Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Citizen Gonzo is on Hiatus...

...just in case you hadn't noticed.

I simply have too much going on, with the release of my book, Everything I Need to Know About Motherhood I Learned from Animal House, this year, and the upcoming release of a book I'm co-authoring with best-selling author William Maltese tentatively titled Sweet and Simple Vegan Desserts

The new book will be released by mainstream publisher Wildside/Borgo in 2011.

Keep track of me at and my new blog, Don't be shy... swing on over and give me a big, sloppy kiss!

Oh! And you can always get the 411 on me at

See you soon! xoxo

Friday, September 10, 2010

Project 2,996: Remember Joseph DiPilato

This post is respectfully recycled from 9/11/09.

Electrician Joseph DiPilato, age 57, was working in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center when Tower 1 was struck on September 11, 2001. As he prepared to leave the building, he called his wife and childhood sweetheart, Maria, to tell her he was safe. He was last seen in an elevator, intending to evacuate.

Joseph was a romantic fellow who took his wife to dinner every Friday and held her hand as they spent summers strolling the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. He took pride in maintaining his backyard, patio and swimming pool. He coached and managed his sons' Little League team. He was, above all else, a husband and father.

Neighbors like Mrs. Phyllis Buono grew to appreciate the blooms Joseph planted and look forward to the seeing the flowers he would select each season. "He set that yard up like it was a resort," Mrs. Buono said. "In the spring the flower pots would explode with blossoms." Phyllis's husband, Mike Buono, enjoyed working on cars with Joseph.

Maria and Joseph grew up together in Little Italy, where Joseph's childhood friends gave him the nickname "Joey Brillo," a nod to his short, wiry hair.

I didn't know Joseph DiPilato, but I am touched by the words of those who did:

"He would do anything for me. He cared about me and I always came first," said his wife, Maria.

"We loved him more than anything and he's going to be missed by a lot of people," said his son, Joseph. "He just meant everything to us."

"I remember Brillo as a kid, a year older than me. He was the best basketball player in Columbus Park on Mulberry Street. He gave me great pointers on getting the ball through the hoop. Everyone in the neighborhood loved Brillo. He was a great role model in a tough neighborhood. A natural athlete, terrific sense of humor and a decent human being. A guy like him is surely missed by many,"
said childhood friend Anthony Venturato

And this, dated August 19, 2008, from his daughter-in-law, Andrea:

Dearest Dad,

It has been almost 7 years since you have been with us. We miss you tremendously. Something wonderful happened yesterday that I wanted to share. Your granddaughter Olivia typed in what she thought was her brothers name & brought up this website. As soon as she saw your picture she screamed with such excitement and said, "Mommy hurry come see Grandpa on the computer". It stopped me in my tracks & touched my heart more than you could ever know. All I could think about was how much you could not wait to be a grandfather. And little did we know on the last night that I was with you, I was already pregnant with your first grandchild. Leo & I would have given anything to be able to tell you in person you were going to finally be a Grandpa.

Olivia talks about her "Grandpa in heaven" all the time. She wishes she could have known you. You would be so blown away by Olivia. She has such a huge heart just as you did.

As Olivia & Joseph grow up they will know everything there is to know about their very special "Grandpa in heaven". We all miss you terribly!

All our Love to you in Heaven, Leo, Andrea, Olivia & Joseph

Please light a candle for Joseph, his family and those who loved him. Say a prayer for the father, husband, neighbor and friend who lost his life on September 11, 2001.

Never forget.

This tribute is part of Project 2,996, a cooperative online effort to keep alive the memories of the 2,996 victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy. See other participants, and their tributes to those lost, here.

Be sure to check out for more of Gonzo's musings!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Public Policy Polling has Brown Leading Coakley, 51-46

I am hopeful that tomorrow's voter turnout will reflect the final poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.

With reports of nasty weather, it's going to come down to who is most motivated to get their votes counted. Who is more likely to brave the wind, sleet and snow -- The blue bloods Coakley has been courting, or the blue collars that have turned out in droves to support Brown?

A victory for Brown tomorrow will spark a political scramble, and reveal the answers to the questions everyone has been asking:

Will Democrats succeed in their blitz attempt to pass Obamacare before the Massachusetts Secretary of State certifies the election results (no earlier than January 29th)?

Will Senator Paul Kirk be allowed to provide the 60th vote - as he's promised - in spite of Republican attorney assertions that Kirk's senatorial status will be nullified as of election day, no matter when the Secretary of State gets around to certifying the election?

Could Obama get enough Dem votes out of the House to pass the Senate version of the bill, as it is written, for his signature?

If all else fails, will Democrats really push Obamacare through by reconciliation? Are they really that desperate? After all of the wheeling and dealing? The backroom deals? Will they really scale the entire reform down so that they can pose it as a filibuster-proof budget item, needing only 51 votes to pass?

Make no mistake... Brown winning does not guarantee Republicans -- or any American against the irresponsible, blood-sucking health care reform -- a seat at the big kid table.

Obama's ego is "too big to fail."

Be sure to check out for more of Gonzo's musings!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

11-Year-Old Autistic Child Zakhqurey Price Charged with Felony


How does an autistic, cognitively-impaired 11-year-old end up charged with felony assault? This is the story of Zakhqurey Price, who lives and schools in Arkansas with his family.

On October 30 last year, Zakh, according to reports, had a meltdown, resulting in restraining efforts by two school personnel. The adults, allegedly, cornered him and attempted to subdue him. Zakh refused and law enforcement was called in. Minor injuries resulted in the scuffle, but the 11-year-old was thereafter suspended for 12 school days, charged with felony assault, and booked as a juvenile.

For 3 months before the incident, his grandmother, Carole Reynolds, had been requesting an Individual Education Plan (IEP), required by law, to help Zach, who has an IQ of 68 and reads at a 2nd grade level, develop more solidly in school and assuage behavioral concerns. She tried to get things right early on, but was told to wait till school started. "We [had] made requests to receive a copy of his evaluation/assessment results before the October 15th temporary placement IEP meeting and were refused because they said it was not allowed by state law," she is quoted in an Examiner news article. Reynolds also "repeatedly asked for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), and positive behavior plan with positive behavior strategies," but was unable to secure the requests. Zach was also denied Physical Therapy since, school administrators told her, he could "get around ... just fine." And despite recommendation by a counseling center that Zach be provided a full-time aid, he never got one. At an October 15th meeting with school administrators, "suggestions and guidelines were agreed upon but no formal positive behavior support plan was completed." Two weeks later, their incompetence bore fruit. And though in his IEP it states police intervention would be ruled out, Zach left school grounds in handcuffs.

Read more here: Children in a hostile world - The Daily Voice - Black America's Daily News Source

A few questions I have about this case:

1. Why isn't this getting more media attention?
2. Why did the school enroll Zakh in a special education program without a complete IEP, as required by law?
3. Were the school staff members who cornered Zakh and attempted to restrain him certified and trained to do so?
4. Why did the new school district fail to implement the recommendations of the prior district, such as a full-time aide, to keep Zakh, other students, and staff safe?

Mainstream media has yet to pay attention to Zakh's story, but you can learn more here, here and here. Donate to his legal defense here. Join the Facebook group to support Zakh here.

As the mother of two special needs children, I am outraged at how the school district failed this child... and then pressed charges against him for their failure.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Do You Want Obama Protecting You?

Days ago, Gateway Pundit linked to a BBC article that claimed that the suicide bomber responsible for the CIA deaths in Afghanistan "was courted as a potential informant" for the CIA.

The bomber had intimate "knowledge of the base layout and its security practices," according to the Los Angeles Times, and may have been taken onto the base by CIA operatives who wanted to turn the man into an informant.

The very next day, HotAir reported that clear back in October, Saudi Arabia's chief counterterrorism official went to all the trouble of setting up a meeting with John Brennan for the express purpose of saying, basically, "Hey, dudes! I just lived through this crazy assassination attempt, and--oh, snap! You guys ain't gonna believe this but--an Al Qaeda dude trained in Yemen tried to blow me up with EXPLOSIVE UNDERWEAR!"

Did this warning spur top security officials to check the underwear of suspected terrorists-training-in-Yemen who made their way onto watch lists? Uh, no.

Oh, and remember the White House party-crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi? Well, Politico reports they weren't the only uninvited guests to get through the White House door the night of the state dinner. Apparently, a third party crasher managed to get through security. What's more, the State Department picked the guy up and DROVE HIM TO THE WHITE HOUSE.

Is it any wonder Obama got a "good solid F" for protecting Americans?

Be sure to check out for more of Gonzo's musings!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

- Goomba News Network -: When to Shoot the Colonels by Tom Baugh

I'm a big fan of Oathkeepers, but never really thought about how effective or ineffective they may prove to be, if America finds itself in a situation where U.S. military personnel are ordered to disarm Americans. Give the following a read:

- Goomba News Network -: When to Shoot the Colonels by Tom Baugh