Monday, December 27, 2004
  All in the Family

A young Jordanian guilty of what they call "honor killing" has had his sentence commuted to a mere six months by his tribal court after his family dropped charges. The details and circumstances of how he killed his sister would have warranted a death sentence in California yet the case is being treated as a minor misdemeanor in Jordan.

With everyone's attention focused on the indiscriminate earthquake and tsunami disaster in south Asia and the results of the makeup election in Ukraine, this story could easily fall under the radar if not noted as just one example of a very large problem with the Arab social order.
Friday, December 24, 2004
  Banned Santa

At a time when many would incite us over a rash of blatant, overt assaults on all things Judeo-Christian, here's a surprising twist on political correctness - a 12-year old boy had to leave his school's holiday dance because he dressed up as Santa Claus. Maybe someone decided to be fair to both deity and idolatry, as the rhetoric you hear from some quarters would have you believe that a character like Santa Claus, whose story seems to be removed from the religious significance of Christmas and who could even be called a children's god, might be favored because of a general anti-Christian bias. Maybe not.

Whatever else anyone might think of this story, I don't think there was a sensible reason to hurt this kid's feelings over something people all over America do every year in the holiday season, and therefore I don't think his school did anyone any good with this action. I hope he'll be cheered by numerous letters of support.
Monday, December 20, 2004

It's a small step but a step forward all the same. China will have jury trials in the near future. It won't be the same as our system but it will end the current system where only the judges can arbitrate their cases. Referred by Drudge.

By the way, I generated the above headline using the WorldLingo translator.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  Twin Powers

Have you ever heard of twin sisters each giving birth to their own twins on the same day? It happened today right here in Georgia.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
  Orange Watch

People in the media are beginning to wear orange ties, likely inspired by current events in Ukraine and the color of Yushenko's party. So far today I've seen orange ties worn by CNBC's Brad Goode and retired General Tommy Franks, who was on TV today to talk about his new venture, teenarrivealive.com.

People in the Ukraine are watching to see who sends such signals, particularly President Bush and members of his Cabinet but also anyone else who may have media presence and influence. I would encourage my more famous fellow bloggers to think about this when they get asked to be on TV again in the near future.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
  Coptics Riot

I'm not characterizing this as a good thing necessarily but it might serve to raise awareness of human rights issues in Egypt. Drudge refers to this Herald-Sun report that about 1000 Coptic Christians sitting in at a church in Egypt threw stones at police, injuring about 20 officers. Supposedly a priest's wife was abducted by her Muslim employer and forced to convert to Islam. We should learn more details in coming days of what's really happening.

Meanwhile, Egypt is a place where such actions as female circumcision are common, so we should bear that in mind when following this story.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
  Grass Rodriguez

His name would make a great movie title, even if the story could be more inspiring. Grass Rodriguez, the man who sailed a '59 Buick from Cuba, will finally leave Guantanamo with his group for Costa Rica as official refugees. It may not be America but it will be a free country all the same.

Sometimes I think we do too little to stop illegal immigration and too much to discourage real refugees, especially Cubans. While we shouldn't encourage people to risk their lives sailing unsafe rafts, we should let all the refugees in. Grass Rodriguez and his people never should have had to resort to a hunger strike to get action taken.
Jon Lester at large. Multimedia artist, musician, retrogamer, free thinker and pop music fan from Athens, Georgia.

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