Djmattsexton’s Blog

Just another weblog

Sometimes…a “Warrior” is just a person watching the pictures on hotel walls as time tick away

GREETINGS FROM SIDE STAGE OF THE COLUMBUS COMMONS! As I am setting up Production for an event for Mike Vrabel and his ‘Second and Seven’  group-In Route to Warrior Dash!

What are you doing this weekend? Partying? Sitting On The Couch? Resting? My Crew and I will be rockin’ 2.91 miles of INSANITY down in Logan Ohio. Fire, Mud, Barbwire, Hurricane tunnels, ropes…and a lot of booze await all who dare!


This week the weather here in Central Ohio has been amazing, but while enjoying, sending prayers to our friends in Springfield Massachusetts.


Wednesday was an amazing day beautiful sun, light breeze, and it was National Running Day. To capitalize on both I ran outside for the first time since last September. I only did 2 miles, and gassed a lil at the end but averaged a 9:20 pace, and knees held up-and felt ok.


On Thursday my knees felt ok, so after doing my time in the gym, I decided to go for another “knee test” light jog. I also needed some things from the store, so I went for a jog over to Kroger’s. What did I need? Aleve for my sore knees (ironic huh?), and light bulbs. One was dumb to RUN to get and the other? Well glass banging around is not a good idea.


The problem is both did not make it back home…I the bag opened and I lost my Aleve and one bulb fell out, so I guess someone else running on the path will be able to take some Aleve for their own pain, and well…be able to light their way with the light bulb…combination for a perfect night run?


In addition to being on the paths runnin’ I also have had a VERY BUSY WEEK, especially with it being shortened with last Monday, a day for picnics and remembering and CELEBRATING the BRAVE MEN & WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED!!!


Speaking of celebrating and working hard what better way than one of the greatest donuts of all time? While Wednesday was National Running Day…Friday is Nation Donut Day. Krispy Kreme is CELEBRATING!!!


On Friday, June 3, Krispy Kreme will give back to its guests by offering one FREE Krispy Kreme Doughnut on National Doughnut Day at participating retail locations.

National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by The Salvation Army to raise funds to help people in need. In honor of the 73-year-old holiday, Krispy Kreme is once again giving each guest who visits a participating U.S. Krispy Kreme shop on June 3 one FREE doughnut of any variety. No purchase is necessary to redeem the offer.

“In honor of National Doughnut Day, we’re inviting doughnut fans to stop by a local Krispy Kreme shop for a complimentary doughnut,” says Ron Rupocinski, corporate chef of Krispy Kreme. “With several delicious, one-of-a-kind doughnuts to select from, including our signature Original Glazed®, you can pick your favorite or discover a new preferred sweet treat for FREE.”

The free doughnut offer is good for one doughnut of any variety per customer at participating U.S. Krispy Kreme retail shops. Visit our store locator page at to find a participating Krispy Kreme location near you.

For updates on special promotions, exclusive offers and local events, join “Friends of Krispy Kreme” by visiting


But again to be able to eat those things I have to make sure I workout, take my Visalus shakes, and it DOES help to finally have good weather, with my knees are feeling better!


I realized most of the Spring I was laying in bed and moping-kinda down and just letting the rain, cold, and blah get to me.


I just let the hands of the clock tic tock and I was not doing anything to keep up. Last weekend in the midst of all my gigs I had a hard time keeping up with…well, time!


At one point I looked down and saw the time change. This is not that big of a deal, but wondered how long it had been since I had seen a minute turn to another or even onto an hour. I stood there and wondered how many minutes have I missed in this lifetime, OR better yet how many moments missed?


Far too often I (and let’s face it all of us) either get stuck in a rut and don’t appreciate the time we have, or we get too caught up in the mundane and let the smallest moments get away from us.


I had the chance to enjoy something that at one time I would have hated. Last week I did a JR. High Dance. For some they may be above this (and at one time I may have felt the same way). BUT an old friend asked me to and I went back, back to when my future was all ahead if me.


Going back to how it began, a JR. High dance! It was kinda funny 1.) Just like when I was in JR. High; all the kids were taller than me that night. 2.) The same bad taste in music was prominent. I wonder if these kids will look back at this time like many of my friends and I do and laugh at our Vanilla Ice and New Kids stuff-this was until both the New Kids and Rob Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) were retro cool! But I played, one of those songs…ya know the Bieber kid, the kids all screamed, and for one minute I felt cool, or at the very least felt Canadian…but he has better hair


Last week was not all fun and games. I have lost a lot of weight purposely, but with not having a lot of motivation, I have lost some “size.” Being smaller in stature is good for me, and more healthy than trying to be the biggest baddest mutha in a venue, but it has at times been hard to adjust on the inside. Even though I am just a strong as I once was-actually even stronger, I struggle with (what I consider) a lack of neck and arms-but at least I am down to 2 chins!?!?!?


Anyway, some situations cause me to become self conscious even more. I know I can still handle myself; the problem is…many don’t feel the same way. At an event last week I saw some dude in the front making a slashing sigh across his throat and yelling at us from the crowd as we were spinning (waiting on the band to get through some sound issues). I couldn’t take it anymore and went to find out if he was screaming at us, or of he was having a seizure-either way I would have had no problem sticking my wallet in his mouth (and maybe a boot up his a**).

I approached him with my normal “what up sparky?” He responded back “Hey Hamster.” He stated he came to see the band and didn’t want to hear us. I informed him we were saving the bands a** and keeping stage while they worked through some tech issues. He then stuck out his hand and apologized.


3 things came from this, I was reminded of times I had been the jack a** in a crowd yelling when I did not like something. I also was reminded when I am in the wrong…apologize. But mainly it was a moment of growth. In the past someone would have made that hamster comment, and I would have taken them on the ground, bloodied them…and while making them look like an a**, I too would have been an A**, and probably lost the gig. I am glad he said this it made me realize how far I have grown, and how far still need to go-cause the comment still bothered me. I am glad this guy was a jerk…I needed it, and learned from it!


So yet another moment in time to learn and another stone on my path to whatever. This weekend also had me physically all over this GREAT STATE of Ohio!

My travels took me up to Cleveland and yes, while it was a short drive I did realize I am on a “Ride of life”


All of these experiences I am having (all the good and the bad/all the ups and downs/all the love and heartache) allow me to grow in the areas of Business, physical, maturing, and spiritual…and all things that make up life.


I wouldn’t trade this journey for any fast track rise to wherever I may end up!


It is all great but…there is one thing missing, and I wrote another song while on the way to Cleveland on Saturday…yes I did it on my Droid.

One verse, I already reached out and shared some of it with someone…kinda wanted to share some more.

Another night ‘Nother gig full of 1000s of  smiling faces all lovin’ me and wantin’ to be my friend….another town full of nice folks but not (the) ONE GREAT person.

Another plush Hotel room with a huge bed, but not as comfortable of my simple home.

 The same picture in every room not, on wall not on nightstand…but in my heart.

It is the same in every city, and of the same person I wake up with from my dreams as I continue to picture her in my thoughts.

…It is always same, including the feeling of loneliness


As I was driving, and texting (by the way don’t do that kids it is very dangerous), this song came on and it was appropriate.

got rice cooking in the microwave 
Got a three day beard I don’t plan to shave
And it’s a goofy thing but I just gotta say
Hey I’m doing alright

Yeah I think I’ll make me some homemade soup
Feelin pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced
No I’m just doin alright

And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin when I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neigborhood
But why can’t every day be just this good?

It’s been fifteen years since I left home
Said good luck to every seed I’d sown
Give it my best and then I left it alone
Oh…I hope their doin alright

Now I look in the mirror and what do I see?
A lone wolf there starin back at me
Long in the tooth but harmless as can be
Lord I guess he’s doin alright

Sometimes it’s lonely
Sometimes it’s only me
And the shadows that fill this room

Sometimes I’m fallin
Desperately callin
Howlin at the moon…

Well I might go get me a new tattoo
Or take my old Harley for a three day cruise
Might even grow me a Fu Man Chu…
Oh Aww!

And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin when I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neigborhood
But why can’t every day be just this good?

And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shinin when I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neigborhood 
But why can’t every day be just this good?

But even as good as my life (and let’s face all of our lives really are)…it is kinda rough being a Buckeye right now


For all those Buckeye Fans who made fun of USC, and their violations…I guess we found out that while Ann Arbor is a Whore, her seester Karma is a Bi*ch!

But regardless…”Time and Change will Surely Show How Firm Thy Friendship O-HI-O!”


I am off to hit the Warrior Dash Course to (as my dad used to say when he stole a French fry) “Test It to make sure…”


Have a great weekend and enjoy the minutes…but also the moments!



 Tallan Noble Latz

June 2nd from 7-10 PM with Terry Davidson and The Gears at Hoggy’s Live! Delaware. This family-friendly show is also free to the public and all media are welcome to all three events.



Park Street Festival is back and better than ever this year! With activities and entertainment fit for any age, Park Street Festival is fun for the whole family.

This year’s activities include Bike Night, Autograph sessions with local athletes, Kids Fair, 9 live bands, and much more!


Benefiting the Second and Seven Foundation, The Park Street Festival merges food, entertainment, and family fun all in to one event. The festival is a joint effort among the bars on Park Street and runs the length of the street. Admission is free, so make sure to come out to Park Street Festival for a great weekend.


Music Schedule:

FRIDAY (opening at 5pm)

The 17th Floor

Travelers By Dawn

Johnny White

Six Panel Driver

Dot Dot Dot

DJ Nobody/Matt Sexton


SATURDAY (opening at 3pm)

Relive the Thriller (Michael Jackson Tribute Show starring Corey Melton)

Lovesick Radio

Kicking Dixie


Union Rose

Of Human

DJ Matt Sexton/DJ Nobody


Visit for more information!



RED, WHITE, & BOOM Friday July 1, 2011

Join me on the Long Street Stage with

Noon Alex White      



Maza laska




Misfit Toys




The Forties




She Bears




Alleyes Path




The Compressis




Ghost Shirt








10:25 – 11:20


The Queen Tribute Band-Mr Fahrenheit & The Lover Boys




Matt Sexton



Please “suggest” “like” or become a “fan” of our new “fan page” Matty Sexton on facebook.
PLEASE check out the updated website (please let us know what you think?)

ALSO, THE SUMMER TEMPS HAVE FINALLY HIT…let me help you get into your best shape (inside and out!) Send an e-mail to for availability and specialized individual workout plans.




‎A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort-Rev Run


“To dare is to lose ones footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself”  -Kierkegaard


To love what you do and feel that it matters, how on earth could anything be more fun. Katherine Graham


If ya wanna earn livin ya gotta put on a show




Opening lines just hit way too close to home


This has been a theme for me for a few years







 What is the cost of living? The only thing you must pay is attention. Focus and confront what is important. You cannot conquer or change what you are not willing to confront! Things change when you change them. What will you confront today?



The gift of sharing your joy with the world has no expiry date. ~ pj johnson

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. – Dalai Lama


Help provide a vehicle and transportation for a friend of mine who is a missionary in Haiti.


In addition to a good dinner and a GREAT CAUSE, we have a chance for you to bid on some killer prizes including 2 Tickets to see Keith Urban July 19th at Nationwide Arena (courtesy of Dream Seats-Your Total Ticket Source), and 3 hours of DJ service (limitations apply)


Friday, June 17 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Licking Valley High School


Texas Roadhouse Dinner (pizza for children) will be served from 6:00 – 7:30pm

Cost: $20.00 per ticket for steak dinner. Dinner includes Steak, salad, baked potato, rolls, drink and dessert.

Pizza ticket is $5.00 and includes pizza, drink, salad and dessert.


The proceeds will go towards the purchase of a vehicle for Ginny Andrews who is working in Haiti. She currently is using the Haitian public transportation system and is very limited in her mission work with no vehicle. Ginny works Angel Missions Haiti where she oversees getting medical visas for children who need life-saving surgery in the states.


Please see her blog for more information on her work in Haiti:


For questions regarding the Benefit Dinner and Silent action please email Summer Conley at


Donations are being accepted for the Silent Auction. Contact Summer if interested.



Went in for a colonoscopy. A can-cam. Dr asked if I wanted to watch the screen. No, thanks. I know my sh*t is up to no good.-Ron White



Few things capture the public’s curiosity like Area 51. The top-secret military base (which doesn’t officially exist) has been the subject of conspiracy theories for decades. What actually went on there? Something tells us we’ll never know for sure.


However, a recently revealed series of photographs provides some tantalizing new clues. The photos, which were published by National Geographic show a titanium A-12 spy plane. In one image, the satisfyingly sci-fi-looking plane hangs upside down while it is prepared for radar testing. In another shot, a group of officials with heavy equipment “remove all traces of the A-12 spy plane” after it went down in the Utah desert in 1963.



Franklin County Sheriff Jim Karnes died Thursday after fighting pancreatic cancer.


Karnes died at about 12:30 p.m. at The Ohio State University Medical Center, surrounded by family and friends.


Karnes began his law enforcement career in 1963 as a deputy in the corrections division. He retired as a lieutenant and was first elected sheriff in 1992.


Flags are flying at half staff at Franklin County Sheriff’s headquarters.


Karnes, known as ‘Big Jim’ to his friends, became the longest serving sheriff in Franklin County history in Aug. 2007.


“He was a good guy, one of the guys, started in 1967, been a deputy for 48 years,” said Special Deputy Dave McMannis.


Karnes spoke to NBC4’s Mindy Drayer in 2010 about the importance of serving as long as he has, and being married to the same woman.


“I begin my 47th year at the sheriff’s office in June,” he said. “In that 47 years on the same job, I’ve had the same wife. I’m what’s known as a rarity.”


Karnes made the announcement of his cancer diagnosis in April, saying he would undergo aggressive chemotherapy.


Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman issued the following statement Thursday:


“I am saddened today by the loss of a good friend, Jim Karnes, who served the people of this community for almost half a century. Sherriff Karnes was both tough and compassionate, and he will be missed by all the people of Franklin County. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”


In May, county officials renamed one of the county buildings on South High Street that housed many of the sheriff’s offices after Karnes.


Karnes was in his final term in office. He said he wanted to serve as sheriff until the new Franklin County Courthouse was in place because he wanted to make sure the building was secure and safe for the public and his deputies.


The Franklin County Board of Commissioners convened an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon to appoint Franklin County Deputy Chief Stephan L. Martin as acting sheriff of Franklin County.


Martin said funeral arrangements haven’t been made at this time, but he will update the community when they are.


Acting Sheriff Martin will assume all of the rights and responsibilities of Sheriff until the Franklin County Democratic Party Central Committee makes a new appointment within the next 45 days.


Karnes leaves behind his wife, Sandy, three daughters, Paige, Brooke and Shannon, and three grandchildren. He was 71 years old.




‎Happy Birthday Clint Eastwood: Hollywood legend has fans remembering his movies

Clint Eastwood has appeared in countless movies, directed dozens of scripts and is still going strong. The Hollywood legend celebrates his birthday on Tuesday, May 31. Born in 1930, he will be 81 years young.  Celebrating the contribution he has made to the movie business isn’t hard as his career spans over a vast amount of time with great classics.

Entering the world of entertainment in 1955, Clintwood has been in the business for over 50 years and he has projects lined up to continue for years to come. However, he wasn’t always the producer and director we see today, he career started with some legendary movies including The Good, The Bad and The Ugly andDirty Harry. His career of acting includes Play Misty for Me, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, In the Line of Fire, The Bridges of Madison County, and Gran Torino. Taking on directing, his films have received national acclaim with titles like Invictus, Hereafter, and Million Dollar Baby.

“Everybody wonders why I continue working at this stage. I keep working because there’s always new stories…. And as long as people want me to tell them, I’ll be there doing them,” said Clint Eastwood in the DVD The Eastwood Factor in 2010.

So to that there is only one thing to say: Happy Birthday Mr. Eastwood. Have a great day of celebration, cake and delight. And the fans will be celebrating right along with you by watching their favorite Eastwood flick.




TV Executives Admit in Taped Interviews That Hollywood Pushes a Liberal Agenda


When Shapiro tells Fred Pierce, the president of ABC in the 1980s who was instrumental in Disney’s acquisition of ESPN, that “It’s very difficult for people who are politically conservative to break in” to television, he responds: “I can’t argue that point.” Those who don’t lean left, he says, “don’t promote it. It stays underground.”


Another video rolling out soon has ” House ” creator David Shore acknowledging that “there is an assumption in this town that everybody is on the left side of the spectrum, and that the few people on the right side, I think people look at them somewhat aghast, and I’m sure it doesn’t help them.”


In the book, subtitled “The true Hollywood story of how the left took over your TV,” Shapiro also tells anecdotes of bias against conservatives. One example is Dwight Schultz, best known for his roles as Murdock in ” The A-Team ” and Barclay in ” Star Trek: The Next Generation .”


The late Bruce Paltrow knew that Schultz was a fan of President Ronald Reagan. When Schultz showed up to audition for ” St. Elsewhere ,” a show Paltrow produced, to read for the part of Fiscus, Paltrow told him: “There’s not going to be a Reagan [expletive] on this show!” The part went to Howie Mandel.


“Most nepotism in Hollywood isn’t familial, it’s ideological,” Shapiro writes in the book. “Friends hire friends. And those friends just happen to share their politics.”

Another video Shapiro will release shortly has producer-director Nicholas Meyer being asked point-blank whether conservatives are discriminated against in Hollywood. “Well, I hope so,” he answers. Meyer also admits his political agenda for “The Day After,” a TV movie he directed for ABC that was seen by 100 million people when it aired in 1983.


“My private, grandiose notion was that this movie would unseat Ronald Reagan when he ran for re-election,” Meyer says.


Even seemingly harmless shows like ” Happy Days ” and ” Sesame Street ” have been used to advance a progressive agenda, according to Shapiro.

For example, William Bickley, a writer on ” The Partridge Family ” and a producer on “Happy Days,” says he infused Vietnam War protest messages into the latter. “I was into all that,” he says in a soon-to-be-released video.


“Television has been perhaps the most impressive weapon in the left’s political arsenal,” Shapiro argues in the book.


Other upcoming videos include: ” Family Ties ” creator Gary David Goldberg explaining how he tried to make Republican character Alex Keaton the bad guy but that actor Michael J. Fox was too darn lovable; and president of MTV Networks Entertainment Group Doug Herzog talking about his network having “superpowers” when it comes to its influence over young people.


The advancement of a gay and lesbian political agenda is mentioned by multiple executives, including Marcy Carsey, a producer of “Soap” and ” Roseanne ,” and ” Desperate Housewives ” producer Marc Cherry, who is a rarity in Hollywood: a gay Republican.


In her video, Carsey also says she insisted on portraying characters smoking marijuana in ” That ’70s Show .” “If this is a problem for you, we certainly understand, and we just won’t do the show,” she told executives at Fox.


Shapiro released two videos Tuesday, one featuring ” COPS ” creator John Langley saying he’s partial to segments where white people are the criminals, and the other has Fred Silverman, the former head of ABC and later NBC, saying

“there’s only one perspective, and it’s a very progressive perspective” in TV comedy today.


Shapiro said the executives felt comfortable talking about politics with him because they assumed, incorrectly, that he is on the left.


“Most of them didn’t Google me. If they had, they would have realized where I am politically,” he said. “I played on their stereotypes. When I showed up for the interviews, I wore my Harvard Law baseball cap — my name is Ben Shapiro and I attended Harvard, so there’s a 98.7 percent chance I’m a liberal. Except I happen not to be.”


Shapiro said he’ll time the debut of certain videos for maximum effect. One that slams Sean Hannity, for example, is reserved for his scheduled appearance on Hannity’s show on the Fox News Channel.


And conservative pundit Ann Coulter has a new book out June 7. “I have two people ripping her by name, so I’ll release those the day Ann’s book is released,” Shapiro said.


One of those slamming Coulter is George Schlatter, who directed and produced ” Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In ” in the 1970s, using the show to knock Republicans and the Vietnam War. “The fact we [ticked] the Pentagon off, that pleased me enormously,” he says before calling Coulter a vulgar word.


In his video, Schlatter also goes off on right-wing radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham.


Shapiro says he didn’t disclose that he’d be releasing the tapes, but that his subjects have no reason to complain.


“I asked them for permission to tape, and there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy when you’re being interviewed for a book,” he said.


“If they’re going to be shocked at something, it should be themselves, not me,” Shapiro said. “They should be shocked that opinion is so one-sided in Hollywood that it’s OK to say, ‘I’m fine with discrimination.'”


“My whole book is a plea for openness in the industry,” he added. “Hire people from the other side of the aisle once in a while, or at least stop mocking them.



Jay-Z on What Makes Classic Track. The rapper’s introduction to Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs

A great song doesn’t attempt to be anything — it just is.

When you hear a great song, you can think of where you were when you first heard it, the sounds, the smells. It takes the emotions of a moment and holds it for years to come. It transcends time. A great song has all the key elements — melody; emotion; a strong statement that becomes part of the lexicon; and great production. Think of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen. That song had everything — different melodies, opera, R&B, rock — and it explored all of those different genres in an authentic way, where it felt natural.

When I’m writing a song that I know is going to work, it’s a feeling of euphoria. It’s how a basketball player must feel when he starts hitting every shot, when you’re in that zone. As soon as you start, you get that magic feeling, an extra feeling. Songs like that come out in five minutes; if I work on them more than, say, 20 minutes, they’re probably not going to work.

When I was starting out, I was just trying to tell stories. I wasn’t thinking about melodies. Then I started to marry storytelling with every­thing I was learning from all these other great records: the great writers like Babyface and Lionel Richie; Rakim’s technique and syncopation; Dre’s whole package on the Chronic albums; Quincy Jones, the greatest producer of all time; Rick Rubin, who’s not too far behind because of all his genre-jumping.

Technology has caused the songwriting process to lose some of the magic. A lot of times now, people working on a song aren’t in the same room. Imagine if Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones hadn’t been in the same room! Those records would have been totally different. I’ve had times when I changed one word because of something that somebody said in the studio, and it changed the whole song. It’s so important to have other people in the room, vibing, saying, “No, this part is good, put that there.”

I spend a lot of time fighting myself to stay out of the way of a great song. It’s hard for me to leave a song alone, in its natural state. I want it to have that mass appeal, but once I start trying to push it too far, you can feel that something isn’t right. When you can hear what a writer is trying to do, it’s like watching a dancer and seeing him counting his steps. Music is emotional — if you’re singing that you’re in love with somebody but it doesn’t really feel like you are, people can tell.

Some of my best songs aren’t the biggest ones. A song like “Can I Live” is so full of emotion to me — it was better than “Hard Knock Life” or “Empire State of Mind,” but it lacked that accessibility. ­Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album may not have been bigger than Thriller, but the songs had better melodies.

But when a phrase gets stuck in your head like a great melody and becomes part of everyday culture, that’s when it can become something great. When your music signifies a time in the culture or continues on in everyday life, like “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud” or “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Or when something like “Bling Bling” even makes it into the dictionary. Then you know you’ve done your job.



I saw this movie and it WAS AWESOME, not a feel good piece, but really good!

Provinces of Night: A Novel
William Gay (Author)

In his second novel, Provinces of Night, William Gay re-creates the oppressive, evocative atmosphere of the American Deep South that he first explored in his debut novel, The Long Home. Against the backdrop of rural Tennessee in the 1950s, our teenage protagonist, Fleming Bloodworth, finds himself alone in the family home after his father, Boyd, abandons him to hunt down and kill his wife’s lover. At the same time, Fleming’s grandfather decides to return to his family after 20 years of self-imposed exile. He returns to discover that his remaining two sons, Warren and Brady, are in turn an alcoholic womanizer and a Bible-quoting fantasist who enjoys putting curses on his enemies.

This is a self-consciously big novel in the Southern tradition that could easily have buckled under the weight of its own ambition. Instead, Gay pulls it off with ease, presenting us with a stream of unforgettable characters. While the central themes of love, loyalty, and forgiveness are explored seriously and sensitively, the finely wrought prose is also sprinkled with moments of genuine humor as Gay proves that he’s not afraid to gently mock his gang of Southern eccentrics. This is a wonderful novel and a worthy successor to the tradition it so obviously admires. –Jane Morris, –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Like one of Wallace Stevens’s best-known poems, Gay’s (The Long Home) second novel begins with a jar on a hill in TennesseeDonly this one appears to contain tiny human bones. That’s a suitably ominous prelude to the dark saga of the Bloodworth clan, which revolves mostly around 17-year-old Fleming, an aspiring writer trying to evade the family legacy of violence and self-destruction. It is 1952 and his father, Boyd, has left their decrepit mountain home “seventy miles back of Nashville” for Detroit, not to work in an automobile factory like the other “hillbillies” but to search forDand killDthe peddler who has run off with his wife. Meanwhile, Fleming’s grandfather, E.F. Bloodworth, a blues musician, is on his way home after having suffered a “stroke of paralysis” 20 years earlier. His handsome Uncle Warren, a former war hero now at loose ends, is a dissipated womanizer with an even more dissolute and unstable son, and his Uncle Brady “witches” for water, tells fortunes and casts hexes on those who do him wrong. Even as the Tennessee Valley Authority is moving in to clear and flood their valley and bring in “the electricity,” Fleming’s relatives and neighbors live by the backwoods code of violence exemplified by E.F., a man whose exploits are legendary among the locals. Only Raven Lee Halfacre, the 16-year-old daughter of a promiscuous alcoholic and the “prettiest girl in a three county area,” offers the boy a glimpse of another way of life. Fleming’s name echoes that of one of Faulkner’s most memorable characters, and Gay’s prose resembles that of Faulkner at his most florid. His stylistic quirksDespecially his refusal to set off dialogue with quotation marksDtake some getting used to, but the pitch-perfect rendition of the cadences of Southern speech and deeply poetic descriptions of the landscape more than compensate.



Romney: ‘Barack Obama has failed America’


Mitt Romney is opening his first formal day as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate by pitching himself as the one to heal the economy and issuing a direct challenge to the man he wants to replace: “Barack Obama has failed America,” he says.


In excerpts released ahead of his formal kick-off speech Thursday, Romney homes in on the economic woes that are frustrating voters: a lack of jobs, persistent foreclosures and runaway spending in Washington.


It’s a pitch tailored to the conservatives who hold great sway in picking the GOP’s presidential nominee in Iowa and South Carolina — and the independents who are the largest politic bloc in New Hampshire. And it is as much a thesis on his viability as it is an indictment of Obama’s leadership.


“A few years ago, Americans did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead, someone we hadn’t known for very long, who didn’t have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place,” Romney says, describing the man he hopes to meet head-to-head in November 2012.


“At the time, we didn’t know what sort of a president he would make. … Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by. Barack Obama has failed America.”


In the speech, the former Massachusetts governor launches into a scathing critique of Washington, a place where he has never served. Decrying federal spending, the one-term governor promises, “My generation will pass the torch to the next generation, not a bill.”


Romney comes to a presidential contest that lacks a front-runner. In the past week, the still-jelling field became less certain with hints that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was considering a bid. Tea party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is inching toward a run, perhaps giving the anti-tax, libertarian-leaning grassroots movement a candidate to rally around.


Romney sought to claim a slice of that constituency when describing families struggling to get by.


“It doesn’t matter if they are Republican or Democrat, independent or libertarian,” Romney says in remarks he planned to deliver at a farm in Stratham. “They’re just Americans. An American family.”


Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, her party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, continued a bus tour that not only highlighted her potential to upend the race but also served as a contrast to the lackluster enthusiasm for those already running for president. She was set to appear in New Hampshire at a clambake Thursday, although her aides and advisers were not providing schedules and her supporters in the state were left looking for guidance.


Romney has built an experienced political team, collected serious campaign cash and crafted a campaign that is ready to go full-bore. While his likely opponents have jostled for the spotlight, Romney largely has worked in private to fine-tune his political machine. He has chosen to weigh in through statements and editorial pages instead of interviews with journalists or town hall-style meetings with voters.


On Friday, Romney starts to shift that strategy. He has scheduled his first town hall meeting for Manchester and later planned to speak at a Faith and Freedom forum in Washington.


Party leaders have yet to rally around him. Romney hopes his tough talk will inspire support.


“We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy,” he says, decrying Obama’s health care overhaul — a federal version of the one Romney signed into law for Massachusetts.


“From my first day in office my No. 1 job will be to see that America once again is No. 1 in job creation,” he says.




Six Seconds to Live
“Sir, in the name of God, no sane man would have stood there and done what they did. They saved us all.”

BY LT. GEN. JOHN KELLY – May 1, 2011
This article from the May issue of The American Legion Magazine is an excerpt of a speech Lt. Gen. John Kelly gave to the Semper Fi Society of St.

Our country today is in a life-and-death struggle against an evil enemy, but America as a whole is certainly not at war. Not as a country. Not as a people. Today, only a tiny fraction of American families – less than 1 percent – shoulder the burden of fear and sacrifice, and they shoulder it for the entire nation. Their sons and daughters who serve are men and women of character who continue to believe in this country enough to put life and limb on the line without qualification, and without thought of personal gain, so the sons and daughters of the other 99 percent don’t have to. No big deal, though. Marines have always been first to fight, paying in full the bill that comes with being free for everyone else.

The comforting news for every American is that our men and women in uniform are as good today as any in our history. As good as their heroic, underappreciated and largely abandoned fathers and uncles were inVietnam, and their grandfathers were in Korea and World War II, they have the same steel in their backs and have made their own mark, etching forever places like Ramadi, Fallujah and Baghdad in Iraq, and Helmand and Sangin, Afghanistan, that are now part of U.S. military legend and stand just as proudly alongside Iwo Jima, Normandy, Inchon, Hue  City, Khe Sanh and A Shau Valley, Vietnam.

While some might think we have produced yet another generation of materialistic and self-absorbed young people, those who serve today have broken the mold and stepped out as real men, and real women, who are already making their own way in life while protecting ours. They have learned, at the same time they have served and fought for us, that the real strength of a platoon, a battalion or a country is not based on worshipping at the altar of diversity or separateness. On the contrary, they know that our immigrant and castoff ancestors, many of whom came here in chains, forged a nation that was a melting pot stitched together by a shared sense of history, values, customs, hopes and dreams, all of which unified an earlier America into a whole, as opposed to an unruly gaggle of hyphenated names or multicultural individuals.

Our servicemen and women also come to understand that it’s not about color, but about character. That it’s not about where in the world you came from, but all about why you came. That it’s not about the God you worship, but that you will respect and even fight for the right of your neighbor to venerate any God he or she ***** well pleases. That it’s not about individual achievement, but all about achieving together as a people for the common good. That there is an exceptionalism about America, and that we should cherish who we are and why we are extraordinary. Those of us who serve or have served in America’s armed forces have a profound understanding of these truths. Unfortunately, many in our great country today seldom fully appreciate them, or even hear of them beyond rhetoric every couple of years.

And what are they like in combat in this war? Like Marines have been throughout our history. These young people demonstrate their commitment to us not in words, but in action. In my three tours in combat as an infantry officer and commanding general, I never saw one of them hesitate, or do anything other than lean into the fire and, with no apparent fear of death or injury, take the fight to our enemies.

As anyone who has ever experienced combat knows, when it starts, when the explosions and tracers are everywhere, and the calls for the corpsman or medic are screamed from the throats of men who know they are dying – when seconds seem like hours and it all becomes slow motion and fast forward at the same time, and the only rational act is to stop, get down, save yourself – they don’t. When no one would call them a coward for cowering behind a wall or in a hole, slave to the most basic of all human instincts – survival – none of them do. It doesn’t matter if it’s an IED, a suicide bomber, mortar attack, sniper, fighting in the upstairs room of a house, or all of it at once – they talk, swagger and, most importantly, fight today in the same way America’s Marines have since Tun Tavern. They also know whose shoulders they stand on, and they will never shame any veteran of any service, living or dead.

We can also take comfort in the fact that these young Americans are not born killers but are good and decent young men and women who, for going on 10 years, have performed remarkable acts of bravery and selflessness to a cause they have decided is bigger and more important than themselves. Only a few months ago, they were delivering your paper, stocking shelves in the local grocery store, serving Mass on Sunday, or playing hockey on local ice.

Like my own two sons – who are Marines and have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan – they are also the same kids that drove their cars too fast for your liking, and played the god-awful music of their generation too loud, but have no doubt they are the finest of their generation. Like those who went before them in uniform, we owe them everything. We owe them our safety. We owe them our prosperity. We owe them our freedom. We owe them our lives.

Any one of them could have done something more self-serving with their lives, as the vast majority of their age group elected to do after high school and college. But no, they chose to serve, knowing full well a brutal war was in their future. They did not avoid the most basic and cherished responsibility of a citizen: the defense of country. They welcomed it. They are the very best this country produces, and have put every one of us ahead of themselves. All are heroes for simply stepping forward, and we as a people owe a debt we can never fully pay.

Just yesterday, two were lost, and a knock on the door late last night brought their families to their knees in a grief that will never go away. Thousands more have suffered terrible wounds since it all started, but like anyone who loses life or limb while serving others – including our firefighters and law-enforcement personnel, who on 9/11 were the first casualties of this war – they are not victims; they knew what they were about, and were doing what they wanted to do.

Indeed, they were in exactly the place they wanted to be: among the best men and women America produces. The chattering class and all those who doubt America’s intentions and resolve, endeavor to make them and their families out to be victims, but they are wrong. We who have served, and are serving, refuse their sympathy.
I have a story I wish to relate about the kind of people they are, about the steel in their backs, and the kind of dedication they bring to our country.

When I was the commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, on April 22, 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8, were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion was in the closing days of its deployment, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.

Two Marines, Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, our allies in the fight against terrorists in Ramadi – known at the time as the most dangerous city on earth, and owned by al-Qaeda.

Yale was a dirt-poor mixed-race kid from Virginia, with a wife, a mother and a sister, who all lived with him and he supported. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle-class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines, they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple Americas exist simultaneously, depending on one’s race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, education level, economic status, or where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible, and because of this bond they were brothers as close – or closer – than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from their sergeant squad leader, I’m sure, went something like this: “OK, take charge of this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?” I’m also sure Yale and Haerter rolled their eyes and said, in unison, something like, “Yes, sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point, without saying the words, “No kidding, sweetheart. We know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry-control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later, a large blue truck turned down the alleyway – perhaps 60 to 70 yards in length – and sped its way through the serpentine concrete Jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest 200 yards away, knocking down most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was caused by 2,000 pounds of explosive. Because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers in arms.

When I read the situation report a few hours after it happened, I called the regimental commander for details. Something about this struck me as different. We expect Marines, regardless of rank or MOS, to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site, and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event – just Iraqi police. If there was any chance of finding out what actually happened, and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it, because a combat award requires two eyewitnesses, and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police, all of whom told the same story. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.”

The Iraqi police related that some of them also fired, and then, to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated, and with tears welling up, said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”

What he didn’t know until then, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion, he said, “Sir, in the name of God, no sane man would have stood there and done what they did. They saved us all.”
What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned after I submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras recorded some of the attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated. You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives.

I suppose it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. No time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time, the truck was halfway through the barriers and gaining speed. Here the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were, some running right past the Marines, who had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines firing their weapons nonstop.  The truck’s windshield explodes into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tear into the body of the son of a ***** trying to get past them to kill their brothers – American and Iraqi – bedded down in the barracks, totally unaware that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.

Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder-width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could. They had only one second left to live, and I think they knew.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty. Those are the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight for you, and as amazing as this selfless act of sacrifice may seem, it is the norm.

In all the years I have been both enlisted and an officer of Marines, I have praised them and have chewed them out. I have promoted them and unceremoniously disciplined them. I have hung decorations on them and court-martialed them. I have visited them mangled and broken in military hospitals around the country, in lonely defensive positions across Iraq, and in brigs. I have known thousands of them over nearly 40 years, and I can tell you without hesitation or qualification that I never met one who would have run from his post that morning – who would have done anything other than to have stood there and died.

I have the name of the most recent hero, killed in Afghanistan a few hours ago, but I cannot share with you his name because a Marine officer and Navy chaplain have not yet executed their honored duty of notifying the next of kin. That family, right now, somewhere in America, is in the final minutes of blissful ignorance before their entire lives change forever. I know God will help them bear this inconceivable burden – a burden I am told by those who know that never goes away or even gets lighter – and help them find comfort in the fact that their son was doing exactly what he wanted to do, was doing it with the finest men on this earth, and for a cause that meant more to him than his life. The reality, however, is that it doesn’t matter if we are comforted, or if we accept it or not. It only matters that he did.

We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow on man while he lives on this earth: freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious – our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines – to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.

Rest assured that our America, this experiment in democracy begun over two centuries ago, will forever remain the land of the free and home of the brave so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down and kill those who would do us harm. God bless America, and semper fidelis.

Lt. Gen. John Kelly is senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Kelly delivered this speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis on Nov. 13, 2010, four days after his son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in action in Afghanistan.



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Ray Lewis Helps NY Boy Who Lost Mother, Siblings

Ravens star Ray Lewis reached out to help the young survivor of a tragic accident.

On April 12, 10-year-old La’Shaun Armstrong’s mother drove her family’s minivan into the Hudson River in New York, killing herself and three of La’Shaun’s younger siblings.


The story of his escape and survival touched many, including the Ravens All-Pro, who tracked the boy down and offered to become his mentor.


“He grabbed me from afar. The first words out of my mouth were, ‘I need him,'” Lewis said.


“When I first met Ray Lewis, I was shocked,” La’Shaun said. “It was, like, so cool. He’s like a brother to me.”


In April, Lewis and other current and retired NFL players held a black tie event to help raise money for counseling, tutoring and a college fund for La’Shaun.



Man Bites Off wife’s Eyelid
A 32-year-old Clinton Township man could spend up to 10 years in jail if convicted of biting off his wife’s eyelid during an argument.

Rahsaan Lavonte Thedford is being held in the Macomb County Jail on $100,000 bond. St. Clair Shores 40thDistrict Court Judge Mark A. Fratarcangeli on Tuesday ordered Thedford’s case bound over to Macomb County Circuit Court.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned on one felony count of assault with intent to maim on June 13.

“I find this crime absolutely heinous,” St. Clair Shores Police Detective Margaret Eidt said today. “In 18 years of being a police officer and detective, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a case like this.”

Eidt said Thedford’s wife called police from her car outside her St. Clair Shores home at 4 a.m. on May 8,Mother’s Day.

The argument began when the woman told Thedford to leave her home, according to Eidt. The couple had been estranged after the woman’s 17-year-old daughter was assaulted in February. Thedford has been charged with misdemeanor assault in that incident and the case is pending in 40th District Court.

In the Mother’s Day incident, Thedford is accused of punching his wife in the face when: “He was on top of her, leaned over and bit her eyelid off,” Eidt said.

Police caught him about a block away, trying to climb under a chain-link fence to hide in a yard, Eidt added.

Thedford’s attorney, Robert Vandenbroucke, was not immediately available for comment this morning.



Doomsday believer donates entire inheritance to Family Radio

When the world didn’t end on May 21, many people who had given up their earthly possessions were left with nothing.


But one believer never lived to see the day. She left nearly her entire estate — around $300,000 — to the group behind the failed prediction, leaving some family members out in the cold.


Eileen Heuwetter was shocked to find out that her aunt left the majority of her estate to Family Radio, the group responsible for the doomsday warnings that the world would end on May 21. She and her sister were each left $25,000 from their aunt’s estate. The rest is going to Family Radio.


The network of Christian radio stations based in Oakland, Ca., is almost entirely funded by donations. According to IRS filings, the group brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.


Heuwetter, the executor of the will, knew how much her aunt loved the radio station and admired its leader, Harold Camping, who is viewed as a prophet by many of his followers.


While other family members insisted it was crazy to let her aunt give all that money to a radio station, Heuwetter didn’t initially contest the conditions of the will. She knew little about the Christian radio station, but knew her aunt, Doris Schmitt, found comfort in it.


Schmitt had lived a tough life, struggling with alcoholism and losing her two children to drug addictions before dying alone at 78 on May 2, 2010 in her small home in Queens, New York.


“This was not a woman who had anything. She literally had Family Radio on day and night — she went to bed with it and woke up to it,” said Heuwetter. “That was all she had.”


It wasn’t until recently that Heuwetter learned who was really getting her aunt’s bequest. She said she first realized this was the same group when she saw buses driving around New York City the weekend before the supposed end of the world, spreading the doomsday message. “I’m looking at these brand new buses drive around with Family Radio’s name on them, saying ‘Doomsday is May 21’, and I said, ‘Oh my god, this is who my aunt gave all of her money to,” Heuwetter said. “I didn’t know he was so crazy, and at this point I was incensed that this man was going to get everything my aunt had left.”


While Heuwetter says she didn’t necessarily need the extra cash, other family members were struggling and could have used a little help, she said.


Even worse, Heuwetter said, was that Camping’s prediction never came to fruition. Heuwetter’s family members were just as angry when they learned about Family Radio’s failed prophecy, so they brought the case to several lawyers, who sympathized with the family, but agreed they had no case. Family Radio did not respond to requests for comment.


The estate is within weeks of closing, and Heuwetter knows it’s a lost cause.

“It’s just so frustrating because I know there’s nothing I can do about it — this man is going to get hundreds of thousands of dollars from my aunt,” she said. “And she wasn’t a rich woman.”


Though Camping later clarified that his prediction actually extends until October, many followers were disappointed when the rapture didn’t happen on May 21. Heuwetter said there is no way her aunt would have given the money to Family Radio, had she lived to see Camping’s doomsday-gone-wrong.


“She would have been devastated,” Heuwetter said. “Listening to him say things would be better in paradise made her feel better — she totally believed she would leave this world on May 21, and she needed to believe that.”


If she were here to watch the world continue after May 21, she would have likely given her money to other family members, said Heuwetter.


“It was a good amount of money that would have helped a lot of people live better today — but now it’s not helping anyone.”






 Since the memorial is in town

Richie Ramsay teaches us all to never leave early from a qualifier
There have been instances of PGA Tour stars leaving golf courses before the leaders finish because they know they have no chance of making a playoff. Vijay Singh has done it. Tiger Woods is in the club. And so far, none of that has ever come back to bite someone in the rear.

Until now. Richie Ramsay, the 27-year-old professional out of Scotland, was playing his U.S. Open qualifier at Walton Heath in Surrey, England, and after rounds of 71-69, he figured he had no shot of making it in the top 11 that was needed to get a spot at Congressional.

So Ramsay left, headed to Heathrow Airport to catch a flight to Belfast for a wedding only to get a call to tell him that 4-under was in a playoff, and he needed to get back to Walton Heath immediately. That was bad news for Ramsay, who was so far away he was driving when it was pitch dark, missing out on being in a three-man playoff for a spot to get into the U.S. Open, and the Scot isn’t so happy about it, according to the Herald Scotland.

“I feel suicidal,” he said. “I got a call from Stevie to say four under was in and to get back here. To miss out on the chance to play the US Open makes me feel sick.
“I’ve been to Heathrow, missed my flight because of the traffic, come back, and I’ll probably get a couple of speeding tickets, only to be told I’ve missed out. Even when I was driving back it was pitch black but the play-off goes ahead. But I’ve only got myself to blame. It’s my own fault as I should have played better, and if it wasn’t for my putting today, I might be heading to the US Open.”

It’s good to see Ramsay blaming himself, because really, why would you ever leave something like that if you felt there was a snowball’s chance at a playoff? I’ve finished qualifiers and seen guys waiting a shot away from missing out with half the field still on the golf course, just because they’d never want to be that guy kicking himself for being careless.
One thing’s for sure — I bet Ramsay took full advantage of the open bar at his friend’s wedding if he would have made that flight and the reception.



Terrelle is a jerk…nuff said!!!




What would Jesus not do? Chew tobacco, religious leaders say


A coalition of 25 religious denominations, including Christians and Muslims and Jews, is throwing some heat toward Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and the players, saying the time has come to ban smokeless tobacco in the upcoming contract negotiations.


Leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church (the two largest Protestant denominations in the country) and many others are pushing MLB to adopt the ban that has already been imposed on the minors and in college sports and the National Hockey League.


Their release today notes:

Tobacco use was banned in the minors in 1993. The NCAA and the National Hockey League have instituted prohibitions on tobacco use. Major League

Baseball lags behind. The God side of this, the


They wrote to Michael Weiner, the executive director of the MLBPA that:

In our calling, we see the impact that tobacco use has on families and communities. This is a product that maims and kills those who use it.


Their release draws heavily on a New York Times op-ed this weekend from former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine, an analyst for ESPN. Valentine said

… Smokeless tobacco use among high school boys has climbed 36 percent since 2003. The tobacco industry is spending record sums to market smokeless products, and is promoting them as a substitute for cigarettes. Major League players who chew tobacco on the field are, in effect, providing free advertising for these efforts.


And he cited tragic results that many link to the habit:


Last fall, Tony Gwynn, a Hall of Famer who is now the coach at San Diego State University, announced he had parotid cancer, which he suspects was caused by years of chewing tobacco. Bruce Bochy, who managed the San Francisco Giants to a World Series title, has talked extensively about his own difficulty in quitting.

So has Stephen Strasburg, the phenomenal young pitcher for the Washington Nationals who played for Gwynn in college and is now trying to quit tobacco, a struggle even though he is recovering from surgery and thus away from the familiar rhythms of baseball that make it so easy for players to start chewing.


So far, 10 major medical and public health groups have for this ban, the release says, and Selig announced it as a priority on opening day of the season. Now, it appears up to the players and Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, spelled out:


The players must recognize that they are harming their own health and jeopardizing our children’s futures by continuing to make it look as though smokeless tobacco is integral to the major league mystique.



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An end to AIDS?

For his doctors, Timothy Ray Brown was a shot in the dark. An HIV-positive American who was cured by a unique type of bone marrow transplant, the man known as “the Berlin patient” has become an icon of what scientists hope could be the next phase of the AIDS pandemic: its end.

Dramatic scientific advances since HIV was first discovered 30 years ago this week mean the virus is no longer a death sentence. Thanks to tests that detect HIV early, new antiretroviral AIDS drugs that can control the virus for decades, and a range of ways to stop it being spread, 33.3 million people around the world are learning to live with HIV.

People like Vuyiseka Dubula, an HIV-positive AIDS activist and mother in Cape Town, South Africa, can expect relatively normal, full lives. “I’m not thinking about death at all,” she says. “I’m taking my treatment and I’m living my life.”
Nonetheless, on the 30th birthday of HIV, the global scientific community is setting out with renewed vigor to try to kill it. The drive is partly about science, and partly about money. Treating HIV patients with lifelong courses of sophisticated drugs is becoming unaffordable.

Caring for HIV patients in developing countries alone already costs around $13 billion a year and that could treble over the next 20 years.

In tough economic times, the need to find a cure has become even more urgent, says Francoise Barre Sinoussi, who won a Nobel prize for her work in identifying Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). “We have to think about the long term, including a strategy to find a cure,” she says. “We have to keep on searching until we find one.”

The Berlin patient is proof they could. His case has injected new energy into a field where people for years believed talk of a cure was irresponsible.

Timothy Ray Brown was living in Berlin when besides being HIV-positive, he had a relapse of leukemia. He was dying. In 2007, his doctor, Gero Huetter, made a radical suggestion: a bone marrow transplant using cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation, known as CCR5 delta 32. Scientists had known for a few years that people with this gene mutation had proved resistant to HIV.

“We really didn’t know when we started this project what would happen,” Huetter, an oncologist and haematologist who now works at the University of Heidelberg in southern Germany, told Reuters. The treatment could well have finished Brown off. Instead he remains the only human ever to be cured of AIDS. “He has no replicating virus and he isn’t taking any medication. And he will now probably never have any problems with HIV,” says Huetter. Brown has since moved to San Francisco.

Most experts say it is inconceivable Brown’s treatment could be a way of curing all patients. The procedure was expensive, complex and risky. To do this in others, exact match donors would have to be found in the tiny proportion of people — most of them of northern European descent — who have the mutation that makes them resistant to the virus.

Dr Robert Gallo, of the Institute of Virology at the University of Maryland, puts it bluntly. “It’s not practical and it can kill people,” he said last year.
Sinoussi is more expansive. “It’s clearly unrealistic to think that this medically heavy, extremely costly, barely reproducible approach could be replicated and scaled-up … but from a scientist’s point of view, it has shown at least that a cure is possible,” she says.

The International AIDS Society will this month formally add the aim of finding a cure to its HIV strategy of prevention, treatment and care.

A group of scientist-activists is also launching a global working group to draw up a scientific plan of attack and persuade governments and research institutions to commit more funds. Money is starting to flow. The U.S. National Institutes of Health is asking for proposals for an $8.5 million collaborative research grant to search for a cure, and the Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR, has just announced its first round of four grants to research groups “to develop strategies for eradicating HIV infection.”

Until recently, people in HIV and AIDS circles feared that to direct funds toward the search for a cure risked detracting from the fight to get HIV-positive people treated. Even today, only just over five million of the 12 million or so people who need the drugs actually get them.

HIV first surfaced in 1981, when scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered it was the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). An article in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of that June referred to “five young men, all active homosexuals” from Los Angeles as the first documented cases. “That was the summer of ’81. For the world it was the beginning of the era of HIV/AIDS, even though we didn’t know it was HIV then,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has made AIDS research his life’s work.
In the subsequent three decades, the disease ignorantly branded “the gay plague” has become one of the most vicious pandemics in human history. Transmitted in semen, blood and breast milk, HIV has devastated poorer regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, where the vast majority of HIV-positive people live. As more tests and treatment have become available, the number of new infections has been falling. But for every two with HIV who get a chance to start on AIDS drugs, five more join the “newly infected” list. United Nations data show that despite an array of potential prevention measures — from male circumcision to sophisticated vaginal or anal microbicide gels — more than 7,100 new people catch the virus every day.

Treatment costs per patient can range from around $150 a year in poor countries, where drugs are available as cheap generics, to more than $20,000 a year in the United States.

The overall sums are huge. A recent study as part of a non-governmental campaign called AIDS2031 suggests that low and middle-income countries will need $35 billion a year to properly address the pandemic by 2031. That’s almost three times the current level of around $13 billion a year. Add in the costs of treatment in rich countries and experts estimate the costs of HIV 20 years from now will reach $50 to $60 billion a year.

“It’s clear that we have to look at another possible way of managing of the epidemic beyond just treating everyone forever,” says Sharon Lewin, a leading HIV doctor and researcher from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
In some ways, we have been here before. Early AIDS drugs such as AZT came to market in the late 1980s, but within a decade they were overtaken by powerful cocktail treatments known as HAART, or highly active antiretroviral treatment. HAART had a dramatic effect — rapidly driving the virus out of patients’ blood and prompting some to say a cure was just around the corner.

But then scientists discovered HIV could lie low in pools or reservoirs of latent infection that even powerful drugs could not reach. Talk of a cure all but died out.
“Scientifically we had no means to say we were on the way to finding a cure,” says Bertrand Audoin, executive director of the Geneva-based International AIDS Society. “Scientists … don’t want to make any more false promises. They didn’t want to talk about a cure again because it really wasn’t anywhere on the horizon.”

The ultimate goal would allow patients to stop taking AIDS drugs, knocking a hole in a $12 billion-a-year market dominated by Californian drugmaker Gilead and the likes of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.

It’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, but Brown’s case has opened the door to new ideas. “What it proved was that if you make someone’s cells resistant to HIV…then all the last bits of HIV, that hang around for a long time in patients on treatment, did in fact decay and disappear,” says Lewin.

Now scientists working on mimicking the effect of the Berlin patient’s transplant have had some success. One experimental technique uses gene therapy to take out certain cells, make them resistant to HIV and then put them back into patients in the hope they will survive and spread.

At an HIV conference in Boston earlier this year, American researchers presented data on six patients who had large numbers of white blood cells known as CD4 cells removed, manipulated to knock out the existing CCR5 gene, and then replaced.

“It works like scissors and cuts a piece of genetic information out of the DNA, and then closes the gap,” says Huetter. “Then every cell arising from this mother cell has this same mutation.”

Early results showed the mutated cells managed to survive inside the bodies of the patients at low levels, remaining present for more than three months in five. “This was a proof of concept,” says Lewin. Another potential avenue is a small group of patients known as “elite controllers”, who despite being infected with HIV are able to keep it under control simply with their own immune systems. Researchers hope these patients could one day be the clue to developing a successful HIV/AIDS vaccine or functional cure.

Scientists are also exploring ways to “wake up” HIV cells and kill them. As discovered in the late 1990s, HIV has a way of getting deep into the immune system itself — into what are known as resting memory T-cells — and going to sleep there. Hidden away, it effectively avoids drugs and the body’s own immune response.

“Once it goes to sleep in a cell it can stay there forever, which is really the main reason why we can’t cure HIV with current drugs,” says Lewin. Her team in Melbourne and another group in the United States are about to start the first human trials using a drug called SAHA or vorinostat, made by Merck and currently used in cancer treatment, which has shown promise in being able to wake up dormant HIV.

As scientists begin to talk up a cure, the old question of whether that’s the right goal has re-emerged. Seth Berkley, a medical epidemiologist and head of the U.S.-based International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is concerned.

“From a science point of view, it’s a fabulous thing to do. It’s a great target and a lot of science will be learned. But from a public health point of view, the primary thing you need to do is stop the flow of new infections,” says Berkley. “We need a prevention revolution. That is absolutely critical.”


Vuyiseka Dubula agrees. The South African activist finds talk of a cure for HIV distracting, almost disconcerting. “This research might not yield results soon, and even when it does, access to that cure is still going to be a big issue,” she says. “So in the meantime, while we don’t have the answer on whether HIV can be cured or not, we need to save lives.”


The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.—Voltaire




Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. – Unknown



You can’t be sure of how ppl will treat u.. But ur character & kindness is a quality u CAN control-Rev Run




… that everything that irritates you about others, is your key to understanding yourself. What angers you in another person is an unhealed aspect of yourself. If you had already resolved that particular issue, you would not be irritated by its reflection back to you.





Blues Prodegy, Tallan Noble Latz, plays Hoggy’s on Williams Street in Delaware




The Original King Of Bling, ‘The Rhinestone Cowboy’ himself, Glen Cambell plays The Palace Theater. For more info


Thompson Square plays Doughboyz Pizza. For more info




Sully Erna (lead singer of Godsmack) plays the LC-The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. For more info




Robyn plays a make-up show at The LC-The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. For more info






Dan Cummins performs at The Funny Bone Comedy Club in Easton Town Center





We will be down in Logan for the Ohio Warrior Dash. This 2.91 Mile course takes you to THE EXTREAM and more. For more info on the insanity


Someone must have given “Leather Lips” enough whisky cause the weather is PERFECT for The Memorial Golf Tournament all weekend in Dublin at Muirfield Village Golf Club. For more info or for day passes


The annual Newark Strawberries of the Square Festival returns to the Licking County Courthouse Square this weekend, with a record 140 vendors — including arts, crafts, informational booths and food vendors — will be on hand, along with amusement rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and, of course, a strawberry booth by Newark Kiwanis Club, which sponsors the event.

ENTERTAINMENT: Inner City Blues Band; Mojo Theory; Christina Barth and Ohio Youth Entertainers; Shawna Corder and The Rising Stars; and Simba Jordan, a country singer from Columbus.


Columbus Arts Festival in The Discovery District for more info




Class is in session; ‘X-Men: First Class’ rated “PG-13.”




Another Nick Cage Movie about cars and whatever…’Drive Angry’ rated “R.”




Dave Matthews releases ‘Live at Wrigley Field’


The Irish Lads…Flogging Molly have ‘Speed Of Darkness’




Park Street Festival June 9-10
Byers Auto Car Show June 11th


Starting June 7th Weekly Bike Nights at Hoggy’s Polaris


Show Me Fest, Springfield Mizz. June 17th-19th



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June 3, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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