Dispatches From The Edge: The CIA, Pakistan & Tangled Webs

By Conn Hallinan
Tuesday April 05, 2011 - 03:15:00 PM

Was American CIA agent Raymond Davis secretly working with the Taliban and al-Qaeda to destabilize Pakistan and lay the groundwork for a U.S. seizure of that country’s nuclear weapons? Was he photographing sensitive military installations and marking them with a global positioning device? Did he gun down two men in cold blood to prevent them from revealing what he was up to? These are just a few of the rumors ricocheting around Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar in the aftermath of Davis’s arrest Jan. 27, and sorting through them is a little like stepping through Alice’s looking glass. -more-

The Public Eye: When Bad Things Happen to Good Americans

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday April 05, 2011 - 03:37:00 PM

In 1981, in response to the death of his son, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote the classic When Bad Things Happen to Good People. In recent days there’s been such bad news about jobs and unemployment that Rabbi Kushner should consider writing a sequel: “When Bad Things Happen to Good Americans.” -more-

Senior Power: Potpourri

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday April 05, 2011 - 10:18:00 PM

This week’s column is a potpourri-- a collection of miscellaneous or diverse items. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Marketing and Promotion of Tobacco Products

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday April 05, 2011 - 05:44:00 PM
The Camel San Francisco is a blue pack of cigarettes with the following text on the back:  “The Summer of Love, protests to be civil and a rainbow of counterculture. Whether you started here or put flowers in your hair, grabbed a drum and hitched a ride on a painted minibus, Camel lights up this little piece of San Francisco that pulses with the spirit to evolve, revolve or revolt and follows the force to break free.”

Smoking is linked with lung cancer, emphysema, and other diseases. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (each year about 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking. Despite these risks, approximately 46.6 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. And cigarette smoking costs more than $193 billion, $97 billion in lost productivity plus $96 billion in health care expenditures. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Talking Turkey

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday April 05, 2011 - 02:58:00 PM
One of Berkeley's own wild turkeys in display mode.

The inexorable march of the wild turkeys continues. Lately we’ve been seeing them at the Gill Tract in Albany, feeding in the fields that the Canada geese occupy in winter. Maybe there’s a time-share arrangement. -more-

On Mental Illness: Medication Isn't the Holy Grail

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday April 05, 2011 - 09:58:00 PM

Medicating the brain is a serious matter; it should not be considered with an off-hand approach. It seems there are some psychiatrists who prescribe during a fifteen-minute session, with as much contemplation as someone shooting down fake ducks in a shooting gallery. Especially, when you are medicating a child, other avenues of accomplishing the same objective (whatever the objective is) ought to be investigated. -more-