Monday, November 30, 2009

1,000 Cranes for Krista **Update**

Received mine in the mail this weekend! I also got an e-mail from Frank:
"I am thankful and completely humbled. I have been making crane pics for two weeks and have finished 100. Only 900 more to go! Thank you all so much for listening , reading and forwarding our story. Back to the studio--"

If you can, please get one of your own HERE

Read the whole story from my earlier post HERE

This is a truly inspirational tale, that is sadly true. I asked earlier for you to pray for Life, Liberty and Love...that request continues. Help, if and when you can.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Bob Marley sang about it in Redemption Song
"But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs."

I was reflecting on this lately, and stumbled upon "Seven Pounds" which also deals with redemption, in a new and interesting way to tell the story.

Western Rifle Shooters has an important re-post HERE where he lists his "what to do list" with the number one point under emotional preparation as: "Get square with God as you understand Him. Even if atheist or agnostic, one needs a Larger Context in which to place the upcoming suffering and struggle."
Now I am not a religious man, but I am a man of great faith. Someday I, in-fact all of us, am going to need to come to grips with what I have done, or not done. I will need either redemption, atonement or acceptance of my life by me or "He." I tend to follow my impulses to speak when I am "spoken to" and for whatever reason, by whatever faith I am compelled to ask you, all of you to pray... pray for life, liberty and love for it is an all or nothing deal. Do not be shy, do not ask why, but make sure you are at the ready for the fight that is coming. A fight to everyone of us in many different ways. I often describe myself by quoting myself:
I am a husband and father, first and always.
I am a jack of all trades and master of some.
I am self taught, and defy institutions.
I will refuse to relent.
Failure is not an option.
Success is not an accident.
I am lost and sometimes confused, I will find the way.
Redemption is calling, may I be the man I need to be at this time.


The 23rd Psalm:
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1,000 Cranes For Krista

Thankfully this not my story, this is an email I received today...Frank is a friend from some 15 years ago I recently regained contact with. This is his brother on laws plea. I know in todays world money is not given lightly, neither is this request. Please read and feel no guilt if you cannot help, but if you can please do what you can. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this simple, yet powerful story.

Dear Friends,

Before this story begins, I just want to explain that this is written to all of you from a very deep need. It is a story of greed, of cancer confronted and overcome, of big medical bills, and of the creative power of love, and hope, and friendship. It is also a very true story about my beautiful sister, Krista, her husband Frank, and their 4 year old daughter Maya, who are now in a very difficult circumstance.

I hope you can take the time to read this letter. It is not meant to be political. It is simply a real illustration of what can happen when a family falls through the cracks of the health care system in this country. With your help, one family, Krista and Frank’s family, will not fall through those cracks.

It is my hope that Krista and Frank’s story will cut across political party lines, positions, and unexamined prejudices, and remind us of how fragile we are, how fragile our lives are, and how dependent we are upon each other when things go wrong.

But why are Krista, Frank, and Maya confronting a possible medical bankruptcy? Here is their story.

Krista’s Story

Just a few months ago, Krista, Frank, and Maya were a pretty typical, hard-working, middle-class American family with the feeling that their health was good and their future secure. Today however, they are on the verge of bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical bills - Medical Bankruptcy- as it is now called. On December 1st, they will be about 5,000 dollars short of their monthly bills. A recent study estimates that medical-caused bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans each year, including 700,000 children. Many people are suffering with this problem- and like many others, Krista and Frank never thought anything like this would happen to them. Now they are another family added to this statistic.

How did this happen?

A few months ago, in late July, Krista, was struck, out of the blue, with a crippling pain in her abdomen. The pain was so severe she felt she might be dying. She went immediately to an urgent care facility to find out what was wrong. After an exam, blood work, and an ultrasound, she went home to await the results of the tests. Later that night her doctor called to tell her there was a cyst on her ovary. It was 8 cm in circumference, a little bigger than a tennis ball.
She was concerned, of course, about the cyst, but she had health insurance, and was hopeful that the cyst was nothing serious.The next day she went to see her doctor. After a brief exam, the doctor said that her ovary would have to be surgically removed, and that a biopsy would be needed. So she went to the surgery center, scheduled an appointment for surgery, and then went home to call her health insurance broker to make sure the surgery would be covered. That phone call turned her life upside down.

Her insurance broker told her that her health insurance had lapsed at the end of May and stated that the company would not honor any claims made after May 31, 2009. This could not be true. Krista, whose insurance was supposed to be covered by State Continuation, explained to her broker that she had been sending her premium payments to her previous employer. Her broker said “I’m sorry, but we have not received your premiums and your surgery will not be covered.” Her next statement seemed impossible to believe. Krista was told that her employer had stolen her payments. He had kept the money she had sent for her premium payments and and diverted them into his own account. And now he was bankrupt as well. Turns out he had stolen millions of dollars from his investors as well. At this point Krista faced surgery without any insurance. But it was not an option to forego surgery, in spite of the out of pocket expense. The cyst might be serious and had to be removed.

At the time of the surgery, the doctor believed it was a benign cyst. But after her surgery, the news was bad. I came across my mother listening over the phone as Krista told her the results. My mother was crying and I had never seen her look so scared and sad. “Krista has cancer,” she said, “the tumor is cancerous.” Cancer. Besides the seeming death penalty and the uncertainty and fear of being diagnosed with cancer, there was now the issue of trying to pay for major surgery without any health insurance. Her parents would help to pay for the costs of the surgery from their retirement funds, but they could not cover the total cost of the surgery without great financial risk to their security.

Now, in addition to the bills and recovery from the first surgery for the removal of the tumor, Krista’s second surgery would mean a total hysterectomy, appendectomy, omentomectomy, and lymphadenectomy, followed by biopsies of the small and large intestine, and colon. The surgery was invasive, extreme, and would mean the end of her ability to bear children. And of course, without insurance, it would be extremely expensive and far beyond their means to pay.


Today it has been over a month since Krista’s second surgery. In the end, she was very lucky. The cancer was caught in a very early stage. She is recovering well and her prognosis is good. There was no metastasis of the tumor and she is cancer free. She will need to go in every 3 months of this first year post-op for blood work and exams. She will need to go back every 6 months for the next five years. She is very grateful that the worst part of the journey is over. And she knows that there are others who go through much worse.

The lasting blow is not the cancer, but the medical bills, which have run close to 15,000.00 dollars. This is a figure that they were not prepared to pay. And of course, because of our current system, there is no health insurance company that will cover her. She and Frank have sold everything they can to raise money for their bills, but they get a bill almost everyday, a reminder that they fought cancer and now have to pay dearly for it.

How You Can Help

With your help, this story could have a very happy ending. But you will need to do something generous at the end. It isn’t much, but it is very important, and will be a great help. The only thing you will need to do is to buy one paper crane: Frank’s original painting of one paper crane. The price you can afford to pay for the paper crane painting will be yours to decide. The crane painting is an original piece of Frank Stanley artwork-1 in a series of 1,000- and it will be sent to you as a symbol of your caring and your generosity. Your purchase of one paper crane painting will help to save Krista, Frank, and Maya from medical bankruptcy.

Why One Paper Crane?

There is an ancient Japanese legend which promises that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted the fulfillment of a wish, such as long life, or recovery from illness, or injury. In Asia, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes will make a person's wish come true. As an artist, Frank was looking for a way to use his creativity to help raise funds for his family’s medical bills. And he wanted to do something beautiful for his wife. In his search, he came across the legend of the 1,000 paper cranes. And he decided that since he was a painter, and not so great at origami, he would paint 1,000 origami cranes as a way to raise funds, and to use the proceeds of the sale to help stave off medical bankruptcy.

If you are in any position to help Krista and Frank by buying one painting of a paper crane, it would be a great help to their family. Frank’s goal is to paint and sell 1,000 Cranes for Krista, and hopes to raise enough money to pay their medical bills and hopefully be able to help others in similar situations.

How To Get Your Paper Crane Painting

At the end of this story, there is a link to Frank’s website. There you can choose one of the crane paintings he has already created, or you can request a custom painting.

How Much Should I Donate for the Crane?

Krista and Frank’s medical bills are approaching 15,000 dollars. To make it through December, they will need at least 5,000 dollars. There is no set price for a painting. We simply ask you to give as much as you feel you can. Anything you can do will be of help.

Krista and Frank’s Story- In their Own Words

If you would like to read more details of Krista and Frank’s story in their own words, the rest of the story is right here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My only comments on Fort Hood

Remember the slain, not who did the slaying. In so many times throughout history we have made household names instead of pariahs of the perpetrators of similar instances. I will reserve personal thoughts on this other than a solemn, somber memory of a horrible day in our history by a coward, may he find the end of a very short rope very quickly.
Read memories of the slain HERE

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Revolutionary Suicide

Revolutionary Suicide

Huey P Newton is at first glance a polarizing and amazing man that has done more for the people of this country in about a 6 year period than most will in 2 lifetimes. Even though he was illiterate as a high school graduate, he argued and won criminal cases against him. Revolutionary Suicide has been out of print for a while, but it is back. While I do not agree with much of the Black Panthers politics, or their founders, I find their tactics bold and their methods pure. I use bold and pure on purpose. They argued that our rights, well specifically the "Black mans rights," were just as stated in the Declaration of Independence, endowed by our Creator. These could not be granted, or taken... simply they were our rights. They studied and obeyed the laws, while carrying shotguns dressed in black "uniforms", making sure others did the same. Pure and bold are the only to words I believe convey my feelings on that issue. I could not possibly in a few short words even hint at the impact the events of this story had on America and the world. Sadly due to either me being too excited to finally read a book I had been waiting years for, or because it really did just suck, I felt the book came up short, VERY short. The first 20% or so gives you a pretty good grasp of the mindset of Mr. Newton, at least bringing me up to the speed of his perceptions. Since I was not alive at that time, nor am I black, some of his descriptions were taken at face value as best as I could. The next 60% he came off as a narcissistic, megalomaniac that reminded me a lot of Alex Jones and his ilk. He would be in the middle of an amazing observation about humanity, then either retreat to quoting the most obscure text he could, or drop off topic to say it is the "white racist power structure" out to get him. Didn't matter if it was America, Africa, or Albania it was all the same New World Order (or in this case Old World Order) out to crush this one man. In the last 20% he narrates his 3 trials (same charges), his time in prison, and finally dismissal of charges. This was by far the most interesting part of the book. When he writes about finding himself in the darkness of solitary, of wanting more of it rather than give up an inch I finally saw what he brought out in people. Huey P Newton is some one I can never meet, will probably never agree with politically, and can never truly identify with...yet he inspires me to be a better man and I am for reading his book. There are certain parts I will have on my mind the day I reach my grave, and every day up til then. It might be strange after I just spent time telling you the majority of it is shit, but YOU should read this book, the story as they say must be told. Power to the People.

R.I.P. Huey, you have earned it.

P.S.- Yes the 10 point plan is f'd up, yes he had many short comings, yes his character was challenged and tarnished in later years. But does anyone give a rats ass trying to bring you down to tarnish all you have done? Even flawed he is still a better man than many I know today, that is not a stab at the people I know, but Huey P Newton was tested and he came out intact more times than most.