Proof Positivity: History In Wax

me12

You know you’ll be in history books when Madame Tussauds displays you in her wax museum.  I wonder how long it took to create one of those statues.  Barack Obama is the new addition to the museum and it’s kind of creepy to look at.  It’s so life like that you wouldn’t know it was fake.

The conflict in Gaza is heartbreaking and help is finally reaching the people there.  Here are a few top rated charities to give to that were rate by Charity Navigator.

ANERA signed an agreement on January 14th with the United States Agency for International Development to deliver food in Gaza.  ANERA is a registered 501(c)3 non-governmental organization and a founding member of InterAction, a coalition of over 160 US-based non-profits working to promote worldwide development.  It’s   a leading provider of development, health, education and employment programs to Palestinian communities and impoverished families throughout the Middle East.

Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people victimized by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world.

Friends of The Isreal Defense Forces initiates and helps support social, educational, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for the young men and women soldiers of Israel who defend the Jewish homeland. The FIDF also provides support for the families of fallen soldiers.

Islamic Relief  USA strives to alleviate the suffering, hunger, illiteracy and diseases worldwide without regard to color, race or creed and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. It aims to provide rapid relief in the event of man-made or natural disasters. In addition, it establishes development projects in needy areas to help tackle poverty, illiteracy and disease at a local level.

MercyCorps  Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $1.3 billion in assistance to people in 100 nations. Mercy Corps pursues its mission through: emergency relief services that assist people afflicted by conflict or disaster; sustainable economic development that integrates agriculture, health, housing and infrastructure, economic development, education and environment, and local management; and civil society initiatives that promote citizen participation, accountability, conflict management and the rule of law.

 

Flight 1549

US Airways Flight 1549 came down in the Hudon River in New York within eye shot view of ground zero.   All of the passengers including a baby appear to only have bumps and bruises. 

It’s speculated that the plane ran into a flock of Canadian geese and officials think that is what brought the plane down. 

The piolot checked the plane before he left and not a single life was lost.

 

President Bush Says Goodbye

Fellow citizens: For eight years, it has been my honor to serve as your President. The first decade of this new century has been a period of consequence – a time set apart. Tonight, with a thankful heart, I have asked for a final opportunity to share some thoughts on the journey we have traveled together and the future of our Nation. 

 

Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole Nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.

 

Tonight I am filled with gratitude – to Vice President Cheney and members of the Administration; to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life; to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna; to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime. And above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years.

 

This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house – September 11, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock. I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93. I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son’s police shield as a reminder of all that was lost. And I still carry his badge.

 

As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.

 

Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Our Nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists’ movements, freeze their finances, and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them. Afghanistanhas gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States.

 

There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. This is a tribute to those who toil day and night to keep us safe – law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

 

Our Nation is blessed to have citizens who volunteer to defend us in this time of danger. I have cherished meeting these selfless patriots and their families. America owes you a debt of gratitude. And to all our men and women in uniform listening tonight: There has been no higher honor than serving as your Commander in Chief.

 

The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.

 

This is the belief that gave birth to our Nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens. When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We are standing with dissidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations.

 

For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools. A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled. Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes. The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs. Vulnerable human life is better protected. Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. America’s air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner. And the Federal bench includes wise new members like Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.

 

When challenges to our prosperity emerged, we rose to meet them. Facing the prospect of a financial collapse, we took decisive measures to safeguard our economy. These are very tough times for hardworking families, but the toll would be far worse if we had not acted. All Americans are in this together. And together, with determination and hard work, we will restore our economy to the path of growth. We will show the world once again the resilience of America’s free enterprise system.

 

Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.

 

The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.

 

While our Nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.

 

At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.

 

As we address these challenges – and others we cannot foresee tonight – America must maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This Nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace.

 

President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimism. America is a young country, full of vitality, constantly growing and renewing itself. And even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.

 

I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is a Nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a Nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering. We see examples of America’s character all around us. And Laura and I have invited some of them to join us in the White House this evening.

 

We see America’s character in Dr. Tony Recasner, a principal who opened a new charter school from the ruins of Hurricane Katrina. We see it in Julio Medina, a former inmate who leads a faith-based program to help prisoners returning to society. We see it in Staff Sergeant Aubrey McDade, who charged into an ambush in Iraq and rescued three of his fellow Marines.

 

We see America’s character in Bill Krissoff, a surgeon from California. His son Nathan, a Marine, gave his life in Iraq. When I met Dr. Krissoff and his family, he delivered some surprising news: He told me he wanted to join the Navy Medical Corps in honor of his son. This good man was 60 years old – 18 years above the age limit. But his petition for a waiver was granted, and for the past year he has trained in battlefield medicine. Lieutenant Commander Krissoff could not be here tonight, because he will soon deploy to Iraq, where he will help save America’s wounded warriors and uphold the legacy of his fallen son.

 

In citizens like these, we see the best of our country – resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great Nation will never tire … never falter … and never fail.

 

It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. There have been good days and tough days. But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this Nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other: citizen of the United States of America.

And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country.

 

 


From White House Press Office

 

Character’s Unite

Recognizing the history-making election of Barack Obama, Bonnie Hammer, president, NBCU Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions, today announced that USA Network is launching CHARACTERS UNITE, a new multimedia platform committed to combating prejudice and intolerance while advancing acceptance and understanding.

 

Drawing on the legacy of USA’s award-winning Erase the Hate campaign in the 1990s, CHARACTERS UNITE is based on the premise that life is richer when people see beyond stereotypes and appreciate our individual differences – from race, ethnicity, religion and national origin to age, gender, sexual orientation and physical disabilities. The program will focus on what each of us can do individually and collectively in our daily lives to acknowledge and respect our shared humanity.

 

Unveiled today are key components supporting the initiative, including a multimedia pledge drive for tolerance and understanding, the creation of an advisory board of national organizations, and plans to field a national opinion survey to assess issues and attitudes related to intolerance and prejudice.

 

“When we began developing CHARACTERS UNITE over a year ago, none of us could have foreseen a more perfect climate in which to launch this initiative,” said Hammer. “Though Barack Obama’s election represents a giant leap forward in overcoming ‘isms’ that surround us, we can’t be complacent – research shows that hate groups are alive and well. With the help of our expert advisory board, we hope that CHARACTERS UNITE can play a role in bridging the gaps that continue to divide us.”

 

CHARACTERS UNITE has assembled a powerful coalition of committed non-profit organizations to serve as its advisory board, including AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities), ADC (American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee), ADL (Anti-Defamation League), Amnesty International USA, the Asian American Justice Center, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the NCLR (National Council of La Raza), LCCR (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights) and Southern Poverty Law Center. Coalition partners will play a critical advisory role in shaping the CHARACTERS UNITE agenda, while the pro-social change initiative will actively support the related efforts of these organizations.

 

Coalition research was conducted to help shape and inform the initiative’s future messaging, content and strategy with the end goal of driving broader awareness and meaningful action around issues of intolerance and prejudice. Among the findings of the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) is the fact that hate groups have shown a startling +48% increase since 2000 – and they reside in virtually every state in the country.

 

CHARACTERS UNITE will be launched on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 19. The on-air and on-line campaign will kick-off with aggressive call-to-action promos asking Americans, despite their individual differences, to sign an online pledge for unity and mutual respect. Those who pledge will have the chance to see their names featured on future CHARACTERS UNITE promos during USA Network broadcasts and on a rolling ticker online.

 

The pledge will serve as the digital centerpiece for the charactersunite.com launch. Surrounding the pledge will be information about the program and its advisory partners, simple actions people can do in their daily lives to combat intolerance and prejudice, community features where people can share their personal stories and ideas, as well as an interactive Facebook application.

 

An integral element of the CHARACTERS UNITE social action plan is to establish an annual poll to take the nation’s pulse on issues and attitudes related to intolerance and prejudice. With the purpose of publishing results and leading a national discussion, USA Network will partner with a leading research company to create a national omnibus survey to probe current attitudes surrounding racial, religious, and cultural differences in the USA.

 

Promos and campaign strategy were developed in conjunction with Citizen Group, a San Francisco based agency specializing in values-based brand strategies and campaign creative work across media.

PR Newswire

 

Life Made Easier Thanks To Superman

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the national, non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures and treatments for spinal cord injuries and improving the lives of people living with paralysis, applauds the United States Senate for passing the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act (CDRPA). The legislation was included as part of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act which the Senate passed today by a vote of 73-21. The act was named for the late actor Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana, whose courage and grace in the face of adversity, coupled with their extraordinary activism, were an inspiration to millions around the world.

 

“The Senate passage of the first national public health bill to directly address paralysis is a landmark in the fight to develop cures and improve the quality of life for those living with paralysis,” said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO, Reeve Foundation. “Advancements are made every day in spinal cord injury research, but the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act will speed progress and make research efforts more efficient.”

 

“Today’s vote in the Senate is a sign that Congress is serious about accelerating the discovery of better treatments and improving the daily lives of those living with paralysis,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). “I started working with Christopher and Dana on this issue 10 years ago, and even though they are no longer with us, there are millions of other Americans who will benefit from their hard work and perseverance. I am very happy this legislation passed the Senate and look forward to its swift passage in the House.”

 

Wilderotter continued, “On behalf of the Reeve Foundation and millions of Americans living with paralysis, I would like to thank Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Chairman Edward Kennedy(D-MA) for initially sponsoring this important health bill and for their tireless efforts.” Wilderotter added, “Also, I would like to express our appreciation to Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) for including the Reeve Act in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act and for his dedicated support of the paralysis community. Senator Tom Harkin should also be commended for his extraordinary leadership on this historic legislation. In addition, we express our appreciation to Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-NV), and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) for their resolve to bring this bill before the Senate.

 

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act will improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments from any cause — stroke, ALS, spinal cord injuries and others. It encourages coordination of research to prevent redundancies and hasten discovery of better treatments and cures, as well as to improve the daily lives for those living with paralysis. The Act has three components that support and enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs:

 

 

  • Paralysis Research — Expands research on paralysis at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This will encourage collaborative research by connecting scientists conducting similar work to further enhance understanding and speed discovery of better treatments and cures.
  • Paralysis Rehabilitation and Care — Builds on research to enhance daily function for people with paralysis, including a Clinical Trials Network, to measure effectiveness of certain rehabilitation tactics and encouraging shared findings on paralysis to improve rehabilitation.
  • Improving Quality of Life for Persons with Paralysis and Other Physical Disabilities — Works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the quality of life and long-term health status of persons with paralysis and other physical disabilities.
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: