Obama’s Stolen Strength.

February 20, 2008

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What comes to mind when I think of Barrack Obama? A candidate of nothing. An interesting man, a talented orator, a devoted father/husband, and a political novice. A shell of a president. A man with a brilliant future, several years from now, when he has the experience to command anything more than an audience. His own supporters have been stumbling in interviews when simply asked to state one legislative accomplishment. Why then is he winning? Two words: incandescent speech. When the man talks, he glows. He beams of confidence, optimism, and truth. In reality those beams consist of arrogance, naivety, and rhetoric. I appreciate a good public speaker and do value words. I would never lobby his lofty speech against him like some people have. Now his lack of experience is another issue that I have no problem holding against him.

So what is my point? You already know I support Clinton, but respect Obama (that does not mean I have to respect people who vote for him). Words are really all he has and now the news is reporting some of his words are not his own. Yes, I speak of plagiarism, a borderline curse word in the academic setting. Apparently plagiarism is completely acceptable in the campaign for the White House. Because he continued his surge of victories after the story broke. A man running solely on his words shouldn’t be simply quoting others. Many of you will jump to his defense, that is was his speech writers who plagiarized, but therein lies the problem. If words are all he has and we don’t hold him responsible for his words then there is nothing left of his candidacy.

In defense of being “just words”

Obama responded nearly word for word and without attribution, a quote from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’ — just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ — just words.”

On another occasion

Deval Patrick: “I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”.

Obama: “I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”

On Pharmaceutical Ads

Edwards’s 2004 stump speech: “I love the ads. Buy their medicine, take it, and the next day you and your spouse will be skipping through the fields.”

Obama: “You know those ads where people are running around the fields, you know, they’re smiling, you don’t know what the drug is for?”

During Announcement Speeches

Edwards (2003) : “I haven’t spent most of my life in politics, but I’ve spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change Washington.”

Obama (2007): “I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Unionized Labor

Edwards: “We need a president not afraid to use the word ‘union,’

Obama: “We need a president . . . who is not afraid to mention unions,”

Working Class

Edwards: “Hard work should be valued in this country, so we’re going to reward work, not just wealth.”
Obama: “We shouldn’t just be respecting wealth in this country, we should be respecting work.”

 


Reaching Your Childhood Dreams

February 7, 2008

Backstabbing isn’t just for friends

January 31, 2008

Here is a story straight from the streets of my school.  A guy walks down the street (the street is Broad Street), feels a punch to the back, figures ‘damn that hurt, whatever’ and keeps walking.  The man continues down the street until someone informs him he has a knife in his back.  He goes to the hospital, he will be fine.  I think this story is a perfect summary of the area I go to school in.  First off, a stranger might just stab you for no reason, you could get punched in the back and know it is not worth reporting, another stranger wouldn’t hesitate to get up in your business about the knife, and Temple hospital still wouldn’t be shocked when you came in.  It also says something about the students in the area, an article about the event has been the biggest e-mailed story through campus all week.  Read Article Here. Here is a quote from the article.

Here’s something you’d hear only on the hardscrabble streets of Philadelphia:

“Dude, you got a knife in your back.”

That’s what a passer-by yelled to a Philadelphia man after a bizarre incident as he was walking along Broad Street in North Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

After receiving what he thought was a punch to the back from a stranger, the victim told police that the passer-by pointed to his back and yelled about the knife.



Crazy for Christmas

December 8, 2007

While its normally against my no lame-old-people -TV policy, I might have to check out HGTV tomorrow night.  Sunday, Dec. 9, @ 9 they are airing a special “What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House?”  I love insanely decked out houses.  I think its great if someone want to be that excited about the holidays.  Plus as a kid, those lights meant Christmas was soon, so it attaches an emotional significance.

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“What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House?”
It’s a holiday twist on the series, What’s With That House? Every neighborhood has one … the house that just doesn’t fit in. And for the holidays, these houses actually go out of their way to stand out! What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House? has host George Gray taking viewers behind the closed doors of the most-talked-about houses in the neighborhood to meet the characters who live there and check out their unique take on holiday decorating.


Stem Cells Used to Cure SSA

December 7, 2007

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Encouraging new research published in Science indicates that stem cells can be used to cure sickle cell anemia. The study used iPS cells and was done in mice. The sickle cell mice were treated with iPS therapy, and cured of the sickle cell without complication. The expected complications of using iPS in treatment are rejection and tumor growth. Rejection was controlled in this experiment, because the cells were identical (because they came from the mice) and it has been 4 months and still no tumor development. There is a lot of support for using the iPS cells they come from skin, not from embroynic cells.

“Induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells, are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. They can morph into all of the more than 200 cell types in the body but are derived from skin, not from embryos. Mouse iPS cells were first derived earlier this year, and scientists reported last month to great fanfare that they had created similar cells from human skin.”

Although it will be many years before this technique could start appearing in humans clinically, it is still promising. The sickle cell diseases are just one group of genetics disorders, thousands of other genetic disorders could potentially be helped with similar technology. Although these “alternative” stem cells are showing great promise, most prominent geneticists want to clear up any confusion about the cells. They are inferior to using embryonic stem cells. Hopefully the world will just appreciate this discovery for the medical miracle it is and not attempt to use it for propaganda. The iPS stem cells have been touted by President Bush and some religious conservatives as the perfect and equal alternative to stem cells. But in reality, embryonic stems would make the research far simpler and expedite the discovery process.

Scientists Cure Mice Of Sickle Cell Using Stem Cell Technique

Read the full Article By Rick Weiss

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 7, 2007


Veteran’s Day: Our Heroes, Our Homeless

November 11, 2007

Who are homeless veterans?

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says the nation’s homeless veterans are mostly males. The majority are single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities, 45% suffer from mental illness, and half have substance abuse problems. They have served in every war from the second World War to Iraq.

How many homeless veterans are there?

The VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And nearly 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year. Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.

Why are veterans homeless?

In addition to the complex set of factors affecting all homelessness — extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to health care — a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

Doesn’t the Department of Veterans Affairs take care of homeless veterans?

With an estimated 400,000 veterans homeless at some time during the year, the VA reaches 25% of those in need. For more information about VA homeless veteran programs, go to www.va.gov/homeless/.

What services do veterans need?

Veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing and nutritional meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental health counseling; and personal development and empowerment. Veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance.

The solution?

I don’t know. More government money, more private charity, and more awareness would be a start. But on a personal level, I think the first step is just keeping in mind when you see the homeless on our streets that many of them fought for our country.  I also think this is a cause that organized religion really can and often does step up for.  I know personally, my church and the Catholic church in general does a lot to help the plight of the homeless.


Boxing is NOT for wimps

November 8, 2007

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I like to pretend I’m a tough guy, but I found out recently that I am indeed a big wimp.  The true tough guys are the athletes that can slug it out for 12 rounds.   I sustained two boxing injuries this week and I am almost ready to hang up my gloves.

The first incident was Monday night.  My dad and I were watching the Kessler v. Calzaghe super middleweight fight (pictured above) while making dinner.  It was an intensely good fight, that had heart, power, speed, bravado, and endurance.  Both men held the 12 rounds without slowing and were true entertainers.  The fight was so engaging that we proceeded to burn the pot we were cooking dinner in and had to put it outside to get the smell out of the house.  Calzaghe was just better, Kessler fought well but he just wasn’t as good of a fighter.  Both were previously undefeated.  If you are wondering how I got hurt watching tv, let me explain.  When a fight is good, my dad and I usually jump around imitating the boxers and swing around wildly.  We were boxing around during the breaks between rounds and one of his punches slide up my hand cutting my finger.  Now that stung a little at the time, but was no big deal.  Until a few hours later when it was clearly already infected.  I must have got some super fast bacteria in it.  It felt like it was on fire and ached to touch it, but a couple days of cleaning and neosporin and it is all good now (except a red badge of courage where the cut is).

The second incident was last night.  I was walking down the hallway with my mom, and made fun of her not being able to catch me (she was yelling about killing me or something).  Then I turned and was organizing my school papers that were on the couch.  I didn’t know she was doing anything in particular, and she thought I was going to run away.  So she turns and swings full out thinking I will be out of reach or something.  Instead she decks me in the face.  At first the impact was so intense I thought I would fall, but I was able to catch myself.  I was relieved that I hadn’t fallen.  Then I opened my eyes and was so dizzy I fell.   So my 60 year old my was able to knock my ass down with one punch.  Then once I got up and still had all my teeth, my mom laughed for the next hour and told me it was my fault.