Tuesday, January 29, 2008



One grasps at love
in desperate leaps,
clinging to life like a barnacle
on a doomed vessel,
destination unknown.

From a ravaged body,
the defiant thrust
of one mighty voice
still pierces the airwaves.

La Môme Piaf
ne regrette rien

--Annie Wyndham

--Collage courtesy of Vermont artist, Luis L. Tijerina--

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Humor and the Reality Disconnect

Sometimes the world is just too, too crazy. A Bush photo-op during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia has the blogosphere abuzz—at least this video portion does.

Here’s the original video, showing Bush swaying to the music of a cultural dance, sword in tow, locked arm in arm with a Saudi prince.

Here’s a You-tuber’s spoof, substituting a song that suggests a different take on the matter.

Now, now, let’s not be disrepectfull, shall we? ha ha. Humor has not, as far as I know, been banned. Yet.

Speaking of humor, in a 1999 interview with Tucker Carlson, Bush mocked Karla Tucker, then death row inmate later executed in Texas (he pursed his lips and mimicked, “Please ... don’t kill me”), and at a 2004 press corps dinner, peeking under his desk pretending to look for weapons of mass destruction, he laughed when he couldn’t find any—in both cases, apparently finding the subject of death a matter of great amusement. (The audience laughed, to0, at the "no WMDs." What does that say about us?)

Poking fun at the Bumbler-in-Chief doing his little sword dance on his trip abroad is one thing. Joking about someone dying, or massive numbers of someones dying, is quite another.

Bob Cesca, in an article today, titled "President Bush Shouldn't Play with Sharp Objects", noted Bush’s record for having the most executions on his watch as governor of Texas—152 in one and a half terms—and that the House of Saud last year conducted 136 public beheadings in the so-called "Chop Squares". The article includes a link to a video interview with a Saudi executioner, sitting on a couch with his three young children, talking about his job of beheading people.

The little sword dance, the constant smirking, the hypocrisy; the thousands of deaths--on all sides--of this insane war; an executioner calmly detailing accounts of beheading in front of small children-- THAT is what I mean by Reality Disconnect.

I sometimes feel like we're living in a nightmare, orchestrated by comedians; the universe shakes its head in disbelief at the absurdity of it all.

Wake me when it's over.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

People Who Never Go Anywhere

We all know somebody like this--people who have rarely, if ever, travelled very far from home, not even to the next town over. Some briefly leave but then return--or they've never left and don't really want to. How dull! To never have gone anywhere and "seen the world". And how pathetic, having seen a bit of the world, to choose not to anymore. This is the type of comment that'll be flung at the "prefer not to" people who opt to opt out of the "Expand Your Horizons!" caravan.

Now, suppose you're a writer and you're one of those "prefer not to" people. Of course, one of the most famous of the opt-outers was Emily Dickinson:

She lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life.... Throughout her adult life she rarely traveled outside of Amherst or very far from home. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence. [1]

Today, thanks to the Internet, we no longer have to hand-write letters and wait for the postman to deliver them. We can log on and "go" anywhere in the world, look at other people's travelogues and photos, watch international videos and hear the music of places we could never afford to visit personally. Granted, it's not the same as being there, but for a reclusive (or poverty-stricken) writer, it's the next best thing.

Another interesting thing about Dickinson was that she deliberately chose to publish less than a dozen of the almost 1,800 poems that she had written.[2] Why only those few, and what made her choose those particular poems over others? Imagine if she were alive today and assembling a chapbook of her best poems. Most poetry contests or publishers seem to want at least 40 poems. If you only had a dozen, it might not qualify.

And, of course, there are the Rules. One must always follow the Rules.
For example, you cannot submit a poem today without a title. If you do, they'll slap on a mandatory one: "Untitled."

The work that was published during her lifetime was typically altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's poems typically lacked titles ... and often utilized ... unconventional capitalization and punctuation. .[3]

Excessive capping is frowned on nowadays, and "the rules" for submission tell you to edit for punctuation and grammar before you send in your writing. Only the more famous among us (like e. e. cummings) can get away with deliberate, unconventional orthography.

But this is getting off topic a bit. I've sometimes found that people who never go anywhere are often better informed, more open-minded and at times infinitely more interesting than people who have "been there, done that" so often that they've become inured.

If you're a writer, though, and commiserating about a lack of material on which to base your next story or poem, remember Emily Dickinson. She wrote eighteen hundred poems and basically never left her house. Contrast that with the world traveler, coming back from having spent, say, eight months living among fifteen different cultures and all he can think to talk about is the joy or discomforts of his lodgings, or the fabulous or inclement weather, or the food.

Okay, that's unfair. Not everybody who travels is a writer and not every tourist comes back from a trip with a life-changing insight. I'm falling into the Apples and Oranges bin again! I'm just saying that people who never go anywhere may have been to more places than you can ever imagine--depending on how literal your translation of "been to" is. And those who've been "everywhere" (twice) may come back not having had a single reflection, sense of awe or concern, or anything other than "Been there, done that."

The writer, though, would probably milk it for all it's worth. I can see it all now. Everyone's out taking pictures of the magnificent sunset, and he's distracted, haunted by the eyes of the barefoot beggar, who would have gotten a quarter had it not been for his foul mouth and smelly clothes.

What is it you remember about trips you have taken, places you've been to, people you've encountered? It's how that information impacts you, stays with you, maybe changes you, that separates the Apples from the Oranges. (And that's not saying Apples are better than Oranges; only that some writers have a little inner antenna that hones into particular scenes and memories that non-writers may not consider noteworthy.)

It's all in what a writer does with what he has, I guess--and why he does (or does not) feel it necessary to go to (or leave) a place to write about what he "sees".

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Incredible Blockage re: the Impeachables

This week, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) took to the House floor to urge the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment hearings against U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney for 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' Wexler has the signatures of nearly 190,000 citizens who agree. [To see a video of his presentation, click here.]

People have been calling for the impeachment, of both Cheney and Bush, for YEARS. The blogosphere is full of empassioned rhetoric and emotional diatribes, begging for some sort of action by those who can actually institute such a process. How come it never goes anywhere?

Now, before I'm accused of "Bush bashing" or harboring lefty-type sympathies (in lieu of examining the evidence, it's so much easier to hurl a label), I want to know myself: (1) if there actually is a
legal case for impeachment, and (2) are there verifiable facts to back it up.

Okay, what are the alleged charges? "W
arrantless surveillance, misleading Congress on the reasons for the Iraq war, violating laws against torture, and subverting the Constitution’s separation of powers"--let's start with those four. Can a legal case be made against either Bush or Cheney? Yes, according to Michael Ratner, Bill Goodman and other experts at the Center for Constitutional Rights. [See Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush]

Oops, sorry, folks, you gotta buy their report. But here're some freebies. These people did all the work of assembling the information and laying it out (and quite convincingly, I might add. You kind of can't really argue with facts or claim you didn't say something when proof exists that you did):

The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq
The Case for Impeachment: A Bill of Particulars
Laws Violated by George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney--Impeachable Violations Documented
Synopsis of Articles of Impeachment Against Richard B. Cheney, H.R. 333, with supporting documents.

So I guess my question is--if it's true, if it really is true, that Bush and Cheney have indeed broken the law and committed what appears to be impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution--why are they being allowed to get away with it?

Notice I said "allowed." Sometimes people stay in abusive relationships and "allow" certain circumstances and situations to continue because they can't do anything about it, or because they fear retribution, or because they stand to lose everything (a job, their reputation, a way of life), or simply because they feel they have no other option. Granted, the downtrodden, the habitually marginalized, and those weak and physically or mentally abused, whether individually or as a group, may truly be incapable of affecting immediate or meaningful change but we're talking about a whole country here--the U.S.--that for whatever reason, is allowing its president and vice president to usurp the power and certain influential entities to dictate how things are going to be. The constitution begins with the words, "We the People." That's "We, the PEOPLE." Not, we, the Prez and VP. Not we, the corporations. Not we, the military-industrial complex. Not we, the pharmaceutical lobby. Not we, the "haves".

It would appear that the majority of U.S. citizens are completely powerless. They allow others to make their choices for them--including the FDA (which frowns at the idea that a product should actually be labeled to indicate whether it's been genetically modified or not); the mere struggle for economic survival leaves little energy for examining government policies, or making sure laws are being enacted for the benefit of the country and not a few dozen select corporations. Meanwhile, the media steps in to distract and entertain a weary populace still fighting old feuds of class and race. One is content to leave the running of the country to the experts, the "elected" ones.

It's not that nobody cares. It's not that people don't try--to change things, to call for accountability. It's just that, for whatever reason, certain entities are being "allowed" to ransack the coffers and trash the laws and no one seems able to stop them. Individually, you can't diss the prez cuz that invites the basher label. If you group together publicly to profess concern, access to those who make the decisions is strictly controlled and you're likely to be rounded up and secured in specially designated "zones" (cowhands this way; cattle... to the pens). You can call for accountability but hey, good luck in getting anyone to listen or actually open hearings on it. And even if you do, a multitude of those opposed to upsetting the status quo will quickly quash your most earnest efforts.

So what's a person to do? Wait. Multiply that by 190,000 persons. No, wait, multiply that by several million more. Impeach the vipe? Impeach the prez? How DARE you! Not a chance. Won't happen. "They" won't let it.

(What if some of the theys are us?) And we allow this because ... because ....

If somebody figures out the answer to this, I'd like to know. While I may be the citizen of one country, living in another, this issue should be of concern to all citizens of the world, no matter where one is, because we civilized humans supposedly enact laws to protect and regulate ourselves, and governments should not be telling us: "Do as we say; never mind what we do."

Update - 1/18/2008: Bush Pardons Himself Against Potential War Crimes.
Update - 1/23/2008: Kucinich Plans to Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Bush Jan. 28

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sugar Invasion

I ran out of breadcrumbs and went to buy some the other day. Now, what possessed me to read the ingredients on the label? Perhaps it's that I've stopped buying any foodstuffs made in China, no matter how cheap. In any case, I did, read the label, and learned that the second major ingredient, after wheat, was sugar. Sugar in breadcrumbs?! Why would they add sugar to breadcrumbs? I mean, say you're having breaded fish. Do you really need sugar in there? Would you buy them if the label said: "Sugared Breadcrumbs"? If there's not enough sugar so that you can actually taste it, why add it at all?

Needless to say, I've stopped buying commercial breadcrumbs. Pssst. Here's a secret. You can make your own! That baguette you bought on Saturday to go with your spaghetti dinner ... fresh, without preservatives ... it's now Tuesday and you forgot and left it in the bread drawer still encased in its paper wrapper, and it's now as hard as a rock. Do you throw it out? Break off chunks and toss it to the birds? Here's a better idea. Get out your veggie shredder, place it on a plate, position the hardened bread against the shredder, and scrape--vigorously. Voila, instant breadcrumbs, uncontaminated with additives. Plus, it's good exercise for the arms. (Hey, how come I've never thought of this before!) Well, wait.--the "uncontaminated with additives" bit--that's only if the bread you use doesn't have them. But, hopefully, the next largest ingredient after flour wouldn't be sugar.

On another aside, Michael Pollan has come out with a new book in which he advises anyone who's interested, on what to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." (I can hear the snickers now, ha ha. But he has a point.) Under the What-Not-to-Eat category falls "anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." We should buy better, well-grown food, he says--which of course is more expensive--but buy less of it . Makes sense to me. But I can understand how people might balk at this. Except it's not all that difficult if you think about it. Just chuck the chips and soda and cookies and use the money that would have gone for THAT to buy more organic.

Go on, preach at me some more, ha ha. (You don't of course, have to preach to the choir.) So why mention it at all? Dunno exactly, except that I like the: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" bit. Short. Simple. To the point. And incredibly good advice. I should paste that on my refrigerator. I included that today to remind myself (having just had a few cookies, not to satisfy hunger, but just because they were there.) Which shows that even the most conscientious eater slips up sometimes--and in my case, frequently enough to need reminded.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Flaming Droplets from the Sky

I had the most bizarre dream last night. The sky was falling--literally. Pieces of hot, molten material, on fire, plunged randomly out of the heavens onto my street. People were running about in chaos; others sat huddled on couches on the sidewalk, numb with fear. Then the lights went out.

What does this mean? I woke up with an overwhelming sense of dread, and the thought: "You can't do anything about it. Prepare for the worst."

Maybe this is an after-effect of reading about Nibiru sometime last week. Who knows. But last week there was a UFO sighting in Stephenville, Texas and MUFON investigators scrambled to interview multiple witnesses, who seem credible. William M. Arkin, in a 1999 article in the Washington Post, titled "When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing", described the military's interest in "looking into the hologram idea" and that "the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air."

What's the connection?, you ask. Well, none, probably, except that an idea came to me for a modern sci fi story involving the use of holographic images projected by certain government entities (the government within the government) using advanced technology to convince the civilian population that a particular event had occurred--in this case, the sudden appearance of a craft from outer space. Now, UFO sightings are nothing new. Thousands of people have seen unidentified flying objects. The U.S., the French, the Brits and the Canadians (not to mention others) have investigated them, some more vigorously than others, but nowadays, if you say you've seen a UFO, you're still likely to be labeled a nut case. The subject itself carries with it a kind of built-in lack of credibility.

But what if ... what if the reason investigations have stopped, and the public still knows little more than it did before (which is to say, not much)--is that (1) a government's acknowledging the phenomenon to be real would cause widespread panic (not to mention anarchy and the collapse of certain deeply-held religious beliefs); or (2) those in power haven't a clue what these ET visitors want or what to do about them and don't want that fact discovered.

Which brings me back to the subject of holographic projection and why a government might want to engage in it on non-battlefield terrain (i.e., not with an enemy but with its own populace). Not just the timing--but the reason. That aspect is even more intriguing than their knowing but pretending they don't. And as to whether UFOs are "real" or not--either they are--or they're not, and somebody ("them" or "us") is messing with our minds. And the question, again, is: Why?

Suppose the Texas sighting last week were, in effect, some kind of a hologram. (Would the Air Force scramble jets to chase a hologram?! Witnesses say they saw fighter jets following it, which the AF denies. How hard is that to check on? Forget the jets. Stick to the projection.) Okay, maybe that was just a test run. Maybe the "big one" has yet to occur. The big event that signals the beginning of the end (of life as we've known it). This would be my first chapter--first they do a test run to gauge believability.

Back to the timing. When do they plan on orchestrating "the big one"? To coincide with what? To distract from what? Where will it be engineered (locale)? How many technicians involved, and how does one guarantee that no one leaks the plot? Bribery, threats? Disappearing those who know too much? Plausible deniability? Or, as with 9/11, just ignore the conspiratorial babblings, perhaps even contribute to them, in a psyopsy sort of way, to muddy the waters.

Okay, so I have the plot. Sort of. The real stickler is ... why? What are their motives? What do they hope to accomplish? And, last but not least... who's pulling the strings? Who's directing the show? Who ultimately benefits? (Follow the money, uncover the power.)

Science Fiction is not my forte. Philip K. Dick, help me out here!!

Anyway, back to the dream. Maybe it's not aliens we have to fear, or even Planet X. We always have to have names for things. Reasons for why something happens or doesn't happen. In any case, not much we can do about it, is there? Flaming droplets from the sky, people huddled on couches on the sidewalk, what bizare imagery! End Timers, take note. There may be no escape. Just the end of Time. If there could be such a thing. (Define "Time".)

Not getting much writing done this week. And the cold has returned, with a vengeance. (Not that that's any excuse!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

When Fellow Poets Pan Our Poetry

Oh the pressure of being an ikon! Once you're written something (or a series of somethings) termed "brilliant", broken new ground, so to speak, gained a worldwide audience, your books have been made into films, and you've become a household word (at least in writers' households), any subsequent publications will inevitably be measured against past glories. And if they're not perceived as being of the same calibre, you sometimes hear the equivalent of: "Hey, what happened? You're not YOU anymore!"

Margaret Atwood has published over 40 books of fiction, poetry and literary criticism. Her thirteenth book of poetry and first collection of poems in over a decade, The Door, was recently reviewed by Montreal poet Carmine Starnino in ARC #59 Winter 2008. Atwood is one of my favorite writers, and I admit I've read more of her fiction than her poetry. But the very title of this review jarred me a bit: "Knock, Knock, Is the Real Atwood Still There?"

The "real" Atwood? What Starnino seems to be saying, at least to this reader, is: "She doesn't sound like Margaret Atwood anymore." Hmmm. But his criticisms seem more personal than that:

Workaholic tendencies, merchandising savvyness, nagging status anxiety: whatever her reasons for publishing a new collection, Atwood’s expectation of a large audience has caused her voice to move far up into her head. Her words sound official, high-minded, free of complexity—where, wanting to show us something, Babbittlike nouns and verbs are used to precisely track our sightlines.


Given what we see when the The Door first swings open—curt descriptiveness, sharp-cut diction, in extremis narratives—it would be easy to think we’re in store for the usual Atwoodian magic. Passages still carry the old bite .... but too often the heart of the matter turns out to be some tough-sounding boiler plate.

Double ouch. Sounds like a bit of "the usual Atwoodian magic" has somehow worn off here.

Starnino admits, in an interview given at Concordia, that "I am, at heart, simply a reader of Canadian poetry who is unhappy with the chronic overestimation of certain poets." (Could Atwood be one of them?) He further added that he hoped the reviews he writes "are able to persuasively advocate their bias", and that "poetry criticism is, principally and overridingly, an exercise in skepticism." He further opines that what "real" poetry is or how one recognizes it is "ultimately unanswerable."

In all fairness, I only read a portion of Starnino's review, on line (you have to buy the printed version to get the complete review), and I have not yet had the opportunity to read The Door, so I can't comment on whether Atwood has indeed, in this, her latest book, lost her usual magic. But I'm always uneasy when one poet criticizes another. Especially one who admits to writing reviews that advocate a bias.

Rob McClennan, author of 12 books of poetry, reviewed Starnino's book Credo in
The Antigonish Review , stated: "I haven't yet decided if his [Starnino's] writing is strong enough to support the kinds of arguments he makes about other people's work. I'd lean towards not."

Not to play the "critique the critic" game, but Geoffrey Cook in The Danforth Review, in assessing Starnino's Credo, says it speaks of "a talent centering itself", and of Starnino's "maturation" as a poet; it's largely a positive review. Well, then I got sidetracked a bit. Because what Cook said (in quite another context) struck me as more in line with my earlier comments about poets being who they are (or not) ( "Knock, Knock, Is the Real You Still There?"):

Every serious artist has, I suspect, the sense that their art is ahead of them, impatiently awaiting the artist to catch up, to drag life into line and up-to-date with the art, which has always already achieved an ethical clarity and coherence usually denied experience. For the committed artist, art seems to know where it is going, and because the artist identifies his/her own destiny with that of art, art seems to have a prophetic power.

While the artist must begin, as the truism says, with what he or she knows and strive for “self-knowledge”, that “self” is, at the very and at every moment of recognition, obliterated again before the larger picture: what the art has brought into focus, what art wants known. And so, because the gap is never closed but the artist can only attempt such closure, the self is constantly re-written and art sets out again on a new bend in a old road...

The successful work of art is Art’s insight, not the individual artist’s (who has merely caught up for the moment), and the vision is universal and impersonal. That an audience (the reader, viewer or listener, AND the artist) can identify with the emotions or characters of an aesthetic work is a paradoxical and graceful act of the educated imagination - we are admiring aesthetic and ethical coherence: meaning.

There appears to be a genuine disconnect in how we view one another's writings. (This goes for fiction, as well as poetry.) "It's brilliant! It lacks meaning. It's insightful! It's Babbittlike. It's lucid and stunningly lyrical! It lacks complexity. It's magical. It's shit." Take your pick.

What one finds uplifting and meaningful, another considers saccharine or irrelevant. What one finds shocking, another sees as innovating. A book you read 20 years ago with relish and amazement now bores you beyond comprehension. The same can be applied to things you wrote decades ago and now want to disavow. Who wants their earlier self to be compared to their current self? But Cook hit the nail on the head, I think. What we should be looking for in each other's poetry is "aesthetic and ethical coherence." What we should be looking for is MEANING.

The operative word here is meaning. It's the single most important element--for me at least--in reading, writing, or assessing a poem, including my own. Does it MEAN something, does a window of insight open up for whoever reads it, do the words resonate?

What utter power words have! I think we should stop analyzing each other's methods and motives and imperfections and idiosyncracies and stop hurling ad hominums and look at the words. Only the words. Either they are "poetry" or they are not. And what we call a thing may be so far distant from what the thing is in itself, that this whole matter may never be resolved.

So I take most poetic reviews with a grain of salt and leave the slingers and accoladers to bash it out amongst themselves. The point is, poetry still matters. We constantly argue about what poetry IS and what it's NOT and endlessly pour our souls into the crafting of it. Which is how it should be. That means it'll still be around a hell of a lot longer than we will. In the crunch and chaos of our current collective disenchantment and the desire to transcend the prevailing mediocrity--that's somehow a comforting thought.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


A week ago, it was so cold out, even my eyebrows hurt. Now all of a sudden it feels more like March, the snow's melting (well, some of it anyway) and today at the market I found a most wonderful surprise: beautiful, fresh chard from a farm in St. Mathieu-de-Beloeil!

Chard is pretty rare here in January, unless it's trekked in by truck all the way from California and by the time it hits the supermarket shelves it's usually pretty limp and wimpy (and expensive). So imagine my joy at finding three (they only had three left) FRESH bunches of LOCAL chard, ON SALE!!!!

You can sometimes find chard during the winter at
Panier Santé
or Végétarien, but rarely at Metro. I put in a word with the manager: Please, please order more of these!!! The picture above doesn't do it justice. The leaves are huge, crisp and very green and they look like they were just plucked from the soil this morning. I grow lots of chard during the late summer/early fall but mine never looked this good. (Probably because I pick and eat it before it has a chance to get to this size.)

So if you are near a Metro this week, go check it out! The sale ends Sunday, Jan. 13. There are a kazillion ways to eat chard. Lately I've been adding it to bean and lentil soup. The name of the farm from which these beauties come, by the way, is "Marvini".

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


There’s something creepy about fog.
It’s heavy ...
it hovers ...
it obscures things.

A tugboat on the Mauricie River honks and groans
as it plows through the icy waters.

My backyard’s full of sooty snow and choking cedars,
resembling a scene from Transylvania.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sibel Speaks!

We have the facts, we have the documents, we have the witnesses. Put out the tapes, put out the documents, put out the intercepts – put out the truth.
-- Sibel Edmonds

Well now, this is interesting. You'd think this explosive allegation coming from a by-now famous and respected whistleblower would get some media coverage today. Think again. The mainstream media is curiously silent on this in the U.S.* (Yet another reason so many people turn to alternate news sources and the blogosphere to find out the real news.)

A few sites reporting or commenting on Sibel's allegations (below). Sorry, MSM, endless soundbites and Britney Spears getting arrested and the usual fluff pieces just don't fall into the "important news" category. What Ms. Edmonds had to say today, however, does.

For Sale: West's Deadly Nuclear Secrets

Former 'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower Alleges Pentagon, State Department Officials Overheard Receiving Payoffs in Exchange for Classified Info; Crimes Covered Up at Highest Levels of Government

Sibel Edmonds Tells All
Bombshell! Sibel Edmonds Speaks
Nuke Deal Scandal Hits U.S. Official
Check Out Sibel Edmonds
Sibel Edmonds Case: Front page of the papers (finally)
The Sibel Edmonds Case
Sibel Speaks
Sibel Edmonds Speaks
Nukes, Spooks,
and the Specter of 9/11. We're in big trouble if what Sibel Edmonds says is true…

Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Sibel Edmonds: The Silence is Deafening
(Sibel Edmonds on video: "Kill the Messenger")

Watch your back, Sibel.

*Note: Steven C. Clemons, in The Washington Note , offers a possible explanation for why the initial investigation has now been "backed off" . [See entry for 1/09/2008 under title "Sibel Edmonds"].