March 2009 Archives

Equal Rights of Women in Afghanistan Under Continuing Threat

March 31, 2009

If a new law passed by Afghanistan's Parliament, and supported by its President (Hamid Karzai), is anything like the critics claim, then it is a sad day for women in Afghanistan. The document has not been published, but those who have read it –such as critical members of Parliament, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women –say that it will roll back women's rights to a state worse than under the Taliban. This should not be tolerated by the world agencies and governments that are supporting post-Taliban Afghanistan. Our governments and agencies must speak out against this deplorable law.

Mayor McCheese and the Pet Cemetary

March 22, 2009

Got out to the car on Thursday morning, looked up into our postage stamp yard, and there was the retaining wall, in pieces in the yard. Extremely minor personal tragedy, or opportunity for growth and development? Both.

Retaining wall in summer of 2008
The retaining wall in summer of 2008
Retaining wall yesterday
The retaining wall yesterday

Bright, Light, or Dark Green?

March 20, 2009

Labels can be useful. Obviously they can also become ridiculous and pigeon-hole us into camps of undeviating ideology. But if the usefulness is doubted, just think: which evokes the stronger reaction?

  1. John, Paul, George, and Ringo, or
  2. The Beatles

Baha'i International Community's Response to Iranian Prosecutor

March 11, 2009

Call me biased if you will, but I was rather impressed by the open letter (PDF) written by the Baha'i International Community (BIC) to the Prosecutor General of Iran last week. The BIC is the world wide Baha'i community's official representation at the United Nations. As you may have heard, the ad hoc group that helped arrange some of the affairs of the Baha'i community in Iran was arrested last year and the government is now talking about bringing them up on charges of espionage. The last time anything like this happened, those arrested were executed (and before that they were simply "disappeared").

Adventures in flying; bumming around The Presidio in San Francisco

March 6, 2009

Thursday: takeoff from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) around 2:00 PM (got there 11:30 AM). Fall asleep (short night's sleep, stayed up packing and awakened early for pre-fast breakfast). Wake up about 2:45 PM to announcement that we've received clearance to land at MSP. mm?? Fellow passengers relay explanation: backup electrical system shortage, but too much fuel weight to land safely, so we've been circling and now will attempt to land. Flight attendant informs us that fire trucks will be awaiting us but are not expected to be needed (they weren't).

Racial Healing in the U.S. Today

March 1, 2009

In 1938, Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, sent a remarkable "letter" to the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, titled Advent of Divine Justice. Although he did not, to my knowledge, ever visit North America (1), his diagnosis of the spiritual and moral illnesses of this land were, and remain, uncanny.

Among the issues addressed, he directly challenged the racial status quo in America. In a time of Jim Crow and segregated meetings – even amongst many of the Bahá'ís (2) – the Guardian declared, "As to racial prejudice, the corrosion of which, for well-nigh a century, has bitten into the fiber, and attacked the whole social structure of American society, it should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Bahá'í community at the present stage of its evolution." (3).

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