SOMETIMES IT TAKES A HERO

On Saturday, July 6, 1996, without first asking her parents, 14-year-old Melissa Gay took a train from her home in Connecticut to New York City.

That night, Melissa failed to come home.

The following morning, the 5’ 3” blonde-haired girl still hadn’t called home. “That’s when we knew something was not right”, said her distraught parents, Robert and Lynette Gay.

Robert Gay went to New York City to look for his daughter. Working with NYPD detectives, he discovered that Melissa had met up with two young men she knew; that they had taken her to an underground “rave” party Saturday night.  And that she had taken several doses of the drug, Ecstasy.

Melissa was last seen Sunday morning at 11 a.m., in a park under the Whitestone Bridge; just hours before her father arrived in the city to look for her.

After that sighting, Melissa simply disappeared.

On July 12th, the New York Daily News ran the story as, “Fearful Kin Seek Missing Teen”:

“A distraught Connecticut family desperately searched yesterday for their teenage daughter, last seen early Sunday after partying at an all-night rave concert on Randalls Island.

“I just hope that somebody could find it in their heart to call and let us know how she is,” said Lynette Gay,  Melissa’s mother. “I know she’s afraid of the dark”, she added.

As the days went by and her trail grew colder, Melissa’s parents grew more and more frantic. With manpower limited, the police investigation was getting nowhere.

Finally, Melissa’s father turned to his partner, CEO of the private equity-investment firm in which they both worked.

Robert Gay’s boss didn’t hesitate. He said, ‘I don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to find her.’ A few hours later, he and other executives of the Boston-based firm were on the shuttle to New York; preparing to organize a huge volunteer effort.

“My business partner stepped forward to take charge”, Robert Gay recalls. “He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York.” For Melissa Gay, a hero had appeared.

That hero was Mitt Romney.

Yes, Mitt Romney, Founder and CEO of Bain Capital, of which Melissa’s father, Robert Gay, was a partner.

The word “hero” gets overused today. In its classical sense, it always meant someone who goes way beyond normal human effort to achieve a noble purpose. It usually connotes sacrifice, as in for the good of others. It is in this classic sense that Mitt Romney, who we all know as the somewhat “square” politician who seems at times out of touch with the common man; rose above the common to achieve the heroic.

On Wednesday Romney told the other 11 managing directors at Bain Capital that finding a missing daughter was more important than operating their $1 billion investment firm.

By Thursday morning, Romney had closed the Boston office and brought down some 56 Bain Capital employees to walk the streets. These were soon joined by another 250 colleagues from various Wall Street firms, including  Goldman Sachs, Price Waterhouse and Bankers Trust: all to help in the search for Melissa.

Mitt Romney had called in favors.

At the Laguardia Marriott Hotel a ‘war room’ was set up. 16 Bain employees worked day and night, coordinating the search.  A New York Private Investigation firm was retained. An 800-toll-free hot line was set up for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD. Printing giant R. R. Donnelly was hired to print 200,000 fliers with a color picture of Melissa. Accountants in 3-piece suits put up posters on street poles; while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper.

Volunteers with cellular phones fanned out to clubs like the Limelight and the Tunnel; the Lollapolooza concert at Downing Stadium on Randalls Island; parties in Tompkins Square and Central Park; to Madison  Square Garden and the Port Authority Terminal. Romney and other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could — prostitutes, drug addicts, runaways — anyone.

Romney and his Bain partners and all the business men who assisted them in the search for Melissa Gay did so on their own dime. All put aside their lives, taking not a penny in recompense. The search effort and the time of those searching was fully paid for by Mitt and Bain Capital.

“Most of us have children,” said Stephen Pagliuca, 44, a Bain managing director with four children. “That’s the most important thing in our lives. It wasn’t even a question. We just decided to do it.”

“Our children are what life is all about,” Mitt Romney said later. “Everything else takes a back seat.”

“It really overshadowed everything we did from a money standpoint,” said Romney. “The days and nights spent looking for Missy Gay were more valuable than some financial home runs that made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I mean, money is just money.”

Then a teenage boy phoned in, having seen one of the televised “Help us find Melissa” appeals run by Mitt’s team. He asked if there was a reward; and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey.

Searching the house, they found Melissa in the cold basement. Shivering, disoriented, nearly nude, experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose.

Melissa was reunited with her family  at 2:30 A.M. on the 13th  July at the police station in Montville, NJ. Doctors said that another day of captivity and she might not have survived.

The Gays credit Mitt Romney with saving his Melissa’s life. “It was the most amazing thing”, recalls Robert Gay, “and I’ll never forget this to the day I die.

“What he did was literally close down an entire business. He basically galvanized an entire industry that just doesn’t do this, and got them all on the streets for 48 hours.”

Now back in school and fully recovered, Melissa and her parents are doing well.

Romney and his partners, however, were deeply moved by what they saw in their visit to the dark underbelly of New York, while putting up posters and talking to runaways outside seedy nightclubs and peep shows. Romney said he can’t escape some of the images, and carries them with him to this day.

“It was a shocker,” he said. “The number of lost souls was astounding.”

Romney tells the story of one particular teenage runaway girl.

The girl asked, “Why are you looking for her?”

“Because her parents miss her”, he answered.

“I wish my parents missed me like that”, she replied.

Robert Gay is now Managing Director, Co-founder, and the Chief Executive Officer of Huntsman Gay Global Capital;  a billion dollar plus private equity firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California. 16 years later, he is still grateful to Mitt Romney for all he did to save Melissa. He supports Romney’s bid for the Presidency, and allows tells Melissa’s story in campaign ads.

“I’m not sure we would have gotten her back without him,” Gay says of Romney. “Mitt’s done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But for me, the most important thing he’s ever done is to help save my daughter.”

Sometimes, it just takes a hero.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS1DvuLE2is&feature=player_embedded

Follow up: My friend and fellow SLOB, “Mut” at TEMPLE OF MUT, wrote the following concerning this story:

The story is compelling, and I urge you to read the piece by following the link.  Compare it to what Barak Obama would likely do in a similar situation. I think the story demonstrates how Mitt would actually be a leader in a time of crisis, and I think that is extremely important to know. I like what I read.

We cannot have Obama unchecked, being unconcerned with reelection for the next 4 years. For those of you venting against the probable Romney nomination, I would urge you to start digging around for reasons to pull the lever for him in November. There are many: Better First Lady, more sane Supreme Court pics, more lucid foreign policy, apt to be much more respect to following Constitutionally-based procedures….

Otherwise, if you are going to sit out or vote third party, at least have the cojones to actually pull the lever for Obama –is the most honest outcome to your internal drama.

Go check out her excellent site and this article at:

http://templeofmut.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/romney-with-a-side-of-paul/

Obama Lies About Creating 3 Million Jobs: Democrat Policy Since 2007

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Once again President Obama and Media Matters have been inundating “popular culture” shows with propaganda that must be corrected. The old saying by the “first television politician” that “a lie repeated enough becomes the truth” has been the core progressive propaganda tactic since the 1930′s. The current grand lie is that Obama created 3 million jobs, which we dismanted with raw facts from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We are adding to our previous discussion by stepping back to the larger economic situation behind the Great Recession. This is a subject that the mainstrem media will not touch.  Democrats took over congress in the November 2006 election. Any Keynesian economist will tell you that policy takes about a year to fully impact the economy, so lets look at how the Democrats crashed the economy to win the oval office and “pass the toxic baton to Barack Obama.” Let us not forget that Barack Obama was one of the Democrat senators who passed these policies and killed 10.5 million jobs, destroyed housing, crashed the stock market and inflated gasoline and energy prices.

In November 2006, the Democrats swept congress despite a decent economy and progress in Iraq by villifying George W. Bush. Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House of Representatives. From January 2007 through January 2011, Democrats controlled every aspect of economic policy in America.Bush was a lame duck and politically powerless.

In January 2007, the price of gasoline averaged $2.11 per gallon in the U.S. On February 7, 2007, the Democrats and the 110th Congress began enacting policies. Upon implementation of Democrat economic and political policy the price of gasoline skyrocketed.
By July 2008, the price of gasoline had reached $4.12 and the economy collapsed.
  • The stock market was 12,556.08 in January 2007. It peaked in May 2008 at 13,058.20 and fell to 6,626.94 on March 6, 2009.
  • Unadjusted employment peaked in July 2007 (147.315 million) and seasonally adjusted employment peaked in November 2007 (146.595 million).
  • Unadjusted employment continued at the same level until August 2008 (145.196 million).
  • Housing prices had plateaued in 2005 but the market remained stable until mid 2007 when gas prices began relentlessly reducing disposable income.
After the tea party and Republicans took back the House of Representatives in January 2011, the economy stabilized and improved. At the depths of the recession in January 2010, unadjusted employment fell to 136.809 million.  Unadjusted employment in January 2011 remained down at 137.599 million. This means that Democrats and President Obama can, at best, be credited with the creation of 790 thousand jobs (unadjusted) after destroying nearly 10.5 million jobs (unadjusted) between mid 2007 to January 2010. In January 2012 unadjusted employment improved to 139.944 million. The bulk of jobs (2.3 million) created during the weak Obama recovery occured since Republicans and tea party members have retaken congress and established economic confidence.

So the facts of the matter are as follows:

  • Democrats took control of Congress and the Senate in January 2007.
  • The Housing Bubble, created by Democrats, began crashing in 2007 with the additional pressure from gasoline and energy prices.
  • Democrat policies pushed up gas prices through July 2008.
  • Employment peaked in July 2007 and crashed in September 2008.
  • The stock market peaked in July 2008 and crashed in September 2008 when it became probable that Democrats would add the White House to their list of control.
  • The toxic economy elected Barack Obama who took office in January 2009 and all confidence evaporated.
  • February 2009, tea party protests began due to the economic outlook of adding taxes during a recession. This blog, Doo Doo Economics, began appealing to Democrats for rationality. “Raising taxes in a recession is Doo Doo Economics”
  • While Democrats held the legistaltive and executive branches, the economy suffered the Great Recession.
  • Keynesian economics, which has not worked in 40 years, was used as justification to waste $789 billion in stimulus for “not as shovel ready as we thought” jobs. The short term jobs evaporated by January 2011.
  • The national debt grew by about 33% in 3 years as Chicago cronism made 7 of the 10 richest neighborhoods in America adjacent to Washington D.C.
  • From 2009 through 2011, Democrat policies failed to improve the toxic economy from the loss of 10.5 million jobs.
  • Republicans took back the House of Representatives in November 2010 and the economy began to recover at the new lower production frontier.
  • More than two thirds of job recovery has occured since conservatives took back control of one third of federal government economic policy.

ONLY IN AMERICA

Only in America…can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance…

Only in America…are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink…

Only in America…do people order double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a diet coke

Only in America…do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters…

Only in America…do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless things and junk in boxes in the garage…

Only in America…do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place…

Only in America…do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight…

Only in America…do we use the word “politics” to describe the process so well: “Poli” in latin meaning “many” and “tics” meaning “blood-sucking creatures”!

ACT OF VALOR (2012): WARRIOR’S REVIEW

Act of Valor occupies a unique and singularly effective niche in filmmaking: it is a film about war featuring actual warriors playing, in essences, themselves.

That is not to confuse it with a dry documentary. This is a rousing war movie, make no mistake, in the best traditions of such films as “Blackhawk Down”, and “We Were Soldiers”.  But it sets itself aside from those earlier (and, admittedly, better) war films in the level of realism it attains.

Act of Valor is set today. It is about a series of connected missions undertaken by a platoon of US Navy Seals; to thwart a terrorist from attacking Americans on our own soil.

As a series of separate combat missions, each viewed in isolation, the film offers the best and most realistic portrayal of modern “Spec Ops” missions ever seen by audiences. In fact, one has to go to “first person shooter” games, such as “Call of Duty” to get as immediate a feeling of participation, of “being there”; as the audience is treated to here. Much of the camera work is from the shooter’s point-of-view. The rounds going past the camera sound real, because they are.

The Filmmakers, Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, made the decision to do something never before attempted, to my knowledge: to film real warriors doing their thing!

To add realism, they are shooting real bullets, and throwing real grenades. They meet up with, and “lock out” of a real submarine. They parachute out of real planes. No special effects, no “green screen”, no stuntmen here! Just the real deal!

As a former Special Forces Operator, I felt the old adrenaline begin to kick in, along with some very real sensory memories, watching these scenes. Particularly the first mission, in which the SEAL Team maneuvers through a jungle and out of a river to attack a target; brought back memories of similar occasions I participated in decades ago. I could feel humid dampness of the misty jungle; the rotting smell of the river mud; the water sloshing in my jungle boots. I was there again, and felt my heart racing as these SEALS enter the compound, weapons at the ready, moving on target!

This film delivers!

All that said, what doesn’t work so well is the way these scenes all connect.

First, the tempo seemed to me too quick: too many missions, in too little a space of time, with too little “mission prep” (preparation). Perhaps in the years since I was involved in Spec Ops, things have changed. But back in the day, we spent a lot of time (sometimes weeks) preparing for a mission: planning, building mock-ups, performing dry-runs, etc. We then briefed the “higher-ups”, received their critique, and either got the green light; or were sent back to the “isolation house” to revise the plan.

In Acts of Valor, the protagonists always seem to be “winging it”.

Now, they are doing a magnificent job of it. And perhaps our modern Spec Ops warriors, who have been at this game for over a decade since 9/11, are so good that they can indeed “wing it” and pull it off flawlessly.  If anyone could, it would be the SEALS!

The “acting” has and will receive criticism. Deservedly. Where this film falls somewhat flat is in the interpersonal scenes and dialogue. It’s sometimes clunky and flat. Particularly the voice over, which strangely sounds a bit like Jesse Ventura!

But these are warriors, after all, not actors. So c’est la guerre!

What the audience gets is an appealing cast of real-life heroes who show us what is so special about our Spec Ops warriors: That they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They do it better than anyone, and perhaps better than its ever been done. It also give us a bit of insight into the unique culture of the SEAL Teams. When they bury a fallen comrade, the team members each in turn nail their SEAL trident badges to the top of the casket. This poignant moment captures on film an aspect of this closed society of warriors that few civilians ever get a glimpse of; and fewer would understand.

Too few. That is, apparently, one of the mottos of the SEALS.

At a time when this country and its unique culture and civilization are threatened by committed and deadly enemies around the globe, it is comforting to know that the we are shielded by the efforts and sacrifices of such men as these.

” We sleep safely in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.”

These men-next-door have committed themselves to becoming the “rough men” that allow us all to sleep at night. Go see “Act of Valor”, and honor their commitment.

For more:

http://screenrant.com/act-of-valor-reviews-benk-155342/

WHAT HALLMARK DOESN’T PRINT

1. So your daughter’s a hooker, and it spoiled your day. Look at the bright side, it’s really good pay.

2. My tire was thumping. I thought it was flat. When I looked at the tire… I noticed your cat. Sorry!

3. Heard your wife left you, How upset you must be. But don’t fret about it… She moved in with me.

4. Looking back over the years that we’ve been together, I can’t help but wonder? What the hell was I thinking?

5. Congratulations on your wedding day! Too bad no one likes your husband.

6. How could two people as beautiful as you … Have such an ugly baby?

7. I’ve always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to love. After having met you … I’ve changed my mind.

8. I must admit, you brought Religion into my life … I never believed in Hell till I met you.

9. As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am… That you’re not here to ruin it for me.

10. Congratulations on your promotion. Before you go … would you like to take this knife out of my back? You’ll probably need it again.

11. Someday I hope to get married … but not to you.

12. Happy birthday! You look great for your age … Almost Lifelike!

13. When we were together, you always said you’d die for me. Now that we’ve broken up, I think it’s time you kept your promise.

14. We have been friends for a very long time … what say we stop?

15. I’m so miserable without you … it’s almost like you’re here.

16. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy. Did you ever find out who the father was?

17. Your friends and I wanted to do something special for your birthday. So we’re having you put to sleep.

18. Happy Birthday, Uncle Dad! (Available only in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia)

On the Devolution of Democracy

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most
benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.

“The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

Alexander Tyler, Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh, 1787. Tyler wrote this at about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution; referring to “The Fall of The Athenian Republic” (the world’s first democratic nation) some 2,000 years prior.

I’m not sure about the 200 year on average point. My studies would put it more like 300 to 400 years. But I don’t want to quibble…