I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Great Story.. A Must Read!

Subject:  Army-Navy Game Train (an unpublicized act of generosity and appreciation)  
I don't know who reported this, but I am glad whoever did it, did it! 

 ~ The idea started when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops. "We have to let them know we care," Vivian told Bennett. So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on Dec. 3. The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it. Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains.

Bennett Levin - native Philly guy, self-made millionaire and irascible former L&I commish - is one of them. He owns three luxury rail cars. Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas. He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard.

One car, the elegant Pennsylvania , carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and '62. Later, it carried his brother Bobby's body to D.C. for burial. "That's a lot of history for one car," says Bennett.  He and Vivian wanted to revive a tradition that endured from 1936 to 1975, during which trains carried Army-Navy spectators, around the country directly to the stadium where the annual game is played. The Levins could think of no better passengers to reinstate the ceremonial ride than the wounded men and women recovering at Walter Reed in D.C. and Bethesda , in Maryland . "We wanted to give them a first-class experience," says Bennett.  "Gourmet meals on board, private transportation from the train to the stadium, perfect seats - real hero treatment."

Through the Army War College Foundation, of which he is a trustee, Bennett met with Walter Reed's commanding general, who loved the idea. But Bennett had some ground rules first, all designed to keep the focus on the troops alone:

No press on the trip, lest the soldiers' day of pampering devolve into a media circus. 

No politicians either, because, says Bennett, "I didn't want some idiot making this trip into a campaign photo op." 

And no Pentagon suits on board, otherwise the soldiers would be too busy saluting superiors to relax. 

The general agreed to the conditions, and Bennett realized he had a problem on his hands. "I had to actually make this thing happen," he laughs. 

Over the next months, he recruited owners of 15 other sumptuous rail cars from around the country - these people tend to know each other - into lending their vehicles for the day. The name of their temporary train? The Liberty Limited. 

Amtrak volunteered to transport the cars to D.C. - where they'd be coupled together for the round-trip ride to Philly - then back to their owners later.

Conrail offered to service the Liberty while it was in Philly. And SEPTA drivers would bus the disabled soldiers 200 yards from the train track to the football stadium for the game. 

A benefactor from the War College ponied up 100 seats to the game - on the 50-yard line - and lunch in a hospitality suite. 

And corporate donors filled, for free and without asking for publicity, goodie bags for attendees: 

From Woolrich, stadium blankets.
From Wal-Mart, digital cameras.
From Nikon, field glasses.
From GEAR, down jackets.

There was booty not just for the soldiers, but for their guests, too, since each was allowed to bring a friend or family member.

The Marines declined the offer. "They voted not to take guests with them, so they could take more Marines," says Levin, choking up at the memory.  
Bennett's an emotional guy, so he was worried about how he'd react to meeting the 88 troops and guests at D.C.'s Union Station, where the trip originated. Some GIs were missing limbs. Others were wheelchair-bound or accompanied by medical personnel for the day. "They made it easy to be with them," he says. "They were all smiles on the ride to Philly. Not an ounce of self-pity from any of them. They're so full of life and determination." 

At the stadium, the troops reveled in the game, recalls Bennett. Not even Army's loss to Navy could deflate the group's rollicking mood.
Afterward, it was back to the train and yet another gourmet meal - heroes get hungry, says Levin - before returning to Walter Reed and Bethesda . "The day was spectacular," says Levin. "It was all about these kids. It was awesome to be part of it."

The most poignant moment for the Levins was when 11 Marines hugged them goodbye, then sang them the Marine Hymn on the platform at Union Station.

"One of the guys was blind, but he said, 'I can't see you, but man, you must be beautiful!' " says Bennett. "I got a lump so big in my throat, I couldn't even answer him."

It's been three weeks, but the Levins and their guests are still feeling the day's love. "My Christmas came early," says Levin, who is Jewish and who loves the Christmas season. "I can't describe the feeling in the air." Maybe it is hope. 

As one guest wrote in a thank-you note to Bennett and Vivian, "The fond memories generated last Saturday will sustain us all - whatever the future may bring."
God bless the Levins.  And bless the troops!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Truth is Emerging

English: Picture of Billboard put up by the Un...
English: Picture of Billboard put up by the United American Committee given to me by the group itself. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a recent article by 
David Horowitz

As Obama huddles in closed door meetings this week with Muslim American leaders and his Administration lies about secret meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, one has to wonder if Obama really has his eyes targeted on the real problem facing our nation. In the face of mounting Islamic terror, is this willful blindness or just ignorance. Either way, we are in great danger.

As a reader of FrontPage and a supporter of my Center, you know that the jihad has reached America's shores. Many potential attacks have been thwarted. But some have not. Little Rock, Fort Hood, the World Trade Centers, the Boston Marathon bombing; the list of terror incidents keeps growing. It may be a slow motion war, but it is here. Our president doesn't believe it is happening.

It is a chilling fact that many of those who will lead the next attack on America have grown up and gone to school here. But they have never really become a part of our country because they have spent years getting religious instruction in one of the thousands of radical mosques that have sprung up across our nation. That's what really frightens me. Our government is standing idly by while the terrorists who want to destroy it are manufactured day in day out in the radical mosques that teach the destruction of America.

This is no secret. FBI reports and eyewitness accounts have made it clear that a large number of the mosques in the United States urge their congregations to wage jihad against the infidels (us) and impose Sharia Law first on all Muslims and then on all Americans.

This is sedition, not religion.

Sharia Law is not only barbaric--justifying murder and the oppression of women and annihilation of other religions--but also incompatible with the United States Constitution. One cannot be a strict adherent of Sharia Law and still swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, we allow Sharia to be advanced on a daily basis in hundreds of mosques across America.

Three major studies in the last 10 years have all found the same results. Over 75% of the 2,000 mosques in America are 'radicalized.' And what does radicalized mean?
  • That of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and only 19% had no violent texts at all.
  • That in 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts.
  • That mosques which are Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violent texts than their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts and that leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshipper study violent texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques.
Freedom of religion does not include the right to openly preach the destruction of the U.S. Constitution or violent jihad. Mosques that preach godliness and tolerance must be protected; but those that preach hatred and violence must be revealed for what they are--threats to our national security.

So why do I tell you about these centers of hatred in our midst?

Because the Freedom Center is launching a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the truth of these radical mosques and how Islamists are using the principle of religious freedom to hide incitements to violence. The radicalized young Muslims who hear this message of sharia and anti American hatred day after day are acts of terror waiting to happen.

We need to act now.

This is why I have asked Robert Spencer, my colleague here at the Freedom Center and a national expert on radical Islam to write a pamphlet called Subversive Mosques that will document the way many Islamic houses of worship have been turned into recruitment centers for the jihad.

I will use Subversive Mosques to break down the conspiracy of silence and begin a frank and open, no-holds-barred national conversation about this problem. I want to get this vitally important work into the hands of public officials all over the country, to Members of Congress, Governors, and State Legislators. I want to get it into the hands of the media and force the talking heads to talk about this critical issue.

Thank you for all your support of my work and the Center.


David Horowitz 

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