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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Beauty and the bus

Aging, It's not easy, Politics

Fifty two years ago today, Rosa Parks stayed seated on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and the world changed.

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Politics are scary, so let's talk about Jennifer Love Hewitt's butt

Beauty, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Politics

President Bush is mumbling about World War III. 3,000 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers have been alerted for service in Iraq. Republicans are leaning toward jovial Mike Huckabee, whose middle eastern solution is "just win it." And everyone's starting to get a glimmer of how deep the financial crisis goes into the banking industry.

So what's the big news story of the day? Some 291 articles' worth?

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A preemptive war on knowledge?

language, Politics

President George W. Bush believes that the safety of the United States depends on "preventing (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

It's an extraordinary idea, this "knowlege prevention." Google doesn't even recognize the term. Anything you find with both "knowledge" and "prevention" is about avoiding losing knowledge.

The first time I heard the expression "preventing . . .knowledge" in October, I wrote it off as more language blundering. But with the new National Intelligence Estimates-fueled debate about whether Iran really has stopped pursuing nuclear weapons, the phrase is being used with the frequency of propaganda.

I'm not sure how you enforce ignorance. Shut down the schools? Burn the books? Imprison the scientists? The knowledge in question doesn't belong to the United States. It belongs to those who can discover and apply it.

This isn't to say that Iran isn't dangerous. It certainly is. Whatever National Intelligence Estimates show, it seems reasonable to assume that if Iran isn't pursuing nuclear weapons at the moment, it will. Knowledge, after all, is power--nuclear or otherwise.

The work of someone who calls himself the leader of the free world isn't to prevent people from having knowledge. It's to persuade them not to use it badly--the work of diplomacy.

Sometimes, force is needed to prevent bad acts. But not to prevent knowledge.



My internal compass usually works pretty well when it comes to the cardinal directions--north, south, east, and west. But throw in a diagonal street and you've lost me 70% of the time. I'm diagonally challenged.

Usually the disorientation means some extra miles on the odometer. But now it means that my bee-colored recyclables cart runneth over. Collection day was last week.

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Today was a gift


We have the media to thank for a heavenly day precipitated by a big dose of hysteria.

If you got stuck in a drift or dinged in a skid-on collision, my condolences. But for the rest of us, it just wasn't that bad.

Although the streets are slick and the hills tough to climb, there's nothing much in today's weather that couldn't be dealt with by driving slowly and keeping a prudent distance. The shoveling's heavy, but you can still do it that way as fast as with a snowblower. Particularly if you set a fit 17-year-old to the task. Still, if you're older, go slow: thar be heart attacks and back injuries ahead.

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This is a test


Inquiring minds want to know: will Randy re-post his blog for a fourth time in order to stay "on top"?


Forget the kids: Teach parents about sex

Sex education

(If frank talk about sex education offends you, read no further.)

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Princesses and hags: how we train ourselves to look at aging

Aging, Beauty, It's not easy

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh asked, “Does our looks-obsessed culture want to stare at an aging woman?” The woman in question was Hillary Clinton, of course.

It's like almost an addiction that some people have to what I call the perfection that Hollywood presents of successful, beautiful, fun-loving people. So the question is this: Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”

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Gas and crass--the EPA and those Spears girls

Environment, Kids, Media

Wondering why the auto makers didn't make a bigger objection to the new energy bill signed into law yesterday? After all, it raised standards for emissions control.

The answer became clear within hours, according to the New York Times. That same day, the Environmental "Protection" Agency decreed that states could not pass more stringent bills but would have to abide by federal standards. Sixteen states have waivers permitting them to develop higher standards for greenhouse gas emissions than the newly approved standards. But those waivers have been effectively nullified. 

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Christmas interruptus

Kids, Spirtuality

At the dark table in the corner of Singha Thai last night, the fortune cookies arrived, as they always do.

It was my birthday dinner, and I was feeling blessed. The food was good, and I was in the company of a long-time beloved friend. George had arranged for an earlier surprise celebration at The Original Pancake House, where he works. Daughter Annie had flown home to Ft. Collins safely, even though the gale winds left our yard covered with a winter's supply of kindling. Earlier, she and Liz had done the Christmas shopping for everyone, and all I had to do was foot the bill.

All that was left for today was last minute shopping and raspberry torte baking.  Life was good. 

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Treat for the spirit

Nature, Spirituality


Sometimes, if you eavesdrop on the hunters in my family, you'll discover the hidden reason for their trips: awe in the face of beauty.

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No bang, some whimpers

Aging, New Year

It's not the end of the world, just the end of the year. Still, while I hadn't planned to put on stilettos and silks to dance the year away, neither had I planned to spend the evening in flannel jammies, ice on my ankle instead of in a toasting drink.

It has been one of those days.

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