Friday, June 12, 2009

Help fight poverty and illiteracy in Mississippi

The Poor People’s Campaign, Generation Change The World and Today's News NJ will have a press conference at classics book store in Trenton, NJ. We are asking people from all over the country to donate $5.00 buy a case of books sent in your name to send adults, children and prisons in Mississippi.

Gathering of Hearts and SCLC has called a Poor People's Campaign Public Hearing in Lambert, Ms. on Friday: June 19 at 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. to address the issues of poverty throughout the United States. The Poor People's Campaign Public Hearing will take place at Quitman County Elementary School, located at Hwy 3 South, Lambert, Ms 38643. A poverty tour will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12: 00 noon. The town we will tour is Sledge, Falcon, Lambert and Marks.

As you may already know that the 37 million people living in poverty in this county, human rights are being violated. It is a human right to have access to clean water, food a right to work, a right to an education.

Poor People's Campaign Public Hearing Press Conference

The Brown Family

Video: David Letterman Defends Jokes About Sarah Palin and Her Daughters

David Letterman defends his jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughters in a seven minute segment above, June 10, 2009
As I predicted David Letterman issued a weak and trite non-apology for his inappropriate attacks on Sarah Palin’s 14 year old daughter Willow which he confused with Bristol who is 19.

“We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]… and now they’re upset with me…” Letterman says on tonight’s show. “These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl…. Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No.” Saying he hopes he’s “cleared part of this up,” Letterman extended an invitation to Palin to come on the show as a guest.

An invitation to appear on his show is the lamest of reparations and his cover hius ass moments above will continue to spur a call or a boycott of his show sponsors.

A few commenters have asked for a list of The David Letterman Show sponsors and contact information on where to complain.

Video: Museum to Reopen After Tribute to Fallen Officer The Associated

Experience, coaching tips the scales in NBA Finals

Written by Ken Trahan
In all of sports, be it professional or amateur, talent is the predominant factor in winning. When the talent level is close in proximity or even, experience and coaching become huge factors.

Never has this been more evident than in the NBA championship series. The talent level is close to or virtually even between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic. There is no comparison in the experience area. Based on last night, the coaching aspect must be taken into consideration as well.

The Lakers are on the cusp of winning a 15th NBA championship after a 99-91 overtime win at Amway Arena in Orlando. The Lakers outscored the Magic 12-4 in the extra period to win for the second time in overtime in the series and now have a commanding 3-1 lead over Orlando.

After trailing by 12 (49-37) at halftime, Phil Jackson made coaching adjustments, doubling ball-handlers and switching on pick-and-rolls to deny the Magic their bread and butter offensive scoring options, holding Orlando to 14 third-quarter points. Los Angeles scored 30 in the frame to take a four point lead. Trevor Ariza had 13 in the period. The same Trevor Ariza who Orlando cast away to Los Angeles in a trade in 2007. Think he is smiling? Think he is motivated? Think the Magic would like to have him about right now?

The Magic came back and actually had a five-point lead late. They could not finish, largely because they could not protect the basketball but mostly because they could not make a free throw under pressure. Experience certainly seemed to matter here.

Up 87-84 with 11.1 seconds remaining, Dwight Howard was fouled. If he makes one free throw, Orlando evens the series. He clanged both. The Lakers called timeout. Stan Van Gundy elected to pressure the Lakers full court. Bad move. Drop back, set up your defense at half court and stop the three-ball at all costs. In the blink of an eye, Kobe Bryant quickly passed to Trevor Ariza, who quickly passed to Derek Fisher.

Despite the fact that the Lakers needed a three to tie and Orlando had the option of fouling, Jameer Nelson inexplicably settles in defensively below the three point line. Fisher advances the fall with two dribbles, pulls up, and calmly drills an open three to tie the game. It was as if Nelson was playing him to drive to the basket, a crazy notion when you are up three. He had plenty of time to close out on Fisher, who managed two dribbles before getting off a shot. He did not.

Even though the shot only tied it and there were still 4.6 seconds remaining, you had the feeling that it was game over. It was. Orlando had trouble getting the ball inbounded. When they finally did, Mickael Pietrus missed an off-balanced three-ball, hardly the shot Orlando wanted, to send the game to overtime at 87-87.

In the overtime, Kobe Bryant had two baskets and the big assist on Fisher's dagger three-ball to break a 91-91 tie. Prior to hitting his two big triples, the 34-year old Fisher had been 0 for five from beyond the arc. He promised Pau Gasol he would not miss again. He did not. In the clutch, big-time players with experience make big-time plays. Fisher has three rings. So does Bryant. They are about to earn a fourth each. Orlando was just one of seven in overtime. Experience counts.

Bryant finished with 32 points, eight assists and seven rebounds despite shooting just 11 of 31 from the field. He was a perfect eight-for-eight from the free throw line. Pau Gasol had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ariza was big with 16 points and nine rebounds.

The Lakers are 7-0 in the postseason after a loss. That is largely attributed to experience and coaching. This is the first time since the magical (pardon the pun) Lakers versus Celtics series of 1984 in which two games have gone into overtime in a title series. The 1984 series was the most watched NBA final in history. Boston won it in seven games, winning both overtime games, just as the Lakers have won both overtime games in the current series with Orlando. The experience gained against Boston would benefit the Lakers. They would come back to beat Boston 4-2 in the 1985 and 1987 finals by 4-2 margins.

Last night, the Lakers held Rashard Lewis to just six points. They were in the shooter's shirt everywhere he went. They held Howard to just five of 12 shooting from the field. Of course, Howard held himself to just six of 14 shooting free throw shooting. Superman shed his cape in the clutch. Prior to crunch time, he was terrific, playing with tremendous energy in scoring 16 points, pulling down 21 rebounds and blocking nine shots.

In the series, Howard has clearly been bothered by the Lakers' length, making just 16 of 34 field goals (47%). Dealing with seven footers Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and even D.J. Mbenga, he hasn't been able to finish down low and hasn't had help from his teammates. Many times in last night's game, Howard appeared open but his teammates either did not get him the ball or got him to him late, with the defense having recovered.

Of course, he turned it over seven times. Orlando turned it over 17 times, leading to 16 Los Angeles points. The Magic shot a miserable 22 of 37 from the free throw line, a pathetic 59.5 percent. It wasn't just Howard missing. Hedo Turkoglu, who otherwise played brilliantly with 25 points and only one turnover, missed five of 13 free throws. They missed five of seven three throws during crunch time, the final five minutes of the game. They still should have won but simply didn't know how to.

Why Jameer Nelson allowed Fisher to get an open look for three to send it overtime is mystifying. That's on Nelson, not Van Gundy. Why Nelson was even in the game at that point is on the coach. Why not a quicker Rafer Alston? Why not a longer, better defender in Courtney Lee? Nelson was a non-factor throughout, scoring just two points and dishing out three assists in 26 minutes. In 27 minutes, Alston scored 11 points and handed out two assists. In Orlando's 108-104 game three win over the Lakers, Alston was a primary force, scoring 20 points. Van Gundy opted for the long-term memory of early season production (Nelson) as opposed to short-term memory as in the last two games (Alston).

While Alston is a streaky player and a well-traveled journeyman (with his fifth NBA team), he is clearly a better option for Orlando at this stage. While Nelson was having an All-Star season prior to getting hurt, he is nowhere near the player he was before the injury. That is painfully obvious to anyone watching. Loyalty is an admirable quality. Blind loyalty will get you beat.

Experience matters. Even when Stan Van Gundy coaches well, his players cannot finish under pressure. Howard misses free throws. He misses contested three-to-five-footers. On a well-designed play, Courtney Lee misses a running layup in game two that would have won the game. Given those opportunities, the Lakers don't miss.

Fisher did not. He was all smiles after making his first big three last night. He smiled broadly again after his dagger three in overtime. He was comfortable. He was enjoying the moment. That is a by-product of having been there, done that. The Magic haven't been there or done that. Given this year's experience, perhaps they will next time they get back to the finals. Fisher is now third all-time in NBA finals history in three-pointers made with 40. Only "Big Shot Bob" (Robert) Horry (56) and a guy named Michael Jordan (42) have made more.

Though the series is not over, does anyone really believe that Orlando can win three straight against the Lakers, including a pair of games in Los Angeles? To make matters worse, once the league reviews Pietrus' dirty, body-block foul on Gasol on the game's final basket, the possibility of a one-game suspension looms. Though a flagrant-one was assessed, the review could produce a flagrant-two, putting Pietrus down for game five Sunday night. Afterwards, Van Gundy said, "our stupidness (sic) cost us the game." The foul by Pietrus was stupid. Nelson's defense on Fisher was stupid.

Experience counts. Phil Jackson has it. Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have it. A magical season is nearing its end against a team that once featured a magical player named Magic. They used to have a guy called Shaq as well. Kobe is about to end the criticism of not having won a title without Shaquille O' Neal. He will enjoy the experience immensely.

The only aspect of experience that fell short on this night was that Gina Marie Incandela and her 7-0 record singing the national anthem at Magic games this season. It did not matter last night. She is now 7-1. You can't win them all. The Philadelphia Flyers rode Kate Smith's "God Bless America" to many playoff and Stanley Cup final wins. She eventually lost. The Magic will likely sing a different tune, with a different anthem singer prior to game five. It won't matter. Experience will ultimately win out.

Two mosque blasts kill 10

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 12 (UPI) -- An anti-Taliban cleric was among four people killed Friday in a suicide bombing inside a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, officials said.

The blast occurred after prayers finished at the mosque. Suicide bombers entered the office of cleric Sarfraz Naeemi and detonated the explosives, killing Naeemi and three others, reported Dawn, Pakistan's English-language newspaper.

Officials said 10 other people were injured in the attack. The Jamia Naeemia mosque and madrassa are in the densely populated Garhi Shahu area of old Lahore.

In Nowshera, officials said an explosives-laden vehicle struck mosque, killing six people and injuring 90.

The explosion at the Nowshera mosque also occurred after Friday prayers, Dawn said.

Officials said the mosque's roof and walls were heavily damaged in the attack.

India Reacts Calmly to Flu Pandemic Alert

People suspected to be infected with swine flu wait for tests at Government Chest Hospital in Hyderabad, India, 07 Jun 2009

India's government health officials say despite the designation of a global pandemic for the H1N1 virus there is no cause for alarm in the world's second most populous country. India has confirmed 16 cases of swine flu in humans and there have been no reported fatalities.

Health officials are trying to assure the more than one billion people in India they are doing all they can to minimize the threat from the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu.

There has been no evidence of an outbreak cluster, so far, in India. Government health officials say all confirmed cases of the virus in the country originated from the United States.

Joint Health Secretary Vineet Choudhary tells reporters even though the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic, raising its alert to the maximum level, India need not be alarmed.

"There is no need to panic, certainly because the WHO has based this pandemic at Phase 6," he said. "There is need to take action. We have been taking preparatory steps and the government has put into position all mechanisms that are required to tackle with an outbreak that may spread in the community."

Officials say rapid response teams of health personnel have been placed into position in seven cities around the country so they can quickly respond to any additional cases. Sixteen new laboratories are being set up in addition to two existing facilities.

Health Secretary Choudhary also says the country's stockpile of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu is sufficient with 10 million doses procured.

"We have given an emergency stockpile to each state so in case a patient is detected he can be straightaway put on treatment by the state government without waiting for supplies to be sent from Delhi or elsewhere," he said.

India has banned sales of Tamiflu in the open market to prevent people taking it as a preventative measure. That could allow the virus to develop a resistance to the drug. But media reports say Tamiflu is being sold under the counter by some pharmacists at inflated prices.

The Health Ministry plans to install thermal scanners at the Delhi international airport to detect incoming passengers with fever. The government also wants any travelers with symptoms of the flu to avoid coming to India.

The Kurtz Team

Dear Supporter,
A Celebration of Family and Friends
The Kurtz Team cordially invites you to attend the inaugural event of the Downbeach Republican Council.
Saturday, June 13
5pm - 8pm
Behind the Ventnor Library at Newport Avenue and the Beach
Free food and live music.
Congressman Frank LoBiondo is the main sponsor of the event. The Kurtz Team and other leaders from Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport will be attending. Bring a beach chair and your friends, family, and associates to this free event.

Call Joe McDevitt, 609.513.0261, for more information.
The Work at Hand
Jesse, Lan, Sharon, and Bob are already out knocking on doors and introducing themselves to voters. If you would like to introduce the Kurtz Team to your neighbors or make phone calls on their behalf, please conact the campaign.
Competing with Political Signs
The Kurtz Team needs your help to establish a sign presence around town. Please sponsor a lawn sign for $10, or a larger 8 foot sign for $25. These signs will either be placed at your house or at the house of a willing supporter of the Kurtz Team. Your contribution enables Jesse, Lan, Sharon, and Bob to establish name recognition around town early in the campaign.

A Thought
Many people deplore the fact that a small group of career politicians are ruining Atlantic City and many other cities in America. Jesse, Lan, Sharon, and Bob are average citizens concerned about the bad direction their city has been heading. It is important for all people interested in fulfilling the promise of good government built on solid principles to help the Kurtz Team in their efforts.
Laus Deo,
Jesse O. Kurtz,
Tuyet Lan Dang,
Sharon Zappia,
& Robert Willman