Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mon ange d'en haut

Toutes les fois que je me sens seul
Ou peut-être se sentant bleu
Je pense à toutes les choses
Toutes les petites choses vous faites.

Toutes les fois que je me sens moche
Et semblez avoir un froncement des sourcils
Je me rappelle toutes les fois drôles
Et vous le tournez juste à l'envers.

Toutes les fois que je suis déprimé
Et ayez besoin de vous par mon côté
Je me rappelle toutes les choses douces que vous dites
Pour faire la tristesse partir.

Quand j'ai besoin d'une épaule pour pleurer dessus
Vous êtes toujours là
Emporter toutes mes craintes et solitude
quand ma vie est un désordre.

Quand j'ai besoin de meilleur ami et même de quelqu'un pour aimer
Vous êtes là pour moi, comme mon ange d'en haut.

Jacques Prévert - Sables mouvants

Démons et merveilles
Vents et marées
Au loin déjà la mer s'est retirée
Démons et merveilles
Vents et marées
Et toi
Comme une algue doucement carressée par le vent
Dans les sables du lit tu remues en rêvant
Démons et merveilles
Vents et marées
Au loin déjà la mer s'est retirée
Mais dans tes yeux entrouverts
Deux petites vagues sont restées
Démons et merveilles
Vents et marées
Deux petites vagues pour me noyer.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obama has more threats than other presidents-elect

WASHINGTON - Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before. The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president's security is so sensitive.

Earlier this week, the Secret Service looked into the case of a sign posted on a tree in Vay, Idaho, with Obama's name and the offer of a "free public hanging." In North Carolina, civil rights officials complained of threatening racist graffiti targeting Obama found in a tunnel near the North Carolina State University campus.

And in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into "The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool," saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner," said the sign, since taken down.

In the security world, anything "new" can trigger hostility, said Joseph Funk, a former Secret Service agent-turned security consultant who oversaw a private protection detail for Obama before the Secret Service began guarding the candidate in early 2007.

Obama, of course, will be the country's first black president, and Funk said that new element, not just race itself, is probably responsible for a spike in anti-Obama postings and activity. "Anytime you're going to have something that's new, you're going to have increased chatter," he said.

The Secret Service also has cautioned the public not to assume that any threats against Obama are due to racism.

The service investigates threats in a wide range. There are "stated threats" and equally dangerous or lesser incidents considered of "unusual interest" - such as people motivated by obsessions or infatuations or lower-level gestures such as effigies of a candidate or an elected president. The service has said it does not have the luxury of discounting anything until agents have investigated the potential danger.

Racially tinged graffiti - not necessarily directed at Obama - also has emerged in numerous reports across the nation since Election Day, prompting at least one news conference by a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Georgia.

A law enforcement official who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly said that during the campaign there was a spike in anti-Obama rhetoric on the Internet - "a lot of ranting and raving with no capability, credibility or specificity to it."

There were two threatening cases with racial overtones:

- In Denver, a group of men with guns and bulletproof vests made racist threats against Obama and sparked fears of an assassination plot during the Democratic National Convention in August.

- Just before the election, two skinheads in Tennessee were charged with plotting to behead blacks across the country and assassinate Obama while wearing white top hats and tuxedos.

In both cases, authorities determined the men were not capable of carrying out their plots.

In Milwaukee, police officials found a poster of Obama with a bullet going toward his head - discovered on a table in a police station.

Chatter among white supremacists on the Internet has increased throughout the campaign and since Election Day.

One of the most popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day, according to an AP count. The site,, was temporarily off-line Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received after Election Day. On Saturday, one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed."

It is not surprising that a black president would galvanize the white supremacist movement, said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who studies the white supremacy movement.

"The overwhelming flavor of the white supremacist world is a mix of desperation, confusion and hoping that this will somehow turn into a good thing for them," Potok said. He said hate groups have been on the rise in the past seven years because of a common concern about immigration.

Mission Honors Homeless Veterans; 150,000 Living on Streets After Serving Country

Michael Drost

For more than 150,000 veterans, their biggest ordeal may not be the Vietnam War and its aftermath, or dealing with Gulf War syndrome, or even years of discipline in their unit. For them, life's toughest challenge may be living on the streets.

In the District on Veterans Day, the Central Union Mission paid tribute to homeless and other veterans with a special luncheon to draw attention to the plight of the more than 150,000 veterans nationwide who are without a home on any given night. Leon Jones is one of those veterans.

"It's a terrific thing what the mission has done for me and for veterans; it's beautiful because this is a place of God," he said.

Mr. Jones, 57, was in the Army from 1969 to 1971, serving in a field artillery unit while stationed in Germany. He has been receiving assistance from the mission since 1995 and has been homeless since July.

He praised the efforts of the mission and the Department of Veterans Affairs, with one reservation.

"They need to make it easier and less complicated for veterans to get help. I mean, of course they do fantastic things, but for 150,000 veterans, including myself, to be homeless is a travesty," he said.

Retired Lt. Col. David Treadwell, executive director of the mission and a Vietnam veteran, echoed Mr. Jones' remarks.

"What I don't understand is why do [VA officials] feel that some veterans qualify for help and some don't. That's the big question I think this event addresses, because any person who serves should qualify," he said.

"As a former infantry soldier myself, I am devoted to honoring those who have dutifully served America," he said.

More than 308,000 veterans experience homelessness in any given year, according to the VA. About 2,400 homeless veterans live in the District.

About 25 veterans were among the special guests at the Central Union Mission's annual event. Also attending were more than 50 volunteers and clients of the mission, created more than 124 years ago to serve homeless veterans of the Civil War.

Mr. Treadwell presided over the festivities, which included prayers to recognize the service of veterans and a special meal of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy. Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, gave the keynote speech.

"The Bible says that for those who owe debts, repay debts; and America owes a debt to you," he said.

"Most of us live under the umbrella of protection that you have provided," said Mr. Pence, who did not serve in the military.

Charles "Chico" Jones, 73, served in the Army during the 1950-53 Korean War. He has been coming to the mission for several years, receiving food and clothing and housing assistance. This was his first time at the Veterans Day luncheon.

Although Mr. Jones did not speak at the ceremony, he later said he wished he had, so that he could relate the lessons he learned in combat.

"When I first shipped out, most of us didn't think it was an honorable idea to die for your country, but then I would see a man fall on a grenade to save his friends, and that's when I realized it is an honor to die for your comrades," he said.

At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, another group of lesser-known veterans was honored. The service of women was the theme.

"Women carried the scars of Vietnam just as the men did," said Diane Carlson Evans, founder of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, who delivered the keynote speech at the observance. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the construction of the Vietnam Women's Memorial.

Eight U.S. servicewomen, all of whom were nurses, were killed in action during the conflict.

Sgt. Maj. Cynthia Pritchette, who served two years as the Army command sergeant major for the Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan, also spoke.

"The women who served during Vietnam are courageous role models and patriots for those of us who serve today," she said.

George Carlin Honored With Mark Twain Prize

Morning Edition · The late comedian George Carlin was honored Monday night with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Carlin is famous for those "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV." The Mark Twain Prize was the only comedy award Carlin believed was a legitimate comedy prize.

Israel lauds Saudi peace plan before King Abdullah

UNITED NATIONS (Nov 13, 2008) - Israeli President Shimon Peres seized the rare opportunity of being in the same hall as Saudi King Abdullah on Wednesday to praise a Saudi peace initiative that he said had brought hope to the Middle East.

Addressing a special high-level UN General Assembly meeting on dialogue between different religions, Peres termed some of the language in an Arab peace proposal based on the Saudi initiative "inspirational and promising -- a serious opening for real progress."

It was a rare moment -- an Israeli head of state speaking directly to the Saudi Arabian leader, whose country does not recognize Israel. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have signed full peace accords with the Jewish state.

Israeli officials, including Peres, have previously said Israel was seriously reconsidering the 2002 Saudi peace initiative, which calls for full Arab recognition of Israel if it gives up lands occupied in a 1967 war and accepts a solution for Palestinian refugees.

But this was the first time a representative of Israel was able to address Abdullah directly.

"Your Majesty, the King of Saudi Arabia, I was listening to your message," Peres said from the podium after the king spoke of the need for religious tolerance and said terrorism was the enemy of religion.

"I wish that your voice will become the prevailing voice of the whole region, of all people," Peres told Abdullah.

"It's right, it's needed, it's promising," he said.

Unlike Peres, the king did not directly refer to the Saudi initiative when addressing the assembly.

"The initiative's portrayal of our region's future provides hope to the people and inspires confidence in the nations," Peres told the audience, which included US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and numerous Middle Eastern heads of state.

Peres, whose position is largely ceremonial, holds little power. But Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister and chief negotiator in talks with the Palestinians, joined Peres in praising the Saudis.

"The Saudi initiative itself is something that sent a very good message," Livni said at a news conference with Peres. Unfortunately, she said, the Arab proposal based on the Saudi plan was not as good, particularly on the issue of refugees.

Livni, who could become prime minister after Israel's general election in February, added that Arab-Israeli peace needed to be hammered out in bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors.

Despite Peres' and Livni's newfound praise, Israel has never officially endorsed the Saudi initiative, citing reservations about refugees and Jerusalem.

Peres said Israel was making progress in talks with the Palestinians and "exploring the possibility of real peace with the Syrians, the last in the list of historic conflicts."

"However, there are those in our region who sow hatred and try to widen the abyss and erect barriers, those who seek to wipe out other people and encourage killing," Peres said.

Disputes over Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, divisions among the Palestinians and Israel's recent political crisis have frustrated attempts by Washington to clinch an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the end of this year.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that he did not expect an agreement by then.