Monday, January 31, 2005

When is an election not an election?

Iraqis voted today in their "national" election. The media is covering it as an example of extraordinary progress for all of Iraq. They don't happen to mention that the media is allowed to report from only four polling places in the entire country. And the media isn't even complaining. "Yip! Yip!" say the lapdogs.


I just finished reading, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins. This is one of those "I was an asshole for imperialism, but now I'm admitting my crimes" tell-all books. Every few years one of these jokers comes around. I remember Phillip Agee and Robert Stockwell from 20 years ago revealing nefarious deeds they participated in while working for U.S. intelligence agencies in Central America and Angola. This author is no different.

What always amazes me about these people is that they understand the evil that they've done to further U.S. global dominance.Yet they consider there experience as an aberration from true capitalism. None of them ever question the very basics of the system. All capitalism needs is a bit of tweaking and everything will come out smelling like roses.

Perkins is even worse. He's decided that all we need do is learn the secrets of proper living from shamanistic tribes. But guess who gets paid to tell us all about it? The shamans themselves? Of course not! What we need is a disillusioned white man, Perkins himself, to show us the way at a conference that will cost you a mere $1,000! Yeah, he's certainly gotten over exploiting people, hasn't he?

And yet, this kind of book will get through to certain people who are just beginning to question the myths they've been told about the beauty and goodness of capitalism. They won't listen unless they hear it from somebody who benefitted from the system and rejected it nevertheless. A struggling worker is just jealous of rich people or expressing sour grapes. A rich person is more credible on the topic.

Yeah, maybe. But I don't have to like it, now do I?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

New Quiz!!

You scored as Intrapersonal. You prefer your own inner world, you like to be alone, and you are aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, and feelings. You learn best by engaging in independent study projects rather than working on group projects. People like you include entrepreneurs, philosophers and psychologists.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The DisappearanceÖ

Winter arrived in Minnesota and blog time diminished to zero. We finally got our inch plus of snow -- more than 12 days later than any other winter! Seven inches of snow fell last Friday. I spent the weekend shoveling out our house and my brother-in-law's, since he is taking a training course for work in Phoenix. Because he is kind enough to do his neighbor's house, we did that as well. All of which resulted in total exhaustion followed by a full-blown migraine on Monday. But I am back and healthy and happy to be feeling normal again.

There is a lot of information out there about the so-called elections in Iraq coming up next week. The ballots are secret, the candidates are secret, polling places are secret and about half the country will not be voting. Yet it will be hailed as progress. For many people, the very fact that an election occurs, no matter how fake it might be, is reason enough to rejoice. Which is why the entire concept of "demonstration elections" has always worked over the years. I remember these same bogus charades occurring in Latin America in the '80s.

A recent poll suggested that a majority of U.S. citizens were opposed to one of the basic foundations of our constitution: the right to due process. These people believe our government should be allowed to round up Muslims and immigrants from Muslim countries and incarcerate them without evidence and without any of the basic protections written into the justice system.

The rationale for this belief is that the danger we face now from terrorism is so dire and so immediate, that we must give up our idealistic ways and resign ourselves to a partial police state. There are so many reasons why this is wrong. One of the fallacies that sticks in my mind is that some people believe the dangers we face today are worse than any danger the U.S. has faced before. This shows an incredible ignorance of our nation's history and the struggles our ancestors endured over the years. There's an essay in there somewhere, but I haven't written it nor have I found it in searching the internet.

Meanwhile, there is a "Women in War" event on Thursday evening. I put together a flyer to hand out there, that urges people to "hold the date" for activities marking the anniversary of the most recent U.S. war against Iraq on March 19. Another day, another leaflet!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A brief commercial interruption....

I've been reading up on Social Security reform -- lots of good information out there for people who are interested. I'm struck by the transformation of thinking about the whole program. Social Security used to be a program we supported because it took care of other, deserving people who should be able to relax after 50 years of work and struggle. Now, the discussion is all about "my money" and "my account" and "me, me, me."

If you are on the side of folks who care about the retired and disabled, here's a quick simple petition you can sign at I have a lot of problems with that organization's support of the Democratic Party, but this petition is very straightforward and worthwhile. Head on over and add your name:

MoveOn peition on social security.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

R.I.P., James Forman who I had the great pleasure of meeting in Washington, D.C. in April of 1985. I was with a group of people setting up early for a national march against U.S. policy on Central America. We had fliers we were hoping to get out, he had his books and a pamphlet to distribute. Forman knew some of the people I came to the march with and they introduced us. As we each waited for our friends to gather, we talked and he spoke about SNCC and his years of activism. He gave me or I purchased (I can't remember which) his book "The Making of Black Revolutionaries."

What differentiated him from many of the movement "leaders" I have met over the years, was his willingness to do the grunt work involved in keeping a movement viable. Some of the big-name speakers would show up at the demonstration hours later in time for their speech and then be whisked off to another important gathering. Not Forman: he was there at the crack of dawn, with books and pamphlets at the ready, eager to speak to other activists -- even a complete stranger from the Midwest.

About Forman's contributions to the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) -- pronounced "Snick":

"He imbued the organization with a camaraderie and collegiality that I've never seen in any organization before or since," said Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and SNCC's communications director during Mr. Forman's tenure.


Sunday's StarTribune had an article about the reactions of local refugees to the elections in Palestine. Ayman Balshe, a local activist, is quoted along with his mother. Hanan. I managed to meet this family last summer when Ayman was playing a lead role in the play
With Love from Ramallah. At only 23, Ayman has become an eloquent spokesman for Palestinians in the Midwest.


And in another local-global connection, St. Joan of Arc church posted a letter from Sami Rasouli, Minneapolis' unofficial Ambassador from Iraq. Sami moved back to Iraq in November to help his family and his country rebuild. A poet and a wonderful friend, Sami's reports make my heart break even as it fills with hope for the Iraqi people.


Quote of the Day

From an article by economist Paul Hawken:

I once gave a talk at an elementary school to third graders, and I told them that there are a billion people in the world who want to work and can't work.

A girl raised her hand and said, "Is all the work done?"

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday, January 10, 2005

I spent tonight working on a leaflet for the Women in War event. Turned out pretty nice but it took up a lot of my computer time. So I'm posting just two (too) cute animal stories. Enjoy:

Lucy memorialized

Special to The Star Democrat
January 7, 2005

CHESTERTOWN ó Lucy the Goose was memorialized last Friday with a service fit for a high-ranking diplomat. Which, in a way, she was, having served faithfully, if sometimes cantankerously, as Chestertown's avian ambassador for at least a dozen years.

I found her dead Dec. 19 on my daily pre-dawn walk, pausing to burst into tears before dashing home to call Chestertown Town Manager Bill Ingersoll. He responded immediately by contacting Ned Stirling, head of town maintenance, who had Lucy removed from the marshes where she lay. Even before Ned arrived, however, another early morning walker, noticing Lucy's lifeless body, immediately called 9-1-1. Our police responded with compassion, checking to make sure the goose's death was not a result of someone harming her. They found she had died of natural causes.

Lucy was cremated at the Humane Society of Kent County, and her ashes remained in Mayor Margo Bailey's desk until Friday's service, when more than 200 people came to the water's edge at the end of Cannon Street to say goodbye to Lucy. More than a few tears were shed as the mayor eulogized Lucy with a lovely selection of readings emphasizing the importance of all creatures large and small in our lives. I was privileged to spread her ashes in the river while well-known musician Tom McHugh sang a poignant song in her honor.

There are those who may have thought holding this service was pretty quirky. I think there's a lot to be said for a town that mourns a goose.

Many in the crowd offered their own stories about knowing Lucy.

I often wrote about Lucy while I was working for The Kent News, including stories of when Tri-State Bird Rescue veterinarian Dr. Heidi Stout and her team had to pick up Lucy and take her to their facility to remove a "bathtub ring" she'd acquired from some mysteriously sticky substance that had been dumped in the river; Treated as the royalty she was, the goose was not put in a cage, but allowed free range of an entire room at the facility.

"We don't want to cause her any stress," Stout told me. "After all, this is Lucy we're dealing with."

One of my favorite stories, however, resulted from the time a group of Muslim students from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, visited Washington College for several weeks. Lucy raucously introduced herself to them as they headed for the pier to board the Sultana. Flapping and honking officiously, Lucy still allowed the students to pet her head and back, thus enchanting them while escorting them up the pier. Many of the youngsters made several return visits to Lucy throughout their stay, and correspondence I received from some of them after they returned home assured me that meeting Lucy was the high point of a trip that had included visits to Washington, New York and downtown Baltimore.

They were lucky, since Lucy was not always so gracious to visitors. In fact, it was quite clear who she liked and who she decided did not belong in "her area." Her judgment was instant and punitive, spreading her wings and rushing at full throttle towards a hapless visitor in the "not like" category, grabbing their legs or, her favorite mode of attack, untying their shoelaces. It was never clear how she judged who would be friend or foe. Perhaps that's just how royalty behaves.

At the time of her death, Lucy might have been 12 or 20. While no one knew her true age, some locals remember first seeing her about a dozen years ago when she apparently just decided to float across the Chester River from a Queen Anne's goose farm and take up residence on neighboring Kent County.

Those who knew her early on, including kind employees of The Old Wharf Restaurant who first began feeding her, say Lucy was a bit of a wild woman in those early days, and it took a lot of leftovers to gain her trust and tame those flailing wings.

In time, however, Lucy began to take on the role of greeter for visitors to the town, often escorting them to the restaurant or, later, on to the dock to visit the Schooner Sultana. While she received no salary for her duties, which she took seriously 24 hours a day, she felt she was fairly compensated with corn and bread and even the occasional piece of mud pie.

In addition to staying in the memory of many Chestertown visitors, Lucy forged close friendships with countless residents of all ages.

I met Lucy about eight years ago on a beautiful, springlike afternoon when I strolled down to the river to sit outside and eat my sandwich. I had barely sat down on the curb when Lucy popped out of the water, shook herself off and strode over to me with a raucous honk, wings fearfully outspread.

Hoping to keep most of my fingers, I tore off a bit of the buttermilk bread and offered it to her. She put her wings down and accepted it with ladylike grace, cementing our friendship as long as she lived.

Almost every single morning over the past eight years, I took my pre-dawn walk to the river with a piece of buttermilk bread tucked in my pocket. As I cross over Water Street, Lucy never failed to start honking good morning. Then we'd sit together sharing breakfast and solving world problems as we watched the sun come up over the river. I've never found a better way to start each day.

The day before Lucy died, I noticed her arthritis was so severe she could barely walk. Her appetite, which had been declining for more than a week, could not be coaxed even by her favorite buttermilk bread. As I sat with her that last morning, trying to coax her with another bite, Lucy leaned against my shoulder and gently laid her face against my cheek. There's not a doubt in my mind she was saying goodbye.

I'll really miss that old bird.

Odd couple makes friends in Kenya

Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 17:01 GMT

A baby hippo rescued after floods in Kenya last week has befriended a 100-year-old tortoise in Kenya.

The one-year-old hippo calf christened Owen was found alone and dehydrated by wildlife rangers near the Indian Ocean.

He was placed in an enclosure at a wildlife sanctuary in the coastal city of Mombasa and befriended a male tortoise of a similar colour.

According to a park official, they sleep together, eat together and "have become inseparable".

"Since Owen arrived on the 27 December, the tortoise behaves like a mother to it," Haller Park tourism manager Pauline Kimoti told the BBC News website.

"The hippo follows the tortoise around and licks his face," she said.

The tortoise is named Mzee, which is Swahili for old man.

Ms Kimoti said that if the 300kg hippo continued to thrive then in the next few weeks they would allow the public to see the unlikely pair together before they are separated.

The sanctuary, which is on the site of a former cement factory, plans eventually to get the help of the Kenya Wildlife Service to place Owen with Cleo, a lonely female hippo in a separate enclosure.

This is the latest in a series of unusual bondings in the wild that have surprised and delighted zoologists in Kenya.

In 2002, a lioness at Samburu National Park adopted a succession of baby oryx.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

I'm guessing one can find extensive theories explaining personality traits by separating people into groups according to which version of Law and Order they favor and which character they like the most. I'm definitely a Lenny-lover. I was saddened at the recent death of Jerry Orbach. Just for fun, you can generate an L&O plot with just one click at the Random Law and Order Plot Generator.

Random Law and Order Plot Generator.

For example:

Tonight on Law and Order:

A stabbing victim is discovered in central park by a hardened cleaning crew. Lenny and Curtis initially pin the crime on a loan shark, but after Curtis uses an internet chat room, they arrest Lt. Van Buren. McCoy and Kincaid prosecute, but McCoy must make a deal to win. The old DA nods knowingly and says "Always forgive your enemies...they hate that !" Glarkonman 2000 guest stars.


Merry Christmasô

"Tis the a short story by British writer China Mieville in "Socialist Review" about a future when holidays celebrations are wholly owned subsidiaries of mega-corporations. It's definitely worth a read. Here's an excerpt:

Don't get me wrong. I haven't got shares in YuleCo, and I can't afford a one-day end-user licence, so I couldn't have a legal party. I'd briefly considered buying from one of the budget competitors like XmasTym, or a spinoff from a non-specialist like Coca-Crissmas, but the idea of doing it on the cheap was just depressing.


Thank a geographer!

As the daughter of geographers, my heart went pitty-pat when I read this article from Thailand:

Girl, 10, used geography lesson to save lives

(Filed: 01/01/2005)

A 10-year-old girl saved her family and 100 other tourists from the Asian tsunami because she had learnt about the giant waves in a geography lesson, it has emerged.

Tilly Smith, from Oxshott, Surrey, was holidaying with her parents and seven-year-old sister on Maikhao beach in Phuket, Thailand, when the tide rushed out.

As the other tourists watched in amazement, the water began to bubble and the boats on the horizon started to violently bob up and down.

Tilly, who had studied tsunamis in a geography class two weeks earlier, quickly realised they were in danger.

She told her mother they had to get off the beach immediately and warned that it could be a tsunami.

She explained she had just completed a school project on the huge waves and said they were seeing the warning signs that a tsunami was minutes away.

Her parents alerted the other holidaymakers and staff at their hotel, which was quickly evacuated. The wave crashed a few minutes later, but no one on the beach was killed or seriously injured.

In an interview with the Sun, Tilly gave the credit to her geography teacher, Andrew Kearney, at Oxshott's Danes Hill Prep School.

She said "Last term Mr. Kearney taught us about earthquakes and how they can cause tsunamis.

"I was on the beach and the water started to go funny. There were bubbles and the tide went out all of a sudden.

"I recognised what was happening and had a feeling there was going to be a tsunami. I told mummy."

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Sunday evening

Another day of relaxing. I am half way through Louise Erdich's The Master Butcherís Singing Club about a German family who emigrated to Argus, North Dakota. I love the passage when Franz brings his wife over from Europe and she first encounters the prairie:

Even with the houses and shops, the land seemed barren as a moonscape. On the way to Argus, as the train took them cross-country, she had watched the signs of human presence diminish and felt a combination of horror and grief.

Tonight I got a call about creating a flyer for a series called "Women of the World in War" being organized by Women Against Military Madness. Every month they plan to have a woman from a country that is at war or has recently been through war to talk about her experiences and the role women have played in recovering from the devastation of war. So far, they have women from Iraq, Iran and Guatemala lined up to speak. It would be nice to create a series logo that expresses the theme and can be used over the months. I've got my thinking cap on.

Tsunami continued

We get more information on the tsunami's effects every day. The death toll is already up to 125,000 and there are still areas that have not been reached. Foreign aid is growing both in individual donations, corporate donations and country donations. The Bush Administration raised it's promised donation to $350 million after criticism about the original $15 million promise.

Twice today I heard reports about the value of U.S. aircraft carriers and their helicopter fleets in this situation. They can get to places no one else can since the roads and railroads are wiped out. One carrier arrived and made great strides in areas that had been untouched in the week since the tsunami hit. Given that, it seems unconscionable that anyone would conceive of using the power of the military and its resources for anything outside of mass humanitarian relief efforts around the world. Our country could do more for its own reputation by turning its greatest minds, bodies and energies toward helping others rather than attacking others.

That said, it is sad that the issue of how much the U.S. donates got so much play in the media this past week. It has always been true that the poorest countries around the world give a larger percentage of their earnings to charity that those of us in the U.S. have. Even in the U.S., it is the poorest -- the people of Alabama -- that give the greatest percentage of their income to charity, while the richest -- the people of New Hampshire -- give the least. Yet the fact that the U.S. economy is so much larger than almost all other economies combined, the total given by the U.S. will always be more than what is given from most countries. Although Japan is donating more in actual funds than the U.S. at this point.

No matter what the facts are or how you read the numbers, the argument that western countries are "stingy" as one U.N. official said last week, is ill-timed and unfortunate. It will only support those in America who believe the world hates Americans and is ungrateful for all the good that Americans do. It will not lead to a positive discussion about what can be done. It will not help people to honestly consider their personal contributions to charity.

What I do hope will become common knowledge in this country is the incredible efforts that are being made by Asians to deal quickly with an Asian disaster. Already the reports of spontaneous actions by individuals and corporations in the country to immediately rush to aid their countrymen reminds me of the way so many of us reacted after 9/11. It is something we can share and learn from each other.


Today I gave the web address to this blog out for the first time. Welcome friends and I hope you find at least some of this interesting. Feel free to comment by clicking on the icon at the end of the thread or by e-mailing me directly.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

I managed to stay up until 11 pm -- watched the ball drop in NYC on TV. Then I crashed.

Yesterday my long hours at work took their toll. I slept late and then napped for several hours in the afternoon, still ended up sleeping all night as well. My internet explorations yesterday involved looking at reports from the European Social Forum and finding some interesting sites in which red-green alliances seem to be flourishing.

Red Pepper magazine in England looks interesting.

Voice of the Turtle has a couple of articles I've enjoyed.

And lately, Left I on the News has been a great source of updates on the news with a far-left point of view..

On the other hand, I read a lengthy article from Front Page magazine called The Psychology Underlying "Liberalism". The article shattered the myth I had that only liberals use psychology to "pathologize" people whose political and economic views they dislike. Unfortunately, the author claims Hitler was a "leftist" and therefore violates Godwin's Law. His argument would have been much more effective, I believe, by focusing on actual American political liberals ala Hillary and Bill Clinton and showing their self-serving activities, which are pretty easy to find.

I finished KJ Erickson's . Alone at Night". and cried like a baby through the last few chapters. Like Kent Krueger's latest book, this book careens into national and international politics in a way that seems unnecessary. And yet, the novel works and the suspense is wonderfully paced. Best of all, the women in this novel are awesome -- strong, intelligent and fierce. I love this about Erickson's books. Although the lead character is a man, he surrounds himself with intelligent women that he respects and admires. The same trait is found in John Sandford's books. A delightful read.

Finally, the new list of Banished Words> is out:

Lake Superior State University
2005 List of Banished Words

BLUE STATES/RED STATES ñ Whoís who, anyway? "I remember when I was a kid and Georgia was purple," says Peter Pietrangelo, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. "A good map has more than two colors."

FLIP FLOP/FLIP FLOPPER/FLIP FLOPPING ñ They belong at the beach, not in a political dialogue. "Republicans used it; Democrats used it back. Flip-flop back and forth it goes." ñ Jeff Lewis, Ada, Mich.

BATTLEGROUND STATE ñ "During an election, every state is a battleground." -- Austin White, West Hartford, Conn.
"Did it mean Bush and Kerry would go toe-to-toe?" ñ Evan Cornell, Ligonier, Penn.

"Ö AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE" ñ Received the most nominations of the words and phrases that came out of the presidential election. From political ads to auto partsÖ
"What started in political ads is spiraling out of control." ñ Jim Blashill, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
"Iíve heard three local car commercials where the morons use that phrase!" ñ John Venezia, Colorado Springs, Colo. ñ"Would a political candidate approve a message they did not agree with?" ñ John Gorsline, Albuquerque, NM. "Iím Kristina and I approve this nomination." ñ Kristina, Granite City, Ill.

POCKETS OF RESISTANCE ñ "Are we talking about someone not buying a round of drinks or people shooting at each other?" ñ Rob of Crawley, West Sussex, UK.
"Sounds like someone having trouble pulling their hands out of their pants pockets." ñ Joe Hutley, Las Vegas, NV.

IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE ñ As opposed to what used to be referred to as a bomb or mine. "Is this anything like a bomb or is it more (or less) sinister?" ñ Harold Blackwood, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

ENEMY COMBATANT ñ "Makes no sense. Do we have friendly combatants? Neutral combatants? Or how about enemy bystanders? If they are your enemy, just say so." ñ Bill Sellers, Hampton, Va.

CARBS ñ low carbs, high carbs, no carbs, carb-friendlyÖ Meant ëcarburetorí in a previous life. Needs to be purged from our system.
"Youíre not fat because you eat bread; youíre fat because you eat too much!" ñ Emily Price, Norfolk, Va.
"Whatís the point of low-carb beer? A person that concerned about ëcarbsí shouldnít even be drinking beer." Roger Briskey, Orlando, Fla.

YOUíRE FIRED! ñ "Öand the little hand movement, too!" ñ Jason Ranville, State College, Penn.
One nominator suggested that to say it would soon constitute a trademark infringement.

‹BER ñ Nominated by many over the past few years, including Paul Freedman, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. "Since when has this become a prefix for everything? Thatís ¸ber-rific!" ñ Lolina, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
"ÖEverything that is big, amazing, unique is described as ¸ber." ñ Sue, Colorado Springs, Co.

ëIZZLEí ñ SPEAK ñ By far, the abomination that received the most nominations. Some sort of ëRap-Latiní suffix, as in faíshizzle, which means ëfor sure.í
"It was clever for about five minutes, or should I say five ëminizzles?í" ñ R. Glover, Waterford, Mich.
Derek Hogan of Misssissauga, Ontario, said it was cool when a rapper came up with it a few years ago, but now itís over-used and is even being used in television commercials.
"Like Superbowl excesses, it is too much of too much," ñ Daniel Baisden, Savannah, Ga.

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION ñ "Janet Jacksonís bodice did not ëmalfunction,í" says John Wetterholt, Woodstock, Ill. "Justin Timberlake pulled too much and too far and I could hear the cogs turning in his publicistís head trying to come up with that excuse!"
"It wasnít the wardrobeís fault!" ñ Jane Starr, Edmonton, Alberta
"Sure to be this generationís Watergate, misapplied to all situations both imaginable and not so." ñ David Edgar, Sydney, Australia

BLOG ñ and its variations, including blogger, blogged, blogging, blogosphere. Many who nominated it were unsure of the meaning. Sounds like something your mother would slap you for saying.
"Sounds like a Vikingís drink thatís better than grog, or a technique to kill a frog." Teri Vaughn, Anaheim, Calif.
"Maybe itís something that would be stuck in my toilet." ñ Adrian Whittaker, Dundalk, Ontario. "I think the words ëjournalí and ëdiaryí need to come back." ñ T. J. Allen, Shreveport, La.

WEBINAR ñ for ëseminar on the web.í "Itís silly. Next weíll have a Dutch ëdunchí Ö bring your own lunch for a digital lunch meeting." ñ Karen Nolan, Charlotte, NC.

ZERO PERCENT APR FINANCING ñ sending a dollar to do a nickelís worth of work. Michael Hehn, Ferrysburg, Mich. "They could just say ëno interest.í

SAFE AND EFFECTIVE ñ "Try the new, clinically proven, safe and effective wonder drug you never knew you neededÖSafe and effective should not be a selling point, it should be an FDA requirement!" CW Estes, Roanoke Texas.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION ñ Do we need to hear about it daily on TV and radio, even on racecars? Firmly rejected by the committee. "Too much information!" Carolyn Jamsa, Chillicothe, Ill.

JOURNEY ñ "Every single person on every reality show comments on how amazing the ëjourneyí was. Since when does dating a dozen nerds over a six-week span or conniving to win a million dollars over 15 other people qualify as a ëjourneyí"? ñ Cindy, Victoria, British Columbia.

BODY WASH ñ "Also known as ësoap.í" -- Ray Hill, Jackson, Mich.

SALE EVENT ñ "Year-end sales are now ësales events.í Now most have shortened it to ëevent.í Does the sale exist any longer? ëHey, nice new Chevy, Bob!í ëThanks, it was on event at the dealer last week.í" ñ Allan Dregseth, Fargo, ND.

ALL NEW ñ referring to television showsÖ "Of course itís all new. Why canít they just say ënewí? There are no partially-new episodes, no repeat of last Tuesdayís episode with a slightly reworked Act 2." ñ Greg Ellis, Bellevue, Wash.

AND MORE! ñ The merchants way of giving you something "value added." "Every merchant offers carpets, flooring and more. Can we envision baskets, caskets and more? Need I say less?" ñ Ray of Willard, Ohio.
"Goods and services no longer have limits! Everything marketed can be something else! ëItís a hamburger meal, but itís much, much moreÖItís a time machine, too!" ñ Mark of Kanata, Ontario.