Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Letter From Governor Paterson

Paterson's letter to "reassure" NYers on healthcare. We already are being raped by the government over HC...Obamacare is just a differant  rapist. 
From the Office of Governor David A. Paterson
My Fellow New Yorker,
Today, six months after health care reform was passed, the first round of major changes has started to take effect. As our State has been a leader in health care, some of the Federal improvements are provisions we already have in place here in New York. In those cases, there may be no significant changes for New Yorkers. However, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the many improvements that the Federal health care reform has begun to implement, and how they will impact you as a New Yorker.
I am extremely proud that our State already has in place many of the protections that will now be offered to health care consumers throughout the United States. During my term as Governor, New York State has become a national leader in expanding access to quality health care for children and adults through its public health insurance programs, including Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, Healthy New York and Medicaid, while implementing efficiencies to ensure that funds are used in the most cost-effective manner. New York has also been a leader in efforts to guarantee access to private health insurance coverage.
If you are currently covered by health insurance and are satisfied, as long as your insurer continues to offer the plan, you can keep it. Health plans that were in place on March 23, 2010, the day health reform passed, are “grandfathered,” meaning they are allowed to essentially remain the same. Reform allows insurers and employers to innovate and contain costs by making routine changes without losing grandfather status. However, plans will lose their grandfather status if they choose to significantly cut benefits or increase out-of-pocket spending for consumers—and consumers in plans that make such changes will gain new protections.
The following improvements in coverage apply to all health plans, including those grandfathered plans:
  • Some plans currently have annual and lifetime monetary limits on how much your insurer will pay for your medical care which cause major problems for people who have long term illnesses. Going forward, there can be no annual or lifetime limits.
  • In New York, insurers cannot refuse to sell anyone health insurance just because they have a pre-existing condition. However, in all states, even New York, the insurer can refuse to pay for care for that pre-existing condition for the first year. Going forward, insurers must cover pre-existing conditions for children age 18 or younger immediately and adults will receive the same protections in 2014.
  • If insurers offer family coverage, it must now cover your children until they turn age 26. Under my Administration, New York State has ensured that parents could buy insurance through their employer’s group policy for children up to age 29, which is generally less expensive than buying individual insurance.
  • In the past, when individuals suffered from expensive illnesses, insurers could look for small errors in insurance applications and use them as an excuse to cancel policies. Going forward, policies can only be rescinded for fraud, not unintentional errors. This past August, I signed ‘Ian’s Law’ which will grant additional protections to New Yorkers who suffer from costly medical conditions.
The next following changes apply to group and individual policies that are not grandfathered:
  • Insurers may not require you to receive prior authorization for emergency services, a provision we already have in New York. In addition, your co-payment or co-insurance amount cannot be higher if you utilize an out-of-network hospital or provider in an emergency. 
  • The most commonly used preventive services, such as immunizations and screenings, must be provided to children and adults at no cost to you, meaning there will be no co-payment or deductible. New York currently requires coverage of well-child visits and immunizations for children through age 19 without cost-sharing.
  • If an insurer refuses to cover some medical treatment, it must provide a means for the consumer to appeal that decision both within the company and to an independent outside entity. New York already requires this kind of appeals process.
  • If your plan allows you to pick a primary care provider, then it must allow you to choose any participating primary care provider who is available to accept patients and women do not need a referral from a primary care doctor to receive obstetric or gynecological care from a participating provider, which is already a provision in New York.
The next important question is when will these provisions apply to you? Improvements are required to start when your first new policy year starts after September 23, 2010. So if your policy year starts January 1, then you will have many of these new benefits starting January 1, 2011. If your policy year starts July 1, then for you it is July 1, 2011. If you don’t know when your policy year starts, ask your employer, benefits administrator or your insurer. However, if you buy a new individual or group policy the new benefits start immediately.
Health reform is complicated. To obtain more information, please visit: www.healthcarereform.ny.gov.

Best,


David A. Paterson
Governor of New York State


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Media Silent As Ohio Dem Party Chair Curses the Tea Party

"every time one of these f_ _ _ kers say ... excuse my language...."

The “McCarthyism” Epithet

By Guy Rodgers See More

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progressive bill passed by House Democrats will grill school children about sexual preference

HatTip to Safari
EXCERPTS: At the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing last Thursday, Democrats passed a bill to require federal health officials to question anyone seeking services from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) community health centers or other programs about their sexual orientation and “gender identity.”

Introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), H.R. 6109 requires HHS to obtain, retain and analyze sexual identity information from patients who seek healthcare, including children.

“This bill is about collecting data, no more, no less,” Baldwin said.

According to Baldwin, the current “lack of cultural competency” among federal officials means that “we are left with gaping holes in our knowledge on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) policy” resulting in “significant health disparities.”

Baldwin is the first openly-declared lesbian elected to Congress.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), top Republican on the committee, said the legislation was grossly intrusive.

“For the life of me I do not see any reason at all to do this bill,” Barton said.

The rest of the article can be found at the link below:





Related Topics: democrat, republican, congress, legislation

More: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=39076&s=...

“A Disturbing Picture Of Putting A Political Party Ahead Of Victory In Afghanistan”: Woodward Book Lays Bare Obama’s Treason

September 22nd, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.
i-hate-fort-hood
The Hill:
Republicans on Wednesday blasted President Obama for statements journalist Bob Woodward attributed to him in his new book.
Republicans were particularly incensed about Obama’s belief that the U.S. could “absorb” another terrorist attack on American soil, something Obama said he is doing everything he can to prevent that happening.
Liz Cheney, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter and the chairwoman of Keep American Safe, said the remark “suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration.”
“Once again the president seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe,” said Cheney, a frequent critic of Obama’s national security policies. “The president owes the American people an explanation.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also criticized Obama’s comment on another terrorist attack.
“Well, I don’t know that I would have said that. The country has to be prepared for any terrorist attack,” Giuliani said on a conference call with reporters. “I would prefer that the president put his effort in preventing another Sept 11.
Woodward’s “Obama’s Wars” will not be released until Monday, but details in the book appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post on Wednesday. Reaction overall was muted, though White House officials portrayed Woodward’s book in a positive light, telling The Hill Wednesday morning that the accounts show a “decisive” president focused on getting the policy in Afghanistan right.
“We are focused on supporting our strategy in Afghanistan and succeeding in our effort to break the Taliban’s momentum and build Afghanistan’s capacity,” one senior administration official said. “The book underscores the importance of our efforts in Afghanistan and against al Qaeda worldwide.”
But even some Republicans who don’t have an axe to grind with Obama said the book’s excerpts, particularly those dealing with ongoing operations in Afghanistan, are concerning.
Woodward’s account that Obama told Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) that he had to say he will being the troop drawdown in July 2011 because he can’t “lose the whole Democratic Party” was disconcerting to some.
“At first blush the book paints a disturbing picture of putting a political party ahead of the strategic implications of the struggle in Afghanistan and Pakistan, troop safety and achieving success on the ground,” said a former high-ranking national security official in the Bush administration.
“On the positive side, the president is continuing an aggressive counterterrorism strategy, unleashing the CIA to kill bad guys.”
The Republican National Committee (RNC) also jumped on that quote, saying they indicated Obama made his decisions on strategy based purely on politics.
Jordan Fabian contributed to this report



Cuomo: Oops, did I say I voted for Bloomy?

September 22, 2010

Cuomo: Oops, did I say I voted for Bloomy?

This just in from Josh Vlasto, Andrew Cuomo's spokesman, on saying he voted for Mayor Bloomberg: "He misspoke. He was only registered to vote in NYC in 2005 when he endorsed Freddy Ferrer. As he said today, he thinks the Mayor is doing a good job."
I should note that the statement doesn't actually say he didn't vote for Bloomberg, just that he endorsed Ferrer in that election. But the implication is clearly intended to be that he didn't vote for the mayor. ADDED: Vlasto clarified to say no he did not vote for him.
Here's Katzblog's video of the original question.

The New Axis of Evil

HatTip WTF1234
The New Axis of Evil (aka the Democratic Party)
1. Public Unions (SEIU, NEA)
2. Old Media (ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NY Times)
3. Victims Groups (La Raza, CAIR, NAACP)
4. Liberal Think Tanks (Media Matters, Center for American Progress)
5. Academia (Noam Chomsky, Cornel West)
6. Community Organizers (ACORN, Code Pink, Free Gaza)
7. Global Socialist Elites (Soros, Gore, Obama)
8. Social Justice Religious Preachers (Jeremiah Wright, Jim Wallis)

Please list what you believe should be included and, pass it on.

CBS ~ Cuomo Caught Lying About Voting For Bloomberg?

Paladino Closes Within 6 Points Of Democratic Foe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There has been a dramatic development in the race for New York governor.
A new poll has Republican Carl Paladino within striking distance of Democrat Andrew Cuomo as voters say they want to elect someone who will stop the circus in Albany.
Wednesday was supposed to be Cuomo’s day as he picked up the endorsement of New York City’s notoriously independent mayor, Michael Bloomberg, in the race for governor.
But a new poll changed that because it turned Cuomo’s once comfortable front-runner status on its head.
“I’m in politics. I’m in government, so nothing surprises me,” Cuomo told CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer.

But it was a surprise. Only one week after his upset victory over Rick Lazio in the Republican primary, Paladino is now breathing down Cuomo’s neck.
Only six points separate Cuomo and Paladino in the Quinnipiac University poll. Cuomo now leads 49-43, with a plus or minus error of 3.6.
The poll was certainly a stunner for Team Paladino. At the last minute he bailed out of a press conference to take calls from new donors.
“Suddenly his phone lit up with offers of financial resources. We cancelled his schedule and he’s in Buffalo returning telephone calls and having meetings so that we are able to take advantage of this rainstorm,” Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg said he is backing Cuomo because he can best deal with voter anger over Albany’s complete dysfunction.
“The public is mad, frustrated, but what the public wants is progress,” Bloomberg said.
Why does Cuomo think he’s better able to fix Albany than Paladino.
“My argument then is, Marcia, look at what I have done as attorney general,” Cuomo said. “I’ve been not only articulating the dissatisfaction with Albany, I’ve been acting on it. I’ve been very aggressive in bringing public integrity cases and public corruption cases and bringing cases against sitting legislators.”
But for all his actions as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Cuomo did have a little problem with telling the truth about his election box support for Mayor Bloomberg.
“Have I voted for the mayor? Yes,” Cuomo said.
Actually, he didn’t. The Cuomo campaign had to issue a clarification, saying he was only registered to vote in New York City in 2005 when he endorsed Democrat Fernando Ferrer.
Political experts say Cuomo can’t afford to make a mistake like that in a close contest.
“When the races tighten up in this way you can’t afford many more ‘whoops’ moments. He’s got to be a lot more careful going forward,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.
The Paladino team used the faux pas to taunt Cuomo about not yet agreeing to debates.
Paladino spokesman Caputo said “Perhaps that’s why Andrew is afraid to debate. He misspeaks so much he fears facing the voters.”
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/09/22/poll-paladino-closing-in-on-cuomo/

Glenn Beck Program: Jesus Provides Theory - Gandhi Provides Practice =(

Glenn Beck Program: Jesus Provides Theory Gandhi Provides Practice

Brannon Howse: September 21, 2010

 

We told you we would not re-visit the Glenn Beck topic unless there was a good reason to do so. Well, many of you e-mailed Brannon over the weekend and wanted to know what he thought of Glenn's September 17th TV program. So, today Brannon plays clips from the Beck program and comments.

 

Glenn continues to push pluralism and universalism. Topic One: Glenn's program was on the four "men" that led revolutions; Jesus, Gandhi, Moses and Martin Luther King Jr. Beck says "let's talk about Him [Jesus] as a man" and then says "if He indeed is the Messiah". So Beck is not only lowering Jesus to the status of a man instead of what He was, God incarnate, but Beck also left in question whether Jesus was really the Messiah. Beck goes on to say that he has made a deep connection to all four individuals and that "their truth is so universal." Did you catch that? Beck said "their truth".  This is total postmodernism and universalism. All religions cannot all be true.

 

Topic Three: Gandhi's grandson proclaims that at the bottom all religions are the same and even Alveda King, who claims to be a Christian, did not express any disagreement with this pluralistic propaganda. Gandhi's grandson went on to proclaim that all humanity is one. This is the belief of monism and pantheism as promoted in the Hindu religion of Gandhi.

 

Topic Four: Morehouse College President Dr. Robert Franklin proclaims that Martin Luther King Jr. married his beliefs of Jesus with the beliefs of Gandhi. Franklin says "Jesus provides the theory in a sense Gandhi provides practice" and Beck says "this is starting to sound almost like the Black Robe Regiment." Beck's Black Robe Regiment that consists of 240 pastors, priests, imams, and Rabbis attended the 8-28 rally and literally locked arms with each other. Are the "evangelical" pastors and leaders now ready to admit they were willing pawns for Beck's pluralistic push and promotion of universalism? What will it take before even one pastor or Christian leader separates himself from Beck's unbiblical campaign and agenda?

 

Topic Five: Evangelical leaders and LDS leaders have had numerous hush, hush, meetings to bridge an agreement together.

Topic Six: The merging of religions is so popular that Christianity Today magazine ran an article on how one could be a "Messianic Muslim". That is a Muslim that "accepts" Jesus but still follows Muhammad. Can you see the one-world religion coming together?(original air date, September 20, 2010 at 1pm CT)

 

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-radio/episode.php?episodeid=17397


Download the MP3

Chanting “USA” at a football game is now offensive to Muslims?

Excerpts: Liberals are the most sensitive people on the face of the planet. So we must – absolutely must – do everything we can to assure that these delicate lovers of peace are not offended by any of our words or actions.
The Daily Illini carried this editorial by a pointy-headed academic and we break our normal rules by carrying it in full in hopes that you can learn the error of your jingoistic ways:

  The vast majority of 9/11 observances in this country cannot be seen as politically neutral events. Implicit in their nature are the notions that lives lost at the World Trade Center are more valuable than lives lost in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and elsewhere; that the motives of the 9/11 attackers had nothing to do with genuine grievances in the Islamic world regarding American imperialism; and that the U.S. has been justified in the subsequent killing of hundreds of thousands in so-called retaliation.

  The observance at Saturday’s football game was no different. A moment of silence was followed by a military airplane flyover; in between, Block-I students chanted “USA, USA.” This was neither patriotism nor remembrance in any justifiable sense, but politicization, militarism, propaganda and bellicosity. The University is a public institution that encompasses the political views of all, not just the most (falsely) “patriotic.” Athletic planners should cease such exploitation for political purposes. They might at least consider how most Muslim students, American or otherwise, would respond to this nativist display; or better, Muslims and others that live their lives under the threat of our planes, drones and soldiers.

  The overwhelmingly white, privileged, Block-I students should be ashamed of their obnoxious, fake-macho, chicken-hawk chant, while poverty-drafted members of their cohort fight and die in illegal and immoral wars for the control of oil. University administrators need to eliminate from all events such “patriotic” observances, which in this country cannot be separated from implicit justifications for state-sponsored killing.
David Green,
University Academic Professional

In case you would like to have a word with Mr Green:
Green, David L Instit of Govt & Pub Affs -- University Administration
dlgreen@illinois.edu RESEARCH AND POLICY SPEC, Instit of Govt & Pub Affs -- University Administration "

As it appeared at the illini.com site http://www.dailyillini.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/2010/09/15/block-i-chant-portrays-neither-patriotism-nor-remembrance
Excerpts Taken from an article at the link below
Great comments at both of those sites also: http://www.ihatethemedia.com/

We were all Americans not hypehnated Americans. If you don't like USA chant, LEAVE!!!
US fans break into the "USA! USA! USA!" chant after Clint Dempsey scores against Ghana to tie the game at 1-1.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii Refused To Certify Obama was legally eligible under the Constitution to be President.

Ken Blackwell: Leaving out God

ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell wrote this column appearing September 21, 2010, on the World Magazine website.

It was certainly reassuring to see the president and first lady coming out of St. John's Episcopal Church last Sunday. (POSTERS INPUT: except Obama did not go to church to partake in a religious service, he went to hear Speaker: Ziad Asali,  M.D., Founder and President, American Task Force on Palestine: Prospects for the Two-State Solution the Middle East, Part I. Will he also attend Part 2 of this talk? We will see... St John's web site,  http://www.stjohns-dc.org/article.php?id=41_ ) With all the confusion about the president's religion, we can be sure that the very liberal historic parish will provide a warm welcome to the first family. And they're unlikely to hear anything as unsettling as "God d____ America" coming from St. John's elegantly carved pulpit.
Folk wisdom tells us there are no atheists in foxholes. President Obama has surely been feeling like a combat soldier in recent weeks. With all the heavy criticisms raining down on him like incoming mortar shells, and with his own team members seeming to run away from him on the political battlefield, the president needs all the prayers he can get. Cynics might say that this is another battlefield conversion, that Obama never felt the need for such fellowship when he was above 70 percent approval in the polls. In those halcyon days, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas was hailing Obama as "a sort of God." No more.
But just when you thought it was safe for the president to slip back into the pew, he started a whole new round of speculation about what he really believes. While addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week, Obama began to recite key passages of the Declaration of Independence and slipped up. Or did he?
He enumerated the "certain inalienable rights" part beautifully. He even listed the right to life. (Hmmm. How does that comport with an Obamacare law that if unrepealed would subsidize abortion and thus deny the right to life to millions yet unborn? Well, Barack Obama is hardly the only liberal who manages to declare such pesky questions "above my pay grade.") The trouble came when Obama omitted who endowed the people with these inalienable rights, "their Creator."
The White House is trying to tamp down any controversy: The president was merely paraphrasing. "Don't try to read anything into this" is the administration line.
But it does matter. The Weekly Standard's Jeffrey Anderson certainly thinks so:
"Only two plausible explanations spring to mind. One is that President Obama isn't very familiar with the most famous passage in the document that founded this nation; that even when plainly reading from a teleprompter, he wasn't able to quote it correctly. The other is that President Obama doesn't subscribe to the Declaration's rather central claim that our rights come from our 'Creator' (also referred to in the Declaration as 'Nature's God' and 'the Supreme Judge of the World').

"Only the president likely knows for certain which of these two explanations is true, or whether perhaps there is another. His nearly 4-second pause before he omits reference to our Creator, however, is peculiar. He stares at the teleprompter, purses his lips, blinks several times -- as if confused, disturbed, and/or in the process of making a decision -- and then proceeds to use his alternate wording."


Anderson had earlier reported on the present administration's apparent discomfort with the Declaration of Independence. In its groveling and apologetic report to the UN Human Rights Council--a body graced by such respecters of the rights of humans as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba--the Obama administration managed to omit any reference to the world's greatest document on human rights: our own Declaration.
President Obama is not the only liberal to have such problems acknowledging the Creator. Take for example a nice new publication from the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS)--a Federalist Society for liberals that might be viewed as an incubator for the Obama Justice Department or even for Obama nominees to the federal courts.
Princeton Professor Robby George noted in First Things that he recently picked up a handy little pamphlet published by ACS with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and--most welcome--Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. But when he carefully scanned Lincoln's immortal words as delivered on that hallowed ground, Professor George noted they had left out two: "under God."
How bold! Surely the liberals at ACS know that Lincoln's words are carved into stone at the memorial that bears his name. Surely some of them have been to the National Cemetery at Gettysburg and seen the speech text, also engraved in stone.
We are left to conclude that for the liberal left, our rights do not come from God. They come, instead, from government pronouncements, from UN documents, or from the courts. This is a most disturbing conclusion. And it goes to the heart of who we are as a people.

Government mulls soda ban

Our freedoms are being chipped away bit by bit. Glenn goes over a few stories that you probably never would have imagined happening in America during our lifetime. Gone are the days you can build sandcastles on the beach in Florida, gone are the days you can grow as many vegetables as you want in your own yard, and soon to be gone are the days you can drink soda in a city building. In America? Yup. Glenn has more on radio today.

A Visit to the US Military Hospital at Landstuhl

The German Front in the Iraq War

By Ullrich Fichtner

Every day, planes land at Ramstein with severely injured US soldiers from Iraq. In the biggest American military hospital in Europe, lives are saved, limbs amputated and gunshot wounds patched up. It's the Iraq War's German front.

When looking for the outer perimeter of the Iraq battlefield, there is no need to travel to the Middle East. The war doesn't cease at Iraq's border with Syria to the west or with Iran to the east. Indeed, one of the battlefield's boundaries is located just eight kilometers (five miles) outside of Landstuhl, Germany. It is here where the broken, shrapnel-filled bodies of American soldiers come on the first leg of their journey back to health -- if they complete the journey at all.
A constant stream of gray, C-17 cargo planes land and take off from the military base's runway, moving men and materiel as quickly as possible. But the planes flying in from Iraq are most often carrying men, and unload their contents onto boxy American Blue Bird buses -- looking like children's toys next to the gigantic cargo jets. The red cross painted on the buses sides indicate their precious cargo -- they help bring the war to Landstuhl at all hours of the day and night.
Once loaded, the Blue Birds make their way across the tarmac and, weaving in and out of rows of parked aircraft, traverse a US Air Force base the size of a small city. After passing through Ramstein's gates they continue along a wide highway marked off-limits to the public, pass Ramstein-Miesenbach to the north, turn onto State Road 363, which passes under the A6 Autobahn, merge onto Saarbr├╝cken Strasse and Kaiserstrasse in the town of Landstuhl, and continue up Luitpoldstrasse to the Kirchberg section of town.
1,598 doses of medication
The buses have arrived at their destination when the street names start becoming more familiar to American eyes: Munson Circle, Walter Reed Drive, Fifth Street. Depending on their point of departure, the passengers inside -- whether they are in a position to realize it or not -- have traveled 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles) from Baghdad, 5,200 kilometers (3,232 miles) from Kabul or 6,200 kilometers (3,853 miles) from Mogadishu to reach the US Army's largest military facility outside the United States. They have arrived at the emergency room of the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
The structure looks like a curved spine from the air. A central hallway 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) long connects 14 individual buildings. The medical center can accommodate up to 1,000 beds in an emergency, though only 140 are currently set up. Employees vastly outnumber patients, with 2,200 people working in two shifts in Landstuhl's various departments, including doctors, nurses and drivers. Among the informational literature displayed at the press office is a piece of paper marked "A Typical Day." It details the statistics of a military hospital in a time of war: 1,178 meals, 1,598 doses of medication administered, 2.3 births, 23 newly admitted patients, nine new acute emergencies -- all in a day's work. The number of new acute cases is more than many civilian hospitals admit in the space of two months. They arrive almost directly from the front lines.
Like two Thursdays ago, for example. A small group arrives at daybreak as gusts of wind blow thin sheets of rain across the entrance to the hospital. A receiving committee has assembled in the neon light of the lobby: nurses, liaison officers, uniformed doctors, administrators, and military bookkeepers in combat boots. The chaplain on duty is also there. All are wearing purple rubber gloves. No one knows exactly what to expect.
Two buses arrive shortly after seven. They turn into the main driveway, turn around and slowly back up toward the doors. The hospital's advance guard -- 16 people altogether -- emerges from the lobby through sliding glass doors and quickly forms a cluster around the rear doors of one of the buses. A nurse stands on tiptoe on the outside perimeter, doing her best to hold an umbrella over the bus's double doors, which are now wide open. A stretcher is lifted from inside the bus out into the rain.
"You are safe now"
It arrives in the form of a broken man, a body almost completely covered in gauze bandages, darkened in spots, and connected to various machines -- he is unconscious. The chaplain at the head of the welcoming committee personally greets the new arrival, just as every new arrival at Landstuhl is greeted personally, whether he is awake, asleep or in a coma. The priest stands next to the stretcher and leans in toward the patient, almost as if he were bowing, and, addressing him by his first name: Michael, he says, "you are safe now. You're in Germany."
As the priest's purple-gloved hand forms the sign of the cross in the air above the wounded soldier, the hands of many others are already whisking the stretcher away toward the hospital, where it is loaded into an elevator and taken up to the ICU. The soldier's wounds are critical. Every minute counts at Landstuhl.
Four men are loaded onto stretchers from the second bus. Although their injuries are not life-threatening, they arrive with tubes in their necks and noses, wires in their chests, limbs in casts, skin burned, even with fingers, toes and legs already amputated. Each new arrival is greeted with the same soothing words and given the same blessing. By the time the delivery ends, 10 men have descended from the side door of the bus, some on crutches and others with no apparent injuries. The latter -- men with vacant eyes, eyes blinded by the images of war -- have come to Landstuhl for psychiatric treatment.
Eight thousand soldiers and military personnel have been treated for "combat injuries" at this hospital in Landstuhl's Kirchberg section since the Iraq war began in March 2003. This is the official number. But the real figure is probably higher, partly because the statistic does not reflect patients who have suffered emotional trauma or heart attacks in the war zone -- not even when the victims are young men. But numbers are the tools of politicians. Whether the number of the war wounded comes to 8,000 or 10,000 makes little difference to the day-to-day operations of this hospital not far from Germany's border with France. The staff members at Landstuhl are satisfied if they can survive a single day's work more or less intact.
Iraq and Afghanistan aren't the only war zones supplying the hospital with patients. Landstuhl is the central medical facility for US forces in Europe and is responsible for the US military's Central Command, which encompasses about half of US troops around the world. The hospital has treated 38,000 patients since 2003, most with run-of-the-mill, non-emergency ailments or needs: broken legs, appendicitis, tonsillitis and births. Sixty-thousand Americans have been born at Landstuhl since the hospital opened its doors in 1953. Most, though, come here to escape death.
A typical case
Paul Gillilan lies in his bed in building 10, hallway D, room 225. The room smells of disinfectant and other hospital odors. Gillilan is 24. His father was a soldier, his brother is stationed in Afghanistan and his wife at home is expecting their first child, a girl. Gillilan's speech is slurred from the pain medication being administrated through an IV drip into the back of his hand, but he smiles and doesn't seem to notice. He is a typical case.
Gillilan is based at Fort Carson, Colorado, the home of the First Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment, a famous unit in military circles and one of the oldest in the US Army, with a history stretching back to the War of 1812. Gillilan's road from Colorado to Landstuhl passed through Ramadi, 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Baghdad. That he made it to Germany is a miracle, a result of the combined and coordinated efforts of medics, pilots, nurses and military logistics experts who are continually fine-tuning the US military's battlefield evacuation system.
Gillilan, a sergeant, and his beefed-up platoon of 40 men, including Iraqi soldiers, were on patrol in the night of February 24 in Ramadi's Malab district. They were lightly armed and accompanied by Humvees as they searched for insurgents and arms depots. As the platoon moved along a narrow street, unmanned drones over their heads reported enemy movement. It was one a.m. and the drones reported people walking alongside the platoon on the roofs of the adjacent buildings. A lieutenant told the commanding officer that they were walking into a trap. But the officer ordered the patrol to keep moving. Gillilan continued on with the rest of the platoon until he heard the first shots.
He sought cover, just as he had learned to do, as he had been trained to do for years. He had been in Iraq for five months and knew how to handle himself in hostile surroundings. He had already experienced four or five explosions at close range.

Part II: Of Heros, Nurses and Tears

Gillilan and his men hid behind a wall, but in doing so they were falling deeper into the attackers' trap -- the wall was rigged with explosives. Once the Americans and Iraqi troops were safely behind the wall, the detonator was activated, perhaps using a mobile phone or a rebuilt TV remote control. The wall blew up, triggering several secondary explosions; flying shrapnel and rocks from the explosion seriously injured seven Americans and one Iraqi in Gillilan's group.
The airborne projectiles shattered the soldiers' bones and ripped into their tendons, muscles and feet. One man lost both legs. Gillilan was severely injured when his right lower leg was severed just below the knee. He could have bled to death at the scene. But instead he was in Landstuhl within 48 hours. Instead of dying on a street in Ramadi, he was saved by a medic -- a "91 Whiskey" -- who treated the wound on site as best he could under enemy fire, and managed to stop the bleeding. He was saved by the staff of a forward aid station consisting of two doctors, several nurses, operating tables and beds. He was saved by the helicopter pilots who flew him to Balad, a US base north of Baghdad. And he was saved by the doctors on board the C-17 who monitored his condition while he was being flown to Ramstein.
All eight of the men wounded that night in Ramadi are here, distributed among the corridors: 23-year-old sergeants, 24-year-old lieutenants. Gillilan says: "I'm happy to be here with my guys," and tears well up in his eyes for a moment. When asked about his leg, he says: "It won't change my life much. You can even play basketball with that kind of thing nowadays. You know, I love basketball." He smiles. He has no misgivings. He seems optimistic.
The German front
The stories of many patients in this hospital are similar to Gillilan's, but others are worse off. Married couples are admitted who were wounded together. Brothers have been admitted, one to die and the other to become so despondent that he loses his will to live. In one case, a woman was flown in to say goodbye to her dying husband, only to learn of the death of her own mother at his bedside. Landstuhl says a lot about war and little about peace.
In Landstuhl, a city of 20,000, and throughout the region known as the "Kaiserslautern Military Community," America is more than the land of George W. Bush. Here America is everyone's next-door neighbor. Fifty thousand US citizens live in the area, and not just behind fences at the bases in Ramstein and Vogelweh. Many have settled in the region, playing tennis at German clubs, donating items to their children's kindergartens, getting married and spending their evenings eating popcorn at the Broadway Movie Theater.
It's hard to be anti-American in this region. "We have been living with and benefiting from the Americans for more than 50 years," says Landstuhl Mayor Klaus Grumer, who has held the office for the past 13 years. A few months after the Iraq war began, he and several other local officials traveled to Washington, where they were received at the Pentagon. They wanted to show the Americans that their friendship would outlast the vagaries of politics. Grumer invites the officers from the base to the town hall for important events, and they return the favor whenever they have something to celebrate in Kirchberg. The city's hotels wouldn't survive without US military personnel, and soldiers make up the majority of patrons in local bars. Most Germans have no objections, as long as the GIs don't become too rowdy.
Landstuhl feels like a German front in this war. People in the city have a sense of what goes on in the hospital up on the hill. Even the Western Palatinate Peace Initiative, which stages prayer sessions at the hospital gate and distributes flyers against the war at the weekly farmers' market, makes a point of opposing war in general but not "the Americans."
Landstuhl has felt the consequences of war for decades, even with the wars and conflicts happening far away. The victims of the 1986 terrorist attack on Berlin's La Belle nightclub were taken to Landstuhl. Two years later, after the Ramstein air show accident, more than 500 wounded were admitted within two hours. In times of peace, Landstuhl was the place where the victims of attacks on US embassies, attacks on ships and bombing attacks on US citizens were given medical treatment. Now is a time of war, and yet most of Landstuhl's stories are of miraculous survival.
Extending "the golden first hour"
The military doctors have become so good at their jobs that nine out of 10 soldiers wounded in the field survive. In the Vietnam War only seven out of 10 made it home alive, and in World War II the success rate was even lower. Stephen Flaherty, a colonel and the chief surgeon at Landstuhl, has nothing but praise for the army's training programs. Nowadays every fifth soldier in US units receives additional training to become a "Combat Life Saver," which qualifies him to administer first aid to other soldiers during battle. "This allows us," says Flaherty, "to make that 'golden first hour' last longer and longer." Flaherty, 44, has co-authored books on emergency medicine. An enormous US flag hangs in his office. He is a stern, proud, battle-hardened man. He has served twice in Iraq and twice in Afghanistan, and he has seen unimaginable wounds. Flaherty and his team of 13 surgeons have eight operating tables at their disposal here in Landstuhl.
Now that the US is at war, there are some days when all eight operating tables are in use. "It's a great honor to me," says Flaherty, "to care for our people from the front lines. They're good people who are doing good things. When somebody like that is lying in front of you, it's a special feeling for a surgeon. It's like family, and it has a quality of its own."
It's impossible to visit Landstuhl without hearing stories about heroes. "It's an incredible privilege to me to be able to welcome these soldiers," says Stephen Stavoy, the priest who met the bus of patients in the morning. Stavoy is a man who doesn't look you in the eye. His hair is too white for his age, and every sentence he utters sounds like a prayer. He speaks of the respect he has for soldiers who risk their lives to save others.
There are now eight military chaplains at Landstuhl, compared with two during times of peace. All the wounded who are brought here from the front lines, anywhere from 240 to 400 a month, need support, encouragement and help. "They feel guilty," says Stavoy, "and it drives them crazy. They're convinced that they have failed. They believe that they have let down their fellow soldiers. They're ashamed to be here, in safety."
Americans are quick to characterize someone as a hero, and it is difficult for civilians, especially Germans, to share their fervor. But Landstuhl is a place which challenges un-reflected assumptions. Those who carry protest banners through the streets that read "Soldiers are Murderers" can learn here that soldiers are also victims -- men and women shot at from behind or wounded through treachery.
Not yet fallen, not yet saved
And anyone who runs into Dawn Garcia, the chief nurse in the ICU, in the hallways at Landstuhl has to wonder whether this soldier might not be a hero, after all. Colonel Garcia is in charge of the 75 nurses and nurses' aids in Landstuhl's ICU, the nucleus of this hospital. The patients admitted to one of the ICU's 18 rooms along a narrow hallway arrive from the war zones in critical, life-threatening condition.
Eight beds in the ICU were occupied 10 days ago. One of the patients had burns on 70 percent of his body, and the only part not covered by bandages was his throat, which was being held open with clamps. Comatose men and men with multiple wounds were being treated in other rooms, surrounded by doctors and machines. They were veterans from Ramadi and Baghdad -- they had not yet fallen, but they had not yet been saved either.
Dawn Garcia, a 40-year-old native of Texas, is difficult to overlook. She exudes a sense of kindness that changes every room she enters. She lives in Landstuhl with her husband and two daughters, has been in the army for 18 years and clearly loves her work. She is a remarkable person.
Garcia worked in Iraq for an entire year in 2004, the year of the battles for Fallujah. She worked in operating rooms resembling slaughterhouses, often under fire and during power outages. She saved hundreds of lives and comforted dozens of dying soldiers, held their hands, wept and prayed with them, promised not to leave them alone and never broke her promise, even when the war was raging around her.
On some days in Iraq, when blood supplies were low, she would donate her own blood up to two times a day. On other days 18-year-olds died in her arms, and all they could say was that they wanted to protect their country and hoped that their efforts hadn't been for nothing. Dawn Garcia sat by their sides like a mother, selfless and courageous.
She does her job. "My family is my support system," she says, "and I run six miles a day. That helps." When asked how she keeps herself from despairing when faced with so much suffering, she says: "You have to be able to cry when it's time to cry. That's important."
The chaplains occasionally organize outings for the hospital staff -- boat rides on the Rhine River to Lorelei Castle or trips to the Roman ruins at Trier. These outings often turn into almost frantic celebrations of life. Outside in the fresh air, in the sunlight and away from the dim corridors, hushed sounds and pungent smells of the hospitals, these nurses and doctors manage to forget about their everyday lives, and after spending a day or two in bucolic Germany they can return on Monday morning to their patients' bedsides, calm and relaxed once again.
Unable to get the war out of their heads
Lieutenant Colonel Gary Southwell, who recently returned from a year in Iraq, is a member of the hospital's team of psychiatrists. He is an honest-looking man, 57 years old, and he speaks quietly and clearly. While in Iraq he treated prison personnel who worked in a camp in southern Iraq where 12,000 prisoners were being held. The personnel, including many women, were constantly subjected to cursing, humiliation and physical attacks. Even though working in the prison was not considered combat duty, says Southwell, it involved the full "stress of combat."
Southwell speaks pragmatically. He says that the important thing is that people must first accept their suffering. "We tell them: It's normal that you're depressed, and it's normal that you don't feel well. That isn't sick. It's healthy." But it becomes dangerous when the frustration does take hold and people begin to lose it. The military, says Southwell, is a unique organization.
"Thoughts of suicide in an environment where everyone carries a gun are serious right from the start," he points out. According to the research, says Southwell, 18 to 20 percent of all soldiers develop post-traumatic symptoms while deployed in war zones. Once they are back home, they withdraw from the civilian war because they are unable to get the war out of their heads. To them, the popping of champagne corks can sound like gunshots and the slamming of doors can seem life-threatening. A package on the side of road can cause them to react by turning their cars around at full speed. All suffer from "combat stress," but it's part of being a soldier. "But the good thing," says Southwell, "is that we know these things now. In Vietnam and in earlier wars, no one even asked these questions." He says that he too found it difficult to return from war. "My wife and I spent a year living like single people. Now we have to find our way back into our marriage. It's difficult. It takes work."
A second meeting scheduled for late in the afternoon with Sergeant Gillilan, the soldier who lost part of his leg in Ramadi, is cancelled. A sister at the front desk says: "No way. He's in pain. He isn't feeling well." Some of his fellow soldiers are in a room a few doors down the hall. Their names are Berninghausen, Hightower and Nick McDermott. McDermott, a native California, is 23. He has lacerations on his face, two broken legs, is missing the big toe on his left foot, and his skin is "peppered" with grenade fragments. This isn't his first time at Landstuhl.
He sounds nonchalant as he tells the story of the first time he was wounded, also in Ramadi, and also in a trap that involved explosives. "Getting blown up is part of the job. That's why it would never occur to me to leave the army." He's building a model car, a red Chevrolet Camaro, one of the many donations from back home that the chaplains administer.
"Hard for outsiders to understand"
Entire barracks on the facility's grounds are filled with donations, with toothpaste, T-shirts and tennis shoes. Drawings from schools and kindergartens hang on the walls, colorful drawings of sunflowers with inscriptions like: "We thank our American heroes." Nick McDermott says that he always wanted to be a hero, a "G.I. Joe" who fights for his country, killing America's enemies. "It's hard for outsiders to understand." He is spending his last hours in Landstuhl. McDermott will be transferred the next day. Patients rarely stay at Landstuhl more than five days. In most cases they are quickly sent to the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington, DC, which had a good reputation until its director was fired after veterans were found living in degrading conditions in the giant facility, in mice-infested rooms with mold on the walls and excrement in the beds.
McDermott and his fellow soldiers will leave Germany the way they came. When they are loaded onto the same clunky Blue Bird buses and travel back down Luitpoldstrasse, it's on a recent Friday, a gloomy day. The bus takes them onto State Road 363, passes underneath the highway, passes Ramstein-Miesenbach to the north before arriving at Ramstein Air Base.
It takes a while for the patients to be loaded onto a McDonnell Douglas C-17. The plane's cargo area is 27 meters (89 feet) long, and loading it will take until shortly before takeoff. McDermott's stretcher is attached to a stand to the right of the center aisle, below another wounded soldier's stretcher. A space of about a foot separates the two men. About two dozen soldiers on stretchers are part of the flight's cargo.
McDermott becomes highly agitated shortly before takeoff. His body shakes and he fights back tears, perhaps because he has just now realized that he was saved. He says: "My God, I'm glad to be going home." Then he falls asleep, looking like a sick child.
The scene around McDermott is hectic as people walk around minutes before takeoff. The officer in charge of loading the plane stands on a box issuing orders to a crowd of about 50 or 60 military personnel on their way to Washington -- officers carrying briefcases, women with rows of decorations on their jackets, passengers wearing the uniforms of the US Navy, Air Force and Army. It's an American scene, a scene from a country at war. A scene from the edge of the Iraq war zone. In Germany.
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan


PART II: Of Heros, Nurses and Tears
Gillilan and his men hid behind a wall, but in doing so they were falling deeper into the attackers' trap -- the wall was rigged with explosives. Once the Americans and Iraqi troops were safely behind the wall, the detonator was activated, perhaps using a mobile phone or a rebuilt TV remote control. The wall blew up, triggering several secondary explosions; flying shrapnel and rocks from the explosion seriously injured seven Americans and one Iraqi in Gillilan's group.
The airborne projectiles shattered the soldiers' bones and ripped into their tendons, muscles and feet. One man lost both legs. Gillilan was severely injured when his right lower leg was severed just below the knee. He could have bled to death at the scene. But instead he was in Landstuhl within 48 hours. Instead of dying on a street in Ramadi, he was saved by a medic -- a "91 Whiskey" -- who treated the wound on site as best he could under enemy fire, and managed to stop the bleeding. He was saved by the staff of a forward aid station consisting of two doctors, several nurses, operating tables and beds. He was saved by the helicopter pilots who flew him to Balad, a US base north of Baghdad. And he was saved by the doctors on board the C-17 who monitored his condition while he was being flown to Ramstein.
All eight of the men wounded that night in Ramadi are here, distributed among the corridors: 23-year-old sergeants, 24-year-old lieutenants. Gillilan says: "I'm happy to be here with my guys," and tears well up in his eyes for a moment. When asked about his leg, he says: "It won't change my life much. You can even play basketball with that kind of thing nowadays. You know, I love basketball." He smiles. He has no misgivings. He seems optimistic.
The German front
The stories of many patients in this hospital are similar to Gillilan's, but others are worse off. Married couples are admitted who were wounded together. Brothers have been admitted, one to die and the other to become so despondent that he loses his will to live. In one case, a woman was flown in to say goodbye to her dying husband, only to learn of the death of her own mother at his bedside. Landstuhl says a lot about war and little about peace.
In Landstuhl, a city of 20,000, and throughout the region known as the "Kaiserslautern Military Community," America is more than the land of George W. Bush. Here America is everyone's next-door neighbor. Fifty thousand US citizens live in the area, and not just behind fences at the bases in Ramstein and Vogelweh. Many have settled in the region, playing tennis at German clubs, donating items to their children's kindergartens, getting married and spending their evenings eating popcorn at the Broadway Movie Theater.
It's hard to be anti-American in this region. "We have been living with and benefiting from the Americans for more than 50 years," says Landstuhl Mayor Klaus Grumer, who has held the office for the past 13 years. A few months after the Iraq war began, he and several other local officials traveled to Washington, where they were received at the Pentagon. They wanted to show the Americans that their friendship would outlast the vagaries of politics. Grumer invites the officers from the base to the town hall for important events, and they return the favor whenever they have something to celebrate in Kirchberg. The city's hotels wouldn't survive without US military personnel, and soldiers make up the majority of patrons in local bars. Most Germans have no objections, as long as the GIs don't become too rowdy.
Landstuhl feels like a German front in this war. People in the city have a sense of what goes on in the hospital up on the hill. Even the Western Palatinate Peace Initiative, which stages prayer sessions at the hospital gate and distributes flyers against the war at the weekly farmers' market, makes a point of opposing war in general but not "the Americans."
Landstuhl has felt the consequences of war for decades, even with the wars and conflicts happening far away. The victims of the 1986 terrorist attack on Berlin's La Belle nightclub were taken to Landstuhl. Two years later, after the Ramstein air show accident, more than 500 wounded were admitted within two hours. In times of peace, Landstuhl was the place where the victims of attacks on US embassies, attacks on ships and bombing attacks on US citizens were given medical treatment. Now is a time of war, and yet most of Landstuhl's stories are of miraculous survival.
Extending "the golden first hour"
The military doctors have become so good at their jobs that nine out of 10 soldiers wounded in the field survive. In the Vietnam War only seven out of 10 made it home alive, and in World War II the success rate was even lower. Stephen Flaherty, a colonel and the chief surgeon at Landstuhl, has nothing but praise for the army's training programs. Nowadays every fifth soldier in US units receives additional training to become a "Combat Life Saver," which qualifies him to administer first aid to other soldiers during battle. "This allows us," says Flaherty, "to make that 'golden first hour' last longer and longer." Flaherty, 44, has co-authored books on emergency medicine. An enormous US flag hangs in his office. He is a stern, proud, battle-hardened man. He has served twice in Iraq and twice in Afghanistan, and he has seen unimaginable wounds. Flaherty and his team of 13 surgeons have eight operating tables at their disposal here in Landstuhl.
Now that the US is at war, there are some days when all eight operating tables are in use. "It's a great honor to me," says Flaherty, "to care for our people from the front lines. They're good people who are doing good things. When somebody like that is lying in front of you, it's a special feeling for a surgeon. It's like family, and it has a quality of its own."
It's impossible to visit Landstuhl without hearing stories about heroes. "It's an incredible privilege to me to be able to welcome these soldiers," says Stephen Stavoy, the priest who met the bus of patients in the morning. Stavoy is a man who doesn't look you in the eye. His hair is too white for his age, and every sentence he utters sounds like a prayer. He speaks of the respect he has for soldiers who risk their lives to save others.
There are now eight military chaplains at Landstuhl, compared with two during times of peace. All the wounded who are brought here from the front lines, anywhere from 240 to 400 a month, need support, encouragement and help. "They feel guilty," says Stavoy, "and it drives them crazy. They're convinced that they have failed. They believe that they have let down their fellow soldiers. They're ashamed to be here, in safety."
Americans are quick to characterize someone as a hero, and it is difficult for civilians, especially Germans, to share their fervor. But Landstuhl is a place which challenges un-reflected assumptions. Those who carry protest banners through the streets that read "Soldiers are Murderers" can learn here that soldiers are also victims -- men and women shot at from behind or wounded through treachery.
Not yet fallen, not yet saved
And anyone who runs into Dawn Garcia, the chief nurse in the ICU, in the hallways at Landstuhl has to wonder whether this soldier might not be a hero, after all. Colonel Garcia is in charge of the 75 nurses and nurses' aids in Landstuhl's ICU, the nucleus of this hospital. The patients admitted to one of the ICU's 18 rooms along a narrow hallway arrive from the war zones in critical, life-threatening condition.
Eight beds in the ICU were occupied 10 days ago. One of the patients had burns on 70 percent of his body, and the only part not covered by bandages was his throat, which was being held open with clamps. Comatose men and men with multiple wounds were being treated in other rooms, surrounded by doctors and machines. They were veterans from Ramadi and Baghdad -- they had not yet fallen, but they had not yet been saved either.
Dawn Garcia, a 40-year-old native of Texas, is difficult to overlook. She exudes a sense of kindness that changes every room she enters. She lives in Landstuhl with her husband and two daughters, has been in the army for 18 years and clearly loves her work. She is a remarkable person.
Garcia worked in Iraq for an entire year in 2004, the year of the battles for Fallujah. She worked in operating rooms resembling slaughterhouses, often under fire and during power outages. She saved hundreds of lives and comforted dozens of dying soldiers, held their hands, wept and prayed with them, promised not to leave them alone and never broke her promise, even when the war was raging around her.
On some days in Iraq, when blood supplies were low, she would donate her own blood up to two times a day. On other days 18-year-olds died in her arms, and all they could say was that they wanted to protect their country and hoped that their efforts hadn't been for nothing. Dawn Garcia sat by their sides like a mother, selfless and courageous.
She does her job. "My family is my support system," she says, "and I run six miles a day. That helps." When asked how she keeps herself from despairing when faced with so much suffering, she says: "You have to be able to cry when it's time to cry. That's important."
The chaplains occasionally organize outings for the hospital staff -- boat rides on the Rhine River to Lorelei Castle or trips to the Roman ruins at Trier. These outings often turn into almost frantic celebrations of life. Outside in the fresh air, in the sunlight and away from the dim corridors, hushed sounds and pungent smells of the hospitals, these nurses and doctors manage to forget about their everyday lives, and after spending a day or two in bucolic Germany they can return on Monday morning to their patients' bedsides, calm and relaxed once again.
Unable to get the war out of their heads
Lieutenant Colonel Gary Southwell, who recently returned from a year in Iraq, is a member of the hospital's team of psychiatrists. He is an honest-looking man, 57 years old, and he speaks quietly and clearly. While in Iraq he treated prison personnel who worked in a camp in southern Iraq where 12,000 prisoners were being held. The personnel, including many women, were constantly subjected to cursing, humiliation and physical attacks. Even though working in the prison was not considered combat duty, says Southwell, it involved the full "stress of combat."
Southwell speaks pragmatically. He says that the important thing is that people must first accept their suffering. "We tell them: It's normal that you're depressed, and it's normal that you don't feel well. That isn't sick. It's healthy." But it becomes dangerous when the frustration does take hold and people begin to lose it. The military, says Southwell, is a unique organization.
"Thoughts of suicide in an environment where everyone carries a gun are serious right from the start," he points out. According to the research, says Southwell, 18 to 20 percent of all soldiers develop post-traumatic symptoms while deployed in war zones. Once they are back home, they withdraw from the civilian war because they are unable to get the war out of their heads. To them, the popping of champagne corks can sound like gunshots and the slamming of doors can seem life-threatening. A package on the side of road can cause them to react by turning their cars around at full speed. All suffer from "combat stress," but it's part of being a soldier. "But the good thing," says Southwell, "is that we know these things now. In Vietnam and in earlier wars, no one even asked these questions." He says that he too found it difficult to return from war. "My wife and I spent a year living like single people. Now we have to find our way back into our marriage. It's difficult. It takes work."
A second meeting scheduled for late in the afternoon with Sergeant Gillilan, the soldier who lost part of his leg in Ramadi, is cancelled. A sister at the front desk says: "No way. He's in pain. He isn't feeling well." Some of his fellow soldiers are in a room a few doors down the hall. Their names are Berninghausen, Hightower and Nick McDermott. McDermott, a native California, is 23. He has lacerations on his face, two broken legs, is missing the big toe on his left foot, and his skin is "peppered" with grenade fragments. This isn't his first time at Landstuhl.
He sounds nonchalant as he tells the story of the first time he was wounded, also in Ramadi, and also in a trap that involved explosives. "Getting blown up is part of the job. That's why it would never occur to me to leave the army." He's building a model car, a red Chevrolet Camaro, one of the many donations from back home that the chaplains administer.
"Hard for outsiders to understand"
Entire barracks on the facility's grounds are filled with donations, with toothpaste, T-shirts and tennis shoes. Drawings from schools and kindergartens hang on the walls, colorful drawings of sunflowers with inscriptions like: "We thank our American heroes." Nick McDermott says that he always wanted to be a hero, a "G.I. Joe" who fights for his country, killing America's enemies. "It's hard for outsiders to understand." He is spending his last hours in Landstuhl. McDermott will be transferred the next day. Patients rarely stay at Landstuhl more than five days. In most cases they are quickly sent to the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington, DC, which had a good reputation until its director was fired after veterans were found living in degrading conditions in the giant facility, in mice-infested rooms with mold on the walls and excrement in the beds.
McDermott and his fellow soldiers will leave Germany the way they came. When they are loaded onto the same clunky Blue Bird buses and travel back down Luitpoldstrasse, it's on a recent Friday, a gloomy day. The bus takes them onto State Road 363, passes underneath the highway, passes Ramstein-Miesenbach to the north before arriving at Ramstein Air Base.
It takes a while for the patients to be loaded onto a McDonnell Douglas C-17. The plane's cargo area is 27 meters (89 feet) long, and loading it will take until shortly before takeoff. McDermott's stretcher is attached to a stand to the right of the center aisle, below another wounded soldier's stretcher. A space of about a foot separates the two men. About two dozen soldiers on stretchers are part of the flight's cargo.
McDermott becomes highly agitated shortly before takeoff. His body shakes and he fights back tears, perhaps because he has just now realized that he was saved. He says: "My God, I'm glad to be going home." Then he falls asleep, looking like a sick child.
The scene around McDermott is hectic as people walk around minutes before takeoff. The officer in charge of loading the plane stands on a box issuing orders to a crowd of about 50 or 60 military personnel on their way to Washington -- officers carrying briefcases, women with rows of decorations on their jackets, passengers wearing the uniforms of the US Navy, Air Force and Army. It's an American scene, a scene from a country at war. A scene from the edge of the Iraq war zone. In Germany.
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Obama's Aunt Zeituni

Aunt Zeituni: 'The System Took Advantage Of Me'

President Obama's Aunt Speaks Exclusively With WBZ-TV http://wbztv.com/local/obama.aunt.zeituni.2.1921954.html

"If I come as an immigrant, you have the obligation to make me a citizen." Those are the words from 58-year-old Zeituni Onyango of Kenya in a recent exclusive interview with WBZ-TV.

Onyango is the aunt of President Barack Obama. She lived in the United States illegally for years, receiving public assistance in Boston.
'I KNEW I OVERSTAYED'

Aunt Zeituni, as she has come to be known, first surfaced in the public light in 2008, in the final days of the Presidential election. Then-candidate Obama said that he was not against the possible deportation of his aunt. "If she has violated laws, then those laws have to be obeyed," he told CBS's Katie Couric. "We are a nation of laws."

Onyango had violated the law, and she knew it.

"I knew I had overstayed" she told WBZ-TV's Jonathan Elias when the two sat down one-on-one.

ASSIGNED PUBLIC HOUSING

Zeituni Onyango said she came to the United States in 2000 and had every intention of leaving. Then, however, she says she got deathly ill and was hospitalized. When she recovered, she said she was broke and couldn't afford to leave.

For two years Onyango said she lived in a homeless shelter, before she was assigned public housing despite thousands of legal residents also awaiting assistance. "I didn't take any advantage of the system. The system took advantage of me."

"I didn't ask for it; they gave it to me. Ask your system. I didn't create it or vote for it. Go and ask your system," she said unapologetically.

And she's right. The system provided her assistance despite her status as an illegal immigrant.

ORDERED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY

In 2004 a judge ordered Zeituni Onyango out of the country, but she never left. She stayed, hiding in plain sight. In 2005 she attended her nephew's swearing in as the junior Senator of Illinois. In 2008 she was invited to, and traveled to D.C. for President Obama's inauguration.

However her nephew, she says, never pulled any strings for her.

"Listen. Obama did not know my whereabouts."

'HEAVEN' PAYS HER BILLS

Onyango hired a top immigration lawyer from Cleveland to help fight her case. We asked how she afforded that lawyer, when she claimed poverty.

"When you believe in Jesus Christ and almighty God, my help comes from heaven," she responded.

'PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE'

When asked about cutting in line ahead of those who have paid into the system she answered plainly, "I don't mind. You can take that house. I will be on the street with the homeless."

"To me America's dream became America's worst nightmare," she said adamantly. "I have been treated like public enemy number one."

GRANTED ASYLUM

She is still living in South Boston public housing, unemployed, and collecting about $700 a month in disability, she says. And now, Zeituni Onlyango is in this country legally.

In May 2010, Onyango's case went back before the same judge who ordered her out of the country in 2004. This time she was granted asylum in the United States. The ruling said a return to Kenya might put Onyango in danger.

Did her nephew, the President of the United States influence that immigration judge? "No influence at all, from nobody, from nowhere," Onyango said.

Watch the second part of Jonathan Elias's exclusive interview with Zeituni Onyango Tuesday night at 11 p.m., on WBZ-TV.

Aunt Zeituni: 'Country Is Owned By Almighty God'

President Obama's Aunt Speaks Exclusively With WBZ-TV http://wbztv.com/local/obama.aunt.Zeituni.2.1924422.html

"President Obama, I'm his aunt, I'm the only person on earth allowed to pinch his ears and smack him. Not his father; not his mother; not his wife or brother - he'll fight with him. But Auntie is a much honored person in African culture." 
This may be the case in Africa, but in the United States the President's Aunt Zeituni Onyango hasn't been revered, but reviled by many.  

For years she lived illegally in Boston public housing. She's unemployed, receiving nearly $700 a month in disability, and for nearly ten years was in this country illegally.

CARRYING HER OWN CROSS?

Onyango sat down recently with WBZ-TV's Jonathan Elias, to set her side of the record straight.

"I'm not the President's obligation. I carry my own cross."   

That's the problem; she hasn't been carrying her own cross. The taxpayers have, and many are angry that she has been able to live on public assistance for so long, while others who paid into the system are denied those same benefits.  

"It's a great country," she said. "It's nice to live here. You can do whatever you want when you live here."

Despite what's she's been given, Zeituni Onyango said flatly that she owes this country nothing in return. "But, it's given you so much?" Elias asked. "So? It's a free country under God," was her terse response.

ILLEGAL TO LEGAL

The President's aunt arrived in Boston in 2000. When her visa expired she said she was too sick to leave. She stayed in a homeless shelter for two years, and was then assigned public housing, all along, violating the law.

"I knew I had overstayed," she admitted.

In 2004, Zeituni Onyango was ordered out of the country, but never left. After her nephew became President, the same judge that once ordered her deported changed his mind. In May 2010 she was granted asylum.

One of the reasons the judge cited for the change is Onyango's relationship to Obama. He ruled that connection would make her a target in Kenya, writing, "she faces at least a 10 percent chance of future persecution in Kenya."

TAXPAYERS' BURDEN

When asked why the taxpayers should be burdened with her needs, the feisty Zeituni said, "This country is owned by almighty God. You people who preach Jesus Christ almighty God and the rest of it, you are here to help people, help the poor, help other countries and help women.  That's what the United States is supposed to do? And you have to give me my right light, every person's right."

"Do you want to become an American citizen?" Elias asked.

"If I didn't why the hell would I have been here all this time?" she responded.

RELATIONSHIP WITH OBAMA

Onyango said her relationship with her nephew is close, but that she has not been invited to D.C.

"I don't have any business in Washington D.C., in White House. Jesus, don't I have other things to do?"

She said President Obama has not helped in her fight to gain asylum, nor has he helped financially, to get her off public assistance.

The fact is, Zeituni Onyango now has the legal right to stay and she continues living in Boston public housing, and getting her monthly disability checks.

'GOD'S MIRACLES'

Many in Boston have expressed anger that the President's aunt has been living off a system that she never paid for, and was never entitled to. To this day, she does not understand that anger, nor does she think anything she has received is unfair.

"That's God's miracles," she said. "Don't you believe in miracles?"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

COMPUTER UPGRADES ~ Today's world =SMILE!!!

Today's world==SMILE!!!

 

COMPUTER UPGRADES

  

 

 


HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!

 

 

 

 

  

Net Neutrality Update

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
-By Warner Todd Huston

If you are as worried as I am about the left’s effort to force ever larger amounts of big government onto our lives, then you should be looking into the issue of Net Neutrality.
To that end a few times a week I’ll be posting some links and info
about Net Neutrality to help you all get your feet wet on this
important issue.

Here are just a few of the latest articles on Net Neutrality for your information:

The FCC Again Resumes its Unauthorized Internet Agenda

The Washington Examiner, By Seton Motley

The estimable John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports: The
(Federal Communications Commission-FCC) is issuing a public notice to
“improve the FCC’s understanding of business broadband needs,” calling
it the “next step” advancing the FCC’s small business broadband agenda.

Only one problem with this FCC assertion. They’re not supposed to
have a small business broadband agenda. Or a broadband agenda. Or any
sort of Internet agenda at all.

Tweet of the Day: The Real Battle for Mobile

Reuters, by Brian X. Chen

Tensions seem to rise between Apple and Google every time they
launch a phone or acquire a new media company, but the real battle is
happening in a wonkier arena: telecom.

South Korean ambassador touts net-neutrality policies

The Hill, by Sara Jerome

Han Duk-soo, the ambassador from South Korea, said in a speech on
Tuesday that net-neutrality protections constitute a critical policy
for the wireless and wireline broadband landscape.

What’s all the fuss about net neutrality?


Fierce Content Management, by Ron Miller

Who owns the Internet? No one. Who controls the Internet? No one
(except in certain countries that censor content, and that’s not
ownership). So what’s all of the ruckus about?

‘Net neutrality’ is a new wrinkle in Web content competition

The Olympian, by Staff

In the analog world of my youth, inventive marketers sought to
increase the visibility of their enterprises by naming them something
like “AAA widgets,” so that theirs would be the first widget company a
user would encounter in the phone book.

TITLE II, The FCC’s ‘Third Way’ Internet Land Grab is Hardly a ‘Moderate’ Solution

Big Government, by Seton Motley

Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Glen Robinson wrote yesterday
about FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposed “Third Way” solution
to Commission Internet regulation – whereby the FCC unilaterally rips
the Internet out of its current lightly regulated framework and places
it under the antiquated and oppressive Title II telephone regulatory
regime.

Former FCC Commissioner and MIT Staff Columnist Speak Out Against Net Neutrality

Americans for Tax Reform, by Jenn Cobb

If you were as excited as I to hear of the FCC postponing net
neutrality decisions, heed Glen O. Robinson’s caution for us to rein
ourselves in. Robinson, a professor of Law Emeritus at UVA and
Commissioner of the FCC from 1974-1976, deciphers their recent
decisions in his article The Middle Way to Internet Freedom .

Here are a few anti-Net Neutrality organizations and Web Resources that are worth looking in on occasionally:

Here are some industry websites that follow Internet regulations:

We hope that you will post our articles and press releases. We also
hope that our emailings will interest you enough to join the fight and
write a few blog posts about Net Neutrality.

At stake is no less our freedom to blog not to mention the innovation of a free market.

Feel free to drop me a line at igcolonel@hotmail.com
and do let me know if you are interested in helping to get the free
market, conservative narrative on Net Neutrality out to your readers.
This issue is vitally important for the freedom and success of our
Internet.

This effort is in association with the United States Internet Industry Association (USIIA).

More: http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/09/net-n...