Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures

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Archive for February 3rd, 2006

Forbidden Drawings and Dowbrigade’s Law

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd February 2006

WASHINGTON,
Feb. 3 The Muslim world erupted in anger on Friday over caricatures of
the Prophet Muhammad published in Europe while the Bush
administration offered the protesters support, saying of the
cartoons
, "We
find them offensive, and we certainly understand why Muslims would find
these images offensive."

from the New York Times

We really had to struggle with the decision of whether or not to publish
in this space one or all of the twelve sketches of Muhammad at the center
of this controversy.  They are easy enough to find on
the internet
.

Some of us wanted to publish them because the Bush administration finds
them offensive, and petty much anything they are against has a place
in the Dowbrigade News.  Then there is our established identity
as a graphic-centric blog, and a fan of political cartooning. Add to
that our at times tragic attraction to the provocative and there was
a lot going for throwing the images up there asap.

On the other hand, it comes dangerously close to crossing the line around
our pledge not to blog about our workplace, which currently counts many
Muslims among its clients. Even though we try to keep our blogging separate
from our day job, we have learned by bitter experience that if you hope
that a particular person or group of people never, ever see a particular
posting, it is almost certain that they will, sooner or later.  Call
it Dowbrigade’s Law.

And if it blew up in our face, even though we believe very strongly
that in a free society not even religions can claim immunity from satire,
we have to ask ourselves: Is this an issue we are ready and willing to
go to the mat on? To risk our job and career over? Romantic fool that
we are, we were leaning towards a "yes".

Then we thought of some of our Muslim students, past and present, not
as Muslims or as students, but as people. People we knew and liked and
respected.  People we would not want to insult or offend in any
normal personal, social or professional situation. 

So although we are eternally grateful that we could, if we wished, publish
the Heretical Dozen, we will refrain. Anyone who would not be offended
can easily check them out here.

One of the problems we have always had
with religious fundamentalists, of all stripes and sects, is that they
seems to have exorcised their senses of humor….

Posted in Prose Screeds | Comments Off on Forbidden Drawings and Dowbrigade’s Law

Dowbrigade May Declare for Governor

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd February 2006

The
Boston Globe
was a barrel of laughs this morning.  Here’s
another chuckler. Attorney-General Tom Reilly, Massachusetts top lawyer,
appears to have wiped himself off the
political
map
with a gaffe
so egregious
that
he’ll
probably
be wiping egg off his face until Easter
2010.

Facing strong competition from African American Patrick Duval in the
upcoming Democratic primary, and Republican female Lt Governor Kerry
Healy in the fall, Reilly came up with the brilliant stroke of naming
as his
running mate an African-American woman!

In a misguided attempt to nail the rare political three-fer, he chose
Marie St. Fleur, a state rep chiefly know for introducing a controversial
measure to the statehouse offering in-state tuition at UMass and community
colleges to illegal aliens. Citizens (and citizen wannabes) of Caribbean descent are one of
the fastest growing demographics in the Commonwealth.

Unfortunately, St. Fleur owes over $13,000 in delinquent Federal income
taxes, and over $40,000 on a delinquent student loan.  In addition,
she cannot renew her driver’s licence since she has not paid her city
excise taxes. These facts came out within 24 hours of her designation, so they were not terribly difficult to unearth. She withdrew 24 hours after that.

Reilly tried to explain his oversight:

”I
have to work and improve on the politics of this campaign," said
Reilly, 63, who was first elected Middlesex district attorney in
1990 and is in his second term as attorney general.

”This is a whole different
level of politics, and it’s never been my strong suit, and I have
to improve on that. I acknowledge and take responsibility for the
process
that was not as complete and as thorough as it can be."

With Democrats like these, is it any wonder Massachusetts
keeps electing Republican governors? Hell, we could do better than these jokers…

from the
Boston Globe

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on Dowbrigade May Declare for Governor

Ministry of Truth

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd February 2006

Biosafety lab in South End gets final OK
BU may start construction this month

The
federal government gave final approval yesterday to Boston University’s
plan to build a high-security research
laboratory
in the South End, where scientists hunting for vaccines and drugs will
work with some of the world’s deadliest viruses and bacteria, such
as Ebola, anthrax, and plague. (Boston
Globe
)

Hmmm.  We seem to remember when they called
these things "Bio-Hazard" Labs or "Bio-Weapons" Labs, places working
with Elboa, anthrax and plague. Appearently, "Bio-Safety" is a
lot easier to sell, especially for a facility in a major urban area,
down the street from the #1 free care hospital in town (Boston Medical
Center) and right next to the wholesale flower market.

Looks gorgeous, and innoculous in the artist’s rendition,
no? Still, we can’t quite forget that BU earned this honor, in part,
by reacting so well last year when three
researchers at another Boston University biolab managed to infect themselves
with
an infectious bacterium called tularemia.

Check out the location on the map below. We are looking
for a new dentist.

and this one shows "how these labs work" for us
rubes. Better check that wall between the Men’s and Women’s showers for
peep holes…

story and graphics from the Boston Globe

Posted in Serious News | Comments Off on Ministry of Truth

Prefer to Pay With Silver Dollars

Posted by glasscastle on 3rd February 2006

Last week we got one of those artfully timed dinnertime calls from
an earnest young woman trying to sell us a service we didn’t need. It
was
a "tepid" telemarketing call, as opposed to a cold call.  That
is, it came from a company we already do business with, offering further
"services".

As it is, we purchase both a product (The Boston Globe) and a service
(delivery of aforementioned Boston Globe) from this company on a daily
basis. The caller was trying to convince us to change to credit card
billing. "I notice that you are still paying your bill every month by
check." Slight disdain and incredulity in her voice,as though we were
among the last few crusty holdouts. She didn’t need to mention that stamps
had just gone up two cents again.

We explained that we liked to write them a check every month,
that it reminded us of what a good deal the paper was.  Well, we
were told, if we came to our senses, just call this number.

Normally, when a company we do business with calls us at dinnertime
with some worthless waste of time we drop them like Simon Cowell drops
the obvious head cases, but in this case we are helpless. We are absolutely
addicted
to the Globe
in the morning, and the alternative (the Herald)
has a few decent writers and a lot of holes and pap. But we’d be damned
if we would let them tap directly into our financial flow.

So, we felt more than somewhat vindicated this morning to read, top
center on the Boston Globe web site, the following advisory:

ATTN. Boston Globe subscribers: Confidential
credit and bank card account information of Boston Globe and Worcester
Telegram & Gazette subscribers
who pay for their home delivery subscriptions by credit card was recently
inadvertently disclosed on the back of slips used to label bundles of
the Worcester Sunday Telegram. The bank routing information of some Telegram & Gazette
subscribers who pay by automatic withdrawal may also have appeared on
some of these newspaper bundle sheets. To find out whether your financial
information may have been released, please visit www.bostonglobe.com
Also, customer service representatives are available to answer questions
at this toll-free number: 888-665-2644.

Apparently financial information of over 220,000 subscribers
was inadvertently sent to the presses and printed on huge sheets of newsprint.  Instead
of being immediately destroyed, some braniac decided to use it to wrap
up the bundles of papers being distributed in Worcester. Waste not, want
not.

Here is the news story about their gaff from arch-rival Boston
Herald
….

Posted in Media News | Comments Off on Prefer to Pay With Silver Dollars