is taken off balance by chemical changes. It is hereditably/genetically damaged but the character comes from another place within each of us. Emotion is translated in the mind but it does not originate there. All of this begins and ends in Heaven.

Our soul, the soul that lives within each and every human comes from Heaven and will return to Heaven when these bodies are no longer alive. When the mind and heart shut down, the love, compassion, a beliefs live on within the soul.

We have proof of this in the Bible itself.
In Genesis we read "God breathed life" into Adam. The body was already formed but the life was the soul that God sent into the body of Adam.

Jeremiah 1
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

The "you" is not the body but the soul. The soul formed in Heaven by God and sent to live within the body. The "life" that God breathed into Adam was the soul and Adam was already "alive" but without soul before that.

When scientist do not understand that we are not just what the see with their eyes and tests and machines, they will be more able to understand what makes us who/what we are.

Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with a veteran. Clearly he was deeply troubled and PTSD was evident before he confirmed it. He said that he hated God. That God was evil because of what He refuses to do when men do evil things. When children suffer and starve all over the world and evil people seem to be rewarded. He said that there is no good in this world so in his mind, God is evil.

During our conversation I asked him what he thought God was doing when Christ surrendered His life on the cross, taking the world of sins upon Himself and being abandoned by His Father. He tried to change the subject but I could see he was thinking of this for the first time.

God couldn't have done what He did if there was any evil in God. The perception that God controls all is disproved when we read that God formed mankind the same way the angels were formed, with freewill. God did not want to force worship or obedience on anyone. Because of this, man is free to choose what they will or will not do. When people refuse to do good, God is blamed instead of Satin. Christ did not come to do evil upon this earth. Each act was done with love, compassion and mercy. Christ did this knowing that His life would end the way it did yet lived out His days filled with the glory of God's love for all of His children. If we believe that Christ did in fact come, did in fact do the acts reported in the Bible, did in fact suffer and die for our sake, then how could we ever think that God is evil?

The veteran began to think of what I was saying. I don't know how much of what I said got through to him but time will tell.

Veterans have a very difficult time dealing with their need to serve as being something good, yet having to do what they see as evil in order to do what they see as good. Serving the country, being willing to die for the sake of others, is the noblest calling, no matter if it is a veteran, a police officer or firefighter or anyone else willing to lay aside their own lives for the sake of others. They tend to look at all people the same way. There is the enemy they fight on one side and their counterparts on their side, but each has their own ability to be evil or good. Some say that those who serve are evil because they are willing to kill, but if you ask any veteran if they enjoyed killing it would take a sociopath to say they did. It is something they have to do because here is evil in this world.

God created a warrior before He created man and that was the Archangel Michael. God knew that freewill would have some turn away from Him just as some turned toward Him. There would have to be protectors for the faithful.

This does not mean that God created wars but created man with freewill to wage wars and blame God for all of them. Did God send men to wage wars? Some of them just as some of them were not what God wanted but what some men wanted claiming to have been God's will. This has never been more clear than the decision to invade Iraq when President Bush said during a presidential debate that " It's God's will that all men be free" but there has never been a case in the Bible when God said that all men shall be free but only that they have freewill. God and Christ addressed slaves and how to treat them. Even the Roman centurion had compassion for his servant when He went to Christ asking that he be healed.

When abolitionists sought to free the slaves in America, they did this with compassion seeing them as God's children living up to the ideals of the formation of this nation that all men are created equal. Yet again people went to war doing what they believed in. The southerners, who wanted to keep slaves did not see themselves as evil but the northerners did and visa versa. There were evil acts just as there were heroic acts on both sides. While their minds convinced them they were on the right side, it was not their minds that gave them the ability to be willing to lay down their lives for what they believe in. That came from their soul and what they believed God wanted of them. Still what this also involved for some was that God was supporting one side over another. Thinking God chooses sides when all of His children are involved because there were cases in the Bible when God did pick sides, wipes out the personal relationship with God. This is where we mess things up the most.

It is easy to hate and see someone as an enemy. It gives us the ability to no longer see them as another imperfect human trying to do the best they can with what they've been given. It's harder to try to understand them, find compassion for them, hold off judgment of them and see them as other people with the soul from God within them.

After studying veterans with PTSD there is a common factor within the majority of them. They are caring people, sensitive of others. This is one of the basic factors in compelling them to want to help, protect and serve. That willingness comes from deep within their foundation. When they think of risking their lives for others, this is foremost in their thoughts. They are not thinking of killing another human as the first thought. They see saving others as their first thought. What comes after is what wounds them.

When scientists finally understand that the mind is not the origin of this wound, they will begin to find the way to help them heal. If they continue to misunderstand what makes all of us human, ignoring the soul, they will prolong the suffering.

They need to all come together with the other researchers studying the connection between the soul of faith and the healing of the body to fully understand what connects all the parts of us together.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

John McCain calls taking care of veterans a "burden"

While McCain had the nerve to repeat his tired old line of how much he cares about veterans, the truth is shown in his votes. The post on The Bruce Blog is right on what it claims about McCain. I've been reading about all of this for years, almost as long as McCain has been in the Senate.

McCain enjoyed education provided by the VA/Government and because tax payers believed it was a non-negotiable debt we owed those willing to serve. He enjoyed VA disability benefits, again because tax payers believed taking care of the veterans was a priority our conscience would not allow us to ignore. While McCain never had to worry about having his medical care taken care of, paying bills or working in the private sector, or dealing with anything our veterans face on a daily basis, he was never concerned with the condition of their lives.

While McCain has about 9 homes and 13 cars, too many of our veterans have no home and sleep in their one car. McCain's answer to his abundance is reminding people that "he had no home" when he was a POW. This statement is his answer for everything regarding veterans and his votes against their needs. While veterans simply assume he deserves their support simply because he is one of them, McCain has never earned that right. How is it that every other politician has been held accountable by veterans but McCain gets a free pass to do damage to them?

Veterans are a loyal bunch. They want to take care of each other because they have a commitment to each other. They are not stupid but their hearts refuse to look at McCain's record of votes against them. Is it so hard to believe they would be so deplorably betrayed by one of their own?

America can no longer afford to ignore the facts that cannot be spun. We cannot afford to believe false claims that have been proven to be false while the media stars ignore it all and just let these kind of statements pass as if they were true. They have an obligation to report facts. The veterans in this country deserve it and were willing to die for it. They did not risk their lives to be lied to especially by someone they trusted as one of their own.

When I hear McCain say how much he supports veterans it makes me ill. How this man can get up and lie to the American people as easily as he tells the truth means his conscience is so twisted and corrupted that he can never be trusted by anyone. He hasn't earned the support he gets from veterans and should have been held to a higher standard because he is one of us. Veterans and their families deserve a lot more out of him but he's failed us every time he's had the chance to prove how he feels about veterans in this country.

McCain won’t give up on the idea of privatization, even as new funding for veterans’ care has been made available. According to a report last month by Inter Press Service, McCain called for privatizing veterans’ medical care and for ending universal health care for veterans.

Describing these guaranteed services as a “burden,” McCain stated that privatized care would be more efficient.
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Two Canadians hurt during outpost attack in Afghanistan

Two Canadians hurt during outpost attack in Afghanistan
Tom Blackwell , Canwest News Service
Published: Sunday, September 28, 2008
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Two Canadian soldiers were hurt, one of them seriously, when Taliban insurgents attacked an outpost west of Kandahar City on Saturday with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

One of the soldiers has been released from hospital, and the other is in stable condition but will be transferred to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

"I just came from speaking with him. The soldier is in very good spirits," said Colonel Jamie Cade, deputy commander of Canada's mission in Kandahar. "He's going to be OK."
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linked from ICasualties.org

Teen survives, 4 killed in medevac crash

Teen survives, 4 killed in medevac crash
Story Highlights
Medevac helicopter crashes on way to hospital; 4 dead

Teenage patient survives the crash and is taken to hospital

Pilot said he was diverting around bad weather before radio contact was lost
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A medical evacuation helicopter crashed in suburban Washington late Saturday night, leaving four people dead, a Prince George's County Fire Department spokesman said.

The Maryland State Police helicopter was en route to Prince George's Hospital with two patients who had been critically injured in a Charles County, Maryland, car crash.

The copter went down in the Ritchie, Maryland, area, spokesman Mark Brady said.

The pilot, a paramedic, an emergency medical services technician and one of the patients were killed, he said.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Congress Passes Sweeping Veterans' Mental Health Legislation

Congress Passes Sweeping Veterans' Mental Health Legislation
Akaka notes that bill is a tribute to Justin Bailey, an Iraq War veteran lost to suicide
By Jesse Broder Van Dyke, 9/27/2008 11:37:38 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, expressed great satisfaction with Senate passage of S. 2162, a sweeping veterans’ mental health care bill. S. 2162, the Veterans Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008, passed the Senate today by unanimous consent. The bill makes various improvements to veterans’ mental health care and other forms of health care, and is a tribute to Iraq war veteran Justin Bailey.

“Justin’s story is far too common: he survived the war in Iraq only to be lost to PTSD and substance abuse-related suicide,” said Akaka. “Invisible wounds such as PTSD are an injury - and an enemy - that many veterans face when they return home from war. This bill will provide better mental health support for our wounded warriors.”

S. 2162’s improvements to veterans’ mental health care include:

Setting a standard minimum level of care for substance use disorder, and creating innovative enhancements to treatment

Improving treatment to veterans with multiple disorders, such as PTSD and substance use disorder

Mandating a review of VA’s residential mental health care facilities, to ensure that they are adequately staffed

Creating a research program on PTSD and substance use disorder, in cooperation with the National Center for PTSD

Enabling VA to provide mental health services to veterans’ families, and setting up a program to aid the families of returning servicemembers
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Text of this Bill

4-legged prescription for veterans' stress

4-legged prescription for veterans' stress
John Koopman, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, September 27, 2008
Abelardo Rosas served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He'd been hit by 13 improvised bombs, suffered head trauma and was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

A couple of months ago, he barely spoke to anyone. He was sullen and surly and not responding to treatment at the PTSD clinic at the Veterans Affairs health center in Menlo Park.

Then he met Vegas, a sweet, good-natured golden retriever with a shiny coat and sad eyes.

Rosas had volunteered to participate in a pilot program - veterans at the clinic would train canines to become assistance dogs to aid disabled veterans, those who had lost limbs or are confined to wheelchairs.

Something about the dog touched Rosas. He'd grown up with dogs; he has seven of his own back in Texas. He's the kind of guy who picks up strays from the side of the road. When he had to take care of Vegas, and learn to train him, his emotions re-emerged.

"He has a constant need for attention," Rosas said of Vegas. "You can't ignore him. All I want to do is hang out with Vegas."

Rosas is one of nine veterans at the clinic who have been learning to train the dogs as part of a program called "Paws for Purple Hearts." The program is the brainchild of Rick Yount, a trainer with the Assistance Dog Institute of Santa Rosa.
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Jamie Dolan survived being shot

Claims and denials
Jamie Dolan survived being shot. And the new house reduced his struggle. He has learned to live in darkness, but he struggles with an enemy as unexpected as the gunman: His insurance company.

Jamie Dolan arrives at a Starbucks clutching his wife's arm and the first thing you notice is he seems fragile, weighted, broken. His left eye is covered with a patch; his fingernails are long. Four years ago, a gunman walked into the Gateway Mall RadioShack where Dolan worked and started shooting. Three people died, including the shooter. One bullet traveled into Dolan's temple and took out both his eyes.

The community rallied around the young husband and father of three. The television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition built him a 3,500-square-foot home. The episode ended with a joyful, overwhelmed Dolan surrounded by family, cheered by his neighbors, optimistic about the future.

But he is no longer the man you saw on the show. Since then, the Dolans have almost lost the house, and the community donations are long spent.

"We had to borrow from everyone we knew to keep food on the table for the kids," Dolan says at Starbucks, surrounded by his four attorneys.
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McWounded: John McCain and PTSD

McWounded: John McCain and PTSD

In the first Presidential debate, Senator John McCain exhibited an emotionally flat "shutdown" response when he did not appear irritable and cross. He refused to make eye contact with Obama, favored grandstanding over dialogue, and stated that he would refuse to come to the table with world leaders who don't agree with him. If in place of the Paris Peace Talks, Henry Kissinger, McCain's hero, had displayed similar attitudes back in the 1970's, we might still be in Vietnam.

McCain's posturing has a mothball whiff, like the contents of a time capsule from the 1950's. But before we renew our subscription to that particular brand of leadership and heroism, let's take a closer look.

Back in the 1950's, children of the Great Generation fathers found their Dads to be cold, angry, unknowable, and/or out-of-touch. What we didn't know then but do know now is that in the aftermath of World War II, many brave men who saw intense action came back from the war to start families still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) --a then-misunderstood illness that will endure life-long if left untreated. A hair-trigger temper, impulsive behavior, numbed emotions, disassociated responses, and flat expression are all hallmarks of this real disease.

The person's original traumatic experience (and their neurological response to it) become hardwired into the body, causing ongoing deterioration in key areas of the brain. In PTSD, to protect itself from the external dangers, the body will neurologically freeze or over-activate or both, releasing a cascade of neurochemicals and hormones that shut down many normal responses and functions for the sake of survival. Once the dangers pass, the responses still continue permanently.
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I don't know if McCain has PTSD or not but he does show there is a possibility he has it. 100% of people who have been tortured develop PTSD, at different levels, so it is very possible he does have it, but that is not the most troubling thing about McCain to me. The most troubling fact, what I know for sure, is that McCain was tortured, but ended up approving of Bush torturing detainees under what he called anything but out and out torture. It was clear this was being done and now, McCain admitted it was being done in the debate with Obama, then added that he didn't approve of it.

McCain said he supports veterans, but has not been on the Senate Veterans Committee and in fact, voted against veterans funding bills for most of his career. Service organizations give McCain a failing grade when it comes to what veterans need and real support.

McCain voted against the dwell time between deployments all experts said was needed for the sake of the troops. Yet again, McCain put his views ahead of the troops and what they needed.

McCain loves to remind people he is a veteran but is never reminded of the fact he was supported by tax payer funds to go to college and was treated for his wounds along with collecting a disability check every month. Checks and treatment he can count on but others can't.

These are the things I find more troubling about McCain than the conclusion most people are making about his mental fitness to head this nation.