Outrages

Sound of the sea lions

September 28, 2008

Long after midnight, I heard sea lions barking. The sound echoed off Yaquina Bay, exotic at first as if I was on an isolated Pacific atoll, alone except for the abundant wildlife. After awhile I craved stillness and had to step inside from my perch on a condo balcony to escape the incessant cacophony. The […]

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False facade of words

September 5, 2008

Reading for me is breathing. A good story, fiction or non-fiction, is among life’s wonders. I like fiction because it opens another world and allows me to inhabit it. I like non-fiction because if well done, it illuminates truths otherwise beyond my reach. All this brings me to Sarah Palin. The story she told at […]

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Behind McCain’s mask

August 14, 2008

In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations. So proclaims John McCain. His short-term memory loss is, well, disturbing. Maybe Iraq doesn’t count. More disturbing are his efforts to interject himself into an international crisis for political gain. But then again, one of his top foreign policy advisers, Randy Scheunemann, was until recently a […]

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Wildlife in the city

August 12, 2008

“Daddy, I see raccoons,” Atticus says over breakfast today, his third birthday. The raccoons frequently visit our garage roof and use the ladder leading to our Portland backyard.

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I‘ve been known to travel with a laptop computer. I’ve also been known to write and store on its hard drive the most private of thoughts, not to mention personal financial information. Now I read that the Department of Homeland Security has bestowed upon itself the right to search computer hard drives and other digital […]

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Shame on McCain

July 25, 2008

I’m at the gym today, listening to the Avett Brothers‘ CD Emotionalism as I pant and sweat. CNN is on the TV several feet away. I vow not to read the closed-caption transcription of John McCain’s speech and look away. But my eyes betray me. McCain excoriates Barack Obama for not supporting the surge and […]

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Frat boy farewell

July 12, 2008

Choose your most admired U.S. president. Imagine him saying this: Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter. Now imagine him grinning widely and punching the air. And saying it while leaving a meeting of world leaders who had gathered in Japan to discuss combating climate change. According to a British newspaper, those present, including Gordon Brown […]

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Worse than 9/11?

July 2, 2008

Fox News calls the Obamas’ playful fist bump a “terrorist” handshake. An on-air guest says half-jokingly that Barack Obama needs to be assassinated. Fox refers to Michelle Obama as a “baby mama” (euphemism for unwed black mother). Now this on the fair and balanced network: digitally altered photos of two New York Times reporters to […]

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And God gave us words

June 30, 2008

Touchy, touchy some people are, especially zealots on the way-out-there religious right. The American Family Association’s news web site has a filter that automatically changes words it doesn’t like. So an Associated Press story from Eugene, Oregon, about track star Tyson Gay was “corrected.” The headline: “Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials.” The […]

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We’re trashed

June 28, 2008

I couldn’t sleep recently and switched on the television. Up popped a PBS story about life on an Navy aircraft carrier, which at 2 a.m. I figured would bore me to slumber. I didn’t pay much attention until a sailor explained how much trash is dumped overboard from this floating city every day. Last year […]

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Today comes a classic Karl Rove assault on a member of the opposition party, a churlish smear rather than criticism over issues: Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and […]

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Iraq: What have we done?

June 19, 2008

Unlike past wars, the Iraq war is an abstraction. We rarely glimpse the unspeakable suffering. Most of the media have lost interest. Some stalwarts remain, chronicling events beyond our comprehension. As much as I hate this war, I’ve never let what happens there penetrate my comfortable life here. Until now. Reality intruded last night when […]

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First it was Zimbabwe, slavery, and the women’s suffrage movement. Now the possibility of Barack Obama’s assassination, RFK-style, is Hillary Clinton’s latest rationale for staying in the race. What’s next? Her “concern” that Obama could develop a brain tumor or melanoma or revert to childhood bed-wetting? Make it stop. Please.

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