Our Fair summer, a better way to board an airplane, the life of Irene, 9/11 at 10, and cross carrying Chuck.
Someone at JC Penney felt the heat today after this sweatshirt appeared on its online catalog...
The Twitterverse and some bloggers took it and ran with it...
And late this morning, it disappeared...
All in a good day's work on Twitter and the blogs.
How could the ad folks have been so dumb? Easy.
(h/t: Bill Childs)
Posted at 12:13 PM on August 31, 2011
by Bob Collins
You know things are going great in North Dakota when the governor can proclaim it "Mr. Bubble Day" without fear of humiliation. That's the way that state rolls in a time when the economy is zipping along and the budget is balanced.
Ed Schafer Jack Dalrymple declared it so on Mr. Bubble's 50th anniversary. The product was manufactured by the Gold Seal Company.
"Mr. Bubble bombed. It tanked. It was a flop," the governor notes. "It didn't do well enough to even keep it on the shelves."
And how could it? It was expensive. Fifty-nine cents. So Harold Schafer -- did I mention he was the (former) governor's dad? -- dropped the price to a more affordable 39 cents and the product took off.
"Before he died, the last year sitting in Medora, he would sit out on our porch for hours with boxes of Mr. Bubble on the side of his rocker," his widow said. "He would call the kids in that walked by our house and say, 'C'mon kids' and 'Where are you from?' and all that. And then he would autograph a box of Mr. Bubble for every one of those kids."
Mister Bubble is now made by a Minnesota-based company, proof we can take a North Dakota company away from time to time.
What could possibly be a bigger event than 9/11? About 10 things, Foreign Policy magazine writer David Rothkopf says.
Rothkopf contends it was incorrect to compare the day to Pearl Harbor, "the beginning of a global war against enemies bent on, and at least theoretically capable of, destroying the American way of life (unlike al Qaeda, a ragtag band of extremists with limited punch). We spoke of cultural wars and a divided world. We reorganized our entire security establishment to go after a few thousand bad guys. We went mad. "
Here is his list of more important events:
10. How we responded to 9/11
"We did more damage to ourselves than did the two-bit criminals who baited us."
9) The Arab Spring
"They are a sign of deep change that has toppled more governments in the region than either al Qaeda or the United States could."
8) The rebalancing of Asia
"It's the big leagues of foreign policy compared with the Middle East, which is attention-grabbing but over the long term strictly second division."
7) The stagnation of the U.S. and other developed-world economies
"Entering an age of limitations is forcing big powers to work together differently and has put the kibosh on the momentary and misguided unilateralism of the Bush era in the United States."
6) The invention of social media
"What's more important? Knocking down the World Trade Center and killing several thousand innocents or linking half a billion people together as never before (as Facebook did)?"
5) Cell phones and handhelds
"Everyone is connected. Everyone is a witness. Everyone is part of a global news network, an instant coalition, a mob, an electorate."
4) The crash of 2008
"The resulting tens of trillions of dollars in losses sent hundreds of millions of people deeper into poverty, crushed retirement accounts, impacted the well-being of billions of people, and called into question the viability of countries and companies in ways that cannot yet be calculated. It also had political and policy implications -- from reconsidering national priorities to changing global views toward "American capitalism" -- that will dwarf those associated with 9/11."
3) The Eurozone crisis and the crash of '11-'12
If it sends the world's economies into another tailspin, "it will have an even more devastating impact on already weakened economies worldwide; and if it undoes the European experiment, which has helped ensure decades of peace on a continent previously riven by conflict, well, then it will again on totally different grounds easily trump 9/11."
2) The failure to address global warming
"While the scientific community united in its agreement that the crisis would be existential for many forms of life and coastal communities where billions of people live, while the entire planet was threatened as never before, the leaders of the world were otherwise engaged. If global temperatures rise another degree or three this century, 9/11 will be seen as a comparative footnote to an event that could remake the nature of life on Earth and lead to a toll many, many times greater than either 9/11 or the wars it triggered."
1) The rise of China, India, Brazil etc.
"The past decade has seen them emerge to the point that they are now the engines of growth that will determine whether a market crash of 2011 occurs, whether the United States and Europe can borrow to fund their ailing economies, whether the world will reach an agreement to manage greenhouse gas emissions, whether we will truly contain the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and what the real future of international institutions and agreements will look like. The BRICs rose while the United States was distracted by bin Laden's sideshow; now, America's future will depend on how quickly Americans can refocus on what's really important."
Rothkopf says this doesn't mean 9/11 was unimportant, but he says it's important for us to understand not only what it was, but what it was not.
(h/t: Two Way)(6 Comments)
It's the age-old story in Spain today. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl throw tons of tomatoes. Girl kisses boy.
Today was Tomatina, the annual tomato fight in Bunol.
The Washington Post has a dozen images of Tomatina to help us feel even worse about spending the day in our beige cubicles.(2 Comments)
It's unlikely we'll see a more discouraging headline today than this one from the Daily Mail:
Father slit throats of three daughters in 'honour killing' after they were raped by Qaddafi's troops
The story was lifted from a deeper report into human rights violations in Libya published by the group, Physicians for Human Rights. You can find the full report here.
It apparently occurred in Misrata, just as rebels were ousting the forces of Col. Qaddafi. Several of the reports of atrocities come from a resident identified only as Mohamed.
Mohamed regularly passed Alwadi Alahdar elementary school on one of Tomina's rural roads enroute to the front line. Mohamed reported that he heard the cries of women and girls on several occasions while passing the school. He reported seeing tanks and other military vehicles at this school in April 2011. On one occasion, in the quiet of the night, he heard drunken laughter through the open windows of the school building. He heard women cry out in pain and a man yell, "Shut up you dogs!"
Mohamed is convinced that Qaddafi troops forcibly detained these women and girls and gang raped them. He said he heard directly from five separate male heads of nearby households and close friends that some of their daughters and wives had been raped by Qaddafi forces.
One father confided in Mohamed that his three daughters aged 15, 17, and 18 had gone missing after Qaddafi troops arrived in Tomina. They returned to the family in late April and told their father that they had been raped in the Alwadi Alahdar elementary school for three consecutive days. In what is known as an "honor killing,"96 Mohamed related to PHR investigators, this father slit each of his daughters' throats with a knife that day and killed them.
Mohamed also noted that some in Tomina have stood up against this practice, including a well-known Sheik who has publicly advocated for raped women and girls to be seen as brave and bringing honor to their families.
Another long-time Tomina resident and mother of three corroborated these "honor killings"97 and estimated that Qaddafi forces had raped at least 50 women and girls from the small village of Tomina. She told PHR investigators that military wearing green uniforms "took men and women away and did bad things to them." One of her neighbors reported that while her husband was away fighting on the front line, she was alone with her 15-year-old daughter. A group of military in green uniforms forcibly moved in to her home and made her cook for them. They took her daughter into the front room of the house and repeatedly raped her for days. When rebel forces took control of Tomina on 12 May 2011, the daughter was found mute and nearly dead. The mother reported that she suffered recurrent nightmares, insomnia, and flashbacks. She exhibited pressured speech and hypervigilance while recounting these recent events.
The report says Libyan women will not go to a gynecologist, and indicates that Qaddafi used rape as a weapon, knowing that they would be followed by honor killings.
"If Qaddafi destroys a building, it can be rebuilt. But when Qaddafi rapes a woman, the whole community is destroyed forever. He knows this, and so rape is his best weapon," an informant said.
Libyan law considers honor killing a crime, but the practice has a strong foothold in the country, citing reduced sentences for those convicted of so-called honor killings compared to other forms of murder," the report from the Boston-based group said.
(Photo: Libyan pupils sing the new national anthem at Takadoum school on July 2, 2011 in the Libyan port city of Misrata. Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)(4 Comments)