March 10th, 2006

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Good Morning!

I am feeling pretty well this morning. I think the week delay in chemo was a big help for me. There is some achiness, but it's not too bad.

I do feel that the increase in breast cancer in this country is due to the toxins in the environment. Therefore, this piece in the NY Times today, on top of an attempt to weaken controls on our food supply is very upsetting to me. I place the editorial here. I wonder how anyone cannot see the importance of a clean environment. We are paying for the lack of attention to it, big-time in health-care costs. Why is this so hard to fathom? It feels like a no-brainer to me.

A Dark Cloud Over Disclosure

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Published: March 10, 2006

HOW would you like to have lawfully sold your Tyco stock months before the corporate scandal hit the front pages? That's precisely what the Calvert Group did when a disturbing trend in Tyco's annual toxic emission disclosures led to questions about how well Tyco was managing the rest of its operations.

Now, President Bush and the Environmental Protection Agency want to weaken the largely successful Toxics Release Inventory program, which requires companies to tell the public how they dispose of or release nearly 650 chemicals that may harm human health and the environment. The disclosure program makes data available for anyone — journalists, policymakers, investors or parents — to learn exactly which chemicals are being released from corporate smokestacks and discharge pipes.

Congress developed this critical program in 1986, in response to the catastrophic deaths of thousands of people after a spill of toxic chemicals at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. It has worked well since its inception, but the Environmental Protection Agency is now proposing three detrimental changes that could go into effect within the next year.

The first would relax the current annual reporting requirement and let companies make reports every other year instead; the second would allow polluters to release 10 times more toxic chemicals — up to 5,000 pounds annually — without disclosing the volume released or where the pollutants went; and the third would permit companies to conceal releases of up to 500 pounds annually of particularly dangerous toxic materials, like PCB's, lead and mercury, which can accumulate in people's bodies. All three changes effectively increase the amount of pollution that companies can emit without telling anyone.

Investors should be particularly concerned about the effects of the agency's proposal. Sound investment requires sound information. We have long honored the disinfectant power of sunshine in our securities laws, dating back to the reforms after the stock market crash of 1929, as well as the reforms that followed the more recent governance scandals. The Toxics Release Inventory provides an additional mechanism by which investors can tell the difference between well and poorly managed companies before the consequences show up in portfolios.

A bipartisan group of 12 state attorneys general have joined in opposition to the agency's proposal, arguing that it would impede governments, first responders and citizens from protecting people from the harm caused by toxic chemicals. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, first responders used Toxics Release Inventory data to identify factories and industrial sites where toxic chemical releases would have been possible. A Texas community used such data to inform the public when companies were polluting the rich shrimp and oyster breeding grounds in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many companies intend to continue annual reporting, regardless of the E.P.A.'s proposed rule change. For example, Edwin L. Mongan III, DuPont's director of energy and environment, says that his company will probably continue to collect and release information about toxic materials annually, noting, "It's just a good business practice to track your hazardous materials." According to Mr. Mongan, DuPont uses this information internally and is "committed to being transparent about its environmental performance."

The E.P.A.'s weakening of the Toxics Release Inventory program does not require Congressional approval, only notification. This is just one more example of the Bush Administration's efforts to quietly undermine our nation's environmental protections. Washington should be working to expand corporate disclosure and accountability, rather than moving to allow polluters to conceal their toxic releases.

Jim Jeffords, independent of Vermont, is the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Julie Fox Gorte is a vice president and the chief social investment strategist for the Calvert Group.
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Morning Thoughts -

This morning I really feel the fuzziness of my mind. I noticed it yesterday, also, while driving, and thought I probably should not be out on the road, so, this morning,  I wrote a little ode to Chemo Mind.

Chemo Mind

Try to catch it like a butterfly in a net.
It flies and teases,
and plunges in breezes,
until like the sun, it sets.

I also am with,  this morning,  the subject of escalators.  It seems that even though we are relaxing standards on pollution, we are deciding that we need more protection from escalators, those moving machines that reach out and attack us.  I am mind-boggled, when I see parents allowing their children to play on escalators as though they are toys.  I wonder if we need to rate machinery as we do movies.  Escalators are an R,  or perhaps, an X.  

People drive cars, forgetting they are more than a place to transport, talk on the phone, and put on your make-up.  We have lost respect for machinery, and so we continue to put up more bars.

Jane this morning informs me that not only is she from South Dakota, but that she and friends are taking Jon Carroll's column of yesterday seriously, and are investigating the RV requirement to vote there.  It seems we may be seeing a caravan of RV's heading to South Dakota.  She will keep us up-dated on what they find.

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Jane's Poem of this Morning!!

On Saturday four wild turkeys flew into the garden.

Tomorrow snow is forecast above 900 feet.

It is all the sweet days in between

Regular and comforting.

Full of, what, I can¹t remember

That fill me

Leave no mark or stain on tender memory.
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Impeachment -

Jane's 87 year old mother, Ann Sherman-Flint, is concerned, and involved, and is speaking out through her writing.

Here is her piece on Impeachment that was just published in the newsletter Peace Weavers, the publication of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.



Our Constitution and the Bill of Rights provide safeguards which protect us from leaders who deliberately, knowingly and brazenly usurp their granted powers and their oaths of office. One of those specified safeguards is the act of impeachment. It is a legitimate and an appropriate means to prevent the destruction of our democracy. Impeachment, like patriotism, demands that citizens be vigilant and question their leaders in order to avoid creating a dictatorship.

We, as a nation, are, at this moment, confronted with an administration that has broken laws of the land and forsaken its oaths. Specifically this President, George W. Bush, has violated his oath to protect this nation by (1) employing deception to justify the unilateral invasion of another country; (2) failing to have a serious plan for the aftermath of that war; (3) incurring a national debt so gigantic that our domestic needs are dangerously neglected; (4) sanctioning torture and abuse of detainees and outsourcing them to deadly prisons; thereby violating the Geneva Conventions and The War Crimes Act; and (5) by intentionally and deliberately
establishing a warrantless wiretap program which has violated the civil rights of thousands of American citizens.

These are ALL impeachable offenses!! IMPEACHMENT IS NOT A DIRTY WORD! It is a remedy for a Presidency out of control. As a democratic citizenery, it is required of us to DEMAND that impeachment procedures begin at once. We each can contribute to this process by speaking out, writing letters to our Senators and Representatives, signing petitions, supporting candidates with committment, integrity and guts who are running in the mid-term Congressional races---and by participating in discussions, movements, marches. demonstrations, standing up and being heard.

Do NOT fear impeachment! Do NOT whisper the word! Shout it!

Embrace it! Seek it! Save our democracy.

 Ann Sherman-Flint
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thoughts -

Sometimes I forget how seriously some of you are following my process, so as I work my way through this, I forget how you may be affected by what I say. I apologize for insensitivity that way.

Yesterday, I let myself feel that my diagnosis was metastasized breast cancer. Now, my doctors prefer not to overuse that language, knowing what a punch to the gut results, but I am trying to move through the five stages of grieving as defined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and I think in my joy at being alive, and the rush of love I received, I forgot about the stages, so, yesterday, I looked at denial. Then, there is anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and we do this over and over again in all sorts of ways over all sorts of things. I found a website today, that defined this easily using the example of your car not starting in the morning when you need to get to work. All five stages come into play. First, denial, then, swearing and kicking, then, a promise to take care of the car from now on if it will just start now, this one time now, and then "Oh, what's the use," and then, a plan to get to work.

This website however, feels there are flaws in the above system, and that it is just a beginning. It suggests Grief work using the acronym TEAR. The website is for those who are interested. There are a bunch more on the subject of the stages of grieving.

I found the acronym interesting since in these last few days tears come easily. This morning they were coming for no reason, just tears. I think I am beginning to release. And that, brings me to TEAR.

T = To accept the reality of the loss
E = Experience the pain of the loss
A = Adjust to the new environment without the lost object
R = Reinvest in the new reality

Yes, this feels right. It feels like what I am doing.

I think one reason I am doing better with this final chemo treatment is that I have learned to rest before I get over-tired. I accept my limitations. I ask for help. I am content. I am grateful this part is over, and that I have a break before the next part begins. I am learning to understand that my life will not be as it was before. I thought I would go through this, and then, hop right back into who I was before, but that is not what will happen, or even what would make sense as to happening. I am changed by this. I am change. I accept what is, and I am grateful for tears. I hope your tears are coming easily, too, tears of gratitude for the preciousness of this life, each and every day, now and now and now.

We live in a world of wealth. I am grateful for my part, and for yours!
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where to focus -

The chemo has now gathered up all errant cancer cells and ushered them down the hatch. They are gone. I have cancer no more, and now, we are just working to ensure that stays the case. The rest of this is preventative, and is as up-to-date and conscientious as we have at the time.
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It works for me -

Sources: Interior Secretary to Resign
By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

Friday, March 10, 2006

(03-10) 10:15 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Interior Secretary Gale Norton is resigning after five years in President Bush's Cabinet, The Associated Press has learned.

Norton, a former Colorado attorney general who guided the Bush administration's initiative to open Western government lands to more oil and gas drilling, planned to announce her decision Friday, a senior government official and another source familiar with her decision told the AP.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to upstage an announcement from the White House.

Norton told associates she wanted to return to private life in Colorado, the source said.

One of the architects of Bush's energy policy, Norton eased regulations to speed approval of drilling permits, particularly in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming's Powder River Basin. She also was the administration's biggest advocate for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska's North Slope to oil drilling.

Norton, who turns 52 on Saturday, is the first woman ever to head the Interior Department.

Before joining the administration, she was one of the negotiators of a $206 billion national tobacco settlement in a suit by Colorado and 45 other states. She was Colorado's attorney general from 1991 to 1999.

Norton was a protege of James Watt, the controversial interior secretary during President Ronald Reagan's first term in office. Watt was forced to resign after characterizing a coal commission in terms that were viewed by some as a slur.

After working for the Agriculture Department for a year, Norton was named an assistant solicitor in the Interior Department in 1985, focusing on conservation and wildlife issues.

In 1996 she sought the Republican Senate nomination in Colorado but was defeated by Wayne Allard, who now holds the seat. Later she cofounded the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, a group that has become embroiled in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

The leading Republican and Democrat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee have said that e-mails uncovered by the committee show that Steven Griles, Norton's former deputy, had a close relationship with Abramoff.

Another onetime Norton associate, Italia Federici, helped Abramoff gain access to Griles in exchange for contributions from Abramoff's Indian tribe clients, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., the committee chairman, and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., have said.
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Cold -

Jeff went through the city today at 1:00. It was 45 degrees. Brrr!! I must admit to snuggling up and taking a morning and an afternoon nap. I am achy, and when I pause to rest, to sleep I go, so I guess it is what I need.
I hope everyone is toasty warm and filling with hot chocolate, cider, or perhaps a rich berried and chocolated Zinfandel.

Jeff and Jan have set their date. They will be married on September 10, 2006 at the Depot Hotel - Cucina Rustica in the town of Sonoma. We are excited!!!! A joyful, warm weekend to All!!
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poem -

I posted this with three lines a week or so ago. Now, I find there is a version with four.

He drew a circle that shut us out
     Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
     We drew a circle that took him in.
Edwin Markham 1852-1940
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quote by Albert Einstein -

You have probably seen this quote many times, but each time I read it, I am drawn in, and out.

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is akind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."

-- Albert Einstein
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Tonight -

The cold continues, along with thunder and lightning. Wow!! The weather is quite exciting. My body feels the same. The achiness is strong, and I am feeling pretty miserable in the moment, so bed calls. I think warm beds are the place to be on a such a night as this. Sleep tight, and loose, and snuggly buggly cozy and warm.

We watched a program on Edward R. Murrow tonight. What a guy!!