Saturday, November 18, 2006
My daughter and I had lunch at our favorite pho restaurant yesterday. The servers know us well, and by now we are so predictable in our menu choices that ordering is almost by rote: "Spring rolls and P-15 with extra noodles, and spring rolls and V-1."
Part of our pho ritual is to pick fortune cookies from the jar next to the cash register when paying for lunch, and to compare fortunes before we get in the car.
The past few months have been a period of growth for my daughter, for me, and for our relationship. We have both negotiated some profound changes ... not always easy ones ... and there have been times when we've both had nearly simultaneous insights that have almost seemed to be sent to us from a higher plane.
When my daughter opened her fortune cookie, she said, "Hey, I have two in mine!"
She read the first:
We both nodded, knowingly, and I said something like, "Wow, that's right on the money!"
She read the second:
We both felt the hair on our necks start to stand up. "Gosh, that one is really right, too," she said. "Open yours ... it's going to tell you what you need to do."
I tore open the cellophane wrapper of my fortune cookie and cracked open the cookie. Both of us read it at the same time:
So now, I know what I need to do! This is the fortune cookie equivalent of the zen phrase, "Chop wood, carry water." Or at least, that's how I am going to interpret it ... once I stop laughing.
P.S. The photo at top is not our favorite pho palace, but it might be if they open one in our town!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
...and sending them to a prison that he wants to shut down?
Does Bush really think none of us have memories that last longer than a goldfish's?
From today's Globe and Mail:
After his administration spent months steadfastly refusing to confirm the existence of the widely criticized "black sites," Mr. Bush not only acknowledged that terrorists had been "held and questioned outside the United States" by the Central Intelligence Agency but he praised the program as one that had broken up several plots and kept "potential mass murderers off the streets before they were able to kill us." The presumed terrorists, including suspects in the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 and the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, have already been transferred to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where 455 other suspects are also being held...
The surprise admission by Mr. Bush was part of a series of announcements yesterday timed for maximum political effect just days before the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Mr. Bush said he was introducing legislation that would allow "enemy combatants" to be tried by special military commissions.
The Pentagon also made public new rules banning abusive treatment of prisoners, marking a reversal from earlier policy which said the terrorists did not qualify for that kind of legal protection.
In asking Congress to set out the rules for the military commissions, Mr. Bush was responding to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that earlier trial plans violated U.S. and international law. He was making it clear that in the future the United States will play by the rules of the Geneva Conventions when it comes to the treatment of prisoners.
But by announcing the transfer of the 14 suspects to Guantanamo, Mr. Bush was anxious to portray himself as the leader of the war on terrorism and to put his Democratic opponents on the defensive in the run-up to crucial congressional mid-term elections in November. The families of Sept. 11 victims were invited to witness the President's 35-minute speech in the White House, which was broadcast live on national TV.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer lashed out at the Bush administration for flouting international law for so long. "Their bull-in-the-china-shop approach -- ignore the Constitution, ignore the rule of law -- has made us worse off than if we had gone to Congress originally."
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The Hotline, National Journal's blog, has done an analysis
of three recent state-by-state rankings.
They compared each state's performance on the following measures: SAT scores, poverty and obesity, thus developing the subject list.
Their analysis, in part:
So, in order, here are the states with the 5 best and 5 worst average rankings:
Other points worth mentioning:
. SC has the worst average ranking of SAT score, obesity rate and poverty rate (7.3). . CO has the best (40.7).
. NH and IA are 8th and 9th best, respectively, when you average the three rankings (37.0 and 36.33).
. TX is the only state to be in the bottom 10 for each category.
. MS comes in at number one in obesity and poverty
Now, why is it that we pay so much attention to Lindsey Graham, George Bush, Robert Byrd, Saxby Chambliss and Trent Lott?