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Daily Archives: May 13, 2007
May 13, 20071:04 a.m.
Iraq, we’ve been told, is at a turning point, with the U.S. military surging and the next few months crucial to securing the country. Much is riding on the ability of Iraqi leaders to step up and make key security and power-sharing reforms.
So U.S. lawmakers are rightly steamed to hear that the Iraqi parliament is planning a two-month vacation this summer.
Do you sense a disconnect?
“Our armed forces are up to 150,000 troops; we’re over $600 billion appropriated for this, lost 3,300 lives, 25,000 wounded fellow citizens. . . . And the Iraqi answer? We’re taking a summer off. Goin’ fishing,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said Iraqi leaders will do things their way and don’t “take kindly of (U.S. officials) telling us when to recess.”
Where do Iraqi leaders go to vacation, anyway? Fantasy Island?
Posted by Randy Scholfield
May 13, 20071:03 a.m.
A billboard in Chicago recently caused an outcry: “Life’s short. Get a divorce,” it said.
But it turns out fewer and fewer Americans are taking that lawyerly advice. Despite the cries about the imminent demise of marriage, divorce rates have been in steady decline for years and are now at a 37-year low, according to researchers.
True, several of the reasons for that drop might not seem favorable to marriage as an institution: More young couples are delaying marriage or not getting married at all.
One encouraging change since the 1970s is the healthy marriage movement and the growing awareness among Americans that marriage takes commitment and work to last. And that stable marriages benefit kids.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
May 13, 20071:02 a.m.
“It’s fine to be a religion man,” a distant relative of two of the defendants in the alleged Fort Dix plot, told the New York Times. “But if you get too much to the religion, you get out of your mind and you do stupid things.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
May 13, 20071:01 a.m.
In our wealthy country, Mother’s Day can and will be celebrated today with flowers, gifts, brunches and phone calls. As the heart of many a busy family, the modern American mom richly deserves a day of glory all her own. But as the Save the Children organization’s “State of the World’s Mothers: Saving the Lives of Children Under 5” report tells us, too many moms around the world today are struggling to keep their families together and alive.
More than 10 million children die each year before the age of 5. “In 2007, when we know what to do and how little it costs, that 28,000 kids are still dying each day is just plain wrong,” said David Oot, one of the report’s researchers. Young-child mortality trends are worst in Iraq, because of the violence, and Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, because of AIDS. The report concludes that political will means more than money in how a poor nation’s children fare. But it’s also a reminder of how far donated dollars can go in developing countries to pay for simple, lifesaving measures such as vaccinations and mosquito nets.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
May 13, 20071:00 a.m.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to catch giant catfish with your bare hands — and who hasn’t? — then listen up. Kansas is about to open its first-ever season for hand fishing for flathead catfish, a practice commonly called “noodling.”
This is an old Midwest tradition in which fishermen search for holes in riverbanks or lake bottoms and then reach in and feel for lurking catfish, which bite down on their bare hands. Then you simply pull them out.
“If you’re not bleeding, you’re not noodling,” says one aficionado of the sport.
We’ll take his word for it.