Short Takes: News From All Over: June 10, 2004

Amorous Swedes to Get Emergency Condom Deliveries
By Staff, Reuters
Swedes know they are in for a treat these days when they see the white van featuring a large red condom with wings as its logo pulling up to their doorstep. This sexy, progressive country can now call the condom ambulance in the heat of the moment simply by dialing 696696. Makes sense, since just about everything can be delivered to one’s home at the touch of a few buttons these days. And these products actually do you good. So let’s get it on! — Jacob Wheeler

Institute on Religion and Public Life
By Staff, Institute on Religion and Public Life
Too often religion is cast as the great divider and the cause of global conflict. But the Institute on Religion and Public Life would like to dispel that negative notion in its monthly journal called First Things. Founded in the early 1970s by a liberal, antiwar Lutheran minister turned neocon polemicist named Richard John Neuhaus the institute calls itself an ‘inter-religious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public policy for the ordering of society.’ That’s right, neocon polemics is surely the one true way to global peace. — Jacob Wheeler

Mobilizing Community Concerns Against Mobile Phone Antennas
By Mark Winston Griffith, Gotham Gazette
As Queens-resident Mario Bazzolo discovered last year, the antennas invading the roofs and backyards of his neighborhood had nothing to do with the cable television company, as one of the men working on the roof had claimed. Instead, the eyesores were part of a base station transmitting radio frequency signals for cellular phones. The Astoria community organized around the issue of ‘non-thermal ionizing radiation’ (radiation that does not heat tissue) as a possible health risk, resulting in the possibility of closer regulation of cell phone towers in the future — Jacob Wheeler

Cool Canuck Award: I Am Canadian
By Staff, Molson Canada
Ever wonder how our oft-neglected neighbors to the north feel about the weighty stereotypes we place on their shoulders? Those who call Molson Canadian the local brew can get away with wearing the flag on their backpacks and believe that ‘the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.’ But don’t confuse Canada with Quebec, the land ‘where everyone is shacking up’ and where ‘they believe in the language police, not equal rights.’ — Jacob Wheeler

A Glimpse of the Baghdad Art Scene
By Christopher Allbritton, Back to Iraq
The bloody conflict continues in Iraq. But life and all its beauty goes on, even inside the war zone. Christopher Allbritton who gave us the insider’s story during the uprising in Fallujah through his weblog, Back To Iraq, now tells the endearing tale of the Akkad Gallery — an ‘oasis of calm and culture’ near the Palestine Hotel facing the Tigris River. — Jacob Wheeler

Bush’s Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides
By Doug Thompson, Capital Hill Blue
Is George W. Bush a simple-minded jock who lacks curiosity and foresight or an enraged bull who views every human being as either enemy or friend? Well, the stress of the ‘war on terror’ must be taking its toll on our President. As Doug Thompson reports in Capital Hill Blue, Bush ‘goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as ‘enemies of the state.’ Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.’ Remember that Hitler’s aids didn’t brief him on the Normandy invasion until the following day because they were afraid he would flip his lid! — Jacob Wheeler

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