Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
|View of Boynton Canyon in Enchantment Resort|
|Coffee Pot Rock|
Thursday, March 19, 2009
There were also two honorees that evening, One was a doctor from El Salvador who was tortured 25 years ago for giving health support to the "wrong people" according to the then government of El Salvador. He filed and prevailed in a lawsuit in the U.S. and collected on a multimillion dollar judgment which he returned to the people of his country.
The other honoree was a homegrown lawyer from Haiti who runs a human rights law practice in Haiti. Here is more info on that award from the CJA website:
Bureau Des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) has helped victims prosecute human rights cases, trained Haitian lawyers and spoken out on justice issues since 1995. BAI's Raboteau Massacre Case was one of the most significant human rights cases ever in the Western Hemisphere and was a springboard for CJA's U.S. case against Haitian human rights abuser Colonel Carl Dorélien. Leading human rights attorney and BAI founder and director Mario Joseph will accept the award.
The event took place at the City Club of San Francisco where there is a famous mural by Diego Rivera. Here is a picture of the mural that we passed on our way to the room where the speeches took place:
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Surveys of corruption experiences and perceptions of the past years have shown that women are less likely to pay a bribe. These findings have made analysts wonder if men are per se more corrupt than women.
A simple answer would be: no. A more complex one would be: we do not know yet.
Correlations between decreasing corruption levels and the growing involvement of women in politics can not be confirmed. Research seems to rather point to the fact that women have fewer resources as well as less access to institutions or networks where corruption occurs and therefore less opportunities for paying bribes.
It can not be taken for granted that women will be less corrupt than men or not form their own networks, once they have reached a higher level of representation at leadership level in society, politics and business.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I also was offered two tickets to see Das Rheingold this week at the LA Opera. I used to go to the opera all the time and am toying with the idea of taking the tickets. I am not a big fan of Wagner's music (I recall squirming through Tristan and Isolde) but I had not considered other reasons not to see the opera until my husband refused to go based on ideological objections to Wagner's anti-semitism. So what to do? I am honestly more worried about sitting for almost 3 hours without an intermission than I am about making a politically incorrect statement. If Daniel Barenboim can consider conducting Wagner, I can go see him. But to sit trapped in a long row of people and not have access to the bathroom for 3 hours??? Let's keep our priorities straight!
When I moved to LA, I tried at first to go to the library in Santa Monica but the smell of homeless urine was too overwhelming for me. In 1983 we moved to Hermosa Beach which has a number of nice suburban libraries in the area although none as nice as the one during my teens.
I took my children to the library all the time. We poked through the books in the small children's section in Manhattan Beach every couple of weeks. When I was working, my housekeeper took them for story hour . As it turns out, my daughter loves the library. (We also took her to Borders a lot during her childhood). My son not so much although he talks about getting his son to the story hour.
I now take the next generation to the library. Two weekends in a row now, my grandson and I have gone to the library. Last week we went to Torrance and this week to Redondo. Both of those libraries have large children's sections with toys and ample tables and chairs. They have books at a child's eye level and dvds or videos in a separate section. My grandson loves it there! He pestered me all morning to go to the library. You can't ask for much more than that.
I typically do not take books out of the library anymore for myself. My husband buys so many books that we have more recent releases than the library. But I love the audio books in the library. They carry The Teaching Company audio and video courses, Modern Scholar audio courses and a lovely selection of recent nonfiction. For example, I am listening to "Traffic" and "Musicophilia" courtesy of the Redondo library and watching "Genetics" thanks to the Torrance library. The PV library also has a good selection of audio books and course but you have to pay a $1.00/disc to borrow for a week. The other libraries loan them for free and for 3 weeks.
Did I mention that I love the library?
Friday, March 6, 2009
- What is really behind the "accident" that injured Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and killed his wife? I hate to be so suspicious and cynical but Mugabe showed up at the hospital very quickly.
- There was actually an article in the NYT this morning about Hillary discussing her trip to Europe and upcoming meeting with Russia foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Yay! The major news media know where in the world Hillary is today. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/07/world/europe/07diplo.html?partner=rss
- I finished my first book on the Kindle 2- Still Alice which is a novel about a 50 year old woman psychology professor at Harvard who copes with early onset Alzheimers. I will come back to the issue of memory loss in a later blog. We have a meeting this coming Tuesday with psychologists at UCLA about the results of my mother in law's memory testing. Some of the symptoms in the book rang too true for her current condition.
- At least for Still Alice the TTS feature in Kindle 2 works. It is not that bad. It captures inflections and pauses for punctuation. I tried both the male and female version.
- I have downloaded the Kindle app to my iTouch and tried that too the other day. It did not sync as well as I had hoped.
- The only other books I have downloaded to Kindle so far are American Wife and a Kindle userguide. I must say I enjoy the larger font. (see eye issues above)
- I suppose there is an inconsistency that I hate reviewing docs on a computer screen and love the Kindle. Kindle is definitely easier on the eyes than a monitor. Maybe I should put the depo transcript on the Kindle!
- I was supposed to go to Portland tonight with my husband and daughter. He was to give a talk in Salem and she wanted to look at colleges in Portland and environs. However, my husband is tired and sick from his East Coast trip last week and it is going to rain all weekend in Portland with temps in the 30-40s. BRRR. I do not fancy leaving So. Cal where it is predicted to be sunny and warm this weekend. Besides, it is daylight savings time this weekend. Who would change the 30 or more clocks in our house?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
In Egypt, the Secretary will participate in the Gaza donor’shttp://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entires/clinton_departs_for_middle_east_europe/
conference being held in Sharm el-Sheikh. Leaders from around the world will assemble at the conference to address the immediate humanitarian concerns in the Gaza Strip. Addressing the pressing needs in Gaza is important to the United States. We also want to move forward the comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace that President Obama spoke about when he and Secretary Clinton named Senator Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. After visiting Egypt, Secretary Clinton will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories.
But where is the news coverage of this trip? In the NY Times today, Thomas Friedman wrote about the super envoys and Hillary, first raising and then disputing the issue of whether she was not up to the job because she needed help from what Friedman called the "Super Subsecretaries of State". http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/opinion/01friedman.html?scp=2&sq=Hillary%20Clinton&st=cseThe LA Times does not appear to be covering this trip. Hillary was last mentioned Wednesday, 2/25/09, again in an article about the appointment of another super envoy, Dennis Ross, for Iran. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/02/25/news/fg-ross25
The Washington Post has a more substantive article discussing the Palestinian humanitarian crisis and difficulties with crafting anything with the new right wing Netanyahu government in Israel. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/28/AR2009022800321.html
All in all, still fairly minimal coverage for our chief diplomat as she ventures into the thicket. I have to wonder if the coverage is limited because it is Hillary or because newspapers are in such a decline these days. I seem to remember endless coverage of Condoleeza Rice's trips. Give Hillary equal billing!
We're worse off with the Kindle because if the right get set by the industry that publishers get to control a right which Congress hasn't given them -- the right to control whether I can read my book to my kid, or my Kindle can read a book to me -- users and innovators have less freedom.
True, you can already get software that will read aloud whatever is on your computer. But Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one. And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing. Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.