Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

07 June 2006

Supporting Lt. Watada

I could not sleep well last night. I was so moved by the courage of Lt. Ehren Watada, who will probably be court-martialed for being the first american military officer to refuse to fight this war in Iraq.

Lt. Watada's Parents

I decided to go to a press conference with his parents and supporters at the Hawaii State Capitol. Both (shown above) did a great job of explaining how their son is a normal guy (from a family with many veterans) who enlisted, but later read more and more about this war in Iraq, and decided that it is immoral and illegal.

Watada could have tried to dodge the issue (his term ends in December). Instead he might have to go to prison for several years if the Pentagon presses the case.

I truly really respect his courage, and his parents' courage for making a stand on this. The majority of American citizens (not to mention people everywhere else in the world) are now against the war. We see that it is impossible to win such a war. You can't invade a country, and then occupy it as a "liberator." Democracy cannot be imposed on a country at gunpoint.

More of us also understand how Bush lied about the reasons for going to war, and that there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11 (except now, as we've created a training grounds for fighters). The Iraqis don't want us there (look at any survey). The majority of Americans don't want to be there either, but too few in Congress, the Media, or the Pentagon have had the courage to say let's end this criminal folly. It is so frustrating.

I think that Lt. Watada's case and the news about Haditha is a real tipping point. Normal moral people can no longer remain silent. We should bring our soldiers back, and end this war.

Supporting a Hero

06 June 2006

Voters for Peace (Let's End this War)

I was pleased to see Hawaii's Representative Abercrombie recognized on www.votersforpeace.us. They have a fine pledge:

"I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign."

Feel free to join me on this pledge.

I'm disgusted by Bush's last attempt to distract voters from their anger over the war and his other failures by again targeting gays and lesbians with the same sex marriage Amendment. Doing this exactly six months before the congressional elections shows how opportunistic this discriminatory bill is.

From the opposite extreme of the moral compass, I was impressed by a front-page article in this morning's Honolulu Advertiser. A Hawaii-born officer, 1st Lt. Ehren Watada has said that he will refuse to fight in Iraq because the war is "an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression." I fear the Pentagon will really attack him since he is not seeking conscientious objector status, but rather is an officer who is taking a very brave moral position on this issue of just war. I suppose that the very least we can do is sign this pledge and try to end this war. Too many people are dying for a policy that was based on lies, against our interests, and is immoral.

Going to be in New Orleans for ALA, and you like Library History

This is from the e-mail list of the ALA-Library History Round Table:

"Do you need something to do on Monday morning during the ALA conference? Join members of the Library History Round Table for an historic tour of New Orleans Public Library's main library, a scenic ferry ride, and a visit to a Carnegie Library at Algiers Point!

Wayne Everard, City Archivist at NOPL, is offering a tour of the main branch, including historic photos, tales, and more. Meet us at 9:30am at the Louisiana Division on the 3rd floor of the Main Library, located at 219 Loyola Avenue. Everard has worked at NOPL for more than 20 years, and has been described as a "New Orleans historian extraordinaire." The current library was opened in 1958 and has fascinating history. For a teaser, see "219 Loyola," an online exhibit.

Following our tour, we'll walk down to the Canal Street Ferry for a ride over to Algiers Point. This is a FREE boat ride that provides great views of the city. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes, at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour. We hope to make the 11:15 launch. See Friendsoftheferry.org for more details.

Upon arrival at Algiers Point, we'll talk along either Delaronde or Pelican Avenue, taking in some of the sights of this historic neighborhood. It's only 8 blocks to our final stop, the Cita Dennis Hubbell Library (725 Pelican Avenue). Built as a Carnegie Library in 1907, it had been closed in 1965 after damage from Hurricane Betsy. Through the efforts of Cita Hubbell and others in the community, it reopened in 1975 and has survived Hurricane Katrina. Once we arrive, we'll be greeted by new librarian Seale Patterson, who will let us "poke around." For more information about the Hubbell branch, see (the pre-Katrina site) and the new site.

NOPL staff have assured me that our way is safe, and I've verified that the ferry is running on schedule. If you decide to join us, please wear good walking shoes, comfortable clothes, and sun protection. You might also want to bring bottled water, a snack, and anything else to help you enjoy the morning. If you plan to attend, please contact Bernadette Lear, LHRT's member-at-large, at BAL19@psu.edu. We don't want to leave without you!

What a great opportunity for people who enjoy libraries and their history!"

Bernadette A. Lear/ Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian/ Penn State Harrisburg/ 351 Olmsted Drive/ Middletown, PA 17057/ bal19@psu.edu/ (717) 948-6360

05 June 2006

Higa in Concert at the Honolulu Club

Jazz always seems more cool in Sepia or Black & White

In case you are in Honolulu and like jazz, one of my favorite all-time musicians DeShannon Higa (trumpet, shown above) will be playing this Wednesday at the Honolulu Club Lounge (Honolulu Club, 7th floor; 932 Ward Ave; corner of King and Ward; TEL: 543-3900) from 6:30 to 9:30 pm (along with Abe Lagrimas, drums; Robert Shinoda, guitar; Dean Taba, bass; Dan Del Negro, piano).

I am not sure if we'll go, but encourage you to check it out. The cover is only $5. The view is great too. Higa's photo was featured in this month's Honolulu Magazine.

Higa and his band, the gr00ve.imProV.arTiSts (along with Maria Remos - vocalist; Abe Lagrimas - drums; Randy "Jacket" Wheeler - saxophones) also have a regular gig every Thursday night (from 9:30 PM - 1 AM) at Honolulu's jazz bar, Jazz Minds Art & Cafe, 1661 Kapiolani Blvd. TEL 945-0800. (ONLY: $6 COVER).

04 June 2006

Another Weekend

We've been mostly working this week. As such, we missed the First Friday tour of galleries, and a few concerts.

Dog @ Lanikai Beach 4

We did check out Lanikai Beach (near Kailua) as part of our scouting out places for my sister. I see why people say it is so beautiful. Neither of us are really "beach people" though.

My sister will visit in a few weeks. She now wants to go to a Luau. Does anyone have any good suggestions? I've only been to one which was so touristy that I felt uncomfortable. Thanks in advance for any tips!

On Saturday night we caught the new Korean action thriller Typhoon. SPOILER AHEAD: The special effects were well done, but the plot seemed a bit lacking (although I do fear such stockpiles of nuclear waste) and quite nationalistic. Noriko and I had a fun conversation after watching it.

OK, Back to work...