Further

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Time Passes, Change Happens, Sometimes When We're Not Looking
For those of us who remember when women in power were nigh on unimaginable – Geraldine Ferraro, anyone? – it can be startling to realize how much, in fact, has changed. Hearing an NPR newscast in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined her hopes for Mideast peace – the issue is "part of my heart, not just my portfolio" – we felt a gut, split-second sense of wonder at the blithe pronoun "she," uttered as though it had always been. It hasn't. Rejoice, briefly.
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Help Afghan Refugees Now
Thousands of refugees in Afghanistan, most notably children, are now suffering through a winter where temperatures can dip to 10 below. They need shelter, blankets, warm clothing, and clean water. All things considered, we should help. To donate go here
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Monday, March 2, 2009
Youth for Western Civilization and Don't Forget The Mariachi Dancers
While the antics of Mssrs. Steele, Jindal, Limbaugh et al can be entertaining in a surreal, Saturday-Night-Live-ish sort of way, there are decidedly scary aspects to the increasingly right-wing tilt of the loyalists gathered at last weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference. Members of one co-sponsoring group, Youth For Western Civilization, have organized a "Catch an Illegal Alien Day" and sponsored a "Koran Desecration Contest," all in good fun, and written that diversity is fine "in moderation." “Most Americans don’t mind a little ethnic food, some Asian math whizzes, or a few Mariachi dancers," writes Marcus Epstein, " as long as these trends do not overwhelm the dominant culture.”
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Of Pricey Bandaids, Toxic Assets, And Hence The Need to Nationalize
American International Group, the world's largest insurer, was deemed too big to fail, but it is anyway, and we the taxpayers are apparently rescuing it for the fourth time to the total whopping tune of $150 billion. Many of us, of course, would really like to get paid obscene amounts of money for doing incredibly stupid things. But we're not AIG. Then again, maybe we should be.
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Sunday, March 1, 2009
Praise Jesus: We Have Old-Fashioned Values About Family and Marriage, But We Like It Hot and Heavy
Proving that prayer evidently only gets you so far, a new study finds that the nation's largest consumers of online porn are conservative, religious Republicans who believe "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behaviour." Still, cries of hypocrisy are premature: The study of credit-card receipts from a major pornography provider also found that church-goers buy fewer copies of "Heather Gets Hot" and other delights on Sundays. "Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," notes Benjamin Edelman of Harvard Business School. "One natural hypothesis is...if you're told you can't have this, then you want it more."
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Saturday, February 28, 2009
In Gaza, The Living Dead
Lest we forget, Palestinians in Gaza continue to suffer the effects of the Israeli attacks – not just shortages of jobs and food, but hope, equally essential. Having seen children die in front of them, some young men are ripe for martyrdom; says one, "I would rather be killed defending my land than die like these kids, doing nothing." Others sink into despair. "We're dead - either by Israeli weapons or as the living dead," says Mahmoud Abuqammar, 22. All he wants is "to build a family, to live, like any normal person." For more go here
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We Have Seen the Future, and It Is Incomprehensible
In a straw vote, right-wing nut-cases at the Conservative Political Action Conference voted Mitt Romney frontrunner for the 2012 presidential race (admittedly not a big priority for many of us right now) with esteemed orator Bobby Jindal taking second place. Ernie Simmons of Lancaster, Pa., said he likes Hucakabee and Palin, but "Jindal’s the future."
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Fighting Words
It's bracing to hear the populist, fair-minded side of President Obama emerge on behalf of a spending blueprint aimed at accomplishing the things we elected him to do – tax the rich, give the rest of us a break, fund healthcare, reform education and expand clean renewable energy. Obama plans to end subsidies and tax breaks and take other actions he acknowledges "won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business." "I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I...The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don't. I work for the American people." We know. It's words at this point. Now for action. We wish him well.
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We're Not Sure Why, But England Wants Us Back
Her timing seems a bit off, but Queen Elizabeth II has apparently revoked American independence "in light of your...failure to financially manage yourselves" and our tacky habit in recent years of "electing incompetent Presidents." Her Majesty will resume monarchical duties over the entire country, "except Kansas, which she does not fancy." To aid in the transition, she has posted new rules for us that include reinstating the letter 'U' in words like 'colour' and 'labour,' and learning to resolve differences without guns, lawyers, or therapists. God Save The Queen!
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Friday, February 27, 2009
Sooner Rather Than Later
Iraqi response to the Obama plan to "end" American involvement there but leave what would essentially be an occupation force of 50,000 was apparently, understandably mixed. In Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, Sunni government worker Hazim Ali Hamid questioned Obama's praise of US military forces. "In fact, the US forces achieved one thing – that is, destroying Iraq ... We hope that the US soldiers will leave our country sooner rather than later in order to put an end to the bloodiest pages in Iraq's history."
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