Sunday, January 07, 2007

JANUARY 7, 2007 NEW YORK TIMES

So, it's about time to get back to our normal routines. Today was the Feast of the Epiphany, bringing an official end to the Christmas season. Time for the lights to come down and the tree to get fly dumped in the neighbors . . . er recycled.

First, the Times had a pretty detailed account of the controversy and conflict between the United States authorities and the Iraqi authorities with regard to Saddam's execution. The long and the short of it? The current Iraqi government had decided to kill Saddam. The United States officials were intent on crossing the legal t's and dotting the legal i's, while the Iraqis understood that killing Saddam was a political act, more than a legal act. And so, the United States has maintained legal cover, while the Arab world understands that revenge was had on Saddam.

Next, a story from Delhi shows us again that access to justice is too often dependent on wealth. It seems that dozens of young people have been reported missing from slums in Delhi. Roughly half of the reports did not cause an investigation to be initiated. The police said things like "your daughter is beautiful. She probably eloped." Instead, at least 17 chopped-up bodies were found in a sewer a few minutes walk from the slum. Many of the victims were reported missing, but the police did not look for them. Now they found them, and it is unclear how many more victims will be found. It would be nice to pretend that this is a problem we don't have in America, but that is not true.

On a somewhat lighter note, apparently a video has been made to help people from New Orleans who have settled in Houston. Some of the tips? Get rid of your 504 area code cell and get one with a 713 or 832 number. Also, "'You should leave the rap or jazz intros out of your voice messaging system so that employers know that you are serious about finding a job.'" Wait, let me get this straight. My voice mail with "Big Pimpin'" as the intro is unprofessional? I had no idea. By the way, the area code thing is interesting, since it is not clear to me that those will mean anything in ten years.

Fourth, never get involved in a love triangle on the internet with a coworker where everyone except you is lying about who they are, and the woman is at least two states away. How do I know this? This insane story. Man A is a 48 year old manufacturing worker in outside Buffalo. He created an on-line persona in which he was an Iraq War veteran in his 20s. Woman is a forty-something year old West Virginian who adopted her daughter's identity on-line and said she was an 18 year old looking to meet men. Man B was a 20 something co-worker of Man A's who was found on-line by Woman after Man A mentioned Man B on-line. Man A shot and killed Man B, apparently because of his role in the "relationship." Man A is what is known as a LOSER. Poor Man B, who was doing nothing wrong and got caught up with a couple of fortysomething clowns on-line.

Fifth, in light of our impending addition, I know what a "Bugaboo" is. Scary, right? Anyway, the Times reported that Bugaboo has created day trips for parents to take with their kids and their strollers. The Chicago trip is very, very yuppie-centric, but so is the Bugaboo, so I guess that is fair.

Sixth, it turns out that Venezuela is a big trailer park. I had no idea. Venezuelans from the lower classes apparently favor "flamboyant" names. Examples in the article include: Taj-Mahal Sánchez, Elvis Presley Gomez Morillo, Darwin Lenin Jimenez, Hitler Eufemio Mayora, Yusmairobis, Nefertitis, Yaxilany, Riubalkis, and Debraska. Debraska? I was stunned by Darwin Lenin. I was stunned by Hitler. Debraska? That is pure genius. It's like watching an episode of My Name is Earl.

So, that's what was in today's paper. Now you know.

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