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September 2009

Saturated White

Sepia Mutiny:

This past Memorial Day, I opened the medicine cabinet at my aunt’s house looking for toothpaste only to find a tube of Fair & Lovely staring back at me. My heart sank. I yelled for my 10-year old cousin. “What is THIS?” I asked her, holding the tube gingerly.

“What?” she said innocently, “It’s just suntan lotion so I don’t get dark.” I looked at the ingredient list. Indeed, among the ingredients was “sunscreen.” I shouldn’t have been surprised. This was the same girl who had teased her seven-year old darker-skinned cousin so much that a year later, the poor kid still adamantly states “I’m not pretty.” Little wonder given that our mothers come from a country where bridal makeup still means you pancake the woman in white foundation from the neck-up and then hide her hands under her dupatta so the color disparity doesn’t show.

I remember being amused by photographs of various brides and grooms in Pakistani magazines. The grooms came in all colors. The brides, however, had the same tinge: vampire-white.

Is Abortion Murder?

Vox Popoli:

There is not a single pro-abortion argument that stands up to science and reason. Every single one is not only spurious, but easily demonstrated to be spurious. It is not necessary to bring religious arguments into the debate to conclusively settle the matter in favor of the pro-life position, in fact, the Bible-based arguments against abortion are, in my opinion, weaker than the rational and scientific arguments.

Not Funny

Ann Althouse:

I remember the days when people would routinely and openly characterize whatever was true of the male as superior, and I'm glad those days are over (at least in the U.S.). But leaning in the other direction isn't the answer. It's patronizing. And it's unscientific!

I blame The PatriarchyTM.


Andrew Klavan via Instapundit:

According to Ben Smith over at Politico, President Barack Obama gave some theological weight to his health care plan during a phone call to a group of Rabbis the other day.  Referring to the belief that God decides during the Jewish New Year “who shall live and who shall die,” Obama told the rebs, “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.”

So, does this mean that Obama is going ahead with the death panels?

Rose Goes To Milton

Remembering Rose Friedman:

Rose, who died Wednesday at the age of 98, was also an economist and no less radical than her husband in her support for free-market solutions and stressing of the importance of individual responsibility. The Rose and Milton Friedman Foundation for school vouchers came about at Rose's initiative. Together, she and her husband co-authored three major books that go beyond economic theory: They explain the political and personal philosophy behind free markets.

If you haven't seen Free to Choose, then you should. Its message is still valid.


Christopher Hitchens:

A book called The Cartoons That Shook the World, by Danish-born Jytte Klausen, who is a professor of politics at Brandeis University, tells the story of the lurid and preplanned campaign of "protest" and boycott that was orchestrated in late 2005 after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten ran a competition for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

One can guess what happened.

Yale University Press announced last week that it would go ahead with the publication of the book, but it would remove from it the 12 caricatures that originated the controversy. Not content with this, it is also removing other historic illustrations of the likeness of the Prophet, including one by Gustave Doré of the passage in Dante's Inferno that shows Mohammed being disemboweled in hell.

Read the entire piece. Hitchens ends it eloquently and forcefully.

Here's the most potent image:


Western media showcased its cowardice when the cartoons came to light. For some time, thousands of people were visiting this blog to simply see what all the fuss was about. (They were looking around in Google Images.)

What Really Matters: Bikini vs. Burqini (Rematch)

The Australian:

Aheda Zanetti launched the full-length "burqini'' in Australia in 2003 to allow Muslim women to swim and compete in sport without having to expose their bodies.

A woman wearing a similar full-length swimsuit was refused entry to a Paris swimming pool on the basis of hygiene regulations, despite having swum there in July in the same suit.

It comes amid government hearings in France into whether to ban the burqa after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the head-to-toe veil was "not welcome'' in secular France.

Ms Zanetti, who runs Sydney swimwear company Ahiida, said she was not surprised by the report as she experienced some resistance to launching the "burqini'' in the French market.

"France is ... they've got different ways,'' she told AAP.

You don't say.

Because of this recent news, quite a few people are searching for "burqini" and finding this old post of mine -- the contents of which are basically two photos.

First, the painful burqini:

Some Dumb Chick

The other photo:

Kyla Cole

I say the bikini still comes out on top.

Simplicity for Some

Theodore Dalrymple via Greg Mankiw:

there is one drawback to the superior care British dogs receive by comparison with that of British humans: they have to pay for it, there and then. By contrast, British humans receive health care that is free at the point of delivery. Of course, some dogs have had the foresight to take out insurance, but others have to pay out of their savings. Nevertheless, the iron principle holds: cash on delivery.

But what, I hear social philosophers and the shade of the late John Rawls cry, of British dogs that have no savings and cannot afford insurance? What happens to them? Are not British streets littered with canines expiring from preventable and treatable diseases, as American streets are said by Europeans to be littered with the corpses of the uninsured?

Strangely, no.

Misery in England

After this horrid performance, England will likely not win the Ashes:

If England believed that their downward spiral of Ashes misery had bottomed out with their 5-0 thumping in Australia three winters ago, they might just have to reassess that situation before the series decider at The Oval in a fortnight's time. Barring a late rally that seemed inconceivable in the fading light on Saturday evening, England are hurtling towards their heaviest home defeat in the history of Ashes cricket, and if they fail to scrape an extra 36 runs tomorrow, they will have surpassed the innings-and-226-run trouncing that West Indies inflicted on them at Lord's in 1973, the single biggest home defeat in England's entire Test history.

It would be hilarious if they only got 34 runs.

Big Brother

Tom's Guide:

The UK government this week announced that it will spend £400 million ($668 million) on the installation and monitoring of CCTV cameras citizens in their own homes. Aimed at problem or antisocial families, the cameras are there to make sure children go to bed on time, eat well balanced meals and do their homework.

A commenter there sums up my reaction: W. T. F.

Paper Selling Institution Sued

Life has not been kind to recent college and university graduates. One of them has decided to sue her college because she can't find a job.

If I had to guess, I would say that like most women who come out of these programs, she has little to no personal interest in any of the subjects she studied. If she did, then she would have at least one solid Oracle or Cisco certification which would have already helped her get a job. Companies pay good money for employees with those skills. She probably looks good in a suit and knows how to ingratiate herself in an office environment, but not how to actually handle an Oracle server, a Cisco router or write code in any programming language (she probably forgot the C++ she was taught in her first year or two by the time she graduated from her undergrad).

That's possible.

Never a Believer

Jonah Goldberg:

Oprah promised Obama would help us “evolve to a higher plane.” Deepak Chopra said Obama’s presidency represented “a quantum leap in American consciousness.” Last month, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas proclaimed that Obama stood “above the country, above — above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Well, now he’s the god who bleeds, and once you’re the god who bleeds, it’s hard to get the divinity back in the tube, as it were.

My heart bleeds.

Sellers of Darkness

Victor Davis Hanson:

these influential prophets of doom do not have lives remotely similar to the lesser folk they lecture. From time to time, Al Gore hops on a private jet — and purchases “carbon offsets” as penances for the privilege. His mansion not long ago consumed more energy in a month than the average American home does in a year. Friedman lives on a sprawling estate reminiscent of the grandees of the 18th-century English countryside.

There has always been a market for doom. Recently, we had the Y2K scare, soon we'll get 2012 and of course the global warming canard is ongoing. I don't understand why so many people accept this gloomy nonsense.