Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Emergency - Or Not


The new swine flu: sounds scary. But what is the reality?

A few dozen people have died in Mexico, and there are some documented cases in other countries. What are we NOT seeing: rapid contagion; an exponentially growing number of fatalities; contagion affecting medical care professionals. SARS was frightening in its lethal spread. So far we are not seeing this with the new swine flu outbreak.

We need to keep on top of the fear mongering potential of this issue. There are real public health threats, which we can discuss as professionals/people interested in public policy; however they overlap with those who would take medium size threats and turn them into opportunities to make money and consolidate power.

Cui bono in each case. I followed the avian flu thing closely and was inside enough to see how that became a money making opportunity.

Whatever this new thing is, is real. It will kill some people. It deserves appropriate attention and resources.

But something like 36,000 people in the U.S. die from regular flu every year; I don't hear a lot of screaming about that, except the one year Rumsfeld's Tamiflu folks tried to manufacture a shortage of vaccine. And don't get me started about other preventable deaths, here and abroad....

So yeah, I am afraid, just not of what you might think:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Torture Reaction: They've Never Seen Me Cry Before

Long day at work, when legal memos supporting torture -- and I can hardly type that -- became public showing new depths of depravity of the Bush/Cheney Administration.

So I thought I would get away from things, go for a nice long neighborhood walk. The first neighbor I see, asks 'What's wrong?' and I realize I have leaky eyes. Tough day at work, I say, hope you are well.

The next neighbor: 'Hey are you ok?' and I realize that multitasking today means walking and crying at the same time.

I shared that our staff is hurting from seeing legal memos justifying - almost inviting - torture. This is done in our name. We have worked to elect a different team for the government; we knew the Bush/Cheney administration did bad things, and see this in writing, from is egregious. It is too much. They went too far.

I realized that the neighbors had never seen me cry before. Not from divorce, not from being lonely in a new place, not from other losses. But THIS - this makes my eyes overflow, in public, in a way I have not done since my father died. My father, city prosecutor, HLS, who deeply believed in the rule of law.

Our national honor has nearly died. I hope and pray we can restore it.


photo by margaretv

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shy Girl Branches Out

It's the little things in life that can make it so sweet, if we will stop to think about them.

A neighbor dog, that looks just like mine when I was 5 years old, came up to me and just stood with his head next to my leg. Never did this before.

The repairman came a day early and fixed 3 things instead of the scheduled one. Got quite a lesson in how to install towel racks, and even better, learned about the man's family back in Guatemala.

Let me start this one by saying no one was hurt - a gigantic leafy branch fell off a tree in the courtyard and the kids had a super time dividing up the spoils and playing with them.

In front of the grocery I stopped to talk with the guy handing out something, instead of going on by which I would normally do. Turns out he is a school teacher from the neighboring town who is trying to raise funds for one of the high school kids who had an accident. The paper wasn't an ad, but the article in the local newspaper about efforts to help the family.

I got brave and called up a friend that I hadn't talked to for a long time. She was delighted to get back in touch. [Are we sensing an introvert theme here today?]

Went to the bank and the woman who helped me said, Yes I remember you, I helped you open your account last summer.

So it's my natural tendency to hide and not talk to anyone - need to push myself out there a little - but the rewards are very sweet.


photo by adwriter

Friday, April 10, 2009

Comedy Central Interview

Comedy Central took this photo of me at the Democratic Convention in August 2008. I think I forgot to put it up here then. We were kinda busy :)

From the interview:

POSTED BY: Dennis and Michael
11:03 - So the plus sides of The Big Tent are definitely the company (thanks to our friends at Fire Dog Lake, Group News Blog, and Daily Kos) the free food, and the free beer. The only real downside was that they didn't turn on the sound until after Pelosi spoke, and when they did, they nearly blasted my ear drums out.

10:28 - I asked Firedoglake editor egregious a question, hoping to trip her up, because I'm an asshole. She was talking about all this community's efforts to sway the country blue, and I asked her what she thought would happen when the country became a vast Democratic majority. Her response…

"In twenty years, when the Democrats have gotten fat and lazy, our children will vote them out… And they should."

Ha ha! I'm not gonna have kids, so she's wrong. - DDC


I think if I ever did one thing that makes me cool in my kids' eyes, this could be it. Altho texting from overseas in the early 2000's apparently counts, as not too many folks' parents were doing such things then.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009



[click graphic for video]

Lifehouse lyrics:

The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though i still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for a purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain is there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm hangin' on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hangin' on to the words you say
You said that I will be ok

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, haven't forgotten my way home


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

That Sinking Feeling

Ever hear a drip drip drip and think, I'm sure I turned all the faucets off?

Of course I'm the princess in the pea kind of hypersensitive who can hear a faucet from upstairs...but this was different.

Alas this dripping was from a sink full of water that was leaking underneath, onto everything I was storing in the cabinet beneath.

I had fully intended to reorganize this cabinet...just not today. But what could I do, everything was soaking.

I reported the problem to the apartment maintenance, they came out right away yesterday, and by today at noon I had myself a new sink.

While feeling extremely sorry for myself, I tried to put things into perspective by thinking about people who had other more egregious problems. Didn't work. What did help: a lovely hummingbird who came very close to my door - twice; a neighbor child who spoke to me for the first time; a late night delivery of items I thought might have gotten lost; and a phone call from someone who loves me.

We can be coaxed back to happiness, just need to be open to it.


photo by tanakawho