As of sept 28th 2012
As of sept 28th 2012
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On this day in 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France. He later documented the event in a painting titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices; however, during his lifetime, he was a poster boy for tortured starving artists and sold only one painting.
Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in the Netherlands. He had a difficult, nervous personality and worked unsuccessfully at an art gallery and then as a preacher among poor miners in Belgium. In 1880, he decided to become an artist. His work from this period–the most famous of which is The Potato Eaters (1885)–is dark and somber and reflective of the experiences he had among peasants and impoverished miners.
In 1886, Van Gogh moved to Paris where his younger brother Theo, with whom he was close, lived. Theo, an art dealer, supported his brother financially and introduced him to a number of artists, including Paul Gauguin, Camille Pisarro and Georges Seurat. Influenced by these and other painters, Van Gogh’s own artistic style lightened up and he began using more color.
In 1888, Van Gogh rented a house in Arles in the south of France, where he hoped to found an artists’ colony and be less of a burden to his brother. In Arles, Van Gogh painted vivid scenes from the countryside as well as still-lifes, including his famous sunflower series. Gauguin came to stay with him in Arles and the two men worked together for almost two months. However, tensions developed and on December 23, in a fit of dementia, Van Gogh threatened his friend with a knife before turning it on himself and mutilating his ear lobe. Afterward, he allegedly wrapped up the ear and gave it to a prostitute at a nearby brothel. Following that incident, Van Gogh was hospitalized in Arles and then checked himself into a mental institution in Saint-Remy for a year. During his stay in Saint-Remy, he fluctuated between periods of madness and intense creativity, in which he produced some of his best and most well-known works, including Starry Night and Irises.
In May 1890, Van Gogh moved to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, where he continued to be plagued by despair and loneliness. On July 27, 1890, he shot himself and died two days later at age 37
Judges across the country vowed to strike, and lawyers filed several legal challenges to the move by President Mohamed Morsi, who has said he is assuming broad powers temporarily to combat entrenched remnants of the former authoritarian government. The constitutional court, meanwhile, hinted that it may weigh in on the matter, directly challenging the man who has tried to sideline them.
With hundreds of protesters camping out in Tahrir Square and vowing not to leave until the president rescinds his decrees, and Morsi’s Islamist backers and his opponents both planning to mobilize dueling demonstrations in the coming week, compromise was nowhere in sight.
In a Cairo hall packed with lawyers and judges, the man who was prosecutor general until Morsi booted him from office Thursday vowed that he would fight the sidelining of the courts if it cost him his life.
“These groups do not know what is righteous,” Abdel Meguid Mahmoud said to cheers. An appointee of former president Hosni Mubarak, Mahmoud has presided over the acquittals of many officials of the old autocratic government, and Islamists and liberal revolutionaries alike had wanted him gone. On Saturday, however, many of those secularists found themselves on his side, with the country’s leading liberal politicians and human rights organizations uniting in opposition to Morsi’s measures.
Outside the country’s main administrative courts, protesters fought with police, who fired tear gas at them. Egypt’s judges’ association, many of whose members were appointed by Mubarak, called the moves an “unprecedented assault on the judiciary,” and the head of the judges’ group in the coastal city of Alexandria said that courts there were already on strike.
Morsi issued his decrees just a day after garnering international praise for helping bring about a cease-fire between the Gaza Strip and Israel following a week of bloody conflict. That enthusiasm quickly dimmed after his announcement, including in the United States, where the State Department said Friday that the actions “raise concerns.” But it was not clear whether U.S. officials would be willing to jeopardize Egypt’s role as a broker between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers by pushing too hard on the domestic front.
Morsi has said that the steps were necessary to prevent what he termed a small group of “weevils” from eating away at democratic gains of the past two years. The constitutional court had appeared poised to dissolve within weeks the body writing a new constitution, as well as the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament. The court had already dismissed the lower house in June, shortly before Morsi was inaugurated. He has said he will give up his powers once a new constitution and parliament are in place.
“All the obstacles that have occurred during the transitional period . . . were made by remnants of the former regime to discredit the revolution and hinder its movement,” the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, a Morsi ally, said in a statement Saturday.
Morsi backers said that the constitutional court had been harming democracy, not helping it, by issuing dramatic rulings that shut down new institutions as they emerged.
The constitutional court, meanwhile, held an emergency meeting of its own Saturday. It said afterward that it was not going to comment on the edicts because legal cases “might be referred to the court concerning the constitutional declaration.”
But that in itself was a challenge to Morsi, since his emendations to Egypt’s transitional constitution said that no court was permitted to question any of his decisions. Legal analysts said that if the court finds that the president is not permitted to amend the constitution, it may also have to void an August decision by Morsi to strip the military of its power to declare legislation.
“Egypt has gone so far into a constitutional twilight zone . . . you make up the rules as you go along,” said Elijah Zarwan, a Cairo-based Egypt expert at the European Center for Foreign Relations. “Basically, between Morsi and the Constitutional Court there is a confrontation of dueling legitimacies.”
Amer Shakhatreh contributed to this report.
This is what happens when the ” Government” is proclaimed as the “parent” … How dare any woman of any color just spread her legs without a care in the world about being responsible. She could easily have closed her legs and prevented her “issues”. But again she CHOSE to procreate repeatedly and now blames everyone but herself for her circumstance. I do not know but would also guess this “mom” had this example from her mother. Truly pathetic excuse of a responsible mother. ChicagoJT 1 hour ago
This woman did not just “find” herself in that situation. She put herself in that situation by having that many kids. What kind of idiot has 15 kids they know they cannot support? She needs her tubes tied. funky8757 7 hours ago
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