Some followups

Many a time freedom has been rolled back – and always for the same sorry reason: fear.

Molly Ivins (Mother Jones, 1993)

monsterI mentioned to my landlords that maybe the mandarins on the tree next door could be given away, and they contacted the owners of the house.  Dale contacted Feed the Hungry and I contacted So Others May Eat, but neither organization responded.  Renate brilliantly came up with the idea of giving the tangerines to the primary school behind us.  This morning Dale, Renate and I picked the tree nearly clean and then we gave the fruit to the principal of the school, who said our six full bags (maybe 200 mandarins) wouldn’t be enough for every child, but he would figure out how to apportion them.

Last week I wrote about women and language.  I forgot to mention that the New York Times Sunday Review has had a series titled Why Women Stay Quiet at Work, co-authored by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook CEO) and Adam Grant (Wharton, professor).  More importantly, it reveals what happens when women speak up,.

A number of recent comments from Muslim writers claim (1) Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Mohammed were demeaning and (2) you can say what you wish, but you must be willing to suffer the consequences.

First, Charlie Hebdo attacks everyone and everything, not just the prophet:  they went after Popes and presidents, Christians and Jews, Americans and Brits, and much more.  When Danish cartoonists came under Islamic threat in the middle of the last decade, Charlie Hebdo republished the Danes’ work and seemed to become more vociferous.  Some of the Muslim criticism of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons was based on the fact that, in most of Islam, it is blasphemous to create an image of the prophet. Some non-Muslim writers have said that Charlie Hebdo’s work is in poor taste, but what is distasteful to one person is humorous to another person,

Second, free speech is not free if the consequence of your words is your death.

Finally, another bombing in Nigeria, again in Kano.  On Sunday two young women (15 and 20) carried bombs into a marketplace and killed four people.

By the Numbers

U. S. Population Compared to 115th U.S. Congress

Percent who are

United States Population (2010)

115th United States Congress

Under/Over-representation or difference of population compared to Congress





Non-Hispanic White
















Not affiliated with any religion




Median net worth




Fear of the Dark (Harris)


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