DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE; Iran Sanctions: War By Another Name

By Conn Hallinan
Friday July 13, 2012 - 10:48:00 PM

Now that the talks with Iran on its nuclear program appear to be on the ropes, are we on the road to war? The Israelis threaten it almost weekly, and the Obama administration has reportedly drawn up an attack plan. But in a sense, we are already at war with Iran. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Mitt Romney: No There There

By Bob Burnett
Friday July 13, 2012 - 10:57:00 AM

Returning to Oakland after a long absence, Gertrude Stein famously remarked, “there is no there there.” During the first week of July, conservatives made a similar discovery about Mitt Romney: he’s an empty suit. While Romney blames President Obama for America’s economic malaise, the Republican presidential candidate doesn’t understand what caused the recession and, therefore, has no recovery plan. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Independent Foreclosure Review

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday July 13, 2012 - 04:46:00 PM

If your primary residence was involved in a foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, you may qualify for a free Independent Foreclosure Review . All Requests for Review Forms must be submitted online or postmarked no later than September 30, 2012. -more-

WILD NEIGHBORS: Odds and Loose Ends

By Joe Eaton
Friday July 13, 2012 - 03:52:00 PM
Merlin: an unexpected taste for dragonflies.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a new citizen science initiative to monitor migrating dragonflies. In getting some background on this phenomenon, I read that dragonflies tend to follow the same migratory routes as birds, following the same topographic landmarks and avoiding the same water crossings. Cape May, New Jersey, famous for its migrant raptors and other birds, also sees swarms of southbound dragonflies. I wondered if anything similar had been observed by the hawkwatchers at Hill 129 in the Marin Headlands. Here’s a response from Allen Fish, director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory: -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Chronic Anxiety

By Jack Bragen
Friday July 13, 2012 - 11:04:00 AM

Anxiety is fear, which is usually less intense than outright terror, which is constant, and which stubbornly hangs on despite attempts at relief. It can occur for a variety of reasons including but not limited to having post traumatic stress or having some type of brain malfunction. There isn't always an explanation for its occurrence. -more-

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Tuesday July 17, 2012 - 12:29:00 PM

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly
Asleep on the black trunk
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The Cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
(5 lines omitted)
I lean back, as evening darkens and comes on
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.

I have wasted my life.

—from “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm” by James Wright -more-