Wednesday, March 31, 2010


A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump.'

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would   BETRAY AND DESTROY AMERICA (leave their best friend behind)


Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word.

Maybe this will explain.

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward jokes.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.

When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes.

Also to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get?

A forwarded joke

So, next time if you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile.

You are all welcome at my water bowl anytime!


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Friday, March 26, 2010
FARADY: Impractical folly of coed submarines
Michael Farady

Unless Congress intercedes, the U.S. Navy plans to station women on submarines. The change in policy was announced with no fanfare and has stirred almost no debate. Won't some wizened old salt please speak out? No? OK, then I'll take the plunge.

The only sure benefit of stationing women on subs is establishing equality of opportunity. Essential to realizing this ideal is the professionalism of military personnel. Never mind allegations that sexual harassment is rampant.
The practical concern the new policy aims to address has to do with smarts. Sub duty requires personnel of above-average IQ. Intelligence is everywhere in short supply, so the Navy is always in a pinch to staff the sub fleet. Adding women to the candidate pool might help. But there is a catch.

The military fervently woos women, but with little success. Just 15 percent of Navy personnel are women. As a rule, women are more difficult to entice into the military, harder to keep and generally less available for duty (e.g., because of pregnancy) than men are. I don't see how the Navy's difficulty in staffing subs would be affected much by adding women to the mix - there simply aren't many to begin with.

At least some of the few women who are suitable for sub duty will opt out. Submariners must endure a weird and claustrophobic environment. "The total living area for more than 130 people is equivalent to a medium-size house," states a report prepared for the Navy. And, while at sea for months, one can't leave the house to go for a walk or visit family. Not everyone can put up with this.

In general, women tend to avoid high-stress jobs, particularly those that involve travel. Psychologists suggest that women are especially vulnerable to social stress. So how will they adapt to the forced camaraderie of life on a sub combined with the isolation that comes from being trapped at the office for months at a time, 20,000 leagues under the sea, with a boatload of men?

Apparently, cost is no barrier to conducting this experiment. The only estimate I've come across (from 10 years ago in a newspaper column) is that reconfiguring subs for coed service would cost in the neighborhood of $4.5 million per ship. Reuters news agency reports that the Navy has 71 subs, but it doesn't say how many are scheduled to be retrofitted. So the final cost, which appears to be prohibitive, is a mystery.

Well, I don't suppose we have a choice, given the sorry performance record of the sub fleet.

What's that you say? The fleet is performing adequately if not splendidly? Hmm. The handyman code instructs, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." So why are we doing this?

The reason the Navy is going down this ill-advised path is political correctness. Officers know that speaking out against PC nonsense is career suicide. So only a few (usually disgruntled malcontents with one foot out the door) even contemplate raising the appropriate questions.

Political correctness has a way of putting certain values on a pedestal while making other concerns vanish. When considering whether to put women on subs, gender equity is in the first category, practicality is in the second.
Touching base with reality, one might wonder: Can we afford this? Does it make sense even to attempt what heretofore has been considered imprudent if not foolish?

Luckily, the military has a policy that can be adapted to quell these concerns: Don't ask, don't tell. (Not for long)

Michael Farady served as a Navy clinical psychologist and now conducts independent research on sex and gender. His article on the girl-crisis movement appears in the March issue of Review of General Psychology.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Call To Release Iran's 'Blogfather' For Norouz

The mother of a controversial, well-known blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, who is often described as Iran's "blogfather" because he helped popularize blogging in Iran, has called on the head of Iran's judiciary to release her son for the Iranian New Year, or Norouz, marked on March 21. More

A Turkish Role Model For Iran?

As Ankara has worked to improve relations with Iran, person-to-person bilateral contacts have blossomed in recent years. The experience, Abbas Djavadi writes, has been good for both sides. More
Iran Reformist Among Those Out On Bail

Iranian authorities have reportedly released on bail a top reformist who has been jailed since last June, along with a filmmaker and a reformist journalist. More

Iranian Politician Says Reformist Party's Ban 'Totally Illegal'

Former Iranian parliament deputy Fatemeh Haghighatjou has harshly criticized the decision by Iran's judiciary to ban activities by the major reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front. More

A Year On, Blogger's Death In Detention Remains Unexplained

Tomorrow marks one year since the death in Tehran's Evin prison of Iranian blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi. Many questions remain. More

Flight Of Iran's Critical Voices Shows Joke Isn't Funny Anymore

As many Iranian journalists and bloggers have been arrested in a government crackdown on dissent that began after the presidential election, dozens more have been driven into self-imposed exile abroad. One is Alireza Rezaei, a well-known blogger whose humorous take on even the worst aspects of the postelection protests gained him a wide following. More

Defiant Iranians Celebrate Festival Of Fire Despite Ban

Iranians last night openly challenged Supreme leader Ali Khamenei by taking to the streets for the traditional Festival of Fire, which Khamenei had said has no religious basis and should not be celebrated. More

Year Of 'Patience And Perseverance'

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi has said that the coming new year in Iran will be the year of "patience and perseverance" for the opposition movement. More

Quote Of The Day

"Slowly [the authorities] will ask us not to breath, because they will say antirevolutionary air might get into your lungs." This is a quote from one of our listeners with whom I have been exchanging e-mails for the past several months. She is a young Iranian woman in the capital. More

International News Group Condemns Detention Of Iranian Journalists

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has condemned the continuing imprisonment of Iranian journalist Emad Baghi and what it calls the "repressive measures employed by the state to silence critical publications." More

Iranian-American Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh Reportedly Released On Bail

Iranian opposition websites are reporting that prominent Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh has been released from jail on $500,000 bail. More

The Picture That Was Removed

Iranian blogs and websites are reporting that this picture -- reportedly taken during President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s trip last week to Hormozgan Province -- was removed by the ISNA news agency shortly after being posted. More

Why Is Iran Releasing Some Postelection Detainees?

Several prominent detainees arrested in the wake of Iran's postelection unrest have been freed from prison. But Iranian authorities' motivation in freeing the prisoners remains unclear. More

Who Is Waging War Against God In Iran?

How did Mohammad Amin Valian, a 20-year-old student from Damghan, land in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) infamous Special Detention Center No. 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison? More

UN Torture Envoy Says Concerned About Iran

In the wake of the UN Human Rights Council's recent session on Iran, Manfred Nowak, the UN's special rapporteur on torture, talked about his attempts to visit Tehran and his efforts to make governments around the world take better care of their detainees. More

Afghans, Iranian Honored As 'Women Of Courage'

Ten extraordinary women have been recognized by the U.S. State Department in a ceremony in Washington. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared in person alongside first lady Michelle Obama to praise the group of women that she and her staff have chosen as this year's International Women of Courage. More

Prague's One World Festival Puts Focus On Iran

The One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, which will show over 100 films from 30 countries in Prague from March 10-18, has a special focus on Iran this year. More

Filmmaker Calls For Release Of Jailed Panahi

One of Iran's most prominent filmmakers, Abbas Kiarostami, has called for the release of Jafar Panahi and Mahmoud Rasoulof, two directors recently detained by the Iranian authorities. More

Iranian Women’s Rights Advocate Dedicates Her Prize To Jailed Activist

Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate Shadi Sadr has dedicated her “Women of Courage Award,” given by the U.S. State Department, to jailed human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari. More