At the beginning of the 112th Congress, a Bay Area Congresswoman was invited to a Washington gathering of new Representatives, mostly Republicans. When she mentioned that, in previous eras, the two Parties had often worked together, a freshman Republican barked, “We were sent here to shrink the government, not collaborate with you.” President Obama seeks bipartisanship, but most Republicans aren’t interested in pursuing the common good. -more-
When the current economic crisis hit Europe in 2008, small countries on the periphery were its first victims: Iceland, Ireland, and Latvia. Within a year it had spread to Greece and Portugal, though the GDP of both nations—respectively 11th and 12th in the European Union (EU)—are hardly central to the continent’s economic engine. -more-
Senior Power: “Try to reason about love, and you will lose your reason,” wrote Russian playwright Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904).
Three Sisters was produced in 1901, in Moscow. It is one of his several great plays: Ivanov (1887-1889), The Seagull (1896, a comedy), Uncle Vanya (1897), and The Cherry Orchard (1903-04). He may have been inspired by the 19th Century literary Bronte family associated with northern England’s historic Yorkshire county -- sisters Charlotte(1816–1855), who wrote Jane Eyre using pen name Currer Bell, Emily (1818-1848) and Anne (1920-1849) -- and brother Patrick Branwell Brontë (1817–1848), a painter and poet. Or by three sisters who were living in Perm, in the European part of Russia. -more-
The residential neighborhood gracing the hills east of Arlington Avenue and above the Spring mansion is one of Berkeley’s most scenic early 20th-century garden suburbs. Tree-shaded streets are lined with picturesque period-revival houses reminiscent of Italian villas, Norman country houses, Tudor manors, and beguiling “storybook” cottages. -more-
Close to five years ago, I wrote a piece for the Planet about an obscure native California bird, the Hutton’s vireo. It’s a small greenish thing, often mistaken for a ruby-crowned kinglet; the accompanying photo shows the vireo’s diagnostic broken eye-ring. grayish legs and feet, and stronger beak. Unlike our other vireos— the migratory Cassin’s, warbling, and Bell’s—Hutton’s vireos appear to be year-round residents. They frequent oak woods, build their nests with hanging lichens, and commonly join mixed-species foraging flocks in winter. Much of the species’ life history is undocumented. -more-
A man wrote in claiming that I am doing a disservice with my column because I am promoting psychiatry, which he claims is a fraud. -more-