Dispatches from the Edge: A Coup at Foggy Bottom

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:54:00 AM

Watching the Obama administration’s about-face in the Middle East and Latin America raises an uncomfortable question: have neo-conservative Democrats—a section closely associated with the Clinton wing of the party—undermined U.S. foreign policy? Whatever the source of the shifts, their effect has been to heighten tensions in both areas of the world and marginalize the United States just as it was beginning to break out of the isolation of the Bush years. -more-

Undercurrents: Why I Didn’t Write About Dellums’ Tax Troubles

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 08:55:00 AM

Someone identifying himself as Javier Melendez took me to task in last week’s letters column for my failing to take Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums to task for the mayor’s recently reported tax difficulties. I quote the relevant parts in whole: -more-

Wild Neighbors: The Fine Points of Gull Identification: Why Bother?

By Joe Eaton
Thursday December 03, 2009 - 09:15:00 AM
A western gull, aggressively panhandling at Drakes Beach in Point Reyes.

It’s been a long time coming, but there was one identifiable point in my life when I realized I was no longer a Serious Birder. That was two years ago, when Gulls of the Americas, a Peterson Reference Guide, was published, and I didn’t buy it. I still haven’t bought it. In fact, I passed up a discounted copy at the end-of-Cody’s sale. -more-