The weather here was good today, sunny and windy, but it was about 8 C (46 F) warm enough for mid November. Tonight or early tomorrow morning we are expecting rain. Current temperature is 0 C (32 F). I hope this does not mean icy streets in the morning when I have to go to physio. I'd hate to miss the opportunity to be chastised by my therapist for falling on my face. I have enjoyed several of Lona's cat naps this afternoon/evening, but the rest of the week is looking quite busy.
Puzzle — Today’s took me 2:57 (average 5:18). To do it, click here. How did you do?
NY Times — Ali Awad, 14, was chopping vegetables when the first bomb struck. Adel Tormous, who would die tackling the second bomber, was sitting at a nearby coffee stand. Khodr Alaa Deen, a registered nurse, was on his way to work his night shift at the teaching hospital of the American University at Beirut, inLebanon.
All three lost their lives in a double suicide attack in Beirut on Thursday, along with 40 others, and much like the scores who died a day later in Paris, they were killed at random, in a bustling urban area, while going about their normal evening business.
Around the crime scenes in south Beirut and central Paris alike, a sense of shock and sadness lingered into the weekend, with cafes and markets quieter than usual. The consecutive rampages, both claimed by the Islamic State, inspired feelings of shared, even global vulnerability — especially in Lebanon, where many expressed shock that such chaos had reached France, a country they regarded as far safer than their own.
But for some in Beirut, that solidarity was mixed with anguish over the fact that just one of the stricken cities — Paris — received a global outpouring of sympathy akin to the one lavished on the United States after the 9/11 attacks.
Click through for the rest of the article. High on my mind, like so many others, has been the Friday terrorist attacks in Paris. I had read about the Beirut bombings and I was sad for the people, like I am sad for the people of Syria and Iraq who endure so much death and uncertainty daily. But what makes Paris so different to Beirut? In reality, nothing. In both cases, innocent lives were broken apart by the same group, Daesh. The people in Beirut ask a valid question, do Arab lives matter less.
“When my people died, no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colors of their flag,” Elie Fares, a Lebanese doctor, wrote on his blog. “When my people died, they did not send the world into mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”
Do we in the west have a double standard? Do some lives matter more than others. This is a question we all should be wrestling with. All lives matter equally!
Mother Jones — "The Court now has the opportunity to decide whether we will continue to allow elected officials to play politics with women's health," wrote Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America,in a statement. "This case represents the greatest threat to women's reproductive freedom since the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade over 40 years ago. Laws like the ones being challenged in Texas are designed to subvert the Constitution and end the right to a safe and legal abortion."
Click through for the rest of the article. With the decision expected in early 2016, this issue, no matter which way it goes, will likely be an election issue. It is time for women to stand up forcefully for their reproductive health. Women and their doctors should be making these decisions, not politicians.
Raw Story — Following Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris that claimed 129 lives, prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidates were quick to find fault and assign blame by going after Democrats and slamming Syrian refugees before French authorities even began their investigation.
Republicans flooded the airwaves Sunday morning, variously criticizing their Democratic counterparts for failing to use the term “radical Islam,” and faulting the administration for not putting “boots on the ground” in Syria while warning of another 9/11 attack in the U.S.
Responding to all three Democratic nominees using “radical jihadists” in their debate instead of blaming Islam, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee claimed Democrats are more invested in defending Islam than protecting Americans.
“It’s become apparent on the Democratic side, whether it is the current president or the one who wishes to be president, they’re more interested in protecting the image of Islam than they are protecting Americans,” Huckabee told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Click through for the rest of the article. Is there anyone of sound mind in the Republican Party? Here is Jeb Bush on the subject (from Raw Story).
And Ted Cruz of course has plenty to say (from Raw Story).
Cruz made the case that the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night proved that Christians are under siege, even though the attacks were on nightlife hot spots and not religious targets. Before the rally, Cruz told to reporters and said Christians need constitutional protections because they are most ostracized today, according to CNN…
Do I think Christians are under siege as Cruz says? No! Do I think that Christians need constitutional prtections? They already have 1st amendment rights. What these pseudo Christians are wanting is the right to discriminate and the right to turn the US into a Christian theocracy.
My Universe —