,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Friday, June 25, 2010


In Pakistan, the Mullahs Rule

 Religious Extremism and Islam

There they go again. The Islamic state of Pakistan's latest action to prevent "blasphemy"!

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan will start monitoring seven major websites, including Google, Yahoo and Amazon, for sacrilegious content, while blocking 17 other, lesser-known sites it deems offensive to Muslims, an official said Friday.

"....deems offensive to Muslims". My Iraqi friend would say Ya Habibi. The hypocrisy of the Muslims is staggering. Are they blind or deaf, or both. No wonder Pakistan lags behind as the world marches on. The west, with all its ills, does not suffer from fear about perceived insult to religious beliefs.  

For the Pakistani Government, such policies could just be diversionary tactics for a populace plagued by lack of basic needs.


Monday, June 21, 2010


Summer 2010


First day of Summer

It does not feel like it. That is a common refrain this summer. There were wintry days.....more of them than usual in spring. Rain, too. Now, summer is here but in the San Francisco Peninsula the temperature is unusually low. The breeze picks up in the evening and the fog comes rolling in from the Pacific west of us.

But there would be days when the temperature will climb over 90° (approx. 32 degrees C) and we will yearn for relief.

The cool days lengthened the display of wild flowers. There are still some to be found but on a recent hike in the foothills I came across Clarkias (Farewell to Spring).  The meadows have lost their lush greenness.   And a woman walking with a child warned us to be watchful about rattle snakes. Said that she came across one. Summer is here.
Elegant Clarkias, Ewing Hill, Black Mountain Trail, Los Altos, CA.

California Indian Pink, Black Mountain Trail, Los Altos, CA

Blue Bedder Penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus). Black Mountain Trail, Los Altos, CA.

Yellow Mariposa Lily, Wunderlich Park, Woodside, CA.

Giant Puffball Mushroom

I don't forage for mushrooms in warm weather. Came across some giant puffballs at Pulgas Ridge in April.  Good eating.

A summer haiku from brooksbookshaiku.com

at the beach . . .
a crab's sideways walk
on the hot sand

--Matt O.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


The Other War, In Afghanistan

Marine Cpl. Jacob Leicht

Statistically, Cpl. Jacob Leicht of College Station, TX, was the 1000th American soldier to die in the Afghan war. Cpl. Leicht (24) died on May 27, 2010. He was born on the 4th of July. But statistics  don't tell the whole story....what the loss means to his family and friends. 

President Obama declared that he would "..............withdraw combat forces from Iraq by August 2010 and all remaining troops by December 2011."

Let us see if he will stick to the target.  Based on his record, we could expect a statement announcing a change, especially now with reports about discovery of vast reserves of lithium in Afghanistan.  Think of huge profits by those who are in a position to exploit it.

Heading for the ninth year, the war in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001.   As plans for the summer offensive against Taliban strongholds accelerate there would be more casualties.  The end, however, is not in sight. And there are questions as to whether we are 'winning' the war or whether it is 'winnable'.

Another war in which our money is enriching corrupt bureaucrats, including our one-time favorite Hamid Karzai, U.S. corporations producing weapons, and contractors hired to aid war efforts.  The poppy trade continues unabated.

See Cost of War.com - National Priorities Project

Bob Herbert in NY Times:


Our government leaders keep mouthing platitudes about objectives that are not achievable, which is a form of deception that should be unacceptable in a free society.

In announcing, during a speech at West Point in December, that 30,000 additional troops would be sent to Afghanistan, President Obama said: “As your commander in chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined and worthy of your service.”

That clearly defined mission never materialized.


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