Monday, March 28, 2005
Sunday, March 27, 2005
U.S. Military Intelligence, German Authorities Found No Ties to Terrorists
Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page A01
Political Allies Push Corporate Agenda
Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page A01
Published: March 27, 2005
The Defense Department is considering substantial changes to the military tribunals that the Bush administration established to prosecute foreign terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, military and administration officials say.
The proposed changes, many of which are detailed in a 232-page draft manual for the tribunals that has been circulating among Pentagon lawyers, come after widespread criticism from the federal courts, foreign governments and human rights groups.Story number two:
Published: March 27, 2005
VATICAN CITY, March 27 - Pope John Paul II made a relatively long appearance before tens of thousands of worshipers here this Easter Sunday, but when he tried to speak, only an inaudible whisper came out of his mouth.
The struggle for words was short: An aide quickly pulled back the microphone, and the pope instead gave several silent signs of the cross as his blessing this year, the first in his 26-year reign that he did not preside over the Mass on Easter, the day that marks the resurrection of Christ and is thus the most significant day in the Christian faith.Both papers make Schiavo the third story, WaPo's teaser headline: Bush Avoids Schiavo Fray, and its story headline:
Friday, March 25, 2005
There will be two compulsory courses, a history of journalism and another, taught by the dean, on evidence and inference, in which students will learn to find and interpret statistics, archives and legal documents.
The program will also feature four yearlong seminars, based on subjects taught elsewhere in the university but intended for journalists. These include arts and culture, economics and business, politics and science. The program plans to add other courses, including immersion courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.I would have leapt at politics, but probably should have taken economics as well. I think this will appeal to students who already have strong interests, and leanings and not just to a bunch of liberal arts grads looking for something to do.
Hat tip: RantingProfs.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Here at Bystander Manor, we are going through our third ear infection in three months. Green goop globbing and dripping from the nose and the eyes. A sudden diminishment in appetite, more head-shaking than usual and general unhappiness. I can't let even the most innocuous runny nose go by without calling the pediatric nurse to get her opinion. There's just too much at stake at eleven months--language development chief among them. And as Tech Support had his share of ear infections as a small child, resulting in cholesteatoma, a series of surgeries, some hearing loss, and one ear much closer to the head than the other, we are especially and emotionally vigilant.
Miss E.'s on Spring Break from pre-school this week. I didn't know pre-schoolers required a spring break, but apparently they do. Thus far, with a sick baby in the house, she has enjoyed extra cartoons, but we may be able to scoot up to Super Target on a sock-buying mission for Mom and baby today. Funny thing about socks--the entire collection disintegrates at the exact same time, so you need to replace them at the same time.
Could this post be more mundane? Well, it seemed interesting to me at the time! In any case, I'm sticking to the easy stuff today--maybe this week--ankle or calf length? Cotton or a nylon blend? Should we get a slice while we're out? Why not--the scale was very kind this morning. Let's celebrate with food!
Monday, March 21, 2005
Saturday, March 19, 2005
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) A suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shiite mourners Thursday, splattering blood and body parts over rows of overturned white plastic chairs. The attack, which killed 47 and wounded more than 100, came as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad said they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government.
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) Yet again, almost as if scripted, a day of hope for a new, democratic Iraq turned into a day of tears as a bloody insurgent attack undercut a political step forward.
On Thursday, just as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad were telling reporters that they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government, a suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shiite mourners in the northern city of Mosul.
Except for weekend news reading, I'm not so sure anyone wants the colorful narrative option. Who has the time for that? People who are being driven, or bussed or taken on to work on trains. In other words, East coasters. Let's keep an eye out to see how this plays out.
[insert claim here]
[insert logical reasoning here]
[insert anticipation of counter-arguments]
[insert refutations to counter-arguments]
I trust this has settled things once and for all.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
I'm dying to share with you harrowing tales from the slopes in Banff. Unfortunately I can't do it without including the story of what looked to be a four-year-old child attached to a harnass in front of his dad being beckoned down the hill by a backward-skiing instructor who kept saying, "You're going to catch me--oh, no! You're going to catch me!"
My terrifying story just loses its edge with those details. Well, the child finally broke down in the middle of the second hill--the one that led to the open fairway of the slope--in a fear-induced tantrum. And buddy, could I relate! But being a grown-up I had to stay upright and snow-plough horizontally across the hill. This is an exhausting way to get from top to bottom, and I stopped at each side of the hill, which made it worse. Not only did I then have the opportunity to contemplate the 170 degree drop in front of me, I lost momentum, had to turn my skis 180 degrees around--without a downhill free fall--so that I could cross the hill again. Repeat until standing upright on a flat plain. My guess is the fun part comes when you navigate hills with both skis parallel.
Why I have more confidence with an instructor leading the way, I don't know, but up there, on the top of Mt. Higher-than-Hell, with the wind howling, the snow blowing, young people whizzing by on snowboards, empty oxygen bottles strewn about for crying out loud!--I felt a little more like the right side of this picture, than the left, so I took it home, in postcard size, and framed it.
I guess she's also making the argument that beer commercials and violent sport with rules and referees are also just as bad, or not just as bad, as sexual innuendo. Well, she's entitled to her opinion. I'm not advocating tighter FCC rules here. I'm just saying that two post-menopausal adults gazing lovingly into each other's eyes is not the same as dropping a towel off a woman's body and having her jump into a man's arms, (I did not see the commercial) nor is it the same as ripping the shirt from a woman's breast.
Think of it this way--would it upset you if your son reached across his crayons to touch a little girl's hand and smile at her? Probably not. Would it upset you if he reached across his crayons to pull off her shirt? Yes! I'm not advocating fines here. But I think parents have a right to expect what's going to be on network television when they turn it on. What kind of right? Consitutional? No, she said deflatedly. Legal? I don't know, for heaven's sake. Hey, why not put that Nicollete Sheridan commercial on during the holiday prime time cartoon viewing--it's a nostalgia thing as well as a children's special. Parents watch The Grinch and A Charlie Brown Christmas too! Shut up--that's not going to happen. No, you shut up!
[The above is brought to you by two of the many voices in Bystander's mind.]
Saturday, March 12, 2005
The belief that all good things move together and there need be no conflicts between them is, ultimately, a religious one.
Friday, March 11, 2005
But what if you're not much of a fighter? Then you might have little newsworthy items to blog about. You could put something out there, something seemingly innocuous--nice weather we're having, isn't it--only to find you've messed with someone's truth. You call eighty degrees and humid nice?
I checked out a heretofore unknown-to-me-liberal blogger via Kaus today--Ezra Klein, who seemed pretty reasonable until I got to the bad words, Mr. Potty Mouth! Anyway, I notice he reads a lot of idealogically opposing viewpoints to post this really hot stuff, which makes me wonder should I also do that?
I try to, but generally end up quitting because I don't want to fight, not even if it's not for posting, but for just in my mind. Also, I don't need to keep reading people I generally disagree with just to get riled up about them. Occasionally a writer will put something out there contrary to a strong opinion of mine and then I'll feel strong enough to voice opposition, but I don't have it in me to do it on a daily basis.
Vodkapundit is really bummed out. He's leading the charge and none of his former political colleagues are following. I feel his pain, but I don't want to light torches or even hand out flyers.
Aside: a couple of grungie college kids came by trying to get me to sign a petition to get Dell and Apple to recycle their computers. I can't remember the name of their group, but they claimed to be the ones who got the city of Flower Mound curbside recycling. I told them I'd look at the flyer, but refused to sign or promise to send a letter, which they had quite handily written for me already. Exactly how are you going to "get" Dell and Apple to recycle? They were non-specific. Perhaps if they were ten or fifteen years older--long past their dreadlock years--with a baby on the way and two lay-offs under their belts (or four if they're like me), they'd have better understood my question. But my reluctance to help sound the alarm for landfills cluttered with old computers must have looked like exactly what it is--a sellout.
I've got an appointment with a pediatric ear specialist at 1:00 today, I've got Rice Krispie treats to make for a pizza pool party after school on Friday, I've got the logistics of taking a splash-happy baby to a pre-school pool party to consider. Floaties or the new swimsuit with built-in life jacket? (She'll never wear it!) Or how 'bout just the old-fashioned iron-clad grip of mom--that oughta work.
Listen up, Leroy! I sat on an eight-inch-wide first-story window ledge of the Art History building at the University of Texas for two-and-a half hours--long past the scheduled appearance time--waiting for Jesse Jackson to show up for a campaign rally in 1980-whatever, and my kiester has never been the same! You want activism? Try safe-guarding your child's pre-school teacher from the unwarranted assault of another child's mom who's sure little Johnny learned that word in class. You want donations? There are plenty of $5 contributions to help out your kids' school on a weekly basis.
And remember this, bucko--you're handing out flyers about Apple and Dell in telecommunications computer land, where unemployment still lags behind other industries. Exactly what kind of heat you plan on putting to those companies? Honey, college don't last forever, but jobs at McDonald's do.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to wake the baby and dress him, pick up my daughter from pre-school, meet my husband for lunch, go to the ear specialist, bring the kids home and put them down for a nap and when that's over take them to the gym so I can take a spinning class! [Insert obvious political joke here.]
Good grief. I have sold out.
PS He's on the Huffingtonpost! Must be the hair!
Thursday, March 10, 2005
I've conquered the green slope but not the fear, or lack of confidence. I definitely should have taken a second day of classes to build the confidence. However, I haven't done too badly--seven or eight runs,two falls.
br> I liked watchig the skiers come down the slopes from the deli. You could catch the unmistakable rigid stance of the beginners--all muscles on red alert. They don't sway fluidly like the experts, whose hips lead them down the mountain. No, beginners like me, stand perfectly still and lead with the shoulders. I think we fatigue ourselves more quickly because of the tension we hold in our bodies.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
I Stop Writing the Poem to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
by Tess Gallagher
or who dies, I'm still a woman.
I'll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I'll get back
to the poem. I'll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there's a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it's done.
Saw an orthopedist after telling my primary physician about the unusual sensation of my tendon rolling over my ankle and snapping back every now and then. The orthopedist seemed unimpressed, but gave me a brace that looks like a granny boot without the heel or toe and has several color-coded velcro straps to make me feel more secure when I jog. Problem is I get this sensation sitting down sometimes. A shift of weight with my foot in just the right position and I have to explain to onlookers in a restaurant that the yelp was not a mouse-sighting, but an ankle sprain.
It's a nice thought, though--a brace that will make me feel more secure. Put it on and job loss fears, concerns about saving for the kids' college, our retirement and the health of the family magically evaporate! That's how good this brace is.
I have no new personal bests to report in my jogging. In fact, I have regressed this week to my pre-April times, which is disappointing, but no de-moralizing as fitness is a long-term goal for me. What I measure in inches and in timing week to week is not as important as year to year. So I plod on.
The rest of what I have to say will have to wait. Until then--don't lose any sleep waiting!
Saturday, March 05, 2005
My fingers are crossed for the same good vibes next week as I live out a vacation fantasty with Tech Support. Not bad, eh? I've always wanted to do a ski vacation ever since I did a ski vacation in New York on Hunter Mountain at the Eggery Inn. I let a male colleague coax me into a weekend on the mountain by promising it was a "just friends" date. He showed up with a yellow rose to my chagrin. However, his clumsy, unwanted advances didn't ruin the weekend. There is nothing like finishing a classic novel in front of a roaring fire--favorite hot beverage in hand--after a day of my own clumsy advances down the bunny slope.
It's true: I don't ski, but why shouldn't I enjoy the cocoa anyway? And more than that I'm looking for a little spirtitual cleansing, if you will; and I think the Canadian Rockies might be just the church for such a blessing. If I can achieve relaxation, if the anxiety that is now beginning to lift from my chest stays lifted--well, that would be something, wouldn't it?
Grandfather and Granny B. Tech Support are caring for the children while we're gone. We are indeed lucky. Grandparents, aunts, uncles--they broaden and deepen the lives of children and I can't get enough of them for mine.
They have asked for a few written instructions on the children's schedule. That's not too hard, I thought. Well, on day 2 of Volume I, I'm trying to edit out unnecessary details like, "and if she doesn't finish her milk, it's okay." Duh! You think the grandparents will know it's okay if Miss E. leaves two ounces of milk in her Disney princess cup? Instructions like that lead me to question whether I shouldn't give them a blank page and ask them to fill it out for me while I'm gone.
(Eight hours later.) As you can tell from the above, life's good. I celebrated a lost two pounds by wearing pants that still don't fit me. Let 'em talk, I say! More later? Perhaps, perhaps not. Thanks for checking in.
Posted MAR 5 2005, 7:45 AM CDT (link here)