Posted at 8:15 AM on January 28, 2008
by Bob Collins
It must be hard growing up in today's world with a name like Pollyanna, the universal way to dismiss any idea -- realistic or not. But maybe Pollyanna has a place at today's table. Or maybe not. NPR explores the question.
Hesham Hussein died over the weekend in a car crash in Saudi Arabia.
He founded two Islamic schools and was a frequent voice for the Twin Cities' Muslim community.
He had occasional appearances in MPR stories, most recently one about the refusal of some Muslims who work checkout counters to handle pork, and the controversy a year ago in Minneapolis when some Muslim cab drivers refused certain fares on religious principles.
Back in 2004, he talked with MPR's Brandt Williams for a series on Islamic life.
"And the same is when you are growing up in a Muslim country and it's occupied and there's poverty and there is no chance for receiving a good education, there is no chance of getting good jobs there is no hope and for a lot of these families and these youth growing up for the future, then you start seeing these things."
Last April he was invited to give the opening prayer at a session of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
· In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
· Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
· Most Gracious, Most Merciful; · Master of the day of judgment.
· We worship you, and seek your help
· Guide us to the straight path,
· The path of those whom you blessed, not those who deserve wrath, nor those who went astray.
· God, show us the truth as it is true and give us the ability to follow it
· And Show us falsehood as it is false and give us the ability to avoid falsehood
· And not confuse it with truth
· God you are Just.
· We seek refuge in you from injustice; whether suffering injustice or causing injustice to others, we seek refuge in you
· God, join our hearts in all goodness and give us the ability to understand those who have different opinions than us. Make our debate a way through which you guide us to what is best for us.
· God, our knowledge is limited and your knowledge is not
· Bless our time and our efforts and help us speak for those who can not speak for them selves,
· Help us provide a shelter for everyone who needs a shelter, Help us provide care for everyone who needs care, Help us take care of our elders and provide education for our children
· God increase our resources and bless them for us
· Bless our budget and guide us to the best way to spend it for the benefit of every resident of our state.
· God, You are the peace, the source of peace, enable us to live in peace and resolve our differences in peace.
· God Bless our hearts, our souls, our bodies and our minds. Protect us from all evil, Protect us from Greed, from arrogance, ignorance, from violence, from fear.
· Bless our time, our effort, our people and our state.
You can view his appearance at about a minute into the video here.
(H/T Online Rilha)(10 Comments)
Last year, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, grabbed some headlines for a smooch with President Bush on the way out of House chambers after his State of the Union speech.
Apparently, she's positioned again, according to the blog, Politico. She's among a handful of "squatters," who arrive early to get a good seat near the aisle, and a chance to shake the president's hand, or whatever.(1 Comments)
Sharp-eyed MPR Midmorning producer Nancy Lebens found an odd word in today's Washington Post preview of President Bush's State of the Union address:
For years, President Bush and his advisers expressed frustration that the White House received little credit for the nation's strong economic performance because of public discontent about the Iraq war. Today, the president is getting little credit for improved security in Iraq, as the public increasingly focuses on a struggling U.S. economy.
That is the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight. For the first time in four years, he will come before Congress able to report some progress in tamping down violence in Iraq. Yet the public appears to have moved on from the war -- and possibly from Bush himself.
Under what scenario could this not be President Bush's final State of the Union address?
The 22nd Amendment says:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
What about vice president? Nope. The 12th Amendment takes care of that, because it's an elected office.
The third in line of succession is the Speaker of the U.S. House, currently Nancy Pelosi. There's nothing to prevent President Bush from running for Congress in November and becoming Speaker of the House if the Republicans should sweep into power. Likewise, he could run for the Senate, be named Senate president, and the President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House are unable to serve.
Then, if something were to happen to the elected ticket, the president could give another State of the Union speech. Officially, though, it couldn't occur until 2010. The first speeches of incoming sessions are, technically, speeches "to a joint session of Congress," and aren't considered State of the Union speeches.
The only other scenario I can come up with in which this isn't President Bush's final State of the Union address is if he were to join the cabinet of the incoming president, and the entire line of succession above him is unable to serve.
Does the Washington Post know something?(3 Comments)
A report from a congressional committee released Monday says FEMA ignored government research on the long-term effects of formaldehyde in trailers used by victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The House Science and Technology subcommittee says FEMA manipulated findings to play down the dangers posed by the chemical.
FEMA responded to the report late Monday afternoon:
Secretary Chertoff and Administrator Paulison have each made it clear that the health and safety of residents is FEMA's top priority. Every person who has called FEMA's formaldehyde call centers with concerns has been offered an immediate move to a hotel or motel until alternative housing is located.
Whatever happened to those trailers? Many were sold for pennies on the dollar. Some FEMA trailers are now housing victims of last summer's flooding in southeast Minnesota.
Though not nearly as widespread, some of the complaints from Katrina residents have been reported by Minnesotans, too.
A letter-writer to the St. Cloud Times says she experienced the problems firsthand.
Our daughter, her fiance, their 21/2 month old baby, her fiance's brother and a dog all moved into a mobile home in Minnesota last month. The mobile came from FEMA and had been used after Hurricane Katrina. Within three nights, two of the three adults experienced chest pain so serious my daughter considered calling 911. Everyone, including the dog, became extraordinarily fatigued.
... A friend spent about four hours with them and developed chest pain so severe he wanted to cry. I developed breathing difficulty after spending less than 10 minutes inside the mobile home. ...
The first FEMA trailer went to Bonnie and Roger Oldham, the family who rode their home for 1,000 yards during the flood in Stockton. After the first night, Roger Oldham reportedly had lung problems, said the Associate Press:
Roger Oldham's lungs seemed to be irritated by the trailer's "new" smell, but after airing it out the family planned to sleep in it. Still, Bonnie was concerned.
She said Roger has from heart problems and woke up Sunday morning unable to breathe. "I don't care if I lose everything here, I don't want to lose him," she said.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)