Dogfight
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It used to be that the word “dogfight” almost always made people think of fighter planes locked in aerial combat. Thanks to Michael Vick, the word is now back to its basic meaning—setting up two angry dogs for a fight to the death. Ironically, the pilot’s portion of a plane is called the “cockpit,” another word derived from the bloody gambling-related “sport” of arranging for two roosters to claw each other to death. Mr. Vick is currently experiencing considerable condemnation,... Read More
Why?
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As hard as we try, our lives just don’t stick to the scripts we’ve written. As the bumper stickers tell us, “Stuff Happens.” Bad things happen to bad people, and they happen to nice people (like you & me), too. So we ask, “Why?” The prophet Habakkuk groaned his protests to the Lord. “How long?” “Why?” Now it’s our family’s turn to ask the question. As some of you know, my 15-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with a Stage Three... Read More
You’re Both Mistakes
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It’s hard to be a Britney Spears fan these days. The pop diva has a broken marriage, a drinking problem, and not much hair right now. It recently got worse. Star magazine (OK, it’s not exactly the NY Times) has printed reports from former Spears employees that the singer was not always a model mom. According to the article, when she was upset at her two little boys, she would shout at them, “You’re such burdens.” “You’re both mistakes!” Anyone... Read More
Trapped
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Let your imagination go to work – you’re a coal miner, trapped by a tunnel collapse over two miles below the earth’s surface. As I am writing this, there is no news whether the six men in Utah are alive or dead. Assume they’re still alive—what do you suppose it’s like down there? First of all, it’s dark, really dark. Your helmet lights are good for only 12 hours. Most of their time would be spent in total darkness. There... Read More
Power Grid
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Life in Iraq right now is hard, very hard, on everybody. It is hard on the coalition troops, Iraqi army and police, and especially hard on civilians. Unemployment is high, the country is awash in weapons, and municipal services in the great cities are barely functioning in the 110-degree summer heat. And here is one of the bitter ironies of the Iraq war: as fast as American armed forces and their contractors can repair the electrical power grids to the... Read More
Mocha Inflation
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It seems that Starbucks’ margins have been getting too thin. Seattle Corporate HQ recently announced that prices will go up 9 cents. If you are a venti mocha non-fat latte regular, you may be grumbling next week. You’re already forking over more than three bucks a cup. But to all you caffeine-haters, this is a non-event. You may wonder why otherwise sane-looking people would spend that kind of dough for a mere cup of coffee. The answer, of course, is... Read More
Airport Rage
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Do you hate airports? Do you have any horror stories about long delays, canceled flights, hours on the tarmac, or bad food? Personally I find airport experiences exhausting. If I have to spend a day traveling, I am more tired at the end of the day than if I had actually worked. How can sitting around be so tiring? Whenever I feel a good airport whine coming on, I find it helpful to do some thankfulness therapy, glad that I... Read More
Sudden Death
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British philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote that the life of man is nasty, brutish, and short. Does that sound awfully crabby and pessimistic? Not to me. Not today. Today’s newspaper's online edition reported that a state senator had accidentally killed his own grandchild. He was backing his car out of the driveway, and the little girl must have slipped out of the house and run behind the car. How can a story like that not crush your heart? Those of us... Read More
Gaza
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What do you suppose life is like when 1.4 million people are jammed into a little strip of land only 25 miles long? Gaza these days is full of refugees, poverty, and AK-47s at the same time that it has been largely cut off from travel and trade with the rest of the world. Now controlled by the military/political party Hamas, Gaza is considered as dangerous to Israel as it was 3,400 years ago. Back then the Gaza plain was... Read More
Solstice
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The farther north you live, the more you enjoy this time of year. June days are wonderfully long, and the 21st is the longest of them all. In Wiltshire, England, 24,000 people gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sun come up over the heelstone. Some showed up just to party, but others were earnest Druids and pagans who came to celebrate and worship Mother Earth and the “sacredness” of the solstice. “Solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and... Read More