Friday, May 6, 2011

CALMARE -- calls itself a TENS device

This is a copy of what Competitive Technologies submitted to the FDA as part of the requirement for 510(k) Premarket Notification.  I think the company's own application answers quite a few questions!

Device Classification Name:  stimulator, nerve, transcutaneous, for pain relief
Regulation Description:  Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator for pain relief

510(k) Number: K081255
49 plain st.
north attleboro, MA 02760 2

Contact:  mary mcnamara
Regulation Number:  882.5890
Classification Product Code:  GZJ
Date Received:  05/02/2008
Decision Date:  02/20/2009
Decision:  substantially equivalent (SE)
Classification Advisory Committee:  Neurology
Review Advisory Committee:  Orthopedic
Type: Traditional
Reviewed by Third Party:  No
Expedited Review:  No

From the FDA website: 

Section 510(k) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires those device manufacturers who must register to notify FDA their intent to market a medical device. This is known as Premarket Notification (PMN) or 510(k). Under 510(k), before a manufacturer can market a medical device in the United States, they must demonstrate to FDA’s satisfaction that it is substantially equivalent (as safe and effective) to a device already on the market. If FDA rules the device is "substantially equivalent," the manufacturer can market the device. If the device you are researching has been in commercial distribution before 1976 or is substantially equivalent to a device already on the market, you should search FDA’s 510(k) releasable database.
So the irony is that the company claimed and was deemed, in fact, to have "substantial equivalence" to preexisting TENS devices... But now it wants to distance itself from any comparison to TENS technology. 


Prof is Pissed and Buddy the Kitten Finally Goes UP!

I am, as they say in the Southern Realms of the United States of America, fit to be tied.

First, I'm febrile, oh so febrile, as febrile as febrile can be....    ♪ ♫

Second, there is a person on YouTube who keeps leaving me kind messages.  The person claims to be a Mom whose son was cured of CRPS by a contraption and bless her, she thinks I should get cured by a contraption, too.

And all those good wishes and sweet suggestions are about to piss me off in a royally major way.
That's what you get for ending all your messages to me with a cheerful "God bless" and for being all conciliatory and stuff.

This person is pushing the bleeping Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology... and you probably haven't heard of it, but then you probably don't hang out on message boards dealing with CRPS.  It's utter nonsense and is being put out there by the devious, the deviant, and the people that the devious and the deviant have hoodwinked.

By the way, no one should hang out on message boards dealing with CRPS. It's not a healthy habit.  I mean, you get a bunch of people who are not getting better (why else would they be there?), who are, by self-definition, People of Pain, and who are likely socially isolated due to disability, the aforementioned pain, and pain's stalwart companion, depression.  It just sounds like so much... FUN! 

So that's a rule, then.  No hanging out in such spots.  But a regular check on good threads, that's permitted.  I would be lost without the helpful suggestions I encounter on those boards -- where to find the softest clothes, what doctor is doing what treatment, news of clinical trials, morbid jokes. 

Mostly, though, I check in -- at least 3 times a week -- to take a look in a mirror, mentally as much as physically.  Has anyone else considered taking a chainsaw to their legs?  After we lop off one arm, who can we rely on to get rid of the other one?  Important things.

I also check in to see if what is happening to me should send me screaming into the frozen hinterlands or if it is just part of the normal abnormality of this weird, weird disease.  Like the fact that my leg is leaking... Or that I have 2 blue toes, 1 red, and 2 tartan plaids.  It is somewhat reassuring to see pictures of other people's fingernails -- Hey, their nails are falling off and cruddy looking, too!

I promise you, however, that it will be a cold day in Hell before I author any version of the phrase "Being here makes me feel less alone..."   I suppose I should explain myself, but I'm not going to.  Because I know what I mean.  And whose blog is it, anyway?  Harrumph, squared.

Back to this irritant of a Calmare thingy.

At the moment, the only physician in the entire United States who has suckled at the tit of the inventor of the Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology is one Dr. D'Amato, of Rhode Island (or so I hear, over here in Tête de Hergé, where there is no illness, of course, nor traffic accidents).

Yeah, there *is* a guy opening up 14 pain clinics using the Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology (Spero Pain Relief Therapy clinics).  Guess what?  He's an OB/Gyn.  Just who I want doing pain management for a central nervous system degenerative disorder.  More from him in a moment.

Cut me some slack today, would'ya?
Give me some latitude.
I don't feel well and I can't get a'holt o'that there magic poof machine (and it ain't covered by insurance, neither.)

Ahem.  Okay.  The ibuprofen is kicking in.  I love ibuprofen.  I should own stock...

Speaking of stock: CTT is the parent company in the USA...and it's now a penny stock.  Or almost -- it closed today at 1.70.  Because some rubber-stamping idiot approved Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology as a vendor to the VA, all the devious, deviants, and the hoodwinked are going on and on about how if it's good enough for our Wounded Warriors at the "flagship" Walter Reed (I'm thinking they don't read the Washington Post), then, by gum, it's good enough for you CRPSers!

The Italian inventor was less circumspect, if you can believe it.  He claimed that Calmare Magic Poof-the-Pain-Away Crap Technology could reverse aging.

Now you're talking!

Meet, my friends, Giuseppe Marineo, and his explanatory woo and gobbledy-gook from the Italian arm of operations, Delta R&D:
Delta R&D is a bioengineering research centre with a unique history. It was born out of individual research work begun in 1983 by Giuseppe Marineo, a researcher and bioengineer, who advanced theories to reformulate the concept of disease (and the corresponding treatment) from a biophysical rather than biochemical point of view. The idea was to restructure the known features of both according to the principles of thermodynamics by means of an analysis and the detailed specification of the relations between entropy, disease, repair processes and ageing.

This new approach to the interpretation of the traditional aspects of medical science makes it possible to go from a highly heuristic system to an extremely conceptual and rationalized system, which can create models of disease and treatment so sophisticated as to render the experimental results highly predictable. If the latter are in line with the predictions they automatically validate the development model.
Furthermore, the very name of the theoretical system developed entails a natural transition from reductionist methods to systems theory which, in the present research, takes the form of a powerful working tool capable of providing adequate support for the development of therapies of practical utility.

In practice Marineo introduced into medical science the research and development criteria typical of engineering, in which the thoroughness of the preliminary theoretical work fully determines the expectations of the experimental verification of the method used. In 1987 the basic research was already sufficiently well structured to be supported by a technology capable of translating the theoretical system into a truly useful therapy.

The first experimental verifications fully confirmed the validity of the theoretical models developed and opened up concrete future prospects for the safe and non-invasive treatment of pathologies for which conventional methods had proved ineffective.
In 1998 the Italian scientific community, which had been constantly informed of all research developments, deemed the product of 15 years research to be scientifically valid, the theoretical principles and experimental data to have been clearly demonstrated and the bioethical principles regarding the respect and protection of the patient to have been respected.

In other words, the research carried out by a private individual was accepted and supported by the public authorities. It was consequently possible to begin official university and hospital studies, at the conclusion of which the first international publications were produced.

In order to support these changes, in May 1998 Delta R&D was set up, thus marking the beginning of the mature stage of this individual research endeavour. Although the original philosophy was retained, a logistical structure was now available to satisfy the new phases of development and to maintain and expand relations with the international scientific community.

In Italy the Delta R&D company became a research centre incorporated into a public structure thanks to the prestigious acknowledgement of the Tor Vergata University of Rome in the form of an agreement in which Delta R&D is recognized as part of the scientific structure of the university while retaining its autonomy and individuality.

Outside Italy, Delta R&D, the theoretical and research work on the Delta-S Entropy Variation Systems and “Scrambler Therapy” pain therapy resulted in Giuseppe Marineo receiving scientific awards for the originality of the basic research, in addition to numerous other acknowledgements by the international scientific community inherent in the acceptance of the proposed published works.

I dunno, maybe that's not your favorite type of woo and gobbledy-gook.  How about this?  From the lips of Dr. Robert Chalmers, former OB/Gyn:

Q-How do you do Calmare , Exactly?

The treatment is actually quite simple. It involved the machine, wires and surface electrodes that deliver the electrical waveforms. The surface electrodes are the same used in heart monitoring such as an EKG. The patients sits or lies comfortable during each 45 minute treatment session. The electrodes are placed OUTSIDE the area of pain so they will not increase the pain in patients with allodynia from CRPS

Q-How does it work?

The mechanism is completely unique. The primary issue with CPRS is the so called physiologic "wind-up" in the brain. This is a complicated change in the nervous system and can be traced at least in part to changes in NMDA receptors in the brain. We need to get to the brain to help with this disease. The use of electricity for the management of pain is not unique to the Calmare system and I am sure many RSD sufferers have tried traditional TENS therapy. However, the Calmare system is not anything like a TENS unit. Injury or other noxious stimulus in the body creates pain chemicals. These chemicals in turn get converted into electrical impulses by your nerves which get transmitted to the brain and get INTERPRETED by the brain. When we use the Calmare system we "control" the electrical impulses that the brain is recieving. By manipulating the input into the brain we "convince" the brain that the area of the body where pain was present is now normal. We know that the brain can be taught, in medicine we refer to thoses changes as Neuroplasticity and there is quite a bit of interesting reading on that topic on the internet if you have the time. I was the worlds biggest cynic prior to actually treating patients with the machine. I thought it was TENS or Placebo but nearly every patient I have treated has already tried TENS therapy and they can tell you this is nothing like TENS.It works!

Mystery solved.  "It works!" He hits all the right buzz words:  allodynia, neuroplasticity, NMDA receptors, physiologic wind-up...  Oh, gag me with a spoon.  Does any of it make sense?  Not a bit.

You want real breaking news?  Hmm?  Do you think you can handle some real news?  Well, do ya?

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I'm entitled to them.

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I want the truth!

Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

Kaffee: Did you order the code red?

Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

Kaffee: Did you order the code red?

Jessep: You're goddamn right I did!!

Oops.  Sorry...  It just feels like A Few Good Men kind of an afternoon.  Did I mention that I am febrile?
That I'm febrile, oh so febrile, as febrile as febrile can be?   ♪ ♫
Oh, I did.  Okay.  Well, I bet you don't know that I sprang a leak!  Yep, drip, drip, drip goes my leg, leg, leg...  Oh, I mentioned that. 

How about this?  I feel cranky.  That's gotta be news, because I am NEVER cranky!


BUDDY THE KITTEN, of course.

It turns out that the kitten was not being a contemplative, not waxing philosophical.   He wasn't meditating on the idea of UP after all.  The Kitten wants the cord to the ceiling fan!  That's what he's been gazing at in adoration for the last few weeks.  What cracks me up is that he had the other two cats doing it, as well as a human or two.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


word to the wise.  when you so cleverly think you are studying up on a couple of antibiotics?  and when, after a while, dosages 'n shit start to look kinda strange?

check to see if you aren't on a site called:

The Layman's Guide to Medication Use in Pet Rats.

Music of the Day

Uploaded to YouTube by jetsandmets93, two years ago

Uploaded by realpocobyrds on Dec 24, 2009

an email to diana and carol

I don't have the energy to rewrite what is going on in my head, so here is the text of an email I just sent off to two friends very familiar with my "issues":

Sometimes, when I get desperate, my luck changes...

Monday’s treatment was horrible. I started crying before they even started the i.v. – it just felt so futile. All I could think of was how this was my last chance for pain relief. I felt very bad because when I came out of it, I learned that the nurses were really upset by me being upset. But I couldn’t help it.

Okay, now... follow this story closely!

Last week sometime, out of desperation, I emailed Dr. Robert Schwartzman, the chairman of the Neurology Dept at Drexel University, and probably the most knowledgeable person on the planet about CRPS. I wrote him years ago and really didn’t expect an answer. I wanted advice on "how to maximize the benefits of my subanesthetic ketamine infusions."

When I got home Monday, there was an email waiting from him. It was very TO THE POINT:


You have not had enough ketamine. You need ten consecutive treatments of two hundred milligrams per day with midazolam and clonidine. If this is ineffective, you need five days in the hospital with much larger subanesthetic doses of 40 milligrams per hour for five days. You would also need midazolam and clonidine with this dose.

This usually shows marked improvement. We will start some new work on stem cells and there are other treatments in the pipeline. If you can get up here and I will be happy to see you.

Best regards,


Just when I had no hope...

But I am getting ZERO support for doing anything more. Fred actually said, “How do you know he’s not just another quack?” I have talked about Schwartzman for YEARS! My go-to-guy actually had the nerve to write that I had already given it “the old college try.” I wanted to slap him.

I knew that Schwartzman has a huge waiting list, and yep, it would take two years just to see him.

Then into my head popped the “MCE” [Medical Centers of Excellence] program that is run by go-to-guy’s MDVIP organization – it is a system of referrals with top notch medical centers... It occurred to me that most cases of CRPS arise from orthopedic problems, injuries, and surgeries. One of the referral hospitals that MDVIP uses is the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC – probably the number 1 orthopedic hospital in the country. So I went to their web site (it was 4 am...) and FOUND THAT THEIR ANESTHESIA/PAIN DEPT IS DOING INPATIENT KETAMINE TREATMENTS!

I also found something on their website that sounds exactly like what is going on with my shoulders:
(CRMO): Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis: “Chronic: because it does not go away for a long time. Recurrent: because it comes back. It cycles between active and dormant, symptoms and no symptoms, exacerbation and remission. Multifocal: because it can erupt in different sites, primarily bones. Each outbreak can be in a different part of the body. Osteomyelitis: because it is very similar to that disease but appears to be without any infection.” Wikipedia

DOESN’T THAT SOUND LIKE ME?????? That would totally explain why nothing grows in the lab!!!!!!

I need all my mental reserves right now – Fred is fed up. Dr. S (my go-to-guy) is fed up. But they can just get over it. I wrote Dr. S that we could start the process of getting me to the HSS in NYC when I see him in June. I want it done right this time. Last time, I was all set to go to Hopkins and ended up at the Medical College of Georgia with a man who did a consult in under 10 minutes (including review of the chart and x-rays).

Whew. Please don’t you two get fed up with me, either.

I so need to get some sleep.

Am I going crazy? Does the stuff I wrote seem reasonable to you? Does continuing the ketamine even make sense?

love, love, love


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
(1 Cor. 13:4)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

chum: bin laden's burial at sea

it's tomorrow and i am reading what i wrote here yesterday.  you'd never know it, but ketamine doesn't really leave you stupid -- just tired and nauseated, with a killer headache.  still, i see the skeleton of a very good post in the detritus below;  i see, especially, a riff on the anthropology of religion, maybe even working in some fascinating schematics, and a kinship chart of the house of saud -- so full of divisive half-siblings and probable liaisons with al rashid that a new symbology will need to be established... enough, at least, to flesh out its ties to bin laden and the gnarled knobbies of the syrian branches of the family tree.

i loves me some kinship charts.

you might be shocked to learn that after majoring, briefly, in premed, then nursing, and, of course, biology, i ended up getting a degree or two in french, with a minor in... cultural anthropology.  it was kind of a toss up as an undergrad which field to honor with my intellectual staying power -- anthropology or foreign languages and literatures.  honest to god, if the anthropology department had been up to speed in the theory of that era (all the theory courses were taught by the same pasty-white, overweight, besotted-by-his-glory-days philanderer), if it had offered more than one introductory course in primatology -- well, then, clearly, i'd have become an accountant.

no, i've not forgotten why i wrote this post.  have you?

i feel enormously alone in the resurgence and depth of my anger over the bush/cheney war waged in iraq, the assinine way we conducted ourselves in afghanistan, and the evident complicity of pakistan in everything from protecting terrorists to fred's ingrown toenail.

it is this anger that distinguishes today from yesterday, this anger that tarnishes the shine in my voice as i sing along with the radio play of lee greenwood's corny and facile god bless the u.s.a.
-- where at least I know I'm free! -- spliced now with president obama's announcement on sunday night of osama bin laden's death.

he was "buried" at sea.  i wonder if anyone involved in this special ops mission anticipated the fascination that would be triggered by this detail.

anyway, this is what it prompted me to produce yesterday -- a half-assed search for foundational doctrine that might make the dumping of a body off of an aircraft carrier consistent with islamic tradition and law.  part of me was, and is, still, so full of blood lust and hatred for osama bin laden that the notion of him as deep sea chum is oddly satisfying.  the fact that this decision also deprives followers of al qaeda of an actual spot to visit and fan the flames of martyrdom?  well, that's just chum gravy.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****
i'm fresh from my sixth ketamine infusion, a whole 2.5 hours away from what proved to be a weepy experience.  that's right.  i cried through the whole thing.  (or so they say.)  these same people claim that u.s. special forces killed osama bin laden yesterday, then dumped his body at sea, calling that in line with "islamic tradition." right.  he sleeps with the fishes, right next to muhammad.

trust wikipedia to actually have an entry, subdivided by religions, on burial at sea:

Islam:  The sacred texts of Islam prefer burial on land, "so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out". However, if a person dies at sea and it is not possible to bring the body back to land before decay, burial at sea is allowed. A weight is tied to the feet of the body, and the body is lowered into the water. This would preferably occur in an area where the remains are not immediately eaten by scavengers. Also, if an enemy may dig up the grave to mutilate the body, it is also allowed to bury the deceased at sea to avoid mutilation.[3]
i fell in love with the foot-noted reference at the end, there -- it turns out to be the stuff we actually wanted to begin with -- actual islamic law on burial.  odd, but in situations where i am completely clueless, like this one, it doesn't seem ghoulish to learn as much as possible.  or maybe that's the ketamine talking (and its metabolites!  don't forget the metabolites!).

Copied below please find:  Islamic Laws according to the Fatawa of Ayatullah al Uzama Syed Ali al-Husaini Seestani -- the English Version of Taudhihul Masae'l, translated by the World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities.

Rules About Burial of the Dead Body

620. It is obligatory to bury a dead body in the ground, so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out, and, if there is a danger of such beasts digging it out then the grave should be made solid with bricks, etc.

621. If it is not possible to bury a dead body in the ground, it may be kept in a vault or a coffin, instead.

622. The dead body should be laid in the grave on its right side so that the face remains towards the Qibla.

623. If a person dies on a ship and if there is no fear of the decay of the dead body and if there is no problem in retaining it for sometime on the ship, it should be kept on it and buried in the ground after reaching the land. Otherwise, after giving Ghusl, Hunut, Kafan and Namaz-e-Mayyit it should be lowered into the sea in a vessel of clay or with a weight tied to its feet. And as far as possible it should not be lowered at a point where it is eaten up immediately by the sea predators.

624. If it is feared that an enemy may dig up the grave and exhume the dead body and amputate its ears or nose or other limbs, it should be lowered into sea, if possible, as stated in the foregoing rule.

625. The expenses of lowering the dead body into the sea, or making the grave solid on the ground can be deducted from the estate of the deceased, if necessary.

626. If a non-Muslim woman dies with a dead child, or soulless foetus in her womb, and if the father is a Muslim then the woman should be laid in the grave on her left side with her back towards Qibla, so that the face of the child is towards Qibla.

627. It is not permitted to bury a Muslim in the graveyard of the non-Muslims, nor to bury a non-Muslim in the graveyard of the Muslims.

628. It is also not permissible to bury the dead body of a Muslim at a place which is disrespectful, like places where garbage is thrown.

629. It is not permissible to bury a dead body in a usurped place nor in a place which is dedicated for purposes other than burial (e.g. in a Masjid).

630. It is not permissible to dig up a grave for the purpose of burying another dead body in it, unless one is sure that the grave is very old and the former body has been totally disintegrated.

631. Anything which is separated from the dead body (even its hair, nail or tooth) should be buried along with it. And if any part of the body, including hair, nails or teeth are found after the body has been buried, they should be buried at a separate place, as per obligatory precaution. And it is Mustahab that nails and teeth cut off or extracted during lifetime are also buried.

632. If a person dies in a well and it is not possible to take him out, the well should be sealed, and the well should be treated as his grave.

633. If a child dies in its mother's womb and its remaining in the womb is dangerous for the mother, it should be brought out in the easiest possible way. If it becomes inevitable to cut it into pieces there is no objection in doing so. It is, however, better that if the husband of the woman is skilled in surgery the dead body of the child should be taken out by him, and failing that, the job should be performed by a skilled woman. And if that is not available, a skilled surgeon who is the mahram (one with whom marriage cannot be contracted) of the woman should do it. And if even that is not available a skilled man who is not mahram (one with whom marriage can be contracted) should remove the dead child. And if even such a person is not available the dead body can be brought out by any unskilled person.

634. If a woman dies and there is a living child in her womb, it should be brought out in the safest possible way, even if there be no hope for the child's survival. The body of the mother should then be sewn up.

Mustahab Acts of Dafn
635. It is Mustahab that the depth of the grave should be approximately equal to the size of an average person and the dead body be buried in the nearest graveyard, except when the graveyard which is situated farther is better due to some reasons, like if pious persons are buried there or people go there in large number for Fateha.

It is also recommended that the coffin is placed on the ground a few yards away from the grave and then taken to the grave by halting three times briefly. It should be placed on the ground every time and then lifted before finally it is lowered into the grave at the 4th time. And if the dead body is of a male, it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time in such a manner that its head should be towards the lower side of the grave and at the 4th time it should be lowered into the grave from the side of its head. And if the dead body is of a female it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time towards the Qibla and should be lowered into the grave sidewise and a cloth should be spread over the grave while lowering it. It is also Mustahab that the dead body should be taken out of the coffin and lowered into the grave very gently, and the prescribed supplications should be recited before and during burying the dead body; and after the dead body has been lowered into the niche, the ties of its shroud should be unfastened and its cheek should be placed on earth, and an earthen pillow should be done up under its head and some unbacked bricks or lumps of clay should be placed behind its back so that the dead body may not return flat on its back. Before closing the niche, the person reciting the talqin should hold with his right hand the right shoulder of the dead body and should place his left hand tightly on its left shoulder and take his mouth near its ear and shaking its shoulders should say thrice: Isma' ifham ya the name of the dead person and his father should be called. For example, if the name of the dead person is Muhammad and his father's name 'Ali it should be said thrice: Isma 'ifham ya Muhammad bin 'Ali. And then he should say: Hal anta 'alal 'ahdil lazi farqtana 'alayhi min shahadati an la ilaha illal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa anna Muhammadan sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi 'abduhu wa Rasuluhu wa sayyidun nabiyyina wa khatamul mursalina wa anna 'Aliyyan Amirul mu'minina wa sayyidul wasiyyina wa imamu nif tarazallahu ta'tahu 'alal 'alamina wa annal Hasana wal Husayna wa 'Aliyyabnal Husayni wa Muhammadabna 'Aliyyin wa Ja'farabna Muhammadin wa Musabna Ja'farin wa 'Aliyyabna Musa wa Muhammadabna'Aliyyin wa 'Aliyyabna Muhammadin wal Hasanabna 'Aliyyin wal Qa'imal hujjatal Mahdi salawatullahi 'alayhim a'i'mmatul mu'minina wa hujajullahi'alal khalqi ajma'ina wa a'immatuka a'immatu hudan abrar ya ........(here the name of the dead person and his father should be called) and then the following words should be said: Iza atakal malakanil muqarraabani Rasulayni min 'indillahi tabaraka wa ta'ala wa sa'alaka 'an Rabbika wa 'an Nabiyyika wa 'an dinika wa 'an Kitabika wa 'an Qiblatika wa 'an A'immatika fala takhaf wa la tahzan wa'qul fi jawabi hima, Allahu Rabbi wa Muhammadun sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi nabiyyi wal Islamu dini wal Qur'anu kitabi wal Ka'batu Qiblati wa Amirul mu'minina 'Aliyybnu Abi Talib imami wal Hasanubnu 'Aliyyi nil Mujtaba imami wal Husaynubnu 'Aliyyi nish-shahidu bi-Karbala imami wa 'Aliyyun Zaynul 'Abidina imami wa Muhammadu nil Baqiru imami wa Ja'faru nis Sadiqu imami wa Musal Kazimu imami wa 'Aliyyu-nir Riza imami wa Muhammadu nil Jawadu imami wa 'Aliyyu nil Hadi imami wal Hasanul 'askari imami wal Hujjatul muntazar imami ha ula'i salawatullahi 'alayhim ajma'in A'i'mmati wa sadati wa qadati wa shufa-a'i bihim atawalla wa min a'daihim atabarra'u fid dunya wal akhirati thumma i'lam ya ....... here the name of the dead person and his father should be called and thereafter it should be said: Annal laha tabaraka wa ta'ala ni'mar-Rabb wa anna Muhammadan sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi ni'mar Rasul wa anna 'Aliyyabna Abi Talib wa awladahul ma'suminal A'i'mmatal ithna 'asharah ni'mal A'i'mmah wa anna ma ja'a bihi Muhammadun sallal lahu 'alayhi wa Alihi haqqun wa annal mawta haqqun wa suwala munkarin wa nakirin fil qabri haqqun wal ba'tha haqqun wan nushura haqqun wassirata haqqun wal mizana haqqun wa tatayiral kutubi haqqun wa annal jannata haqqun wan-nara haqqun wa annas sa'ata a'tiyatun la rayba fiha wa annallaha yab'athu man fil qubur. Then the following words should be said: Afahimta ya .... (here the name of the dead person should be called) and thereafter the following should be said: Thabbatakallahu bil qawlith thabit wa hadakallahu ila siratim mustaqim 'arrafallahu baynaka wa bayna awliya'ika fi mustaqarrim min rahmatih. Then the following words should be uttered: Alla humma jafil arza 'an jambayhi vas'ad biruhihi ilayka wa laqqihi minka burhana Alla humma 'afwaka 'afwaka.

636. It is recommended that the person who lowers the dead body in the grave should be Pak, bare-headed and bare-footed and he should climb out of the grave from the feet side. Moreover, persons, other than the near relatives of the deceased, should put the dust into the grave with the back side of their hands and recite the following: Inna lillahi wa innailayhi raji'un. If the dead person is a woman, her mahram and in the absence of a mahram her kinsmen should lower her in the grave.

637. It is Mustahab that the grave be square or rectangular in shape and its height equal to four fingers' span. A sign should be fixed on it for the purpose of identification and water should be poured on it, and then those present should place their hands on the grave parting their fingers and thrusting them into earth. Then recite Surah al-Qadr 7 times and pray for the forgiveness of the departed soul and say: Alla humma jafil arza 'an jam bayhi wa as'idilayka ruhahu wa laqqihi minka rizwana wa askin qabrahu min rahmatika ma tughneehi bihi 'an rahmati man siwaka.

638. It is Mustahab that when the persons who attended the funeral have departed, the guardian of the dead person or the person whom the guardian grants permission should recite the prescribed supplications for the dead person.

639. It is Mustahab that after the burial, the bereaved family is consoled, praying for their well being. However, if the condolence is given long after the event, and if it serves to refresh the sorrowful memories, then it should be avoided.

It is Mustahab that food be sent to the members of the family of the deceased for 3 days. It is, however, Makrooh to take meal with them in their homes.

640. It is also Mustahab that a person should observe patience on the death of his near ones, especially on the death of his son, and, whenever the memory of the departed soul crosses his mind, he should say: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un and should recite the holy Qur'an for the sake of the departed. A man should visit the graves of his parents and pray there for the blessings of Allah for himself and should make the grave solid so that it may not be easily ruined.

641. As a matter of precaution, one should refrain from scratching one's face or body, or uprooting one's hair to display the grief. However, slapping one's head or face is permitted.

642. It is not permissible to tear one's clothes on the death of anyone except on the death of one's father and brother, though the recommended precaution is that one should not tear one's clothes on their death also.

643. If a wife mourning the death of a husband scratches her face causing blood to come out, or pulls her hair, she should, on the basis of recommended precaution, set a slave free, or feed ten poor, or provide them dress. And the same applies when a man tears his clothes on the death of his wife or son.

644. The recommended precaution is that while weeping over the death of any person one's voice should not be very loud.

Namaz-e-Wahshat (Prayers to be offered for the departed soul on the night of burial)
645. It is befitting that on the first night after the burial of a dead person, two Raka'ats of wahshat prayers be offered for it. The method of offering this prayers is as follows:

646. Wahshat prayers can be offered in the night following the burial of the dead body at any time, but it is better to offer it in the early hours of the night after 'Isha prayers.

647. If it is proposed to transfer the dead body to some other town or its burial is delayed owing to some reason, the wahshat prayers should be deferred till the first night of its burial.

648. It is haraam to open the grave of a Muslim even if it belongs to a child or an insane person. However, there is no objection in doing so if the dead body has decayed and turned into dust.

649. Digging up or destroying the graves of the descendants of Imams, the martyrs, the Ulama and the pious persons is Haraam, even if they are very old, because it amounts to desecration.

650. Digging up the grave is allowed in the following cases:
--When the dead body has been buried in an usurped land and the owner of the land is not willing to let it remain there.
--When the Kafan of the dead body or any other thing buried with it had been usurped and the owner of the thing in question is not willing to let it remain in the grave. Similarly, if anything belonging to the heirs has been buried along with the deceased and the heirs are not willing to let it remain in the grave. However, if the dead person had made a will that a certain supplication or the holy Qur'an or a ring be buried along with his dead body, and if that will is valid, then the grave cannot be opened up to bring those articles out. There are certain situations when the exhuming is not permitted even if the land, the Kafan or the articles buried with the corpse are Ghasbi. But there is no room for details here.
--When opening the grave does not amount to disrespect of the dead person, and it transpires that he was buried without Ghusl or Kafan, or the Ghusl was void, or he was not given Kafan according to religious rules, or was not laid in the grave facing the Qibla.
--When it is necessary to inspect the body of the dead person to establish a right which is more important than exhumation.
--When the dead body of a Muslim has been buried at a place which is against sanctity, like, when it has been buried in the graveyard of non-Muslim or at a place of garbage.
--When the grave is opened up for a legal purpose which is more important than exhumation. For example, when it is proposed to take out a living child from the womb of a buried woman.
--When it is feared that a wild beast would tear up the corpse or it will be carried away by flood or exhumed by the enemy.
--When the deceased has willed that his body be transferred to sacred places before burial, and if it was intentionally or forgetfully buried elsewhere, then the body can be exhumed, provided that doing so does not result in any disrespect to the deceased.

i appreciate this foundational explanation of things, even with pickled brain cells, stinging red eyes, hugely swollen legs, feet, arms, and hands, a fever born, no doubt, from internal combustion.  even with a raw, infected incision, and a portacath that barely works -- that won't deliver any blood but will, with sassy sweet talk, accept ingoing things. 

a cat is sitting on my head, kneading, "making muffins."  another cat is safely tucked under my chin. 

there is a marmy-fluffy-butt type cat patrolling the banks of the murky moat waters beneath the drawbridge -- raised now, for we are maintaining heightened security here at marlinspike hall, deep, deep in the tête de hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs).

making chum of bin laden may have repercussions.

In the first Raka'at, after reciting Surah al-Hamd, Ayatul Kursi should be recited once and in the second Raka'at, Surah al-Qadr should be recited 10 times after Surah-al-Hamd; and after saying the Salam the following supplication should be recited: Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad wab'ath thawabaha ila qabri ......(here the name of the dead person and his father's name should be mentioned).

Monday, May 2, 2011


photo from the national commission on terrorist
attacks upon the united states

u.s. embassy bombing 1998, kenya
uss cole bombing, yemen, 2000

shock of shockers, he was in pakistan.  well, blow me over.  i'm stunned.  who'd a thunk-it, that we'd eventually tag him in pakistan, of all places.  harrumph.

i liked very much what president obama said -- bin laden was not a leader of islam, not a leader of muslims.

from the tip of my toes to the point of my pointy head, i am dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty.   i am also, however, a profound advocate of extrajudicial execution and once kept a list of people in desperate need of killing -- people both "domestic" and "abroad." jesse helms, augusto pinochet.  like that.

the list is gratifyingly shorter as i head off to bed, blessing the bones and mettle of the special op forces that have done our dirty work.

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after qaddafi's youngest son and three of his grandchildren were killed yesterday, a spokesman accused NATO of attempting to assassinate a world leader.

NATO said, wide-eyed, voice a-crackin',  "nuh-uh, we don't do that."