A Trip to the Toy Store
16:34:32 UTC Wed 21 Sep 2005
My brother Robert and I recently went shopping for my nephew’s first birthday. Anticipating a keen disappointment on my part, Robert prepared me for culture shock. “Toys are all gaudy these days,” he said.
That Proustian toy-store smell, some combination of plastics and gumballs, buoyed my expectations as we walked through the sliding glass doors of a store we had often dragged our parents to. Instinctively, our feet took us to the Lego section. “Look at this,” (...)

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July 7th
09:04:24 UTC Sun 10 Jul 2005
Britain’s presence in Iraq seems to be the excuse for the deadly bombings of July 7th, but reality is simpler. Civilized societies build subways; barbarians blow them up. The Iraqis I’ve met would rather see a subway in Baghdad than a war zone in Britain. The Iraq I have experienced is a country where children of all ages come running to wave at passing convoys, where Iraqi businessmen eagerly risk their own lives to sell goods and services to American and other foreign companies, and where (...)

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Broadcasting the American Way (or not)
07:00:00 UTC Sat 02 Jul 2005
It pains me to say this. It pains me because I’ve gotten a lot out of shows like Nova and Frontline. Many great productions only made it to my American eyes through Masterpiece Theater. I grew up on imports of Doctor Who. Like anyone, I love watching the occasional Korean soap opera, Polish newscast, or gay talk show. My 2-year-old niece is just starting to discover the Sesame Street characters, and that’s a discovery that’s a joy to watch. But (...)

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Caesar’s Income
06:55:37 UTC Sat 30 Apr 2005
Tax Day, April 15th, has passed yet again in the United States. Though not the Ides, it is the day to beware. The day we render unto Caesar that which we are taught is Caesar’s.
Those of us lucky enough to get a refund were unlucky enough to have given Uncle Sam an interest-free loan in the first place. He doesn’t return the favor: receive much of a loan from him and you’ll pay a penalty. Why didn’t we just have the correct amount taken out of our paychecks in the first place? (...)

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My Time Zone for a Horse!
08:35:22 UTC Mon 18 Apr 2005
I could name 47 states that should be debating daylight saving time. Indiana is not one of them. Sadly, the school of “majority rules” has targeted reason’s last refuge in a country where chronology lies not in the purview of logic, but in the hands of government. One recalls Indiana’s nearly successful 1897 effort to legislate the value of pi, which would have had Hoosier schoolchildren memorizing a number that is mathematically incorrect. Thankfully, the state thwarted (...)

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