Monthly Archives: November 2007

Beyond the Veil

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I have already expressed my views on what almost became a controversy in Spain with respect to Muslim girls sporting the veil at public schools. Now I just came across an article by Laila Lalami in The Nation, entitled “Beyond the Veil” on the prohibition of the veil in France. Laila Lalami is a Moroccan born writer who lives in the U.S. and writes in English. Although I have not read her novel (and therefore don’t have an opinion on her writing), I do often check out her blog to learn about the other novelists she features.

In any event, if you are interested in the politics of the veil, I do recommend you read her article.

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Spain and Kyoto

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Everytime the U.S. decides to NOT sign an international treaty, I take a lot of crap here in Spain from my friends and co-workers. Without having to enter into the merits of whether the treaty in question should or should not be signed, I always make the following statement: The U.S. is a country of lawyers. If we sign a treaty, we’ll have lawyers making sure that that treaty will be enforced. It is easy for a country like Spain to sign treaties when they know they will never comply with it.

For example, today there was an article in the El Mundo newspaper on how Spain was the E.U. country with the worst Kyoto Protocol compliance record in 2005. Ironically, the same newspaper article says that the world’s biggest non-compliers were the U.S. and Australia, but how do you fail to comply with an agreement you never signed?

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Recycled Post of the Week: En Español para Hysidro

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Today my friend and co-worker, Hysidro, told me that he would read Grave Error more often if I wrote more frequently in Spanish. I still recall having asked him for his advice. Nevertheless, I decided to throw the dawg a bone, and for this Recycled Post of the Week, I am giving you one in Spanish from September 2006, called “No sé si estoy enamorado de Natalia Verbeke.”

I think it is actually one of my better posts, so much so that later in March 2007, I tried to write a similar post in English but with much less succes. I suppose you can’t recycle everything.

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Palmeritas

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In general, I don’t consider myself a selfish man. I try to be generous and kind. But there are times when I have to draw the line, and that line is often drawn with palmeritas. Why should I share my palmeritas? I often think that my co-workers want one of my palmeritas simply because they see how much I enjoy them. It’s pure envy. The unselfish thing would be for them to stop coveting my palmeritas and to cease expecting me to be unnecessarily unselfish.

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Suicide Epidemic Amongst Iraq War Veterans

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I have just seen this op-ed piece entitled “Pentagon Cover Up: 15,000 or More U.S. Casualties in Iraq War“, and this CBS article, “Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans” that show some remarkably disconcerting numbers on the death rate by suicide of our veterans who return from the battle fields of Iraq. Should the government include these deaths as part of the costs of the war in Iraq?

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If My Job Were to Make People Happy

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Last night I went with some friends to hear the Joshua Redman Trio at the Festival de Jazz de Madrid 2007. Opening for Redman was a quartet lead by Carles Benavent. Benavent, a veteran who has played alongside Paco de Lucía and Jorge Pardo, was pretty good, but the contrast between the first and the second shows was enormous. Continue reading

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Dilbert on Usability and In House Counsel

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If you’ve ever worked in an internet company, then you’ll definitely get this comic strip.

It is also reminds me of what I have seen during the last seven years as the fundamental difference between the practice of law in the U.S. and Spain. In Spain, lawyers tell you want you cannot do, and in the U.S. they tell you how you can do it.

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A Premature Mid-Life Crisis

I have had absolutely no regrets about how I have lived my life (to date), with possibly the sole exception of consistently taking jobs that pay less than the previous ones. Furthermore, I am only in my early mid thirties (a euphemism to say the least) and it’s not even the Friday after Thanksgiving yet, but I really feel like going back in time. Continue reading

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Crustaceans Aren’t the Only Ones

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I was recently forwarded a news article on how crustaceans suffer pain when we crack their little backs to extract their meat or when we boil their clawed little bodies. I did some more research to verify this story and the original source proved real.

The problem is that we’re all forgetting how, for example, an ear of corn must feel when we stick forks into its temples, humiliate it by rubbing its face in butter, and then proceed to consume it heartlessly and mechanically like an old typewriter.

There are so many causes and yet such little time. If we only had more time to direct our attention to these causes and redirect ourselves away from our own deteriorating lives. Oh, what a wonderful place that would be.

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Recycled Post of the Week: Regeneration

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I suppose that it may be more than a coincidence. This morning I happened to notice that while my fingernails were regenerating, the tooth paste in my bathroom was depleting. I,  therefore, decided to use a post on this very subject for this Recycled Post of the Week. When I looked it up today, I noticed that the post was from November 2006, Thankgiving time, one year ago. We really are predictable and cyclical!

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