Sunday, March 5, 2006

Sunday Reading

  • Plumber, plumb thyself.

    The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.

    In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI’s Washington field office, who are investigating possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA’s warrantless domestic surveillance program, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the two cases.

    Numerous employees at the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and other agencies also have received letters from Justice prohibiting them from discussing even unclassified issues related to the NSA program, according to sources familiar with the notices. Some GOP lawmakers are also considering whether to approve tougher penalties for leaking.

    A good starting point would be finding out who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Robert Novak.

  • Dangerous cruising.

    A gay City executive dismissed for allegedly ogling a male colleague will accuse Britain’s biggest bank this week of sacking him because of his sexuality.

    Peter Lewis, who was earning £1m a year as a trader, will reignite the debate over discrimination in the City by claiming HSBC fired him unfairly after an incident in the gym at the firm’s London headquarters. He wants £5m damages.

    HSBC launched an investigation after a colleague complained that Lewis had looked at him while they were in the Fifth Dimension gym in November 2004. The bank decided that the disputed glance constituted sexual harassment and sacked Lewis, the global head of equities trading in HSBC’s corporate and investment bank division.

    Methinks the oglee doth flatter himself too much…and has issues. Hey, pal, if you don’t want other guys looking at you, don’t go to a gym. Duh. Even straight guys check each other out.

  • Be nice.

    The plane was barely in the air before that guy slammed the back of his seat into your lap.

    While you were crawling home from the airport, the car on your rear bumper swung into the I-95 entrance lane at Northwest 103rd Street and then squeezed back in front of you.

    At the Broward Center for the Performing Arts that night, the woman in seat GG114 kept flipping open her cellphone, the one with the distractingly bright screen.

    Is that what’s bothering you, bunkie?

    You are not alone.

    Nearly eight of 10 Americans say incivility and rudeness are serious problems, and seven of 10 believe matters — and manners — are growing worse, according to national polls conducted last year and in 2002. And that, many people say, is creating a coarser, more shrill society — particularly in South Florida.

    “Rudeness? We’re living in the capital of that,” said Paul Koprowski, an accountant who lives in Pembroke Pines.

    And it’s not good for you.

    Each seemingly small but gut-churning offense of incivility or its close cousins — inconsideration and rudeness — takes a toll on your mental and physical health, experts say. In addition, incivility often escalates into violence.

    And so, the perpetual dilemma: fight or flight?

    Or better yet, perhaps it is time to campaign for a restoration of civility in South Florida civilization.

  • Chapter 30 — “My Boyfriend’s Back – 1993” — of Small Town Boys has been posted at Bobby Cramer and mirrored at The Practical Press.
  • Oscar Picks: I only saw two of the five nominated films: Good Night, and Good Luck, and Brokeback Mountain. Wow…tough choice. I’d like it if either one of them won; they both tell stories about characters that were caught up in social issues that have been important to me — as if it really matters to the average moviegoer.