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  1. I Wake Up To Flames

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    By Rhonda Hansome

    I wake up to flames.  It’s almost 5:30, let’s see the news this morning.  Flames, what’s that on fire?  At least I recharged batteries in my camera and flipcam yesterday so they’ll work, IF I remember to pack them.  The US ambassador to Libya and others killed after the Benghazi consulate is set fire by protestors?  Yikes, thank goddess I’m not going to Libya!

    For the past two weeks, in my increasingly rare moments of quiet, I’ve attended to virtual packing.  Just yesterday I visualized my suitcase and carryon bag chockfull and set by the door.  In reality tomorrow begins eleven days away from home and I haven’t packed a real thing yet.  

    What’s the second lead news story?  Don’t tell me more flames?  Well at least I’ve found my suitcase & opened it.  In Cairo protestors spray painted the 12 foot wall surrounding the US embassy, scaled the wall, pulled down the American flag and burned it!  Yikes, thank goddess I’m not going to Egypt! 

    What the hell’s going on?  Oh, Florida’s Pastor Terry Jones is up to his old hijinks: inciting the world’s Muslims into anti – American riots via an internet trailer depicting the Prophet Muhammad having sex and exhorting massacres.  Way to go pastor!  The world - wide media coverage two years ago of Burn Your Koran Day, sparking international outrage, an attack on the United Nations Assistance mission in Afghanistan and the death of 40, did not quite fill your 15 minute quota of fame and flames.

    Damn, I just found a TSA notice in this suitcase.  Seems the last time I traveled to LA the Transportation Security Administration, to protect me and my fellow passengers, selected my bunji cord secured, LOCKED suitcase to OPEN and physically inspect.  The thought of TSA inspector # so-in-so fingering my thong or testing my Candied Ginger Body Butter for explosive properties…Ewww I feel so violated in retrospect!  I put a lock on my suitcase to keep pilfering airport personnel out!  What good is that lock?  In the words of my sainted mother, who’d make an exasperated sign of the cross and sigh, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”  

    I leave my country tomorrow and my empty portmanteau mocks me.  Do I pack coordinating outfits for every possible activity from frolicking in the surf, to meeting state dignitaries? Or do I embark on a 14 hour journey across the globe and spend more than a week abroad with only my toothbrush, passport and the clothes on my back?  Which just happen to be too loose jeans and a tee shirt sporting aged tomato sauce.  I hate leaving packing to the last minute. 

    What’s the morning’s third lead news story?  Something about a phone call.  How many pairs of shoes can I wear in 11 days? 20!  Seems Obama and Netanyahu had an hour long phone call. “The call followed a declaration from Netanyahu that the US has no ‘moral right’ to restrain Israel from attacking Iran’s suspected weapons program as long as it doesn’t set any ‘red lines’ for Iran.” *   That quote sounds suspiciously like preparation to denying a state of war, which is usually the lead to revealing that a state of war has been in process!  Wait a minute – That call is about Israel attacking Iran????  Tomorrow I leave for Tel Aviv!!!!

    *Obama Discusses Iran Nuclear Threat With Netanyahu In Phone Call Bloomberg Business Week by Margaret Talev and Gwen Ackerman September 11, 2012

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