birdie's blog

Philanthropists Hard Choices

Very interesting story in the Wall Street Journal about how philanthropists, and the rest of us with more limited funds, are faced with a choice of either supporting the arts and humanities, or stamping out world hunger/curing AIDS. It shouldn't have to be this way.

Big-Box Swindle

Back on my campaign saddle (well I never got off) against the big-box chains, including bookstores, that are contributing to the 'blandification' of local communities. Here's a link to a new title by Stacy Mitchell (Institute of Local self-Reliance) about the phenomenom, and how it hurts all of us.

I realize that everytime I criticize the chains and Amazon, some LISNews readers rush to defend them, and ok, bring it on, but I will never be convinced that the change in retailing here in the U.S., and now abroad, is better for anyone other than the mega-retailers, on-line and off. They are taking away your communities without a whit of shame.

If you get a chance, go see Stacy speak at one the locations on her list, including the Salt Lake City and Portland Maine Libraries.

How sick is this?

Have you seen the new ad campaign for Wal-Mart pharmacies? Pills dance around and form shapes like flowers...(from Brandweek) "computer-animated pills combine to create real-life objects such as flowers, a playground or a tennis ball" and "animated pills as stylized live-action characters that garden, ride bikes or play golf."

What have we come to? But one would expect this of a company with so little integrity.

Who are these people?

Two ways to win: 1)Identify one these librarians (backs towards the viewer) and win a prize -- or 2)identify the woman in the booth and win... (cool free stuff!!!)
...complete with librarians
for category one, name and library name please...for second category, name will suffice

the best sign

will somebody please...

Save Darfur

..from the website:
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of over 100 faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations. Our mission is to raise public awareness and to mobilize an effective unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of two million people in the Darfur region.

The Save Darfur Coalition's unity statement was signed by more than 100 organizations.

The Coalition began on July 14 when the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and American Jewish World Service organized a Darfur Emergency Summit at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan featuring Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel. Mr. Wiesel inspired the group with his impassioned remarks about the suffering being inflicted on Darfurians: "How can I hope to move people from indifference if I remain indifferent to the plight of others? I cannot stand idly by or all my endeavors will be unworthy."

Save Darfur

Felicitations Jerry!

I always liked Jerry Lewis. Maybe that makes me an honorary Frenchwoman. I was privileged to see him in a revival of Damn Yankees (as the Devil) with my sons a few years ago, and I'm looking forward to reading his book (thanks Rochelle for the heads up).

Nice story from sign-on san diego about his inauguration into France's Legion of Honor.

Prejudice persists - updated

No matter how much some things change, other things just don't seem to adjust to the times and the rhythms of our 21st century world.

New York City has an openly lesbian City Council Speaker now, Christine Quinn, who is not only gay, but ***IRISH***. The St. Patrick's Day parade organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, will not allow gays and lesbians to march with their chosen groups. So she has chosen not to march at all. Neither Mayor Bloomberg nor other city officials or participants could persuade the Hibernians to change their tune (hm, what if "oh danny boy" was gay???). Washington Post story.

Addendum: After reading a bit of commentary, below, and as a New Yorker of long-standing, I'm tempted to tell those Ancient Hibernians to 'get the heck out of dodge. Go take your parade somewhere else. Florida? Texas? Oh I know, South Dakota. Or back to Eire where the only real Irish are from (to quote mdoneil). Just because you've been parading for 245 years doesn't mean that you should continue with the same rules that you started with. Times change. Far less than two hundred years ago, black people had to drink at separate fountains and enter through separate doorways. Should we return to the days of slavery? I think not. Hear ye O Ancient Hibernians...time to make some changes.

OK boys, I've deleted "Bush As Diplomat"

because I object to the flamewar that's going on. Too bad, I do like having comments, but it was MY BLOG, and Greg and Fang were not invited to have at each other on my personal blog.

Go to a different playground.

Politics Thursday: Practicing Charity Towards Political Foes

I'm not as good-hearted a person as Daniel, nor as fair-minded or analytical as Blake, but the concept of practicing charity towards political foes has its merits (hopefully humorous in this case):

1)President Bush has not shot anybody in the face (that I know of).

2)President Bush looks kind of cute with his shirt sleeves rolled up.

3)President Bush likes animals.

4)President Bush probably calls his mother at least once a week.

Krugman: Osama, Saddam and the Ports

Brilliant column by Paul Krugman in the New York Times . Read what Rumsfeld said on the afternoon of 9/11.

Let's all move to SD

where we don't have to fret over things like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...they're gonna take all those troublesome freedoms away! Free of freedom!!!

On the other hand, Cuba would be warmer.

Now I'VE been Tagged!

Samantha, thank you for tagging me - I guess I'm it!!

Four jobs I've had:

1. "flyer" at Gimbels in Manhattan (long gone)
2. managing director of a 1,200 seat amphitheater
3. Broadway Asst. Stage Manager & Asst. Lighting Designer
4. publishers assistant for a childrens book company

Four movies I watch over and over:

1. Hitchcock
2. Anything with Cary Grant
3. Anything with Fred Astaire
4. Anything with Ingrid Bergman

Four places I've lived

1. Washington, DC
2. Paris, France
3. St. Thomas Virgin Islands
4. New York City -- the best

Four TV shows I love

1. NYPD Blue (but it's over..)
2. Natl. Geographic & Discovery Ch. nature shows
3. Saturday Night Live
4. All My Children (going on maybe 30 years?)

Four places I've vacationed

1. St. Barts West Indies
2. Tahiti
3. Western Pennsylvania (bike ride)
4. Italy

Four of my favorite dishes

1. chocolate, the darker the better
2. pasta
3. artichokes, tomatoes
4. seafood

Four sites I visit daily

1. LISNews - for sure
2. flickr
3. my childrens blogs
4. Nasdaq

Four places I would rather be right now:

can't think of one...I'm home with my loving husband on Valentine's Day (he came through with the flowers!!!), waiting for Chinese food to arrive

Four books I love:

1. Poisonwood Bible
2. The Namesake (Lahiri)
3. Any Paul Theroux
4. Death of Vishnu (Manil Suri)
and I'm now enjoying Snow...

Four video games:

not a gamer, sorry

Four bloggers I am tagging:

1. kmmcook
2. blumster
3. caryb
4. Louise

Paean to the Kings/The State of Civil Rights

Excellent column (sorry you need NYTimes Select to read it) by NY Times columnist Bob Herbert, who says of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "We've honored Dr. King, but we've never listened to him. Our addiction to the joy of violence is far too strong."

Found on a Chinese blog

寒�作业啊!! [转贴 2006-01-28 15:03:33 ] �表者: yvonne_sun, author :

  • 3. Where Are We Heading?

    The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter temples; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy less.

    We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

    We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years.

    We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things.

    We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; weve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; we plan more, but accomplish less.

    We've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but lower morals.

    We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

    These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but more broken homes.

    These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. Where are we heading...?

    If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

    And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family an unwise investment indeed.

    So what is the moral of the story?

    Don't work too hard...and you know what's the full word of family ?

    FAMILY= (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER, (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU.

  • Hurrah for Two New Women Presidents (Liberia and Chile)

    Liberia and Chile each took a step in the right direction by electing outstanding women as their leaders. The new president of Liberia is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf , and based on what I've read about her, she might just have a chance to pull that wretched country out of its misery and bring it closer to a state of peace and well-being.

    Chile's new President, Michelle Bachelet is an accomplished physician who saw her father die at the hands of the Pinochet government. With her dedication and brilliance, she will do wonderful things for her country.

    Bravissima ladies!

    Too rich?

    They say you can never be too rich or too thin. I think I disagree, or perhaps I should say, you can be rich but not know how to spend your money.

    I saw an interview on TV this morning with a millionaire Texas couple, owners of an RV dealership (didn't catch their names) who purchased the "twenty dollar banana sticker bill" for $25K. This is a deviation from their usual investments in collectible cars. The husband paid for it while the wife was out busy shopping...she didn't chime in on her interest one way or the other when he reached her by cellphone.

    Or maybe I'm all wrong. They can buy anything they want and I should've turned off the TV...

    Delightful Holiday Claymation

    If you happened to miss it last Saturday night, here's a wonderful http://www.youtube.com/watch.php?v=Yb7Z0HpRxl4&search=funhouse
    ">cartoon by Robert Smigel, "Christmastime For the Jews". It puts into song (sung by Darlene Love) a day that Jews have long enjoyed for their own particular reasons.

    Arlo's take on it

    I love the following quote by Arlo Guthrie in a recent magazine article celebrating the 40th anniversary of the creation of the song "Alice's Restaurant."

    "I am forever grateful to the human spirit that rejoices in the absurdity of the times. Perhaps the world was never meant to be all we hoped it should be. After all, in a world where everything is fine, you'd have to go an awful long way out of of your way to make a positive contribution. But in a world like this one, you don't have to do very much at all. There's never been a time in the history of the world when you could do so little and have it mean so much to so many people. Maybe this is the world we've been asking for all along!"

    Harriet Miers Judgement

    Like many of you, I am confounded about President Bush's choice for the next Supreme Court nominee.
    Based on this photo ,though, it's pretty clear to me that she has extremely poor judgement regarding how to do her hair.

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