Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bill Clinton vs. Chris Wallace, Fox News

So I saw the uncut version of this now infamous interview on Fox News Sunday. I'm proud of how Chris stood his ground. I couldn't tell whether Bill had just lost his mind, attacking Chris personally, or whether or not this was one of the more calculated moves of his career. Thoughts on this car accident?

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Rosh Hashanah

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year filled with good health, hope, joy and perhaps most important of all... peace.

Shana Tova from the Blogway...

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Pope Bruhaha

So Muslims are upset with what the Pope... quoted?! I, for one, don't buy the Pope's denial that it was just a quote and not representative of his views. It's not like he just riffs a talk -- I'm sure he must give great thought to what he says in public or at least he should. Given that, what was wrong with what he said? Is it untrue? I imagine most of us would say it's true for a seemingly growing portion of the religion's followers. So then, what's the beef? Oh right. Only they can say that. If any of us infidels call a duck a duck, then the masses in Gaza, etc., have to freak out and make everyone pay. Doesn't that just prove the Pope's point?

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Fallen Hero

Oriana Fallaci, the brave writer who inspired all who knew of her, has lost her battle with cancer. Please visit Roman Wanderer's beautiful tribute to this amazing woman.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Timothy John "T.J." Hargrave:
Husband, Father, Brother, Son... American Hero

Timothy John Hargrave of Readington, N.J., was killed by Islamic fundamentalists while working at his job as vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald, in the North Tower, 105th Floor. He was 38 years old.

He is listed as victim #562, but as you will read, T.J. was so much more... an incredible man, who leaves this world greatly diminished by his absence.

This despicable act left his wife Patty without her beloved husband, his daughters Corey, 9; Casey, 7; Amy, 5 without their adoring father, his mom Kathryn, sisters Maureen, Pat, Kathy, Mary Ann, Jeanmarie, Carolyn and brother Jamie, as well as countless others in his extended family, heartbroken. But they weren't the only ones affected. T.J. had a huge impact on everyone's life he touched, as witnessed by the many testimonials to him on the Internet. They speak of his zest for life, his sincerity, kindness, brilliance and his loyal friendship.

T.J. started working at age 6 and didn't stop until Sept. 11.

As a child, his work was acting. He was in many television commercials. The first film he did was released in 1971 and called "Such Good Friends," exposing him to legends behind the camera as well as in front of it. The film was directed by Otto Preminger, written by Elaine May, and also starred Dyan Cannon, James Coco, Ken Howard, Burgess Meredith, Louise Lasser and Laurence Luckinbill. In 1974, he joined the longest running soap opera, "The Guiding Light," creating the character of Tim "T.J." Werner. He left the show in 1976, apparently because he had shaved his head along with every other wrestler on his high school team, freaking out the producers. T.J. didn't seem to mind; it was just another funny story he could tell. His leaving allowed a then-unknown actor by the name of Kevin Bacon to take over the role. T.J. then went on to star in a made-for-television movie called, "The Prince of Central Park," with Ruth Gordon, Dan Hedaya and Brooke Shields.

As an adult, he worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. "People were flabbergasted when they found out," said his wife, Patricia. "He was someone who knew a little bit about everything."

But most of his prodigious energies went to those close to him: his wife, Patty; the friends they had made as far back as the Wayne, N.J., high school, DePaul, they both attended; his seven older siblings; his three young daughters; and all the girls on the soccer teams he coached.

"He was passionate about everything, and he was an everlasting friend," his wife said. "Once you were in his life, you stayed there. And he was the most devoted father you can imagine. He'd never played soccer a day in his life, but he wanted the girls to be involved in team sports, so he learned. I tell them, 'Some parents have their kids in soccer so they can have some time by themselves, but your father had you in soccer because he wanted to be with you.' He was more than a devoted father, more than a devoted husband," his wife said. He was "an everlasting friend to anybody that he ever met." He and his wife would have celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary in November, 2001.

Of course, no one can honor him better than his own family. In 2002, his daughter left this note for him:

Dear dad,
I miss you. You have been very, very nice. I'd do anything to get you back.

I love you and miss you.
love your peanut cori

Corinne Hargrave (Stanton, NJ )

And then this one from his wife:

T - I've spent every second of every day of the last 4 1/2 months thinking about you. My mind will always be filled with wonderful memories of our 20 years together. Although way too short (no I don't mean you), I am so grateful for that time. I love you for so many reasons, way too many to go into, but... to list a few: your absolute devotion to and love for Cori, Casey, Amy and me, for all you taught me over the years, the confidence you instilled in me, your level-headedness with our girls, the fun we knew we would have when you were around, and in general, just the brilliant person you were. I thought about it the other day, and if I was asked to describe you in one word, it would be BRILLIANT - that was your entire being - you were the smartest person I ever knew, and your caring, loving personality shone on all of us, enabling us to bask in that brilliant light and warmth that was you.

I know the impact you have had on so many of us, through the way you lived your life, will stay with us, and guide us, forever.

I will love you forever and miss you always.

Love, Patty

May G-d bless T.J. and his family.

Information in this entry was taken from various publications and Web sites including a profile published in The New York Times on November 24, 2001 and an article from the AP. You can find information on T.J.'s acting career on the Internet Movie Data Base.

2996: Honoring the 9/11 Victims -- We will never forget

Find out more information on the project as well as a list of participants.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Fox News Crew's Kidnapping... A Commentary

While covering the Palestinians in Gaza, Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and his cameraman Olaf Wiig were grabbed at gunpoint and then held hostage for almost two weeks. This incident was incredibly disturbing on so many levels.

These two were truly terrorized. Lucky for them, pressure was applied and the two were finally set free.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this, that has gotten very little attention, is that fact that the two were forced at gunpoint to convert to Islam. For all the people who insist that Islam is religion of peace and that they're not out to take over the world, this is pretty damning evidence to the contrary. This is our future, should Iran get a nuclear weapon. Convert -- or die at the sword!

Now I'm even more disgusted at the twosome immediately started begging media outlets not to pull out of Gaza, that "the Palestinian story needs to be told." Frankly, I think it was told quite well -- if you're not a Muslim and visit territory they control, you must convert or die. How brainwashed are these two or is their far-left philosophy (yet working for Fox??) so ingrained, that they still believe the 'noble savages' are good at heart and this must have just been a weird aberration? Or even worse, they were pushed to do something drastic because of mean, horrible Israel? Granted, they did say this while still in the Palestinians' control at that hotel but I'm not sure I've ever heard them denounce it once they were in a free country.

Once back in the states, the two set out on their speaker tour at Fox. Both appeared on Greta Van Sustren's "On The Record" show, along with the awesome Jennifer Griffin, who worked tirelessly to secure their release. She was telling an amazing story of being with all the terrorist groups' heads and she said, "It was obvious we were being played." That's right, she came right out and said the truth....finally. This was done, despite protests to the contrary, with the blessing of Hamas. And why? My guess (well mine and many others) was to take the pressure off them to release kidnapped Israeli soldier, Galid Shalit. With the world worried about the journalists, no one was making any noise over poor Galid. Why wasn't their release tied in with Galid? Why didn't everyone do cartwheels to try and prove these to be two totally different kinds of actions. They weren't. Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, etc. and their hired freelance kidnapping goon squad are engaging in these 'adventures' in an attempt to free all of their homicidal brothers in Israeli jails. And this will continue as long as they're never forced to pay any price for anything they do.

Then the twosome went on Hannity and Colmes. I don't know what's happened to Alan Colmes. You have to wonder if he really believes the crap he says or if he's just trying to spice up the show. Regardless, Alan Colmes is an idiot, asking Steve after he retells his tale: "So they didn't threaten you at all?" No, Alan -- you moron -- they made him tea. They are terrorists! Get over your dangerously misguided love for the noble savage. Quickly, Steve answered, no, they did threaten us. We knew they had guns, grenades, etc. Steve said they told Olaf that he was CIA, a soldier, a very dangerous man and they were going to kill him [Steve].

These are dangerous people. We're in dangerous times. Unless people wake up and see the threat, I know we're in for much worse. The Daniel Pearl kind of worse.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Your Help Is Still Needed... Katrina -- 1 Year Later

This note was written by my wonderful friend, Paula, who once again has volunteered to help people overwhelmed by Hurricane Katrina. Please read her note.

I am about to finish up my third stint in New Orleans as a hurricane relief volunteer. It continues to be the best worst thing I have ever done.

Worst when I'm tearing out drywall and insulation in a house we're gutting, and sweating so much that the mask over my nose and mouth is filling up with water so frequently that I feel like I'm going to drown...

Best when, as that's happening, one of the most adorable 5-year-old boys I've ever seen comes up to me, his child's Home Depot tool kit hammer in his hand, and says: Excuse me, ma'am, can I help you? I have a tool.

Worst when I pull at an overturned, ruined recliner to get it out of another house and two rats run out - and I scream like a girl and scare the rest of the crew to death...

Best because, even though it's rats - it's life returning to the area, something I had not seen during my first two trips down here.

Worst when we find an 80-year-old man sobbing on his front lawn when he got the first look at what was left of his house after the storm...

Best when, at the end of the day, he cries again, but this time tears of gratitude and joy as he insists on hugging every one of us, even though we are covered in dirt and mud and muck and sweat, and says we have given him hope...

I could go on with countless more examples - probably the worst of the worst being this past Friday, when someone decided to try to push a refrigerator that had been sitting in a house without power for 368 days without duct taping it closed first, and... you guest it... it opened. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

The purpose of my email to you is twofold - first, to let you know - and ask you to spread the word - that it is not okay down here. In so many areas, it looks like the storm hit last week and not last year. So many people assume that because it's no longer the lead story on the news that everything is fixed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

And now, the parishes (counties to the rest of us) are starting to pass ordinances that homeowners must gut their houses, replace the doors and windows and mow and maintain their lawns. If they don't, the parishes will do it, put a lien on their properties for the cost of it, and take the house if they don't repay it. So many people, because they're still waiting for insurance settlements, or were uninsured, don't have the money to do this. They are exempt if they are on the list with a bonafide relief organization, so those list grow daily.

I have been working with Hilltop Rescue & Relief. They currently have over 900 houses still on their lists. What they don't have is enough volunteers, thus the second reason for my email.

Hilltop is a Church of Christ based relief organization - not my church - not even my denomination, but this is not about religion, it is about helping people. Check them out at

They have been going non-stop since shortly after the storm but now, due to a lack of volunteers are scaling back. After this week, they are planning to work the week around Columbus Day weekend, a week to 10 days around Thanksgiving, and about 3 week over Christmas. I'm planning to come back between Christmas and New Year's. All you have to do is get yourselves here. They provide housing, meals, laundry facilities, electricity, indoor plumbing, hot showers - almost all the comforts of home.

I urge you all to consider making the trip down here. Come for a weekend, come for a week. If not with Hilltop, with another relief organization. Hilltop will even refer you to another organization.

If you are involved in any social, civic, fraternal, religious, professional or other organization, suggest this as a project. Talk about making airplane tickets to New Orleans the family Christmas presents this year - I guarantee you it will be remembered more than almost any other Christmas gift you have received or will ever receive.

It doesn't matter how much you've read or seen on TV. The scope of what happened down here is impossible to comprehend unless you see it with your own eyes. Every homeowner - Hilltop gives priority to those over 65 and/or handicapped - has told me how blessed they feel, but I'm telling you, I'm the one who has been blessed. I guarantee you that a trip down here will change your life forever. I have worked side-by-side with people from 8 to 80, from all walks of life, and from all over the country. This trip, I have worked with a wonderful and incredibly hard working family from Canada - although it is a little embarrassing that Canadians are showing up to help when our own citizens are not. I'm hoping that'[s because they don't know, so please help me spread the word.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information. I would love to see you in the Big Easy... for the hardest work you'll ever love.


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