Sunday, December 30, 2007

From The Onion.....:-)

Sroll down. You'll find it!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Dvorak. Could life be sweeter??

Well, maybe just as sweet! YoYo Ma alone plays Dvorak. This man has been my favorite cellist for years. He's absolutely amazing. Take the time to listen if you can.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto assassinated in Pakistan. Well, they finally got her!

From the comes this shocking story about the assasination of Bhutto:

Reports: Imminent Statement Expected from Al-Qaida's Mustafa Abu Yazid Claiming Credit for Bhutto Assassination
By Evan Kohlmann
There are now widespread reports suggesting that an imminent official statement is expected from Egyptian Al-Qaida spokesman Mustafa Abu Yazid claiming responsibility for the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Earlier today, Al-Qaida issued a separate statement from Mustafa Abu Yazid denying any role in recent blasts targeting mosques in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar. According to that communique from Abu Yazid (dated December 24), "We do not attack targets in mosques or in public places where there are crowds of Muslims in order to safeguard Muslim blood and to respect the sanctity of mosques. This is our approach generally, and we inform all of our supporters in Pakistan--and everywhere else--about these facts."

It should be noted that is not the first time that Al-Qaida and its affiliates have allegedly targeted Benazir Bhutto for assassination. During the Philippine police interrogation of Abdul Hakim Murad--an associate of 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef--Murad recalled that Yousef "once made a statement that BHUTTO should be replaced as PM of Pakistan since Islamic belief does not allow a woman to occupy such position and that [mujahideen organizations] should do something to unseat her. Said statement indicates that [Yousef] might be planning to carry out an attack against the PM of Pakistan." Likewise, during the mid-1990s, the FBI recorded several telephone conversations involving Kifah Jayyousi and Adham Hassoun (who were recently convicted in federal court for their role in recruiting would-be Al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla) in which the men discussed "getting rid" of the late Pakistani Prime Minister--who they referred to as "Khanazir Bhutto" ("Bhutto the Pig"): "She's done... done... she... she was finished... finished, my brother... I was reading about the life... the life of the Prophet, peace and blessing upon him... 'Men are ruined if they are to obey women'. Praise to God."

I quote this article both to share more about what happened to Bhutto and to illustrate the continuing subjugation of women in her culture. Other articles in this blog elaborate on assasination details.

I'm close friends with a Muslim man in Egypt and the fanatics who did this certainly do not represent the mindset of my friend and his friends. However, Muslim men do come down very squarely on the role of women in Muslim society. I won't belabor this. We've all read about it. My friend who is liberal compared to many of his friends still has an adult daughter living in his home who will never be allowed to live elsewhere until married. Should she do that, she would no longer be considered a good candidate for marriage to a suitable man. His other daughter wasn't left alone in the company of the man she was arranged to meet until they were engaged and then, only in a separate room from where family stayed nearby. If an uncle came to the door after they had their night robes on, my friend had to be roused from bed to open the door if asleep since they weren't allowed to unless fully dressed .


I wrote my friend in Cairo about this. I'm sharing part of his reply on the blog.

I was shocked and felt really sad when I heard the news, for some reasons I have liked that great lady.

About the saying of not to take orders from a woman is reality in the public Muslim culture, but it does not go back to God, it goes to a questionable Hadith (saying) from Mohammed the messenger of Islam. You ought to know that the true verified and validated Hadith is very rare compared to all of what was told upon 1428 years.

The real practice on ground says something very different. Prophet Mohamed said (verified and validated) that Muslims should learn half of their religion from his youngest wife (Aisha). In the middle history of the Islamic Egypt we had a very famous Muslim queen named Shagret Eldorr (Tree of jewels), that was upon the time of the crusader’s invasion to Egypt about 1200 AD where Lewis the 13th king of France has been taking prisoner in Egypt!.

On the religion side, there is one woman of the most honorable and famous Sheikhs (priests) by the time of Mongol invasion to Islamic countries before turning to adopt Islam, her name was Rabaa. On the ground, Buto was a prime minister and a party leader and that has been approved by the religion community of Pakistan (there is no Islamic authority like the church), that is the practice of Islam, so do not pay much attention to the extremists.

Anyway it is a controversial issue and you can say that the US has not been ever under a woman’s rule or a black despite the golden sayings about liberty and equality, it is more human legacy rather than Islamic, Christian, western or eastern.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

R.I.P Oscar Peterson

Thanks to Iri on MySpace for posting this in a bulletin.

Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown & Niels Pedersen both on double bass, perform "You Look Good To Me" at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 1977.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tom Waits

I love this man's music and that baaad raspy voice. This one is especially beautiful. Enjoy!

warm tea (click to enlarge)

A full moon night seen from the front of our house.

We're on the countdown to Christmas. Every year I always say the same doesn't seem real to me yet. I don't know if or when it will. Maybe Santa will get tangled in my powderpuff tree this year and come inside for a hot toddy.

After a string of acceptances for poetry and haiga, I hit a lull and now am in a string of rejections. The ups and downs. That's what makes it all so interesting, eh?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Lighting at the Flagler

The Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, across the waterway from us, has an annual lighting of their Christmas tree. Traditionally, an organist plays carols in their tiny music room, complete with pipe organ to ceiling, the rooms are decorated to stroll past, and a choir sings in the enclosed courtyard. After that, the choir sings one number inside, the tree is lit, this year by the great great great four grandchildren of Henry Flagler (they flip a switch) and it's over.

My husband took me through by wheelchair since between my dizziness/fatigue and a recent flare of the knee with the strained tenden, no way could I walk it. Especially not for two hours.

I'm paying the piper today since I barely slept last night and am having some pain. Finally got up at 4 and changed my bed to distract myself and managed to close my eyes and halfway snooze for an hour.

Anyway, here are some representative photographs.

Front of Henry Flagler's former home, referred to also as Whitehall.

I'm just inside the main entrance in this shot.

The organist. The area to walk through (or roll through) was tiny, so we listened to a couple of carols inside and a couple more in the hall outside the room.

The breakfast room.

Henry Flagler's billiard room with the fireplace decorated.

The main caroling in the courtyard. This was as close as we could get. We waited too long to go outside.

The choir before singing Joy To The World, before the big lighting.

My husband by the tree. We outwaited everyone to get a good shot but could NOT outwait this woman who seemed determined to stand there until the place closed:-)

....and home along the ocean.