Emergency Medical Services News

Medical personnel train and prepare for disaster
phillyburbs.com - Philadelphia,PA,USA
MOUNT LAUREL - Emergency medical services personnel from across the state gathered here for three days this week to train and prepare for disaster. ...

Ambulance service gets some new 'Braun'
Cayman Net News - grand cayman,Cayman Islands
Emergency Medical Services received a boost this week with the arrival of two new state-of-the-art ambulances bought by the Health Services Authority (HSA). ...

County eyes paramedic scholarships
Hillsdale Independent - Hillsdale,NY,USA
... This would be an incentive to work in the county and stay in the county," said County Emergency Medical Services Coordinator PJ Keeler as he presented ...

True Qoute

Today, wanting someone else's money is called 'need', wanting to keep your own money is called 'greed', and 'compassion' is when politicians arrange the transfer.

-Joseph Sobran


County eyes paramedic scholarships
Hillsdale Independent - Hillsdale,NY,USA
... out of the county. The average pay for an EMT is about $10 an hour, with paramedics earning about $13 an hour. One big plus that ...

Yankton EMS Crews Make Service A Success
Yankton Daily Press - Yankton,SD,USA
... "The majority of our people, on their own, have also decided to move from the EMT Basic level to the EMT Intermediate level," he said. ...

bicycle News

First bicycle unit set up by Sarawak police
Borneo Bulletin - borneo,Brunei Darussalam
KUCHING - Sarawak has set up its own bicycle unit to patrol busy areas and tourist spots in the city, said Deputy Police Commissioner Abang Wahap Abang Julai ...

Charlotte County Sheriff revives community policing bicycle ...
Charlotte Sun-Herald - Charlotte,FL,USA
Deputies William Casey and Ed Moos have just completed police mountain bike training in Cape Coral, which means the Sheriff's Office can restart its bike ...

St. Cloud becoming bike friendly
Minnesota Bike Trails - MN,USA
Cloud Times. When Jan Peterson's car broke down almost two years ago, she decided to bicycle 10 miles to and from her job at Chipotle Mexican Grill. ...

Sheila Lennon: The trike that becomes a bike
WHAS 11.com (subscription) - Louisville,KY,USA
... Who can forget the thrill -- and terror -- of that first solo bicycle ride: Mom or Dad letting go, the magic of two-wheeled freedom and, inevitably, toppling ...

Cyclist News

Cyclist Suspended for Doping Violation
San Francisco Chronicle - San Francisco,CA,USA
Cyclist Randy Dreyer has accepted a two-year suspension for using a prohibited stimulant, the US Anti-Doping Agency said Friday. ...

Cyclist exposes himself to girl of 8
Kent Online - Kent,UK
by Lynn Cox. POLICE are hunting a cyclist who exposed himself to an eight-year-old girl in a play area. Now police are asking parents ...

Venezuelan Cyclist Rujano Keeps his Place in Italian Tour
Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Rome, May 27 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan cyclist Jose Rujano kept the third place of the general classification of the Italian Tour Friday, after the dispute of ...

Dede's Diary: The struggle nears its climax
VeloNews - Boulder,CO,USA
... Dede Barry is a former professional cyclist, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist and a contributor to "Inside the Postal Bus," a book by her husband, Discovery ...

Israeli reality show launches search for the Jewish Mr. Right

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Israeli reality show launches search for the Jewish Mr. Right
By Dina Kraft
TEL AVIV, May 23 (JTA) — The search is on a for "a nice Jewish boy" — and no, this time it's not your mother who's looking.

A team of scouts is scouring the Diaspora for the ideal single Jewish man for a new Israeli reality television show.

Once selected, the bachelor, who according to producers preferably will be good looking and "financially secure," will come to Israel for the summer, when 15 young Israeli women will compete to capture his heart.

"We all grow up in Jewish houses and we know the dream of Jewish mothers is that their son finds a nice Jewish girl," said Gadi Veinrib, a producer for the show, to be called — what else? — "A Nice Jewish Boy."

The bachelor will be sent to Israel "to meet the nice Jewish love of his life," he said.

The show's producers will be holding casting calls for the show in New York, Los Angeles and a European city in the next few weeks. There may be teleconferences in Australia as well.

Producers are trying to get the word out via Jewish organizations. Already they have been flooded by hundreds of queries from the United States, Europe, Australia and South Africa, many from Jewish women offering their brothers, friends and cousins for the job.

In Israel, there also has been a huge response from women hoping to be among the pool of bachelorettes. Scouts also are searching for female contestants at university campuses, clubs and bars.

The show is also considering including Jewish women from abroad as contestants.

"What we are doing now is a worldwide search looking for the ultimate nice Jewish boy who is successful, has a nice job, and is good looking but still has not found his soul mate, his one and only," said Veinrib, who was among the production team of the hit Israeli reality T.V. show "The Ambassador."

"The Ambassador" struck a chord among Israelis concerned about the image of their country abroad. Veinrib, looking at that show's success, thinks "A Nice Jewish Boy" also will resonate.

"I think what we are doing here is striking a nerve because assimilation is something we all feel strongly about, we as Israelis and Jews all over the world," he said.

According to Veinrib, the show will be one of the first to have an international cast. He said he thinks the differences in culture and backgrounds among the contestants, despite their shared Jewishness, will make for good television.

The reality series is to take place over the course of three months. It will be set in a luxurious villa, complete with a pool and a lush garden, in central Israel.

The young women will live there, and as in the American show "The Bachelor" will be courted by the man on individual dates. Every week another bachelorette will be eliminated, and by the end of the show, producers hope, the man will have found his future mate.

Hagai Lapid, the show's co-creator and executive producer along with Elad Kuperman, said Israeli women are enchanted by the idea of marrying a Jewish man from abroad. He believes that in part the pull comes from the assumption that such a man will have money, but it is also, he said, a reaction against the men in Israel.

"The men here are very aggressive and macho, and women in Israel prefer the personality of men from abroad, which is perceived as being more thoughtful, liberal and polite," Lapid said.

Lapid said he came up with the idea for the show after remembering an American Jewish athlete at the last Maccabiah games who held a sign saying that he was looking for an Israeli bride at the opening ceremony. The sign included his phone number, and he received calls from thousands of interested Israeli women.

"This showed he struck some sort of chord, that maybe this is what women here dream of," he said. So "we decided to see if we could create a nice Jewish boy for Israel."

Lapid said part of the deal for any bachelor candidate and the female candidates from abroad is that they would agree to live in Israel for a period of time.

The producers are looking for women in their early 20s to mid 30s and for men from their mid 20s to mid to late 30s.

Interested? Send photos and a C.V. to the show at kuperman@hot3.co.il

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Elias Friedman A.S., NREMT-P
& Pongo the Spotted Wonder!


Guards of Honor

Jewish World Review May 27, 2005 / 18 Iyar, 5765


By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ted Pace served his country during WWII. Now 81, he and 21 other veterans are serving more than ever.

Four years ago, Pace, a member of American Legion Post 760, saw a problem. With WWII veterans dying in increasing numbers, he felt more needed to be done to recognize their military service during their funerals.

Though Congress mandated in 1999 that two active duty servicemen be available to participate in veterans' funerals, Pace wanted to do more. He established a full-fledged Honor Guard, recruiting from his post, as well as VFW Post 6664 located a few miles away. Soon 22 fellows had signed on, veterans who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and were eager to serve again.

This band of brothers participates in more than 270 funerals a year — sometimes five days a week, sometimes twice a day. At times they stand in the mud in the pouring rain. They've worked through blizzards and sub-zero temperatures. If their presence is requested, they will show.

They ask for nothing in return. They'll tell you it is their great honor to serve. Their service is all the more remarkable when you consider two-thirds of them are between 75 and 87 years old, well into their retirement years.

I met these incredible fellows a few months ago when my Uncle Jimmy was laid to rest. When I arrived I found them standing at attention. Their shoulders were square, their uniforms perfectly tailored, their shoes and buttons expertly polished. They carried on as though my uncle had been a general.

They saluted Jimmy when we carried his casket from the hearse into the chapel. With great precision and clarity, the chaplain, 87 year old Gene Frediani, recited a version of a soldier's prayer:

"It is the soldier who has given us all our freedoms. It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to object. It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trail.

"It's the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves under that flag and whose coffin is draped under that beautiful flag, who has given us the freedom to comfortably sit in our living rooms each evening with our loved ones. Our dear comrade, Jimmy Hartner, we bid you farewell and we express our great gratitude for the part you played in ensuring us that we may always continue to have all these wonderful freedoms."

The chaplain said another prayer, then, in perfect unity, seven riflemen fired three shots. The bugler performed Taps on his horn. The chaplain took three bullet casings from his pocket — casings he had buffed and polished at home — and held them up.

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"These three spent cartridges represent Jimmy Hartner's rifle salute. They are symbols of duty, honor and love of country."

He placed the cartridges into the flag, which two active-duty servicemen took great pains to fold expertly. They handed it to my Aunt Celie and thanked her, on behalf of America, for Jimmy's service. It was a powerful display that left a roomful of people in tears.

Cynicism is running rampant these days, but it's impossible to be cynical in the presence of these Honor Guard men. In a free society, there should be debate about when to take up arms, but there is no debate about the men and women who serve. They deserve honor, respect and gratitude.

Such respect was denied my Uncle Jimmy when he returned from Vietnam. He never talked about his service and it soon became a part of his forgotten past. But as we laid him to rest, his sacrifice was powerfully remembered and celebrated thanks to 22 remarkable men.

This Memorial Day, as we remember those who have served, let's also remember those who continue to serve — particularly 22 Western Pennsylvania Honor Guard volunteers, who are ensuring that others are receiving the honor, respect and gratitude they deserve.

Elias Friedman A.S., NREMT-P
& Pongo the Spotted Wonder!

The fallacy of the Fallaci ‘fatwa’

Jewish World Review May 27, 2005 / 16 Iyar 5765


By Kathleen Parker

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let's hear it for outrage to religion.

So goes my prayerful response to news that Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci will be prosecuted on charges of "outrage to religion." Apparently, the outspoken Fallaci, now in her 70s, has offended some disciples of Islam with her book, " The Force of Reason," and, by Allah, they intend to see she pays for it. (Click HERE to purchase the forthcoming English-language edition. Sales help fund JWR.)

At least they didn't shoot her.


You'll recall that last year in Holland, filmmaker Theo van Gogh was fatally shot and stabbed for work deemed unflattering to Islam. A fellow named Mohammed B. confessed to the murder. Recently, two more suspects, both Chechen citizens believed to be linked to a group of Islamic fundamentalists, were arrested in connection with the crime.

Both of these incidents followed another high-profile episode of perceived offense to Islam. In 2002, French author Michel Houellebecq faced trial for calling Islam "the dumbest religion," and for saying the Koran was so badly written it made him "fall to the ground in despair."

The courts acquitted him, but the trend is clear. Criticize Islam and face jail or justice at the hands of a true believer. Is it possible that radical Islam really does hate freedom?

Now, to Durham, N.C., where Wednesday night three crosses were burned in different places around town — in front of an Episcopal church, at a downtown intersection and on a dirt pile near a construction site.

Americans know what burning crosses represent beyond desecration of a religious symbol, and most are disgusted by the act. Most also figure the perps are the sort of folks who, if they bathed, would need a toilet brush and a silo of Lysol.

We might wish the world were rid of these creeps, but alas, life is imperfect. I say "cut and deal," but then I'm a mere mortal.

Meanwhile, let's be abundantly clear: You can still burn a cross in this country (qualifiers to follow), or flush a Bible down the toilet, or insult Isaiah's writing, or burn a burqa in your front yard and live to see the morrow.

So far.

It is, in fact, illegal to burn a cross on someone else's private property without the owner's permission. (It's a misdemeanor in North Carolina.) But otherwise you can burn to your heart's content as long as you're making a general statement and not trying to intimidate anyone specifically, according to a 2003 Supreme Court decision.

We call that freedom of speech in America, though that freedom is under assault here, too, every time someone demands compensation for hurt feelings, or takes too literally an "offensive" cartoon and tries to get the artist fired, or resents criticism of some pet policy and insists on stifling the insult.

Our own laws against hate speech, though perhaps inspired by virtue, are nevertheless first steps toward the sort of tyranny that now threatens to bring down Fallaci.

And for what? Because some thin-skinned fanatics find her words too painful — or too truthful — to bear?

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Fallaci fans know her to be a take-no-prisoners journalist who says what people are thinking but dare not utter aloud. I haven't read the book in question, but I have a copy of her previous book, "The Rage and the Pride," on my desk and it is no valentine to Islam. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Nor to others Fallaci finds ethically weak, in her words: "insects who, disguised as ideologists, journalists, writers, actors, commentators, psycho-analysts, priests, warbling crickets, putains a la page, (that is, polished sluts), only say what they are asked to say." Just to give you a taste.

She is equally blunt in her warnings that to the world's jihadists, "… the West is a world to conquer and subjugate to Islam."

You may agree or disagree. You may criticize her writing style or impugn a rhetorical approach that may result in few converts. But there's no defensible reason why she shouldn't be permitted her say.

The freedom to express oneself shouldn't need defending in this country, where we permit anti-abortionists to hoist bloody photos of dismembered fetuses and allow skinheads to proclaim, "G-d hates faggots." And, yes, troglodytes to burn crosses in the public square.

We don't have to like them, but to silence them is to invite silence to our own hearths. Better to see and hear hatred in the daylight than to let it fester in the dark. Thus, "outrage to religion" isn't a crime, but is a testament to our faith in freedom.

Let's keep it that way, and long live Oriana Fallaci

Elias Friedman A.S., NREMT-P
& Pongo the Spotted Wonder!

The ABCs of Kabbalah

Jewish World Review May 27, 2005 / 18 Iyar, 5765


By Rabbi David Aaron

On the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yachoi, author of the Zohar, the primary book of Jewish mysticism, an overview of an often misunderstood Judaic discipline

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many years ago, when I first began the study of the Kabbalah, the ancient mystical interpretation of Judaism, I stumbled upon the learning center of a great Kabbalistic master. The place was crowded, so I figured there must be some kind of public event going on, and went in. The great Kabbalist was speaking, but suddenly he stopped. I heard him utter a sigh. I realized that he had noticed me come in and was staring in my direction. Trying to be as unobtrusive as possible, I made my way to a seat on the sidelines, but his eyes followed me across the room. I got a very uncomfortable feeling, which only intensified when he pointed at me and motioned me to come forward.

The entire room was looking at me now. My heart was pounding. I had heard that these masters have the ability to look right through you, to your soul. I didn't know what to expect as I approached him, and I was scared. He was quite old and had a long white beard and bright blue, penetrating eyes. He spoke in a soft voice with a thick accent, but he only asked me a few innocuous questions about my family and myself. Then he held out an apple in his hand and dramatically raised it before me, dangling it by its stem.

This great man wanted to give me an apple? I had no idea what this was all about. I reached to take the apple. But the whole crowd shouted, "No!" I became flustered and withdrew my hand. He offered the apple again and again I tried to take it. Again the crowd yelled, "No!" Then I saw that people were motioning for me to cup my hand and hold it beneath the apple. I did so. The great Kabbalist smiled and dropped the apple into my hand. He then bent over and, in a tone that seemed to admonish me, whispered in my ear, "What have you been learning?" Before I could answer, he turned and walked away.

It took years before I realized what all that meant. "Kabbalah" literally means "receptivity"—indeed, it is the art of learning to receive. The master was trying to show me that I had not yet learned the real meaning of the Kabbalah. The lesson was: When you are offered a gift, do not take it; instead, make of yourself a space that can receive it.

Kabbalah is not only about getting more out of life; it is about receiving life as a gift. It is about the art of receiving life's gifts of love, spiritual growth, awareness, creativity, freedom, inner peace, happiness, and holiness. Mastering the art of receiving is not merely a private matter for each of us. The Kabbalah and the Torah both teach that our individual lives reflect a universal process. Human psychology is really a particular manifestation of cosmology. All of reality shares in our struggles, feels our pain, celebrates our joy, and cheers us on to live fully. Conversely, all of reality hurts when we inflict pain upon others and ourselves. We are all connected to one another—individually and collectively, to the universe, and to all that is. We are not alone. Knowing this gives us strength, hope, courage, and energy.

A story is told about three men who were imprisoned in a dark dungeon. Two of them were intelligent but the third was not very smart. Everyday, when their food was lowered into the dark dungeon, the third fellow would fumble with the utensils, break the plate and cut himself with the knife. One of the clever fellows would help him by practicing a routine with him to handle the darkness, but because the food was presented in a different way each day, it always confused him. The other prisoner then said, "Let's bore a hole in the wall and let a ray of light in, and then he will be able to see and eat without help."

The Kabbalah is all about light. It's main message to us is that we have the power to increase the spiritual light in the world or decrease it. All our actions, words and thoughts control the dimmer switch that turns the light up or down. What is the power of light? When you turn the light on in your room it lets you see what is there. Otherwise you grope in the dark, knock things over, bang your knee and walk into walls. This is also true with spiritual light. Without it, your spiritual world is dark. Without spiritual light you can't see love even when it is right in front of you. You knock over people who love you. You step on souls. You walk right past meaningful moments. And you have no sense of direction.

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According to the Kabbalah a person who only has access to physical light lives in the World of Shells or Peels — called Olam HaKlipos. Such a person only sees physical things, those which are external and superficial. The shell or the peel is only the outside of the fruit and is therefore secondary to the fruit. If you can only see the shell or peel, you confuse the wrapping with the true contents. You are impressed with the packaging and miss the true gift inside.

Kabbalah teaches us the secrets of how to access the spiritual light that lets us see what's inside. Given that what you see is what you get, when you want to receive the eternal spiritual gift wrapped in this world, you need to increase the spiritual light to see and get inside. This physical world is only the packaging but what is the gift inside?

What is the greatest gift you could ever give or get? Presence. Not presents but Presence. When I think of my childhood, my most precious memory is of my mother sitting by my bed and reading to me Winnie the Pooh. What is so great about that? My parents gave me lots of gifts. I got a terrific train set and lots of other toys. But they didn't last and they mean very little to me today. What I still treasure and continue to enjoy are those precious moments when I knew my mother was there for me. She wasn't interested in Pooh Bear or Piglet. She never read those stories at any time for herself. My mother concentrated her entire being into those moments and was completely there for me. She gave me the greatest gift you could ask for — her Presence.

What is Presence? Presence is like chocolate cake. I can't tell you what chocolate cake tastes like; you will only know how delicious it is when you taste it yourself. I could tell you what the ingredients are, but the cake is greater than the sum of the ingredients. Presence is like the color green. I can't tell you what it looks like, but when you will see it, you will know. I could tell you that it is a combination of blue and yellow but even those are colors that you can only know experientially. And of course even after you see blue and yellow, green is greater than the sum of the parts. So I can't tell you what Presence is. I can tell you that its ingredients are love, care, respect, honesty, meaning, beauty, kindness, wisdom and much more. To know Presence you have to experience it.

According to the Kabbalah, G-d created you and I and put us into this world to give us the greatest gift imaginable. Divine Presence. Kabbalah calls this "Shechina". Divine Presence or the "Shechina" fills everything.

But how do we turn on the light that lets the eyes of our soul see it? How do we become receptive to the ultimate gift of G-d loving presence? By giving our loving presence to each other so that we become receptive to the Divine Presence. And the more you give, the more you receive.

Bicycle News

Parents Pay Tribute to Bicycle Death Girl
Scotsman - Edinburgh,Scotland,UK
Becky died after her bicycle was involved in a crash with a Nissan Terrano car in Smithy, near Taunton, on the evening of May 20. ...

Bike Notes: Bicycle maintenance basics
Lake County Record-Bee - Lake County,CA,USA
... adjustments to your bike. 3) As you clean your bicycle you might find something that needs securing or other adjustment. 5) If you ...

Highway bicycle toss arrest made
Wausau Daily Herald - Wausau,WI,USA
RIB MOUNTAIN - Police arrested a Wausau man Tuesday night who they say threw a bicycle off a highway overpass striking a moving car below. ...

Columbia making an effort to become 'bicycle friendly' city
WIS - Columbia,SC,USA
Columbia city leaders want to encourage you to do just, and it's going to start by trying to make the city bicycle friendly. Thursday ...

Bicycle safety talk by police in Ahwatukee
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
... "Hopefully, we can open up a dialogue between the bicycle groups and the Police Department and use them to get the word out," Cecchini said. ...

EMT News

Firefighter And EMT Arrested On Drug Charges
WTVF - Nashville,TN,USA
Metro Nashville Police said Tommy Mathis and his wife Rachel have been charged with felony child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia. ...

Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson reveals budget plan
WDRB - Louisville,KY,USA
... streets. The mayor's plan would bring together the former city and county EMT units, then hire more paramedics to strengthen the force. ...

Emergency Medical Service News

Fire-Rescue Volunteers, Employees Recognized For Service
Leesburg Today - Leesburg,VA,USA
... Combitube classes, Public Access Defibrillation Programs, and Public Education Programs in the name of the Loudoun County Emergency Medical Service Council and ...

Hospital honors emergency service workers
The Journal News.com - Westchester,NY,USA
... "They represent the best that the profession has offer," said Walter Dusseldorp, the emergency medical service coordinator at Nyack Hospital. ...

Dwight man recovering after gangrene scare
Pontiac Daily Leader - Pontiac,IL,USA
... He has had a long career with the Dwight Ambulance Service and serves as emergency medical service director for the village of Dwight. ...

EMS groups volunteer to help at Games
Poughkeepsie Journal - Poughkeepsie,NY,USA
... Emergency medical service units, including Arlington, LaGrange, Northern Dutchess, Fairview, New Paltz, Alamo, TransCare and Mobile Life Support, and other ...


City Council Stated Meeting - May 25, 2005
Every two weeks the New York City Council meets for its Stated Meeting to
introduce and pass legislation. As a regular feature, Searchlight covers
these meetings and posts a summary of the bills passed.



Under New York City's Collective Bargaining Law, certain uniformed
employees - police, firefighters, sanitation, and corrections officers -
have unique bargaining rights.

The City Council unanimously overrode a veto from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to
extend those rights to related positions like emergency medical technicians,
sanitation enforcement agents, fire protection inspectors, and school safety

The council argues that its bill (Intro 380-A) is needed because these city
workers face hazardous situations on the job, but are not given the same
rights as other uniformed employees.

EMS News

Bridge being dedicated to firefighters, EMS
Martins Ferry Times Leader - Martins Ferry,OH,USA
... has been active in the project and will commemorate the occasion with a plaque bearing the name, "The Belmont County Fire Fighter - EMS Bridge." County ...

Charlotte Fire & EMS gets grant money
Charlotte Sun-Herald - Charlotte,FL,USA
... announced this week. Charlotte County Fire & EMS received $199,934 for the 26 computers and Venice Ambulance Service Inc. received part ...

Paramedic News

Veterans Group Names County Paramedic Best in Nation
Washington Post - Washington,DC,USA
Howard County paramedic John Butler, just named by a veterans group as the nation's top emergency medical technician, shrugs off his latest accolade. ...

ETMC Paramedic On "Oprah"
The reunion of an East Texas paramedic and the woman he helped to save, was shown Thursday on national television. Wednesday, KLTV ...

Sumter County Paramedic in Critical Condition
WLTX.com - Columbia,SC,USA
... When we spoke to him today, his youngest daughter Jona - a Sumter County and Kershaw County paramedic - was in the middle of her fourth surgery in nine days. ...

Paramedic in fatal crash to face jury trial
Vancouver Sun - Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada
KAMLOOPS - A Merritt paramedic who allegedly killed a 69-year-old woman when the ambulance she was driving broadsided the victim's car at a highway ...

EVLiving - USA
Twenty-one students graduated from Southwest Ambulance's in-house Paramedic Academy on May 19. Southwest invited it's Emergency ...

Cyclist News

Cyclist's throat injury in 4WD crash
NEWS.com.au - Australia
A CYCLIST has suffered serious throat injuries after hitting a four-wheel-drive vehicle on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast. ...

Charges Laid In Cyclist / Truck Collision
LTVNEWS.COM - Sault Ste. Marie,ON,Canada
... As the pick up truck caught up to the cyclist, the cyclist turned out in front of the truck. Further update on the cyclist has revealed ...

Young cyclist killed by garbage truck
CBC Toronto - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
TORONTO -- An 11-year-old Etobicoke boy died Wednesday after he was run over by a garbage truck. Police say the boy was riding ...

Share The Road: Cyclist Nearly Run Over
KTVX - Salt Lake City,UT,USA
(ABC 4 News)-- As the beautiful warm weather continues, more Utahns are out enjoying the sunshine. But in the rush to get outside ...

City pushing for cyclist safety
WLTX.com - Columbia,SC,USA
(Columbia) - Whether it'sa gas pedal or a bike pedal you're pushing, Columbia leaders say cyclists and motorists need to safely share city roadways. ...

Emergency Medical Services News

Fire-Rescue Volunteers, Employees Recognized For Service
Leesburg Today - Leesburg,VA,USA
... This award, which is sponsored by the Loudoun County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, is presented to an EMS member for significant contributions ...


Rabbi Berel Wein on Pirkei Avos

Jewish World Review May 26, 2005 / 17 Iyar, 5765

How not to lose perspective in life

By Rabbi Berel Wein

Interested in purchasing the book from which this series is excerpted, please click here.

"Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? He who learns from every person, as it is said: From all my teachers I grew wise [Psalms 119:99]. Who is strong? He who subdues his personal inclination, as it is said: He who is slow to anger is better than a strong man, and a master of his passions is better than a conqueror of a city [Proverbs 16:32]. Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot, as it is said: When you eat of the labor of your hands, you are praiseworthy — in the World to Come. Who is honored? He who honors others, as it is said: I will give honor to those who honor Me, and those who dishonor Me will be dishonored by Me (I Samuel 2:30)."

                      Pirkei Avos 4:1

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Shimon ben Zoma, a colleague of Rabbi Akiva and a member of the Sanhedrin, lived during the terrible times of the Bar Kochba uprising and the subsequent persecution of the rabbis by the Romans. He was known as a person of great scholarship and of general erudition, and he is mentioned in Talmud Yesushalmi as being one of the four members of the Sanhedrin who "knew seventy languages." He attempted "to peer into" the mysterious Heavenly spiritual realms, and he was severely harmed by the experience.

WHO IS WISE? How is wisdom to be managed or measured? Wisdom is certainly not book knowledge alone. Many a so-called scholar has been proven a fool by life's events. The Rabbinic writings include many definitions of wisdom and wise people. Among them are a sense of foresight, the ability to remain silent, and requisite devotion to teachers and elders. Ben Zoma adds another dimension to wisdom — the ability to observe life and learn from everyone and from all of life's events. A wise person does not put down anyone, is not prejudiced by a person's status or class in society. The Talmud is replete with stories of great rabbis being taught and even bested by simple shepherds and tradesmen. This is in line with the previous admonition in Avos that every human being has "one's time and place," one's value and worth. A wise person applies that truth to life, learning from everyone who passes through his life.

The baker's lesson The story is told that at a gathering of Chassidic masters, each of the participants related tales of the erudition and miracle-working of their respective fathers. The Ostrovtzer Rebbe came from a much more humble background, his father having been a simple baker. When his turn came to speak, the other rebbes were prepared to excuse him from speaking, sensing that there could be nothing of value to be learned from a baker. But the Ostrovtzer Rebbe proudly said: "My father taught me a great lesson about the service of G-d and man. He always said that when you want to bake good bread, you have to make the oven extremely hot with a great flame! From him I learned that G-d also has to be served with a great flame and enormous fervor. He also taught me that fresh black bread is better than a stale challah." Everyone can teach others something of value about life. The wise man pays attention to others and is ready to learn from them, no matter who they are.

WHO IS STRONG? The ultimate strong person is someone who can overcome himself. To quote a great fictional "general:" "We have met the enemy and he is us!" Judaism is a religion of self-discipline and long-term perspective. Even the conqueror of cities and nations can prove to be a weakling when called upon to it comes to overcome his craven desires. Temptations abound in life. Terrible decisions resulting in tragic consequences often stem from the inability to forgo temporary pleasure, material gain, or imagined honor. Thus, true strength lies in inner fortitude, the ability to say no to oneself as well as to others, and in the realization that life's great struggle is often against one's own weaknesses and imperfections. Strength, therefore, is not so much a measure of muscles. It is a measure of self-discipline, restraint and conscience.

WHO IS RICH? The truly wealthy person is someone who finds satisfaction in what he already has. The pursuit of more knows no bounds. The rabbis of the Talmud long ago cautioned that "one who has one hundred zuz (or dollars or euros) desires to have two hundred." That is true no matter how many zeroes follow the one hundred. Satisfaction in what one has in life — be it material possessions, family, position or social status — brings a sense of happiness in this world and contributes to one's share in the World to Come.

There is a bitter joke about the man who invited all of his friends to visit his brand new mansion. As everyone was oohing and aahing about the opulence of the house, the host was heard to remark: "This is nothing. Wait till see you the next house I am going to build!" The unchecked pursuit of unnecessary wealth is harmful for it becomes an end in itself, unrelated to what pleasures those items can bring to the person.

Ben Zoma speaks of happiness in the World to Come. I have often felt that the greatest punishment that one can suffer in the eternal world is to witness what problems his wealth caused after his death. How many families have been destroyed by squabbles over the parents' estate! I've seen many instances when relatives, siblings, and whole families engaged in legal battles over the wealth of their parents or relatives. There is no greater pain for a parent than for such legal battles to take place. A wealthy man once told me that he was going to sue his father's estate because he felt that he was being shortchanged in the distribution of the assets, and he was ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs. I gently recommended to him that perhaps he should donate that amount of money to a worthy charity in memory of his father. He looked at me in amazement and said: "Rabbi, you just don't understand!" He was right, I did not and still do not understand. The unabated pursuit of wealth is akin to drinking salt water, never satisfying or slaking the thirst. I do not preach poverty as an absolute virtue. Great and good things can be accomplished with wealth. But one must be satisfied with what one has, and not succumb to the insatiable drive for more. Only then can wealth, fame and position bring with them a modicum of true satisfaction.

The wealth of a child My three-year-old grandson was being harassed by his six-year-old brother to do something that he did not want to do. The six-year-old attempted to bribe him, saying, "I will give you a penny if you do this for me." To which the precocious three-year-old (all of my grandchildren, as I am certain, all of your grandchildren as well, are precocious) responded: "I already have a penny. Why do I need another one?" Well, I am fairly certain that my little grandchild will outgrow this holy innocence and strive to have another penny at some point in his lifetime. But the point that he made as a small child — "Why do I need another one?" — is a lesson that I pray remains with him for all time. Everyone should always ask "Do I really need this?" before plunging on in the never-ending pursuit of material gain.

WHO IS HONORED? The pursuit of honor, like the pursuit of wealth, can become addictive. People who seek honor and fame often attempt to do so at the expense of others, somehow feeling that by lowering others, they enhance their own worth and position in the eyes of the public. The truth is otherwise. One cannot be truly honored unless one can give respect to others, as well. By honoring deserving human beings, one honors the Creator Who fashioned them. Thus, the Lord informs us, I will give honor to those that honor Me (by honoring My creatures) and those that dishonor Me (by refusing to honor My creatures) will in turn be dishonored by Me (I Samuel 2:20). By understanding that conferring honor upon others is a form of honoring G-d, one can do so without hesitation, recrimination, or jealousy. In fact, the one doing so becomes the true honoree, for G-d guarantees that He will extend His glory to him.

Cyclist News

Hamilton's at end: Cyclist gets final hearing on suspension
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Tyler Hamilton has climbed some cruel hills in his journey from Marblehead to the Tour de France and Mount Olympus, but the suspended cyclist now faces his ...

Cyclist critical after early am crash with cabbie
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A McGrath Highway man is in critical condition after his bicycle collided with a taxi cab on Somerville Avenue early Tuesday morning. ...

Cyclist completes marathon charity trek across country
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By Brian Gilliland. After surviving blisters, flat tires, impromptu and improvised repairs and even being hit by a truck, a little ...

Emergency Medical Services News

Filled Vassar Brothers forced to divert patients
Poughkeepsie Journal - Poughkeepsie,NY,USA
... the ambulance services directly, and not just the county emergency dispatch, said Ed Murray, president of the Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services Council ...

Bicycle News

Bethany mulls pedestrian and bicycle study
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By Roxann Moore. Bethany Beach's town council welcomed Jerry Dorfman to their ranks then got to work discussing the data and recommendations ...

Sting-Ray bicycle model will have motor
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Riders can get more of a charge out their Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycle with a new electrified model. With a suggested retail price ...

For folks who live near a wetland, the welcome metamorphosis from ...
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... coming out of hibernation. The spring ritual is celebrated by the Spokes & Folks Bicycle Club in its annual Frog Ride. A leisurely 10 ...

Bicycle messenger business goes downhill
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PORTLAND, Maine -- Bicycle messengers once crowded downtown traffic to deliver court papers, business documents and blueprints. ...

Second annual Union Grove Bicycle Race h
Lancaster Newspapers - Lancaster,PA,USA
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - The second annual Union Grove Bicycle Race took place Saturday in eastern Lancaster County near Churchtown. ...

EMT News

Local EMT gives to 'Hero to Hero' effort
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Rhonda McBride, an EMT with Action EMS Ambulance Service in Mountain Home, thought she was just stopping in Conway for a bite to eat on her way back home to ...

EMT hero of 9/11 hit with DWI charge
New York Daily News - New York,NY,USA
BY TONY SCLAFANI. A heroic FDNY medical technician who risked his life on 9/11 to carry the Rev. Mychal Judge's body from the World ...

New York Post - New York,NY,USA
By PHILIP MESSING. Kevin Allen, 33, who helped with rescue efforts at the World Trade Center, was arrested near the Office of Emergency ...

Emergency Medical Service News

Carver board OKs increase in ambulance fees
Brockton Enterprise - Brockton,MA,USA
... Walsh has been making efforts to develop a cost effective emergency medical service system for Carver since Jordan Hospital in Plymouth stopped offering free ...

San Francisco - Emergency Physician Announces Resignation from Fire Commission


May 25, 2005 03:35 PM US Eastern Timezone

Douglas E. Goldman, Entrepreneur and Emergency Physician Announces
Resignation from Fire Commission; Chairman of Stern Grove Festival Resigns
from Commission in Protest

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 25, 2005--Douglas E. Goldman, M.D.,
announced his immediate resignation today from the Fire Commission in
protest over the Commission's hasty approval of a reconfiguration of the
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division of the Fire Department. He made
his announcement in front of San Francisco General Hospital, where he was
joined by his former colleague Rosemarie Fernandez-Pifer who was "released"
from her Commission post by the Mayor's Office last week.

"This is a Commission whose main job appears to be to protect the Fire
Department from scrutiny and to rubber stamp its attempts to avoid dealing
with criticism from the outside," said Goldman and Fernandez-Pifer.
Dr. Goldman, who is spearheading a privately financed renovation of Stern
Grove, said his decision to resign stems mainly from a March 24th Commission
hearing when he was interrupted during his period of inquiry. Instead, the
Commission's Chairman abruptly cut off Commission discussion and called for
a vote on the proposal after having been informed that Commissioner Clem
Clarke had asked to leave early. In response to this unusual action by the
Chair, Fernandez-Pifer attempted to table the EMS reconfiguration proposal
so that it could be studied further. Other than a special hearing about the
reconfiguration in November 2004, Dr. Goldman and Fernandez-Pifer said there
has never been a well publicized public hearing about the new EMS
reconfiguration that included other public stakeholders and the medical

At the news conference Dr. Goldman and Fernandez-Pifer said that since the
EMS reconfiguration in 1997, the Fire Department has simply failed to accept
the fact that it is primarily a medical service provider. As a result, a
culture war has been waged within the Department, between the EMS and fire
suppression sides. Numerous reports have questioned why the Fire Department
spends a disproportionate amount of its budget on fire suppression when 70%
of its service calls are EMS related.

"The Office of the Controller, the Office of the Budget Analyst, and the
Civil Grand Jury have all raised these issues. How can so many government
agencies find fault with the Fire Department and the Commission never
concurs with even a fraction of the findings," said Goldman.

The newly approved EMS reconfiguration is another example of this kind of
obstructionist behavior, Fernandez-Pifer said, adding that "The
reconfiguration was ostensibly created to give paramedics 10-hours shifts
instead of the current 24-hour shifts they work today. But we can find no
evidence that any other aspects of the reorganization are warranted."

"There has been no cost analysis and no study of systems," added Dr.
Goldman. "For example, how will paramedics restock their ambulances, where
will they rest during their shifts? This new plan may end up costing
millions of dollars and accomplish very little."

"Rosemarie and I both feel this reorganization should be stopped until
further analysis can be completed," Goldman added. "But there is no reason
not to implement 10-hour shifts for paramedics in the interim. As an
emergency physician by training, I feel strongly that shorter shifts for
paramedics are a good idea and should be done immediately."

Goldman and Fernandez-Pifer ended the press conference by calling for a
series of reforms, including:

-- Halt the EMS reconfiguration to permit an independent professional
evaluation, with eventual input from the public and the medical community.

-- Conduct an independent audit of SFFD operations and finances.

-- Remove the current Commission and replace it with independently minded
individuals and those with medical expertise.

-- Make commission meetings more Accessible. (Meetings should be moved to
City Hall and televised.)

-- The media should pay more attention. (Local newspapers should assign a
reporter to cover public safety full time -- not just when a controversial
story breaks.)

EMS News

EMS council eyes RETAC $$$
Fort Morgan Times - Fort Morgan,CO,USA
By LUKE CORNISH. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council has had the door opened to new funding opportunities. Pam Monsees, director ...

EMS substation decision postponed
Anderson Independent Mail (subscription) - Anderson,SC,USA
... The board and EMS Director Terrell Partain are discussing adding three satellite ambulance stations in outlying areas of the county to improve response times ...

EMS levy fails to win Ada County voter support
... Rick Yzaguirre said low voter turnout hurt the levy's chances for passage, and he believes some misinformation about the cost of EMS services ultimately led ...

Sitting at 10-2

After the vent transfer we got sent to do coverage for Aetna before we even got into West Hartford! We were told to post in Wethersfield, almost made it there when we were told to post in Hartford, almost made it there, then they cleared us. Came here to 10-2 and had a bite to eat...

Going to do a vent

Going to do a vent transfer from NBGH to hospital for special care.

Ambulance News

Queensland Ambulance Service drives excellence
Ferret - Australia
One of Australia's largest emergency service providers, Queensland Ambulance Service, has been rewarded for its exceptional staff at the Australian Business ...

County shocked by ambulance service cost
Paris News - Paris,TX,USA
Lamar County commissioners are poised to negotiate an 85 percent hike in City of Paris ambulance costs to the county, or look elsewhere for service. ...

Council to help ambulance find home
Danbury News Times - Danbury,CT,USA
NEW MILFORD -- For 75 years, residents have relied on a volunteer ambulance service to provide no-cost emergency treatment and hospital transportation for ...

Bad Toys Holdings Awarded New Service Contract for Ambulance ...
Market Wire (press release) - USA
(OTC BB: BTYH) announced today that its Southland Division has been awarded the contract to be the sole provider ambulance service to a new Mississippi County. ...

Greenway Event in Downtown Hartford

Friday June 3, 2005 
1 pm
Riverfront Plaza, Founder's Bridge
Annual Greenway Awards and National Trails Day
Governor Rell and DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy will attend
Bike to Work will receive an award!
Plan to attend!

Paramedic News

ETMC Paramedic, "Woman Without A Face" Reunite On Oprah
But the night of the horrific crime, ETMC paramedic Dale Yates responded to the call. With his help, Carolyn is not only alive but growing stronger. ...

Paramedic hit by own ambulance
KVUE (subscription) - Austin,TX,USA
A freak accident sent a Houston paramedic to the hospital Wednesday morning after he was hit by his own ambulance. A Houston paramedic ...

EMS paramedic saves cardiac arrest patient
Rockport Pilot - Rockport,TX,USA
... James Barcak was having a heart attack, but thanks to the quick response by Aransas County EMS paramedic Daniel Oakes, EMT Sabrina Millard and assistance from ...

BOBBY: Paramedic gives evidence in trial
Peterborough Evening Telegraph - Peterborough,England,UK
A PARAMEDIC who was called to the home of a man accused of killing his five-month-old son has given evidence in court. Peter Frampton ...

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Rescues Hunter
Scoop.co.nz (press release) - New Zealand
... Once overhead a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic was lowered to the scene and then the paramedic and patient were winched back into the helicopter. ...

News from someplace REALLY far away

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Voyager Spacecraft Enters Solar System's Final Frontier

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered the solar system's final frontier. It is entering a vast, turbulent expanse, where the sun's influence ends and the solar wind crashes into the thin gas between stars.

This still shows the locations of Voyagers 1 and 2. Voyager 1 is traveling a lot and has crossed into the heliosheath, the region where interstellar gas and solar wind start to mix. (Credit: NASA/Walt Feimer)
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Related section:

"Voyager 1 has entered the final lap on its race to the edge of interstellar space," said Dr. Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which built and operates Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2.

In November 2003, the Voyager team announced it was seeing events unlike any in the mission's then 26-year history. The team believed the unusual events indicated Voyager 1 was approaching a strange region of space, likely the beginning of this new frontier called the termination shock region. There was considerable controversy over whether Voyager 1 had indeed encountered the termination shock or was just getting close.

The termination shock is where the solar wind, a thin stream of electrically charged gas blowing continuously outward from the sun, is slowed by pressure from gas between the stars. At the termination shock, the solar wind slows abruptly from a speed that ranges from 700,000 to 1.5 million mph and becomes denser and hotter. The consensus of the team is Voyager 1, at approximately 8.7 billion miles from the sun, has at last entered the heliosheath, the region beyond the termination shock.

Predicting the location of the termination shock was hard, because the precise conditions in interstellar space are unknown. Also, changes in the speed and pressure of the solar wind cause the termination shock to expand, contract and ripple.

The most persuasive evidence that Voyager 1 crossed the termination shock is its measurement of a sudden increase in the strength of the magnetic field carried by the solar wind, combined with an inferred decrease in its speed. This happens whenever the solar wind slows down.

In December 2004, the Voyager 1 dual magnetometers observed the magnetic field strength suddenly increasing by a factor of approximately 2 1/2, as expected when the solar wind slows down. The magnetic field has remained at these high levels since December. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., built the magnetometers.

Voyager 1 also observed an increase in the number of high-speed electrically charged electrons and ions and a burst of plasma wave noise before the shock. This would be expected if Voyager 1 passed the termination shock. The shock naturally accelerates electrically charged particles that bounce back and forth between the fast and slow winds on opposite sides of the shock, and these particles can generate plasma waves.

"Voyager's observations over the past few years show the termination shock is far more complicated than anyone thought," said Dr. Eric Christian, Discipline Scientist for the Sun-Solar System Connection research program at NASA Headquarters, Washington.

The result is being presented today at a press conference in the Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, during the 2005 Joint Assembly meeting of Earth and space science organizations.

For more information about Voyager visit:

http:/​/​www.nasa.gov/​vision/​universe/​solarsystem/​voyager_agu.html For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:


Editor's Note: The original news release can be found here.

This story has been adapted from a news release issued by National Aeronautics And Space Administration.

Superman Pays Visit to Task Force Baghdad Soldiers

American Forces Press Service

Superman Pays Visit to Task Force Baghdad Soldiers

By Spc. Erin Robicheaux, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 25, 2005 – He may not have leapt over tall buildings in a single bound or dodged any speeding bullets to get here, but Dean Cain, the former star of ABC's "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," and current host of TBS's "Ripley's Believe It, or Not," did fly by plane to Iraq with his new sidekick, actress and model Amanda Swisten.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Hollywood actors Dean Cain and Amanda Swisten express their thanks to Task Force Baghdad soldiers during "Taji Fight Night" at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 22. Cain and Swisten visited soldiers in Iraq as part of a two-week "Ambassadors of Hollywood" tour. Photo by Spc. Derek Del Rosario, USA   
They visited Camp Liberty May 22, signing autographs and posing for pictures with Task Force Baghdad soldiers.

The pair is on a two-week mission to meet with U.S. soldiers and to see firsthand how troops are faring.

What seemed to surprise the stars most was how much is actually happening, in relation to the portrayal by the media. "I didn't see all of the negative stuff that the mainstream media reports," Cain said. "This is war and sometimes bad things happen, but those are isolated incidents. I've seen with my own eyes that this is not the whole story."

Swisten, who has appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, and movies such as "American Wedding" and "The Girl Next Door," echoed Cain's sentiments of the real stories from troops in Iraq.

"The media blows a lot of it out of proportion. The small incidents are made to seem much larger. All we hear about are the scandals, like in the (Abu Ghraib) prison. What about the other stories?" she said.

The two were well aware of the dangers of combat missions, thanks to accounts from soldiers. They visited hospitals and spoke with wounded troops, and witnessed the lengths that military medical teams take to save a human life - even if it is the life of an enemy.

"We met a soldier who was shot, ... and the assassin was shot in the head," recalls Cain. "He shot one of our soldiers and then received excellent medical care from our people."

The stars also paid a visit to Camp Taji, where they dined with soldiers and later got a front-row seat at "Taji Fight Night," the camp's weekly boxing event. The celebrities were welcomed as special guests and given a chance to share their appreciation for the troops.

"This (the tour) has given us a great opportunity to show our support for the troops," Swisten said to hundreds of Fight Night spectators. "We are going to go back to the states and tell everyone what a great job you are doing."

Swisten and Cain decided to get involved when a representative from Pro Sports Marketing Ventures and Promotions asked Hollywood celebrities to show their support for the troops fighting the war on terror. Swisten said that it was far from a difficult decision.

"I lost a lot of friends on Sept. 11, and I'm a patriot at heart. I'm an American, and this is the smallest thing that I can do to give back, to go by and say 'hi' and take some pictures with people who know me from a movie or a magazine," she said.

Swisten also said she admires the bravery of the soldiers she met during her visit. "They have more courage than anybody I know back home," she said.

Cain said the scene was different from what he initially expected. "It's not what you see in the news every day. It's a bunch of really strong, hard-working Americans who are protecting the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy at home every day, and we should all be a whole lot more appreciative of them than we are," he said.

Both entertainers said they will walk away from this experience more enlightened and feeling like they know what's really going on. "This has been really grounding to see it for myself, that everybody here is out to do good work and serve their country, even though at the end of the day, they'd love to go home," Swisten said.

Cain agreed. "Being here and living with (soldiers) is a whole different world, and you can see how tough they really are," he said. "If people were to come over here and spend the two weeks that we've spent, their entire worlds would be changed completely around."

(Army Spc. Erin Robicheaux is assigned to the 256th Brigade Combat Team. Army Spc. Derek Del Rosario, of the 3rd Aviation Brigade, also contributed to this article.)

Click photo for screen-resolution image Actress and model Amanda Swisten and Dean Cain, host of "Ripley's Believe it, or Not," smile for the cameras with Army Lt. Col. Michael Pryor, plans officer for the 256th Brigade Combat Team. Swisten and Cain spent two weeks visiting troops serving in Iraq. Photo by Spc. Erin Robicheaux, USA   
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Elias Friedman A.S., NREMT-P
& Pongo the Spotted Wonder!


Where Have You Gone, Jimmy Stewart?

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By Sean Higgins
Published 5/23/2005 12:06:30 AM

WASHINGTON -- When Senate Republicans moved ahead with their plans to change the filibuster rule, liberals and other critics turned to an old sentimental favorite to bolster their case: Frank Capra's 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

People For the American Way launched a $5 million ad campaign using images from the film. The New York Times evoked it in pro-filibuster editorials as did liberal columnists like Bill Press.

The award for cheapest use of it, though, goes to Sen. Frank Lautenberg ( D-N.J). On the Senate floor Thursday he lectured in front of a huge picture of the film's star Jimmy Stewart, who uses the filibuster to thwart the forces of evil.

The movie, he said, "is a celebration of this Senate, the world's greatest deliberative body. But if the majority leader is successful in ending the filibuster . . . we will move from the world's greatest deliberative body to a rubber-stamp factory."

If that happens, he warned, the U.S. Senate would become like the Senate in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith . The Dark Side of the Force, apparently, would take over.

These comments, and many other similar ones by the pro-filibuster crowd, raise a simple question: Have any of these folks actually watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington recently?

Because if they had, they'd know that it doesn't actually live up to its reputation as a quaint, sentimental "celebration of the Senate." It's actually a pretty dark, cynical film about U.S . Democracy in 1930s. The movie's underlying theme is how Roosevelt's New Deal corrupted Congress.

More to the point, Smith's climatic filibuster bears no resemblance to the Democrats' filibusters of Bush's judicial nominees.

LET'S RECAP THE FILM for those who have not seen it or who may have forgotten.

Stewart plays Jefferson Smith, leader of a Boy Scouts-type organization who is plucked from obscurity to fill out the term of the state's just-deceased U.S. senator.

He's picked because he's thought to be too naive to do anything other than go along with the state's other senator, Joseph Paine, the silver-haired picture of noblesse oblige (Claude Raines, in another great performance as a suave, morally compromised man).

It quickly becomes apparent that Smith is different from the other senators: he doesn't want to spend taxpayer dollars.

His first bill is to create a boys' camp in his home state. He only wants a loan from the government, not a grant, and intends to pay it back through private fund-raising. The government, he says, has enough to do without paying for his boys' camp.

Trouble begins for Smith when he learns that the land he wants to put the camp on has already been set aside for major dam project Paine is sponsoring. The deal is pure pork-barrel politics and important to media baron Jim Taylor, who stands to make a fortune from it.

Smith decides he cannot support it. It's graft and a waste of money besides, he says.

"There are a hundred other places in the state that really need the water," he says. He is aghast that Paine, whom he idolizes, would support it.

Paine tries to "talk sense" into Smith, delivering a soliloquy about the virtue of spending taxpayer money:

"Thirty years ago I had your ideals. I was you. I had to make the same decision you were asked to make today. And I made it. I compromised -- yes! So that all those years, I could sit in that Senate and serve the people in a thousand honest ways. You've got to face facts, Jeff. I've served our state well, haven't I? We have the lowest unemployment and the highest federal grants. But, well, I've had to compromise. I've had to play ball," he tells Smith. (Emphasis added.)

There in a nutshell is the corruption that Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is focused on: the belief that there is something good, even noble, about robbing Peter (i.e. the taxpayer) to pay Paul.

BEAR IN MIND, THE film came out in 1939 when FDR's New Deal was still in full swing. The movie argues that the deal's public spending projects corrupted lawmakers by giving them millions to dole out. Inevitably, favoritism, back-scratching and worse set in and once-noble legislators like Paine are corrupted.

Worse yet, everybody in the film except Smith accepts this as normal. No wonder D.C. lawmakers denounced the film when it first came out.

Paine warns Smith not to oppose the dam project, telling him that "powerful forces" ( i.e. Taylor and his newspapers) want it. "They'll destroy you" if he stands in their way, Paine says.

Smith is unmoved and makes clear that he'll challenge it on the Senate floor and expose how it will benefit Taylor.

Paine responds by coldly betraying Smith, framing him for an ethics violation and trying to get him ejected from the Senate. In the film's climax, Smith refuses to relinquish the Senate floor, preventing the other Senators from voting to oust him.

This is the film's famous filibuster and it has nothing to do with keeping a judicial nominee off the bench. It is all about Smith fighting for his own survival against the entrenched interests in Washington.

It's also worth noting that this is the old-fashioned kind of filibuster, where Smith must speak constantly or yield the floor. The rule has been changed since then. These days Democrats merely need to say they're filibustering a judge and they can still be home for dinner.

In the end, Smith's filibuster itself doesn't really do anything anyway. He collapses after speaking for nearly a full day and Paine, guilt-ridden, confesses to having helped frame Smith. Smith's marathon speech could just as easily have been set in front of the Capitol Building. Plotwise, it would have made no difference.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a terrific and very entertaining film. It's something everybody should see and pay close attention to, especially some members of Congress and the media.

Sean Higgins is a reporter in Washington, D.C.
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