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Under Construction
A photo session in Emeryville

December 11th, 2005

Name and Why
Pisces (Feb 19 - Mar 19) Oh, what a year! There's been a time to plan, a time to push and now - at last! - a little down time. Take a leisurely stroll down Christmas Tree Lane. Think about how and where you want to live. You'll be amazed at who and what jumps out of Santa's pack.
Sunday. So many ways to interpret that.

For all the “leisurely strolls down Christmas Tree Lane” there's a bunch of stuff to get done this week. I'm on target, but I'm on target at (what for me) is a heady pace. One slip and the cards come tumbling down, gambles made, gambles lost.

What can that possibly mean?

It means the work life that most people handle in their sleep, handle with one hand tied behind their backs, has impinged upon my existence and I'm having to conduct myself as an adult for what, I am assuming, will be an entire week. This coming week. Deadlines at work, deadlines at home. Then I should be clear. So I have no complaints except I'm complaining in some unknowable neurotic fashion here in front of the world. Which is weird. Not in and of itself weird, but weird in that I care not a whit, not a jot, not a Christmas cookie crumb fallen down upon the kitchen floor to bounce between Ms. Emmy's teeth about it. (Are Christmas cookies bad for cats? As bad as they are for humans? One hopes not.)

The New York Times ran an interesting story on page one last Friday. The top of page one far right. The jist of the story was that the “connection” made between Iraq and al Qaeda by the Bush administration to justify the Iraq invasion came from a suspect who had been “rendered” to Egypt for interrogation. Once the Egyptians had him in their hands he began to tell the al Qaeda connection story to get his interrogators to stop whatever it is that Egyptians do behind closed doors. An example of why torture doesn't work. A reason to have a national debate about torture and whether or not you need to sacrifice your humanity in this manner to fight and stay alive.

I've mentioned an epiphany I had while I was in college during the sixties and lived in a fraternity house where I was introduced to a group of students who were self proclaimed “Conservatives” (with a capital “C”), Goldwater enthusiasts and, I have no doubt, this day forty years later, supporters of Mr. Bush's government. I realized, as I began to understand what they were about, that none of them believed a democratic system (with or without the capital “D”) could survive in a crunch. I realized it was an unstated assumption, something too obvious, too basic in their nature to question or state: Throw out democracy, civil liberties, standards of decency and equal treatment under the law when times get tough. Times are always tough. Back then tough was the Cold War and Vietnam. (I don't recall one of them who didn't find a way to avoid serving in the Vietnam war they said was so necessary to our survival, another something they share with Mr. Bush and his crew.)

I was overseas in the army in the late sixties and so I wasn't there to see if any of them changed their views during those less than wonderful years, but I suspect not. They're out there somewhere now defending this torture business in secret prisons because they can't believe a society that stands and lives by democratic principles can win in a fight. I think making a decision to torture prisoners in the name of the United States demands discussion. I think you have to take it out of the dark and hold it up to the light, weigh the pro's and con's and, if the decision is torture, then stand up, say it and say why. I think torture examined objectively will show it to be a joke in every way you care to measure, but I could be wrong. Let them step forward and show me, let all of us step forward and see what they're doing in our name and why.

This sounds like a preachy kid reciting a high school assignment.

It does, doesn't it. Bummer.

The photograph was taken at a studio session in Emeryville with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 17-55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/125th second, f 5.6 and ISO 100.