Thursday, March 31, 2005

Jack Valenti Cuts in Line

Some time after 7am, a man in a black suit arrived.[1] His white hair was combed back. He wore black boots and a black tie. His shirt was pink, but otherwise he had a commanding, conservative look about him. He was carrying nothing but a pair of glasses.[2]

He arrived there some time after 7:00 in the morning and walked past all the others who were standing in line. They had camped there thru the night, reserving a place in line. I guess he just figured the line was for someone else. He was an important man, after all.

The black-booted man started up the steps, but a policeman spotted him. The officer blew his whistle and told him to stop.

There on the white marble steps of the Supreme Court, with the white marble columns at the top framing the closed, carved doors of the building, the young policeman stopped the black-booted, white-haired man from going any further.

I suppose it was because the officer was young. I suppose he didn't recognize the face. I suppose he didn't know who he was stopping. And in the end, I suppose the man got to go in, anyway.

But the sound of the policeman's whistle and the image of that lecture on the steps of the peoples' court must have been something, even if for only a moment.

Grokster day at the Supreme Court
[1] An eyewitness report.
[2] A photo of the event.

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Dead Wrong or Slam Dunk

Dead wrong or slam dunk? You make the call.

Of course no one is paying attention to this anymore, so it really doesn't matter. This is the stuff of 21st century American governance.

We're busy. We're tired. We're struggling. We're distracted. We have short attention spans. They know it. And they know how to use it.

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 Wednesday, March 30, 2005

He Made Me Do It

It was a long day. When we got home, I didn't have the energy to speak. The bed was calling, but the keyboard won -- it usually does.

As I was sitting there at the keyboard, the dog kept coming into the room. Each time, the clinking of his collar preceded him. He would come around the corner, come up to my chair and gaze up at me. I would reach down with my left hand but otherwise ignore him.

He did this several times, gradually becoming more insistent. The dog tags clinked. He came around the corner. He looked up. I reached down. Finally, he pawed my legs.

He pawed at me several times. Each time I would say, No, and he would turn around and leave the room. One time, I let him jump up. He sat in my lap as I typed, and he wagged his tail and poked his nose in my face and made himself as disruptive as possible.

And then he turned and sat down and looked me in the eyes.

He was right in front of me. I couldn't see the screen. He sat down and stared straight into my eyes. I had no choice but to look back. He didn't bark. He didn't whine. He just stared. And I knew just what he was saying.

Ok, I said.

I stood up and pushed the keyboard aside. I went into the bedroom and changed my clothes. I got the leash, and we went running.

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 Monday, March 28, 2005

Your Faithful

You sat under undulating palms in the shade of white porticos. You sat with your counselors and viziers. You planned your grand plans. You sat there and postulated how this or that would gain you more. You tossed money. You gave favors. You poked. You prodded. You wove your decorated webs.

And you revelled in the power that it brought.

But as you made your plans and formulated your game board strategies, you failed to realize that not everyone thinks of this as play. They took your money. They embellished your webs of deceit. They hailed your glories. They praised you with great praise.

But now, as the day draws near, as they stand in the streets ready to do battle with the black-robbedrobed usurpers, as they wait for your agency to show itself, they are not happy that you have silently retreated back to the safety of those undulating palms.

This was your army that you left encamped before the walls of the enemy. You drove them to a frenzy. You led them to believe that a new day had come. But now you have left them standing face-to-face with death, abandoned on the eve of battle. And with this, they are not pleased.

You turn your back on your faithful, and all of the sudden the game isn't a game anymore.

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 Saturday, March 26, 2005

Something of Consequence

I was going to say something about the rain, something about how we need it to rain slowly all night long.

I had it written down -- words about the rain coming out of the north, words about the orange streetlight reflecting off the wet leaves of the trees outside.

I was going to say those things, but I changed my mind.

Talking about the rain seemed so inconsequential. No one wants to know about my thoughts on rain (of all things). At best, you have your own thoughts on the subject. At worst, you don't give a hoot on the subject in the first place. I imagined you sitting at your computer reading my words and wondering, You've got to be kidding me!

So I changed my mind.

I didn't want to waste your time. Instead of writing about rain, I decided to write about deciding not to write about the rain.

Now there is something of consequence.

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 Friday, March 25, 2005

Jim and Bob

Jim had gray hair, and his posture looked a little slumped from his years. He had trouble starting the movie -- first it was the volume, then it was selecting the right movie on the DVD. The lights came on and off and then on again as he struggled with the remote. As we sat quietly, he exhausted his skills with electronics and was rescued by some others in the audience.

After the movie, the lights came on and we talked about what we had just watched. The conversation bounced around a bit and then stumbled onto a radio interview that will be aired next week.

From the back of the room, Bob asked if anyone was going to tape the interview. Bob was young, and he sat erect in his chair, glancing hopefully around the room. Someone repeated that it was a radio program on 1600 AM. He had a puzzled look on his face. He didn't know what AM radio was.

So there they were. Jim, who was probably proficient with a film projector, was stumped by the DVD and its remote. Bob, who probably publishes personal podcasts on his weblog, had never heard of AM radio and didn't realize he could get it for free.

And there I was, sitting between the two of them, shocked and slack-jawed at how I sit on both ends of that spectrum at the same time. Trudy patted my hand in sympathy.

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 Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Roadrunners and other things

1. Things I Had to Say

I thought I had some things to say...

Something perhaps about the spring. About the blooming wild flowers. About the redbud, mountain laurel and plum blossoms. About the bright green elm leaves dotting the hillside. But I've talked about them before, so perhaps I should give it a rest.

Something perhaps about the sun. About the blue sky. About the wren singing to the left of me and the bluejay to the right. About temperatures in the upper 70s. But there is cold weather still in the north, so perhaps I'd just be rubbing it in.

Something perhaps about the Congress. About baseball players professing no interest in talking about the past as they sit before serious politicians. About budget deficits by deficit hawks. About travel to far corners on somebody else's dime. About emasculated ethics committees. But that would end up as so much whining, and no one wants to hear that.

Something perhaps about the war. About making the best of a bad situation. About lies that got us there. About that crazy liberal media that just distort it all. About the dead and wounded. About how if we break it we own it. About slam dunks. But I would just end up on a no-fly list, and you can't get your name off those.

Something about wild places in the city. That's it! I had something to say about wild places in the city.

2. We Saw a Roadrunner

We saw a roadrunner yesterday. We startled it on our noon-hour run as we cut thru a wooded lot where I waded thru yellow flowers last fall. It ran along the path ahead of us and then darted into a thicket. As we ran by, we could see it looking back at us, hoping that we'd leave it alone.

We saw a roadrunner yesterday in a wooded lot as we ran along the path that runs along the creek that runs between that place and a subdivision. The houses are held at bay by the creek, but the thicket and the grass and the yellow flowers aren't long for this world. They will soon be paved over with asphalt when the next phase of the office complex goes in. And when it does, that roadrunner will have to find a different thicket to hide in.

Do we have any place for wild places in the city? Not parks with swings and slides and tennis courts. Not golf courses with acres of tame green turf. But wild places where a roadrunner might run, where a roadrunner might be left alone.

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 Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Returning to Winter

The crossing guards were at their posts at the corner. The cars of parents dropping off their kids were parked along the street. The daily quarter-to-eight ritual was in full swing.

We backed out of the driveway with a blue sky above us and a bright sun rising in the east over the roof of the house.

Good bye, little garden, my mother said.

She has been here for a couple weeks to spend spring break with Ben. (They had just said their goodbyes as he prepared to hop into the shower with the cast on his arm double-bagged in plastic.) During her stay, she got to see the Bluebonnets and the Indian Paintbrush begin to bloom. And she got to see the best and the worst of our spring sun, rain, warm and cold.

Now it was time to go home.

We left the house and walked thru the fragrance of the Jasmine by the door. We peeked around the corner of the house to look at the Greenthread flowers. And she took one last look at the daisies and the salvia the Slender Vervain and the spring-leafing trees.

We backed out of the driveway, and we headed to the airport, where in a pink jeans jacket with a ladybug bag in tow, she walked to the gate and prepared to return to winter.

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 Sunday, March 20, 2005

Serious and Manly

We passed a milestone in this house today. The boy, as he is fondly known to the dog, used a razor for the first time.

This evening, with his good arm in a cast from a bike wipe-out last weekend, he took a razor in his left hand and shaved his upper lip and chin. He had tutoring from me. Trudy did the photo documentation (despite his protestations).

He only got two nicks. And he emerged from the bathroom a cleanly shaven man.

Later in the evening, his grandmother made some comment about it. I don't remember what she said, but it was something like he could start being serious and manly and... Well even if that's not exactly what she said, her comments were something to that effect.

Yes, he agreed. And I can also continue reading my Swedish fairy tales!

Serious and manly, just like his father.

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Terry Schaivo

I confess, I've not been particularly interested in following the Terry Schaivo case up to now. But the nature of the case has changed pretty significantly now that our illustrious legislators in Washington have decided to step in. The case has assumed constitutional dimensions.

Attorney Andrew Cohen, a legal analyst at CBS, presents the issues clearly. (The article is well done. It is a series of questions and answers and is worth the read.)

Cohen/Trial By Legislation: there is no other way to put it: this is the most blatant and egregious power-grab by one branch over another in my lifetime. Congress is intruding so far into the power of the judiciary, on behalf of a single family, that it is breathtaking.

Lean Left summarizes it.

Lean Left/Congress Vacates Constitutional Rule: It is not overreacting to say that the future of our country as a nation at liberty hangs significantly in the balance of this one otherwise unremarkable withdrawal of treatment case. ... we're one bad Court decision away from losing any hope of retaining even the limited rights of personal self-determination that have been fought for so hard and so long.

In the interest of civility, I'll bite my tongue on my view of Congress's latest move.

Let's just say, we live in interesting times.

Update: Juan Cole points out the ways in which this action on the part of the Congress is similar the resurrection of the once-abandonned aspect of Islamic law called, hisba.

Informed Comment/Islamization of the Rebublican Party: One of the most objectionable features of this fundamentalist tactic is that persons without standing can interfere in private affairs. Perfect strangers can file a case about your marriage, because they represent themselves as defending a public interest (the upholding of religion and morality).

Terri Schiavo's husband is her legal guardian. Her parents have not succeeded in challenging this status of his. As long as he is the guardian, the decision on removing the feeding tubes is between him and their physicians.

Update2: Lean Left has a good summary of the right to refuse treatment.

LeanLeft/Futile Treatment, the Right to Decline Treatment and Hypocrisy: The Supreme Court ... has gradually recognized that all competent adults not only have the right to decline any and all medical treatments... This is the basis for "living wills". Importantly, though, the Court has also held that any clear and convincing evidence of the patient's wishes may be taken as binding, even if explicit directions regarding healthcare had not been written down ...

The guiding principle in the case - that patients' wishes will be acted on when they are known ... is long established and is a vital part of seeing that patients have as much control over their own care as possible... It is that principle that is threatened by Schiavo's parents and by Congressional intervention in this case...

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 Saturday, March 19, 2005

Rain in Texas

The clouds came rolling out of the west -- dark, black-blue clouds. A wind came before them, blowing the warm air away. The temperature dropped.

When the rain came, it came down hard. The gutters in the street filled with bubbling water running down the block. A stream coming off the roof and down the driveway ran along the stone path in the front of the house.

Look at the water, I said. I was thinking of how the compost piles were a little too dry. I was thinking of the rain barrels.

I sat down on the floor by the patio door, and Trudy sat with me. We watched the rain come down in sheets. And we imagined the Desert Willow taking a long drink. And the just-mowed grass. And the daisies in the front yard.

Look! It's hailing! I said as smaller than pea-sized hail bounced on the back patio.

The wind picked up. The rain fell harder. Trudy and I sat in amaze as we stared out the window.

Well now I know I'm in Texas, my mother said.


You know you're in Texas when it rains and people sit down mesmerized to watch it.

She's right, I suppose. We were mesmerized. But I think I know plenty of people in Houston who would not have been. And they're Texans, too. Aren't they?

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 Friday, March 18, 2005

Vengeance and Torture

1. When I was nine.

I have a hazy memory from many years ago when violence was rocking our country. When Bobby Kennedy was killed in 1968, I remember hearing some news of it on the radio and telling my mother that when they caught the killer they should tie him up and whip him until he died. I wanted vengeance.

And I have a hazy memory of my mother's response. I knew how she must have felt about the assassination. Yet in spite of this, she spoke of fairness and not letting vengeance get the better of us.

2. The Desert Vampire

When justice came to Iran's desert vampire, it was not pretty. There was more than an element of vengeance to it.

The crowd was held back by police. On the platform in the public square, the convicted killer collapsed twice as he was flogged 100 times. They let a victim's brother stab him. They asked the boy's mother to put the noose around the man's neck. The killer was pulled 10 meters into the air by a crane, where he died a slow death being throttled up and down in front of the shouting crowd.

3. The Professor

I particularly like the involvement of the victims' relatives in the killing of the monster, the professor said. I think that if he'd killed one of my relatives, I would have wanted to play a role in killing him.

And he added, I am especially pleased that the killing ... was a slow throttling and was preceded by flogging.

In subsequent comments, he reflected on the constitutional implications of his comments. He was, after all, a professor of American Constitutional Law.

I would ... endorse amending the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause to expressly exclude punishment for some sorts of mass murders, he said. And then he continued, I think the Bill of Rights is generally a great idea, but I don't think it's holy writ handed down from on high. Certain amendments to it may well be proper...

He spoke from his gut. So perhaps we can give him some slack. And after all, I had similar feelings in 1968, so perhaps I should give him some slack. But wait, I was nine years old then.

What are we to make of this? The Bill of Rights was generally a good idea? Amendments to allow cruel punishment? What kind of constitution would we have today if the task had been left to the likes of this man?

And lest you say this is just one voice from one man, lest you tell me to settle down and not get bent out of shape, let me remind you of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Let me remind you of our policy of sending prisoners to foreign lands when they need a little softening up. And let me remind you who recently assumed the helm of our Department of Justice. And let me remind you of the torture memo from which he will not distance himself.

Vengeance and torture. The ends justify the means.

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 Thursday, March 17, 2005

His Cracked Smile

He put his fingers to the keyboard.

Has this been useful? he typed. Have these words been helpful?

He was met with silence.

Does what I said make sense?

More silence, but he was used to this. In cyberspace, he had long ago learned, conversations weave into time in interesting ways. So he simply continued.

By your silence, I can see that I have given you cause for thought.

A smile came to his face.

That is it, yes? he wondered aloud.

And his smile began to crack just a little.

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 Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Words of My Brother

Solo competition on Sunday.
School figures.
Life insurance details.
Residency spots filled.
Pizza on Friday.
Phone calls from two students.
The fellowship helped.
John and Mary Ellyn.
He a surgeon.
She a nurse.
The famous Argentinean orthopedist.
Med school.
Play dates with the girls.
Four children.
Lab research.
Complex cases.
Full-time academic researcher.
New technologies.
Strong lattice patterns.
Imaging the trabeculae.
Pleasant conversation.
Changing age of Americans.
RE program.
FDA approval for artificial blood substitute.
The first black family to buy a house in town.
All shapes and colors.
The show went well.
My hands are stronger.
Made some mistakes.
Crowd liked it.
Working on guitar instructions.
She talks like a teenager.
He is getting closer to a five-minute mile.
Ended the season as the fastest freshman swimmer.
I wonder how he's doing.
Run the Chicago Marathon.
First half of the Illini game.
Ran 9.5 miles.
Texas will meet Illinois in the NCAA second round.

I need to go to bed.

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 Sunday, March 13, 2005


In the waning light of day, you say you took a walk in the woods. And in the early evening light, you say you saw the robins and the cardinals and the herons in the woods and by the stream. And as you approached the tree, finger to lips, you say you saw a Great Horned Owl in her nest with a fledgling as the father distracted a nearby crow.

There are cardinals and robins here, but there are no herons, and there are certainly no Great Horned Owls that I have seen. So I have no story to share like the one you tell of your walk in the woods.

But I awoke this morning to the sound of a wren singing in the pre-dawn light. And I guess that will have to be enough for me.

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Jeanne D'Orleans (sp?) at Body and Soul discusses why the torture issue matters.

Although she takes issue with the conservative Catholic, Mark Shea, she finds common ground with his views of torture:

Mark Shea/Toying with Evil: it ... is a slippery slope leading to, among other things, the creation of a special class of people who truly enjoy this sort of work and are good at it. Reward such work and create a special department in the government for it, and people like that tend to find ways to continue plying their special skills, even when they're no longer wanted by the state that once supported them.

And then she has this to say:

Body and Soul/The Beast in US: A culture of abuse doesn't stay in the box. ... There's no way to "frame" abuse so that people who don't care will care. The only way to talk about it is ... as the most important moral issue we face.

(Hat tip: Political Animal)

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 Saturday, March 12, 2005

I Am Not Incorporated

In an age when corporations have trade secrets that can reach out over the net and force online journalists to reveal the sources of their reported rumors... In an age when corporations use digital rights management to erase fair use... In an age of patents being issued for business models...

In an age such as this, why must I surrender my social security number just to volunteer at an elementary school?

I am not incorporated. Nothing about me is mine.

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 Friday, March 11, 2005

Bird Watching

The freeway was looking like a parking lot. From the overpass, the line of stationary cars and brake lights blinking on and off extended to infinity. I merged into the far left lane as quickly as I could. And there we came to a stop.

Stop then go. Go then stop. Creeping forward a car-length at a time. You know how it goes.

But the sky was blue. (Oh, here it comes.) And the sun was shining brightly. Trudy had opened the sun roof, and light was streaming in, making me squint but not making me turn my head, since it felt so good.

And the sky was blue. (Did I say that, already?) And in the sky, to the east of where we sat, a vulture circled -- black against that blue.

But what was that!? Something was shimmering in the sky around the vulture. I turned my head to get a better look.

Far above the vulture, too far for me to clearly see them, there were other birds circling on the updrafts. As they turned, their wings caught the sun and glistened briefly white. And then they turned a brownish gray as they circled a bit more and the light caught a different bird.

Far above the vulture, these other birds were. So high that at first they seemed like sparrows. Looking closer, ...

Watch out! Trudy said.

I was watching the birds a little too closely for someone driving in rush hour traffic. But soon I turned my head and gawked some more. These were very large birds, I was convinced of it. They looked like cranes -- cranes perhaps circling as they passed over the heat of the city. Flying north, I imagined. (Is it too early for that?)

Look! I said to Trudy, but she was more interested in looking at the truck in front of us -- making sure I didn't roll into it.

I turned to look again, but by this time most of the birds were out of sight. Their circling had taken them so high in the few moments that we sat there, I could now only see six or so of the original several dozen.

When I turned to look again, they were gone, leaving nothing but that clear, blue sky and the bright shining sun.

It's going to be a good weekend.

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 Wednesday, March 9, 2005

I Saw Maggie

I saw Maggie. She was sitting on a bench in the lobby of the middle school. Her back was against the wall. Her hair was shining white in the daylight. She was reading a crossword puzzle book.

There were kids coming and going. There were sounds of childrens' voices and musical instruments warming up coming down the hall. The sun slanted in thru the windows and threw golden trapezoids of brightness onto the floor. Periodically, a teacher left the office on some errand to the other end of the school.

It was fitting, I thought, that I should see Maggie here. Her teaching years would have made her comfortable in this place, although I doubt that in her years she ever sat on lobby benches. Rather she would have been the one running the errands, or she would have been standing in the front of a classroom behind closed doors teaching her kids to write and speak well.

I squinted my eyes and looked harder. And of course, it wasn't her. But for a moment I thought I saw Maggie -- a memory out of the distant past.

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 Monday, March 7, 2005

Extraordinary Rendition

This needs to be done very quietly and out of the public's eye, the former agent said.

Why? we might wonder. And who does the deciding?

And just why are we sending them overseas, to Libya and Morocco and Uzbekistan? we might wonder.

To Uzbekistan, a place of breaking and smashing of limbs and teeth, a place of pealing skin with pliers, a place of pulling out finger- and toenails, a place of boiling prisoners to death. That is where we sent them on those secret flights.

To Guantanamo, a hell of our own making, safely out of range of the courts, of due process, of the constitution, of everything that we say we stand for. So safely out of view that we'll just look the other way and chalk it up as just another means to an end.

A justified means to an unquestionable end -- done quietly and out of the public's eye.

(Hat tip: The Agonist)

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 Sunday, March 6, 2005

BagelFest 5K

We woke early for the race. The clouds were low in the sky. There was a chill in the air. A wispy fog rose from the oak and juniper canyons as we drove north. The steady drizzle turned to rain.

The rain was supposed to stop at 8:00, but it did not. And the race got off a half-hour late due to some mixup in logistics. Overhead, gulls (a very long way from the Gulf) turned in the air following a breeze and the clouds to the east. We waited for the gun.

On your marks, Go! And we were off. Across the timer pads and around the first corner, we were all together, the four of us. A 40-something year old man, his 30-something wife, a 20-something friend, and a teenage son.

We ran the first few hills together. But as the crowd began to thin, so did we. Trudy opted for a slower pace. Manish and Ben took to the hills with vigor. (Ben was reluctant to leave his father behind, but took off as soon as I tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Go ahead!")

I followed them for a while with my eyes. I could see them climbing the hills and turning the corners ahead of me. And I could feel Trudy somewhere behind. I was characteristically in the middle of the pack.

I lost sight of the two ahead of me somewhere around mile 2. Beside me, kids stopped to walk and other kids went sprinting by. There were parents pushing baby joggers and parents running next to their elementary aged kids. My kid was somewhere far ahead.

Somewhere along the way, the drizzle stopped.

In the end:

  • teenage Ben - 25:49.
  • 20-something Manish - 28:00.
  • 30-something Trudy - 31:48.
  • 40-something me - 29:39.

BagelFest 5K, Austin TX

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 Friday, March 4, 2005

Thinking About Sending An Email Back

That makes us sound kind of lonely, she said, after I drew attention to the fact that she sent me an email from the other room.

It sounds like we don't talk.

I think I mumbled something. Or I chuckled. Perhaps I nodded my head.

Maybe I should have answered her with words. I think I'll send her an email back.

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The Technology Abyss

So we're sitting here in this quiet house on a Friday night. Or rather, I am sitting here in the study at this desk, and she is sitting there in the dining room at the table -- she across the house from me.

So we're sitting here and there in this quiet house on a Friday night sending out emails and surfing the web.

And then... I've got mail, the bouncing icon in my dock tells me.

It's a message from her asking for somebody's email address. Because it must be too far to walk. Or because it must be too late to shout. Or maybe because with her laptop and our wireless router she's now also fallen into the technology abyss.

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 Thursday, March 3, 2005

It Made You Laugh

I woke up this morning and you were gone. Like you are gone in the morning everyday. When I open my eyes. You were awake already. As always.

So you were awake this morning when I woke up. And I rolled over. In the bed. As I do. When you are up. For room. No more perching. No more edge of precariousness.

Anyway, you were up. And the light was on. In the dining room. And I could hear the radio. And your footsteps. In the other room at the table. I could hear you. From the middle of the bed where I lay. You were at the table. I could tell from your footsteps. And you sat down.

Then I heard laughing. Your laughing. In the morning. At the table. Sitting in the dining room. I heard it. And I knew you were reading what I had written.

From the bed, I heard you laugh. In the morning. On your birthday. I heard you laugh. At what I wrote. And it made me smile that I made you laugh on your birthday.

Happy Birthday.

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 Wednesday, March 2, 2005

The Curtains Fell

A red spotlight lit the red velvet curtains hanging from the ceiling high above the stage. People settled into their seats -- seats that stretched back into dim shadows far in the back. The lights dimmed. The crowd hushed. Not a sound was heard. The glowing curtains lifted.

A spotlight shined down on a white bench in the center of the dark stage. A woman in black and white sat up and turned around and rolled on the floor and held up her hands and threw back her head and jumped and fell and turned some more. And she ended up under the white bench when the spotlight faded to black. The curtains fell.

A woman with long dark hair stood in the center of the stage in a green striped dress that fit tightly to her legs. She could only take quick, small steps. She jumped into the air. She threw her hair back and swung it in front again. She smacked her hands on her hips as she smiled. And then she jumped and hopped some more. The curtains fell.

A single woman sat alone on the stage. Grief radiated from her before she began to move. Her legs and arms were webbed to her. She held them in misshapen angles. Her face was distraught. Her movements were agonizing and mournful. The curtains fell.

Then there were some men on the stage -- men in tight, bronze pants and women in loose, flowing skirts. And there was a woman in red and a woman in yellow. The curtains fell. There were women in black. The curtains fell. There was a woman and a beast. The curtains fell. There was a penitent man and a black-veiled woman and a man with thorns. The curtains fell. There was a woman in black and red sitting on a pedestal. The curtains fell. There were marching women, victorious, defeated, dead. And there was hope. The curtains fell.

The Martha Graham Dance Company performance at UT Bass Concert Hall, Austin TX

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 Tuesday, March 1, 2005

That We Need Reminding

So today in South Carolina, US District Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote,

[Floyd/Padilla v. Hanft]: Certainly Respondent does not intend to argue here that, just because the President states that Petitioner's detention is 'consistent with the laws of the United States, including the Authorization for Use of Military Force' that makes it so. Not only is such a statement in direct contravention to the well settled separation of powers doctrine, it is simply not the law.

It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation that we should need reminding.

(Hat tip: The Left Coaster)

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