Monday, August 31, 2015

One Of The Saner GOP Presidential Candidates Proposes A Wall At The U.S.<>Canada Border

This wall is 15 feet high.

Just what kind of wall would Scott Walker build on our 5,525 mile border with Canada?

"American Conservatives And Oppositional-Defiant Disorder"

US-Canada wall 'legitimate': candidate

August 30, 2015
WISCONSIN Governor Scott Walker, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the White House, says that building a wall between the US and Canada is a legitimate idea to explore.
IMMIGRATION is a hot-button topic in US politics and Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender, has added fuel to the fire by promising to have Mexico pay to build a wall between the United States and its southern neighbour, angering many Hispanics.
Walker told NBC television that security concerns came up in his talks with people in New Hampshire, which borders Canada, and that he would be open to building a wall to secure the northern border as well.
"Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire," he said on Sunday.
"They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week-and-a-half ago.
"So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at."
Trump leads the 16 other Republican candidates with 28 per cent support among registered voters nationwide, up from 20 per cent in a similar July 30 survey by Quinnipiac University, a survey released on Thursday showed.
Walker is polling sixth at about six per cent, experts say.

"Conservatives Scare More Easily Than Liberals"

Scott Walker says building Canada border wall is a 'legitimate issue'

The GOP candidate said voters have raised concerns to him about terrorists entering US from north, as immigration has become hot-button Republican topic
The Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker said on Sunday that building a wall on the US northern border with Canada was “a legitimate issue for us to look at”.
Asked in an interview on NBC if he wanted to build a wall on the Canadian border, the Wisconsin governor cited his experience talking to voters “including some law enforcement folks” in New Hampshire, an early voting state in the Republican primaries. Such people, he said, were concerned about terrorists potentially crossing over from Canada.
“They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago,” Walker said. “So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”
In recent months, with the rise of Donald Trump in polls concerning the Republican presidential field, political debate in the US has focused on illegal immigration and the desirability and feasibility of building a wall on the southern border, with Mexico.
However, concerns about the border with Canada, a country that has witnessedtwo attacks by Islamist terrorists in the past year, have so far gone unaddressed.
Immigration and border security remains a live issue in the Republican primary. Another candidate trailing Trump in the polls, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, on Saturday told an audience in New Hampshire he would ask the chief executive of FedEx to devise a system to track illegal immigrants like packages.
Walker has come under scrutiny on immigration, recently for holding apparently shifting positions on whether to amend the constitution in order to end birthright citizenship. On Sunday, he repeatedly said that was not an issue he considered a priority.
“Whether it’s talking about the 14th amendment or anything else, until we secure the border and enforce the laws, we shouldn’t be talking about any other issue out there,” he said.
Walker did not only address border security and immigration. He also discussed issues including the incarceration rate for African Americans in Wisconsin, which is the highest in the nation, and the state’s last place in rankings concerning opportunity for African American children.
Walker dodged any blame for such statistics, pointing a finger instead at politicians in Wisconsin’s largest city.
“Part of it is, I think, some of the poor policies in the city of Milwaukee,” he said.
Walker went on to tout his efforts in pushing charter schools and fighting against “union control” in Milwaukee.

The Question Is Not Whether Unions Are Imperfect. It's Whether We're Better Off Without Them

Sound familiar... It Should, the Koch Brothers instituted this very policy through Scott Walker, their lackey in Wisconsin
Did Hitler really say these words?

Fascists, moneyed interests - and those who carry water for moneyed interests - oppose organized labor.

Once organized labor is gone, most people become onelegged workers at an ass-kicking party.

And when the party's over, they don't have a leg to stand on.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Oliver Sachs, Poet Laureate Of Medicine, Dies At 82

Oliver Sacks, the world-renowned neurologist and author who chronicled maladies and ennobled the afflicted in books that were regarded as masterpieces of medical literature, died Aug. 30 at his home in Manhattan. He was 82.
Dr. Sacks — whom millions knew as the physician played by actor Robin Williams in the 1990 film “Awakenings” — revealed in February that he had terminal cancer. A rare and long-ago-treated ocular tumor had metastasized to his liver, he wrote in the New York Times, which was one of several publications, along with the New Yorker magazine and the New York Review of Books, that had printed his writings over the years.
His death was confirmed by his longtime assistant, Kate Edgar.
An Englishman who made his life in America, Dr. Sacks devoted his career to patients with rare, seemingly hopeless conditions of the nervous system. He distinguished himself both in the clinic and on the printed page and was often called a “poet laureate” of modern medicine.
His books, many of which were bestsellers, generally took the form of clinical anecdotes. A man who mistakes his wife for a hat, an artist who can no longer see colors, a hospital full of patients gloriously but fleetingly “awakened” from years-long catatonia: In each case, Dr. Sacks sought to uncover some wisdom, medical or moral.
The most famous of his patients were the ones he documented in his book “Awakenings,” published in 1973 and later adapted into director Penny Marshall’s Academy Award-nominated film.
The movie dramatized his experience at the Beth Abraham Home for the Incurables, a place in the Bronx that he renamed Mount Carmel in his account. His patients — actor Robert De Niro portrayed Leonard, the first to be revived — were among the hundreds of thousands of people stricken by encephalitis lethargica during and after World War I.
A large number of victims died from the disease. Of those who survived, many were reduced to a stonelike state similar to a severe form of Parkinson’s disease. With no known cure for their condition, the patients languished in institutions such as the one where the young Dr. Sacks, after failing as a laboratory researcher, found employment in 1966.
“They neither conveyed nor felt the feeling of life,” he wrote in “Awakenings,” describing the people he encountered. “They were as insubstantial as ghosts, and as passive as zombies.”
At the time, the drug L-dopa, short for levodihydroxyphenylalanine, had begun to show promise as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Before administering the medication to his patients, Dr. Sacks wrestled with misgivings about the Pandora’s box that might be opened by attempting to chemically rouse people who for so long had been removed from the world.
He obtained a clinical investigator’s license from the Food and Drug Administration to begin testing L-dopa on some patients. The results were astonishing.
“Occurring before us was a cataclysm of almost geological proportions,” wroteDr. Sacks, “the explosive ‘awakening,’ the ‘quickening,’ of eighty or more patients who had long been regarded, and regarded themselves, as effectively dead. I cannot think back on this time without profound emotion — it was the most significant and extraordinary in my life, no less than in the lives of our patients.”
But in time, the positive effects of the drug receded and were replaced by intolerable manic behavior. Dr. Sacks said that he sometimes spent 20-hour days at the hospital trying to calibrate the doses. When he discontinued the drug, the patients reverted to their trancelike states.
“One or two of them said to me, ‘You open the window and you raise unbearable hopes and prospects,’ ” he told The Washington Post. “And now you close it.”

Pax on both houses: Oliver Sacks' Autobiography: Love ...
May 24, 2015 - "I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts," ...
In 1970, Dr. Sacks described his experiences with L-dopa in a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The responses from colleagues, published in a subsequent issue of the magazine, were furious. Dr. Sacks said he was “publicly roasted” by medical professionals who, in his view, “felt threatened by notions of uncontrollability and unpredictability that reflected on their own power and reflected on the power of science.”
The movie “Awakenings,” in which Dr. Sacks was renamed Malcolm Sayer, endeared him to the public and catapulted his books to widespread attention. Among critics and readers, he became known for his ability to eloquently capture in his descriptions the most confounding neurological disorders, from Tourette’s syndrome to autism to phantom limb syndrome to Alz­heimer’s disease.
“There was a hint of a smile on his face,” Dr. Sacks wrote in “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” (1985), describing the titular patient, who suffered from a disorder of the brain. “He also appeared to have decided that the examination was over and started to look around for his hat. He reached out his hand and took hold of his wife’s head, tried to lift it off, to put it on. He had apparently mistaken his wife for a hat! His wife looked as if she was used to such things.”
In another noted volume, “An Anthropologist on Mars” (1995), Dr. Sacks presented abnormalities that he had found to have brought out “latent powers, developments, evolutions, forms of life, that might never be seen, or even be imaginable, in their absence.”
One of his patients, a painter he called “Mr. I,” had been injured in a car accident that had left him able to see only in black and white. “He would glare at an orange in a state of rage, trying to force it to resume its true color,” Dr. Sacks wrote. “He would sit for hours before his (to him) dark gray lawn, trying to see it, to imagine it, to remember it, as green. He found himself now not only in an impoverished world but in an alien, incoherent, and almost nightmarish one.”
Eventually, Dr. Sacks wrote, the painter found meaning in the highly structured, shaded canvases his new vision allowed him to create. When a physician proposed a treatment that might have restored his sense of color, the artist declined.
Dr. Sacks discomfited some readers, who maintained that he capitalized on his patients’ suffering to form handy parables. Tom Shakespeare, a British disability rights activist, called him “the man who mistook his patients for a literary career.”
Dr. Sacks disputed such suggestions.
“I appreciate the people I’m with. I think I respect them. If there’s any thought that I might embarrass or exploit them, I would never publish,” he told Newsday in 1997. “My desire is not to titillate or present monstrosities but — by showing how people and nervous systems respond to extremes — to bring out some of the nature of what it means to be human and how the nervous system works.”
He had a complicated medical history of his own. In his book “A Leg to Stand On” (1984), a metaphysical reflection on medicine, he described his recovery from a mountaineering accident that severely injured his left leg and left him temporarily with the sensation that the limb was no longer attached to his body.
In “The Mind’s Eye” (2010), he documented conditions including his own prosopagnosia, a difficulty in recognizing faces. His ocular tumor had blinded him in one eye.
Dr. Sacks also suffered from extreme shyness, a condition that he seemed able to overcome in the presence of his patients. His timidity was so great, he wrote in a memoir of his youth, “Uncle Tungsten” (2001), that he “identified at times with the inert gases . . . imagining them lonely, cut off, yearning to bond.”
Oliver Wolf Sacks, one of four sons in an observant Jewish family that included many scientists, was born in London on July 9, 1933.
Both his parents, he said, were “medical storytellers.” He went on house calls with his father, a ­Yiddish-speaking doctor, and studied anatomy with his mother, a surgeon who sought to instill in her son a love of anatomy by performing dissections with him.
She also instilled in him what he described as a sense of shame about his sexuality.
“You are an abomination,” she told him, Dr. Sacks recalled, when she learned of her son’s homosexual leanings. “I wish you had never been born.”
Dr. Sacks reflected on the exchange years later in “On the Move,” a memoir that would be his last volume published in his lifetime.
“We are all creatures of our upbringings, our cultures, our times,” he wrote. “My mother did not mean to be cruel, to wish me dead. She was suddenly overwhelmed, I now realize, and she probably regretted her words or perhaps partitioned them off in a closeted part of her mind. But her words haunted me for much of my life and played a major part in inhibiting and injecting with guilt what should have been a free and joyous expression of sexuality.”
During World War II, he was evacuated from London to a boarding school where, he said, he was deprived of food and caned by a sadistic headmaster, an experience that the future doctor linked to his attraction to the orderliness of science.
Medicine also would help him make sense of brother Michael’s experience as a schizophrenic. People without the condition, Dr. Sacks recalled Michael saying, were “rottenly normal.” Two other brothers became physicians.
Dr. Sacks was educated in the 1950s at the University of Oxford, where, while pursuing his medical training, he experimented with LSD. “I did and did not realize I was playing with death,” he would write, describing a subsequent drug addiction that he said lasted several years.
In 1960, he embarked on a vacation in North America and, on arriving in Canada, sent his parents a telegram that read: “Staying.” He hitchhiked his way to San Francisco, where he took up motorcycles and befriended the ­British-born poet and counterculture figure Thom Gunn, who had written a verse titled “The Allegory of the Wolf Boy.”
“He speaks of the duplicity of the wolf boy, between his social life and his nocturnal, that appealed to me very much, the more so as my middle name is Wolf,” Dr. Sacks told the London Guardian, “and so I could pretend to have a sort of lycanthropic part. I would be Dr. Oliver Sacks, the intern, wearing a white coat in the daytime, and then, when the day was over, I would take off into the night, and go for long, crazy moonlit rides.”
He became a self-described “informal medical adviser” to a group of Hells Angels members, reportedly set a state weightlifting record with a 600-pound squat lift, and held several medical residencies before receiving an appointment at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.
“Everything went wrong,” he told the Guardian. “I lost samples. I broke machines. Finally they said to me, ‘Sacks, you’re a menace. Get out. Go see patients. They matter less.’ ”
He published his first book, “Migraine,” in 1970, after treating patients who suffered from the debilitating headaches that he also had experienced since boyhood. His next book was “Awakenings.”
After many years at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Sacks held professorships at Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine.
His writings over the years found wide resonance. The Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter wrote a play, “A Kind of Alaska,” based on “Awakenings.” A play by Peter Brook and an opera with music by Michael Nyman emerged from “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.”
More recent books by Dr. Sacks include “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” (2007), “Hallucinations” (2012) and “On the Move,” released in April. The last volume was dedicated to Billy Hayes, the author of several works of medical literature, with whom Dr. Sacks said he had fallen in love shortly after his 75th birthday. Besides Hayes, he had no immediate survivors.
Dr. Sacks described himself as “a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions.” Those passions included swimming (he swam every day), music (he was a fine pianist) and botany (he favored cycads).
To some, Dr. Sacks at times seemed as unusual as the patients who populated his books. “There will be no one like us when we are gone,” he wrote in the Times essay announcing his impending death, “but then there is no one like anyone else, ever.”
Emily Langer is a reporter on The Washington Post’s obituaries desk. She has written about national and world leaders, celebrated figures in science and the arts, and heroes from all walks of life.

El Camino De Santiago: A Metaphor For Life

Trek on El Camino de Santiago becomes a metaphor for life

by Elizabeth Simpson

When I was a kid, we played a game called chalk the walk.
We’d split into two groups, with one getting a head start to pick a hiding place, draw arrows on the sidewalk and then hide while the other group followed our arrows in search of us.
That game came to mind this summer when I spent two weeks on the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trail across northern Spain that’s marked with yellow arrows painted on curbs, signs, and sometimes, splashed right on the road.
Every year, some 200,000 people trudge or bike along this centuries-old trail that goes from the French-Spanish border to Santiago de Compostela, where legend has it the remains of St. James lie.
The routine goes like this:
Wake. Walk. Eat. Sleep.
That might sound boring, but on a pilgrimage through picturesque towns, it’s exhilarating for these reasons:
You shed the ballast of daily life by taking only what you can carry.
You live in the moment of the next step, leaving how far you walk, where you will stay, up to the road.
You share stories with people from all over the world who walk on this faith:
The Camino provides.
I first heard about the Camino, or The Way of St. James, at my daughter’s graduation from Virginia Tech in 2012. Commencement speaker Annie Hesp, a Tech foreign language instructor, had led student groups there and also convinced actors Martin Sheen and Emilo Estevez to host a showing of their movie “The Way” on campus the previous year.
The father-son team made the 2010 movie, which is about a father who hikes the trail in honor of his son who died on the first day of his journey, as a labor of love. An upswing in popularity of the trail followed.
Alan: This summer, my 17 year old son Danny and I trekked the 75 mile stretch of El Camino de Santiago, La Ruta Portuguesa, from the splendid city of Tui (Tuy) on the Spanish side of the Portuguese border due north to Compostela where, according to tradition, el apostol Santiago's bones are buried. It was an inimitable experience for us both - a total "keeper" whose memory will bring satisfaction to my deathbed.

I’d forgotten about the idea until my parish priest, Father Brian Rafferty, took the pilgrimage. His doing so led me to buy “A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago,” by John Brierley.
Before long I discovered my cousin had been hiking the most popular route from the French border to Santiago in pieces for the last several years.
He planned a segment in June that started in Burgos, across the high central plateau called the Meseta.
The next thing I knew, I was buying my first pair of hiking boots.

Between then and mid-June, I fielded questions from friends that went like this:
“So you must do a lot of hiking.”
“Nope, this will be my first experience.”
“Do you know Spanish?”
“Uh, no.”
“You and your cousin must be very close.”
“Umm, not really.”

Iglesia de Santa Maria in Castrojeriz on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. (Elizabeth Simpson | The Virginian-Pilot)
But I had reached the age my mother was when she died of cancer, a reminder not to put off notions. My industry was downsizing, shedding colleagues unceremoniously into jobs where the vacation clock started over again.
I wanted to put down my cell phone, get out of the car, and live in the moment.
So off I went.
From the moment I set foot on the trail in Burgos, I knew I had made the right decision.
I loved the cadence of walking. The absence of Wi-Fi. The majestic vistas of pastures brimming with poppies, checkerboard fields of wheat and sunflowers, red-roofed villages nestled into valleys.
No GPS, no pinging cell phone, just the inner compass of my body telling me when to slow down and get something to eat and rest.
We fell into a routine of walking, taking a long breakfast, walking again, stopping for the day in the afternoon. Showering, washing clothes in the bathroom sink, hanging them out to dry.
We ate Spanish style, with our largest meal ­midafternoon, then tapas and wine on a patio with pilgrims who happened along.
They spanned the globe. Most were doing the whole trek, which takes about a month.
You can imagine who fits into that category: students, teachers, retired people. Those who had lost their jobs. Those who had quit their jobs. People in transition.
There was a Frenchman, Alain Bouffier, who had retired just months before, and left from his doorstep.
A Spaniard who had hiked the trail several times already, but had recently had surgery to remove part of his stomach and wanted to see if he could do one more.
An 83-year-old artist from Oregon who was walking the trail in bits, staying in the smaller towns, stopping to set up her easel and paint.
An Australian who read about the Camino in a book, sold her business, trained, came last year, and fell on the first day coming down the Pyrenees.
She hopped, using walking sticks, to the next town and took a bus to Pamplona, where an X-ray showed a broken leg that sent her back home, where she had surgery to insert a plate in her leg.
Now, a year later, Jennifer Mackay, the never-say-die 60-year-old Aussie, was back to finish what she started.
Her advice: Take one step at a time. And don’t fall. (Get up if you do!)

Jennifer Mackay, a hiker from Australia, fell and broke her leg last year on the first day of her trek. She came back this year to finish the trail. (Elizabeth Simpson | The Virginian-Pilot)
People hike the Camino for many reasons. The beauty of the hike. The cultural and historical features of a trail with stretches of 2,000-year-old Roman-built roads. Some walk off pain or disappointment or boredom.
They also walk for the same spiritual reasons people have hiked it since the Middle Ages.
Churches, both adobe-walled humble ones and majestic cathedrals, adorn the trail. There’s a monastery where nuns wash your aching feet. Priests give special blessings at pilgrim Masses.
You never know where the pray-with-your-feet journey will lead.
One afternoon we arrived at ruins near Castrojeriz that were once a king’s palace and then a monastery of San Antón, the Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony, dedicated to caring for the sick who came along the Camino.
Now it’s become an “albergue,” a hostel, run by volunteers in spartan conditions.
No electricity, no hot water, no Internet.
We picked out beds in the bunkhouse and shared a communal, candlelit dinner with a North Carolina hiker between high school and college, a Phoenix teacher and the two albergue volunteers, one from Ireland, the other from California.
The talk eventually led to the buzz about a 41-year-old woman who had quit her job in Arizona and disappeared off the trail in April near Astorga.
What happened to her? Would we ever know? One of the volunteers lamented that the news could dissuade women from hiking alone on a trail that’s always been known as a safe one. Still, it’s a story no one takes lightly. Roadside memorials attest to those who have died along the way.
But for the most part it’s an accommodating trail for the young and the old – a woman hiking with her baby, for instance, and hikers well into their 80s.
Father Gerard Postle­thwaite, an English priest who had hiked the trail himself and has also taken a group of his parishioners, also dropped by San Antón to give us a special blessing using a sprig of rosemary and holy water.
He sees the trail as a metaphor for life, and a glimpse of the kingdom of God, where everyone helps each other home, crossing boundaries of language and culture and religion.
You see it at every turn: A couple tending each other’s blisters. A group of women who wander off track, but get stopped by Spanish farmers pointing out the right way.
I got turned around one night in Sahagún, coming back from an evening prayer at a church. Dark was settling in, my phone’s cellular off, so I stopped an elderly couple: “Por favor, donde esta la plaza mayor?”
My halting Spanish flagged me as a “peregrino,” or pilgrim.
The couple could have gestured me to where I needed to go. Instead they walked me to the street where it was a straight shot ahead to the plaza, where children were still playing with their parents and grandparents in the evening light.
When I was planning my trip in the spring, I had thought of taking a bus at some point to skip ahead to the end – I wanted to see Santiago de Compostela, after all – but decided to let the moment move me.
That was a point of the trip after all, to avoid over-planning. I found myself appreciating every step along the way, enjoying the company of my cousin – getting past the small talk of family reunions to the nub of our lives. I decided not to skip to the end. A bonus was hooking up in León with my cousin’s son, and granddaughter, Franca, who turned 10 on the trail.
It’s the age I felt on the whole of my journey, that age when everything feels fresh and anything is possible and it’s OK to play outside all day.
The lessons of the Camino can be learned anywhere along the trail; first that it’s about the journey rather than the destination.
The Camino way is not to judge, knowing everyone walks his or her own path. Some keep a blistering pace; others take their time.
I soon appreciated the simplicity of doing a 100-mile middle stretch, wondering whether I’ll ever finish. I hope to return, but I’ll wait to see where the yellow arrows of life lead me.
In the meantime, I think of Father Gerard’s words, that the Camino makes sense only if you live differently when you get home:
Live simply. Tend to others. Appreciate every step, misstep and detour.
And watch for the arrows.
Elizabeth Simpson, 757-222-5003,
Pilgrim statue in Leon, with yellow arrow directing hikers on the way.
For more information on the Camino, check out these websites:
 American Pilgrims on the Camino:
This organization provides information and issues pilgrim credentials, documents that authenticate your journey, which some of the “albergues” require.
Here’s a description from the website about lodging:
An albergue operates essentially like a youth hostel except that they exist for pilgrims. They provide basic overnight facilities. Most have dormitory-type sleeping arrangements, usually two-tiered bunks, and communal bathing and toilet facilities. Some have a set price, typically 6 to 10 euros a night; others operate on donations. Some serve meals; some have cooking facilities available; some have neither.
Online forum of Camino hikers:
John Brierley’s Camino guide: