Monday, July 27, 2009

Birthers on the hill

I have to love this. These people placate their base, fanning the flames of the controversy, but when confronted with the question, many literally run from the question.

There was a vote today in the House that officially recognized the legitimacy of President Obama's birth question. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, (D-Hawaii), introduced Monday House Resolution 593 (PDF), "Recognizing and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the entry of Hawaii into the Union as the 50th State... Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii."

Now many of you familiar with these kind of resolutions, normally ceremonial resolutions like this are usually passed without a problem, the idiots came out of the woodwork:

Now this resolution eventually passed 378-0 with most of the so-called "birthers' not voting I would assume. We have a bunch of nuts in this country who are creating issues in order to shield or cloud a darker agenda of racisism or their opposition to other programs that the President has proposed. However, we had some people claiming that John McCain was not a citizen due to his birth in the Panana Canal Zone which was not officially a psrt of the US. Still Congress saw fit to pass a resolution during the election to settle the question of his citizenship. Why did they do that?

Now although we have a satisfaction of citizenship that is perfectly legal for anyone else in the US. I can go get a certificate of live birth at the city clerk's office that is perfectly satisfactory to the Department of State to get a passport, it satifies the State in order for me to get a drivers license. However, the President doesn't get the same consideration that others do. He is different in may ways that many people in this country cannot accept.

I fear that there is a revolution in the offing in this country. People who cannot accept what a majority of their fellows believe are prepared to impose their agenda on those who do accept. I remember reading somewhere that the American Revolution was supported by only a third of the country whereas a third just wanted to sit things out while others remained loyalists. I also remember that Hitler was elected by only a third of the Germans in the country ans only acceded to power through a coalition. Democracy is a fragile thing and it only takes a few nuts to upset the apple cart.

Not sure what to say anymore, but there are very dark things happening. I only hope and pray that we can get through this dark time and emerge as Americans and Partiots in the best traditions of our forefathers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD (SK)


Special Bulletin 10 ARLX010
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT July 20, 2009
To all radio amateurs


Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, who held the title of
''Most Trusted Man in America,'' passed away Friday, July 17 after a
long illness. He was 92. The avuncular Cronkite anchored the CBS
Evening News for 19 years until 1981 when he retired. During that
time, he reported on such subjects as the Kennedy assassinations,
the Civil Rights movement, the Apollo XI lunar landing, Vietnam and
the Vietnam-era protests, the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, Watergate
and the Begin-Sadat peace accords.

Cronkite, an ARRL member, narrated the 6 minute video ''Amateur Radio
Today'' ( Produced by the ARRL in 2003,
the video tells Amateur Radio's public service story to non-hams,
focusing on ham radio's part in helping various agencies respond to
wildfires in the Western US during 2002, ham radio in space and the
role Amateur Radio plays in emergency communications. ''Dozens of
radio amateurs helped the police and fire departments and other
emergency services maintain communications in New York, Pennsylvania
and Washington, DC,'' narrator Cronkite intoned in reference to ham
radio's response on September 11, 2001. ''Their country asked, and
they responded without reservation.''

Walter Leland Cronkite was born in St Joseph, Missouri on November
4, 1916, the only child of a dentist father and homemaker mother.
When he was still young, his family moved to Texas. ''One day, he
read an article in ''Boys Life'' about the adventures of reporters
working around the world -- and young Cronkite was hooked,'' said
his obituary on the CBS Web site. ''He began working on his high
school newspaper and yearbook and in 1933, he entered the University
of Texas at Austin to study political science, economics and
journalism. He never graduated. He took a part time job at the
Houston Post and left college to do what he loved: report.''

In 1963, it was Cronkite who broke into the soap opera ''As the World
Turns'' to announce that the president had been shot -- and later to
declare that he had been killed.'' CBS called it a ''defining moment
for Cronkite, and for the country. His presence -- in shirtsleeves,
slowly removing his glasses to check the time and blink back tears
-- captured both the sense of shock, and the struggle for composure,
that would consume America and the world over the next four days.''

One of Cronkite's enthusiasms was the space race. In 1969, when
America sent a man to the moon, he couldn't contain himself. ''Go
baby, go.'' he said as Apollo XI took off. He ended up performing
what critics described as ''Walter to Walter'' coverage of the mission
-- staying on the air for 27 of the 30 hours that astronauts Buzz
Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were on the moon. In 2006, NASA honored
Cronkite by giving him their Ambassador of Exploration Award. ''His
marathon, live coverage of the first moon landing brought the
excitement and impact of the historic event into the homes of
millions of Americans and observers around the world,'' NASA said in
a news release announcing the award. Cronkite was the first
non-astronaut and only NASA outsider to receive the award.

Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML, was Cronkite's radio engineer at CBS for
many years. ''I had many chances to discuss my favorite hobby, ham
radio, with 'the world's most trusted anchor man,''' he told the
ARRL. ''Gradually, his interest increased, but on finding that he had
to pass a Morse code test, he balked, saying it was too hard for
him; however, he told me he had purchased a receiver and listened to
the Novice bands every night for a few minutes. At the CBS Radio
Network, Walter would arrive 10 minutes before we went on the air to
read his script aloud, make corrections for his style of grammar and
just 'get in the mood' to do the show. In those days Rich Moseson,
W2VU, was the producer of a show called ''In the News,'' a 3 minute
television show for children voiced by CBS Correspondent Christopher
Glenn. On this day, Rich was at the Broadcast Center to record
Chris' voice for his show and had dropped by my control room to
discuss some upcoming ARRL issues.'' At the time, Mendelsohn was the
ARRL Hudson Division Director.

''When Walter walked into the studio, I started to set the show up at
the behest of our director, Dick Muller, WA2DOS,'' Mendelsohn
recalled. ''In setting up the tape recorders, I had to send tone to
them and make sure they were all at proper level. Having some time,
I grabbed ''The New York Times'' and started sending code with the
tone key on the audio console. For 10 minutes I sent code and
noticed Walter had turned his script over and was copying it. We
went to air, as we did every day, at 4:50 PM and after we were off,
Walter brought his script into the control room. Neatly printed on
the back was the text I had sent with the tone key. Rich and I
looked at the copy, he nodded, and I told Walter that he had just
passed the code test. He laughed and asked when the formal test was,
but I reminded him that it took two general class licensees to
validate the test and he had just passed the code. Several weeks
later he passed the written test and the FCC issued him KB2GSD.''

Mendelsohn helped Cronkite make his first Amateur Radio contact:
''Having passed the licensing test, Walter was now ready to get on
the air. His first QSO was on 10 meters about 28.390 MHz. He was
nervous and I called him on the phone to talk him through his first
experience. As we talked on the air, a ham from the Midwest come on
and called me. Acknowledging him, I asked the usual questions about
where he was from, wanting to give Walter a bit of flavor of what
the hobby was about. I turned it over to Walter, and following his
introduction, the gentleman in the Midwest said, 'That's the worst
Walter Cronkite imitation I've ever heard.' I suggested that maybe
it was Walter and the man replied, 'Walter Cronkite is not even a
ham, and if he was, he certainly wouldn't be here on 10 meters.'
Walter and I laughed for weeks at that one.''

In 2007, ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, presented
Cronkite with the ARRL President's Award. This award, created in
2003 by the ARRL Board of Directors, recognizes an ARRL member or
members who ''have shown long-term dedication to the goals and
objectives of ARRL and Amateur Radio'' and who have gone the extra
mile to support individual League programs and goals. Cronkite was
selected to receive the award in April 2005 in recognition of his
outstanding support of the ARRL and Amateur Radio by narrating the
videos ''Amateur Radio Today'' and ''The ARRL Goes to Washington''
( ''It was quite a thrill to
make this presentation to Cronkite,'' Fallon said. ''He has long been
recognized as the 'most trusted man in America,' so lining our
causes to his face, name and voice has been a great help.''

Cronkite is the recipient of a Peabody Award, the William White
Award for Journalistic Merit, an Emmy Award from the Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences, the George Polk Journalism Award and a
Gold Medal from the International Radio and Television Society. In
1981, during his final three months on the CBS Evening News,
Cronkite received 11 major awards, including the Presidential Medal
of Freedom. In 1985, he became the second newsman, after Edward R.
Murrow, to be selected for the Television Hall of Fame.

A private memorial service was scheduled for July 23 in New York
City. Cronkite will be cremated and his remains buried in Missouri
next to his wife Betsy, who passed away in 2005. A public memorial
service will be held within the next month at Avery Fisher Hall at
the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In lieu of flowers, the
family is requesting donations to the Walter and Betsy Cronkite
Foundation through the Austin Community Foundation
(, which will distribute
contributions to various charities the couple supported.

As Cronkite said on March 6, 1981, concluding his final broadcast as
anchorman: ''Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away, they just keep
coming back for more. And that's the way it is.''

Sunday, July 19, 2009

To Destroy a Culture - The Sarajevo City Library

August 12, 1996

Ruins of Sarajevo Library Is Symbol of a Shattered Culture


SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Eerie with shattered beauty, the burned ruins of Bosnia's national library have stood for the last four years as a wrenching symbol of an attempt to destroy a city and its culture.

Now the gouged granite columns, the crumbling crenelated trim and the once resplendent copper cupola, shredded like lacework, stand for something else: the sluggishness of the restoration and reconstruction of Sarajevo.

"What is missing is money -- there are lots of ideas but no money," said Enes Kujundzic, the energetic library director, who has shown scores of international dignitaries, experts and financiers through the ghostly interior, where more than a million books and priceless manuscripts were reduced to ashes by Serb shells. "I say this is top priority for a country coming out of war. They say with this money we could rebuild several factories, and then rebuild the library."

Lofty promises of international financing to rebuild Sarajevo's library, along with its roads, airport and factories, have failed to materialize in the amounts envisioned after the signing of the Dayton peace agreement last December. Much of the reluctance is caused by uncertainty over how Bosnia will fare after next month's national elections and by unease over whether the Bosnian government could manage the funds.

But unlike many of the reconstruction projects being bandied about, Kujundzic says that his plan is simple and practical.

He wants to start giving basic library services to the people of Sarajevo, who were starved intellectually and deprived professionally during the fighting. The city lent him an unused army barracks in which to get a temporary, but functional, library going again. So Kujundzic's first need, he said, is financing to create on-line services, open research facilities and create a new book, periodical and archival collection.

The more romantic idea of restoring the fabulous century-old structure that fuses Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architectural styles -- where Archduke Ferdinand of Austria had just attended a reception when he was shot in 1914 -- should be deferred until later, he said. Hasty patching to insure that the ruins do not crumble completely from exposure to snow, wind and sun will be finished before the winter.

"Obviously the building attracts much more attention," Kujundzic said, looking out windows that are patched together with plastic in his temporary office a few blocks from the ruins. "But everyone forgets the people who are alive and willing to do research. And people forget that this country can't be rebuilt without resources of science and technology. People say you are a cultural institution. I say we're also an educational and scientific institution that has to help this country compete."

The library in Sarajevo served the University of Sarajevo, and was a national repository of Bosniaca -- with works devoted to subjects about Bosnia or published in Bosnia, many of them centuries old. Some of these were irreplaceable handwritten manuscripts, though many of the books can be found elsewhere.

When Serb artillery bombarded the library in August 1992, flames engulfed almost 50,000 feet of wooden bookshelves and burned a central atrium, richly carved staircases and the ceremonial auditoriums of the structure, built in 1896 as the town hall. The auditoriums had become reading rooms in 1951, when the building was converted to the national library for the republic within the Yugoslav federation. Books, original manuscripts, the archives of Serb, Croat, Bosnian and Jewish writers, the entire catalogue system, microfilm, computers and photo labs were all destroyed.

Three months earlier, the Serbs shelled the Sarajevo Oriental Institute, devastating a collection of medieval literature in Arabic, Persian and Turkish and priceless works in four alphabets -- Latin Arabic, Cyrillic and an alphabet that predated Cyrillic, known as Old Bosnian.

Immediately, librarians in the United States and elsewhere tried to come to the rescue.

To recapture as much of the collection as possible, Tatjana Lorkovic, the curator of Slavic and East European collections at Yale University Library, started playing detective. With funds from the Yale library as well as the library at Harvard, the Library of Congress and other national data bases, Ms. Lorkovic is organizing a bibliographic record of Bosniaca.

"Those Stone Age people who destroyed the library destroyed their heritage too," said Ms. Lorkovic in a telephone interview. "Represented in the library were the personal archives of the very important Serb poet, Aleksa Santic, who lived from 1868 to 1924. When the Bosnians started to go to Turkey after Yugoslavia was formed in 1918, he wrote a poem, 'Ostajte Ovdje,' 'Stay Here,' to tell his Muslim brothers not to leave."

Once a bibliography is in hand, Sarajevo could end up with one of the world's most modern library services. The trend in libraries is away from being depositories of books and toward providing on-line services. The bibliography from Ms. Lorkovic's project would enable the Sarajevo library to offer many of the available Bosnian works as full-text electronic archives. Ancient manuscripts of Bosnian literature owned by libraries elsewhere could be digitalized using the latest technology, Kujundzic said.

The 108-member staff of the library in 1992 has dwindled to 60. Some were killed, others went into the army, and others fled as refugees. With skimpy appropriations from the Bosnian government, Kujundzic struggles to meet monthly salaries and, so far, has not been able to provide training in new technologies.

There has been no money for supplies since March, he said. Some computers and some books have been sent from Unesco, which has also been working on long-term plans for reviving the library's collections, he said. But over all, the donations have been meager.

To illustrate his dire need for funds, Kujundzic said his staff had just completed a list of 450 journals and magazines to which the library would like to subscribe, at an annual cost of about $300,000. The subjects, he said, were selected according to Bosnia's post-war requirements: in medicine, journals about trauma; in international relations, material about the United Nations; in architecture, periodicals about reconstruction. Widely read journals such as Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine and The Economist were also on the list.

To show that they are not waiting around for a grandiose rebuilding project, Kujundzic and his staff have produced the first issue of a new library journal called Bosniaca. It is devoted to articles about Bosnian literature and is intended as an inspiration for those wanting to return the library to its former intellectual achievements.

While the librarians toil to meet the basic needs of a people emerging from the cocoon of war, the debate will persist about what to do with the library ruins, now largely frequented by gawking tourists.

Ms. Lorkovic, who emigrated to the United States from Belgrade in the 1960s, is on the side of both memory and modernity.

"I think the old building should be preserved the way it is -- like Coventry Cathedral -- as a remembrance," she said. "A new Sarajevo library should be bright, the biggest and the best and the whole world should help."

Friday, July 17, 2009

In the Shadow of the Moon

This weekend we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. It has been almost 40 years since we have been to the moon. This film is the one that catches the essense of what it was like to be there in the words of the men who were there. From their test flights at Edwards, to the Apollo 1 fire (Jules Bergmans voice breaking as he tells his audience the news is almost heartbreaking) to the landing itself. The men tell us the things they felt, the way the world was. Gene Cernan, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Alan Bean and all the others tell us what it was like to be there, what was in their hearts and minds.

The DVD is excellent and one should watchall the footage that was not included as well since there was more interviews that put a lot more background. I love that aspect of the DVD in that you can see everything. Included in the DVD are shots of the Saturn V that I myself have never seen before. All the staging shots, highlights of the missions, all give us a great sense of being with them as they enjoyed their time in space.

If you want to experience what it was like in those times, this is the film that captures it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I want this car! WOAH!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I hope I didn't inconvienence too many people

I realized today that Yahoo360 is finally closing and I hadn't imported my comments like I was promising myself I would. After a frantic 3 hours, I have managed to whittle 80 blog entries to nothing and now 360 can go into the ether. I am sad to see 360 go, but I have my friends here now and I am glad to see that most came with me.

In looking back though, I found I had lost track of a couple of people. Deborah was from England and a diver and now she is totally gone. I know not where she is. I had another friend Nightwind from Denver who I also lost track of. I miss my friends, but things work out. I hope they are OK.

Anyway, I hope I didn't fill up too many people's e-mail boxes. I found a few blogs hadn't imported so I took care of them, which I think it ended up being 20 or thereabouts. I found the duplicates and deleted those, so now I am complete.

Thanks for your patience friends.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The War Prayer

Whenever I think of war lately, I think of Mark Twain's "The War Prayer." While I am all one of seeking vengeance upon those who wrong us, or threaten us, we must temper our vengeance with what that threat entails. For it is not the people of North Korea who are the ones threatening us, it is their deluded leaders who have indoctrinated their population over the decades to hate us. I pray God they find peace in their hearts to know the love that we might share with them.

If we pray to our religion of patriotism, the idols of liberty, the pantheon of our leaders and those who have sacrificed so that we might enjoy freedom, we must remember that we ourselves visit horror upon those we wreak our bloody vengeance upon. It we are attacked, then sure, visit the same upon our enemies. But what if we get it wrong, or we only attack those who, in a fit of political expediency, are the enemies of the moment, the victims of propaganda. Bloody vengeance must be tempered with the thoughts of what vengeance entails, our war prayers answered.

Our soldiers survive the war, but are forever haunted by the horrors they have been commissioned by our patriots to inflict on our foes. They come back victorious, but still beaten, bloodied, limbless, wrecked of mind and body, forever victim of that which they participated in. They fight not for us, but for themselves, to stay alive in the cesspool we have placed them in. We should pray here, to give them strength to face the pain they are about to inflict, face the children who show them love, help them to tell friend from foe and that our politicians understand that someday they will have to come home and live in a world where there are no foes. We pray that they purge the vengeance from their hearts and ours and know peace.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Inspirational Story

There are good umps out there. God Bless this man. Although he made a sacrifice that he has to live with every day, he thought nothing of himself when he gave up his freedom to save lives. Now others can live their lives thanks to him.

Jul 6, 10:58 AM EDT

Wounded umpire keeps fighting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The bullet tore through Steve Palermo's waist, from his right side to his left. It bounced off a kidney, then through the abdomen, breaking bone before pushing into the spinal cord.

If the bullet had been one millimeter thicker, he would have been dead. That's what the doctor told him. One millimeter. The head of a pin is about two millimeters wide.

Palermo is here, at Kauffman Stadium, working in the sport he loves, because it was a .32-caliber bullet. He would have died outside a Dallas bakery in the middle of the night, 18 years ago this week, if it had been a .33-caliber.

He changed history that night. Police think three muggers would have shot two women at point-blank range if not for Palermo and some friends. One of the women is now married to a man she met after that night. The other felt overwhelming guilt and doesn't keep in touch.

A friend of Palermo's took three bullets, including one in the jaw, but somehow made a full recovery.

Palermo took just one bullet, but it took away his major-league umpiring career. It left him needing a cane to walk and a handicap tag to park. He now works as an umpire supervisor, watching baseball games from the wrong side of the wall. He and his wife - they had been married just five months when he was shot - never had children.

There are dark times, moments Palermo isn't proud of, when he feels more heartbreak than joy about what's left. These moments are rare, but they are undeniably part of his life now.

That one night left Palermo with a lifetime of consequences for that one selfless act. His dream career was taken away, making room for a push to go on every day.

Palermo, 59, is well known as the umpire who got shot, the hero who now walks with a cane. But there's a lot in that story that gets lost in 18 years, when life moves on.

This is part of the story Palermo wants to tell, to people in Kansas City, where he lives, and anywhere else they want to hear that tough times can be beaten.

Lou Piniella took strike three one night playing for the Yankees. He didn't like the call, and turned to scream at the umpire. "Where was that pitch at?"

The umpire replied that someone wearing the Yankee pinstripes should know not to end a sentence with a preposition. Piniella screamed back. "Where was that pitch at, (expletive)?"

That umpire was Steve Palermo.

Stevie Palermo was 12 years old when he told his dad he'd make it to the big leagues. He smiles when he says this, because doesn't every boy tell his father he'll make it to the big leagues?

But Stevie did, as an umpire, and his father - a lifelong Red Sox fan - walked by his side out to Fenway Park for his big-league debut on April 7, 1977. Palermo was on the field the next season when the Red Sox and Yankees had a one-game playoff for the division championship.

Stevie was the one who signaled fair ball on Bucky Dent's homer that effectively ended the Red Sox's season.

"You couldn't call that thing foul, Stevie?" his father asked.

"Dad," he replied, "it was like 20 feet to the right of the pole."

Palermo lived a charmed baseball life. He was behind the plate for Dave Righetti's no-hitter in 1983, and for the last game of the World Series that year. Players and managers knew him as the best balls-and-strikes umpire in the game.

Eventually, they only came out to argue on occasion, tired of watching replays prove Palermo correct.

Palermo always loved baseball, and looked to promote it whenever possible. Between innings one night in Boston, he picked off a boy's glove from the railing and came back a minute or so later, reading the name on the leather.

"Ethan Kerr?" Palermo yelled. "Is there an Ethan Kerr here?"

The boy jumped up and down. "I'm Ethan! That's my glove!" Palermo gave the glove back to the kid, who smiled when he saw there was a ball in it.

Four years later, a letter arrived at the hospital:

You probably don't remember me, but you gave me a baseball at Fenway Park one night. I read about what you did, how you saved those two ladies. You are a hero. I'll always remember that. Your friend, Ethan Kerr.

Debbie Palermo, Stevie's wife, broke down crying.

Cody and Mitchell were two boys with brain damage. Steve met them at the hospital, where they were all patients. The boys were big baseball fans and thought it was cool to meet an umpire, so every night they'd climb in Steve's bed to eat cookies and watch games.

Steve loved it just as much as the kids did. Baseball took their attention away from their own realities. The boys asked questions. Steve gave answers. When it got late enough, the boys said good night and went to their regular beds to sleep.

"You hear 'brain damage' and think these kids are slow," Steve says. "Every night, there were crumbs in my bed and they'd go sleep in clean beds. You tell me who's the slow one."

Steve and Debbie met here in Kansas City.

He fell in love with that smile right away. He asked her out for dinner the next night. She said yes.

Her dad and brother went to the Royals game the next day. When they came home and heard whom she was going out with, her brother said, "I hope it's not the guy who was at second base today. He missed two calls."

Palermo was umpiring second base that day, and the line has been retold countless times in the nearly 25 years Steve and Debbie have been together.

"She's the real hero at our house," Steve likes to say.

There is thought behind those words. Palermo has had plenty of time for thought. Kids born the day he was shot just graduated from high school. He umpired 14 years in the big leagues, long enough to form an identity, but that was 18 years ago - long enough to be tortured about what might have been.

Palermo has considered all of this more times than you could know. If he'd just turned this way, instead of that way, maybe the bullet would have missed. Or it could have hit him in his rear end, and the whole incident would have ended up as a short line on the transactions page.

If he'd had more time to think about it, he and his friends could have been smarter, could have split up and tackled the shooter from behind before he'd had the chance to pull the trigger. Then Palermo wouldn't need that cane, wouldn't feel this pain. He'd be in his 33rd year as an umpire. Probably a crew chief by now, having worked a few World Series.

Yes, Palermo has thought about all of this. So have his friends, the two others who went after the muggers. None of them regrets what they did.

"I'd chase again," says Corky Campisi.

"I can't just sit around and let that happen," says Terence Mann.

"If that was my wife being attacked, I hope someone would do the same for me," says Palermo.

Dixie Bristow turned 66 last week. She's been married 16 years now, and still smiles when she talks about last summer, when she and her brothers and sisters all rented cabins near Branson to hang out.

They're spread all across the country now, so they don't get together as often as they'd like. Dixie doesn't think she'd have made it if not for Palermo and his friends saving them from the muggers.

"No telling what they would've done to us," she says. "I wouldn't be married. Might not even be here today."

This, as much as anything, is Palermo's legacy. He saved the life of a mother of two. Then her son introduced her to the man she would marry less than two years after the shooting.

They don't talk much about that night, though Dixie has shown Bill the article in Sports Illustrated and the tape of the "20/20" episode.

Dixie happened to be with her son one day when he stopped by to pick up his paycheck. Bill was at the office too, and he was attracted to Dixie immediately. Bill's birthday came a month or so later, and Dixie came out to celebrate. They married less than a year after that, and have been happy ever since.

Attempts to reach the second woman for this story were unsuccessful. According to Dixie and others, she quickly began feeling a kind of survivor's guilt. It was the second woman who clutched her purse, who fought back. Who knows?

Maybe if she'd made it a little easier, the incident wouldn't have escalated into a shooting that left Palermo's life forever changed and a Desert Storm veteran named Kevin Bivins - who declined to comment for this story - currently serving a 75-year sentence for firing five shots.

Palermo is aware of those feelings. It's why he let communication with the women fade out. He could see the anguish on their faces, could hear it in their voices. He doesn't want to be a reminder for them.

This is the other side of how Palermo changed history.

Steve and Debbie came home from dinner one night. They were happy. Steve put some music on the stereo and sat in his favorite chair. Debbie went to the bathroom to take off her makeup. When she came out, she asked Steve if he was OK.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he said.

"Then why are tears running down your face?" she said.

There are tough moments. If you see Palermo, he will smile, and if you talk to him, he will likely make you laugh. It's not a misrepresentation of his life. He is a happy person. Always has been. That doesn't mean there aren't tough moments.

Shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve a few years back, Palermo was walking in his house when his left leg broke. He just put his left foot in front of his right, lost track of where each foot was, and fell.

Doctors call it a problem with his proprioception. It happens sometimes at parties. Debbie will poke Steve, and he'll apologize for standing on her foot.

This is part of Palermo's story, part of what he wants to tell.

There are people every day who commit suicide because of the problems in their lives. He's heard too many stories to not believe he can make a difference.

When he was in the hospital, a poster stared back at him from the wall listing all of Abraham Lincoln's failures before he became president. Even at night, a light kept the words readable in case he had trouble sleeping.

"Adversity doesn't mean impossibility," he says, and this is what he wants people to hear. "Adversity just means you figure out a way around it. I want people to know, look, it's tough, but you can come back from these things."

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Catching up.

Well, I made a rather unannounced trip to DFW over the past week and I am now catching up on all you guys. I helped my friend Stephanie move her storage room out, getting it cleared so she can go to the hospital so she didn't have to worry about the cost. I had some help and while it was backbreaking work with numerous delays, I got it done and its a great sense of accomplishment.

I would like to thank all of you who posted birthday greetings to my comment page. I am now 45 and still alive! LOL For how long I will remain so is anyone's guess. Life goes on. Thanks for all the wonderful years of life and the enjoyment and heartache that daily living brings sometimes. Eventually, life will catch up to me and like they say, you can't take any of it with you to the afterlife.

All of you, my firends here have been a Godsend to me. This, in a large way is a refuge I can go to to find something interesting going on and the news about things that are with the wonderful people here I care about. Please, all of you, take care of yourselves and make every day count. You never know how many more you have. Sometimes, you never know how the most insignificant thing you do can touch the life of another. You can provide inspiration to accomplish miracles, fill a heart with love and make someone feel worthy of life. On this planet, we are given only a small time to accomplish things. I have come to figure out there is no real purpose in life, just what we make that purpose to be. We are all charged in our own minds to make the place a better one for our progeny, because it is that world they will inherit.

Take care all of you and watch for my comments in your blogs.

About Me

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.