Friday, March 24, 2006

Views, Reviews, and a Toothache

Woke up this morning-- late morning, of course, I'm keeping actor's hours-- and the front page story in the The Boston Globe is that Bush has once again spit in the face of congress and declared himself above the law. Why these cowards who were elected to serve us and swore to protect our constitution didn't start impeachment proceedings the first time Bush did this is beyond me. Have they no sense of shame? Forget party-- aren't they patriots? I am so outraged I can't even express it!

I'm sputtering with rage partly because I have an articulation crisis. A crucial molar has a loose crown and an abcess -- can't eat, can't have work on it done because I need to perform and can't have a numb mouth when I say lines.... My dentist squeezes me in and looks at it-- , yes, working on it now isn't practical. He gives me a prescription for pennicillan to cure then infection and schedules me for Tuedsday when we'll find out if the tooth can be saved. Oh, the pangs of mortality. I hope I'll be able to have a surface to ping out those British t's and d's. Meanwhile King George continues his usurpations......


By Charlie Savage
Globe Friday 24 March 2006

Washington - When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.

The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it "a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a "signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would "impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Bush wrote: "The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "

The Boston Phoenix is out with a review but I can't seem to locate it on line.

Will Stackman has a review on AisleSay

Here's the Herald's review of "Talking To Terrorists". I misssed it when it came out-- that was a very busy day. The friend I asked to watch for it and buy copies of the paper for me when it appeared in did so, but then eamiled me the on line version. I'll pick up the hard copies to send to my mother and brother when I go to church on Sunday.....

Stark view of ‘Terrorists’ chills
By Terry Byrne
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The stars of ‘‘Talking to Terrorists” include a convicted IRA bomber, the former leader of the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a former member of the Kurdish resistance in Turkey and a child soldier from Uganda. Each tells his or her story, not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but to put a face on acts of violence and examine extremes of human behavior.

The impact of Sugan Theatre Company’s production is both riveting and revolting, horrifying and hypnotic. Playwright Robin Soans’ interviewees include bitter victims, a former hostage, aid workers and politicians, but his point of view is clearly that of the terrorist. Director Carmel O’Reilly stages this documentary-style play with efficiency and economy, and though the performances of her eight-member ensemble are occasionally uneven, O’Reilly’s clarity and balance give the piece dramatic intensity.

Most haunting is Eve Kagan as a young woman telling her story of fighting in Uganda starting at age 8. Kagan’s steady gaze, focused accent and unadorned delivery make her survivor-terrorist stunning. She returns later as Nodira, a belly dancer from Tashkent who has hooked up with the British ambassador there. Their interview alternates between a humorous domestic scene and the ambassador’s harrowing account of whistle-blowing about intelligence extracted by torture, which led to his dismissal.

Soans tries to put his interviews in perspective by talking to a psychologist (Dale Place) about the motivations for radical behavior.

Although the set is understandably minimal, set designer J. Michael Griggs and lighting designer John Malinowski create some stunning effects. Malinowski lights Griggs’ set panels in a way that makes them look like a church’s stained glass windows or a crowded high-rise apartment building.

When the second act takes a left turn, Malinowski gathers an eclectic assortment of lamps upstage. The image of distinctly different shapes emanating light of various strength becomes a lovely metaphor for Soans’ effort to shed light with this play.

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