Monthly Archives: November 2009

Death by Texting

It’s bad enough when people drive and talk on the phone – they don’t have the use of their phone hand for maneuvering the car (and in many states, talking without a hands-free headset is illegal), and they are totally absorbed in a conversation, meaning they’re not looking alertly for pedestrians, bicyclists, a herd of buffalo or other cars.  What’s even more egregious is the texting craze which has the driver looking down and reading or dialing or writing and not even looking ahead at the road for several seconds, which could mark the difference between life and death.

For Victoria McBryde, 24, those few precious seconds meant her death.  22 year old Phillipa Curtis has been convicted of the death of Ms McBryde – caused by texting while driving.  The victim’s car had broken down and was by the side of the road with all its lights on and emergency lights blinking – a bit hard NOT to notice.  Nonetheless, she was killed instantly when her car was rear-ended by the texting Ms. Curtis, who will spend only two years in prison for this crime.

This all took place in Britain, which has added jail time to a conviction for killing by texting and driving.  Ms. Curtis’ phone records indicated that she had exchanged nearly two dozen messages with at least five friends, mostly concerning her encounter with a celebrity singer she had served at a restaurant where she worked.  That’s what was so important?  For that, someone had to die??  Death due to dangerous driving (e.g., texting) is on the level of drinking while driving, and can earn four to seven years in jail.  Apparently, the perp was a pretty, seemingly sweet young thing, and so her jail time was minimized by the judge – a sentence that was met with anger by the victim’s family as well as the by the prosecutor…and by me.

Ironically, it was also discovered that the victim herself had sent a text message and talked on her cell phone using the speaker function while driving before her car broke down. 

Please don’t think you are invincible, and the laws and recommendations about driving safely apply to everyone else, while you are “special.”  The lives of these two young women are forever changed.  One life was forfeited; the other woman is jailed and living with the guilt of having killed another human being because she just had to gossip to five friends about seeing a rock star.  Sad.

After Viewing Abortion, Planned Parenthood Director Quits

I never thought I’d see this headline, but it is real:  “Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound.”

Abby Johnson, 29, worked at a southeast Texas Planned Parenthood clinic for 8 years, the last two as its director.  She was, in her own words, extremely “pro-choice.”  What changed her was watching a video of an ultrasound of an actual abortion.  She watched a fetus “crumple” as it was vacuumed out of a patient’s uterus in September.  That was the turning point for her.  She has since stayed home to raise her 3 year old daughter.

Here’s a very important point:  all activist groups change the wording of their identity or actions in order to temper the emotional response of others, and in so doing, gain acceptance.  “Abortion” became “CHOICE.”  Well, everyone likes to have choices – that was a brilliant technique to obscure the facts that a human being is dismembered, crumpled, and sucked with a vacuum out of her mother’s body into a container or sink and ultimately eliminated as an issue in the life of the mother-who-was (versus mother-to-be).

But this was not the only problem for Abby Johnson.  She says that since revenues were down, she was ordered several times by her bosses to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $500 and $700.  “It’s a very lucrative business, and that’s why they want to increase numbers,” she is quoted as saying.

Planned Parenthood likes to talk about abortions being only a small part of Planned Parenthood’s activities.  Planned Parenthood likes to say that its focus is on prevention.  Johnson’s reply?  “For them, there’s not a lot of money in education.  There’s not as much money in family planning as there is in abortion.”

Johnson also said, “Ideally, my goal as the facility’s director is that your abortion numbers don’t increase, because you’re providing so much family planning and so much education that there is not a demand for abortion services.  But that was not their goal.”

Can you say “whistleblower?”

Planned Parenthood’s response?  Guess!  You’re wrong.  They got a temporary restraining order against Ms. Johnson and the Coalition for Life (an anti-abortion group with which Johnson is now affiliated, and which is located just down the block from this Planned Parenthood clinic). 

Why a restraining order?  Simple….they don’t want the truth to be spoken, and isn’t that “telling.”

Quote of the Week

I am a soldier.  I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.
               – George S. Patton
                  Leading American general in World War II
                  1885-1945

George S. Patton Jr. Stamp

The Opposite of Bridezilla

Six days before Teanne Harris of Chicago was to walk down the aisle in a glorious white gown, her fiance called off the nuptials.

When Harris and her mom went to the catering hall to cancel the reception, they were told that their deposit was nonrefundable. 

Now, between being dumped at the altar and not getting her money back, I would expect a screaming meemee, locking herself in the bathroom, ripping up every picture of the two of them, screaming to all her friends, getting drunk, not showering – you know, the usual melodrama.

Not Ms. Harris!  Leaving the catering hall, she noticed the Asbury Court Retirement Community across the street.  So, instead of letting her Halloween-themed wedding reception go to waste, she decided to move the party to the retirement home, where more than 300 residents attended the party.

Harris had her bridal bouquet placed in the retirement home’s chapel. 

She also went on the Hawaii trip anyway…the trip that was meant to be her honeymoon.

All I can say about this story is that she is a magnificent, spiritual human being, and the joker who left her did her a favor.  I’m sure she’ll find a real man worthy of her mature and generous spirit.

Bravery in the Face of Home Grown Terrorism

Two recent acts of bravery bring up a clear point:

1.  A nine year old boy in a Southern town was in the passenger seat of his parents’ car with three siblings all under the age of three in the back.  His mother darted into a convenience store, and a huge man (who was lurking nearby) jumped into the driver’s seat, i.e., it was a car-jacking in the works.  The nine year old had the courage and the presence of mind not to be “politically correct” which would have meant sitting quietly and obeying an adult.  Nope, not at all.  This kid grabbed the car keys and held them tight to his right side.  The would-be carjacker hit the boy’s head against the passenger door in an attempt to get the keys, and failed as the boy was resolute.  As the boy said later, “I didn’t want my family to be taken.”  The car-jacker ran from the car, fell, and was apprehended by police who had been called from the convenience store.

2.  A young female (of course I’m proud) civilian police officer stopped an Army officer from continuing his murders of Fort Hood soldiers by standing up to him and shooting him numerous times while being shot three times herself.  Unfortunately, except for military police (MPs) and civilian police, soldiers on a base do not carry weapons, and are, therefore, sitting ducks for the murderous rampage of “one of their own.”  As it turns out, by all media reports, the history of this so-called American Army officer was clearly one of a terrorist. 

There was a history of his radical Muslim ideology.  Reports against him had been made, but political correctness ruled the day.  Because he had worshipped at a mosque with a radical imam who allegedly had made contact with two of the 9/11 hijackers and had written on the Internet Muslim extremist comments (which, I understand, included a defense of suicide bombers), had tried to indoctrinate patients and his school mates even complained about the political leanings of his class assignments and so much more, was no reason, many authorities have said, to assume he was a home-grown terrorist.  That political correctness caused the death of 13 and serious injury to dozens.  Never mind the fear it has generated on bases around the country and the world where the bullet or bomb can come from the “inside.”

Instead of facing this threat (and please do remember the plots that were foiled against other military bases on American soil in the past several years), we are being told not to “jump to conclusions.”  Well, without jumping to the correct conclusions in a timely manner, hanging on instead to political correctness (meaning that no one should criticize or profile), our military men and women and their families have a good reason to be afraid and angry.  They pay the price.

That nine year old boy didn’t sit complacently and be a “good boy.”  He took charge to protect his own.  We should do the same for our military and their families.  Those who have expressed at any time any philosophy resembling radical Islamic hate should be marginalized, scrutinized, put under surveillance, and supervised.

The first obligation of the American government is not “Cash for Clunkers.”  It’s for the safety of the populace.  The morale of our military took a large hit when they discovered that they were not safe from worldwide terrorists at their own desks. 

Dump all that “PTSD by proxy” nonsense.  Look at the truth, without which we are neither free nor safe.

Five Health Factors Could Prevent Millions of Deaths

It was a surprise to me to learn from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) that tackling just five health factors could prevent millions of premature deaths and increase life expectancy by almost 4 years!

Some of these factors (e.g., overeating) are totally within our personal, daily control.  While not having enough nutritious food is a big health risk for those in poorer countries, the BIGGER health risk in richer nations is being overweight or obese.  Obesity and overweight cause more deaths worldwide than being underweight!

The Geneva-based UN health agency listed the world’s top mortality risks as:

1. High blood pressure (which accounts for 13% of global deaths)
2. Smoking (9% of global deaths)
3. High blood glucose (6% of global deaths)
4. Physical inactivity (6%)
5. Being overweight or obese (5%)

The WHO added that if the risks in its report had not existed, life expectancy would, on average, have been almost a decade longer in 2004 for the entire global population.

That means that the quality and quantity of our lives are in our hands – in our control –  and are, largely, a matter of choice.  Keep that in mind when you eat foods high in salt or sugar, or eat too much and don’t get rest, or don’t get daily exercise, or smoke that cigarette…

When you do things that hurt you and you don’t take time to smell the roses, the roses will be planted over your premature remains.