Just flew from KCI to ORD yesterday. I managed to tear my tendon & meniscus on my right knee, and thus was in a knee brace and on crutches. I can barely walk with the crutches, let alone without the brace. I limped through the metal detector, my brace set it off. They made me remove the brace, and then I hopped/gimped through the detector. The gal operating the metal detector seemed really apologetic and held my hand as I re-applied my brace. Then, another TSA agent came up and said, “If she can’t walk normally through the gate, she needs to be patted down” So, then I had to hop to the pat-down area without my brace, get the enhanced pat down (basically getting my very painful and swollen knee groped repeatedly) and then hobble back to my crutches.
These monkeys were caged/kept indoors their entire lives and have finally been allowed outside to play.
They see for the first time in their lives, the sun. After decades in an experiment laboratory, this is the first step of the chimpanzees in to freedom.
They hugged each other, like they would say they were finally free. And then they laughed. One imagines being locked up for 30 years in an elevator, then to open the door with friends and say “I don’t believe it.” They have only seen people wearing protective clothing; they have never had regular contact. They never learned to climb, because they were brought to the laboratory as babies. Now they can finally get out.
Most of the former 38 monkeys have spent the entire lives behind bars. Since 2002, they are now in an Austrian village, slowing being prepared a life in freedom. This moment was for both animal and people equally unique.
I saw a chimpanzee, who was starring completely fascinated at a butterfly. He knew it, from back when he was a small chimpanzee in the jungle, and now he can see them again.
And the monkeys that were born in the laboratory are discovering everything for the first time. The air, the grass, the freedom.
I’ve been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama’s rhetoric; I don’t see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies.
As far as disappointments, I wasn’t terribly disappointed because I didn’t expect that much. I expected him to be a traditional Democratic president. On foreign policy, that’s hardly any different from a Republican–as nationalist, expansionist, imperial and warlike. So in that sense, there’s no expectation and no disappointment. On domestic policy, traditionally Democratic presidents are more reformist, closer to the labor movement, more willing to pass legislation on behalf of ordinary people–and that’s been true of Obama. But Democratic reforms have also been limited, cautious. Obama’s no exception. On healthcare, for example, he starts out with a compromise, and when you start out with a compromise, you end with a compromise of a compromise, which is where we are now.
I thought that in the area of constitutional rights he would be better than he has been. That’s the greatest disappointment, because Obama went to Harvard Law School and is presumably dedicated to constitutional rights. But he becomes president, and he’s not making any significant step away from Bush policies. Sure, he keeps talking about closing Guantánamo, but he still treats the prisoners there as “suspected terrorists.” They have not been tried and have not been found guilty. So when Obama proposes taking people out of Guantánamo and putting them into other prisons, he’s not advancing the cause of constitutional rights very far. And then he’s gone into court arguing for preventive detention, and he’s continued the policy of sending suspects to countries where they very well may be tortured.
I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president–which means, in our time, a dangerous president–unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.
IN August, food bloggers and mom bloggers in New York were invited to dine at an underground restaurant in a West Village brownstone run, apparently, by George Duran, the chef who hosts the “Ultimate Cake Off” on TLC.
Sotto Terra, the invitation said, was “an intimate Italian restaurant” where attendees would enjoy a “delicious four-course meal,” Mr. Duran’s “one-of-a-kind sangria,” and learn about food trends from a food industry analyst, Phil Lempert. The invitation continued that upon confirming — for one of five evenings beginning Aug. 23 — bloggers would receive an extra pair of tickets as a prize for readers and that the dinner would include “an unexpected surprise.”
The surprise: rather than being prepared by the chef, the lasagna they were served was Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna by Marie Callender’s, a frozen line from ConAgra Foods. Hidden cameras at the dinners, which were orchestrated by the Ketchum public relations unit of the Omnicom Group, captured reactions to the lasagna and to the dessert, Razzleberry Pie, also from Marie Callender’s.