Super Hip Grandma

A blog about things that I want to talk about, articles I think are interesting, and my family, which is GANGSTA!

August 15, 2006

Witnessing at Her Own Funeral

By John Jessup – NORTHERN VIRGINIA - It was a crime that shocked and saddened residents living around the nation's capitol: two police officers gunned down and killed in an ambush at a police station in suburban Washington, D.C.

But as tragic and painful an ordeal as it was, it's apparently sparked a religious awakening for hundreds in the area.

It was a day that started like any other. Forty-year-old Vicky Armel went to work, as usual, at her police station. What would happen hours later, no one ever expected.

"Vicky, the aggressive detective, was the one who said to our boss, 'Hey, there's been a couple of carjackings. Are we going to go out and look for it?' I'm (Mike) 15 seconds behind her," recalled Detective Mike Motafches of the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department.

As they headed out to do their jobs, Detective Armel and Master Officer Michael Garbarino were fatally shot in the parking lot of the police station, ambushed by an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, five handguns, and a hunting rifle.

Armel was the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in the department's nearly 70-year history. The news shocked many around the region and drew the community's show of support in a makeshift memorial at the police station—and even more at her funeral.

Police estimate that anywhere between 7,000 to 10,000 people paid their final respects at Detective Armel's funeral, many of them law enforcement officers from around the country, in town for National Law Enforcement Memorial Week.

Grieving friends and family came to mourn the woman they describe as well-liked and respected, kind, creative, and often candid about what she was thinking. They thought they would never hear from her again.

But they were wrong.

Imagine the emotions when they heard these words: "My name is Vicky Armel, and if you told me last year that I'd be standing in front of hundreds of people talking about Jesus Christ, I’d say you're crazy."
During the service, the packed auditorium listened to a recorded speech that Vicky gave last year, recounting how she came to make one of the biggest decisions of her life: to become a Christian.
Vicky's faith journey started two years before, with her friend and partner Mike Motafches.
"We knew it was going to be a long day on our investigation out in Maryland, Mike said, and she said, ‘You have the whole day to convince me that this Christianity stuff is true or God exists. I'm your audience for the next five hours.’

This article was excerpted from Click on title for the rest of the story

August 07, 2006

When Anti-semtism Is

By Jeff Jacoby
Monday, August 7, 2006,

Two anti-Semitic incidents occurred on July 28. Both took place on the West Coast; both involved an American venting his hostility to Jews. But only one of them became in the days that followed a big national story about anti-Semitism. The other was treated as a serious but local matter, and drew only modest coverage around the country.

Incident A involved nothing more dangerous than a guy spewing crude anti-Semitic slurs when he was arrested for drunk driving; once sober, he publicly and profusely apologized. Incident B involved a Muslim gunman’s premeditated assault on a prominent Jewish institution; his attack left one woman dead and sent five to the hospital, three of them in critical condition.

Which would you say was the bigger story?

Unless you've spent the past week submersed in the Mariana Trench, you know that the intoxicated driver in Incident A was Hollywood’s Mel Gibson, who railed at the Los Angeles County police officer who pulled him over about the “(bleeping) Jews” and how “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Details of Gibson's tirade leaked quickly and the story was soon everywhere. In the first six days after his arrest, the media database Nexis logged 888 stories mentioning “Mel Gibson” and “Jews.” And that didn’t include the countless websites, talk shows, and smaller publications where the story also played.

By any rational calculus, Incident B was far more significant.

According to police and eyewitness reports, the killer, a 30-year-old named Naveed Haq, forced his way into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle by holding a gun to the head of a 13-year-old girl. Once inside, Haq announced, “I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,” and opened fire with two semi-automatic pistols. Pam Waechter, 58, died on the spot. Five other women, one of them 20 weeks pregnant, were shot in the abdomen, knee, or arm. When one of the wounded women managed to call 911, Haq took the phone and told the dispatcher: “These are Jews and I’m tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.”

This was no spur-of-the-moment meltdown. The police say Haq, who holds an engineering degree from Washington State University, had purchased the two guns and waited 10 days before picking them up on July 27. He selected his target by searching online for Jewish sites. And as his declarations make clear, he was impelled to kill by his antipathy toward Jews and his convictions as a Muslim.

At a time when jihadist murder is a global threat, and when some of the most malevolent figures in the Islamic world -- Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah, to name just two -- openly incite violence against Americans and Jews, the attack in Seattle should have been a huge story everywhere. Yet after six days, a Nexis search turned up only 236 stories mentioning Haq -- about one-fourth the number devoted to Gibson’s drunken outburst. Why the disparity?

This is an excerpt taken from Click on title for rest of article.

August 05, 2006

Letter To The Editor

From: "David LaBonte"

My w ife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.

Dave LaBonte (signed)
Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statute of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan.

They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here.

These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about.

I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they
would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statute of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

Rosemary LaBonte

June 16, 2006

A Hero At Geno's

A hero at Geno's
Jun 16, 2006
by Mike Gallagher,

Email to a friend Print this page Text size: A A Joey Vento, a feisty and proud Italian guy from Philadelphia, has become an American hero.
The 66 year old Vento is the hands-on owner of a Philadelphia treasure, Geno’s Steaks, a legendary cheese steak joint in the middle of gritty, working-class South Philly. Day after day, month after month, year after year, for 40 years now, Joey and his crew have been serving up a delicious sandwich that is unique to the City of Brotherly Love. What pizza is to New York City, cheese steaks are to Philadelphia. And even though there’s competition and plenty of debate about who makes the best one, many people emphatically declare that Geno’s is the best place to get a Philly cheese steak in America.

Geno’s Steaks stands out on the corner of 9th and Passyunk like a brightly lit shrine to gastronomic delights, it’s bright orange exterior and illuminated signs paying tribute to Philly sports teams seemingly visible for miles. Joey likes to say, “If they turned the lights out at Geno’s, Philadelphia would go dark.”

Turning the lights out at Geno’s is a circumstance that some people at City Hall seem to think is a proper punishment for something that Joey has done. The only trouble is that most Americans think the guy deserves a ticker tape parade for what he’s done.

Joey Vento is a flag-waving, freedom-loving businessman. He works seven days a week putting in long, tough hours cutting the loaves of bread for the sandwiches, supervising his employees, and glad-handing the many customers who make a stop at Geno’s a part of their routine. Meeting Joey for the first time will make you feel like you’ve known him forever, the proverbial guy who never met a stranger.

But Joey has a simple request of his customers who line up outside Geno’s to await their turn: when ordering, please speak English. It’s a polite request that has landed him in a lot of hot water with the governmental bureaucrats who feel it’s their duty to patrol the politically correct waters of Philly.

Nearly a year ago, Joey put a little sticker on the window above the counter where people order their food. The sticker simply reflects his wish that people not hold up his line and make life difficult for the men and women who take the orders. It contains this message: “This is America. When ordering, please speak English.”

This was excerpted from article on Click on title for rest of the story

June 14, 2006

Million Dollar Bills

Quadriplegic Harassed by Secret Service For Passing Out $1 Million Dollar Tract
June 13, 2006

On Friday, June 2nd the Secret Service seized 8,300 of Ray Comfort’s Million Dollar Bill gospel tracts from his sister ministry “The Great News Network” in Texas. They Secret Service told them that someone in North Carolina tried to deposit one in their bank, and that if they didn't give up their supply, they would arrest them for violation of counterfeit laws. Then they said they are going to seize Ray Comfort’s supply in California. The Million Dollar Bill tract was produced in 2002 by best-selling author and co-host (with Kirk Cameron) Ray Comfort of the award-winning “The Way of the Master” TV program, now airing in 70 countries and on 20 networks.

After Ray Comfort alerted Brannon Howse, President of Worldview Weekend and Christian Worldview Network of the Secret Service action, Brannon urged Comfort to call their mutual friend, Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association and The AFA Center for Law and Policy. After Howse and Comfort contacted Wildmon, AFA’s lead trial attorney took the case.

By June of 2006, Ray & Kirk’s ministry had sold an incredible 5,300,000 in the last four years. Other groups were buying the $1 million bill and were buying them and making them available to their customers because people love them. The reason they produced them was because they knew that they weren’t violating counterfeit laws because there’s not such thing as a real million dollar bill. The Monday after the seizure there was panic buying from customers who loved using the tract. A total of 500,000 were sold in one day.

Two days later the story hit the Washington Post, then it was picked up by the Associated Press and became national news. A further one and a million and a half were then ordered and a special print of 100,000 of the bill that had the words “Secret Service Version” printed in the seal. This was in compliance with Federal guidelines. Even though it wasn’t real money, it was made 1 ½ times the size of a genuine bill.

Excerpted from The Christian Worldview Network. Click on title for rest of article.

June 09, 2006

PG Rating For Baptist-Backed Film

Scripps Howard News Service

The Motion Picture Association of America is crystal clear when it describes why its "PG" rating exists _ it's a warning flag.

"The theme of a PG-rated film may itself call for parental guidance," states the online explanation of the rating system. "There may be some profanity in these films. There may be some violence or brief nudity. ... The PG rating, suggesting parental guidance, is thus an alert for examination of a film by parents before deciding on its viewing by their children. Obviously such a line is difficult to draw."

Disagreements are a given. The Christian moviemakers behind a low-budget film called "Facing the Giants" were stunned when the MPAA pinned a PG rating on their gentle movie about a burned-out, depressed football coach whose life _ on and off the field _ takes a miraculous turn for the better.

"What the MPAA said is that the movie contained strong 'thematic elements' that might disturb some parents," said Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like "The Squid and the Whale."

Which "thematic elements" earned this squeaky-clean movie its PG?

"Facing the Giants" is too evangelistic.

The MPAA, noted Fuhr, tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG. ...

"It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about."

Excerpted from Scripps Howard News Service. Click on title for rest of the article.

June 05, 2006

The Media War on Traditional Values

by Cliff Kincaid

June 05, 2006 09:30 AM EST

The sewer-mouth by the name of Howard Stern once denounced Jack Thompson as a "lunatic lawyer" for getting him kicked off radio stations. Considering the source, this is why this statement is featured as a badge of honor on the cover of Thompson's book, Out of Harm's Way, about the dangers posed by what passes for "entertainment" on television, radio and video games. The book not only describes how Thompson has waged a valiant legal war on those who pollute our culture, it offers evidence of direct harm caused by what children see, read and hear.

Thompson is a father who cares about his family and country.

Another fighter is Rebecca Hagelin of the Heritage Foundation, who wrote Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad. You can read her excellent speech to Hillsdale College on the Hillsdale website. A mother, she understands the dangers. We need more mothers like her speaking out.

She's right that the culture has gone mad. To the disgrace of American society, Stern, who has since fled to satellite radio, has become something of a cultural icon. It's like he's become the new Hugh Hefner, the modern version of the dirty old man. Stern has even appeared several times on Fox News, supposedly the "conservative" cable channel. Thompson's book would be well worth it if he only dealt with the damage caused by this so-called "King of All Media." Thompson's chapter on "Stern Stuff" examines the disgusting nature of what this creature spews forth. To cite just one example, Stern told his audience shortly after 9/11 that prostitutes should be sent to the rescue workers on their breaks. Much of what Stern says can't even be described without being offensive. What he represents is a sickness and blight on our society.

Excerpted from article on Click on title for rest of article