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Monday Open Thread

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Ohio

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Ohio

My Darling Dad



When I was a little girl, my dad would stretch out on the floor and have me walk on his back.
When I was older, he’d stretch out on the floor and have me walk on his feet.
The past several years, as Dad has been in and out of the hospital, I spent a lot of time rubbing his feet, to help him relax, so his pain and anxiety would be less.
Thursday night was no different in the ICU, but he asked me to cut my visit short.
Friday night, due to complications from the surgery that his poor 77-year-old body could not fight off this time, he left us.

He will be known always as a brave, athletic, graceful, bullheaded, organized, inventive, loving man; a devout Christian and patriot who was dedicated to his adopted religion and his adopted country; a beloved grandfather called “Papa” by the little best friend who brought the last decade of his life a joy unsurpassed.

And even though we were so alike we clashed often — and brutally — we always came together out of our fierce love and loyalty.

I cannot imagine a better father.

Nor a life without him.

Sunday Open Thread

Joshua Tree National Park. California

Joshua Tree National Park. California

Sunday Gospel


Shannon and Mark Allen (Photo: Shannon Allen's Facebook Page)

Shannon and Mark Allen (Photo: Shannon Allen’s Facebook Page)

President EMpty Suit’s trading of 5 terrorists for a deserter has ripple effects. While we can quibble whether or not the Army should have charged Bowe Bergdahl with Desertion earlier… I’m fine with them getting their ducks in a row before rushing to trial. In any case… his desertion had direct and severe consequences. This Georgia CBS station has Mark Allen’s story:

Once hailed a military hero, US Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdahl could now face life in prison.

Nine months after he was freed in a controversial prisoner swap, Berghdahl is charged with desertion and endangering fellow soldiers.

Soldiers from Georgia, from the National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade, risked their lives searching for Bergdahl when they thought he was an unwilling captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Master Sgt. Mark Allen of Loganville was among them; he risked his life during the search and he will never be the same.

He cannot speak for himself now. He is paralyzed and needs constant care because he was shot in the head by an enemy sniper in Afghanistan.

Allen was wounded while he and his fellow Georgia National Guard soldiers were trying to find and rescue Bergdahl soon after he disappeared in 2009.

Allen’s wife, Shannon Allen, was not aware of the circumstances when she and the community welcomed her wounded husband home in December, 2011.

But now, many blame Bergdahl — not only for Master Sgt. Allen’s brain injuries and paralysis, but also for the deaths of at least six other soldiers who also helped search for Bergdahl.

They could never have known, then, that Bergdahl would be charged with desertion.

This past June when the U.S. traded Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners and brought Bergdahl home, Shannon Allen unleashed her fury in a Facebook post that shot around the world —

“Meet my husband,” she wrote, “injuries directly brought to you by the actions of this traitor,” Bergdahl.

On the phone with 11Alive News on Wednesday, Ms. Allen said she would not comment now on the decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion.

But last June she was quoted in the Walton Tribune [subscription required], saying, “I wish [Bergdahl] no ill will. I am glad he is no longer a prisoner… People lost their lives – even Mark, who no longer has the life he had before. I just think [Bergdahl] needs to face the consequences. He still needs to be held accountable for what he did.”

One of the two charges against Bergdahl — endangering the lives of fellow soldiers — carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

From the Trailer Park — SPECTRE

Next James Bond… coming your way.

Up in Smoke

Residents of an Indonesian village were able to experience what it would be like to attend a Grateful Dead concert:

Residents and journalists suffered from mild headaches after being exposed to the smoke of 3.3 tons of marijuana burned by the Palmerah police at their subprecinct office in West Jakarta on Wednesday. reported that the smoke spread from the yard to surrounding residents’ houses.
The police officers wore protective masks, but local people and journalists covering the event did not. “I got a headache because I wasn’t wearing a mask,” said Deden, one of the residents.

Deden added that the tangy smell of marijuana was too strong and made him feel dizzy.
When police set the stash alight, the smoke rose before being dispersed by the wind around the neighborhood.
The police also destroyed 1.8 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 2,538 ecstasy pills by blending them.
The destruction of the illicit substances was witnessed by several officials from the West Jakarta municipality.

Saturday Song

Saturday Open Thread

Death Valley Park. California

Death Valley Park. California

Classic Pick O’ the Day: March 28


The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, James Whitmore, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows. Directed by: Frank Darabont. TV-MA. Sundance Channel. 9:00 PM EDT.

This is the little movie that could — proof positive that box office returns often have little to do with the quality of the film. Despite the eternal loop of TNT showings and viewings this remains one of my all-time favorite movies. Based on a Stephen King short story, it is also proof that even insane liberal artists can tap into human nature and absolute values that they don’t consciously believe in. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.