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September 29, 2008

Gas attack at Dayton, Ohio mosque

Daily Kos: Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After "Obsession" DVD Hits Ohio

The attack followed the distribution of an anti-Muslim scare DVD throughout the midwest.

"She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

"The paramedic said the young one was in shock, and gave her oxygen to help her breathe. The child couldn't stop sobbing.

"This didn't happen in some far away place -- but right here in Dayton, and to my friends. Many of the Iraqi refugees were praying together at the Mosque Friday evening. People that I know and love.

"I am hurt and angry. I tell her this is NOT America. She tells me this is not Heaven or Hell -- there are good and bad people everywhere.

"She tells me that her daughters slept with her last night, the little one in her arms and sobbing throughout the night. She tells me she is afraid, and will never return to the mosque, and I wonder what kind of country is this where people have to fear attending their place of worship?

September 27, 2008

Paul Newman has died

Pete Goes (Anti)Ballistic

September 25, 2008

Polls find that people with landlines are more conservative

collision detection: Poll: Young people who use landlines are more conservative than those who use mobile phones

Which means that polls that rely on calling people with landlines will skew conservatively. Which is most polls these days.

Are young people who use landlines more conservative than young people who use mobile phones?

Apparently so, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The Pew project recently got interested the question of whether the explosive growth of mobile phones is making traditional polls irrelevant. Political polls generally only use landlines to collect their data, but young people — classified as those “under 30” — are more and more foregoing landlines in favor of using only a mobile phone. (As my last blog entry documented, only 1% of incoming students at Amherst college have a landline.) Since young people are also much more likely to be Democratic, the armchair critique is that traditional landline polls underreport Democratic support across the country, and overreport Republican support.

September 24, 2008

"I Am A Peasant Girl" blogs the reality of the life of the rural Chinese

Peasant Girl: My Life Is Miserable Because I Am Poor | chinaSMACK

Spoiler Alert: being poor in China really, really sucks.

I was born in a remote hamlet in the north of China. I have heard from someone, who never been to the genuine villages, that the countryside is very nice. But in fact, no public road was built and the nearest bus stop is 20 kilometres away, so we always had to walk on foot or ride a bicycle to get out of the village. The street in the village was made of soil and was not flat. On a sunny day, wind with sound and soil blew you. On a rainy day, rain with the mud poured you. The mud on the road was added with shit from animals raised by villagers, because animals always shit on the road but not in their own country yard to keep it tidy and clean.

No fresh vegetables were supplied to the villagers in the whole year because only radishes and cabbage were planted there. It also had sweet potato, if that is a vegetable. So, as dishes, what they could have were only salted radishes and cabbage. Some may ask, why did we not fry? The truth was that there was not much cooking oil for frying because of poverty, so fried dishes were always rare for them except in the case of Spring Festival or when some relatives come for dinner. I remember I had my first “you tiao” [a fried bread stick] in the dining hall at my university.

And health care was not ensured either. Take my grandpa for example, he couldn’t help but wait for death once he fell sick. After he was sent to the hospital ran by the State, they refused to diagnose my grandpa even though we knelt down begging them to cure him. The reason was simply because we did not have 2 yuan for medicine. We could do nothing but see my grandpa die in the hospital. Some may say that the countryside is developing these days. But the truth is that there has been almost no change for my village since I was born. I really cannot say whether change will happen or not in my life.