Traveling far away from home is bad

Well, I didn’t make it to Victoria, BC, for a number of reasons, the final clincher being that I couldn’t find my passport or two other kinds of government-issued ID. I’m sure it was boring anyway; just a bunch of archaeologists talking about cool stuff they found, not to mention historical studies of cultural land use. 😦
Since I couldn’t get my academic fix this weekend, I’ll try to get one here: I’m surprising myself about the whole Texas polygamist raid and the issues that are stemming from it. Usually I am dead set against any form of domestic or child abuse, and treating women unfairly, and am all for taking kids and women out of bad situations. However, I think taking over 400 kids away from their mothers and the only society they’ve ever known and first locking them up in a sports arena and then separating them into different foster homes borders on child abuse itself, and certainly negligence at the bare minimum. It was really irresponsible of the Feds to handle the situation the way they did, and while there are no easy answers in a situation like this, there had to be a better one than the one they chose. Maybe arrest and remove the men who are dominating these women and children? Argh!
Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter.


My teddy bear was named Meano

I am curious to see how other people feel about the controversy surrounding the woman in Sudan who allowed her students to vote for the name “Muhammed” for the class teddy bear. People were calling for her execution, and frankly she was lucky to make it out of Sudan.

First off, I agree that it was culturally insensitive to name the teddy bear, an animal and an icon, after the prophet. However, I think the Sudanese people’s reaction to this has been completely overblown and should not have escalated as far as it did. It reminds me a lot of the Netherlands cartoon fiasco that happened a little over a year ago.

Just a random thought here, but what I find interesting is that the students didn’t seem to think naming the bear Muhammed was all that offensive. Is it possible that they did not see the teddy bear as an animal or a simple icon but as something a little more real? Kids have the amazing ability to have a gray area of reality/pretend where teddy bears can have feelings, the child is a super-hero, there really is a dragon they have to kill everyday on the way home from school, etc. This aspect of childhood is one we cherish looking back on as grown-ups, and yet at the same time scold children for “pretending” and not seeing things “as they are,” and then there are events like this that take something very innocent and playful and – pardon my impartiality here – completely trash it! It’s just sad that childhood has become so charged with grown-up problems. Don’t even get me started on the poor kids who can’t play outside for fear of being shot.