Did you ever wonder who were the folks who got all those special invites to the White House since the Obama’s turned it into party central? The White House released the list. Here are some highlights…
* Two visits by William Ayers, the Weatherman terrorist whose group bombed the Pentagon and who said he wished he had done more. Remember Obama told us all that Ayers was “just some guy in the neighborhood” back in Chicago. What a liar! * Two visits by Angela Davis, former Communist Party candidate for Vice President and found innocent of kidnapping and murder of a judge....
George Bush's Opinion Of Islam. No, Not THAT George Bush!
Note to family and friends: Updates on Mr. AOW are being added to this post, last updated on October 28.
Quickie link to this posting over at Sultan Knish. A must-read essay citing research by the 19th century clergyman and historian George Bush, who was also the author of the first American biography of Mohammed.
A sampling of Sultan Knish's essay is below the fold.
Take Bush's critique of Mohammed's progressive revelation of the Koran:
He declared himself appointed to promulge a new revelation in successive portions, the aggregate of which was to constitute the Bible of his followers. The original or archetype of the Koran, he taught, was laid up from everlasting in the archives of Heaven, being written on what he termed the preserved table, near the throne of Allah, from which the series of chapters communicated by Gabriel were a transcript. This pretended gradual mode of revelation was certainly a master stroke of policy in the impostor.
...Had the whole volume been published at once, so that a rigid examination could have been instituted into its contents as a whole, and the different parts brought into comparison with each other, glaring inconsistencies would have been easily detected and objections urged which he probably would have found impossible to answer. But by pretending to receive his oracles in separate portions, at different times... he had a ready way of silencing all cavils, and extricating himself with credit from every difficulty, as nothing forbade the message or mandate of to-day being modified or abrogated by that of to-morrow.
President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed, has provoked controversy by appearing on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Sharia Law.
Miss Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice".
SO... IT WASN'T JUST THAT SHE APPEARED ON A TV SHOW WITH A TERRORIST, IT'S WHAT SHE SAID THAT MAKES HER UNACCEPTABLE AS AN ADVISOR TO THE POTUS.
NOW THAT SHE HAS REITERATED THAT SHE BELIEVES WHAT SHE SAID, SHE MUST BE FIRED AT ONCE.
THERE'S ONLY ONE REASON OBAMA WOULD KEEP HER: HE AGREES.
IF OBAMA REALLY WAS A CRYPTO-MUSLIM WHO HATED AMERICA, WOULD HE BE DOING ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
...[H]er last name is Mogahed. Now, I am not sure but because of that name, I am guessing she's Egyptian (or of Egyptian origin). In Egyptian dialect of Arabic, they pronounce the "J" sound as "G" (as in goat). So the actual pronunciation of her last name, if I am correct about her descent, is Mojahed (or Mujahid) and that literally means "one who carries out Jihad"...
What's in a name?
Perhaps everything — when one espouses ideas living up to that name. After all, jihad and shari'a are inextricably tied.
LOS ANGELES — A Southern California immigrant rights group on Friday asked the Target store chain and a costume company to stop selling an "illegal alien" Halloween costume it said is offensive to immigrants.
Target is removing the costume from the site after receiving several complaints, company spokesman Joshua Thomas said Friday. The store never intended to sell the outfit but included it in its online offerings by mistake, he said.
See the offending costume below the fold:
Actually, I find the costume rather amusing. Perhaps I have a warped sense of humor.
This costume, on the other hand, hasn't caused a flap. Yet. Why not?
Besides, I thought that Halloween was supposed to be FUN.
I recall the family story about when my uncle somehow got the cow upstairs to the principal's office and left her there overnight. This prank was played in the 1930s, and my uncle's punishment was the cleanup, which took him an entire day. No suspension from school was imposed. I guess that those days are gone forever.
Our guests this week we'll have our regular bi-weekly visit from I.Q. al Rassooli to educate us on the meaning of Islam and the Koran and Elisabeth from Austria who will discuss with us the details of the OSCE meeting in Europe. ---------- Listen to the October 23, 2009 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.
UPCOMING SHOWS: October 30:Mohammad Abdul November 6: Jeff Epstein November 13: Bill Warner November 20: Allan Goldstein
TARP Repayment: More Bad News For The American Taxpayer
Note to family and friends: Updates on Mr. AOW are being added to this post.
According to this article in the Washington Times, the taxpayers are going to get the shaft when it comes to getting their money back — never mind all the politicians' promises at the time the TARP funds were allocated.
But there's something else too:
AIG has missed three TARP dividend payments to Treasury as of Sept. 30. If the company misses a fourth payment Nov. 1, Treasury will have the right to elect directors to the AIG board.
Note to family and friends: Updates on Mr. AOW are being added to this post.
On November 3, Virginians will go to the polls to elect various state officials, including a new state attorney general.
Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for attorney general of Virginia, has a rather unique vision for the office.
From this article in the October 19, 2009 edition of the Washington Post:
Cuccinelli's bid puts focus on a job often off the radar Va. attorney general candidate says there's power in the post
Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a state senator from Fairfax County, hopes to be an entirely different attorney general than what Virginians have grown accustomed to.
...He is ready to sue the federal government if it restricts emissions or expands union powers.
Cuccinelli, 41, says he wants to transform a job most people know virtually nothing about from a steppingstone to the governor's office into a platform for long-term reform. He is prepared not to defend state laws he deems unconstitutional. He plans to scrub the books clean of what he calls burdensome regulations. He would push a constitutional amendment protecting private property rights.
Perhaps the greatest departure is that Cuccinelli has no plans to run for governor in four years, unlike the last seven people elected to the post. If anything, he envisions a long career as Virginia's top lawyer -- and a dramatic, if slow, transformation of government, state regulations and the lives of Virginians.
"This office, for someone who focuses on it day to day for a long period of time, can affect the direction of Virginia government," Cuccinelli said. "It isn't one dramatic step on any given day, or getting one bill passed. It's the gradual, slow, drip-drip-drip impact that you can have." ...
Mr. Cuccinelli offers a specific example of how a state attorney general can have an impact affecting every Virginian:
It is appropriate, he said, for the attorney general to evaluate the constitutionality of state laws; if anything, recent attorneys general with an eye to higher office have avoided this responsibility, he said. In 2007, then-Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, now the Republican candidate for governor, helped broker a transportation deal in the legislature that he has since taken credit for on the campaign trail. The state Supreme Court eventually struck down part of the law because it gave taxing authority to unelected regional bodies, but McDonnell never offered an opinion that the bill was unconstitutional.
Had he been attorney general, Cuccinelli said, he would have offered such an opinion and then declined to defend the bill when it was challenged in court.
The law was struck down on the basis of no taxation without representation:
...The court ruled that only an elected body has taxing authority...
In its 23-page ruling, the court said last year's transportation bill violated Virginia's constitution because it delegated the legislature's taxing authority to an unelected body. Although most of the authority's members are elected officials, the board itself was not elected by voters.
"The General Assembly has failed to adhere to the mandates of accountability and transparency that the Constitution requires," wrote Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn, a Kaine appointee. "We conclude that the Constitution . . . clearly contemplates that taxes must be imposed only by a majority of the elected representatives of a legislative body."...
The extra taxes paid by Virginians while the law was in force were refunded.
What similarities do BHO's czars have in common with a governing board not elected by voters?
One might also note similarities between the federal bureaucracy and a governing board not elected by the people. Specifically, consider the IRS and the EPA, both of which have clearly impacted my life with little recourse for addressing my grievances. Heh.
In any case, Ken Cuccinelli has offered a new vision for state attorneys general: Stop the creep of governmental bureaucracy via a state office which usually receives little attention and little glory. If he wins on November 3, perhaps attorneys general in other states will follow his lead.
The most revelatory passage in the so-called “plain English” version of the health care bill that the Senate Finance Committee approved on Tuesday (without ever drafting the actual legislative language) says that in the future Americans will be offered the convenience of getting their health insurance at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Note to family and friends: Updates on Mr. AOW are being added to this post.
Added commentary is mine (The Merry Widow) Bill forces citizens to list guns on taxes? Firearms tracking act gives authorities access to your 'mental health records' Posted: October 12, 2009 10:30 pm Eastern
A firearms tracking bill has many bloggers up in arms over a federal requirement that would purportedly force gun owners to list their firearms on federal income tax returns.
But while the bill implements sweeping gun-control measures – including one that would prohibit citizens from owning a gun without a license – the income tax provision doesn't exist. Praise be to GOD for SMALL favors! The Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, or H.R. 45, was introduced Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Il., on Jan. 6. While the bill does not include stipulations about reporting guns on tax forms, it does contain numerous gun-control proposals that are drawing fierce criticism from gun-rights advocates.
If enacted, the bill would forbid any person from owning any handgun or semiautomatic firearm that accepts a detachable ammunition feeding device, not including antiques, without obtaining a license. Wonder how much THAT would cost, how many classes and psych evaluations would be required(and paid for)? Under the legislation, a person who is seeking a firearm license must submit to the attorney general an application including the following information:
1) current passport-sized photo
2) name, address, date and birthplace
3) any other name the applicant has used
4) a clear thumbprint
5) a statement that the individual is not a person prohibited by federal or state law from obtaining a firearm
6) certification that the applicant will keep the firearm safely stored and out of the possession of minors What they consider safely stored and what I consider safely stored would most certainly clash! But then, I spanked my 2 when they were little... 7) certificate showing applicant has passed a written firearms examination on the safe storage of firearms, safe handling of firearms, use of firearms in the home and risks associated with use, legal responsibilities of forearms owners and "any other subjects, as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate" How many bloody hoops can you jump through in 1 go? 8) authorization to release "to the Attorney General or an authorized representative of the Attorney General any mental health records pertaining to the applicant" I would probably be disqualified, since I have endogenous depression...even though I'm NOT suicidal. 9) the date on which the application was submitted
10) applicant signature
The bill makes it illegal for "any person to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer a qualifying firearm [any handgun or semiautomatic firearm that accepts detachable ammunition feeding device, not including antiques] to, or for, any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, or to receive a qualifying firearm from a person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector" without verifying that the transferee has a valid license. However, this requirement does not apply to "infrequent transfer of a firearm by gift, bequest, interstate succession or other means by an individual to a parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild of the individual, or to any loan of a firearm for any lawful purpose for not more than 30 days between persons who are personally known to each other." mutter...mutter...mutter...how very generous of them...:spit: Licensed dealers would be required submit to the attorney general or appropriate state authorities the following information within 14 days of a transfer of a qualifying firearm: 1) manufacturer, 2) model name or number 3) serial number 4) date of transfer 5) number of the transferee's valid firearm license 6) name and address of person who transferred the firearm. And will we have to be TATTOOED with the above information? Within nine months of the bill's passage, the attorney general would be required to establish and maintain a federal system to track sales, including all of the identifying information submitted during a transfer of ownership. Time for the birth of a new bureaucracy. Under H.B. 45, it would be illegal to fail to report lost or stolen firearms or to fail to report change of address within 60 days of the change. Wonder about any snowbirds who are down here for the winter? If they are robbed while they are out of town for 3-4 months? To ensure compliance with the act, the attorney general would be authorized, during regular business hours, to "enter any place in which firearms or firearm products are manufactured, stored or held, for distribution in commerce, and inspect those areas where the products are so manufactured, stored, or held." Busybodies... The act does not apply to governmental authorities. Heck no! Can't let us interfere with the governmental abuse of powers...
"This bill validates the concerns of sportsmen and gun owners about what … Congress and administration portend for Second Amendment rights," Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice-president/general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told ESPN Outdoors.
Keane continued, "The U.S. Supreme Court definitively said in District of Columbia vs. Heller (2008) that the Second Amendment provides individual civil rights to law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. (They don't have to be in a militia to own and keep guns.) This bill, however, would treat those citizens who exercise their civil liberties like criminals."
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Rachel Parsons told ESPN the bill focuses primarily on guns as instruments as crime instead of penalizing the people who commit criminal acts. She said, under the bill, law-abiding citizens might become violators of the law. Too right, punish the tool, not the tool user, or misuser! "Several provisions in this bill would make compliance nearly impossible," she said. "For instance, the bill spells out that if a firearms license holder fails to notify the Attorney General of an address change within 60 days, that person would be subject to a 5 year prison term and a fine of up to $250,000."
She also condemned the licensing requirements in the bill.
"Any kind of bill that would require photographing and fingerprinting for simple possession of a firearm is fundamentally different in opinion from that which the NRA holds," she said. "Any law should target the criminal element, but this law would simply further burden law-abiding people." I do not need anymore "help", thank you! The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and does not have a single co-sponsor, leading many to believe passage is highly unlikely. Praise be to GOD for that! Keane said the legislation is far too far-reaching and repressive to become law.
"If this bill passes, Democrats would likely lose (control of) their chamber in upcoming mid-term elections (2010)," he said. "The leadership in the House knows that." Politics and politicians! In April, a group of more than 450 gun-rights advocates sent a letter signed by more than 3,000 people to lawmakers in condemnation of H.R. 45.
"We are tired of our rights being denigrated and destroyed," it said. "[A]ny politician who votes for this bill or any bill of this type will be noted, and voted against when they come up for re-election."
The letter noted that more than 200,000 existing gun laws "do nothing to stop or curtail criminals." It states that history and statistics both prove that such bills are destructive to the citizenry.
"If this bills' purpose is to truly 'protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death' then the Congress should realize that the only threats to the public are from a criminal element that this bill … will not address, and from the government itself." BINGO! We need to fear our government...it is attempting to scarf up everything that makes us Americans. And make us into Amerikans...I AM NOT A SLAVE! "With guns, we are 'citizens,'" the letter concludes. "Without them, we are 'subjects.'" I am a subject of GOD Almighty, not human beings!
Another Update On Mr. AOW (Updated Intermittently)
Previous posts about Mr. AOW's stroke of September 15 are here, here and here.
Yesterday's meeting with Mr. AOW's case team was grim. I'll be busy over the next several days with choosing another care facility, the euphemism being "skilled nursing facility." The list I was handed is entitled "Nursing Home List." **sigh**
Click "Turn the page" for additional information. --------- During yesterday's meeting, the first words out of the doctor's mouth were "We can't fix what happened." He went on to explain that the primary medical goal is to control Mr. AOW's blood pressure so that he doesn't have another brain bleed. The doctor also stated that Mr. AOW will probably never drive again. This news was devastating for both of us!
At this point, Mr. AOW needs support on all four sides just to stay upright as his brain isn't sure where upright is. Trunk control is inconsistent. The inability to perceive body and head position is also compounded by Mr. AOW's previous brain surgery, lack of muscle control of the eyes, and left neglect. He also needs 50% help to transfer from one surface to another.
Mr. AOW is mentally oriented most of the time although he occasionally "feels" as if he's in California or in one of the outbuildings on our property.
There is no accurate way to predict how much Mr. AOW will recover over the next six months to one year. Therapy (occupational, physical, and speech) is necessary to help the brain rewire as much as possible, so I'm trying to choose a facility which offers the appropriate therapies and has the endorsement of our health-insurance policy.
Under his health-insurance plan, obtained on June 1, Mr. AOW has 60 days of coverage per benefit period for a skilled nursing facility. He will not be entitled to any Medicare coverage until he's been on Social Security Disability for two years. The application for SSDI is in process but delayed until the birth certificate has been obtained.
Mr. AOW will be discharged from acute physical rehabilitation no later than October 20, so we are in a bit of a time crunch with making the choice for the next facility. Sadly, much of the choice isn't mine or my husband's; a lot depends upon which facility is willing to accept him and the insurance plan's coverage.
Update on October 14 @ 8:57 AM: I spoke with Mr. AOW by phone last night. His voice and speech were the best I've heard since the stroke! He also told me that he did well with all his therapies yesterday.
Of course, the hospital is no longer considering his progress. Instead, the decision is made to transfer Mr. AOW out, never mind their stated protocol for keeping a patient as along as that patient is making measurable progress.
Mr. AOW is greatly fatigued, normal for post-stroke or after any brain injury. He is focused on his therpies and getting good sleep instead of calling me at all hours.
Update on October 15 @ 7:18 AM: I will visit Mr. AOW this evening. One of my friends is going with me to show us how to do tactile sequencing.
In sum, the plan is to supplement and augment the therapies which Mr. AOW is receiving from the medical community.
Update on October 15 @ 8:55 AM: Wonderful news!
Mr. AOW has been accepted in the rehab center of my choice! This facility has the exact therapies he needs and is very close to home. And Mr. AOW will recognize the area, too.
He will be transferred to later than Monday.
Update on October 17 @ 4:05 PM: Mr. AOW has settled in at the new facility. Today, he had physical therapist. The therapist (Usama!) got Mr. AOW up on his feet to take two steps, with help and railings of course. Afterwards, he was exhausted; nevertheless, I took in to the in-facility barber shop for a haircut and a beard trim. He'll sleep until dinner time, about two hours from now.
Instead of minced food and thickened drinks, Mr. AOW is now consuming normal food and beverages most of the time. He does have to be careful when he swallows.
Tonight, I will take to him some of the stuffed pepper my cousin made for me. I will, of course, chop up the stuffed pepper so that Mr. AOW takes small, safe bites. I also have a small box of Dove Dark Chocolates, a gift from one of my dear friends in Tennessee. I'm sure that I'll have to ration the chocolate.
Update on October 17 @ 4:05 PM: Yesterday, very early in the morning, I took Cameo in to visit Mr. AOW. At first, she was wary, but in just a few minutes, she settled down and began purring. This evening, I'll try to capture Mysti and take her in for a visit. Dusti is the paranoid type, but I'll probably take her in for a visit as well.
Mr. AOW had occupational therapy yesterday. The occupational therapist, a woman from India, is a slave driver! Good! Both Mr. AOW and I appreciate her dedication to helping him learn the necessary compensations.
After yesterday's occupational therapy, Mr. AOW and I went to the "social." All but two at the "social" were over eighty years old. Consequently, Mr. AOW won all the contests, one of which was "Name as many models of cars as you can." One of the puzzles handed out involved comparing two side-by-side drawings to find the differences; this activity crosses the brain's midline and was the kind of learning therapy I'll be doing with Mr. AOW.
After the "social," which Mr. AOW greatly enjoyed in spite of the age discrepancy, two of our neighbors visited and brought homemade vegetable beef soup. Mr. AOW chose to eat the soup instead of what was served by the nursing home. I have plenty of leftover soup to give him today and tomorrow.
After dinner, Mr. AOW insisted on being wheeled outside. The cold weather, unseasonable for this time of year, sent us right back inside.
On the negative side, Mr. AOW is having trouble staying in the wheelchair because the table he needs on which to rest his left arm is unsteady and falls off. Once yesterday, Mr. AOW slid all the way out of the wheelchair. Four people were required to lift him into the bed! I'll be contacting the administrator if this wheelchair deficit isn't straightened out by the therapists by Tuesday evening.
Update on October 21 @ 8:45 PM: I've been spending several hours a day with Mr. AOW or out and about tending to getting things ready for him to come home. We don't have a release date yet.
My friend who does tactile sequencing spent nearly three hours working with Mr. AOW today. She noticed that sensation is improving. While she was working with him, I went to For Eyes to pick up Mr. AOW's prescription eyeglasses (one pair for distance, one pair for reading); he had broken his previous pairs. The doctors said that the eyeglasses wouldn't make any difference. Ah, but they do! Mr. AOW can now see well enough to read the written page and the TV channel logos!
Those eyeglasses are a mixed blessing, however. Mr. AOW can now see well enough to dial the phone with some accuracy.
Mr. AOW's attitude is good (some due to anosognosia), and he continues to make progress with all his therapies.
The following video explains a bit about anosognosia, quite common in cases of left neglect:
Update on October 23 @ 3:35 PM: Today the physical therapist braced Mr. AOW's left leg. Mr. AOW was able to stand with little support for several seconds! Afterwards, he was exhausted. Even so, I kept him sitting in the wheelchair for a few hours so as to extend his endurance.
The weather was nice outside, so we spent some private time outside the building. The fall foliage is quite lovely right now, and Mr. AOW appreciated being able to see that beauty before the weekend rains arrive. Being outside also helps him to become more oriented as to his geographical location.
On the negative side, Mr. AOW is losing too much weight. I need to supplement the facility's meals with food from home. He tires easily when he's eating, so I do feed him some of the time so that he gets enough nutrition, particularly protein. A kind friend dropped off some chicken noodle soup on Wednesday evening. Mr. AOW loves chicken noodle soup! I'll be taking some to him this evening to supplement the facility's dinner.
Update on October 28 @ 6:15 AM: Today is Mr. AOW's 60th birthday. If at all possible, I'll take him out in the car so that we can meet with friends from the VFW. Mr. AOW knows that we might go out for a while, but he has no idea that a surprise party is planned. If he's unable to go out and about (big rainstorm here), his friends will bring the party to him.
Mr. AOW is taking a lot of interest in and attending the various activities at the nursing home. They offer movies, crafts, bingo, word puzzles, etc. Every day has three activities! On Friday, there will be a costume party; Mr. AOW will wear his Santa suit.
His appetite yesterday was very good. I also supplemented with a serving of a casserole my neighbor made and Boost protein drink.
Mr. AOW is making good progress with his various therapies at the nursing home. The affected leg does support weight! Unfortunately, the affected arm and hand remain useless; this may be the permanent paralysis the doctor warned us about from the beginning. In fact, the stroke began with the loss of use of the left hand. The anosognosia is a blessing in that Mr. AOW is not depressed or discouraged.
Update on November 3 @ 5:30 AM: Yesterday, the nursing home projected that Mr. AOW will be released in 2-3 weeks, sooner if the health-insurance company cuts off the payments to the nursing home. I'm busy now scrambling for home medical equipment, including a hospital bed, a high-backed wheelchair (trunk support needed at this poinst), and other items. Mostly, I'm given lists of providers and have to do all the navigation of the maze on my own. In addition, along with a crew coming to build a wheelchair ramp, this weekend I have am trying to schedule a group to come into the house and move furniture upstairs and into the piano room so as to make space in the living room for the hospital bed and the behemoth of a wheelchair. I can see how this coming weekend will be spent. **sigh**
Mr. AOW was in a brighter mood yesterday. As usual, he participated in all opportunities for therapy, and he even went to a couple of the crafts activities although he got ticked off that he couldn't keep the products: deviled eggs and cookies.
This evening, Mr. AOW and I will board a handicapped taxi and venture out to the voting booth. He could have voted via absentee ballot except that I missed by one day the deadline for getting the ballot. **sigh again**
Update on November 8 @ 6:54 AM: Please go to this new thread for recent information about Mr. AOW.
On Saturday evening, news reached me that the husband of one of my dearest friends on the web passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Due to Mr. AOW's circumstances, today is the first opportunity I've had to write a posting.
Mr. Z, a wonderful man whom the Lord now holds in the palm of His hand, made his wife's life complete. I know this fact because Z centered her life around him. The flower the Lily of the Valley, pictured on the upper left of this blog post, represents "You've Made My Life Complete." Indeed, Mr. Z made Z's life complete! Nothing prepares us for the loss of our mate. Nothing.
The words we offer will be heard in a haze of shock. That shock takes a lifetime to recover from — if indeed one can call the process recovery. The world really does stop for a long while.
May the Lord comfort Z, whom I consider my dear friend. May He strengthen her in every way.
May the Lord use us, Z's friends, many of whom have never met either Mr. or Mrs. Z face to face, as a means of comfort and solace. May He guide her to call upon us her friends whenever she needs to do so.
May the Lord give my dear friend Z the sure and certain knowledge that, one day, she and her beloved Mr. Z will reunite for all eternity.
On Sunday, October 12, Poe will get a proper sendoff, albeit many years after his death:
...The body [lay] in state for 12 hours Wednesday at the Poe House, a tiny rowhome in a gritty section of west Baltimore. Visitors are invited to pay their respects.
Following the viewing [was] an all-night vigil at Poe's grave at Westminster Burying Ground. Anyone who [attended had] the opportunity to deliver a tribute.
On Sunday morning, a horse-drawn carriage will transport the replica of Poe's body from his former home to the graveyard for the funeral.
Actor John Astin, best known as Gomez Addams on TV's "The Addams Family," will serve as master of ceremonies.
"It's sort of a way of saying, 'Well, Eddie, your first funeral wasn't a very good one, but we're going to try to make it up to you, because we have so much respect for you,'" said Astin, who toured as Poe for years in a one-man show.
Eulogies will follow from actors portraying, among others, Sarah Helen Whitman, a minor poet whom Poe courted after his wife's death, and Walt Whitman, who attended the dedication of Poe's new gravestone in 1875 but didn't feel well enough to speak. Writers and artists influenced by Poe, including Arthur Conan Doyle and Alfred Hitchcock, will also be represented....
John Astin, from his one-man Poe show "Once Upon A Midnight," as Edgar Allan Poe reading "The Raven":
I twice saw John Astin perform as Edgar Allan Poe. The above video doesn't do Mr. Astin justice. The man actually morphed into Edgar Allan Poe on the stage!
I must also say that John Astin is one nice guy. When I went up to him and introduced myself as a teacher, telling him that I'd had a huge crush on Gomez Addams back during the days of the television show The Addams Family, he laughed heartily and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
Mr. Astin does look back upon The Addams Family with great affection. Below is the opening theme for that show, from forty-five years ago. Can you sing along?
Read more about John Astin at Wiki. He presently teaches at Johns Hopkins University, so being master of ceremonies at Poe's funeral won't be much of a commute for him.
At Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer makes the following comment:
The fact that mosques were included will no doubt be used to "prove" that Ahamed Ali is just a garden-variety lunatic, and not an Islamic jihadist. And he may indeed be a lunatic and not a jihadist. But with the numerous incidents of violence against mosques in Iraq and elsewhere, perpetrated by Muslims of opposing sects, the fact that his notebook contained diagrams of mosques doesn't indicate anything conclusive.
Question for my readers: How much coverage has the story received?
From what I can glean, a federal investigation is ongoing.
The Obama Administration has now actually co-sponsored an anti-free speech resolution at the United Nations. Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council last Friday, the resolution, cosponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, calls on states to condemn and criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
Last year the Secretary General of the [Organization of the Islamic Conference] chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu issued a warning: “We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed” regarding free speech about Islam and terrorism. And he reported success: “The official West and its public opinion are all now well-aware of the sensitivities of these issues. They have also started to look seriously into the question of freedom of expression from the perspective of its inherent responsibility, which should not be overlooked.”
For the first time, an American President has bowed to the OIC’s demands and taken cognizance of that “responsibility”...
Numerous bloggers and columnists have written reams about BHO's Olympic fail. Many of these writers have pointed out the personality flaws the Obamas showed in Copenhagen.
Despite all the noise about this recent failure, we do need to remember that BHO's Olympic fail is not an impeachable offense.
Nevertheless, the attitude of both BHO and his wife last week in Copenhagen does reveal traits which should cause all but the most dedicated Kool-aid drinkers to take notice. George F. Will wrote in yesterday's Washington Post one of the best commentaries on the topic. Excerpt from "An Olympic Ego Trip":
In the Niagara of words spoken and written about the Obamas' trip to Copenhagen, too few have been devoted to the words they spoke there. Their separate speeches to the International Olympic Committee were so dreadful, and in such a characteristic way, that they might be symptomatic of something that has serious implications for American governance.
Both Obamas gave heartfelt speeches about . . . themselves. Although the working of the committee's mind is murky, it could reasonably have rejected Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games on aesthetic grounds -- unless narcissism has suddenly become an Olympic sport.
Mr. Will concludes his essay as follows:
Presidents often come to be characterized by particular adjectives: "honest" Abe Lincoln, "Grover the Good" Cleveland, "energetic" Theodore Roosevelt, "idealistic" Woodrow Wilson, "Silent Cal" Coolidge, "confident" FDR, "likable" Ike Eisenhower. Less happily, there were "Tricky Dick" Nixon and "Slick Willie" Clinton. Unhappy will be a president whose defining adjective is "vain."
Richard Cohen's column in yesterday's Washington Post also addresses BHO's Olympic fail, but from a different perspective. Excerpt from "Does Obama Have the Backbone?":
Barack Obama's trip to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago for the Olympics would have been a dumb move whatever the outcome.But as it turned out (an airy dismissal would not be an unfair description), it poses some questions about his presidency that are way more important than the proper venue for synchronized swimming. The first, and to my mind most important, is whether Obama knows who he is.
This business of self-knowledge is no minor issue. It bears greatly on the single most crucial issue facing this young and untested president: Afghanistan.Already, we have his choice for Afghanistan commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, taking the measure of his commander in chief and publicly telling him what to do. This MacArthuresque star turn called for a Trumanesque response, but Obama offered nothing of the kind. Instead, he used McChrystal as a prop, adding a bit of four-star gravitas to that silly trip to Copenhagen by having the general meet with him there.
This is the president we now have: He inspires lots of affection but not a lot of awe. It is the latter, though, that matters most in international affairs, where the greatest and most gut-wrenching tests await Obama.
Mr. Cohen's column yesterday concludes as follows:
But the ultimate in realism is for the president to gauge himself and who he is: Does he have the stomach and commitment for what is likely to continue to be an unpopular war? Will he send additional troops, but hedge by not sending enough -- so that the dying will be in vain? What does he believe, and will he ask Americans to die for it? Only he knows the answers to these questions. But based on his zigzagging so far and the suggestion from the Copenhagen trip that the somber seriousness of the presidency has yet to sink in, we have reason to wonder.
George F. Will and Richard Cohen are not close on the political spectrum with regard to many issues, with the former leaning right and the latter leaning left. Nevertheless, we see that both columnists recognize that BHO is not serving in a Presidential manner and that he lacks qualities necessary for governance.
BHO's political honeymoon is over. Yet to come is the divorce.
In a few weeks, Virginians will go to the polls to elect a new governor. Typically, this odd-year election is a good barometer of the upcoming mid-term Congressional elections. In a short time, we'll learn if the divorce proceedings have begun.
Note to friends and family: CLICK HERE for updates on Mr. AOW.
Previous posts about Mr. AOW's stroke are here and here.
Recent information below the fold. Click "Turn the page."
October 6: Arriving around 7:30 AM and leaving around 7:30 PM, I spent all day yesterday at the rehab hospital with Mr. AOW. I had the opportunity to confer with both his doctors and all three of the therapists (physical, occupational, speech) and observed all the therapy sessions.
In a some situations, I gave the therapists some hints as to how better to work with Mr. AOW. For example, the occupational therapist didn't want to challenge him enough with a poster she uses to have patients identify common objects; she thought he was too tired and incapable of the task. I held up the poster and asked Mr. AOW what the pictures represented, and he got all but one correct. I also indicated to the therapists a better way for Mr. AOW to work with the mirrors so that Mr. AOW would cooperate better.
I was very proactive with all the medical personnel I met. I think they were happy to see me leave!
Before lunch and after lunch, I took Mr. AOW outside the center to the "garden" so that he could sit in the sun and, as Mr. AOW said, "touch something besides bed sheets."
Now for some medical information....Mr. AOW had a large hemorrhagic stroke on the right side of the thalamic region. Read a little about the thalamus HERE and detailed medical information HERE (Type in "thalamic stroke" with the quotes in the search box in the upper left corner, and read the article entitled "Thalamic Hemorrhage"). A detailed diagram and more explanation are HERE.
The thalamus (from Greek θάλαμος = room, chamber, IPA= /ˈθæləməs/) is a midline paired symmetrical structure within the brain of vertebrate animals, including humans. It is between the cerebral cortex and the midbrain, both in terms of its location and its neurological connections. Its function includes relaying sensation, special sense and motor signals to the cerebral cortex, along with the regulation of consciousness, sleep and alertness. The thalamus surrounds the third ventricle.
The thalamus is known to have multiple functions. Deduced from the layout of the isothalamus, it is generally believed to act as a translator for which various "prethalamic" inputs are processed into a form readable by the cerebral cortex. The thalamus is believed to both process and relay sensory information selectively to various parts of the cerebral cortex, as one thalamic point may reach one or several regions in the cortex.
Many different functions are linked to various regions of the thalamus. This is the case for many of the sensory systems (except for the olfactory system), such as the auditory, somatic, visceral, gustatory and visual systems where localized lesions provoke specific sensory deficits. A major role of the thalamus is devoted to "motor" systems....
We don't yet know the extent of any permanent damage. Typically, hemorrhagic strokes result in less permanent damage than blockage strokes.
At this point, Mr. AOW has left side paralysis and left neglect, the latter meaning that he doesn't know that he has a left arm. As of last night when I left, he was getting "reacquainted" with his left arm. Balance is an issue with left neglect. Another issue: he's unable to turn his eyes upward; however, the first several days after the stroke, he couldn't open his eyes at all or bring them both center, so some progress is evident. The nystagmus has nearly resolved.
Complicating Mr. AOW's recovery is the brain surgery Mr. AOW had in 1993 for acoustic neuroma, left side; the nerves on the left side of his face and mouth have been compromised every since that surgery. Furthermore, he has no left-side vestibular nerve, complicating even more Mr. AOW's trouble with body balance and correct head position.
When Mr. AOW is released from the rehab center, he will require around-the-clock supervision. Therefore, he'll be released to a skilled nursing facility. The insurance policy will allow for 60 days in that kind of facility.
October 7 @ 7:36 AM: This morning, Mr. AOW had the nurse call me twice so that he could speak to me. He also called once on his own. He's having a pity party right now and called to say, "Goodbye." Years ago, my grandmother after a series of strokes said similar things. Anyway, here's another roller-coaster ride.
October 10 @ 11:40 AM: Mr. AOW is making significant progress: fewer mood swings, some trunk-muscles activity, a bit of movement in the left leg. His vision has improved somewhat, but still leaves much to be desired. He does get disoriented; for example, on Wednesday, he said, "I feel like I'm in California." Yesterday, he felt as if he were in one of the outbuildings on our property. Mr. loves to visit the garden area at the hospital. I am encouraging all visitors to take him outside when the weather is nice. The left arm and hand remain useless. As he is left-handed, the left neglect is a serious issue. To sign the application for Social Security Disability yesterday, Mr. AOW could merely "make his mark" with his right hand and have witnesses certify. According to the doctors, nurses, and therapists, Mr. AOW is making excellent progress, particularly with regard to speech and swallowing. Clearly, however, he is not yet able to come home and will not be able to do so for some time.
October 12 @ 9:20 AM: Mr. AOW complained yesterday of pain in his left leg. Read about pain after a thalamic stroke HERE. The information is stomach churning! I myself suffer from nerve pain ever since the car accident I had in 2005, so I know how debilitating such pain is. I plan to ask the care team today as to how they plan to manage this new development with Mr. AOW and will update this post later today or early tomorrow morning.
Note to friends and family: Additional updates on Mr. AOW will be added to this post.
The United States Has Given Up Control Of The Internet
(Two posts today. Please scroll down to the post below for a humorous graphic)
The consequences remain to be seen.
The decision was Washington-based. From this article in the Guardian:
After complaints about American dominance of the internet and growing disquiet in some parts of the world, Washington has said it will relinquish some control over the way the network is run and allow foreign governments more of a say in the future of the system.
Icann – the official body that ultimately controls the development of the internet thanks to its oversight of web addresses such as .com, .net and .org – said today [September 30] that it was ending its agreement with the US government.
The deal, part of a contract negotiated with the US department of commerce, effectively pushes California-based Icann towards a new status as an international body with greater representation from companies and governments around the globe.
The new agreement comes into force immediately. It replaces the old version which had been in place since 1998 and was scheduled to expire today [September 30].
"We expect more active involvement from governments, a higher level of participation from many governments and we're already hearing about more governments joining the team…
Read the entire article here. The article makes the kumbaya sound attractive.
But just how will Islamic countries react to sites critical of Islam? And how much power will foreign governments have over the web?
Additional reading: this post at Atlas Shrugs in which Pamela Geller says the following:
If not America, who? The US, beacon of life, liberty, and stalwart defender of individual rights, is giving up "ownership" of the internet. The new agreement gives other countries, and the UN the ability to set internet use policies. Wee, dear friends ..... for those whose only shot of communication will be snuffed out.
It is amazing how much damage to our rights can be done in such a short period of time.
Watch for Sharia law to find its way into this.
China will say no to their dissidents.
Islam will say no and work block sites that attempt to reveal their bloody plans.
It was our extraordinary gift to the world ............... and like some depraved drunk we toss it away and relinquish control to the vultures and destroyers. We kept it free.
Despite its many flaws, the Internet has been a beacon of truth and of information. What if that light gets dimmed? The light will dim or possibly completely go out if the "world community" takes complete control of the web!
Also see this: "U.S. co-sponsors anti-free speech resolution at the UN."
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