Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Weekly Reader

Back in elementary school we used to get a weekly publication called the Weekly Reader that highlighted current events for young readers. I'm not sure if that still exists anymore in today's highly connected world, but it was a good forum to introduce young people to the things going on in the broader world. So in honor of the Weekly Reader, here are some stories that have caught my eye recently in current events.

Newsweek's cover story this week focuses on the abduction of the two boys in Missouri by a man who worked in a pizza parlor. The one child had lived with his abductor for four years, had a cell phone, access to the internet, and had even come in contact with police about riding his bike. Yet he never contacted his family or revealed that he had been kidnapped. Obviously the hope here is that the abductor is locked away and the key melted. Interesting read into the situation.


Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty, one of the better sports writers around, has a different take on the latest Cincinnati Bengal to get arrested. This guy is the -- ahem -- ninth (!!) player on the team to be arrested in the past year, this time for marijuana possession. Daugherty tells fans to get off their high horses regarding their indignation:

We give these people all this money. We tell them how great they are. We tell them to go out for three hours a week and commit pointed acts of sanctioned violence. Then we expect them to act like accountants (or sports writers) when they're done. Right.

Is Joseph at fault? If he's guilty, of course he is. Is it worth getting bent about? Only if you like getting bent. Is it Lewis' fault? Of course not. Is it his problem? Definitely.


On the political front, there was a story in a conservative online magazine last week that Barack Obama attended a madrassah (a fundamentalist Muslim school) in Indonesia when he was growing up. The magazine then reported that the Hillary Clinton camp was the source for the story, effectively smearing two Democratic presidential front-runners with one unsubstantiated story. Fox News (aka Faux News) then picked up the story and reported it this week. The story had a deja vu quality to it, taking us back to the Swift Boat days of the last presidential campaign. At least responsible media outlets quickly debunked the claims this time around rather than letting the lies spread -- Washington Post and CNN.


Finally, The Onion still hits it out of the park on the humor front:
Area Family's Trip to New Hampshire Sparks Rumor of Presidential Bid (hat tip to Mr. LeDuc)
Amazon.com Recommendations Understand Area Woman Better Than Husband
J.K. Rowling Ends Harry Potter Series After Discovering Boys

"I know many of you are upset by this news. But Ms. Rowling was tired of devoting herself to something that no longer held her interest—namely, writing books about wizards, flying broomsticks, and candy that jumps. She's a lot older than she was when she wrote the first book. She'd much rather be going to the mall, looking for cute outfits, and talking to the boy with the curly red hair who works at the Hot Sam pretzel shop."


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