Thursday, September 26, 2013

How Much Did It Go Up This Month?

Every month lately I have my IgA level tested.  Ever since the cancerous protein came back, signalling the end of my remission, it has been climbing.

Between October '12 and January '13 it went up 41 points.  Between January '14 and March '13 it jumped another 41 points.  Yikes.  At that rate I was going to sail right past the upper level of normal (normal ranges run from 50 or 80 to 350 or 400, depending on the scale).

After March it went up more slowly, but it was going up.  The month I took the curcumin religiously it only went up 2 points.  Since then it's been spotty.

Every month friends and family hold their breath with me - "How much did it go up?"

So I just listened to Karen's voice went DOWN!!!  From 319 in August to 310 on Monday.

I hear Nelly singing "Ride Wit Me" in my head "Hey!  Must be the Milky Ways."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Remind Me Never To Use The Restroom At Sears

My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears

My grandmother puts her feet in the sink
        of the bathroom at Sears
to wash them in the ritual washing for prayer,

Yeah, I hear you - "Maggie, what the ...."

Well folks this is the poem that the principal of Concord-Carlisle decided would be an appropriate for a school wide reading on.........September 11, 2013.  Yeah, that Concord.

Did I mention that the kid that was supposed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance wasn't available, so they skipped it?

Oh and also, the representative of the school committee is "disappointed" that people thought that poem was inappropriate.

What's above is just the opening.  Want another sample?

And if you Americans knew anything
about civilization and cleanliness,
you'd make wider washbins, anyway
My grandmother knows one culture—the right one,


Friday, September 13, 2013

Got To Sit Outside Today!!!

Yay me!

I've been spending a lot of time indoors in the new place in Craigsville.  Mostly because I sleep more than you can imagine.  Also because there are so many cleaning projects in this place, it's been closed up for three years.  But also because of the heat here.

It's not like it doesn't get beastly hot in Boston.  But when it does I go to the beach or the Clougherty pool at the top of Bunker Hill.  I love to lounge in the sun.  My Marine refers to me as a housecat because I love it so much.

But there is no water element nearby.  And no dependable public transit to reach the nearest public pool......21 miles away!  The hose doesn't even reach around to the back of the house, lol.

But today at noon it was 69 degrees!  Whew.  I was getting pretty pale.

The outdoor space here is pretty sad, just like the inside was when we moved in.  But it has great possibilities.  This is a view of the back of the house.  There is a small well built deck that we need to refinish.  As you can see, I also need a screen door.  But the magic screen is batter than nothing.  The insects here are very serious.
This is a view from the deck going up.  The yard goes up this hill and over.  Lot's of space.  Lot's of privacy.
And this is a partial view of the bleak front yard. 
  But I can't do anything outside until I finish inside.  I know once I start trimming bushes, planting bulbs, carving paths......I won't go back inside!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Today Is Important

For many reasons.  But today let us turn our attention to Benghazi.  We need answers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Battle of Lake Erie

"We have met the enemy and they are ours" - Oliver Hazard Perry's famous message to General Harrison after the American victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, 200 years ago today. 

Battle of Lake Erie: Building the Fleet in the Wilderness

Thursday, September 05, 2013

My Dear Stella

My fun on FaceBook has irritated my friend Stella.  I have "shared" every derisive post on the fact that some party line hacks in the Democratic party who howled over "W" and Iraq are now backing intervention in Syria.  I have repeated every petty, pithy comment on their hypocrisy.

You can't be surprised.  Everyone knows that my most finely attuned sense is my sense of schadenfreude!

But I am well aware that not all liberals back military intervention in Syria.  I know that not all Democrats blindly follow President Obama.  I know that the Americans who voted for Barack Obama are not a monolith unquestioningly following his lead.

Mathematically that would be impossible.  50% of voters chose to re-elect Obama over 48% backing Romney.  Yet Real Clear Polling averages 51.3% oppose intervention on Syria's civil war with only 34% favoring it.  And I have heard numbers putting that support as low as 19%.  Politician after politician talks about calls and emails coming into his/her office against intervention.  I've heard no one discuss a flood of calls in favor.  I think that is even more telling because those people made an effort as opposed to just answering the phone.

I understand that my stand on Syria puts me in bed with and Code Pink.

I further understand that John Boehner the nominally Republican Speaker of the House, backs the President here.  But Boehner's actions don't move me.  He's a boob.  He's not a true republican or a true conservative.  And ack, the crying!  Don't get me started.  Boehner is a non-entity in this discussion.

Facebook is for fun and snark.  Please scroll through my timeline.  A pic I shared last night jokes about Pope Francis, who I respect and admire, being a bad catholic for sitting in the back at Mass.

You know I loathe John Kerry to the point that seeing his visage gives me agita.  You know I am disgusted that Obama talked smack about "W" and Iraq for years.  But now that he is sitting in the hot seat, things are different.  Yet, he still takes the occasional pot shot at "W".  Have you heard anything from "W" in terms of a counter volley?  No.

So when we make vicious fun of those involved here, that's what it's about.  Never, never about you.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Can I Umm, Get Me A Red Line Here?*

Sudan: Letter to Human Rights Council on the Human Rights Situation in Sudan

"Two years after the secession of South Sudan, armed conflict continues to devastate large parts of Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile. "

Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Nicholas Kristoff reporting for the New York Times
ABGADAM REFUGEE CAMP, Chad — ASIYA TAHIR, 20, had her 4-month-old baby, Mariam, on her back in April when three armed men in Sudanese military uniforms seized her and her sister at a well in Darfur.
The soldiers beat Asiya and then — according to both sisters who were interviewed separately — pulled Mariam off her back and laughingly checked to see if she was a boy or a girl. Grabbing Mariam by one arm, a soldier flung her into the distance.
“You’re lucky she’s a girl,” Asiya remembers one of the soldiers saying. “If that were a boy, we would have cut his throat.”
Not that I would expect our SecState to be much help on Darfur.  After all, when we had Khartoum at the negotiating table in 2010, Kerry was the one who brought that Administration's offer to "decouple" the issue of Darfur from the talks.
The UN estimates that as many as 300,000 have died in Darfur.  No they weren't gassed, just shot, displaced, starved and left in camps to die from preventable disease.
The asterisk in the blog post title is to explain the poor grammar.  I am jeeringly using some of John Kerry's own words.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Mismanaging Syria

All war is ugly.

Chemical weapons are a crime against humanity.

However, President Obama has mismanaged this situation and is on the way to making it worse.

I just watched CNN's State of the Union - as well as Kerry on "Meet The Press".  Later, I will catch a repeat of FoxNewsSunday.

But so far several things really bother me.

First is SecState Kerry and others such as Rep Eliot Engel, D-NY trying to drive support by talking about Syrian children who have been gassed.  Do not try to manipulate me this way.  I care about those children, but no more or less than the children Assad has killed with bullets and bombs.  I also care about those who have been orphaned and displaced.  How about the children killed by rebel forces?  Don't tell me the answer is to bomb and kill more Syrian children.

Oh and when Kerry makes his passionate statements in front of this picture
Just know it's a lie.  This isn't a depiction of the aftermath of a Syrian chemical weapon attack.  It's not the result of anything Assad has ever done.  It's Marco Di Lauro's "The Aftermath of Saddam" in 2003.

Then there is the "we must back Obama now that he has committed" argument.  I find this best exemplified by former diplomat and current JFK School professor R. Nicholas Burns (a guy who I have agreed with on some things in the past).

"The congress has to vote in favor of this resolution or else the credibility of the United States as a global power in the Middle East is going to be vastly reduced."

Yeah, no.  Saying Congress must blindly follow whatever nonsense and poor foreign policy POTUS comes up with is bullshit.

And when some talking head tells you that it's a crime against humanity - and it is - so the US must handle it.  Remind them that's what the UN and other world bodies are for.  If this was sooooo important, where was Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations when it was brought up?  Oh, yeah, Samantha Power was vacationing in Ireland.

Well then, they'll say it's a US national interest.  Really?  Please define it.  Syria can gas every last Syrian and it will not effect the US as a nation.  So absent a vital national security interest, the answer is in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the US Constitution.  One would think someone who has referred to himself as a "constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School" would understand that.

Meet The Press had a segment on the horrors of refugee camps.  I've never seen a nice one and the UN says this is a huge crisis.  OK, I'm with you there.  I want to help there.  No one is going to argue that.  Send aid.  We're good at that.  But don't blow smoke and tell me that bombing strategic targets in Syria is going to make any difference in refugee camps.  These camps were there before the chemical attacks.  Syrians are fleeing the fighting overall.

Finally, people will tell you President Obama "wants to send a message".  Ok, I understand "gunboat diplomacy". Currently we have USS Gravely DDG107, USS Barry DDG52, USS Mahan DDG72, USS Ramage DDG61, and USS San Antonio LPD-17 in the Med.  USS Stout DDG55 is heading over to relieve the Barry.  So tell me, if DDGs deliver Tomahawks and LPD deliver US Marines.......what is your message?