Friday, September 30, 2011

Two of Verne Strickland's patented outrageous lists -- some things I like and some things that I don't.



















Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress release funding appeal for Marine veteran Ilario Pantano, candidate for Congress

Combat Marine vs. Lobbyist

Ilario Pantano, a veteran of the Operation Desert Storm, rejoined the Marine Corps after the attacks of 9/11 and served in Fallujah Iraq.  Now Ilario is continuing his service to country and community by running for Congress. 

Recently former lobbyist David Rouzer announced he was running against Pantano.  There’s a lot at stake here.  Rouzer and his friends in the broken political establishment have already begun raising thousands of dollars for his campaign to maintain the status quo.  Earlier this month Rouzer had a fundraiser at the home of big-time lobbyist, Theresa Kostrzewa.  The fundraiser was sponsored by at least six other major lobbyists and many other lobbyists attended and contributed money to Rouzer’s Congressional Campaign.

Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress was started four years ago precisely to level the playing field when the big money political elites band together to defeat an authentic American hero like Illario Pantano.

At midnight tonight all federal candidates face a fundraising reporting deadline.  Ilario needs a strong showing.  So please no matter the size of your contribution directly to Pantano for Congress, every dollar will go toward victory for the two war veteran over the political elites.
Whether it is $10, $20, $50, $100 or more, your contribution will go a long way toward helping a citizen soldier become a citizen statesmen.
Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC (AIVC) is a federally registered political action committee supporting the congressional campaigns of conservative veterans. AIVC looks for veterans who are determined to become a voice for our troops, military families and hardworking patriotic Americans who believe that our country, our Constitution and our way of life are worth fighting for. AIVC was founded in 2007 by Kieran Michael Lalor, a Marine Corps Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This email is paid for and authorized by Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
105 Stony Brook Road
Fishkill, NY 12524

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pantano announces support for bill to end Congressional pensions. Bullseye, Marine!

Verne Strickland Blogmaster, September 29, 20112


Wilmington, NC – Ilario Pantano, the Conservative Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, announced today that he is proud to join his friend, US Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) supporting H.R. 2913 which ends the defined benefits pension program for members of Congress. 

“If members of Congress truly want to cut spending and begin to eliminate the national debt,” Pantano said, “then they must set an example by cutting spending that directly affects Congress and its members.   By getting serious about scaling back its own internal budget Congress would send a strong message to the White House and every government agency and entity that they better do the same or Congress will do it for them.”

At present, members of Congress after serving 5 years become eligible for an annual pension payment equal to 1.7 percent of their salary multiplied by the number of years served  up to 20 years.  For every additional year served after 20 they receive an additional 1 percent of their salary.  Members are required to pay 1.3 percent of their salary into the pension program. 

H.R. 2913, whose lead sponsor is Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Co), will prevent current and future members of Congress from receiving any pension credits for additional years of service.  Members will still be required to continue to pay into Social Security (as they are required to do now), and they may still elect to participate in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (401k), which is available to all federal employees.

“This bill is a great first step towards reforming Congress, putting an end to career politicians advancing their personal agenda while living off the taxpayers, and returning to the citizen legislature our founders intended,” Pantano concluded.  “It eliminates a major financial incentive for members to continue to serve even after they lose the passion for serving and discourages political opportunists for making a career out of being a Congressman.”

Later today, Pantano is also reaffirming his bonded term limit pledge, originally made during the 2010 cycle. This is further proof that Pantano will be a real leader in efforts to reform government and ending the professional political class in Washington.

September 29, 2011
Andy Yates
(704) 467-0795

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Herman Cain: Black community has been 'brainwashed' into voting for Democrats

TRENDING: Cain: Black community 'brainwashed' into voting for Dems
Verne Strickland Blogmaster / September 29th, 2011

Washington (CNN) - The one African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community was 'brainwashed' for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.
"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room" in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET.

"I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple," Cain asserted.

Cain went on to explain that his interactions with African Americans led him to be optimistic about his own chances with the demographic.

"This whole notion that all African-Americans are not going to vote for Obama is not necessarily true," Cain said.

He continued, "I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I'm black but because of my policies."

Cain also weighed in on the recent chatter surrounding Chris Christie, saying the recent reports the New Jersey governor is reconsidering a run for president were hurting the electorate.

"It's not insulting as much as it is a disservice to the American people," Cain said. "Chris Christie has been saying for a long time he's not interested in running. The media is trying to create a story by sucking Chris Christie into race, just like they made a story by sucking Rick Perry into the race."

Cain said the media should focus on the candidates who have already declared their candidacy to give voters a better idea of the field.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Congressional Black Caucus potty mouth says Tea Party wants black 'hanging on a tree'.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / September 28, 2011
Andre Carson speaks at a rally. | AP Photo
The tea party is stopping change in Congress, Andre Carson said. | AP Photo 
A top lawmaker in the Congressional Black Caucus says tea partiers on Capitol Hill would like to see African-Americans hanging from trees and accuses the movement of wishing for a return to the Jim Crow era.

Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana who serves as the CBC’s chief vote counter, said at a CBC event in Miami that some in Congress would “love to see us as second-class citizens” and “some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree.”

Carson also said the tea party is stopping change in Congress, likening it to “the effort that we’re seeing of Jim Crow.”

The explosive comments, caught on tape, were uploaded on the Internet Tuesday, and Carson’s office stood by the remarks. Jason Tomcsi, Carson’s spokesman, said the comment was “in response to frustration voiced by many in Miami and in his home district in Indianapolis regarding Congress’s inability to bolster the economy.”

Tomcsi, in an email, wrote that “the congressman used strong language because the Tea Party agenda jeopardizes our most vulnerable and leaves them without the ability to improve their economic standing.

“The Tea Party is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities,” Tomcsi wrote.

“We are talking about child nutrition, job creation, job training, housing assistance, and Head Start, and that is just the beginning. A child without basic nutrition, secure housing, and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life.”

Carson is hardly the first lawmaker to use heated rhetoric. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) yelled “you lie” as President Barack Obama was addressing Congress. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) yelled “baby killer” at former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) as abortion was being discussed during the health care debate.

Carson, who represents Indianapolis, is the second Muslim to ever serve in Congress. He has been in office since 2008 and took the seat that was held by his late grandmother — Democratic Rep. Julia Carson.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wallace Kuralt's era of sterilization -- Now we have the pill and abortion. Which comes first, the scalpel or the egg?

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / September 26, 2011

Charlotte Observer tries to paint the program as racist and irrational. It was neither, and Kuralt is praised by many today, to the chagrin of liberals.

By Ann Doss Helms and Tommy Tomlinson
Posted: Monday, Sep. 26, 2011
Compassionate. Visionary. A champion of women and the poor.

That's the reputation that Wallace Kuralt built as Mecklenburg County's welfare director from 1945 to 1972. Today, the building where Charlotte's poor come for help bears his name - a name made even more prominent when his newscaster son, Charles Kuralt, rose to fame.

But as architect of Mecklenburg's program of eugenic sterilization - state-ordered surgery to stop the poor and disabled from bearing children - Kuralt helped write one of the most shameful chapters of North Carolina history.

The Charlotte Observer has obtained records sealed by the state that tell the stories of 403 Mecklenburg residents ordered sterilized by the N.C. Eugenics Board at the behest of Kuralt's welfare department.
It's a number that dwarfs the total from any other county, in a state that ran one of the nation's most active efforts to sterilize the mentally ill, mentally retarded and epileptic.

The records crunch people's lives into a few terse paragraphs:

A chronic runaway who has hit puberty at 12: She should be protected as soon as possible from the consequences of actions over which she appears to have no control.
A woman, 24, pregnant with an out-of-wedlock child: This girl is sexually promiscuous and a pauper.
A woman, 35, deserted by her husband years before, who has just given birth to her ninth child: She is unable to provide the barest necessities for them or to give them minimum supervision and care.

Today, the term "eugenics" evokes shame and disbelief. Two governors and several state legislators have apologized for North Carolina's role.

People who knew Kuralt struggle to reconcile that label with the man they knew.

"He was a hero with women's reproductive rights. I would just be shocked if Wallace Kuralt were playing the game of 'improve the stock,' " says Dr. John Johnston, a retired pediatrician and public health leader.Kuralt retired almost 40 years ago and died in 1994. His key aides also have died, and memories have faded of the decisions that changed hundreds of lives. Some women came forward willingly. Some patients were little more than children who didn't understand what was to take place. Today, it is impossible to tease out the exact mix of good intentions and overzealous execution, prejudice and paternalism that let such a crusade run unchecked.
But Kuralt had no regrets. In writings and interviews throughout his life, he described sterilization and birth control as the key to saving tax money and rooting out poverty among the "low mentality-low income families which tend to produce the largest number of children."

"When we stop to reflect upon the thousands of physical, mental and social misfits in our midst," he wrote in The Charlotte News in 1964, "the thousands of families which are too large for the family to support, the one-tenth of our children born to an unmarried mother, the hoard of children rejected by parents, is there any doubt that health, welfare and education agencies need to redouble their efforts to prevent these conditions which are so costly to society?"

Records tell bleak stories
To date, no verified Mecklenburg survivors have spoken publicly, but typewritten case notes tell their tales.
The Observer obtained summaries of 548 county sterilization cases that have been sealed by the state. They include 430 brought by the Welfare Department - some that predate Kuralt - and 118 involving Mecklenburg residents in state mental hospitals and institutions for the retarded. They date from 1937 to 1966.

The names are blacked out, but the narratives unspool a litany of misery.

Women and couples living in dire poverty, with six children or more, came to the Welfare Department to stop having babies.

Adolescent boys and girls deemed promiscuous or delinquent were sterilized because their parents and guardians couldn't control them.

"The protection of sterilization" - a phrase repeated like a mantra in the records - was often ordered when families couldn't or wouldn't protect the disabled from rape, incest or other abuse.

There was a pregnant 16-year-old with the mind of a 7-year-old whose father raped her at 12. Her mother later gave a married male friend permission to have sex with her. The same father who assaulted her signed the consent to operate.

Another 16-year-old, severely retarded and partially deaf and blind, got her tubes tied on the consent of her unmarried mother. "It has been brought to the attention of the Welfare Department," the summary says, "that men of all ages have sex relationships with patient and as her mother works part time she is in the home alone and does not have anyone to protect her."

Johanna Schoen, a researcher and author, got the N.C. records before the state blocked their release. She provided the Mecklenburg reports to the Observer, minus the names.

After more than a decade of research, Schoen believes that some patients and families sought sterilization and benefited from it. She believes some involved in the program, including Kuralt, meant well.
But none of that blunts her conclusion: "It was a horrible program and it shouldn't have existed."

'No sentimentality'
Kuralt came to Charlotte in 1945, as the state's eugenics campaign blazed onto this city's front pages.
In March 1945, The Charlotte News, which eventually merged with the Observer, ran a three-part series highlighting the area's "alarming mental deficiency rate."

The final installment offered the solution: sterilization.
"Certainly it is simpler, less expensive, more far reaching, more certain, than segregation" of the mentally handicapped, according to the article by Evangeline Davis, a freelance writer and wife of an associate editor.

"It is here that sentimentality must not enter in," she continued. "No matter what our feelings concerning the mentally deficient, it is senseless and cruel, in the end, to permit them to procreate and bring into the world more of their kind."

It is unclear whether Kuralt immediately heeded such arguments.

During the Great Depression, he had struggled to find a job. A Massachusetts native, he came to UNC Chapel Hill for an education, hoping for a career in advertising. He worked for a grocery chain, put creosote on telephone poles and created a short-lived tour agency before landing a job with the Emergency Relief Agency.

It sparked his passion for social work, which led him to Charlotte.

A compact man with a dapper moustache, his ever-present cigar or pipe became a trademark. His enthusiastic and forceful personality made a mark with his young, female workforce. Social workers called him "Papa K" and viewed him with awe.

"We were all scared to death of him. He was extremely strict," says Margaret Setzer, 64, who became a social worker in 1969 and worked for the department for 35 years. "He was very, very, very smart. He was a forward-thinking person for that time, particularly in the welfare business."

Kuralt drew little public attention during his first decade on the job. Mecklenburg's eugenic sterilization program remained low-key as well. Records show the department brought only a handful of cases a year to the Eugenics Board from 1937 to 1954 - some years none at all.

The majority of people sterilized in those years, like the majority of Mecklenburg residents, were white. In 1955, things changed.

The roots of poverty
Kuralt was starting to articulate strong views about poverty - and clashing publicly with county commissioners who questioned how he spent money and served clients.

Despite Charlotte's postwar prosperity, many remained mired in the direst poverty. Sterilization records tell of 10 people living in a three-room shack, kids sleeping on piles of cotton and corn husks, homes lacking food and running water.

Kuralt believed many of these people lacked the skills and intellect to support the children they were having, and that "generation after generation of children born mentally deficient" would face a bleak future.

Kuralt's daughter, Catherine Kuralt Harris, now 69, remembers only that her father would talk about women who wanted to stop getting pregnant.

"Women requested it because they had no control over their husbands," said Harris, who lives in Washington state. "He was certainly concerned about the underprivileged."

In 1955, as sterilizations were starting to taper off statewide, the Mecklenburg Welfare Department got 19 sterilizations of "feebleminded" clients approved. By 1957 there were 57. The department averaged at least one a week for the next two years.

Many of the women sterilized in the late 1950s came to the public maternity clinic, where they were seen by the Health Department's Dr. Elizabeth Corkey. An obstetrician who came to Charlotte in 1955, she emerged as a leader in improving race relations and women's reproductive rights.

Becky McNair, a caseworker from 1961 to 1964, remembers Corkey as "a hands-on, caring person" who was central to the sterilization push.

"We'd say after the 10th child, 'We're going to send you to Dr. Corkey,' " said McNair, 73.

Little restraint
Kuralt and Corkey sent dozens of sterilization cases to the Eugenics Board for approval. Often the IQ tests that labeled those clients feebleminded were done by Ethel Abernethy, the founder of the psychology department at Queens College. After her retirement in 1954, she went to work with the Welfare Department.
IQ testing conferred "scientific legitimacy and authority" on the label of feeblemindedness, which eugenicists assumed to be hereditary, Schoen writes in "Choice & Coercion," a book on reproductive history that focuses on North Carolina. The accuracy of such labels has since been discredited, especially for diagnosing genetic defects in people who were often suffering from poverty, poor education and emotional stress.

An IQ of 70 or lower made a person fit for sterilization in North Carolina. While some case reports indicate patients with severe mental disabilities, many of the Mecklenburg women sterilized had ratings just below the threshold.

The five-member Eugenics Board, made up of state health, welfare and legal officials, made the final call on whether sterilization was justified. But after hearing brief synopses of local cases, they almost always endorsed the plans brought before them.

Only six of 430 Mecklenburg welfare department cases in the records provided by Schoen were clearly rejected, with four more unclear about the resolution.

The records show the state board initially declined the department's request to sterilize a 15-year-old girl described as physically attractive, sexually developed and lacking modesty. The girl, who had an IQ of 52, went to Girl Scouts, church and piano lessons, and her parents feared she would become pregnant because of her "provocative" behavior.

The welfare department brought the request back three times, noting that the girl was talking about her desire to have a baby. Finally, when she was 16, the board gave the go-ahead.

Question of consent
Records show patients signed consent for 317 of the 430 sterilizations brought by the Welfare Department.
Those without consent were often the youngest patients. All told, the department got sterilization orders for 54 children 16 and younger. The youngest was a 10-year-old girl with a mental age of 4 who had begun menstruating the year before.

The parents, who signed the consent for surgery, "appear to give her good supervision but she frequently eludes her parents and wanders away," the summary says.

"The family lives on a nursery farm where there are many men employees in the different areas, and the parents are greatly concerned for fear that she might be taken advantage of by one of these employees. While sterilization will not change the basic situation, it will give (her) protection and her parents peace of mind on this score."

Some patients who signed consent were eager to stop having kids, reports say. At least 50 cases include descriptions such as "she is quite fearful of childbirth and greatly desires permanent protection" or "she brought her husband to the welfare department after the birth of her eighth child."

And more than 100 describe parents who were neglecting or abusing the children they had.

"I don't recall trying to limit that population for any purpose other than for them to manage their life to be better - to be able to feed their kids, to be able to clothe their kids," said Setzer, the former social worker.

But records indicate some mentally retarded patients who signed consent didn't understand the operation.
All of the former welfare staff interviewed by the Observer or Schoen said that sterilization was not done rashly. But some acknowledged it may have been pushed too hard.

In 1997, Schoen interviewed Kuralt's assistant, Ed Chapin, who died in 2007.

"I think there was some concern that we were doing sterilizations for women and perhaps some subtle arm-twisting," Chapin told Schoen. "I remember one of my coworkers whose office was next to mine and I am embarrassed to tell you that I think he sterilized his entire case load (60 people) over a period of a year or two years. I think that was perhaps a little excessive."

The race issue
In 1960, just under 25 percent of Mecklenburg residents were African-American.
But blacks made up more than 80 percent of the people ordered sterilized at the request of the Welfare Department between 1955 and 1966. In 1957, the peak year for Mecklenburg, the state approved sterilizations of 52 blacks and five whites.

Dozens of black women were sent to surgeons at Good Samaritan Hospital, Charlotte's segregated black facility.

Thereasea Elder, a retired public health nurse who is African-American, recalls a stream of hysterectomies and tubal ligations when she worked there in surgery.

"I never knew the reason why they did so many hysterectomies," said Elder, 84. "We thought they were diseased. We were never told the reason for the sterilizations."

The Eugenics Board records reflect the racial attitudes of the times. A 17-year-old white boy with an IQ of 47 was ordered sterilized in 1963. The report notes that he lived in a low-income, racially mixed neighborhood, and "his interest in Negro girls" is one reason cited to stop him from having children.
In some cases, welfare workers noted neighborhood conditions as evidence that Africans-Americans needed protection from childbearing.

"She has never worked and is always present at her mother's social gatherings, which includes music from a juke box which requires coins and there is evidence of eating and drinking, including alcoholic beverages all over the house," says the report for one black woman. "The apartment itself is located in a section of the city which has a poor reputation."

Schoen attributes the preponderance of black women in N.C. sterilizations to their lack of access to other birth control and their growing presence on public welfare rolls.

Mecklenburg social workers from that time recall fierce battles with county commissioners, some of whom were hostile toward the people getting welfare. Kuralt pushed back with arguments that preventing births would save money.

In his 1964 piece in The Charlotte News, Kuralt noted that one in three Negro children was born to an unmarried mother.

"These children came into the world with all the odds against them," he wrote, "and their mothers face a blighted life of hopeless struggle just to survive."

A changing world
When birth control pills became available in 1960, Kuralt and Corkey leapt at the chance to provide it to their clients. The family planning clinic created as a joint project of the welfare and health departments that year was among the nation's first.

"Here, at last, was a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies by an acceptable, practical, and inexpensive method," Kuralt wrote in the March 1967 journal of the N.C. Board of Public Welfare. "The poor readily adopted the new techniques for birth control."

As use of "the pill" grew, Eugenics Board sterilizations tapered. By the time the board was abolished in 1974, it was virtually obsolete - in part because the N.C. legislature passed voluntary-sterilization legislation in 1963. That meant welfare and health departments could pay for clients who wanted the surgery without having to prove they were mentally defective.

In the 1967 journal article, Kuralt estimated that his department was paying for about 30 sterilizations a month for "very low income families."

While Kuralt always pushed for family planning, by the mid-1960s he talked more about providing child care, job training and medical care for the poor.

Despite his political battles, Kuralt was widely admired by the time he retired in 1972, after 27 years in the job. More than 200 turned out for a testimonial dinner.

"He's a combination of Yankee efficiency and Southern charm," said County Commission Chairman Charles Lowe. "This community has a mutual love affair going with Wallace Kuralt."

By the 1970s and '80s, lawsuits had been filed alleging abuse of the eugenic sterilization program in other parts of North Carolina. The program had become an embarrassment to many.

But Kuralt always took pride in what his department had done.

Writer Mary Snead Boger interviewed him for her 1972 book "Charlotte 23," a collection of profiles of the city's most important residents. He told her planned parenthood for the poor was his most significant accomplishment.

"I suppose," he said, "no comparable population in the world has ever received more eugenic sterilizations."

Researchers Marion Paynter and Maria David contributed.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Ellen Church: The Flying Nurse -- a pioneer in U.S. aviation. Let's take a fun trip back in time.

    Verne Strickland Blogmaster / September 25, 2011




    "Often, qualified women were relegated to the cabin instead of the cockpit. Here, Paddy Naismith, a pilot and motor racer, sports her stewardess uniform for her job with the British Air Navigation Company, 1934." Photo: Fred Morley/Getty Images.(This winsome young flying belle is not the stewardess profiled in the story.)



    VS: After depressing you my dear readers and friends day after day with a steady stream of depressing news about dirty politics, wars and rumors of wars, floods famine, murder, mayhem and gore (not global warming dolt Al Gore), I felt a change of pace would be in order on USA DOT COM. I thought you might enjoy this piece about early cabin hostesses (stewardesses) who pioneered the career of flight attendants. They're a special breed -- courteous, helpful and reassuring, even when we don't deserve it, and even heroic when the need arises. I was inspired to use it based on a new television series featuring the fabulous flying ladies of Pan American World Airways.



    Ellen Church: The Flying Nurse, Iowa’s Pioneers of the Air


    Early airplanes were crude and often unreliable. Flying was dangerous, but many saw the air as a new American frontier. These pioneers of the air were willing to take the chance. Out of their adventures and inventions the science of aviation was born.
    An Iowa woman proved to be a pioneer of the airways when she used her medical experience in an unusual way. Ellen Church, from Cresco, Iowa, became one of the country’s first flight attendants and performed heroic duties during World War II. But it took some convincing to get airline owners to hire a woman!

    As you board the airliner, a flight attendant checks your ticket. Before takeoff you learn what to do in case of an emergency. During the flight an attendant serves refreshments and makes sure that you are comfortable. What would flying be like without flight attendants on the job? We now know, on some airlines now have no-frills flights.

    Copilot Serves Lunches

    When airlines in the United States began passenger service in 1926, there was no one to provide such extra attention. The small planes carried the pilot, a copilot and about twelve passengers.

    During the flight the copilot would leave his controls and come back to the cabin to care for the passengers. He handed out the box lunches. He took care of those who became frightened or airsick.

    Airsickness was common in those days. Planes flew at about 5,000 feet and at that altitude, the air is often rough and bumpy. Sometimes the bouncy ride made people sick. It also alarmed first-time travelers.

    In 1928 a German airline added a third crew member, a steward. His main duty was to care for the passengers. This allowed the copilot to stay with his job of helping to fly the plane. In 1930 Boeing Air Transport decided to add a third crew member on passenger flights too. But something happened that changed that plan a little—Ellen Church asked for a job.

    It All Began in Cresco

    Ellen Church grew up with the air age. She was born at Cresco, Iowa in 1904—one year after the Wright brothers' successful flight. While Ellen was a young girl she watched aeroplanes perform at the county fair. Sometimes one landed in a nearby Cresco farm field. Ellen decided when she grew up she would learn to fly.

    After graduating from Cresco High School, Ellen studied nursing. Then she went to San Francisco to work in a hospital. In her free time she took flying lessons. Every day as she walked to and from work she passed the Boeing Air Transport office (a forerunner of United Airlines). Companies like Boeing were starting to fly cargo and passengers all over the nation.

    One day Ellen stopped in at the Boeing office and asked whether there was any chance she could get a job. Steve Stimpson, the manager, told her the airline was planning to hire stewards, like those on some European airlines.

    Ellen thought she could do that sort of work very well. In fact, a nurse was just what the airline needed! Wives would not worry so much about their husbands traveling if there was a nurse aboard. Surely the plane must be safe if a woman dared to fly in it every day!

    The Pay’s Good, But Parents Say, “No!”

    Mr. Stimpson agreed, but convincing Boeing headquarters was another matter. After some argument, Boeing decided to give Ellen's plan a three-month trial. Ellen was hired as head stewardess and told to find seven other nurses to work on planes. This was not easy. The job paid well, $125 a month, but often a young woman's parents objected to their daughter taking a job in flying.

    Ellen found seven trained nurses who met the rigid qualifications. The early planes could not carry much weight, so a stewardess could not weigh more than 115 pounds. The planes had narrow aisles and low ceilings, so the women could be no taller than 5 feet 4 inches. The age limit was 25.

    Ellen and her seven nurses worked hard to prove women could handle the job. They cared for airsick and frightened passengers. They took tickets, passed out lunches, served coffee and hot soup. They cleaned inside the plane, and tightened the bolts holding the seats to the floor.

    Oops! Wrong Door!

    The stewardess was responsible for passenger safety. This included keeping an eye on the emergency exit which was right next to the washroom door. She did not want a careless passenger stepping out into the wild blue yonder! Passengers liked the service and soon other airlines were hiring stewardesses. Ellen, however, was forced to quit flying after eighteen months, because of an auto accident injury. But this did not end her career in the air.

    Ellen’s a Hero

    Ten years later the United States entered World War II. Ellen joined the Army Nurse Corps, and helped evacuate wounded soldiers from Africa and Italy by airplane. Because of her experience working in hospitals and organizing the stewardesses, Captain Ellen Church was called to train evacuation nurses for the D-Day invasion of France in 1944. For her "meritorious achievement in aerial flight" she received the Air Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven bronze service stars, the American Theatre Campaign Medal, and the Victory Medal.

    Ellen Church created a new career in the new industry of flying, at a time when many men thought the idea of a woman working on a plane was a joke. It took a pleasant and determined young woman from Iowa to change their minds.

    Adapted from original article in The Goldfinch 2, No. 1 (September 1980). Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa.  © State Historical Society of Iowa

    Pan Am a highly-touted new series, debuts tonight on ABC

    Obama stumps hard for Jewish vote, says U.S. will veto any move in UN for Palestinian statehood.

    Verne Strickland Blogmaster / September 25, 2011

    Published September 21, 2011 |
    AP Photo

    In a meeting Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama said that the United States would veto any U.N. Security Council move to recognize Palestinian statehood.

    "We would oppose any action at the U.N. Security Council including, if necessary, vetoing," White House National Security Council Spokesman Ben Rhodes told Reuters.

    The president met after his address with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by a meeting hours later with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The two foreign leaders, who have not agreed to meet with each other, are on a collision course at the United Nations, requiring U.S. officials to intervene in a bid to ratchet down the dispute. 

    President Obama said Wednesday there is no "shortcut" to Middle East peace, as he urged the Palestinians to abandon their push for a statehood vote before the United Nations. 

    Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, the president restated his belief that the Palestinians deserve their own state but said a vote at the United Nations is not the way to achieve it. 

    "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations -- if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now," said Obama, who at the same forum a year ago called for an independent Palestine. He said the decades-old impasse will be resolved only by "negotiated settlement," something he said could not happen until "each side learns to stand in each other's shoes."

    Obama, while stating the vision of Palestinian statehood has been delayed for "too long," used his address to assure Israel that his administration empathizes with its concerns and will stand by the Jewish state. 

    "Let us be honest with ourselves. Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it," Obama said. While Palestinians must know the territorial basis for their state, he said, the Israelis have be assured of their security. 

    "Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians, not us, who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them," Obama said. The speech was just one element of the administration's pressure campaign, in public and behind the scenes, to head off the vote on Palestinian statehood.  

    Abbas has threatened to bring his statehood push before the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. plans to veto the measure but would rather not get to that point, as the veto could further hurt U.S. standing in the Middle East. Still, Abbas could take the proposal straight to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians are seen as having the support to win what amounts to a symbolic recognition of statehood and slightly elevated status within the United Nations. 

    The White House, and the Israelis, maintain that the Palestinians cannot achieve statehood in any practical sense through a U.N. vote in New York. They say statehood can only be achieved through direct negotiations. 

    But Obama's efforts to once again revive those negotiations have fizzled over the past year.