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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I awoke to the sounds of earth-shattering screaming in the foreground and the background music was uncontrollable sobbing.
"... late for soccer ...gotta tell Angie to let coach know", I thought.
Lights were flashing and I slowly realized that I was laying on the side of a road. Everything look familiar, I knew where I was but not why I was there. Recent memory slowly slipped into my consciousness and then my thoughts were violently ripped from my head when when I saw a young woman screaming while being restrained by cops. She was clearly trying to get to a car that was enveloped in flames.
"... my babies .. my kids .. help me"
I saw my car. My car was flipped. "Annie, where is Annie, my sister?"
The next thing I remember is a hospital room. My Aunt Jill was in the room. "Where are my parents? Where is Annie? Where am I?"
And then came the most horrifying moments of my life. The life that I will never know again. I had been driving to soccer practice with my sister. She was driving shotgun. We were rushing to get to the field on time. A text message came in on my phone. I glanced down to see who it was and the next thing I knew, I was here with my sobbing Aunt.
My parents were at the morgue and Aunt Jill was telling me that my sister was dead and so were two other children that were passengers in the car that I drove in to. My sister was 15. The children that died were 2 years old and 5 years old. The driver of the other car, a Mother, had survived and one of her children (aged 7) was in critical condition.
The excruciating pain that enveloped me is indescribable. It is a pain that I feel will eventually send my mind to the brink of insanity - because it will never leave. The pain remains as a core of my being, four years later.
I was a good kid. I volunteered every Christmas at a local soup kitchen. I got mostly A's in school. I was a coordinated athlete. I was a good driver. This could not have happened to me, but it did.
Everything I had read and learned in driver's training and from the adults around me was about how "I could kill myself". "You could kill yourself speeding", they said. "Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens", they added. No one told me that I could LIVE through a car crash, cause a death or multiple deaths, and have to face living with myself for the rest of my life.
I am tormented by guilt and remorse - the kind that is gut-retching.
I am writing this to help other teenagers and in memory of my sister and the two children that will never have a life. I think of Annie and these kids every day. If my story can make one teenager out there pay attention to the road, I will feel that I have partly redeemed myself. Lock your cell phone in your book bag, in the trunk of your car. Turn the radio down and don't
Here are facts to remember:
Please God, give me the strength to eventually forgive myself
This story was donated by an Anonymous friend of The Michigan Business Directory.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
With the holidays approaching quickly, holiday advertising is already in full swing. We have noticed a significant increase in traffic across all of our websites in the last ten days - with the largest increases on the retail websites.
The beauty of the Internet is that you don't necessarily have to have your entire marketing plan completed in the middle of the summer. You still have time for developing and changing online and e-mail campaigns since production turnaround is quicker - especially if you use a program like Constant Contact. If you do not have a program in use, try Constant Contact's Free 60 day trial by clicking here.
Before you start blasting out emails, make sure that your client and prospect list is clean! The last thing that you need now is to be banned from many of your customer inboxes because of a few bad apples on your list.
Think Web 2.0 when planning your email campaigns this year. Consumers have grown used to sharing and minimal clicking. Offer one-click checkout for customers that already have accounts with you. Make it easy for the email to be forwarded and offer an online version that can be bookmarked at social sites or onto facebook profiles.
With the amount of spam recieved by people now, it is important to be colorful, original and festive in your design. Catch thier eye and interest with a great subject line. The inbox is getting more crowded and spending is expected to be tight during the holidays due to our weak economy. Be a stand out in a dull world!
Highlight products in the email that are top sellers so that your readers can see what other customers are purchasing this holiday season. If they know which products are hot (or you say are hot), you can create urgency and alter demand. Remember to allow your customers to bookmark pages on your website also!
For non-retailers, remember to use email to nurture your prospects and current customers.
Give Constant Contact a whirl this fall and watch your 4th quarter sales or leads increase substantially.
Labels: email marketing
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Summarized from an article by the Editors of the National Catholic Register
It’s important for Americans to know exactly where Barack Obama stands on abortion, because abortion is more than just a "Catholic issue." It's one of the fundamental issues Americans should be most concerned about.
The United States was founded on the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and Americans have spent the two centuries since trying to live up to those founding principles. First came disagreements over the pursuit of happiness — religious and economic liberty. Then, over slavery. Today’s big battle is over the most important right: the right to life.
Obama’s votes and official positions deny the right to life to three categories of human beings: the unborn, the “accidentally” born and, at least in one case, the adult “unfit.” Let’s look at each.
Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., understood how the right to life is fundamental. “I and my deceased children are victims of abortion,” she has said. “The Roe v. Wade decision has adversely affected the lives of my entire family. I pray often for deliverance from the pain caused by my decision to abort my baby.”
Obama's position on the question rejects her view.
When the Supreme Court, citing experiences like King’s, decided that a federal ban on partial-birth abortion would not violate the Constitution, Obama said he “strongly disagreed” with the court. Partial-birth abortion is the barbaric procedure in which a doctor kills a child with scissors while the child is being born. Obama vows to keep the practice legal.
Obama once described why he thinks abortion should be legal through all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy.
“Whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a child, a 9-month old child that was delivered to term,” he said. “That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.”
How could Obama be so opposed to the right to life? He may have let slip one reason at a March Town Hall meeting in Pennsylvania.
“Look, I’ve got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old,” Obama said. “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
He thinks “unwanted” children, by their very existence, are an unacceptable imposition.
This brings us to the next category of human being Obama says has no intrinsic right to life: Babies born “accidentally” while a doctor attempts to kill them by abortion.
This is a necessary consequence of Obama’s embrace of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Most of us know parents who have cared for preemies — premature babies, born too soon. With the abortion industry’s wide-scale attempts to kill American premies and nearly due children, some will be born alive accidentally.
Whistleblower Jill Stanek, a Chicago nurse, described the practice of killing babies in what is now known as “live-birth abortion.” Illinois tried to stop the practice. But in 2002, as state legislator there, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies who were “accidentally” born alive during attempts to abort them.
“I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a soiled utility room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived,” Stanek told the U.S. Congress, describing one such case. “He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall.”
After Stanek’s testimony even N.Y. Democrat Jerrold Nadler, who says he is “as pro-choice as anybody on earth” supported and spoke in favor of the bill.
But for the abortion industry and Obama, opposing the right to life has meant uncompromising dedication to a counter-principle. For Obama, protecting the unstated principle “unwanted children do not have the right to life” is the only way abortion can remain legal. That has led him to exclude another category of human being from the right to life: the unfit.
In a recent debate, Obama said the vote he most regrets was his vote to save Terri Schiavo’s life. Her husband, Michael, wanted Terri dead, even though she was alert and responsive to nurses and family members. He had a new child with a new woman, and he wanted Terri dead.
When a judge granted his request, Congress and President Bush attempted to intervene to save her life, and not just to save her life, but to stop the dangerous precedent. They failed. Now Obama says they shouldn’t have tried.
Thus, he started by rejecting the right to life of unwanted children and now rejects the right to life of an unwanted woman.
Obama not only opposes the right to life, his opposition is his highest priority. “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” he told Planned Parenthood last July. That would make America more friendly to the abortion industry than any other country in the world.
The idea that there is a creed at the heart of America was best expressed by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address. “Four score and seven years ago,” he said, “our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He called the Civil War a test as to whether “any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
America is still undergoing that test.
But, like a reverse Lincoln, a new man from Illinois seeks the presidency, one who is engaged in a battle against the proposition that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with the right to life.
Labels: Presidential Campaign
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A precurser to the Presidential Election - I think not (and I hope not)
That's not to say that I am stating my political views on this blog .. just that I do not believe that the sale of Halloween masks will predict the election outcome. Primarily because of the demographics that would buy Halloween masks to begin with.
Political candidates have been going door-to-door Trick or Treating for decades, but you'll likely see more Barack Obamas than John McCains this Halloween say the local store owners and online retailers.
Vinyl masks of Democrat presidential candidate Obama are reportedly selling better nationwide, and locally, than those of Republican McCain. Visit Costume Craze for Political Costumes
The real question is how the costume sales for Sarah Palin are selling? We saw a mask online of Sarah Palin at BuyCostume - but I think that you can do Sarah without a mask.
According to many polls, Sarah's popularity is skyrocketing. The pro-life, devoutly Christian, happily married mother-of-five has emerged from the political margins to become the most intriguing woman in America. Go Palin!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Obama's ties to voter registration group ACORN questioned
Just as we get through the horrendous scandal of Palin's daughter being pregnant, Obama is tied to ACORN. If you detected a bit of sarcasm in my tone, you are correct.
The huge disparity between the Republican "scandals" and the Democratic "scandals" in this year's election are ludicrous. You can't compare a teen pregnancy with the ties to an organization that registers dead people to vote for your candidate. They shouldn't be in the same sentence.
Barack Obama's ties to a controversial voter registration group -- responsible for signing up more than a million new voters nationwide this year -- whose employees have been accused of illegal activity -- are coming under increasing scrutiny.
Did I mention that the election is only 3 weeks away and this is happening?
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN, is in trouble again for voter fraud. The keyword here is AGAIN. Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama got his community organizer experience working for ACORN.
Right now, there are allegations that ACORN is targeting underage voters. Its seems that studies have shown that the demographic the democrats are targeting are often not on college campuses, which they have focused on in the past.
So now they are targeting high school students?? in an attempt to get more of their demographic registered …. apparently regardless of age.
Did I mention that the Obama campaign recently gave ACORN $800K to do “voter registration” for them. This, in itself, should create a lot of commotion. How can a political figure give money to an organization that has not only been indicted on voter fraud, but convicted in certain states?
Oh yeah .... but all I hear on the radio and in advertisements is that Palin's daughter is pregnant.
And to make things worse, ACORN has stated that Obama lied in the debates last night.
Let the drama continue!
Labels: Obama and Acorn
Monday, October 13, 2008
The Crisis on Wall Street and the Coming Election
An interesting read that I found. Reflects great intelligence:
The crisis is not just a crisis on Wall Street. If left unchecked, it will worm its way into Main Street. What is Main Street; it is the credit market that directly affects the working man’s car loan, mortgage rate, and credit cards. It also affects the business he works for. A small business has to have the cash to pay bills and payroll on a weekly basis while they wait for their money from sales to come in on a monthly basis.
Toilet Papering Shooting Raises Eyebrows
I read an article about a teen prank that almost resulted in an unthinkable disaster.
Parents read on and warn your kids!
Five teens were toilet-papering a home over in Kent county about 1 a.m. Sunday when the homeowner awoke and saw them. The homeowner fired three shots from a 12-gauge shotgun. Luckily only one injury and no deaths - but one has to worry about this situation especially with Halloween coming up.
A 14-year-old was struck. He was taken to the Hospital, where he is recovering from wounds to his chest, stomach and leg.
Granted, the toilet paper incident happened in the country - (one of the neighbor's said that the backyard's are dark in the area and people are frightened of predators)
Don't let your kids out on Devil's Night!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
summarized from an article by The Associated Press
The baiting ban is a hot topic because it is causing economic devastation in an already rundown economy for some people. Unfortunately, it may be an absolute necessary.
The baiting ban is a temporary measure to limit the spread of CWD.
What's the alternative? End the ban? Well, if the disease spreads, there's going to be fewer deer to bait anyway.
Relying on hunters to limit the spread of the disease would not seem to be feasible. While it might be possible to deduce a deer has been infected by it's attempts at cooling off near a water source, there's probably not an easy to way identify deer in early stages of infection using the naked eye (or even though a rifle scope).
And if you're shooting to eat, you really want to be ingesting diseased meat? While it's unclear as to whether CWD affects humans, do you really want to take the risk of the disease mutating if in fact it currently doesn't?
It is an unfortunate situation for all involved: deer, hunters, and economy alike. But the finger should not be pointed at the government. It's the disease that's causing the problem.
Let's attack it intelligently, not with knee-jerk reactions.
Labels: Michigan Deer Baiting
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Behind the Scenes Information About Sarah Palin
Got this through email today and thought it was worth a post: