Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Corsi "Con"

Well! you must be the envy of the entire literary community. Imagine little "Jerome" getting the heads up on all those stuffy Pulitzer prize winning journalists like Schmidt, Grimaldi and Jeff Smith. Oh, surely you had an inside track on this one. Must have been an old fraternity brother of Barack Obama. Perhaps you attended Harvard together. But let's face it, kudos to you Jerome. Really, we are all so envious of all the time you got to spent with Barack and his family, the Sunday night dinners, maybe an interview or two with Michelle and the girls. Alright I admit it I'm green with jealousy. Did you hop on your plane and go to Hawaii to see his grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham? Of course they told you all the wonderful qualities of the Senator of which so many found their way into your book. Grandparents are like that, yea they are. I don't envy you all the long, grueling hours you must have spent in the Library of Congress getting all those important details correct with the proper sources attached. For me I especially loved the chapter you dedicated to Barack's grandfather, a Kansas oil worker who, after the Pearl Harbour attack, march across Europe with Patton's Army. Because of your own heroic military career we all know how much you wanted to honor a fellow Veteran. Of course your many trips to Kenya to see where Barack's father was born and raised, and your trips to Jakarta to visit the school where Barack started his education, convinced me that your depiction of the Senator from Illinois would be a truly objective and fair. I know you spent hundreds of hours interviewing those lower income families from south Chicago, where Barack worked as a community organizer. We only HOPE you didn't have to go it alone. It must have been a bit easier for you interviewing the law firm of Miner, Barhill and Galland, where Barack practiced civil law. I'm sure many of Barack's students came forward to testify on his behalf from the University of Chicago Law School.
We all know how much you wanted to debunk the lies spread by Fox Fake News that Barack went to a Madrassa and was a Muslim. All America knows of your unfavorable views on the lies spread by Hannity, O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and the like. I understand Jerome, I may call you Jerome might-en I, that it is very smart of you to keep your so-called Fox Friends close. You cunning old fox you, keeping an eye on your enemies while pretending they are your friends.
Just be very careful of the old fellow Murdock, I hear he more than likes Obama. Don't want to get on that guy's hit list now, do we?
Listen Jerome, I know that your book debuted at # 1 and well gee isn't that just super, but don't be too concerned about the rumors. What rumors? Well it seems that "someone" has been buying your book in bulk form and storing it in warehouses all across the country. Now whether it is a Republican who thinks this book will do more harm than good, since the reviews have been lukewarm at best or it could be someone who is giving it out as free door prizes. I bet I know the truth, it's probably those lower income families on the south side of Chicago, who plan on using it for firewood this winter, since the cost of oil is sky high since Bush/McCain and the Republicans have been running the country.....never mind little Jerome it's the attempt that counts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Wednesday morning I woke up to pure sunshine, hurried to get dressed, grab a cup of java and made my way to the outdoor deck to absorb the warmth for the sun's rays. But something was bothering me and I just couldn't seem to shake it. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and yet I felt a big black presence sitting directly over my head. What was bothering me so? I tried to remember what I was doing just before going to bed last evening. I let the little puppy out for the last time that evening and I checked a couple of emails. There is was. A friend had sent me an email about a young troubled Veteran who had committed suicide.

Retired Master Sergeant, Chris Scheuerman was returning home after training troops at Ft. Bragg, N.C.. Seeing the black mini van and the chaplain Chris knew in his heart that the very worst had happened. He had lost his beloved son. Eventually they informed Chris that his son Jason had died from a self inflicted gun shot wound, but details were not forth coming.

Using the Freedom of Information Act it would take Chris two long years to find out the truth about his son, 1st class Jason Scheuermann of the 3rd Infantry Division and how he died only six months after deployment to Iraq.

In March 2005, the nineteen year old Jason told his father he was having a very difficult time coping with combat and was very afraid. Chris told his son that help was there within reach and not to be afraid to ask for it. Jason visited the Army Chaplain a month later, after having almost committing suicide. He was referred to the Army Psychologist, who gave him the standard tests. This was the moment when Jason could have been treated and possibly saved. That psychologist sent Jason back saying he could be feigning the illness. Jason might well have been suffering from headaches, flashbacks,tremors, sweating, nausea, nightmares, sensitivity to noise and other symptoms as well. Isolated, frighten and depressed Jason might well have believed there was no options left for him. I imagine this scene has been repeated many, many times. No one listens and the silence is killing many of our youngest and bravest. No more birthdays, more empty chairs at Thanksgiving and Christmas, more trips to the nation's cemeteries to say I miss you, more fatherless sons and motherless daughters. No more wars. Let them end. We need peace. We need to be a unified country again. But let the memories of all those we have lost stay forever young. And to all the families who gave the dearest price of all, remember you have a hold on heaven, because your loved ones are waiting there.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Only a Republican thinks $432/year is chicken fee

Save Gas, Money and the Environment with Properly Inflated Tires
Diane Loviglio was one of eight students from Carnegie Mellon's Sustainable Earth Club to measure the air pressure in the tires of 81 cars parked on campus. "After seeing the numbers I was really surprised to see just how much properly inflated tires make a difference," she says.
Want to save hundreds at the gasoline pump? It's easy. Instead of hunting for the best price in town, try checking the air pressure in your tires. Proper air pressure results in better gas mileage, which at $3 per gallon could save you as much as $432 per year, according to an informal study conducted by Carnegie Mellon students last spring.
And if money isn't a big enough incentive, how about helping to preserve the environment? Less fuel consumption results in less carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere.

If you think this is all a lot of "hot air," think again.
During Earthweek last April, eight students from Carnegie Mellon's Sustainable Earth Club—Diane Loviglio, Aurora Luchser Sharrard, David Kennedy, Staci Wax, Rachel Minkoff, Ryan England, Ryan Menefee and Caroline Chow—used digital tire gauges to measure the air pressure in the tires of 81 cars that were parked in the East Campus Garage, the Doherty Apartments Lot and the Morewood Lot. Based on the assumption that the optimum air pressure for fuel efficiency was the maximum air pressure stated on the tires' sidewall, the four tires of each car were under-inflated by a total average of 20%. Only one of the 81 had the proper air pressure. (The suggested air pressure stated in owner's manuals is based on passenger comfort, not necessarily fuel efficiency.)

If you do the math to calculate the extra fuel cars consume due to under-inflated tires, consider the Environmental Protection Agency standard that a 1% loss of fuel efficiency occurs for every 2 PSI of air under the maximum level. Add to that the 2003 Department of Energy report that states that vehicles average 22.3 miles per gallon and 12,242 miles per year, and you find that each of the 81 cars burned 144 extra gallons of gas due to under-inflated tires. At $3 per gallon, each car owner is spending $432 for gas each year that they really don't need.
Of the 81 cars checked, only one had the proper air pressure in all four tires.More than 3,000 individuals in the campus community applied for parking permits last year. Consequently, properly inflated tires would result in an annual savings of more than $1,296,000 for the campus community.
"After seeing the numbers I was really surprised to see just how much properly inflated tires make a difference," said Loviglio, a fifth-year scholar from Long Island, N.Y. "It really doesn't take that much to save a lot of money and pollute the air less."
Speaking of air pollution, 20.8 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere for every one gallon of fuel consumed. Do the math again, and you'll find that each of those 81 cars emit an extra 1 1/2 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Considering that three trees are needed to absorb 1 1/2 tons of carbon dioxide, more than 9,000 additional trees (22.5 acres) are needed to offset the extra greenhouse gases emitted from the more than 3,000 vehicles that park on campus. Without those additional trees, the extra CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

"This was an interesting exercise in that it demonstrated that saving the environment can actually save money and it raised awareness that what we do as individuals really does matter to the environment . . .even on a global scale," said Deborah Lange, executive director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research.
The study was sponsored by the Steinbrenner Institute with assistance from David Shiller (S'90), who along with David Molder (HSS'87) owns the E-House Company on Pittsburgh's Southside, a supplier of many environmentally friendly products.

For more on the Steinbrenner Institute, visit
Editor's Note: While actual mileage may vary, there is no doubt that maintaining proper air pressure in tires improves fuel economy. In fact, the federal government has mandated that most model year 2008 cars have onboard tire pressure monitoring systems to alert drivers of low tire pressure.
Bruce GersonSeptember 21, 2005
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