Friday, April 28, 2006

port security informed

I found this short blog on port security to be illuminating. The detail-oriented reader will want to look into more, but it seems that 100% container scanning isn't an unrealistic proposition.

I must say, inside my intuitive-driven head, I never imagined it would be that big a deal - but then the world doesn't always operate the way I think it should.

In this instance it seems Hong Kong does. I see a trip to Hong Kong in my future... :?)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

this just made me smile

This excerpt from another blogger just made me smile...

"The president is unpopular for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason is probably Iraq -- in all its many manifestations. But a very big reason -- and one that suffuses many of the other reasons -- is a growing sense that the president and his chief advisors are dishonest, incompetent, cynical and possibly corrupt.

That's not great. But when you think about this coming election, and the stakes for the White House, you need to figure that that's all come about without any independent, let alone antagonistic or hostile, investigations into the key issues that have led to this souring view of the president.

Would the president look better after a new look at the Iraq intel bamboozlement that wasn't controlled by Sen. Roberts? How about an investigation into the executive branch side of the Abramoff scandal? What about a look into the Plame affair? What about the folks in Rumsfeld's office who knew about Duke's corruption but looked the other way?"

Props to TPM

Monday, April 24, 2006

praise be!

Last week I was telling you about the William Cross lecture I attended at PSU: Transacting Black Identity in Everyday Life. It was an awesome 2 hours of discovery and realization that went by too fast. I was left asking, ‘how can I get in front of this guy again for a longer exploration of this topic.’

It was that powerful.

I am stunned, but thrilled to find Dr. Cross will be back in Oregon in July as a faculty member at the Summer Institute. He is teaching a workshop (#21) July 24-28 on the same topic—now expanded to cover how different racial and ethnic identities operate, adapt and relate in various settings.

There are very few events that I feel strongly enough about to grab people by the shoulders and exhort them to attend. This is one that must not be missed.

rage renewed

It has been awhile since my ire has boiled over at this administration. I've been on slow simmer, redirecting my energy to raising kids, but it is time again to say what I feel.

60 Minutes hosted a piece last night on CIA officer Tyler Drumheller.

The short of it is he was a central figure in the run-up to the war. He ran our covert operations in Europe-- He saw the bogus Niger-Uranium papers early on. He debriefed the Iraqi Foreign Minister on WMD. He wasn't a low-level analyst whose information was narrow.

The old news is there was no WMD. The old news is there were conflicting intel views. The new news is not surprising, but it is breathtaking.

Go check out the transcript of the interview and decide for yourself what you believe.

Why aren't impeachments proceeding? Republican-led committees who will never permit the truth to come out.

Where is the tipping point? Where does it become impossible to keep resisting what is so absolutely clear - the bad faith and the lies of this government to its people. before. during. after. now.

fun with Blogger passwords

Occasionally Blogger spells something funny with its randomized passwords.

Today I got:



Wednesday, April 19, 2006

book recommendation

I had a good day yesterday. Good in an unsual way. In a 'something comes along that really affects you' way.

I attended a lecture last night for class: Transacting Black Identity in Everyday Life.

The speaker was Dr. William E Cross Jr. from City University of New York.

And I feel totally inadequate to describe how totally engrossing and transforming this short short 2 hours we had was.

I think the best I can do is to issue my high recommendation - in the way we may sometimes hand a friend a book we've read with high praise.

Whoever you are you will be better and wiser and more fulfilled for taking any opportunity you create to listen to this man speak. You will learn something about yourself. It is not his art at speaking, but the absolute beauty and power of the content of his thinking. Doesn't matter if you are particularly or marginally interested in the topic.

Keep your ears tuned and eyes open for his name: Dr. William E. Cross Jr. and for his subject - psychology, identity, personality, african-americanism.

Here's a link to his recent speaking engagement at PSU and his bio is at the bottom.

Go see! :?)

Monday, April 17, 2006

much ado

Please give it up for el corporal and his lovely wife. They gave birth to twins on Friday.

Most notably mamma carried for 38 weeks and delivered Pierce (6lb10oz) and Lawson (5lb10oz) happy and healthy.

Way to go T! :?)

No doubt there will be many stories of the two little guys that make it into future blogs.

Friday, April 14, 2006

shut up!

I was in class last night. Dog tired. Bones tired.

And then something remarkable happened. While slouching in my seat, corpselike, I became aware the woman next to me had started talking and just wouldn't shut up.

This wasn't just an endless single topic kind of talking. It was, I would later gather, an ADD-induced stream of consciousness.

Every single thing the instructor said triggered some comment, annecdote, inspired personal example, innovation, analysis and synthesis....

Each thought would eventually burn itself out, and in a moment of dawning horror the speaker would peter out with a mumbled mantra, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!..." At the same time furiously scribbling on her notepad the very same phrase, writ large. bordered. red inked. traced over and over furiously. Shut up!

I watched this go on several times, feeling empathy and wanting to soothe the tortured soul with an, "It's all right, you don't need to be so hard on yourself. Just contribute on every 3rd question instead of every time."

At the same time it was fascinating. car wreck, flashing ambulance lights fascinating.

Over the course of the evening it started to drain on my empathy. This nice woman was enthusiastic. She was chatty. She was a pretty good neighbor at the table. She was probably reaching the end of her meds for the day and having a hard time focusing. And it was fraying my nerves.

Reminded me of something that happened in college...


I'd seen something like this before. My roomie in college, second year. Good guy. Looked like Jackson Browne. Was easy going like Jackson Browne. But not early in the morning before his meds and late at night after his meds wore off.

At those times he became a quietly insistent paranoiac.

Didn't discover this until I invited him to join a game of "assassin" and his sub-surface tendencies erupted. Our room felt like a guarded fortress as he sought to avoid his own hunter. I was berated for minor lapses in security protocol which could let the barbarians in-- things like letting the door open more than a crack as I entered and left the room.

Finally, in an act of total frustration, total betrayal and I guess total validation of Ken's paranoia, I worked a deal with the guy who was hunting him (I was pretty sharp at this game and worked out all the hunters/hunted pretty fast). Joe, the comic book collecting, Hawaiian, pitiless killer popped through a thoughtlessly-left-open door I had egressed a few moments earlier and collected his contract on Ken.

Ken was a good guy. I said that, didn't I? Didn't even yell at me. Just wearily explained how I'd once more failed to close the door behind me and this time the unthinkable had happened. But at least he didn't have to worry anymore.

We consoled eachother.

So I am back in my class realizing what is going on. How do you help someone whose meds are wearing off to hold it together for another two hours?

I'll have a quiet conversation with the instructor and see if we can come up with some relaying techniques (i.e. talking stick) to support my neighbor.

It really pained me to see her attacking her own self-worth with those "Shut ups!"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

slobber, drool...

Nothing inspirational to report. I am just slogging through a couple of weeks of teaching back-to-back classes. Am the walking dead.

I guess I am excited about starting up the next class in my Masters program this week.

The combination of excitement and exhaustion should manifest in a mild catatonia with drooling of joy...

...of course these symptoms also match the classic signs of a recent observance of Cthulu. So use your own judgement as to which diagnosis to make. The worst that could happen is I'll want to eat your brain-- but then I'll be too tired to move, so the risk is probably low at that. -shrug- :?p