Posts Tagged ‘The Washington Post

25
Feb
16

2.25.16 … You are now entering the mission field …

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“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 15/40), All Saints Episcopal Church -Gastonia  NC, Shakespeare and rosemary, Sandy Hook massacre: 

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Cold wind
Bright sunshine
Rosemary… Shakespeare quote
Quiet
Butterfly motif
Brilliant blue sky with bright white clouds
Dead leaves on the path which rustle when you walk through
Prayers for the children of Sandy Hook to whom this labyrinth dedicated

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As I walked I rubbed some rosemary in my hands and I thought about Shakespeare’s quote …

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“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Source: Quote by William Shakespeare: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray …”

And I smiled  as I exited All Saints’ parking lot. 🙂

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2.25.16

Fireball,  Atlantic Ocean,  Feb. 6, 2016:

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On Feb. 6, at about 14:00 UTC, a tiny chunk of interplanetary material plunged into Earth’s atmosphere and burned up—likely exploding—about 30 kilometers above the Atlantic Ocean. The energy released was equivalent to the detonation of 13,000 tons of TNT, making this the largest such event since the (much larger) Chelyabinsk blast in February 2013. OK, so first, off: Don’t panic! As impacts go, this was pretty small.* After all, you didn’t even hear about until weeks after it occurred. Events this size aren’t too big a concern. Had it happened over a populated area it, would’ve rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don’t think it would’ve done any real damage.

Source: Fireball over Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 6, 2016.

Singing show tunes,  fight off dementia,  study – NY Daily News:

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The hills are alive with the sound of music, which could help people with Alzheimer’s stave off the effects of the debilitating disease. A study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favorite show tunes. Researchers working with elderly residents at an East Coast care home found in a four-month long study found that people who sang their favorite songs showed a marked improvement compared to those who just listened. Among the songs sung during 50-minute sessions were hits from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music.” The most improvement was among those sufferers with moderate to severe dementia.

Source: Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia: study – NY Daily News

 

Psychic Archeology, Atlas Obscura:

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Despite its many skeptics, the concept of psychic archeology proved impossible to dislodge from the discipline’s fringes, reappearing in sensational cases every few decades with Frederick Bligh Bond cited as its founding authority. Archaeologist Philip Rahtz famously called Glastonbury “the mecca of all irrationality,” a paradise for “hippies, weirdos, drop-outs, and psychos.” The fringe practice pioneered at Glastonbury has spread to tourist sites around the world; countless cities promote entertaining ghost tours based on purported revelations from the dead. Encountering a “presence” from the past can be far more engaging for some visitors than reading a history book. The knowledge that it’s part of a rehearsed spectacle competes with the thrill of a first-hand experience to produce a tantalizing sense of possibility. Bond tried to bring that sense of expansive possibility into the realm of scientific fact. His standard of proof was different from that of spiritualists in his time, and probably from most modern ghost tours: psychic archeology was supposed to go beyond sensational apparitions to develop a deep and meaningful connection with “that greater field of thought and experience which we term the Past.”

Source: Psychic Archeology, Or How to Dig Up the Dead With Their Own Advice | Atlas Obscura

 

Justice Scalia, International Order of St. Hubertus, secretive society of elite hunters, The Washington Post:

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After Scalia’s death, Poindexter told reporters that he met Scalia at a “sports group” gathering in Washington. The U.S. chapter of the International Order of St. Hubertus lists a suite on M Street NW in the District as its headquarters, although the address is only a mailbox in a United Parcel Service store. [How St. Hubert’s encounter with a deer inspired the society] The International Order of St. Hubertus, according to its website, is a “true knightly order in the historical tradition.” In 1695, Count Franz Anton von Sporck founded the society in Bohemia, which is in modern-day Czech Repu

Source: Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters – The Washington Post

 

15
Mar
15

3.15.15 … the Ides of March … lawnmowers and sabbath … Everyone succumbs to finitude … and I’m worried about lawnmowers … I wept …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Advent Labyrinth Walks (23/40),  Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte:

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Spring … At 9:20 am, It’s 55 and sunny and spring is trying to burst one scene.  The birds are wild.  I see two robins and hear even more.
There is a helicopter  overhead … I always wonder why. And an airplane.
As i walk, I realize that it is very close to white noise surrounding me It is very peaceful.
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The chimes are gently ringing, gently blowing in the wind, and the water is rushing in the fountain.  But then the robins go wild.  I played the robin call on my iPhone app as I walk.  I feel like Mary Poppins.  I want the birds to come closer,  come visit.
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The sunlight really played with the arbor.
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But then my peace was broken.  A lawn mower roars to work at the house at the backside of the labyrinth …
And so my mind wander to the concept of “sabbath.”  Since I am studying  sabbath at TMBS,  I realize l I am a very irritated with the lawn mower owner/operator. I think that, out of respect, the neighbors, well everybody, but especially neighbors to a church, should not mow their lawns on Sunday morning during worship hours.
It was interesting that lawnmower roar basically pulled together two concepts  that I am researching this week: Sabbath and dignity of difference. I feel sure that the neighbor had no idea the negative impact of his using his mower during worship.  In all likelihood he’s never observed Sabbath or never observed it quietly. He may even be mowing his lawn quickly before he goes to church at 10 o’clock.
Just cramming it in one more thing … busyness …
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And now a few from my day … Beware the Ides of March ... What are ides?

ides

īdz/ noun

(in the ancient Roman calendar) a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months), from which other dates were calculated.

Becky, a high school friend who lives in Rome posted this today:

ROME 3.15.15

Beware the Ides of March. On our way home from the Sunday farmers market we came across this reenactment of the murder of Julius Caesar in Largo Argentina, where it happened 2059 years ago.

And this from Sandra Boynton on Facebook …

Boynton Ides of March

It’s not easy to beware the Ides of March when you’re not exactly sure what an Ide is.

Camino  Frances, The Way, Are You A Pilgrim?: And, yes, I want to go back …

I hope this ‘Special Preview’ captured more of my vision of the universality of the Camino and be a wonderful evocation of the best in humanity. What was spiritually uplifting, beyond the religious aspect of it, for me was meeting people from all over the world and realizing people are all the same, and that there is goodness to rejoice in.

via Are You A Pilgrim? Special Preview | Are You A Pilgrim? (¿Es Usted Un Peregrino?)

Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time, The Washington Post, finitude, time, tortoise v hare, verb conjugation, death, pluperfect state: I wept reading it.

There are two strategies to cutting the time short, like the tortoise and the hare. The hare moves as fast as possible, hands a blur, instruments clattering, falling to the floor; the skin slips open like a curtain, the skull flap is on the tray before the bone dust settles. But the opening might need to be expanded a centimeter here or there because it’s not optimally placed. The tortoise proceeds deliberately, with no wasted movements, measuring twice, cutting once. No step of the operation needs revisiting; everything proceeds in orderly fashion. If the hare makes too many minor missteps and has to keep adjusting, the tortoise wins. If the tortoise spends too much time planning each step, the hare wins.

Verb conjugation became muddled. Which was correct? “I am a neurosurgeon,” “I was a neurosurgeon,” “I had been a neurosurgeon before and will be again”? Graham Greene felt life was lived in the first 20 years and the remainder was just reflection. What tense was I living in? Had I proceeded, like a burned-out Greene character, beyond the present tense and into the past perfect? The future tense seemed vacant and, on others’ lips, jarring. I recently celebrated my 15th college reunion; it seemed rude to respond to parting promises from old friends, “We’ll see you at the 25th!” with “Probably not!”

Yet there is dynamism in our house. Our daughter was born days after I was released from the hospital. Week to week, she blossoms: a first grasp, a first smile, a first laugh. Her pediatrician regularly records her growth on charts, tick marks of her progress over time. A brightening newness surrounds her. As she sits in my lap smiling, enthralled by my tuneless singing, an incandescence lights the room.

Time for me is double-edged: Every day brings me further from the low of my last cancer relapse, but every day also brings me closer to the next cancer recurrence — and eventually, death. Perhaps later than I think, but certainly sooner than I desire. There are, I imagine, two responses to that realization. The most obvious might be an impulse to frantic activity: to “live life to its fullest,” to travel, to dine, to achieve a host of neglected ambitions. Part of the cruelty of cancer, though, is not only that it limits your time, it also limits your energy, vastly reducing the amount you can squeeze into a day. It is a tired hare who now races. But even if I had the energy, I prefer a more tortoiselike approach. I plod, I ponder, some days I simply persist.

Everyone succumbs to finitude. I suspect I am not the only one who reaches this pluperfect state. Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past. The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present. Money, status, all the vanities the preacher of Ecclesiastes described, hold so little interest: a chasing after wind, indeed.

Yet one thing cannot be robbed of her futurity: my daughter, Cady. I hope I’ll live long enough that she has some memory of me. Words have a longevity I do not. I had thought I could leave her a series of letters — but what would they really say? I don’t know what this girl will be like when she is 15; I don’t even know if she’ll take to the nickname we’ve given her. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.

That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.

This article is republished with the permission of Stanford Medicine magazine.  Its author, Stanford University neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, died Monday night at the age of 37

via Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time – The Washington Post.

Another somber note …

Death isn’t cruel, merely terribly good at his job. Vale #TerryPratchett

via Death isn’t cruel, merely terribly good at his job. Vale #TerryPratchett (with images, tweets) · ECUNews · Storify.

3.15.15
18
Jan
14

1.18.14 … THIS OLD HOUSE is my old house … my how it has changed! …

kith/kin, favorite places/favorite spaces:  I received a message asking, “Isn’t the before picture your old house?”  Yes!  I loved this house, 2247 (1985-1993) but MY house was only the right 1/3.  And I love  it that the next owner has loved this house even more than I did.

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks, recipes: I am going to try this!!

Photo: Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks</p><br />
<p> If you love cabbage, you are going to freak out about how good this is. Now, if you are on the fence about cabbage, you need to try this because this might be the recipe that converts you to a cabbage lover.</p><br />
<p> This is a simple side dish worthy of a dinner party and couldn’t be easier to make. Four ingredients, a couple of minutes to prepare and toss in the oven for an hour.</p><br />
<p> Ingredients<br /><br />
 1 (approx 2lb) head of organic green cabbage, cut into 1″ thick slices<br /><br />
 1.5 tablespoons olive oil<br /><br />
 2 to 3 large garlic cloves, smashed<br /><br />
 kosher salt<br /><br />
 freshly ground black pepper<br /><br />
 spray olive oil OR non-stick cooking spray</p><br />
<p> Instructions:<br /><br />
 1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Pull outer leaf off cabbage (it’s usually dirty and nasty looking), cut cabbage from top to bottom (bottom being root) into 1″ thick slices.</p><br />
<p> 2. Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.</p><br />
<p> 3. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.</p><br />
<p> 4. Finally, sprinkle each side with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.</p><br />
<p> 5. Roast on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown and crispy. Serve hot and Enjoy!</p><br />
<p> ★★SHARE TO SAVE★★</p><br />
<p> I'd like to invite you all to Join our Facebook weight loss group, it's Free for everyone! Lots of healthy recipes, tips on how to lose weight and become healthier and more! Come check it out!!<br /><br />
 join us here---> Health In Your Hands       </p><br />
<p> Feel free to follow me or send me a friend request > Lisa Woelke  I am always posting awesome stuff!

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks

If you love cabbage, you are going to freak out about how good this is. Now, if you are on the fence about cabbage, you need to try this because this might be the recipe that converts you to a cabbage lover.

This is a simple side dish worthy of a dinner party and couldn’t be easier to make. Four ingredients, a couple of minutes to prepare and toss in the oven for an hour.

Ingredients

1 (approx 2lb) head of organic green cabbage, cut into 1″ thick slices

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 large garlic cloves, smashed

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

spray olive oil OR non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Pull outer leaf off cabbage (it’s usually dirty and nasty looking), cut cabbage from top to bottom (bottom being root) into 1″ thick slices.

2. Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.

3. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.

4. Finally, sprinkle each side with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

5. Roast on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown and crispy. Serve hot and Enjoy!

★★SHARE TO SAVE★★

I\’d like to invite you all to Join our Facebook weight loss group, it\’s Free for everyone! Lots of healthy recipes, tips on how to lose weight and become healthier and more! Come check it out!!

join us here—> Health In Your Hands

Feel free to follow me or send me a friend request > Lisa Woelke I am always posting awesome stuff!

40 Maps, the World, A Sheep No More, visual learners, Google Street View,  lists:  I found these fascinating …

If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and info graphics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.

Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.

1. Where Google Street View is Available

Chris Christie, the New Jersey narcissist,  The Washington Post:  I want to like this Republican, but I keep asking myself, “Can’t we do better than this?”

Even in disgrace, the New Jersey governor — and the nominal front-runner for the 2016 GOP nomination — managed to turn his nationally televised news conference into a forum on the virtues of his favorite subject: himself.

Use of the word “I”: 692 times.

I’m: 119.

I’ve: 67.

Me: 83.

My/myself: 134.

When Christie delivered the keynote address at the 2012 nomination, the criticism was that he spoke more of himself than of the nominee, Mitt Romney. Now we see that even in adversity, Christie regards himself as the hero.

This tendency is what is likeliest to doom Christie’s presidential hopes — more than the details of “Bridge-gate” or the question of whether he is a bully. Christie’s greatest obstacles are his own self-regard and his blindness to the possibility that he might have erred.

via Dana Milbank: Chris Christie, the New Jersey narcissist – The Washington Post.

USPS, history, Saving Lincoln: I loved this n the Saving Lincoln FB page.  And loved BW’s comment: “Our grandfather engaged in a similar, yet far less concerning practice during his traveling days in the 20’s. he traveled all over the country for Liberty Mutual. This was pre-passenger air travel. He and his colleagues would fly on planes delivering mail. Their fare was determined by their weight!”

In 1913 it was legal to mail children. With stamps attached to their clothing, children rode trains to their destinations, accompanied by letter carriers. One newspaper reported it cost fifty-three cents for parents to mail their daughter to her grandparents for a family visit. As news stories and photos popped up around the country, it didn’t take long to get a law on the books making it illegal to send children through the mail.

With thanks to Thomas Doty.

via Saving Lincoln.

28
Jun
13

6.28.13 … the end of ‘ick’ …

Bert and Ernie,  LGBT rights,  Gay Marriage, The New Yorker, George Takei, DOMA “ick” factor, The Washington Post:  Legally, I get it, and I agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling.  But why do I have misgivings … this New Yorker cover and George Takei’s editorial, together made me realize it’s my problem.  But for the sake of families and society, I need to get over my “ick” factor, my “visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar.”

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Forty-four years nearly to the day after drag queens stood their ground against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, sparking rioting in New York City and marking the beginning of America’s gay rights movement, our nation’s highest court at last held that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Amazingly, since Stonewall, the question of LGBT rights has evolved from whether homosexuals should have any place in our society to whether gay and lesbian couples should be accorded equal marital stature.

Whenever one group discriminates against another — keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an institution — it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the “ick.” Indeed, the “ick” is often at the base of the politics of exclusion. Just this March, for example, a young woman at an anti-same-sex-marriage rally in Washington was asked to write down, in her own words, why she was there. Her answer: “I can’t see myself being with a woman. Eww.”

These words are outrageous today, but only because we no longer react with disgust at the notion of the races working and sleeping side by side. Because social mores change with each generation, the “ick” is not particularly effective at preventing changes to our institutions. Importantly, same-sex marriage is supported by a strong majority of young people: A recent Field Poll in California showed that 78 percent of voters under 39 favor marriage equality.

Future generations will shake their heads at how narrow, fearful and ignorant we sounded today debating DOMA. Happily, the majority of our justices understood this and did not permit the “ick” to stick.

via George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ – The Washington Post.

18
Apr
13

4.18.13 … bombs = terrorism … “And this warping of perspective is exactly what terrorists aim to achieve. “Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic.”

terror, brain science:  “And this warping of perspective is exactly what terrorists aim to achieve.  ‘Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic.’”

“When people are terrorized, the smartest parts of our brain tend to shut down,” says Dr. Bruce Perry, Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy. (Disclosure:  he and I have written books together).

When the brain is under severe threat, it immediately changes the way it processes information, and starts to prioritize rapid responses. “The normal long pathways through the orbitofrontal cortex, where people evaluate situations in a logical and conscious fashion and [consider] the risks and benefits of different behaviors— that gets short circuited,” says Dr. Eric Hollander, professor of psychiatry at Montefiore/Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York.  Instead, he says, “You have sensory input right through the sensory [regions] and into the amygdala or limbic system.”

Every loud sound suddenly becomes a potential threat, for example, and even mundane circumstances such as a person who avoids eye contact can take on suspicious and ominous meaning and elicit an extreme, alert-ready response. Such informational triage can be essential to surviving traumatic experience, of course.  “Severe threats to well-being activate hard wired circuits in the brain and produce responses that help us survive,” explains Joseph LeDoux, professor of psychology and neuroscience at New York University, “This process is the most important thing for the organism at the moment, and brain resources are monopolized to achieve the goal of coping with the threat.”

But once the immediate threat has passed, this style of thinking can become a hindrance, not a help. “The problem is that often people have these intense reactions and are not able to think about the situation or concept more realistically,” Hollander says.  The fear can become generalized so that ordinary experiences like being in a crowd or seeing a backpack trigger intense anxiety.

And this warping of perspective is exactly what terrorists aim to achieve.  “Terrorists are trying to induce fear and panic,” says Hollander, noting that media coverage that repeats the sounds and images of the events maximizes their impact. The coverage keeps the threat alive and real in people’s minds, and sustains the threat response, despite the fact that the immediate danger has passed. The marathon attacks were particularly damaging, he says, because “All of sudden, there’s trauma associated with what had been a meaningful, communal event.”

It doesn’t help that the most common coping mechanisms can make matters worse. People who live in fear tend to want to sleep, drink alcohol or turn to sedatives to ease their anxiety. But, says Hollander, “It turns out that you are better off staying up than trying to go to sleep.” Sleep tends to consolidate and lay down traumatic memories. And that’s partly why the Israeli army, for example, tries to keep traumatized soldiers awake immediately after a difficult experience and engage them in warm social contact, both of which help reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fortunately, our brains are designed to modulate fear responses and at least 80% of people exposed to a severe traumatic event will not develop PTSD. Studies show that the more support, altruism and connection people share, the lower the risk for the disorder and the easier the recovery. Because such interactions aren’t always easy in the immediate aftermath of a harrowing experience, Hollander is investigating whether medications based on oxytocin— a hormone linked with love and parent/child bonding— might help to ease this connection.

If fear short circuits the brain’s normally logical and reasoned thinking, social support may be important in rerouting those networks back to their normal state. Which is why the selflessness and altruism we see in the wake of terror attacks is often the key to helping us to process and overcome the shock of living through them.

via How Terror Hijacks the Brain | TIME.com.

 terrorism, vocabulary, linguistics:  murky word?

But, in the public discussion, there was already a palpable hunger for the term. “All the right words but one,” was the headline of an analysis by the Defense Media Network. “Only safe assumption: It was terrorism,” another editorial was headlined in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.Within hours of Axelrods remarks, and with no suspects or motive announced, Obama said: “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.”In times of tension and uncertainty, words can become malleable vessels — for cultural fears, for political agendas, for ways to make sense of the momentous and the unknown. In 2013 America, the word “terrorism” exists at this ambiguous crossroads. And the opinions youll find about it — this week in particular — often transcend mere linguistics.Obamas conclusion about bombs and terror made perfect sense to Jay Winuk, whose brother, a lawyer and volunteer firefighter, died on September 11, 2001 while trying to evacuate the World Trade Center after it was attacked by fanatical Muslims.”Based on what we know so far, I do consider it an act of terrorism,” Winuk said Wednesday, before news broke of a possible suspect in the case. “I dont know that for me personally, political motivation is part of the equation.””Whoever did this, it seems clear that their intention was to harm, maim, kill innocent people en masse who are going about their normal activity. To me, thats terrorism,” said Winuk, a co-founder of “My Good Deed,” a group that has established 9/11 as a national day of service.

“The problem we have is that the term has been so freighted with politics, it’s taken on a life that it probably really shouldn’t have,” said Andrew McCarthy, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the terrorists responsible for the 1993 Trade Center attack and is now a senior fellow at the National Review Foundation.

Without the context of Fort Hood and Benghazi, McCarthy said, how to define what happened in Boston “would have been a big nothing.” He agrees that the Boston attack was terrorism, noting that the bombs were filled with nails and ball bearings to cause maximum carnage.

And yet, he said: “Terrorism has to have a logical purpose.”

Part of the reason Boston feels like terrorism without knowing the motive is that bombs were used, rather than the guns used in recent mass murders, like the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo.

via Is it ‘terrorism’? Anatomy of a very murky word

comfort, Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto, Love and Hope in the Wake of Boston:  Well said …

 And we didn’t stop hoping yesterday when a moment of victory for runners and spectators was shattered by crude violence. First responders and onlookers alike rushed to the aid of others in the midst of potential danger. My Facebook wall lit up with prayers and cries of hope. In response to casual cruelty, the world reacted with compassion.

Why?

It may be that despite the many instances of malice that seek to tear us apart and to cause us to lose hope what binds us together is stronger. It may be that “love never ends” as the Apostle Paul once wrote to a Corinthian church community fraying at its edges. Love, he said, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7).

This is not the sappy love of pop songs or the fleeting infatuations we incorrectly label as love. This love, true love is at the very core of whom God has made us to be. This is persistent love, love that refuses to give into the cruelties of this world. This is an indefatigable love.

As a Christian, my faith has shown me that God dwells in love, inhabits love, embodies love. This radiant, ever-present love is the source of my hope in times like these.

And this love binds us not because we believe the same things or attend the same church or even because we are citizens of the same nation. This love binds us because we are humans created in the very image of God. In moments of great inhumanity, it is the miracle of God’s love that our true humanity, what most makes us the people God created us to be, crowds out the darkness. In the end, it is our love for another that shines most brightly.

When we heal the wounded, we love one another. When we pray for the grieving, we love one another. When we hope against hope for a better world, we love one another. The perpetrators of violence never succeed as long as love abides.

By this point, we should have stopped the race, given up hope of ever seeing the finish line. We should have counted all our hopes as vanity and delusion.

But we don’t because even on a day like yesterday, love wins. Love always wins.

via Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto: Love and Hope in the Wake of Boston.

Boston Marathon Bombings, history, future, Cognoscenti:

 I asked him how he was feeling. Was there a sense of something being “over” in Boston? He said, “No. I’m angry. I’m angry at the temerity of someone who would do this. But you know what? If they wanted to kill a lot of people they picked the wrong marathon. They picked the wrong city. We must have saved 20 people today just at our hospital. There are five others.”

I don’t know if all the runners will decide to run again next year. But if they do, they will be, to me, as heroic as those farmers years ago in Lexington. And we who live here pledge to be there as well. Screaming our heads off.

As Dr. Medzon said earlier, whoever did this, they picked the wrong marathon. They picked the wrong city.

via Boston Marathon Bombings: Our History Will Be A Guide For The Future | Cognoscenti. 

Boston Marathon bombs, The Washington Post: simple design … <$100.

The bombs that tore through a crowd of spectators at the Boston Marathon could have cost as little as $100 to build and were made of the most ordinary ingredients — so ordinary, in fact, that investigators could face a gargantuan challenge in attempting to use bomb forensics to find the culprit.

Investigators revealed Tuesday that fragments recovered at the blast scene suggest a simple design: a common pressure cooker of the kind found at most discount stores, packed with an explosive and armed with a simple detonator. A final ingredient — a few handfuls of BBs, nails and pellets — helped ensure widespread casualties when the two devices exploded Monday near the race’s finish line, law enforcement officials said.

The devices’ design was immediately recognized by counterterrorism experts as a type touted by al-Qaeda for use by its operatives around the world. Similar devices have been used by terrorists in mass-casualty bombings in numerous countries, from the Middle East to South Asia to North Africa.

via Boston Marathon bombs had simple but harmful design, early clues indicate – The Washington Post.

Pressure-cooker bombs,  do-it-yourself , guardian.co.uk:  easy to make, with simple instructions available on the internet … who needs expensive guns?

 The highlight from the latest FBI briefing on the Boston bombing was the disclosure that pressure-cooker bombs might have been used in the attacks. Such devices are frequently used in trouble spots around the world and the homeland security department has been warning of their potential appearance in the US for almost a decade.Pressure-cooker bombs are relatively easy to make, with simple instructions available on the internet. The attempted Times Square bomber used a similar device in May 2010 in a foiled bid to cause mayhem in New York.

via Pressure-cooker bombs in Boston: lethal do-it-yourself | World news | guardian.co.uk.

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18
Mar
13

3.18.13 … Supreme Court justices split on proof of citizenship issue …

Supreme Court, proof of citizenship,  The Washington Post:  Intellectually, I have no problems with requiring proof of citizenship … but practically I can understand how this is a barrier to exercising a citizen’s constitutional rights that is unequally impacts different groups.

In Monday’s case, the court is deciding the legality of Arizona’s requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “motor voter” registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that that 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which doesn’t require such documentation, trumps Arizona’s Proposition 200 passed in 2004.

Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.

The federal “motor voter” law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver’s license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law — the one at issue before the court — requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn’t require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.

via Supreme Court justices split over whether states can ask for proof of citizenship to register – The Washington Post.




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