Author Archives: Teresa Wendt

About Teresa Wendt

A stay at home mom who runs a household, manages the finances, cares for a young adult autistic son, and cooks from scratch. Traveling from Arizona to Alaska summer of 2013. Visit my blog at http://ramblinroseaz.wordpress.com/ and follow along.

Even Today Mr. Rogers Offers Comfort

Fred_Rogers_White_HouseThe tragedy in Boston is horrific. The raw images and video graphic. The city, and the country, filled with pain as we hear reports of death and scores severely wounded. We pray for the families and for the survivors.

In our grief, one calming voice returned to offer comfort. Fred Rogers, famed neighborhood friend from PBS often talked to children about dealing with challenges. His quote below was posted and went viral on the social media yesterday afternoon.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”

Mr. Rogers, your mom was right. I saw it, did you? Did you see the soldier who, having just finished the race, ran back to help the wounded? Did you see the cowboy who quickly applied a tourniquet to a severely wounded man? Did you see the police and firefighters running toward the injured, even after the second bomb was detonated?
 
It is still a terrible tragedy but in the midst of it all we are reminded that there are more caring and helpful people than there are evil. And though he’s been gone for many years we still appreciate the wisdom of Mr. Rogers.

Bombs Made in Pressure Cookers

The Marathon Bombs were likely made in pressure cookers, filled with nails and other metal and set off remotely by cell phone according to new reports from CNN. Use of pressure cookers is seen in Afghanistan bombs and were used in the attempted Time Square bombing of 2010.
At this early stage in the investigation no suspects or motives have been identified.

Do Drone Strikes Help Recruit Al Qaeda?

droneAs more information comes out about drone use residents in the US worry. Might there be a drone flying so high its invisible, watching our movements? Might some agent working thousands of miles away be monitoring us for weapons or checking our activities?

It’s frightening enough to think of the loss of privacy we, as citizens, may face if drone use becomes tolerated or even common place. But what is happening in other countries? Is the government, as we are told by this administration, limiting drone use to high ranking Al Qaeda? And how are the people reacting?

“It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative,” President Barack Obama said in a Sept. 6, 2012, interview with CNN. “It has to be a situation in which we can’t capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States.”

Are we just aiming at the specific high level targets? Or are there others? And how much collateral damage is there?

According to a McClatchy DC Bureau U.S. intelligence reports indicate the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified “other” militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan’s rugged tribal area.

Copies of the top-secret U.S. intelligence reports reviewed by McClatchy, show that drone strikes in Pakistan over a four-year period didn’t adhere to those standards.

The intelligence reports list killings of alleged Afghan insurgents whose organization wasn’t on the U.S. list of terrorist groups at the time of the 9/11 strikes; of suspected members of a Pakistani extremist group that didn’t exist at the time of 9/11; and of unidentified individuals described as “other militants” and “foreign fighters.”

Drone program critics say the strikes have killed hundreds of civilians, fueling anti-U.S. outrage, boosting extremist recruiting, and helping to destabilize Pakistan’s U.S.-backed government. And some experts warn that the United States may be setting a new standard of international conduct that other countries will grasp to justify their own targeted killings and to evade accountability.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/04/09/188062/obamas-drone-war-kills-others.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/04/09/188062/obamas-drone-war-kills-others.html#storylink=cpy

Is it any wonder that those who have seen first hand the casualties from a drone attack are more likely to distrust the United States Government? Are these drone attacks serving to assist recruitment to groups like Al Qaeda?

Watch as CNN’s Jake Tapper interviews former National Security Spokesman Tommy Vietor about the strategy of drone use. In light of the top secret document information, one has to wonder about the slant put on drone use by the Obama administration.

Read more about the interview at Tapper’s new show, The Lead and McClatchy DC.

Inundated! Video Shows Stream of Border Crossers

secureborderintelAs senators work to find an answer to illegal immigration Fox News reports citizens are attempting to show the country how porous our US/Mexico border is. Many say the administration is trying to play down the number of border crossers in an effort to pass some kind of amnesty legislation. The Secure Border Intel is one such group. They have placed hidden cameras along well known border crossing points capturing the steady stream of immigrants coming illegally into the US.

In the report following William La Jeunesse explains how and why this group of volunteers have decided to take action:

 


Let your senators know that the border needs to be secured before any talk of amnesty can continue. Additional videos, including captured Border Patrol audios, are available at the SBI YouTube site. You can read more at Fox News.

WI Football Dance Off

I admit, being a Pac 10 (now 12) fan the only time I usually see the Wisconsin team is during the Rose Bowl. Still, there’s nothing like a watching a team take its standard practice and turn it into something fun. You don’t have to like the Badgers or even football to enjoy this short dance off between teammates.

In Hot Pursuit Means More in Dubai

lamborghiniGulf News is reporting that the ‘no budget worries’ Dubai Police Department has purchased a Lamborghini ‘squad’ car. The sporty two-seater can reach speeds of 217 miles per hour giving it a definite advantage in most hot pursuits.

Painted in the Dubai police colors of green and white the car is expected to be dispatched to in high tourist areas of the city. The one of a kind car cost the city $550,000.

Dubai is an oil rich city, part of the United Arab Emirates, located on the Persian Gulf.

Read more at GulfNews.com.

 

Caring or Abuse? A Case Goes to Court.

Regular readers may know that I am a mom to a special needs, non verbal young adult son. He is among the most vulnerable among us. He cannot tell me if things are okay. As mom I must glean from his actions and signs wabusehether he is happy, scared, hungry or tired.

One of my greatest fears is that someone would hurt or abuse him. Because of this, I am and will always be a ‘helicopter mom’, one who hovers nearby, always watching for an indication that there might be a problem.

I could be the mom in this video. This woman was concerned that her autistic son was not receiving good care. As an adult, the son lived in a nursing home with non-family caregivers. The mom’s intuition was so strong that she placed recording cameras in her son’s room and then watched the videos. The images she saw demonstrated enough abuse to her son by caregivers that they are now on trial for abuse.

 

San Diego, California News Station – KFMB Channel 8 – cbs8.com

According to the Examiner, the National Autism Association estimates that more than 200 students have died within the last five years due to restraints used in schools. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania shows that over 18 percent of children with autism have been physically abused.

With such staggering statistics, it may seem difficult for parents of autistic children to know how to protect against abuse and restraint. Cameras, such as those used by the parents of the 23-year-old in San Diego, are a good starting point.

No doubt, even the most experienced caregiver can become frustrated but it is never permissible to cause harm.

As Pope John Pall II said, “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members…”

Contrary to DHS Reports, Illegal Border Crossings Thriving

border warning signAccording to an investigative report written for the Arizona Republic in the past five years more than $106 billion have been spent to build fencing along more than 650 miles of the border and and more than doubling the number of Border Patrol agents along it to almost 18,500. They erected surveillance towers and hidden sensors. They added  drones, aircraft, canine teams, horse patrols, checkpoints and vehicle patrols that range up to 60 miles from the actual border to arrest migrants and catch drug smugglers.

All of this infrastructure — along with a 58 percent drop in the number of migrants arrested by the Border Patrol compared with five years ago — underpins Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s claim that the border is more secure now than it has ever been. Arizona Central

But is it?

Last week it was reported that a radar equipped drone used by the Customs Department demonstrated less than half of those illegally crossing from Mexico were stopped by border agents. Customs department officials blames the ‘Got Away’ rates on rugged terrain, lack of border agents and inability by the drone to differentiate US citizens from others.

It was further reported that many of those caught by the Border Patrol are no longer hiding from officers but instead are turning themselves over to officials. The word in Mexico is that those who make it into the US are going to be eligible for amnesty.  The agency’s official response is that this sudden spike in arrests and the reason for it is anecdotal but one has to wonder what message is being sent by the current administration.

The Border Patrol policy is that they do not try to stop illegal crossings at the border; instead they try to stop illegals before they get too far. This policy means that Arizona and other state residents who may own land adjacent to the Mexico border must deal with a daily influx of border crossers. They must protect themselves and their families in this ‘no man’s land’ and fear the US government if they themselves don’t follow all laws, including holding suspected illegal crossers on their private land.

Contrary to Secretary Napolitano’s confident statements about our Southern border, it still appears that we must secure it before trying to enact an amnesty program.

 

WSJ: Our Changing Relationship with Health Care

obamacare falloutThis week in the Wall Street Journal there is an interesting ‘on the ground’ look at health care and how it has changed in the past 50 years. The article is particularly worth watching because it is written by ‘former’ physician Dr. Ed Marsh.

Dr. Marsh opened his practice in pediatrics in the early 1960’s, ran a solo practice for many years until he joined a third party group, feeling the growing interaction with insurance and government regulations.

“Preventive care” became the touchstone. The concept is obvious, but the evidence for its value, and especially its potential for savings, is rarely conclusive.

Insurance relationships drove practice relationships. Patients were more likely to come to me because their insurance told them to, and more likely to leave, despite our congeniality, because their insurance required it. Thus our dealings were less personally rewarding, for my patients and for me.

When it became increasingly difficult to work according to my principles, I closed my practice, first joining a “prepaid” group for 15 years, and then leaving patient care altogether. As more physicians leave active practice, it must be appreciated that a focus on the economics of health care is not the only, and perhaps not even the most important, reason for their disillusionment. The glow of the personal relationship one might have with one’s patients is being extinguished.

You can read the full article at the Wall Street Journal. For additional information on the changes in health care the editorial board of the WSJ gives a helpful, yet brief, synopsis explaining our managed care past and where we are today. Board member and Pulitzer Prize winner Joe Rago explains why the big bureaucracy of Obamacare will decrease the relationship between you and your doctor while making it more difficult to get the care you need.

In the Face of Personal Loss, Where is Our Compassion?

compassionWhat has happened to society? Why, when someone suffers a personal loss, are so many jumping to criticize, scorn, and generally offer hate filled messages? Where is our compassion?

This morning websites in the United Kingdom opened their pages for readers to offer condolences and tributes with the death of their former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But before the day’s end, The Daily Telegraph closed their web pages to comments as Editor Tony Gallagher tweeted: We have closed comments on every #Thatcher story today – even our address to email tributes is filled with abuse.

There is no doubt that Thatcher’s iron fist and union breaking government caused many from the 80’s to dislike her policies but is there no room for even one day of remembrance before striking out?

In another sad event, closer to home, this weekend well known Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren’s son committed suicide. As Pastor Warren wrote and friends suggested, the son struggled many years with mental illness and depression. Yet, almost before the news was out the criticisms of Warren and his Christian religion were spread across the social media.

Would we be so quick to hate in real life? Or is it through the anonymity of the internet that so many feel free the boundaries of civility and able to spew vitriol without having the least bit of compassion for a family facing such a loss?

Are we not allowed ideological differences? Where is our compassion?

The clip below is from FNC’s Megan Kelly on American Live as she discusses the appalling comments towards the Warren family with Father Jonathan Morris of the Catholic Church and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. As Perkins said, “There was a time when, even when we differed ideologically, we would take a break when a family suffers such a great tragedy.” And as Father Jonathan recommends, let’s offer our prayers and positive affirmations in large numbers to keep the negative comments in context.

Read more at Washington Times

Putting Kids in a Bubble?

happy birthdayAccording to new rules from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Aussie children will no longer be allowed to blow out candles on their birthday cake. Citing the possibility of spreading germs, the NHMRC recommends parents use single cupcakes with each having one candle on it.

Parents, doctors and other caregivers wonder if these new restrictions might be putting kids into a germ free bubble which, while keeping them away from contagions as a child may limit the building of a health immune system needed to fight off infections later in life. Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Steve Hambleton says it is healthy for children to be exposed to a certain amount of environmental antigens that build their immune systems.

There was reassuring news from the Perth Minister’s Department: “We’re not going to have the cupcake police out…”

One has to wonder if Nanny State promoter NYC Mayor Bloomberg has heard about this yet?

Read more at the Daily Mail.

Media Cancel AZ Rep’s Gay Son’s Interviews

Last week during the same sex marriage debate Arizona Congresman Matt Salmon (R-AZ) spoke out against the issue while noting he has a gay son. Tossed into the media limelight, the younger Matt R Salmon, a third year medical student, accepted invitations to appear on several news programs. Unfortunately, once the left leaning media discovered that Salmon was tolerant of his father’s stance and would not criticize it, the interviews were cancelled.

In an interview with a Phoenix news channel the younger Salmon explained his experience.

Where is the tolerance, the acceptance, of diverse ideas? Must one completely follow the line of the far left to be accepted for a news interview?

Shorter Jay Carney: Obama’s Not King, You Know

White Hkingouse Press Secretary Jay Carney spoke about the much delayed budget President Obama will finally unveil next week.

“What I will say is that this is not the president’s idealized budget,” said Carney,  “It is not what he would do if he were king, or if only people who supported his proposals were in Congress.

Have we ever had a president who more wished to be king instead of having to deal with those pesky other equal but separate, branches of government?

Gosh darn those Founding Fathers.

Oops…Navy Scraps Grounded Minesweeper

USS_Guardian_aground_in_January_2013Adding to the embarrassment of accidentally running aground on a national marine park coral reef in January, the Navy has decided its $300 Million Minesweeper ship is not salvageable and has chosen to scrap the state-of-the-art vessel.

The official statement stated that their initial review of navigation data indicates an error in the location of Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines.

The Navy decided to dismantle the ship due to the severe damage to its hull and the potential to further damage the pristine coral reef.

 


For more information and additional photos of the grounded craft visit the Guardian’s website.

Reps Chaffetz & Bentivolio Tour a Porous AZ Border

Following a recent visit to the Arizona border by senators, Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Kerry Bentivolio, (R-MI) toured the Yuma Sector of the Arizona-Mexico border.

The following is from Representative Chaffetz’  public Twitter account. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Most residents of the US have never seen the arid border that is constantly under discussion due to its lack of security. This photo essay helps demonstrate more clearly the situation Border Patrol and Sheriffs in the area have to deal with daily.
chaffetz 21Image 1: A visit to the Eloy ICE Detention Center. Of the 1493 inmates over 900 are classified as OTM (Other Than Mexican).  Images 2,3,4: Border ‘fences’ near Yuma.

chaffetz 22Images 5,6: Agents use ATV’s to patrol the rugged sand dune area. Note the lack of shielding for the agents. During the visit 9 Romanians were caught trying to enter the US illegally.
Images 7,8: At the remote San Luis 1 station 16-20,000 passengers per day cross into the US. Agents use dogs and behavior profiling in their search for illegal contraband.

chaffetz 23Image: 9 Why doesn’t the TSA use dogs and behavior profiling as effectively as the Border Patrol? Image 10: Another stretch of border ‘fence’. Images 11,12: A US elementary school just North of the border has 60 minor children who walk across the border each day to and from school. No paperwork. No questions asked.

chaffetz 24

Images 13,14: Just two of the vehicles stopped during the congressmen’s visit with hidden marijuana and meth.

You can read more about the trip at the SLC Tribune.