May 7th, 2006

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Good Morning!

I am awake, and with my thoughts and feelings. I think I had some idea that this life is one based on the reward system. Now, here is a little cancer. I will be good and do everything "they" say, and it will be gone, and that may well be so, but I feel a little blip on my screen right now, and so, how now do I deal with this.

This comes by email last night. "Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another ... The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness."

-- M. Scott Peck

Why would I want it different than that? Chris told me of a volcano on Maui he and Jenn climbed, and they looked down and saw their shadows on the clouds embraced in a rainbow. I sit with that now. I see my shadow on the clouds and feel the rainbow. Color bites vibration in me. I am alive in colors, that slither in and out of sun, like snakes.
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more on Bush -

I place here the first part of an article on Bush. I continue to feel this man is a spoiled brat throwing temper tantrums that hurt the world. Why does this man think he can determine the policy of this country and ignore the morality it attempts to represent? The arrogance is unfathomable. How is it he is still here and not impeached?

How Bush sidesteps intent of Congress
Instead of vetoing bills, he officially disregards portions with which he doesn't agree
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, May 7, 2006

President Bush signed a military spending bill in December that included a hard-fought amendment banning the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of foreign prisoners. Then he put a statement in the Federal Register asserting his right to ignore the ban when necessary, in his judgment, to protect Americans from terrorism.

In March, Bush signed a renewal of search and surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act and said at a public ceremony that civil liberties would be protected by a series of new amendments. Then he quietly inserted another statement in the Federal Register that virtually nullified one of those amendments, a requirement that the administration report to Congress on the FBI's use of its powers under the Patriot Act to seize library, bookstore and business records.

Civics textbooks say presidents have two choices when Congress passes a bill that's not completely to their liking: They can sign it into law, or they can veto it and let Congress try to override them.

Bush, far more than any of his predecessors, is resorting to a third option: signing a bill while reserving the right to disregard any part of it that he considers an infringement on his executive authority or constitutional powers.

In more than five years in office, the president has never vetoed a bill. But while approving new laws, he has routinely issued signing statements interpreting the legislation in ways that amount to partial vetoes of provisions to which he objects.

White House spokesman Blair Jones insisted that Bush is not trying to undermine the lawmaking authority of Congress, and noted that many past presidents have issued statements on the meaning of bills they sign.

Presidential scholars, in fact, trace signing statements back to the early 19th century. But for much of the nation's history, they have been little more than bureaucratic memos instructing subordinates on the implementation of new laws. Bush has transformed them into declarations of executive supremacy.

The article goes on, but I don't want to wear you out. It is a beautiful day with the sun and light fog in play, a play that dances within. Feel the swirl in and out.
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"Look on the world, not on yourself so much!!"

Editorial Observer
'Look on the World, Not on Yourself So Much'
from the NY Times today.

Published: May 7, 2006

In "Awake and Sing!" Clifford Odets's play about a Jewish family in the Depression-era Bronx, Ralph, a young man stuck in a low-wage, dead-end job, complains bitterly about the state of the world. "Boys like you could fix it someday," his grandfather replies. "Look on the world, not on yourself so much."

The grandfather, Jacob, is an idealist, who puts his faith in the music of Enrico Caruso and the politics of Karl Marx. He is also a stand-in for the playwright, who championed society's victims in boldly political plays like "Waiting for Lefty" and "Golden Boy." It is Jacob, of all of the squabbling family members, who quotes the verse from Isaiah that gives the play its title, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust."

"Awake and Sing!" which had its premiere in 1935, has been revived this season on Broadway, in a terrific production. There is much about it that could feel musty, starting with its radical politics, but the play nevertheless manages to speak powerfully to modern times. That is partly because the family drama still rings true, and the tragic plot twist in Act 3 remains poignant. But it is mainly because the play's central message about the need to engage with the world is precisely what America needs to hear right now.

"Awake and Sing!" came quick on the heels of Odets's first major success, "Waiting for Lefty," a play based on a 1934 New York City taxi strike that hovers somewhere between drama and agitprop. It was banned in several cities and helped land Odets on the cover of Time magazine. "Awake and Sing!" which was originally titled "I've Got the Blues," is a more humane play. It is the story of the Berger family, whose members share, as Odets notes in a stage direction, "a fundamental activity: a struggle for life amidst petty conditions." The Bergers are real people, with dreams and souls, both of which are slowly being crushed.

It is this family, and particularly the strong-willed matriarch, Bessie, who are holding Ralph back. (Bessie, as Ralph notes, does not want to let his "sixteen bucks out of the house if she can help it.") "Awake and Sing!" is the story of how Ralph extricates himself to pursue his own life, and a better world. By the end of this alarm clock of a play, Ralph has awakened and is headed out the door, crowing that he is "twenty-two and kickin'."

The Great Depression lulled many people into passivity, but so, for different reasons, has the current political climate. Americans have endless reasons to be dissatisfied, from the grim situation in Iraq, to a growing lobbying scandal that is revealing just how tightly special interests control Congress, to a federal minimum wage that has not increased in nearly a decade. In a recent CBS poll, an incredible 71 percent of respondents said America was heading in the wrong direction.

What we are not seeing, or at least not yet, is a level of political engagement to match this dissatisfaction. In the 2004 presidential election, the most hard-fought in many years, more than one-third of the electorate, and more than one-half of those between 18 and 24, did not bother to vote. In last month's special election to fill the seat of Randy Cunningham, the disgraced former representative from California, turnout was just 36 percent.

There has been a wide array of explanations for why Americans are tuning out — even as they intensely cast their votes for the next "American Idol." Some blame the parties and the candidates. Robert Putnam, a Harvard professor, argued in "Bowling Alone" that it was part of a more general turn away from civic involvement of all kinds.

There are, though, a growing number of voices that are telling people what Jacob told Ralph: "Look on the world, not on yourself so much." Web sites on both the left and right are particularly active, urging their readers to write to elected officials, make political contributions and work in campaigns. And Justice Stephen Breyer argues in a recent book that the Constitution should be interpreted to encourage Americans to be more engaged in running their government.

The Old World-inflected dialogue of "Awake and Sing!" often falls oddly on the modern ear, and its left-wing politics are more unalloyed than we are used to today. But the play has a timeless understanding of the importance of ordinary people waking up to the reality of their circumstances, and of the interests some people have in keeping them asleep.
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and then there is Rummy who leads us to Gin.

Editorial from the NY Times today.

The Intelligence Business

Published: May 7, 2006

We've been waiting for well over two years for the Senate Intelligence Committee to finally hold the Bush administration accountable for the fairy tales it told about Saddam Hussein's weapons. Republican leaders keep saying it is a waste of time to find out whether President Bush and other top officials deliberately misled the world. But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's bizarre responses the other day to questions about that very issue were a timely reminder of why this investigation needs to be completed promptly, thoroughly and fairly.

Unfortunately, Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate panel, is running it in a way that makes it unlikely that anything useful will come of it.

It is bad enough that Mr. Rumsfeld and others did not tell Americans the full truth — to take the best-case situation — before the war. But they are still doing it. Just look at the profoundly twisted version of events that the defense secretary offered last week at a public event in Atlanta.

Ray McGovern, an analyst for 27 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, stood in the audience and asked why Mr. Rumsfeld lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The secretary shot back, "I did not lie." Then, even though no one asked about them, he said Colin Powell and Mr. Bush offered "their honest opinion" based on "weeks and weeks" of time with the C.I.A. "I'm not in the intelligence business," he said, adding, "It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there."

First, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Period. Second, neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Powell spent long weeks with the C.I.A., whose analysts were largely cut out of the decision making. And that was because, third, Mr. Rumsfeld was, and is, very much in the intelligence business.

The Defense Department controls most of the intelligence budget and is the biggest user of intelligence. Mr. Rumsfeld also set up his own intelligence agency within the Pentagon when the C.I.A. and the State Department refused to tell him what he wanted to hear about Iraq. It was that office's distortions that formed the basis for what the administration told Congress and the public.

In Atlanta, Mr. Rumsfeld denied ever saying flatly that there were dangerous weapons in Iraq. Actually, he did, many times, even as late as March 30, 2003. On Sept. 27, 2002, Mr. Rumsfeld said there was "bulletproof" evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq, including that Iraq had trained Qaeda agents in chemical and biological warfare, and he repeated that myth in response to Mr. McGovern.

Which brings us back to the Senate committee. In 2004, Democratic members agreed to split the investigation of Iraq intelligence. The committee issued a report on how bad the information was, but put off until after the 2004 election the question of whether the administration deliberately hyped the evidence. Mr. Roberts tried to kill the investigation entirely, and after the Democrats forced him to proceed, he set rules that seem a lot like the recipe for a whitewash.

The investigation, known as Phase 2, is divided into five parts: Did officials' public statements reflect the actual intelligence? Why did the government fail to anticipate the postwar disaster in Iraq? Were there actually any W.M.D. in Iraq? Was the Pentagon's mini-C.I.A. a proper and legal operation? And did any of the disinformation provided by the Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi get into any "intelligence product"?

Mr. Roberts has so gummed up the first part of the investigation that it is going to take forever to complete and is unlikely to be of much clarity. The only public statements that matter are those by Mr. Bush and his top aides. But Mr. Roberts included any statement, by any public official, including members of Congress, going back to 1991.

Beyond dragging out the process further, the intent, obviously, is to suggest that Mr. Bush said the same things that Democratic senators and others did. That has no significance. They did not decide to have a war and had access only to the sanitized intelligence fed to them by the administration. Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush's father did think there were dangerous weapons in Iraq — back in the 20th century. By the time the war started, those weapons had long been eliminated by inspections and sanctions.

It is worth knowing why policy makers failed to anticipate the insurgency and other postwar nightmares, but the structure of this part of the investigation is flawed as well. The Senate investigation of Mr. Chalabi's involvement is limited to "intelligence products," which the C.I.A. produces. But it was not the C.I.A. that predicted rose petals in Baghdad and a virtually problem-free transition to democracy; it was Mr. Chalabi and his henchmen, creatures of Mr. Rumsfeld's team at the Pentagon. And it was the intelligence business that Mr. Rumsfeld now pretends not to run that used Mr. Chalabi's myths in an attempt to rebut the skeptical State Department and make dubious information seem more reliable.

It was helpful of Mr. Rumsfeld to remind us why this inquiry is still so important. The least Mr. Roberts and his committee can do is to finish the flawed investigation and make the results public.
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I posted the following words on December 31, 2005. It seems like a good day and time to re-visit them. Today is exquisitely laced with the song of birds and the sun beaming through the tweets as they curl.

Words from Naomi Shihab Nye:

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
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(no subject)

I am reading Cesar Millan's book Cesar's Way on communicating with dogs. It parallels what I am learning in the horse workshop. He says:

    "All animals communicate using energy, constantly. Energy is beingness. Energy is who you are and what you are doing at any given moment.  That's how animals see you.  That's how your dog sees you.  Your energy in that present moment defines who you are."

    We sometimes forget that we are animals, and their  way of communication is important for us to study and know, so as to better know ourselves and how we interact.

    It might be helpful for our politicians to know something about threat and response.

    I read these words by William Fisher.

"Nobel Peace Prize-winner and Iranian human rights advocate and dissident Shirin Ebadi was asked on PBS last week about the $75 million the US State Department intends to spend supporting pro-democracy groups in her country, to which she answered, "Can democracy be brought to people by bombs? Democracy is a culture. It has to come from within a society, not brought by America to a society.""

Perhaps we can learn from horses and dogs how to communicate with other people and countries. Bush's bullying is helping no one. May we see a recognition of what democracy truly is and how it forms.
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Evening -

I check out the moon tonight. The air is cool. I reflect. I feel how the moon is whole though we only see a part, and sometimes I only feel one part of myself, anger or joy, and yet, I am starting to know the whole is always there. I feel that little piece of emotion balanced in the whole. All is well with me!

Tomorrow is radiation. Only seven more to go. Yippee!