Andrew Lichtenstein understands Memorial Day.

I went to my first military funeral in November of 2003. A local newspaper wrote that Jacob Fletcher, a 28 year-old private from Long Island, New York, was being buried with military honors at the national cemetery in Pine Lawn, Hundreds of American soldiers had already died in Iraq, and I believed deeply that their sacrifice was important, that their deaths should not be ignored.
The ceremony itself was brief. A lone bugler played taps, an honor guard of seven soldiers fired their rifles into the air three times, for a twenty-one-gun salute, and the American flag covering the casket was carefully folded and presented to Jacob’s family. A military funeral has the feeling of having been designed while at war, under fire, and lasts, at the gravesite, about eight minutes.
Despite the sadness and grief all around me, I appreciated the simplicity and beauty of the event. At the time, soldiers’  deaths in Iraq were not being covered by the national media. It was there, beside the freshly dug dirt of Private Fletcher’s grave, that I knew this was for me more than another story. It was a commitment I had to make, a chance to bear witness.
In the spring of 2004, US News and World Report agreed to fund my travel expenses to attend ten funerals across the country. Since the ceremonies were short, and to some extent, similar, I felt that it was important to add geographic diversity. Every decent photograph can be considered a landscape, and I wanted to rediscover my country through a schedule determined by grief and death. So one week I went to the high plains of Western Nebraska, the next, the desert of Southern Arizona, then the subdivisions of Central Florida.
I had been wrong. No matter how standardized the script of a military funeral, no two were the same. In the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, the local police closed off the roads to all traffic but the funeral party. In Arkansas, the father of a boy who had given away all of his favorite belongings before he left for war, knowing that he would not be coming back, invited me over after the funeral for a memorial barbeque.
Not feeling comfortable, not wanting to offend or intrude, and always remembering that the people being buried were so much more than another picture for a photo essay, there were some funerals where I never took the camera out of the bag. And then there were others where I became an official photographer of sorts, e mailing images to the friends and family of the soldiers. Everyone’s relationship to death is different.
For this book, from the fall of 2003 until the end of 2006, I attended between fifty and sixty funerals, I do not know, I never counted. Zachary Barr, a radio journalist, and I also visited ten families across America who had lost a brother, father, son, or husband, in Iraq. Some grieving families wholeheartedly supported the war, and the Bush administration for starting it. A few were very angry with the government. But for most, their loved one’s death was deeply personal, beyond politics. It was from these families that I learned the most. They helped to show me what we have really lost, the incredible, priceless human sacrifice of war.
Andrew Lichtenstein
March 2nd,  2007
Brooklyn, NY


The real meaning of Memorial Day: Photographer shares sobering images of memorial services for slain US veterans | Daily Mail Online

A picture is truly worth a thousand words.  We celebrate our freedoms and keep those who have served in our hearts.

The world is safer today because he said so.  Reality check:

Chris Roberts, a security researcher with One World Labs, told the FBI agent during an interview in February that he had hacked the in-flight entertainment system, or IFE, on an airplane and overwrote code on the plane’s Thrust Management Computer while aboard the flight. He was able to issue a climb command and make the plane briefly change course, the document states.

“He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights,” FBI Special Agent Mark Hurley wrote in his warrant application (.pdf). “He also stated that he used Vortex software after comprising/exploiting or ‘hacking’ the airplane’s networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system.”

Hurley filed the search warrant application last month after Roberts was removed from a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Syracuse, New York, because he published a facetious tweet suggesting he might hack into the plane’s network. Upon landing in Syracuse, two FBI agents and two local police officers escorted him from the plane and interrogated him for several hours. They also seized two laptop computers and several hard drives and USB sticks. Although the agents did not have a warrant when they seized the devices, they told Roberts a warrant was pending.

A media outlet in Canada obtained the application for the warrant today and published it online

via Feds Say That Banned Researcher Commandeered a Plane.

We aren’t the hateful that many perceive us to be.  Sadly, we are sometimes too cautious and overlook that which needs to be addressed.  I’m glad that doesn’t always happen.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – All restaurants have their regulars, but the Qdoba on Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville seems to have more than its fair share, maybe because of the philosophy put into words by its general manager.

“It’s just not about making people’s food,” said Jim Schroeder. “It’s about what kind of positive impact can I have on somebody else’s day.”

Several weeks ago, a couple of regulars and an employee all crossed paths and maybe taught us all something about kindness.

“We helped her get in because she was out in the parking lot so we helped her get in,” said Dr. David Jones.

Dr. Jones shot the video but the story really belongs to Ridge Quarles and one of the customers he’d gotten to know over his five and a half years at the restaurant.

“She didn’t get to get out of her house very often, but whenever she did, she always told me, ‘Ridge, this is my most favorite place to eat,'” Quarles said.

We don’t know her name or her story. Ridge said he would see her from time to time when she was dropped off by a TARC bus that helps people with disabilities.

“Sadly enough she has to sit outside the restaurant until someone notices her or another customer that’s coming in has to let her into the building,” said Quarles. “By now, she’s actually been in so many times that we know what she likes to eat.”

That order: A taco salad with hot sauce and cheese for lunch, a burrito with hot sauce and cheese for dinner.

via CAUGHT ON CAMERA: A simple act of kindness with big impact.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

CNN anchors must use astronaut diapers when they have someone like Croyder on.

h/t Anthony

Page Croyder – ” Marilyn Mosby Police Charges Incompetent at Best ” – Fmr Deputy Baltimore Attorney.


Local Hospital has New Policy: Ask for Dilaudid, get Dilaudid no Questions Asked

In what experts are calling pure genius, Emergency Department utilization has never been better, costs have been severely cut down, and patient satisfaction scores are through the roof –a national high.

In reality, life imitates art right?

Experts say too many patients are being prescribed opioid painkillers by emergency room doctors, and a program created by Obamacare could be enabling the problem.

A new study released this week found 17 percent of nearly 20,000 patients were discharged from emergency rooms with an opioid prescription. Experts and lawmakers say a push under Obamacare for hospitals to get good patient satisfaction scores is one cause of the problem.

America is in the midst of an opioid “epidemic,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Painkillers killed more than 16,000 people in 2013. A huge part of the problem is the prescribing of painkillers, which quadrupled from 1999 to 2013.

Emergency room prescriptions are part of this trend, but data are lacking on the reasons opioids are given out, according to the study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.


A program created by Obamacare tied extra funding to high scores on the survey.

“Their reimbursement and quality ratings are linked to ways patients rate them on categories,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, president of the doctor advocacy group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

The survey has three questions about pain, including whether the physician adequately treated pain.

While it sounds like a benign question, “it forces physicians and surgeons to not only ask about pain but be sure they are prescribing appropriate medication,” said Dr. David St. Peter, a hospitalist with Saratoga Hospital in New York. St. Peter works to admit patients to the hospital if they need further treatment after the emergency room.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced publication of a five-star rating system for hospitals based in part on satisfaction survey scores.

This practice hasn’t gone unnoticed by Congress.

via Obamacare program may be linked to ER opioid prescriptions.

Ohio Obamacare expansion costs $3 billion in first 15 months.

You aren’t and should not be surprised.  So, let us enjoy some good ole satire to help ease the burden of digging deeper into the wallet.


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