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12 December 2002

When Cindy and I set off on our morning rounds today, the fog hung heavy in the air. It didn't significantly affect visibility (not one of those London fogs of '40s movies, where you can't see your hand in front of your face), but enough so that all the lights were ringed with halos, the mist moistened your face, and the air was so quiet you wanted to whisper (that is, if you could hear each other while rolling along at 12 mph). When we got to campus and the fog swirled in among the trees, and around our pedals, there was just this incredible feeling of peace. We were the only people awake in the whole city, and the air was just hanging very softly around us.

As we passed by the high school grounds, where there are trees and grass, the fog was a bit thicker. I just love fog. As a native San Franciscan, I have fog in my veins and I never feel safer than when there is a lot of fog swirling around me.

Then we got home.

And there were Katie and Matt talking about the report that our president has let it be known that anybody who even thinks about attacking this country could be nuked. My lovely, soft wall of peace disintegrated as my mouth hung open. Was the man serious? We'd think of using nuclear weapons if we suspect that someone might have the idea of attacking us?

Was there any correlation with this pronouncement coming out of the White House as Jimmy Carter--surely the very best ex president we've ever had--was accepting the Nobel Prize for Peace? Could the two events be any farther apart?

15 years before 9/11...15 years before anybody ever heard of Al Quaeda, in the week before he died, Gilbert told me that there would never be a World War III...that the the coming decades would belong to terrorists, who would begin attacking willy nilly all over the world. I wonder what he'd say if he were here now to see just how right he was.

The current administration is still thinking that we go to war with countries. There is such eagerness to polish off our shiny bombs and use them, that it seems we're running around threatening anybody who looks cross-eyed at us. (and when we've finished with the Middle East, we're going to take on North Korea, I hear.)

Suddenly Hussein is the epitome of all evil. Whatever happened to bin Laden? He seems to have faded into oblivion--since they discovered they couldn't smoke him out of the caves in Afghanistan, it seems that we had to have a more visible enemy to aim our guns toward. Someone concrete that we actually have a chance of reaching.

Interesting report on 60 Minutes on Sunday...about the publicity campaign that is being waged to sell this war to the public. I wish I'd taped it. LIttle bits of information like there being absolutely no proof whatsoever that Hussein "financed" the 9/11 attacks, though the story was that Atta had visited Iraq. However all of our best information gathering organizations (FBI, CIA, and who knows what else) have found absolutely zero documentation about this supposed visit--yet the story has been so carefully crafted that something like 73% of American believe it happened.

[There was a marvelous statement by someone on a CompuServe forum when I mentioned that there was no proof whatsoever of Hussein's participation in the 9/11 attacks.   "Well, I'm sure he at least laughed when he heard about it," the writer stated.  Oh yeah--that's surely a logical reason to begin bombing his country!   I'm no fan of Husssein, but I'm sure not eager to begin blowing up Iraq or any other country.]

After work, I drove through the fog to Sacramento to attend a dinner for members of the "500 club," people who raised over $500 for the AIDS Walk last September. (Thanks mostly to all of you guys, I managed to make it into that club).

The fog kept getting thicker as I drove across the causeway and back into Davis. On the radio was a talk show host posing such questions as: what would happen if a country like China or Russia decided the US (the only country to actually ever use nuclear weapons) posed too great a threat and decided that the US must disarm immediately? or If we bomb Iraq to oblivion, does anybody think that would have any effect on Al Quaeda whatsoever? The host claims that he's not a pacifist and that he believes in a strong defense if we are attacked, but to launch a pre-emptive strike just 'cause the guys in the funny hats tried to kill Daddy ain't gonna win us a lot of friends around the world, especially in places where support for this country is iffy at best.

The fog was quite thick by the time I got home. Somehow it no longer made me think of a peaceful little world swirling around me. The world outside the fog had become a scary place again.

I wanted to go find a deserted island and move there with the people I love and forget that the rest of the world exists.

But I think we've run out of deserted islands.

God rest ye merry gentlemen--let nothing you dismay.

Yeah. Right.

For those who are interested, I have posted my annual Christmas letter here (tho why anybody reading this journal for any length of time needs to read a year-end re-cap, I don't know!)

Quote of the Day

Our planet is blessed with vast natural treasures. If we use them wisely, beginning with the elimination of militarism and war, every human being will be able to live a healthy, prosperous existence.

~ Dalai Lama

Photo of the Day

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Never before in my life have I received
a certificate for doing something




One Year Ago
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
It's not that the flowers have gone, excactly. It's that so many have been grown under artificial conditions that, strange as it seems, I can't seem to find the flowers I remember from my childhood.

Two Years Ago
Martha Doesn't Live Here
My kitchen is a museum to the bygone culinary periods of my life. In the back of a bookshelf, covered with dust and cobwebs is a fondu pot.

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Created 12/10/02