There are so many important causes out there, and I love to hear of people giving to charities they care about. For Jonathan Rosenburg, a dotcom millionaire, the cause he supports is "unwanted" cats, or those that would otherwise be euthanized.
It is shocking to me to know that 3-4 million animals are euthanized by shelters each year in the US (and that number is low by some estimates). And until we can get every animal spayed and neutered, and get everyone going to shelters to adopt vs. breeders, then people like Jonathan Rosenburg are saving animals from a sad fate and giving them the love and medical attention they need.
Millionaire Invests In Feline Futures
CBS Evening News: New Jersey Man Left Career To Open A Sanctuary For Neglected, Unwanted Cats
RINGOES, N.J., Jan. 26, 2009 by Richard Schlesinger
(CBS) It took Jonathan Rosenberg 51 years and one wildly successful dot-com career to find his true calling. "It's this world that's so much more satisfying," Rosenberg said. Rosenberg gave up computers for … cats. Somewhere around 100 cats, to be exact. At a swanky cat sanctuary he built in New Jersey, he's loved cats for years - and he put his money where his heart is, CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports. Roughly how much of his money has he spent on this project? "Ah, somewhere north of $2 million," he said. The sanctuary is named for one of the great loves of his life: Tabby, his cat of 15 years who died in 1999. Rosenberg never met a cat he didn't like - and some of the cats hanging around his sanctuary are tough to love, such as one named Jackie. "She'll act friendly," Rosenberg said. "You can pet her for five or 10 seconds, and then she'll go after you." Sure enough, she attacked. All of the cats there come from shelters and were scheduled to be euthanized. Not all of them are troubled, but a lot are. One cat, Mozart, has what is politely called "urinary issues." Another, Tashi, has back legs that don't work. He gets physical therapy. Another one, Star, is actually allergic to people. Obviously, it can be hard to find homes for some of these cats but it can be done. About 550 cats have been adopted - and more than 100 of them have been, so called "special needs" cases. If they're not adopted, all of them will live out their lives with medical care and love - even if they don't really want it. "Wouldn't it have been more rewarding for you to take cats that are easier to adopt out?" Schlesinger asked. "No," Rosenberg said. "It wouldn't be because my heart really goes out to the cats like these, that I shouldn't say no one else wants, but for the most part no one else wants." And while caring for cats, Jonathan Rosenberg and his wife, Sharon, were touched by humans. "They could take this young cat, but they're willing to take this cat with heart disease, or this diabetic, and care for it knowing its going to break their hearts," Rosenberg said. It never hurts to be reminded: Animals with some of the worst problems can bring out the best in people.
article and video courtesy- MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
"Zombies ahead! Run for your lives!" read one altered sign, according to KXAN in Austin.
Run for Cover!
Pranksters in Austin, Texas, hacked computerized road signs to warn drivers of an unusual hazard on Monday. The signs appeared on Lamar Boulevard, a major city thoroughfare.
"Nazi Zombies! Run!!!" warned another, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
The pranksters apparently cut the padlocks that guard the computers on each individual sign, the local media reported, and hacked the computer password. The new signs went up Monday morning.
No zombies were actually sighted. The most obvious problem seemed to be rubber-necking drivers slowing down to photograph the fright-fest warnings.
Nevertheless, officials were quick to take the hooligans to task.
"This is really serious, and it is a crime," Sara Hartley, a spokeswoman for the city Public Works Department, told KXAN. "It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," said Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, according to Fox News. The network noted that tampering with road signs is a misdemeanor crime.
The hackers didn't make fixes easy for officials, either. The Dallas Morning News reported that after changing the signs, they changed the passwords, too.
The city had to wait several hours until the manufacture reset the passwords before the warnings could be changed.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
posted: 27 January 2009 09:05 pm ET
There seems to be more than just names involved, however.
The study, involving 516 dairy farmers and published online Tuesday by the journal Anthrozoos, found that "on farms where each cow was called by her name the overall milk yield was higher than on farms where the cattle were herded as a group," write researchers Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University.
Nobody likes to be herded. Even a cow, one might presume. Indeed, the findings in fact point to an overall personal touch that — just a guess here — might say as much about the farmers as it does about the cows.
"Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention," Douglas said. "By placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up, we can not only improve the animal's welfare and her perception of humans, but also increase milk production."
Happy cows. Okay. Well, if you are a farmer (especially one with a small farm that struggles to be profitable by milking only a handful of cows) you probably would not argue with success. Cows, after all (and in case you thinking of judging them as dumb animals) are known to have a magnetic sixth sense and are not as prone to cow-tipping as you might have heard. Who knows what else they are capable of?
Dairy farmer Dennis Gibb, who co-owns Eachwick Red House Farm outside Newcastle with his brother Richard, says he believes treating every cow as an individual is vitally important. "They aren't just our livelihood — they're part of the family," Gibb said in a statement released by the university. "We love our cows here at Eachwick and every one of them has a name. Collectively we refer to them as 'our ladies' but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality."
46 percent said the cows on their farm were called by name.
66 percent said they "knew all the cows in the herd."
48 percent said positive human contact was more likely to produce cows with a good milking temperament.
Less than 10 percent said that a fear of humans resulted in a poor milking temperament.
"Our data suggests that on the whole UK dairy farmers regard their cows as
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1. Sean Connery - coffin polisher. Back when Sean was still known as Thomas Sean, he held a series of odd jobs to help his family out during the depression. These included delivering milk, driving a truck, and polishing coffins.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I woke up early this morning, well, early for a Saturday anyway, and turned on the Today show. I had already heard yesterday about George Anthony (the grandfather of slain toddler Caylee Anthony) having been hospitalized for disappearing and possibly attempting suicide.
I have followed this case from afar; I didn't really need to search out any information, it has been covered relentlessly. This is a terribly tragic case any way you look at it. From what I have watched and really paid attention to, I do believe that Caylee's mother Casey is guilty of causing her child's death, or at the very least being involved. I have been amazed when seeing snippets of her interrogations, or any interviews, at her seemingly self-involved, spoiled, and immature manner.
Are her parents involved? Do George and Cindy know more than they are saying? Did they have something to do with a cover up? I have no idea. I find it a little hard to believe having heard Cindy's initial 911 call (which was played ad nauseum when the case first hit the news), and knowing it was she who got the police involved and hearing the frantic panic in her voice for her granddaughter. However, at this point at least, there is no way to know.
This morning on the Today show, when covering George's break last night, some footage was shown of the media camped out in front of their house--probably ten vans, some even parked on top of the curb in front of the Anthony's home. Most shocking to me, though, was the video of one family, strangers to the Anthony's, pounding on their front door screaming horrible things about them being murderers, etc. (these 'protesters' brought their children with them also). The family was charged with trespassing, and you can watch this 'protesters' meltdown below.
My feeling is this. I understand the anger everyone is experiencing. And as the latest details were released about Caylee's remains, believe me, I want justice for her. However, the non-stop parade of 'concerned citizens' camped out in the Anthony's yard yelling obscenities doesn't serve as justice. The woman in the above video may be a 'concerned citizen', but if you ask me, she is also off her nut.
Many people have judged George and Cindy Anthony for supporting their daughter. Many have assumed they must be involved in order to do this. And maybe they are. However, it is also just as likely that they have lost their granddaughter, and the thought of losing their daughter, too, is so hard to bear. It is also likely that trying to accept that your daughter could be a murderer is a slow concept to grasp, and a devastating reality to face. Whatever the truth, their lives are in shambles, and if they are indeed involved, it is the job of law enforcement to find the truth, not strangers who bring along their children to the Anthony's residence to hurl accusations through closed windows and doors.
There have been several articles posted since Caylee's remains were found about how 'popular' the area has become for people to drive by or stop. What the hell, people? What good is that for anyone? I know some people may feel the need to leave a memorial of some type, but when the level of traffic to the site becomes newsworthy, that is just creepy.
The media fuels this madness, giving the protesters their 15 minutes of fame, no doubt luring new 'protesters' to the Anthony's lawn. Every excruciating detail of this case comes through as breaking news on every news channel.
A similar disturbing event happened several weeks ago during the tragedy for the Travolta family, when their son Jett died at age 16. I was watching a very reputable news station and was appalled to see their news cameras literally chasing the ambulance that was carrying Jett to the hospital. Once at the hospital, the news crew tried desperately to get film of Jett being removed from the ambulance. Several hospital personnel and policemen were able to keep that from happening, but I sat there in shock. Who would want to see that? What have we become that a news crew goes to that length to feed a hungry public with those desires?
The media will only stop covering minutia, invading privacy, and exploiting the ridiculous when we stop watching. The question is, will that ever happen?
Given the non-stop coverage, knowing his granddaughter his dead, his daughter is in jail--likely to be convicted, protesters and media on his lawn harassing him endlessly, I can see why George Anthony cracked, no matter what his involvement.
What I don't see is why the whole world needed to know this bit of information.
I actually saw this movie a few weeks ago, and with all of the Oscar and awards hoopla the past few days, it reminded me that I needed to post about this movie. One reviewer said "It is brilliant in a million different ways", and I would have to agree. I love leaving the theater and feeling like I have experienced something unique, something that makes me think, and something moving. Slumdog Millionaire delivers in all these areas.
For a quick synopsis without giving away too much, a young man who has grown up an orphan in terrible poverty finds himself a contestant on India's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He is winning and winning big, and the show's host and others cannot fathom how such a "slumdog" could know all these answers. He is accused of cheating and must explain himself. He does so by flashbacks of his life.
All I can say is that the story is so compelling, the actors all excellent, and the movie itself is deserving of every award it gets. Go.see.it.
The children in this movie amazed me. They really tell the story behind the story and I was so drawn into their faces and voices. The movie also has fantastic soundtrack, if you go to the official movie website, you can preview some of the songs.
If you have seen it, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!
photos courtesy www.slumdogmillionaire.co.uk
Friday, January 23, 2009
The city's social welfare agency has agreed to house about eight homeless people with their pets at a local soccer club when it is freezing outside.
Michel Faway, secretary-general of the agency, said the programme started because many homeless people refused to come inside without their dogs no matter how cold it got.
"They have to come to the night shelter in Liege first as we obviously can't have 40 of them," he said. "They are then transported by bus to the space."
The project has been a success. All eight beds have been filled on the nights when the service was offered.
Faway hopes to see the scheme expand to other cities.
(Reporting by Sarah Luehrs, Antonia van de Velde; Editing by Nick Vinocur)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I've found that French green lentils and black beluga lentils hold their shape nicely - they don't go to mush in the pot. I sometimes used fire-roasted organic crushed tomatoes, they lend a lovely deep smoky flavor to whatever you use them in. If you come across them, give them a try in this soup. If not, regular crushed tomatoes are just fine. Can't find greek yogurt, no problem - just use whole plain yogurt. Vegans can skip the yogurt entirely and finish the soup with a generous drizzle of good olive oil instead. And just a reminder, this makes a nice big pot of soup, so use a large pot - I eat the leftovers all week.
2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a dollop of the saffron yogurt.
Serves 6 to 8.
- You can serve it with a poached egg on top,- or crunchy, fried shallots,- with a drizzle of chive infused cream,- or with chunks of tiny pan-fried butternut squash cubes.
- Make a thicker version by using just a bit of water, and then spoon it over an omelette in the morning.
- Have some cooked farro or wheat berries around? Toss some in. Millet might be good too.
- You can finish the soup by adding your favorite spices or spice blends. Smoked paprika, crushed chiles, toasted cumin, would all work nicely.
1:18 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Please be seated. Still getting used to that whole thing. (Laughter.) Please be seated. Thank you so much. I wanted to get everyone together on the first day to welcome you to the White House.
From our vantage point yesterday you couldn't help but be inspired by the sight of Americans as far as the eye could see. They were there because they believe this is a moment of great change in America, a time for reinvigorating our democracy and remaking our country. They've entrusted all of us with a great responsibility. And so today I'd like to talk with you about our responsibility to keep that trust.
In a few minutes I'm going to be issuing some of the first executive orders and directives of my presidency. And these steps are aimed at establishing firm rules of the road for my administration and all who serve in it, and to help restore that faith in government, without which we cannot deliver the changes we were sent here to make -- from rebuilding our economy and ensuring that anyone who is willing to work and find a well-paying job, to protecting and defending the United States, and promoting peace and security.
However long we are keepers of the public trust we should never forget that we are here as public servants and public service is a privilege. It's not about advantaging yourself. It's not about advancing your friends or your corporate clients. It's not about advancing an ideological agenda or the special interests of any organization. Public service is, simply and absolutely, about advancing the interests of Americans.
The men and women in this room understand this, and that's why you're here. All of you are committed to building a more responsible, more accountable government. And part of what that means is making sure that we're spending precious tax dollars wisely and cutting costs wherever possible.
During this period of economic emergency, families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington. And that's why I'm instituting a pay freeze on the salaries of my senior White House staff. Some of the people in this room will be affected by the pay freeze, and I want you to know that I appreciate your willingness to agree to it, recognizing that it's what's required of you at this moment. It's a mark of your commitment to public service.
But the American people deserve more than simply an assurance that those who are coming to Washington will serve their interests. They also deserve to know that there are rules on the books to keep it that way. They deserve a government that is truly of, by, and for the people. As I often said during the campaign, we need to make the White House the people's house. And we need to close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely, and lets them use their time in public service as a way to promote their own interests over the interests of the American people when they leave.
So today we are taking a major step towards fulfilling this campaign promise. The executive order on ethics I will sign shortly represents a clean break from business as usual. As of today, lobbyists will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration in history. If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am President. And there will be a ban on gifts by lobbyists to anyone serving in the administration, as well.
Now, the new rules on lobbying alone, no matter how tough, are not enough to fix a broken system in Washington. That's why I'm also setting new rules that govern not just lobbyists, but all those who have been selected to serve in my administration.
If you are enlisting in government service, you will have to commit in writing to rules limiting your role for two years in matters involving people you used to work with, and barring you from any attempt to influence your former government colleagues for two years after you leave. And you will receive an ethics briefing on what is required of you to make sure that our government is serving the people's interests, and nobody else's -- a briefing, I'm proud to say, I was the first member of this administration to receive last week.
But the way to make a government responsible is not simply to enlist the services of responsible men and women, or to sign laws that ensure that they never stray. The way to make government responsible is to hold it accountable. And the way to make government accountable is make it transparent so that the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how they're being made, and whether their interests are being well served.
The directives I am giving my administration today on how to interpret the Freedom of Information Act will do just that. For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city. The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but those who seek to make it known.
To be sure, issues like personal privacy and national security must be treated with the care they demand. But the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. The Freedom of Information Act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent, and of holding it accountable. And I expect members of my administration not simply to live up to the letter but also the spirit of this law.
I will also hold myself as President to a new standard of openness. Going forward, anytime the American people want to know something that I or a former President wants to withhold, we will have to consult with the Attorney General and the White House Counsel, whose business it is to ensure compliance with the rule of law. Information will not be withheld just because I say so. It will be withheld because a separate authority believes my request is well grounded in the Constitution.
Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.
Our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the American people about how decisions are made. It means recognizing that government does not have all the answers, and that public officials need to draw on what citizens know. And that's why, as of today, I'm directing members of my administration to find new ways of tapping the knowledge and experience of ordinary Americans -- scientists and civic leaders, educators and entrepreneurs -- because the way to solve the problem of our time is -- the way to solve the problems of our time, as one nation, is by involving the American people in shaping the policies that affect their lives.
The executive orders and directives I'm issuing today will not by themselves make government as honest and transparent as it needs to be. And they do not go as far as we need to go towards restoring accountability and fiscal restraint in Washington. But these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country. And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people in the days and weeks, months and years to come. That's a pretty good place to start.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
(The executive order and directives are signed.) (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Lisa, our schedule now -- the swearing-in is going to be taking place, and the Vice President is going to be carrying that out? Okay.
Before the Vice President does that, let me just say how proud I am of all of you. This is an extraordinary collection of talent, and you inspire great confidence in me. I think the more the American people get to know you, the more you will inspire great confidence in the American people. All of you have made extraordinary sacrifices to be here. Many of you have brought your families here; they're making extraordinary sacrifices.
But what a -- what a moment we're in. What an opportunity we have to change this country. And for those of us who have been in public life before, these kinds of moments come around just every so often. The American people are really counting on us now. Let's make sure we take advantage of it. I know you will. So thank you for your commitment.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama's inaugural address was cooler, more measured and reassuring than that of other presidents making it, perhaps, the right speech for the times.
President Obama renewed his call for a massive plan to stimulate economic growth.
more photos »
Some inaugural addresses are known for their soaring, inspirational language. Like John F. Kennedy's in 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.''
Obama's address was less stirring, perhaps, but it was also more candid and down-to-earth.
"Starting today,'' the new president said, "we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America.'' Watch Obama's inaugural address »
At a time of crisis, a president needs to be reassuring. Like Franklin Roosevelt, who said in his first inaugural in 1933, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'' Or Bill Clinton, who took office during the economic crisis of the early 1990s. "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America,'' Clinton declared at his first inaugural.
Obama, too, offered reassurance.
"We gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord,'' Obama said.
Obama's call to unity after decades of political division echoed Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address in 1861. Even though he delivered it at the onset of a terrible civil war, Lincoln's speech was not a call to battle. It was a call to look beyond the war, toward reconciliation based on what he called "the better angels of our nature.''
Some presidents used their inaugural address to set out a bold agenda.
At his first inaugural in 1981, Ronald Reagan said, "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.'' George W. Bush defined the essence of the neoconservative agenda when he said at his 2005 inaugural, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.''
President Obama did talk about having "big plans.'' But he insisted they be practical. "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small,'' Obama said, "but whether it works.''
Obama certainly knows how to be stirring. And he was at least once in his inaugural address when he talked about his new approach to diplomacy.
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,'' Obama declared, "but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.''
Are you listening, Iran?
Obama's was a cool speech, not a hot speech. That's what a lot of people like about the new president. He's reassuring -- "No-Drama Obama.''
At a time of mounting national anxiety, cool is good.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I couldn't help thinking how terribly cold that water must have been for everyone, as it was cold in Charlotte today, and even colder in NY. It seems rescuers got to the plane rather quickly, thankfully.
The crash was caused by a flock of birds flying into one or both engines. Is there seriously nothing they can do about this? Some screen on the front of the engines or something? It is such a random thing that obviously is so very dangerous. I am sure smarter people than me are working on it, it is just so scary that such an uncontrollable thing could bring a plane down.
Airplane crash-lands into Hudson River; all aboard reported safe
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A US Airways plane with 155 people on board ditched into a chilly Hudson River on Thursday, apparently after striking at least one bird upon takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, according to officials and passengers.
Everyone on board was accounted for and alive, officials said. About 15 people were being treated at hospitals and others were being evaluated at triage centers.
Flight 1549, headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, was airborne less than three minutes, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.
The pilot radioed to air traffic controllers that he had experienced a bird strike and declared an emergency, a New Jersey State Police source said.
"I think a lot of people started praying and just collecting themselves," said passenger Fred Berretta. "It was quite stunning." Watch passenger describe landing »
He said he was expecting the plane to flip over and break apart, but it did not.
"It was a great landing," Berretta said.
Air traffic controllers at LaGuardia saw the plane clear the George Washington Bridge by less than 900 feet before gliding into the water about 3:31 p.m., an aviation source told CNN.
Witness Ben Vonklemperer said he watched the plane from the 25th floor of an office building.
"If someone's going to land a plane in the water, this seemed the best possible way to do it," Vonklemperer said. "The way they hit it was very gradual. A very slow contact with the water."
As the situation began to settle Thursday evening, the flight's pilot, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, emerged as a hero, with praise being heaped on him by passengers, officials and aviation experts.
"I don't think there's enough praise to go around for someone who does something like this. This is something you really can't prepare for," said former Delta pilot Denny Walsh. "You really don't practice water landings in commercial airplanes. Just the sheer expertise he demonstrated is amazing."
US Airways CEO Doug Parker said it would be premature to speculate about the cause of the accident until the National Transportation Safety Board, which is sending a team to the site, completed an investigation.
A source familiar with the situation, however, told CNN the pilot reported a double bird strike, but it was unclear whether that meant birds in both engines or two birds in one engine.
The pilot initially said he needed to go back, and air traffic controllers started to give him clearance to do so, but the pilot said he wanted to head to Teterboro, New Jersey, because it was closer. That was the last transmission from the pilot, the source said.
Passenger Alberto Panero said that within a few minutes after takeoff, he heard a loud bang and smelled smoke. Watch passenger say he heard a loud bang »
"That's when we knew we were going down and into the water. We just hit, and somehow the plane stayed afloat and we were able to get on the raft. It's just incredible right now that everybody's still alive."
Passenger Jeff Kolodjay of Norwalk, Connecticut, said he was sitting in seat 22A, near one of the engines.
"The captain came on and said, 'Look, we're going down. Brace for impact.' Everyone looked at each other and we said our prayers. I said about five Hail Marys," said Kolodjay, who was headed to Charlotte to play golf.
"The plane started filling with water pretty quick," he said. "It was scary. There was a lady with her baby on my left-hand shoulder, and she was crawling over the seats." Watch footage of plane in water »
Police, fire and Coast Guard boats, along with commercial ferries, were quickly on the scene as passengers lined up on slightly submerged safety chutes.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said later Thursday that the plane was tied to a pier at Battery Park City in lower Manhattan. As night fell, Coast Guard and FDNY boats remained at the scene.
President Bush commended those involved in the rescue. "Laura and I are inspired by the skill and heroism of the flight crew as well as the dedication and selflessness of the emergency responders and volunteers who rescued passengers from the icy waters of the Hudson," he said.
Bloomberg also commended the pilot for not leaving the plane until he had checked to make sure everyone had been been evacuated.
"It would appear that the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river and then making sure that everybody got out," Bloomberg said.
"I had a long conversation with the pilot," Bloomberg said. "He walked the plane twice after everybody else was off, and tried to verify that there was nobody else on board, and assures us there were not."
"There is a heroic pilot," said Gov. David Paterson. "We have had a miracle on 34th Street, I believe we now have a miracle on the Hudson."
The temperature in New York was 20 degrees about the time of the crash off Manhattan's west side. See map of crash site »
Dr. Gabriel Wilson, associated medical director of the emergency room at Roosevelt Hospital, said 55 survivors were checked out and cleared to leave from the scene.
Those being treated at hospitals included a husband and wife with hypothermia at Roosevelt Hospital, as well as a flight attendant with a leg fracture, hospital spokeswoman Michelle Stiles said.
Since 1975, five large jetliners have had major accidents in which bird strikes played a role, according to the Web site of Bird Strike Committee USA, a volunteer group dedicated to reducing the frequency and severity of the strikes.
More than 56,000 bird strikes were reported to the FAA from 1998 to 2004, according to the group's Web site.
People who believe they may have had relatives on the flight may call US Airways at 1-800-679-8215 within the United States, the airline said.
CNN's Mike Brooks, Jeanne Meserve and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.
article and pilot photo courtesy CNN, other photos courtesy TIME.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
By Tom Quigley and DOUGLAS B. BRILL
Authorities removed Adolf Hitler Campbell and his sisters from their parents' Hunterdon County home, Holland Township police chief David Van Gilson said Tuesday.
New Jersey's Division of Youth and Family Services took the 3-year-old as well as JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 1, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, who turns 1 in April, the chief said.
Van Gilson said he didn't know why the children were taken or who had custody. He said his department received no reports of abuse or negligence.
The children's father, Heath Campbell, reached Tuesday evening at a relative's home, first declined comment and later said the children were not removed.
The Division of Youth and Family Services would not confirm or deny the report.
A spokeswoman said the division doesn't comment on specific families.
The chief said the children were removed last week. He said a township officer was present.
"Whatever children were at the home were taken," the chief said.
A hearing is scheduled for Thursday before Superior Court Judge Peter A. Buschbaum at the Hunterdon County Justice Center, the chief said. He said a hearing on Tuesday was postponed when Campbell indicated he wanted a private attorney.
The hearing is to decide whether the state can temporarily place the children in another home, the chief said. He said township police Sgt. John Harris is scheduled to testify.
The Campbell family gained worldwide attention after a Dec. 14 story in The Express-Times about the children's names and a Warren County supermarket's refusal to write Adolf Hitler on a birthday cake.
Heath Campbell, who's previously said he picked the names to honor German ancestry and because they are unique, has reported receiving threats after the story was published.
Another Campbell family in Holland Township received a death threat intended for Heath Campbell, township police have said. That case remains under investigation.
Reporter Tom Quigley can be reached at 610-258-7171, ext. 3574, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Douglas B. Brill can be reached at 610-258-7171 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The Bush Administration's Most Despicable Act
By Joe Klein Thursday, Jan. 08, 2009
"This is not the America I know," President George W. Bush said after the first, horrifying pictures of U.S. troops torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq surfaced in April 2004. The President was not telling the truth. "This" was the America he had authorized on Feb. 7, 2002, when he signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention — the one regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners taken in wartime — did not apply to members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban. That signature led directly to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. It was his single most callous and despicable act. It stands at the heart of the national embarrassment that was his presidency.
The details of the torture that Bush authorized have been dribbling out over the years in books like Jane Mayer's excellent The Dark Side. But the most definitive official account was released by the Senate Armed Services Committee just before Christmas. Much of the committee's report remains secret, but a 19-page executive summary was published, and it is infuriating. The story begins with an obscure military training program called Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE), in which various forms of torture are simulated to prepare U.S. special-ops personnel for the sorts of treatment they might receive if they're taken prisoner. Incredibly, the Bush Administration decided to have SERE trainers instruct its interrogation teams on how to torture prisoners. (Read "Shell-Shocked at Abu Ghraib?")
It should be noted that there was, and is, no evidence that these techniques actually work. Experienced military and FBI interrogators believe that torture leads, more often than not, to fabricated confessions. Patient, persistent questioning using subtle psychological carrots and sticks is the surest way to get actionable information. But prisoners held by the U.S. were tortured — first at Guantánamo Bay and later in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Armed Services Committee report details the techniques used on one prisoner: "Military working dogs had been used against [Mohammed al-] Khatani. He had also been deprived of adequate sleep for weeks on end, stripped naked, subjected to loud music, and made to wear a leash and perform dog tricks."
Since we live in an advanced Western civilization, there needs to be legal justification when we torture people, and the Bush Administration proudly produced it. Memos authorizing the use of "enhanced" techniques were written in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Council. Vice President Dick Cheney and his nefarious aide, David Addington, had a hand in the process. The memos were approved by Bush's legal counsel, Alberto Gonzales. A memo listing specific interrogation techniques that could be used to torture prisoners like Mohammed al-Khatani was passed to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He signed it on Dec. 2, 2002, although he seemed a bit disappointed by the lack of rigor when it came to stress positions: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day," he noted. "Why is standing limited to four hours?"
It would be interesting, just for the fun and justice of it, to subject Rumsfeld to four hours in a stress position — standing stock still with his arms extended, naked, in a cold room after maybe two hours' sleep. But that's not going to happen. Indeed, it seems probable that nothing much is going to happen to the Bush Administration officials who perpetrated what many legal scholars consider to be war crimes. "I would say that there's some theoretical exposure here" to a war-crimes indictment in U.S. federal court, says Gene Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School. "But I don't think there's much public appetite for that sort of action." There is, I'm told, absolutely no interest on the part of the incoming Obama Administration to pursue indictments against its predecessors. "We're focused on the future," said one of the President-elect's legal advisers. Fidell and others say it is possible, though highly unlikely, that Bush et al. could be arrested overseas — one imagines the Vice President pinched midstream on a fly-fishing trip to Norway — just as Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator, was indicted in Spain and arrested in London for his crimes.
If Barack Obama really wanted to be cagey, he could pardon Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for the possible commission of war crimes. Then they'd have to live with official acknowledgment of their ignominy in perpetuity. More likely, Obama will simply make sure — through his excellent team of legal appointees — that no such behavior happens again. Still, there should be some official acknowledgment by the U.S. government that the Bush Administration's policies were reprehensible, and quite possibly illegal, and that the U.S. is no longer in the torture business. If Obama doesn't want to make that statement, perhaps we could do it in the form of a Bush Memorial in Washington: a statue of the hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner in cruciform stress position — the real Bush legacy.
photo and article courtesy Time.com
Thursday, January 8, 2009
When all else fails, when life is giving you lemons and your lemonade recipe sucks... turn to the internet and immature humor. My solution today was the I Can Has Cheezburger site. If you don't have to watch that video over and over like I did, I would have to question your funny bone. I love his little back legs.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Yes, I am sharing yet another video, but I had to post this once I found a decent copy on You Tube. Once again, this is live television, which makes the whole thing even better.
This clip doesn't need much explanation, it is just a morning show where the guest is an animal trainer of some sort who has brought along a kangaroo. There is some costumed character known as Marty Monster (I suppose a regular member of the show) wandering about, and the fact that the character looks beyond ridiculous in the first place is just perfect.
Watch through the entire clip as the kangaroo does not give up!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I have to admit I have a weakness for watching blooper videos, but especially news blooper videos. I guess it is the whole live tv thing, and the seriousness with which the reporters are delivering their reports while chaos ensues. I don't know, but they make me laugh out loud.
Thought I would share a particularly good compilation. Be sure and watch until the very end. The last few seconds are too funny!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
If you had a crazy night last night that involved lots of alcohol, or a crowded party, dancing, singing, and counting down the last seconds until the New Year, my hat is off to you, no matter how hung over or tired you may be this morning. For my New Year's Eve, I had a good dose of humiliation. For my friends that know me well, you all can just shake your heads and add another episode of my mayhem to the list. I swear I don't know how this crap always happens to me. I have not, however, lost the lesson on this one.
I actually started by having a fairly decent afternoon. I saw two movies, Doubt and Marley and Me, and really liked them both. I had visited Sam's Club earlier to stock up on a few things and came home to unload my car after the movies. That was when the first not-so-fun thing happened. I had purchased a "flat" of ginger ale at Sam's, one of the long, low cardboard trays filled will single cans meant to save me money. When I opened the back of my car, somehow the flat became airborne and the cans went flying. It was dark and cold and ginger ale was hissing and spitting out of the cans from all directions, and of course cans roll, so I was busy chasing the cans all down my driveway and the street. So, twenty minutes later, I finally have a few cans left in the tray and am headed to my back door to go inside my house. I barely get the door open when a rocket of fur and paws flies by me out onto the deck. This rocket is also known as Baxter, my cat who has recently decided that it is way fun to fly out the door when I come home and make me chase him, terrified he will be squashed by oncoming traffic nearby. I throw the ginger ale inside, run after Baxter, catch him, finally get inside my house, pissed and covered in ginger ale (which is sticky), and now cat fur.