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Showing posts from November, 2007

How much more can they take?

Just in from the European Journalism Center Newsletter:
Iran: Use of the word women ‘banned from state TV’The word 'women' must now be replaced on Iranian state television by 'family', reformist Norouz news agency reports. In programmes broadcast throughout the International Day for the Elimination of Violenceagainst women last Sunday, Iranian state TV used the word family instead. In recent weeks, Iran's Centre for the Participation of Women changed its name to the Centre for Family Matters. At the time of former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, the centre was set up within the president's office. Khatami was president of Iran from 1997 to 2005. (AKI News)It's not enough to make women cover their faces and bodies. Not enough to forbid them to drive cars or study or work. No, more must be done. Let's do away with the very word, Woman. And, people living in the Western world need not be smug or self-righteous at this bit of news from Iran. W…

'Scatalogue Time: How to Stop the Flood

I used to look forward to finding a catalogue or two in my mailbox in days of yore. It afforded me a few relaxed minutes of window-shopping or idea-cropping at the end of the day. Ah, those were the days.

Now, I receive 60 to 80 catalogues in the mail every week. Many merchants send duplicate catalogues within a two- to three-week timespan, while others have my name on duplicate lists that, for some reason, they do not purge. If your mailbox is overflowing with unwanted catalogues, there is HOPE. Go to Catalog Choice, where you can opt out of receiving any of the catalogues on their list. This is a free service, and kudos go to the participating merchants.

It takes very little time, and the site is easy to use. Save a tree! Or a small forest! Help businesses save on postage! Keep your mailbox clear for old-fashioned love letters, post cards from San Luis Potosí, and fan mail from your grandmother! We have a choice.

Where are we headed, America?

A friend from across the pond just sent me a link to a video on YouTube by Chaser Non-Stop News Network in Australia, a program akin to the Daily Show in the US. The "reporter" is Julian Morrow. Even given the probability (a great one at that) that there were people who answered Morrow intelligently and were edited from the program, there is still too much stupidity on display here for any of us to ignore. In the world we live in today, being stupid is not funny, it's dangerous. And, as an American, I find the sheer embarrassment of this willful ignorance painful. I have been unable to make the link work in my blog, but if you go to youtube and put cnnn in the search box, go to number 5, Are Americans Stupid?

The answers people give to Morrow's questions are unthinkable. "What is the religion of Israel?" "Catholicism." "What is a country whose name starts with U?" "Yugoslavia. Utah." "What country should the US invade next?…

Finding Special

I recently traveled 'cross the pond to visit friends in Europe. While planning the trip, I had a good time just thinking about the "special" places I would find "far away," and my journey in no way disappointed me in this regard. But neither do you have to travel far to find Special. And the closer you are to home territory, the more that which is Special may take you by surprise.

I was passing through Brownwood, Texas, last summer. As I strolled through its downtown district, I could see a rain storm coming, and having yet to stop for lunch, I ducked into an inviting storefront with a happy-colored, giant ice cream cone sculpture at its door.

I had just entered the land of the Turtle, the kingdom of slow food, which, until a few years ago we did not think of as slow food, but as good food. Brownwood's Turtle Restaurant offers food that could qualify for five stars at a price that we two-star income earners can afford. The meals are both natural and elegant,…