Memorial Day 2015

eagle in cemetery

Statue of Liberty in tears

Memorial Day

~Éowyn

Chicago Gun Control at Work: 6 killed, 23 wounded in Memorial Day weekend shootings

Welcome to Chicago sign

MyFoxChicago: Six people were killed and at least 23 others—including a 4-year-old girl—have been wounded in shootings across Chicago this Memorial Day weekend, police said.

jacaleThe 4-year-old, identified by her family as Jacele Johnson, was shot about 8 p.m. Friday in the West Englewood neighborhood. She and her 17-year-old cousin Romare Wilson were inside an SUV in the 7000 block of South Justine when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside opened fire, according to their family and Chicago Police.

The girl was shot in the head and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was in critical condition, authorities said. The teen was shot in the chest and grazed by a bullet in the neck. He was in serious condition at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

A 15-year-old girl standing on a sidewalk nearby was shot in the forehead and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where her condition stabilized, police said. Family members said on Saturday that Jacele had been responsive following surgery.

The weekend’s three most recent fatal shootings happened within about an hour of each other in separate attacks from late Saturday into early Sunday on the South and Northwest sides.

In the West Englewood neighborhood about 12:45 a.m. Sunday, four people were denied entry to a party in the 6100 block of South Honore, police said. The four males then surrounded the party and opened fire, striking three people outside.

A 29-year-old woman shot in the chest and leg was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where she later died, police said. A 39-year-old man shot in the chest was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition, and a 25-year-old man shot in the arm was taken to Holy Cross, where his condition stabilized, police said.

Minutes earlier, one man was shot dead and another wounded in South Shore. They were standing on the sidewalk in the 7900 block of South East End Avenue at 12:27 a.m. when a gunman fired shots, police said. One of them, age 32, was shot in the neck and taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Another man, whose age was not available, was shot in the buttocks and took himself to Jackson Park, where his condition was stabilized.

About 11:45 p.m. Saturday, a man thought to be between 20 and 30 years old was discovered shot to death in the Albany Park neighborhood, police said. He was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound to his face in an alley and pronounced dead at the scene in the 4700 block of North Albany, police said.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office could not immediately confirm those three fatalities.

Saturday afternoon, a 24-year-old man was found fatally shot in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. Charlie R. Weathers had a gunshot wound to the head when officers found him about 12:45 p.m. in the 0-100 block of North Laramie, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Weathers, of the 5000 block of West West End Avenue, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:01 p.m., authorities said.

Early Saturday morning, a 20-year-old man was found shot to death in University Village, police said. Officers responding to the 1000 block of West 14th Place about 2:10 a.m. found a 20-year-old man unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The medical examiner’s office had not confirmed the fatality as of late Saturday.

The holiday weekend’s first fatal shooting happened about 1:45 a.m. Saturday in Wicker Park. Carlos F. Marino, 34, was sitting on the front porch of a home with two other people in the 1700 block of West Pierce when someone walked up and opened fire, authorities said. Marino, who lived on the same block as the shooting, was struck in the chest and shoulder and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:34 a.m., authorities said.

The most recent nonfatal shooting happened in a possible drive-by attack about 12:35 a.m. Sunday in Roseland on the Far South Side. A 33-year-old man was in a backyard in the 200 block of West 101st Street when he “heard shots and felt pain,” police said. He was shot in the leg and taken in good condition to Roseland Community Hospital.

At least 16 other people have been wounded in separate shootings since 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Look, another fool who voted to re-elect me!

Look, another fool who voted to re-elect me!

Chicago voters just re-elected Emanuel to his second term, in which he claimed he’s going to focus on troubled youth in his second term. Good luck with that.

See also:

DCG

Bugler honors deceased veterans with a personal touch

Philip Kowzan/US Air Force Photo

Lt. Col. Philip Kowzan/US Air Force Photo

Spokesman-Review: Taps is 24 notes that can make the toughest soldier cry. It’s a musical recognition of a life ended, a goodbye that hangs in the air as friends and family wipe their tears, look up and know they must live the rest of their lives without someone.

Since 2001, retired Army Reserve Lt. Col. Philip Kowzan, has played taps at military honor funerals in the Spokane area. His debut came unexpectedly at longtime friend Ivan Brayman’s funeral. “They had a recorder there and I said, ‘No, you’re not using that, not at my friend Ivan’s funeral,’ ” Kowzan said.

A lifelong trumpet player, he got his trumpet out of the car, took a deep breath and played for his friend one last time. “I wasn’t in uniform or anything,” Kowzan said. “I’m not even sure I did it right.” That was the only time he played taps in 2001.

But since then, he’s played at 1,259 funerals, sometimes playing at three services in the morning and another three in the afternoon. “I did seven one day,” Kowzan said. “That’s a lot.”

Every funeral Kowzan has participated in is meticulously recorded in a little black notebook, its cover worn from being carried in his pocket. When he ran out of notebook pages, he switched to a small three-ring binder.

He tries to get the funeral program and the obituary from each service, and he’s working on creating a leather-bound scrapbook that will be given to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery. “It’s become my mission,” Kowzan said, flipping through the pages of his notebook, recognizing many of the names.

At 77, Kowzan is long retired, first from the Army and then from a job with a whirlpool spa company.

kowzan

He plays in several bands with his wife, Carol Kowzan, and has just picked up viola, so he wouldn’t mind slowing down his bugling career. It’s just that he knows of only three other bugle players. “Once in a while a new person shows up,” Kowzan said. “But we desperately need younger people.”

Kowzan doesn’t charge anything, though he doesn’t turn down a donation to cover gas and a sandwich for lunch. His spotless, well-fitting uniform cost him $500.

The Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake pays him a $25 stipend – for a whole day. “It’s 23 miles out there, so if I have funerals in the morning and the afternoon, then I don’t go home,” Kowzan said, smiling.

Kowzan is not complaining, he’s just truly worried that battery-operated, digital bugles with built-in MP3 players will take over, leaving a sterile monotone presentation of a very emotional piece of music. “Sometimes the batteries die in the middle of everything,” Kowzan said. “It will never be the same as having a real live person play.”

Age has taken many of his fellow buglers away. “Perhaps people have become complacent?” Kowzan said. “They expect us to be there, but they don’t want to do it.”

Rudy Lopez, director of the Washington State Veterans Cemetery, said that Kowzan, Dave Halverson and Paul Manley form the primary group of buglers used by the cemetery. “He is a very giving individual, and he is passionate about taking care of veterans and their families,” Lopez said, adding that Kowzan was volunteer of the year in 2014.

According to the organization Bugles Across America – a nonprofit that supports buglers – anyone who can play the 24 notes of taps in a style that honors the veterans, their families and the burial detail can become a bugler. “We would love to have high school students join us,” Kowzan said. “They could do it as a community service project.”

Kowzan is the chairman of the Spokane Honor Guard and he said they, too, have dwindling ranks. Military honor guards are provided by veterans’ organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

VFW Post 1435 in Spokane Valley pulls honor guard members from all the VFW posts in the area, said member J.F. “Gunny” Goffinet. “To be in the honor guard you would have to have served in some form,” Goffinet said. “You should contact a veterans’ organization.”

According to www.military.com, eligible veterans are entitled to free military funeral honors, which consist of at least two members of the armed forces, one of whom represents the parent service of the deceased. The minimum service includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the family and the playing of taps.

Kowzan is a purist when it comes to taps – he doesn’t like the echo version fancied by some. “It’s 24 of the most beautiful notes in the world,” Kowzan said. “No need to mess with that.”

He speaks with reverence of the famous cracked note at President John F. Kennedy’s funeral, a slight imperfection that showed the bugler’s emotion.

Being a bugler is a solemn and exposed job, Kowzan said. Standing at the gravesite, in the silence of the cemetery, there’s no one to hide behind as the funeral draws to an end and the bugler walks to the head of the grave.

A small man, Kowzan stands straight, loosens his shoulders, takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. “I see the notes as I play them, one at a time, up and down,” Kowzan said. “And I put them up there in the right place, just like you put cups away in a cupboard.”

We salute you, Mr. Kowzan.

DCG

Find out if your car is recalled for dangerous defective air bag

Takata defective air bags

A few days ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a major recall of defective airbags made by Japanese company Takata for 11 car manufacturers.

About 33.8 million vehicles are being recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both. The airbags, made by major parts supplier Takata, were installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2008. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, and have caused at least 6 deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Nissan explains: “The [air bag] propellant could potentially deteriorate over time due to environmental factors [many years in high humidity conditions], which could lead to over-aggressive combustion in the event of an airbag deployment. This could create excessive internal pressure within the inflator and could cause the inflator housing to rupture.”

If the airbag housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin—a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device.

Cars affected include automakers Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Saab, Subaru and Toyota dating back to the 2001 model year.

Automakers are required to send you a recall notice if your vehicle is under recall. But a quick way to find out, without waiting for your automaker’s recall notice, is go to the Transportation Department’s safety recall website https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/vinLookup or click here.

By entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can find out if your vehicle is subject to the Takata air bag recall or any other safety recalls.

Source: Consumer Reports

~Éowyn

Greek hospitals run out of supplies, turn patients away due to budget cuts

Greece bankrupt

Ben Tufft for the UK’s Independent, May 23, 2015, that Greece’s insolvency and indebtedness that left millions unemployed and 2.5 million without medical insurance (out of a total population in 2o13 of 11.03 million), have also led to huge cuts to the healthcare budget.

The result is that Greek hospitals now find themselves unable to provide even basic provisions for operations and medical procedures because they have run out of supplies as simple and essential as painkillers, scissors and bed sheets.

Despite the new Syriza government’s reducing the €5 fee for attending state hospitals and pledging to hire 4,500 more health workers, healthcare spending has fallen by 25% since 2009, creating shortages of the most basic surgical equipment and leaving too little money to pay nurses’ salaries.

Reports have surfaced of patients being turned away from hospitals because there was no meter to measure their high blood pressure, while others have had to do without painkillers during medical procedures. One patient was even asked to bring their own sheets to hospital.

A trainee surgeon at KAT, a respected state hospital in Athens, said the situation was at “breaking point”: “There is no money to repair medical equipment, no money for ambulances to use for petrol, no money to hire nurses and no money to buy modern surgical supplies.

The news comes as the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, warned the country would run out of money in a matter of weeks. By June 5, Athens must repay the IMF €300m ($330.075 million), but should Eurozone creditors not agree to release a €7.2bn loan it is likely Greece will default. A further €820m ($902.205 million) is due just days later.

It is unclear what this would mean for Greece’s position in the euro club.

A report by Reuters just 3 hours ago says that Greece’s interior minister said today that the government cannot make debt repayments to the IMF next month unless it achieves a deal with creditors. This is the most explicit remarks yet from Athens about the likelihood of default if talks fail.

In 2013, Greece’s government or national debt is 175.1% of the country’s GDP.

~Éowyn

Democrats Are Crybabies

image

Democrats are Crybabies

When I was five and six-years-old there was an expression common to most five and six-year-olds. That expression was crybaby.

A crybaby is someone who pouts and cries when then they don’t get their way. In extreme cases, a crybaby will even pout and cry when they do get their way. Crybabies are absorbed with themselves, and their outbursts often come at the expense of well-meaning people around them.

A common characteristic of crybabies is their refusal to acknowledge evidence, facts, and common sense. It does no good for mom to explain to little Debbie that she can’t have the sandbox all to herself, because other little children came to the park to play in the sandbox, too. Little Debbie will have none of it. She’ll scream and wail until the parents of those other children pull their sons and daughters out of the sandbox and she has it all to herself.

Most children are taught not to be crybabies. They’re taught that part of growing up involves seeing things from the other person’s point of view, that sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the common good, that personal feelings must often be put aside. Those are all lessons that democrats and progressives have never learned.

Democrats and progressives live life according to their feelings. If something makes them feel good, then they demand it, regardless of the consequences to other people. Like the example of Debbie above in her sandbox, they live in a myopic world ruled by their own capricious desires. They are the ultimate crybabies.

When Lincoln and the Republican Party abolished slavery, petulant Democrats flew into a rage and created the Ku Klux Klan. For more than a hundred years, they terrorized both black and white Americans. Why? Because their feelings were hurt and they didn’t get their way.

Today, 150 years later, that racism still exists in the Democratic Party via welfare, affirmative action, and dumbed down education.

More recently, we’ve seen crybaby Democrats take to the streets in looting frenzies in Missouri and Baltimore. Why? Because the media fed them a false narrative that hurt their feelings. Their reaction? Wail, scream and pout.

Have you ever seen a toddler fly into a rage and knock down a store display or hurl their own toys against the wall? Ask yourself whether there’s really any difference between that child and the childish adults you saw acting out in Ferguson and Baltimore.

Have you ever seen a toddler throw a fit in a supermarket or other public place? You would think that any reasonable parent would take the child quietly outside until they cooled down. However, my experience has been the opposite. I almost always see the parent ignoring the child, who continues to scream, wail and destroy, much to the detriment of the other shoppers. The parent doesn’t care about those other shoppers.

Ask yourself whether there’s really any difference between the actions of those parents and the actions of the Democratic Governor of Missouri, who apparently ordered the National Guard to stand down during the recent riots, or the actions of the Democratic Mayor of Baltimore who gave the rioters “space to destroy.”

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Are you beginning to see a connection between the actions of the parent and that of the crybaby child, and the actions of the leaders in the Democrat Party and that of the crybaby rioters? Each one feeds the other, and it all stems from a lack of maturity, a refusal to face reality, and a total disregard for the wellbeing of others.

The parent of that crybaby child is unconcerned with that child’s future development. Their only concern is with their feelings in the present moment, even if it hurts the child. Likewise, the leadership of the Democratic Party is unconcerned with the future development of society and its citizens. Their only concern is with their present feelings, even if it hurts the very people who look to them for leadership.

Crybabies and those who enable them have no concern for the rights or feelings of others. Their only concern is with themselves. For a child or five or six, that’s understandable. For an adult who belongs to the Democrat Party or calls themselves Progressive, it’s inexcusable.

Democrats are crybabies.

Pentecost Sunday: How to listen to the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:1-4

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

pentecost2

Today, the universal Church celebrates Pentecost, the arrival of the Holy Spirit, whom our Lord Jesus Christ sends to be with us, always. Given His importance, it is distressing how little we actually know about the Third Person of the Triune Godhead.

This much we know, from Jesus’ own words: The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete (advocate, counselor, comforter) and the “Spirit of truth”.

John 15:16-27; 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”

Given that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth itself, it is important that we seek and heed His counsel.

But how? How do we listen, and how do we know when the Holy Spirit speaks?

Here are some suggestions from Charisma News and a few from my experience:

1. Pray for wisdom: “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” With sincerity and humility, ask the Holy Spirit to counsel, enlighten and guide you, especially when you have just received Holy Communion and/or before the Eucharist in the tabernacle.

2. Listen to the Spirit: The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many ways —

  • In the Bible: God is always speaking through His Word. Apply what you read to your life and you’ll position yourself for additional truth and wisdom—no matter how God communicates it to you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • As a still, small voice in our mind.
  • As a flash of understanding.
  • In a dream or vision: St. Joseph was told by an angel to “not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Matthew 1:20). St. Peter fell into a trance (see Acts 10:10). St. Paul had supernatural encounters—whether in the body or out of the body, he did not know (see 2 Cor. 12:13). St. John wrote the entire book of Revelation based on a supernatural vision.
  • Through our surroundings in our daily lives: God spoke to Solomon through his practical experiences, an account of which is in Proverbs 24:30-34: “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles covered its surface, and the stone wall was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it; I looked on it and received instruction: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep, so your poverty will come like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.” If you keep a listening ear, you’ll discover that God will speak to you through and about many things just as you go about your everyday life.

3. How do we know that it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to us:

  • By the message’s goodness: Remember that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune Godhead. He will never counsel you to do ill or harm.
  • By its persistence: When the Holy Spirit wants you to do something, He can be very persistent.
  • By your sense of peace: When you listen and heed His counsel, your heart, mind and soul will be at peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7.

For a beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit, go here.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Éowyn