Category Archives: Military

High school students give homeless-friendless veteran a final farewell

Catholic Memorial High School (CMH) is a co-ed Catholic high school in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Established in 1949, CMH opened as a parochial school for St. Joseph’s parish, named for the 23 men of St. Joseph’s who died in World War II. Later, the dedication of the school was extended to include all graduates and former students of CMH who have died in service to their country. With 80 faculty and an enrollment in 2016-2017 of 660, Catholic Memorial is a college preparatory school and a participant in the International Baccalaureate Program.

The school’s motto is “Caritas in Omnibus”, Latin for “charity in all things”.

True to their school’s motto, when Catholic Memorial students learned that a homeless U.S. Army veteran, known only as John, had died on the streets with neither family nor friends, the students decided to give John a final send-off that he deserves.

Bill Shields reports for CBS Boston that on Nov. 15, 2017, John was buried with full military honors.

But before an Army hearse took his flag-covered casket away, there was a memorial Mass in Catholic Memorial’s chapel, presided by Rev. Chris Palladino, who volunteered his services and the eulogy.

After the memorial Mass, a contingent of Catholic Memorial High School seniors carried John’s flag-draped coffin to the waiting hearse, accompanied by the playing of taps.

CMH President Peter Folan explained:

“For us paying homage to a veteran, to bring him to our campus, to provide the burial rights he deserves, and to honor his legacy and to help our boys realize we have to stand with those who are marginalized.”

CMH senior class president Will Padden said:

“We have a lot of veterans in my own family so I know the sacrifice he made for the country and I know the service he committed in the years he committed to serving our country. John in this case needed a family and we were there to be John’s family.”

In life, John didn’t have any family. But in death he found a huge family at Catholic Memorial High.

~Eowyn

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Women of SNL release statement in support of Al Franken

al franken

Al Franken: A devoted and dedicated family man…

Y‘all may regret that decision, ladies.

From Entertainment Weekly: Women who worked with Al Franken on Saturday Night Live are stepping out to support him — 36 “SNL Women,” to be exact.

The comic-turned-senator, who spent a total of 15 years on the series as a writer and performer, faced sexual misconduct accusations by KABC radio anchor Leeann Tweeden last week, who claimed Franken groped her and kissed her without consent during a USO tour in 2006, and even released a photo of Franken appearing to be grabbing her breasts while she was sleeping. Franken has since apologized and Tweeden accepted it, and now, his former colleagues are speaking out in solidarity with him.

“We feel compelled to stand up for Al Franken, whom we have all had the pleasure of working with over the years on Saturday Night Live (SNL),” begins a statement signed by the 36 women, including Not Ready for Prime Time Players Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman. “What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public. In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant. That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard.”

Last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live didn’t exactly go easy on Franken. “Now, I know this photo looks bad, but remember — it also is bad,” Colin Jost quipped during Weekend Update, later adding, “Sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It’s pretty hard to be like, ‘Oh, come on, he didn’t know anything — he was only 55.’”

I believe the womyn supporting Franken wrote this letter before pictures surfaced of Franken groping Arianna Huffington during a photo shoot. Oops…

DCG

North Carolina fire department loses funds over Confederate flag

uwharrie volunteer fire department facebook photo

Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department photo from Facebook

From Fox News: A fire department in North Carolina stands to lose at least $19,000 because of its refusal to remove a Confederate flag from its property. 

The Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department has been flying the Confederate flag in front of the fire station for years. Firefighters say it represents history and heritage, not racism. 

“The flag is not hurting a thing,” Lee Hudson, with the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department, told WFMY. “We are not a racist department. We are not in any way. Members or the department as a whole.”

Montgomery County Commissioners (click on link to contact them), however, disagree.

“The Board of Commissioners stated their position, that they did think the flag was inappropriate and requested for the fire department to take it down,” Montgomery County Manager Matthew Woodard (click on link to contact Mr. Woodard) told WFMY.

The Board of Commissioners sent firefighters a letter last week saying that they will withhold funding for the department until it takes down the flag.

The Charlotte Observer reports the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department gets $19,000 a year from Montgomery County, plus $400,000 annually for fire trucks. The department was organized as a non-profit corporation in 1983.

Firefighters said they do not plan on removing the Confederate flag any time soon.

“We would love to work with the county and for them to support us,” said Hudson. “But, we’re not going to move on the issue of taking down the flag.”

I found a GoFundMe page for the volunteer fire department. From the page:

“Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department is a small rural fire department located in the middle of the Uwharrie National Forrest.  We have served our community and surrounding communities since 1983.  The departments volunteers have families, jobs, and are active in local churches.  We have 3 fundraisers per year to obtain the necessary funds to provide first response operations to our community and surrounding fire districts.  The restriction the county has placed on our funds makes the burden that the volunteers carry that much heavier.  All donations received will go towards continued operations, firefighting equipment and turn out gear for the volunteers.  The UVFD has always been heavily supported by its community and would like to say thank you for all of your support.  The support the Fire Dept. has received during the recent days has been overwhelming and encouraging not only from our local residents but those from other states as well.

We will continue to serve our community regardless of the restrictions placed upon us.”

If you’d like to donate, go here.

DCG

Colorado VA kept secret wait lists for vets’ mental health care

misadministration

Par for the course under Obama’s administration. See also:

From Fox News: A new government watchdog group found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Denver violated policy by keeping improper wait lists to track mental health care that veterans received.

Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General confirmed whistleblower and former VA employee Brian Smother’s claim that staff kept unauthorized lists instead of using the department’s official wait list system.

That made it impossible to know if veterans who needed referrals for group therapy and other mental health care were getting timely assistance, according to the report. The internal investigation also criticized record-keeping in PTSD cases at the VA’s facility in Colorado Springs.

Patients there often went longer than the department’s stated goals of getting an initial consult within a week and treatment within 30 days, investigators found. In one case, a veteran killed himself 13 days after contacting the clinic, which was supposed to see him within a week.

Investigators said the unofficial lists did not always identify the veteran or requested date of care, and they could not determine how many veterans were waiting to receive help and for how long, even with the help of staff at the facilities.

“My worst fears have been realized in this Inspector General’s report that Chairman Johnson and I demanded,” Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardener said in a statement. “It highlights even more VA mismanagement and lack of accountability in Colorado. This cannot happen again, and it’s time for the VA to finally wake up and ensure our men and women are getting the best care possible. I will continue to work with Chairman Johnson to ensure the accountability that somehow the VA refuses to accept.”

Smothers, who worked at the VA in Denver as a peer support specialist on the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical support team, informed Gardner and his fellow senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, last about the VA facilities in Denver and nearby Golden using wait lists for mental health services from 2012 until last September. Gardner (I think they mean Smothers here) resigned from his post at the VA shortly after going public, citing retaliation from VA officials in Colorado.

“Putting veterans on secret wait lists is not acceptable,” Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said in a statement. “The VA should implement changes to provide the highest quality care for our veterans and hold wrongdoers accountable. I thank Brian Smothers, the whistleblower who bravely came forward to shed a light on these unacceptable practices at the VA so they can be prevented in the future.”

Speaking to the Associated Press, Smothers said he was disappointed the report didn’t make clearer that VA staff knew full well what they were doing. “We renamed the files ‘interest lists’ so people wouldn’t know we were breaking the rules” on how to maintain wait lists, Smothers said.

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care system said in a statement that while it agreed with much of the report’s findings it bristled at the idea that its wait lists were “secret.” The statement says that “nothing about this process was secret” and that it was discontinued once staff became aware it violated VA policies.

DCG

Today’s outrage: Shooting range billboard says “the only time we take a knee…”

jersey shooting range billboard

Rather Annoying Communist Inspired Silencing Tactic.

From Philly.com: A  gun range in Camden County is resisting calls to take down two billboards that activists say aggravate racial tensions and mock NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with race,” said Wesley Aducat, owner of the South Jersey Shooting Club in Winslow Township, which put up one of the billboards several weeks ago near Route 73 in Voorhees Township. The second appears on a digital sign near Routes 73 and 130 in Pennsauken. “It’s just support for our veterans.”

The signs say: “The only time we take a knee…” and show the silhouette of a person shooting a rifle, with the website of the club at the bottom.

Aducat said he supports the right to protest but doesn’t agree with kneeling during the anthem, particularly since many of the club’s members are veterans. He said he has no plans to remove the billboards.

That has upset the NAACP’s Camden County East chapter. It says the signs twist the message of kneeling, which is meant to bring attention to systemic racism and police brutality against people of color.

“We’re talking about police murdering unarmed black people,” NAACP member Keith Benson Sr. said. He called the signs racially divisive and has encouraged people to call the club to complain. “They deserve all the disrespect they’re going to get as a result of putting it up. But they probably thought they were clever. They probably thought they were strong, patriotic Americans.”

South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, a group that formed after the 2016 presidential election to empower women, has also told its members to call the club. Susan Druckenbrod, one of the group’s members, said she recently talked to an employee: “I told them the billboard was offensive, and he said, ‘That’s nice,’ and he hung up.”

Druckenbrod had one word for the billboards: “Racist.”

“We’re living in a very difficult time right now. People are trying to stand up for black and brown people to say, ‘Hey this is not right,’” she said. “That sign really is just mocking the idea of taking a knee.”

The shooting club, which says it is affiliated with the National Rifle Association and requires members to join the NRA, operates along Piney Hollow Road in Winslow, just off the Atlantic City Expressway. (Carmen Console, the club’s membership director, said he had nothing to do with the billboards, despite being named in social media posts as the person to call).

On the club’s Facebook page, people left comments both supporting (“Love the sign on 73!”) and criticizing the signs. One woman wrote, “I’m sure there’s a way to advertise responsible common sense firearm training and use that’s not offensive.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

We have a winner!

. . . for FOTM’s 162nd Caption Contest!

This was a very competitive contest, with 54 entries, and many very clever captions. So if don’t see your entry recognized, don’t be hurt or discouraged — sense of humor is a very subjective thing.

The FOTM writers duly voted, each for what he/she considered to be the best (#1) and second-best (#2) captions. Each #1 vote is worth 4 points; each #2 vote is worth 2 points.

And the winner of FOTM’s 162nd Caption Contest, with two #1 votes and one #2 vote, totaling 10 points is . . .

Jurist!

Here’s the winning caption:

Never before has someone so undeserving been so applauded by so many so deluded

Matthew W is a close second-place runner-up, with one #1 vote and two 2 votes, totaling 8 points. Here’s his caption:

“Awww crap !!! I thought I was getting the “Order of Lenin.”

MomOfIV, SmKay and YouKnowWho are in 3rd place, each with one #1 vote and 4 points. Here are their captions:

MomOfIV: “and behind Obama is Satan, waiting in line for his medal…for as we know, evil shadows the powers of govt until the Light destroys it.”

SmKay: “I should wear gloves, I hope it’s not contagious!”

YouKnowWho: “Ash Carter loses Pin The Tail On The Donkey game.”

EdK, kjf, and SmK are in 4th place, each with one #2 vote and 2 points. Here are their captions:

EdK: “Here is your hot dog medal, or do you receive a pizza medal? I always get you perverts confused.”

kjf: “Just like your peace prize sir?”

SmK: “Another perfect example on why I am against handing out participation and last place trophies.”

Well done, everyone!

Congratulations, Jurist!

Here’s your fancy-schmancy Award Certificate of Great Excellence, all ready for framing! LOL

StrawberrydancingbananaCarrotChilliMuffinPurpleBananaPineappledancingbananaCarrotChilliMuffinPineappleStrawberry

For all the other caption submissions, go here and here.

Be here tomorrow for our next very exciting Caption Contest!

~Éowyn

Another Hollyweird project to avoid: “Last Flag Flying” starring Bryan Cranston

TNT/TBS Broadcasts The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Show

Harvey Weinstein (l) and Bryan Cranston (r)

Last Flag Flying is a movie from Amazon Studios that opened on November 3. The premise, from Rotten Tomatoes:

“In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Richard “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell) re-unites with Former Marines Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo a burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire.”

Since its debut, the movie has made almost $48,000 (at the time I scheduled this post on Nov. 8). That means it ranked #47 on its weekend debut.

The movie stars Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston.

Last November, before Trump was elected, I did a post on Bryan Cranston. He was going to say farewell to the United States after the election results were announced, warninghe would move to Canada if Donald Trump became the next president.

From my post:

“I would definitely move,” he told The Bestseller Experiment podcast when asked what he would do if Trump was elected over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. ‘It’s not real to me that, that would happen. I hope to God it won’t,’ he added. ‘It wouldn’t be a vacation. I’d be an expatriate,’ Cranston added.

Cranston, who more recently played Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, branding him a ‘supreme narcissist’ and an ’emperor without any clothes’ following his controversial campaign.

He’s crude and crass and empty headed. If it weren’t serious, it would be laughable. Here we have a reality show, game show guy who’s now at the top of one of the two parties. That there are millions of people who are going to vote for him says something about, perhaps, disenfranchisement. People who are left out. People who don’t feel they are being listened to.”

Since the election, Cranston has since made a few digs at Trump on his Twitter timeline. He’s also made fun of Barron Trump.

But now, apparently, Cranston has had a change of heart – shortly before this movie was to debut.

On October 30, Breitbart reported the following:

“Cranston — perhaps best known for his role as Walter White in the television show Breaking Bad — slammed Hollywood stars, pundits, and Trump opponents who have previously said they wish to see him fail in office.

“It’s just astonishing to me. President Trump is not the person who I wanted to be in that office, and I’ve been very open about that,” Cranston said. “That being said, he is the president. If he fails, the country is in jeopardy. It would be egotistical for anyone to say, ‘I hope he fails.’ To that person I would say, f*ck you. Why would you want that? So you can be right?”

“I don’t want him to fail. I want him to succeed. I do. I honestly do,” Cranston continued. “And if you’ve got a good idea that helps the country, oh man, I’m gonna support you. I don’t care if you’re a Republican and I’m a Democrat or whatever, I don’t care. A good idea’s a good idea. Let’s do that. We’ve got to get away from this idea that our country is political football, and someone with a different opinion is the enemy. Assume they love this country as much as you do, and there’s always room for improvement. How can we make it better?”

Gee, Hollyweird’s box office sales are in the tank and Sexgate is destroying their reputation. Isn’t it convenient for Cranston to have such a vocal turnaround of Trump right before promotion of his latest movie? What a coincidence!

Another movie I won’t be seeing.

DCG