"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


tuesday this & that: olympics, war, & whatnot

Right-o, the Olympics are here, and as I spent the weekend with my parents in Tennessee, I've watched a lot of Olympics already. A few thoughts:
  • I just don't care about beach volleyball. And I have a feeling that if the outfits changed, neither would anybody else.
  • The opening ceremony was unbelievable, and there's an Austin connection to it. It's amazing what you can do with an authoritarian government and an unlimited budget.
  • It's a good thing the Chinese got the Star Spangled Banner right the second time Phelps won. That first night was embarassing, and it wasn't just that it was cut off early.
  • Check out the Darfur Olympics this week to learn about China's complicity in not pressuring the Sudanese government to end its genocide in Darfur. I'd argue that China is the most important piece of the equation to ending the tragedy in Darfur. Remember that while you're looking at all the neat architecture and watching fascinating cultural stories on NBC.
  • We should all be WAY more worried about what's going on in Georgia than about what's happening in Beijing. One tiny little detail that's getting left out of all these discussions is the number of loose nukes and fissile material that float around the Caucuses. The more instability there is, the easier it is to move those scary things around. Here's a good, easy-to-understand explanation of the conflict.
  • Mystery Science 3000 meets Martha Stewart, and the result will be golden.
  • If you'd been born with a midwife's help, could you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were born in the U.S. of A.? The State Department is being a tiny bit unreasonable concerning some of my fellow Texans on just that issue.
  • Should people who've paid their debt to society be denied the most basic of rights guaranteed to all American citizens? Or should we let former felons vote?


Blogger Amy said...

So true about the beach volleyball! yawn!

Monday, August 11, 2008 10:18:00 PM

Blogger euphrony said...

Oh, come on, those outfits don't make the sport! But they do make the audience.

I heard a series NPR did a few weeks ago about China in Africa. Apparently China and Sudan have long-standing good relations, and a part of it is that China sees Sudan as having taken care of a little problem they had. In the late 1800's, a British general severely embarrassed the Chinese; a few years later he was in Sudan trying to do the same thing and ended up with his head on a pike. The Chinese have always thought fondly of the people who brought down the person who shamed them so badly. But, you're right, despite the enormous power of suggestion they could have in Sudan they do nothing.

Both of my kids were born with the help of midwives - are we in trouble?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:10:00 PM

Anonymous Kirstin said...

I am also interested in the midwife thing since that's hopefully who will be attending our birth here in the next month or so. Interesting.

Regarding your facebook status - I was trying to think of an unreasonable request to email you about, but couldn't think of one and have to go to a birthing class. :) I'm sorry you're frustrated, though!

Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:48:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Thanks, Kir! :)

One gets the sense that the authorities are only going after individuals whose skin is brown and who live in the border area. I think that makes both of you okay on one or the other of those counts. Unless Canada counts. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:17:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Meant to add that there's an obvious element of racism in the situation on the Texas border. But, Kir, I think you'll be fine - I'm guessing the procedures for certifying midwife-assisted births are a little bit tighter these days.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:18:00 PM


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