Archive for January, 2012

Don’t sue me over this

January 23, 2012 1 comment

I haven’t had a drink or a cigarette for years, for decades. I’ve seen relatives die of lung cancer and friends of alcohol-related diseases. I know, really know, how terribly damaging both habits can be. But back in the days — think “Mad Men” — we didn’t know. My evenings were spent in a haze of smoke, with like-minded cohorts— writer friends and such — holding forth on how to remodel a world more to our taste. We enthusiastically supported the Bordeaux and Beaujolais industry and Johnnie Walker was our best friend. No outing, no night on the town, no party, no sad moment, no happy occasion, would have meant anything without a cigarette and a glass of something. I even remember lighting up while standing in ski-lift lines and I wasn’t the only one. Read more…


Muslim women and Hérouxville

January 19, 2012 4 comments

As someone profoundly indifferent to matters of faith, I have little interest in people’s religious beliefs. What raises my hackles is having people push their faith and its edicts on me. A while back, the small municipality of Hérouxville in Québec, Canada, made international headlines with a “code of behavior” for immigrants (practically nonexistent in the tiny town). Among other things, the code –absurd but understandable given the influx of Muslim immigrants sometimes expecting that sharia rather than Canadian law apply in their community — ruled that accommodation of prayer in school would not be permitted (hurray for that!) but neither would stoning women, burning them alive, or submitting them to excision. The wording, rightfully deemed racist and insulting to Muslims, was revised when a delegation of Muslim women came to town to explain their position. Following which, a Christian grandmother from Québec wrote the following text which I have translated from the French and somewhat shortened. Read more…

Don’t punish him, punish them

According to press reports, Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, faces court martial, the outcome of which could be life in prison. While there is no question that the diminutive soldier has committed a reprehensible action and exercised bad judgment, the breach of security is minimal and most of the documents did not deserve to be classified in the first place. Read more…

Libertarian, shmibertarian

January 6, 2012 1 comment

Despite his lukewarm results in the Iowa caucus, Ron Paul cannot be discounted, at least in terms of skewing the game. Which is a shame because the more you look at him, the more it seems that Lindbergh flies again, unfortunately not in the Spirit of Saint Louis. The point that the torch from the arch-conservative, racist, and Nazi-admirer aviator has been passed to the Texas congressman is forcefully made in Richard Cohen’s January 3rd op-ed in the Washington Post. As a genetically programmed democrat, I am more scared of Ron Paul than of any of the other Republican candidates. Read more…

What’s in a name

Yet another lengthy account in the Washington Post today [Viola Drath: A remarkable life hijacked, by Josh White] of the murder of Viola Drath, a gifted 91-year-old journalist and Georgetown socialite, by her 50-year-old nogoodnick husband, self-dubbed Iraqi general/East German spy, and actual boozer and parasite. I was again surprised that no one ever mentioned the most bizarre aspect of this dismal tale, that a woman called DRATH would marry (for twenty years) and be killed by a man called MUTH. But then, I’m a word person, so something like this is bound to grab my attention. No disrespect to Ms. Drath who, by all accounts, was a remarkable individual, but you have to wonder. Read more…

Categories: Daily life Tags: , ,
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