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Tuesday and Thursday

Yes, I know, going with the bear was obvious. But it was really hard to resist, and the whole thing really pissed me off. I'm getting sick of people using their religion as an excuse for their ignorance, hatred and irrationality.

And FTR - Sudan's president pardoned the poor school teacher caught up in this mess. The Guardian has a handy timeline on the controversy. And Sam Dealey at reports that the pardon could have gone the other way, had the president not feared for whatever is left of Sudan's international reputation:

The reaction by most Sudanese to Gibbons' lenient sentence was mostly benign; still, the government's fears of a larger backlash bordered on paranoia. Riot police were deployed, and Internet access to some stories was denied. Lord Ahmed, one of a pair of British parliamentarians who traveled to Khartoum as private citizens — and as co-religionists with the Sudanese — to secure Gibbons' release, told TIME that Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir admitted to them he was weighing a retrial — on stricter charges.

In the end, however, as British foreign minister David Miliband said, "common sense" prevailed. Gibbons was freed and Khartoum remained calm. But rather than view the Gibbons case as yet another example of a radical regime's autocratic abuse, the West would do well to realize that the events in Khartoum expose the government's weakness, and not its strength. 

AJ Luxton (ajl) says:

I agree with many of your points.


I, of course, am not boycotting goods made in China: because I *am* in China.  Resistance is futile. :-)


I do think it's good for America to reduce its total reliance on imports from any one country.  Not just for humanitarian reasons, either.  As I explained to my students -- in whom I am trying to inculcate the idea that China is a powerful country, not a lesser cousin, but a world power in the here and now (and needs to move more responsibly, in that awareness) -- "If China stopped making products right now, the Americans would have a shortage of shoes, clothes, dishes, electronic products, some kinds of food... they would have nothing for a while."  Letting any other country have that kind of leverage over the population is foolish. I'd like to see less foolishness.


And also less xenophobia. It's been pointed out by reliable news sources that America's also been sending lead-laden products to China: why? Because when your widget doesn't meet the local standards, you slap a new label on it and sell it abroad.  I'm of the mind that there's probably more of this going one way than the other, but it's obvious it's not unique to any one import-export channel. 

Shelby Davis (firimari) says: I think you mean Discordianism is a religion masquerding as a prank...
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Kevin Moore is the creator of Wanderlost, formerly known as Sheldon the Pig. A veteran of zines, underground comics and political cartoons, Kevin has been doing webcomics since 1999. He is also a librarian. ... full profile