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Showing posts from February, 2010

Start the Revolution! Hold the Bun!

Something amazing happened to me today. I ate a panini. I was on my way to a meeting when I stopped at Tully’s on 11th Street and grabbed a hot panini with ham and muenster cheese. http://tullysbakery.com/

Not amazed? A few days earlier, I popped in for a banana muffin. In the previous week or two, my wife made me cookies from a Betty Crocker mix, I took out a pizza from the local pizzeria, I had a hot pretzel, and I hosted a business dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Still not amazed? You obviously do not have celiac disease. But one of every 133 Americans does. In my circle, I am the one. Unlike my 132 closest friends, I must adhere to a strict gluten free diet or risk malnutrition among many other physical indignities. No wheat, barley, rye, etc. No white flour. No traditional cakes, breads, beer or pasta. Landmines in the fine print ingredients of processed foods and restaurant meals of every description.

In 1978 – at age 19 and reduced to 135 pounds on my 6’2” frame – a doctor who ha…

Are the Ks OK?

Social commentators often note that we've blurred the lines between fame and infamy. Some argue we actually prefer infamy. To paraphrase Richard Glover of The Sydney Morning Journal, Mother Theresa is interesting, but Joey Buttafuoco is fascinating. Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Sonia Sotamayor? We know them. Britney Spears, Tiger Woods, Bernie Madoff? We really know them.

Fame, infamy, notoriety -- today it all boils down to this thing called celebrity.

And then there is a force called the Kardashians.

Their stepfather was the world's greatest athlete and had his own Wheaties box. But he's a bit player in the public lives of the Special Ks. If their reality show were a sitcom, he would be the equivalent of a wacky neighbor at best.

Lamar Odom is an NBA champion with an amazing backstory. http://tinyurl.com/ydz2wcn. Still it took a quickie marriage to Khloe to hit the big time and propel him to two national TV commercials. Reggie Bush has a Super Bowl ring and a Heisman Trophy, …

English?

"Welcome to America. Now speak English"

I often wonder how the irony is lost on the legions posting this message on their Facebook pages and spouting it across conservative media outlets, mall t-shirt kiosks and the like. Shouldn't it be "Welcome to America. Now speak American"?

You'd think so, but so few of us actually speak American. The colonists came here 500 years ago and we still speak the language they got off the boat speaking. They decided they'd rather not learn American languages like Cherokee, Navajo or Iroquois. Generation after generation, we've simply gone on speaking English; an immigrant language.

Learning a new language was difficult for American colonists just as it is difficult for immigrants today. But modern immigrants do a much better job learning English than the first immigrants ever did learning "American". In fact, immigrant families of every description are far more likely to be bilingual than homegrown Ame…