June 28th, 2006

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Synchronicity -

Karen called me this morning.  On the bed-side table in her mother's home was this book.  "The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Americans Think Differently, and Why."  It is by Richard Nisbett.  I ordered two copies.  A friend brought it to Karen's mother's home from Switzerland.  How can I not believe in a wonderful synchronous circle in all our lives?

I am well-rested this morning, and in this place, can view it all more openly, as we all struggle with relationships, especially mother-daughter ones, and boundaries.  Where do you end, and where do I begin?   This is HUGE stuff, and I am grateful for the opportunity to wrestle with it.

Jane and I uncover new truths in ourselves each morning when we write, and I am grateful for the continuing growth, and I am hoping for an easier day.  I meet Vanessa for lunch and that will be fun.  

Great Care to All!
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How about a bash on Bush?

 Bush Confused About Leaks
    By Larry C. Johnson

    Wednesday 28 June 2006

    Bullshit alert! After watching George Bush and Dick Cheney weep and wail over the "damage" done by the New York Times for reporting that financial data is being dumped into the CIA as part of an effort to find terrorist networks, I kept waiting for Darryl Hannah to pop up and say, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night." Does George have Alzheimer's Disease? Has he forgotten that he used to love the New York Times? The only thing funnier is that most of the mainstream media is reporting the antics of these clowns as straight up news.

    I guess Bush and Cheney decided that leaks to the New York Times were no longer kosher when their go to girl, Judith Miller, got canned. Of course, Judy wasn't the only member of the now "traitorous" New York Times to benefit from White House largesse. Doug Jehl published a piece on August 2, 2004, that exposed an Al Qaeda informant:

The unannounced capture of a figure from Al Qaeda in Pakistan several weeks ago led the Central Intelligence Agency to the rich lode of information that prompted the terror alert on Sunday, according to senior American officials.

The figure, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, was described by a Pakistani intelligence official as a 25-year-old computer engineer, arrested July 13, who had used and helped to operate a secret Qaeda communications system where information was transferred via coded messages.

A senior United States official would not confirm or deny that Mr. Khan had been the Qaeda figure whose capture led to the information. But the official said "documentary evidence" found after the capture had demonstrated in extraordinary detail that Qaeda members had for years conducted sophisticated and extensive reconnaissance of the financial institutions cited in the warnings on Sunday.

    The White House also used the New York Times to spread lies about the state of Iraq's nuclear weapons program. Remember the September 8, 2002, piece by Michael Gordon and Judith Miller? They reported that:

More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.

In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.

The diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq's nuclear program, officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken place in recent months.

    And who can forget that Vice President Cheney instructed his chief of staff, the intrepid Scooter Libby, to leak misleading portions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate to the New York Times's Judith Miller. NPR's David Greene reported that:

Former vice presidential aide Lewis Libby, indicted for leaking a CIA agent's identity, has testified that any classified information he may have leaked to a reporter was authorized by President Bush through the vice president. The claim is included in court documents released Thursday.

Libby told a grand jury that classified information he may have leaked to a New York Times reporter was authorized for use by President Bush, acting through Vice President Dick Cheney. Lewis is awaiting trial on charges that he lied to the grand jury, which was investigating the leak of the agent's identity to the media.

    We should also remember that the New York Times was not the only friendly outlet for planting "news." White House officials turned to Time Magazine and the Chicago Sun Times in shopping information about Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA officer. For this White House, leaking classified information that damages national security is okay as long as it can be used to save the President's political reputation.

    President Bush crying about "leaks" to the New York Times is like listening to former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss complain about sexual promiscuity. Sorry George, we ain't buying your song and dance.


    Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering. Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and US State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism (as a Deputy Director), is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management. Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC. Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications, including Security Management Magazine, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He has lectured on terrorism and aviation security around the world.


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Berkeley -

The Berkeley City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night to be the first jurisdiction in the United States to let the public vote for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Maybe Berkeley again sets a precedent.  It is time for change.   Hip Hip Hooray!

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Good news for the day!!

The number of baby gray whales born along the Pacific Coast has increased over the last five years, leading scientists to believe that for now the pregnant females are doing all right feeding in a warming Arctic environment.

Hooray!   Adaptation is happening, for the whales and for us all.   Survival Ho!!

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Restaurant reviewing -

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How do you review sex?

Frisson gets name-checked in Details this month, and not for its food or drinks.


Frisson gets name-checked in Details this month, and not for its food or drinks.

OK, I have a real dilemma here. As a restaurant reviewer I'm supposed to capture the vibe of a restaurant, but a recent press release touting an article in the June/July Details magazine has me in a quandary.

The article says the latest trend is sex in public bathrooms, and names the seven best places to have a quickie.

Frisson, the sexy Financial District restaurant that feels like a midcentury supper club, made the list. The coed bathrooms are tucked around the corner downstairs. Individual stalls are surrounded by an open sink and mirrors.

The article says that sex in public places is "evolving from a novelty into a common practice -- one that makes the one-night stand seem quaint."

Author Andrew Stengel attributes this growing proclivity to technology: "When was the last time you waited more than two minutes to find out something you wanted to know?" In other words, It's a result of our on-demand society.

When I reviewed Frisson in March and went to the bathroom, there weren't any mirrors in the private stalls, which means that couples would have to go outside to the sink to make sure things were put back together properly.

Frisson may have the right vibe, but the accomodations don't seem ideal; unfortunately, the article never details what makes any of these places a contender.

I'm kind of beside myself; what is my responsibility to the reading public?

Some diners already expect us to carry tape measures to determine the width of doorways and steps, to pack noise meters to monitor sound, and to check out the kitchens for signs of slovenly behavior.
I wonder if Michelin will want to consider adding a few questions on their already extensive check list when awarding the coveted stars.

I'll probably do what every Midwesterner does when it comes to sexual topics -- ignore it. However, I'm never going to look at restaurant bathrooms the same way

Posted By: Michael Bauer (Email) | Jun 28 at 05:17 AM

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Jon Carroll -

Jon Carroll is on a rant today about self-help books.   He says to clean up your desk, rather than reading about doing it.  It makes sense to me, though I do enjoy reading about doing it, and I thought there were studies showing that when we think of throwing a ball, we actually get some benefit as though we are doing it.  I like that kind of exercise.  Anyway, here is his synopsis on how to ignite your life.

"But the real reason that I don't like self-help books is this, and God knows I've said it before: How the world works is not a mystery. Even more alarmingly, all of the wisdom you're going to need can be expressed in greeting cards or on bumper stickers. At the level of advice, at the level of self-help books, there's nothing left to say. If you want to improve your life or be a better person, stop reading and start doing."

What perfect timing.  I'm out the door to a restaurant to "do" some eating.   Full imbibing to all!

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If you find a rock -

Vanessa gave me a most wonderful book today called "If You Find a Rock."  It is written for children, and I love it, so I guess .....

The rock I most love is the Wishing Rock, the one with a stripe running all the way around it.   I am happy to have a wishing rock.   All is flowing in a beautiful circle for me today.  There is also a Memory Rock, one that you find and it reminds you of a place, feeling, or someone important.

May your day be memorably filled with rocks and stones of all sorts and kinds, some to throw, and some to toss, and others to treasure, and tower, and climb.
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Thoughts -

Steve and I watched the movie Syrianna tonight.  I would like to read the book, as I found the movie a bit hard to follow, at times, and also, frightening.  It is based on the non-fiction book, "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism."  It is by Robert Baer.  There is so much to understand in the world right now.   Then, I read the article in this week's New Yorker on David S. Addington, the man who orchestrates Bush's abuse of power.  It, too, is a frightening article.   It seems the Bushies don't know the law or history.  All they know is their own need and greed for power.

Despite that, I feel peaceful tonight.  I feel I am going to make an attempt to understand other cultures.  I think I can attend the graduation, that I have moved into a new place around it all.  Certainly a lot stirred up, and now, where do I place myself down?    I am hoping to better honor when I feel tired in these next days, and, also, to move a little more gently in the world, while also, firmly filling my footprints. 

There was a cleansing rain today.   I am reminded of the words of Aldous Huxley. 
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through' narrow chinks of his cavern."
I'm hoping to widen my chinks.  I see there is much for me to learn and understand.  May that be so!