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To me, this is the meaning of Christmas
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"To cut a long story short Charlie has agreed that I can put together and give an award in his name. An award for people who write insightful and moving posts. The idea is that it goes to people whose writing reflects a certain emotional maturity and insight, a generous approach to the human condition. People who aren't scared of writing something that exposes themselves, and touches us.
Not to be given out every week, but as and when deserved. A fitting tribute. Like an Oscar, people will be awarded a "Charlie". I from now on make it my personal mission to find his spirit in others and to cherish it and nourish it." [Italics are mine]
"I'm way past my sell-by date and am on precious borrowed time. I should have gone down a long time ago. Lots of days, I wish I had."
—Ken Bruen, The Magdalen Martyrs
|Your host, Alex Trebek|
|Tickle Me |
"At the [NATO] meeting in Lisbon that kicks off Friday, Obama and his NATO partners are expected to formalize a plan to hand over security duties to Afghan forces by 2014."
"A year ago, Obama boosted the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 troops but promised to begin transferring security responsibility to Afghan forces by July 2011."
"The timetable for withdrawal has had to adapt to conditions on the ground, in the face of a fierce and persistent Taliban insurgency."
"Also, even if the combat mission comes to an end by 2014, observers stress that some US military presence in Afghanistan is likely beyond that point -- similar to the situation in Iraq."
"Over nine years since the conflict began, and with this year the deadliest year for NATO forces there . . ."
"But he [John McCain] maintained that in Lisbon, Obama should give a "very, very strong statement that we're in this thing to win, that withdrawal to the middle of 2011 is notional, but 2014 is really the year that we would expect to have significant withdrawals."
"President Hamid Karzai has interfered in corruption cases and even threatened to join the Taliban if foreigners didn't stop meddling."
"Now he is demanding that the U.S.-led coalition begin reducing its military operations and stop what the military believes is its most successful tactic—night raids against suspected Taliban commanders."
"Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar ... appealed for funding from Muslims around the world—a sign that NATO's campaign may be hurting the militants far more than acknowledged."
"Karzai remained unconvinced. "I would like to have an end to these nighttime raids in Afghan homes no matter how effective they are in the sense of the military in the United States or in NATO."
|Irish's adoption mug shot|
"Thousands of soldiers, their bald eagle shoulder patches lined up row upon row across the grassy field, stood at rigid attention to hear a stern message from their commander.I quote from an article written on April 24, 2010 by Kristen M. Hall of the Associated Press. She goes on to tell the story of twenty-one-year-old Adam Kuligowski upon his return from Afghanistan. Adam loved the Army and his job, but he became increasingly depressed and angry. Finally,
"Brig[adier] Gen[eral] Stephen Townsend addressed the 101st Airborne Division with military brusqueness: Suicides at the post had spiked after soldiers started returning home from war, and this was unacceptable.
" 'It's bad for soldiers, it's bad for families, bad for your units, bad for this division and our Army and our country and it's [sic] got to stop now,' he insisted. 'Suicides on Fort Campbell [Kentucky] have to stop now.' "
"Adam wrote a note telling his dad, [Mike], 'Sorry to be a disappointment.' Then he shot himself inside a bathroom stall with his rifle.What kind of leadership is that? Off the top of my head and in one word I would say, typical.
"When the Army closed their investigation into the soldier's suicide, his father said an investigator told him that Adam's problem was that he was unable to conform to a military lifestyle. Mike Kuligowski did receive a personal note from the general who was commanding the division at the time: 'We don't know why this happened,' he wrote.
"Kuligowski was not appeased. 'It reminds me that officers know absolutely nothing about the plights of the soldiers who are under their command,' he said. 'What kind of leadership is that?' "
"The number of patients being treated at the behavioral health clinic has increased by 60 percent, from 25,400 in 2008 to nearly 40,000 in 2009. To handle the expanded need, they've also increased the number of counselors in that clinic to 60 last year, compared to 36 in 2008. In all, Fort Campbell has about 100 counselors, some of whom work in areas like social work, family advocacy, substance abuse and children's behavioral health."40,000 patients and 60 counselors equals a caseload of 667 to 1. It cannot be done. Furthermore, who is writing psych med scripts and monitoring 40,000 people?
“It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the ‘enemy’. He would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world.”Translated from the traditional gobbledygook, the pope is saying the devil made the pedophile priests do it so people would turn against God, whom we all know is represented on earth by the One, Holy and Apostolic Roman Catholic Church.
The term “the enemy” is a traditional Catholic way of referring to the Devil.
Dear Mrs. Callahan,
Here is a prescription for Charles.
1. PLEASE throw away his Guide to Every Disease, Disorder, and Discomfort Ever Known (and Not Known) to Mankind, Complete with Handy Checklists, Charts, And Cheat Sheets, 89th Edition, Revised.
2. Better yet, have a bonfire for it with kielbasa-on-a-stick and a little potato salad.
3. Put him to bed—preferably in a hospital johnnie with no tie in back.
4. Keep him there.
5. If he happens to get bedsores then, for the first time in his life, he will really have something to complain about.
With utmost compassion I am,
Your husband's former physician
"If you had to remember just one second of your life, which one would it be? By 'remember' I mean the full detail of that one second. Every last little bit of it, in high definition. How would you go about choosing such a moment? . . . Maybe it's one of those instances in your life that you have no choice but to remember."
|Tchaikovsky's grave. Are you in there, Pete?|
"Now if what I’m doing as a magician primarily doesn’t fool you then I am not doing my proper job as a magician; but if I do or say anything that makes anyone feel foolish then I am not doing my proper job as a human being by my standards. So I want to pause and explain to you why we can all be fooled. I can probably fool you for the same reason I’ve been fooled because you’re the most wonderful thing I know of in the universe that I’ve seen and that’s a human being. And you have an incredibly wonderful human mind. And a lot of our mind is on autopilot; and most of our, a lot of our thinking is absolutely beneath the conscious level, it has to be. You don’t look at a dog and wonder what it is. You don’t look at an automobile and wonder what it is; we’re on automatic pilot making these decisions and they’re usually right but sometimes they’re wrong. And because of that we don’t need to feel foolish." [Italics and bold are mine.]
"We’re each a unique mixture of sub-atomic particles. And so the only thing that’s left other than our remains is the effect that we might have had on other people or maybe will have on other people."
MRS. GHAYTH FAIZA.
23, Hawley Crescent,
Camden Town, London,
NW1 8NP, England.
Here writes Mrs. Ghayth Faiza, suffering from cancerous ailment. I am
married to Watson Ghayth an Arabian who is dead. My husband was into
private practice all his life before his death. Our life together as man
and wife lasted for three decades without a child. My husband died after a
protracted illness. My husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden
and the less-privileged individuals as he had passion for persons who can
not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament. I
can adduce this to the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship,
which never came.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Two Million Great Britain Pound Sterling which were derived from his vast estates and
investment in capital market with his bank here in UK. Presently, this
money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have
limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from.
Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the
cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family and I, I have
decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which
comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers,
orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children,
barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped
It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this
decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and
my husband's relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want my husband's hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be with the Almighty when I eventually pass on.
The Almighty will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I do not need
any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health
and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me, I do not
want them to know about this development. With God all things are
possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of
the Bank in UK. I will also issue you a Letter of Authority that will
empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that
I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be prayerful all through
Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. Hope to
hear from you soon and God bless you and members of your family.
Reply to my mail through my email address: [I deleted it because I ain't sharin'.]
Yours Faithfully in Christ,
Mrs. Ghayth Faiza.
"Yeah I'm marking time until my aortic valve starts giving me 'symptoms', the stenosis is 'severe' so I am on the long countdown. Will probably need to take out a second mortgage to pay the copays and deductibles but as you say, I'd be dead meat if the technology weren't available. Guess we are lucky bastards."
"Non-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans stockpiled billions of dollars during the past decade, yet continued to hit consumers with double-digit premium increases, Consumers Union found in an analysis of 10 of the plans' finances.
"Examples cited include:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona: A $717.1 million surplus in 2009, seven times the regulatory minimum. The plan raised rates for individual market customers by as much as 18 percent in 2009. Company Spokeswoman Regena Frieden said, 'We believe the amount we have in reserves is appropriate.'
"Regency Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon: A surplus of $562.2 million in 2009, about 3.6 times the minimum. The plan revised rates on some plans an average of 25.3 percent in 2009 and 16 percent in 2010. Spokeswoman Angela Hult said the surplus is 'essential to protecting our members from surges in claims costs.'"
|Drying leaves (illegally)in Bolivia|