May 31st, 2006

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Molecule of the Month!!

Now, here is a web-site to check out.  It turns out there is a molecule of the month.  Who would have known?  You can nominate one too.    Check it out.

This month is Linoleic acid.   April 2005 was serotonin, a molecule of happiness.  It is really fun to read on through all the different ones, and see if you can come up with one of your own.    Serotonin to you!!
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My Morning Flow!


creating my own swell -


It has been a high, high tide,

and now the tide is low

shells exposed,

and food risen to the top.

I create my own swell now,

pick and choose.

I am the gull diving,

the sandpiper on the beach,

with long legs and curved beak,

a curlew.

I’ve grown now,

new skills of survival.

I am a Swiss army knife,

the latest model,


I open one blade and cut

what is superfluous

and gather it up in a beautiful bouquet for display,

and then, I dig in the dirt to plant

what is mine to eat and share. 

I create my own swell,

in water, earth, and air. 



flowers rise from the earth

a ground swell tapping a beat,

that is seen and felt

where earth and air meet.

The roots of the sky lean down,

and slowly drink.


Green are the apples at times in me.

Pippins! Perfect for making apple pie.


Red are the cherries,  Bing, and Rainier,

stirring like locusts to cleanse.

Orange are the tangerines and apricots sharpening

and smoothing the wandering planes.

Yellow are the plums, and purple, red, and blue.

White is the mildew, that says I’ve moved on

to something new.   I’m caught in the rise as I ground in the dirt,

and colors mix like molecules,

sniffing,  alert. 


Does time come in molecules,

chemically composed ?

Can we touch it, bounce it, sow it in rows?

Is it the block holding space in line,

as it curves like the flight of a long-distance bird,

shaping the hand of the earth,

as it burns?


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Editorial in the NY Times today!

Blow the Whistle, Loudly

Published: May 31, 2006

The Supreme Court whittled away at the First Amendment yesterday, ruling against a prosecutor who raised concerns about the validity of a search warrant. The court made the law in this area messy, and even illogical. It suggested the attorney would have had more protection if he had embarrassed his office publicly than by working quietly through the system. But the bigger problem is that the ruling rolls back government workers' rights to speak out against possibly illegal actions.

Richard Ceballos, a supervising deputy district attorney in Los Angeles, was contacted by a defense attorney who said there were inaccuracies in an affidavit used to get a search warrant. After he investigated for himself, Mr. Ceballos agreed. He told his supervisors, and followed up with a memo. The prosecution went forward, and the trial court upheld the warrant. Mr. Ceballos claims that as a result of his stand, his employer demoted him.

The Supreme Court has long held that the First Amendment bars the government from retaliating against workers for speaking out on matters of public importance. In a landmark 1968 ruling, it held that a school board acted unconstitutionally when it fired a teacher for writing a letter to a newspaper criticizing the allocation of school funds. In 1979, in an opinion by Chief Justice William Rehnquist for a unanimous court, a teacher's comments to her supervisor were held to be protected. Mr. Ceballos's actions should have fallen under these precedents.

By a 5-4 vote, however, the court ruled that they were not. (The newly appointed Justice Samuel Alito provided the deciding vote, while former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor might well have sided with the dissenters.) What mattered for the majority was that Mr. Ceballos spoke "pursuant to his duties" rather than as a "citizen." It is an odd distinction, and one that seems designed to explain away the court's departure from its past decisions, rather than reflecting any principled reading of the First Amendment. Bizarrely, the majority would apparently have given Mr. Ceballos more rights if he had held a press conference to denounce his supervisors.

The First Amendment should not protect employees from discipline for every statement they make at work, clearly. But as the dissenters point out, it should protect them in a case like this one, where an employee was bringing to light information that advances the public interest in honest government and the rule of law.