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Category Archives: World and Friends and Local – Concerns

Bury Us Upside Down

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from the Introduction:

This experimental unit became the most innovative air operation of the war.  “Misty,” as it became known, on account of the call sign chosen by the first commander, borrowed many of its tactics from the slow FACs.  But other techniques had to be developed on the fly.  To see targets as small as a single truck camouflaged beneath trees, the Mistys flew low–often below the minimum allowed altitude of 4,500 feet.  Anytime they buzzed over something valuable to the North Vietnamese, they attracted walls of antiaircraft fire.  Every day was an asymmetric duel between men in the air and men on the ground.  They had different guns and different advantages, yet the fight was as personal as if they were facing each other with bayonets.

It was a hush-hush mission.  The mere formation of the fast FAC unit indicated how successful the North Vietnamese had been at defeating the slow FACs that were getting blown out of the sky.  All the air defenses were being sent down the Trail–including surface-to-air missiles–were working.  If the slow FACs couldn’t find the air defenses and help clear them out, that jeopardized all the other aerial missions near the Trail–including the B-52 bombing runs that were a key U.S. advantage.  The Air Force wasn’t about to telegraph that vulnerability to Hanoi.

. . . There are still more than eighteen hundred Americans [in 2006] who presumably died during the Vietnam War and remain unaccounted for. . . . In little-noticed press releases, the Department of Defense announces the return of remains from Vietnam every week or two, on average.  The announcements get little attention.  yet across America, families that have been lacerated with anguish live through an experience they came to believe would never happen: the return of their loved ones.  This is the tale of one missing man, the family who went on without him, and the extraordinary unit he served with when he disappeared.  There are many, many other stories like this one.

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memory loss

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Lately (well, not so lately!), I have been forgetting EVERYTHING.  Hubby and I have been joking (sort of) about my absent-mindedness.  I told him that I know he won’t have any patience with me if (crossing my fingers!) I am diagnosed with dementia and gradually lose not only my memory – but my mind.  This isn’t really a Joking Matter, for the number of patients with dementia is rising.

Of course, I always research anything I’m interested in ad nauseum  – and that is the case with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia (and I’m always reading certain portions of books and articles about Alzheimer’s  to hubby).  I have read everything published, I think, about Alzheimer’s.  I want to be knowledgeable about what happens to folks with dementia and what could happen to me.

Two of the activities I would miss  most is reading and stitching (although I have not been doing much stitching lately).  Books – to me – are as essential as breathing.

I must extract a promise from My Sweetheart to be sure to read to me!

Even at later stages of the disease, many patients are engaged by books read to them. Lydia Burdick, a businesswoman in New York, was able to get her mother to respond by reading to her even at a relatively late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, although it had long been hard to get through to her.

Many Alzheimer’s Patients Find Comfort in Books

helping the children

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Dedicated professionals - God bless them.

It is unfortunate that there is abuse of children; it is fortunate that we have good folks who help these children.  God bless them all.

The Guadalupe County Children’s Advocacy partners with the Seguin Police Department, Child Protective Services, the District Attorney’s office, specialists at the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center (full list below).  The professionals who work with children (and parents or guardians of these children) are exceptional and always have continuing education as they counsel and heal abused children.  It is not an easy task; these folks also have a love for children and a will to stop the abuse.

from the website:

Partner Agencies

Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office
Schertz Police Department
Marion Police Department
Cibolo Police Department
Seguin Police Department
Child Protective Services
25th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
Guadalupe County Attorney’s Office
Guadalupe Regional Medical Center
Guadalupe Valley Christian Counseling Center
Behavioral Therapy Clinic

There is always a need for financial donations and volunteers.  Always.

No Man’s Land

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Born in 1944, Christian Boltanski has established an international reputation since the 1970s, as a leading artist at the forefront of the contemporary scene. His new installation, created especially for MONUMENTA 2010, is conceived as a powerful physical and psychological experience, an episode of spectacular emotion and sensations exploring the nature and meaning of human existence. Embracing the whole of the immense Nave of the Grand Palais, Boltanski creates a rich, intense commemorative space, in sound and vision. Personnes (literally both “people” and “nobodies”) is the evocative title of this social, religious and humanistic exploration of life, memory and the irreducible individuality of each and every human existence – together with the presence of death, the dehumanization of the body, chance and destiny.

Conceived as a work in sound and vision, Personnes takes up a new theme in Boltanski’s work, building on his earlier explorations of the limits of human existence and the vital dimension of memory : the question of fate, and the ineluctability of death. Personnes transforms the entire Nave of the Grand Palais through the creation of a coherent, intensely moving installation conceived as a gigantic animated tableau. Personnes is a one-off, ephemeral work. In accordance with the artist’s wishes, the components of the piece will all be recycled at the end of the exhibition.

The sound in this video is heartbeats, which Bolantski has been recording and collecting for decades.

There is 66-foot long wall of stacked oxidized biscuit tins that obstructs the view of the space and the mound of clothes.

There are 45 rectangled blocks of discarded clothes and a huge mound of clothes with a crane behind them.

The video is somewhat eerie and I’m sure that if one views the exhibit  ‘in real life,’ there are images that can be imagined – such as the concentration camps.  I don’t know what the artist envisioned.

thank you – my friends

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act of heroism – by a Man of Character

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Chief Kevin Kelso, Officer Willie Ybarra, Mayor Betty Ann Matthis, Lieutenant James Boeck

Web definition of a hero:

a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength

SPD Officer Willie Ybarra received a Certification of Recognition yesterday evening for saving the life of a student at Saegert Sixth Grade Center.

This student was choking and unable to breathe.  It was a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Officer Ybarra performed the Heimlich Maneuver and talked calmly and gently to the young student.

Officer Ybarra wouldn’t want to be called a hero.  But he is.  He was a hero before this incident – a man of character, courage, integrity and decency.

From KNGB in New Braunfels, Texas:

Officer Willie Ybarra was working as a security officer in the cafeteria on Tuesday when several students ran up to him, telling him that their friend was choking. Ybarra calmly assessed the situation, called in help from EMS, and then performed the Heimlich Maneuver, dislodging a piece of pickle from the girl’s throat. The girl was still having trouble breathing, so he used the Heimlich again, and even more pickle came out, and she was then able to breathe freely. The girl was treated at the scene by school nurses and EMS, but she was not transported to the hospital. Her father later picked her up from school, and called Ybarra a hero for acting so calmly and quickly.

an image burned in my memory

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On May 4, 1970 members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine Kent State students.

It was with disbelief that we wordlessly watched news footage of this event and the photograph by John Filo was heartbreaking.

It is still unbelievable.