"In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families.
"The Bush marriage initiative would emphasize the importance of marriage to poor couples" and "educate teens on the value of delaying childbearing until marriage," Gallagher wrote in National Review Online, for example, adding that this could "carry big payoffs down the road for taxpayers and children."
But Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal. Her work under the contract, which ran from January through October 2002, included drafting a magazine article for the HHS official overseeing the initiative, writing brochures for the program and conducting a briefing for department officials."
"Lek looks nervously at the Patong sea shore as he describes the passengers who climbed into his tuk tuk minivan late at night on 6 January.
"Go to Kata Beach", the seven foreign tourists told him, after agreeing on a 200 baht fee.
He drove a while, but then felt numb all over his body.
Looking around he saw the cab was empty. He had had what he thinks was an encounter with the ghosts that many say are haunting the beaches and resorts on Thailand's Andaman coast." - Tony Cheng, BBC News
I am in love with Star Trek. Ever since discovering it in its original run back in the '60's (in my youth), I have always look to it for a vision of the future that I wanted to come to pass - one of space travel and understanding, with an occasional inter-stellar war thrown in to keep it interesting. In my darkest moments, Star Trek was my light. At my highest points, Star Trek was my wings. When all hope was gone, Star Trek was straight on till morning.
But all things that have a beginning, have an end, and tonight the end comes for Star Trek. In my opinion, the end has been coming since the last episode of Deep Space Nine when Captain Sisko ascended to sit with the Prophets of the Bajorin worm hole. That story arc was one of the best in science fiction ever, and it proved impossible to top in the Star Trek lineage. Voyager barely limped home, while Enterprise, a good idea at the start, has been running on empty for most of its almost 4 years on television.
While my Trek universe was imploding, however, another was just being born. The SciFi channel brought Stargate SG-1 back from the brink, and then used it to learn what to give the science fiction audience. It had its own great cult hit, Farscape, which it ended before the series ran out of story lines, keeping its audience hungry for more. It has done mini-series and mini-movies and kept learning and tonight, with what the network bills as the biggest night of scifi ever, it puts Star Trek out of its misery.
I will be on the SciFi channel tonight for Stargate Atlantis, now entering its second season as a majorly smart extension of the Stargate universe. I will stay on board for Battlestar Galactica, perhaps the best thing on since the original Trek; a great re-working of the '70's original that has kept every viewer on the edge of their seats, even though we already know how its going to turn out. Star Trek's Enterprise, which will be opposite these shows on Fridays, will be lucky to move the rating needle a point or two, and that is how it should be. Tonight, on the biggest night of scifi ever, Star Trek makes way for its children and another generation of science fiction fans will be born.
"Here's the nub of my worry, as Bush & Co. begin their second term: If they confuse rigidity with resolve, and refuse to learn from their mistakes because they fear it would be a sign of weakness, they are going to get the country into real trouble. Because they have mostly been promoted from within, the members of the second-term team are especially in need of reality checks from outside -- even rude or awkward ones. If they take offense at such challenges and treat public scrutiny as a personal affront, they won't be successful. It's as simple as that." - David Ignatius, The Washington Post
"I am trying to find someone I know," said Esther Brunstein, 76, a native of Lodz, Poland, who lived in the notorious ghetto as a child from 1940 to 1944, before she and her mother were taken to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. Of the more than 200,000 people who lived in the Lodz ghetto, only 5 percent or fewer are thought to have survived the war. "Here, look," she said, "someone is selling something on a scale, perhaps a little medicine, a little food."
"But I won't look at many more," she said as her magnifying glass rested on the face of a beaming toddler. "You see, when I see the face of a child like this, and then you know he did not survive."
- from an article in The New York Times by Lizette Alvarez on the work of photographer Henryk Ross.
President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.
"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."
"In Japan," she said, "the idea of focusing on a small aspect of something and then exploding it into many possibilities is an appealing notion, in both life and aesthetics. Working in a limited set and not letting it inhibit you but allowing it to take you to another level is part of the pleasure. Think about using just ink and paper instead of the whole palette of colors and media in painting; in the same way, the limits of cooking with plants force me to be more creative, to explode, almost into infinity, all of the possibilities." - Mark Bittman talking with chef Yumiko Kano