News, Some New, Some Old:
I hope it isn't like this where you are!
Sinatra sings, "What a Wonderful Day":
Ice is bad enough, but you don't HAVE to get out on it. Tornadoes are worse, they sneak up on you:
Marysville, Indiana Tornado 'Completely' Destroys Town As Twisters Sweep Across State
Residents of Marysville, Ind., survey the tornado damage to their homes Friday, March 2, 2012 in Marysville, Ind.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — "Tornadoes have left widespread damage in southern Indiana and a sheriff's official says at least one town of about 1,900 people is "completely gone."
National Weather Service coordinator Bill Whitlock there's "extreme damage" in the area of Henryville, a town of about 3,000 people just north of the Kentucky border. Destruction can be seen for miles and a school district spokeswoman says heavy damage has been reported at Henryville High school.
Clark County Sheriff's Department Maj. Chuck Adams says the nearby town of Marysville is "completely gone." Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says there are injuries but no immediate reports of fatalities.
Officials say they've had difficulty confirming reports due to downed power and telephone lines." Pictures at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/marysville-indiana-tornado-destroys-town_n_1317161.html#s749495
Iranian Warships Enter Mediterranean Sea.
Iran warships enter Mediterranean
"Two Iranian warships on Saturday entered the Mediterranean Sea after crossing the Suez Canal ,a move that will escalate tensions between Iran and Israel.
Navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari said this move is to show Tehran's "might" to regional countries, and also convey Tehran's "message of peace and friendship."
Reacting sharply, Israeli foreign ministry denounced the deployment as a "provocation" and a "power play." Of course, the United States and Israel will be closely watching the movements.
The United States and Israel expressed their deep concerns over Iran's latest move as speculation is rife of a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iran to stop its suspected nuclear weapons program." From: http://english.samaylive.com/nation-news/articles/676500432/iran-warships-enter-mediterranean.html
Syria Crisis: Red Cross Headed For Homs Amid Rumors Of Execution Style Killings
A graffiti depicting a revolutionary flag and a slogan that reads "Go Out" is seen on the outskirts of Idlib, north Syria, Thursday, March 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
BEIRUT — "The Syrian government blocked a Red Cross convoy Friday from delivering badly needed food, medical supplies and blankets to a rebellious neighborhood of Homs cut off by a month long siege, and activists accused regime troops who overran the shattered district of execution-style killings and a scorched-earth campaign.
Humanitarian conditions in the former rebel stronghold of Baba Amr have been described as catastrophic, with extended power outages, shortages of food and water, and no medical care for the sick and wounded. British Prime Minister David Cameron called Homs "a scene of medieval barbarity."" More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/syria-crisis-red-cross_n_1315723.html?ref=world
Syria crisis: Red Cross Baba Amr evacuation stalls
Activists said there had been more deadly shelling of Homs on Saturday
"Attempts by the Red Cross to evacuate more people trapped in the Baba Amr suburb of the Syrian city of Homs have stalled, with reports of more deaths from shelling. The organization had been in negotiation with the Syrian authorities but had made no progress by nightfall. It evacuated several people on Friday but not two injured Western reporters. Activists say 50 people died in unrest across Syria on Saturday, nearly half of them in Homs.
The BBC's Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says that, throughout the day, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Red Crescent officials had tried to negotiate another evacuation of seriously wounded people from Baba Amr. This included the two Western journalists, Edith Bouvier and Paul Conroy, as well as the bodies of another two journalists, Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, who were killed last week.
ICRC spokesman Hisham Hassan said: "Unfortunately we will not be able to enter Baba Amr today (Saturday). We continue our negotiations, hoping that tomorrow we will be able to enter Baba Amr to carry out our life-saving operations." Continue reading the main story at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17162852
Official: Quran burning involved five Americans, one Afghan By Nick Paton Walsh, CNN. Sat March 3, 2012
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- "The recent burning of Qurans at a NATO base in Afghanistan involved five American servicemen and a local translator, according to a NATO official familiar with the investigations. The Qurans burned were among religious materials seized from a detainee facility at Bagram Airfield last week.
Throngs of outraged Afghans took to the streets following the incident, prompting U.S. President Barack Obama to apologize to his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, calling the burning an inadvertent error. Furor over the burnings have fueled a string of protests and attacks that have left at least 39 people dead, including four American soldiers. Hundreds more have been wounded in the attacks.
A man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform killed two U.S. soldiers last week at a base in eastern Afghanistan. Last weekend, two senior U.S. officers were gunned down inside the heavily secure Afghan Interior Ministry when a junior intelligence officer turned his gun on them." More at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/03/world/asia/afghanistan-burned-qurans/index.html
Bin Laden's Home In Pakistan Demolished
Pakistani youngsters play cricket near the compound, center back, of Osama bin Laden which is demolishing by authorities in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan (AP) — "Pakistan pushed ahead Sunday with its surprise demolition of the compound where U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden last year, likely an attempt to erase the symbol of the colossal security failure that humiliated the nation and severely damaged ties with Washington.
Islamabad was outraged by the covert American raid in the northwestern town of Abbottabad because it was not told about it beforehand — a decision the U.S. explained by concerns that someone in the Pakistani government might tip off the al-Qaida chief." More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/world/asia/pakistan-razing-house-where-bin-laden-lived.html?_r=1
Plans To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Get Momentum
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- "Conservatives who say welfare recipients should have to pass a drug test to receive government assistance have momentum on their side. The issue has come up in the Republican presidential campaign, with front-runner Mitt Romney saying it's an "excellent idea."
Nearly two dozen states are considering plans this session that would make drug testing mandatory for welfare recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And Wyoming lawmakers advanced such a proposal this week.
The idea, from Joe Taxpayer is, `I don't mind helping you out, but you need to show that you're looking for work, or better yet that you're employed, and that you're drug and alcohol free,'" said Wyoming Republican House Speaker Ed Buchanan on Friday.
Supporters are pushing the measures despite warnings from opponents that courts have struck down similar programs, ruling that the plans amount to an unconstitutional search of people who have done nothing more than seek help.
"This legislation assumes suspicion on this group of people. It assumes that they're drug abusers," said Wyoming Democratic Rep. Patrick Goggles during a heated debate on the measure late Thursday. This year conservative lawmakers in 23 states from Wyoming to Mississippi – where lawmakers want random screening to include nicotine tests – are moving forward with proposals of their own.
Romney, in an interview this month in Georgia, supported the idea. "People who are receiving welfare benefits, government benefits, we should make sure they're not using those benefits to pay for drugs," Romney said to WXIA-TV in Atlanta." More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/25/welfare-drug-testing_n_1301043.html
A sketch about one of the hazards of getting older.
On This Day:
Helen Keller meets her miracle worker, Mar 3, 1887:
"On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan's tutelage, including her pioneering "touch teaching" techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed "the miracle worker," remained Keller's interpreter and constant companion until the older woman's death in 1936.
Sullivan, born in Massachusetts in 1866, had firsthand experience with being handicapped: As a child, an infection impaired her vision. She then attended the Perkins Institution for the Blind where she learned the manual alphabet in order to communicate with a classmate who was deaf and blind. Eventually, Sullivan had several operations that improved her weakened eyesight.
Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, to Arthur Keller, a former Confederate army officer and newspaper publisher, and his wife Kate, of Tuscumbia, Alabama. As a baby, a brief illness, possibly scarlet fever, left Helen unable to see, hear or speak. She was considered a bright but spoiled and strong-willed child. Her parents eventually sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and an authority on the deaf. He suggested the Kellers contact the Perkins Institution, which in turn recommended Anne Sullivan as a teacher.
Sullivan, age 20, arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family estate, in 1887 and began working to socialize her wild, stubborn student and teach her by spelling out words in Keller's hand. Initially, the finger spelling meant nothing to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller's hands under water from a pump and spelled out "w-a-t-e-r" in Keller's palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan's assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904.
Helen Keller became a public speaker and author; her first book, "The Story of My Life" was published in 1902. She was also a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality, as well as socialism. From 1920 to 1924, Sullivan and Keller even formed a vaudeville act to educate the public and earn money. Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at age 87, leaving her mark on the world by helping to alter perceptions about the disabled."
Ray came over early so that I could show him what needed to be done while Jay and I were in town. Misty didn't go for her walk, as Jay came up here on his ATV. We went to a church yard sale in our town. It was a huge sale, but all we found were some jeans for Jay and a CD for me. I don't need to buy anything that I don't need.
Jay, Ray and I installed the 'new' Hunter ceiling fan in Ray's living room. My job was to hold and dispense the screws for the blades! Then Jay left. Ray and I continued sorting out things in the workshop, as we are still looking for the new trailer cord end, the part that plugs into the tow vehicle, so Ray can install it. It remains lost, stolen or strayed.
I am really enjoying using my fixed clicky keyboard.
About 1.30 Jay called me to take pictures of a humongous tree that had fallen across his mother's road.
As I was leaving there, the little old invalid lady who lives behind them, said it had knocked her phone out. I called the phone company for her, as she doesn't need to be without a phone.
That is a tall garage, it has a MH in it. The drought killed so many trees that they are being felled all the time, but this one toppled all by itself.
It felt like it was trying to rain, as it was a warm and muggy all day.