Passing by and saying hi!

buenos aires forest

Hi guys just passing by!

The last couple of weeks have been super busy for me and I’m still on such a busy schedule. Jaime (my husband) will be going back and forth to Vancouver for his job (he works as a financial consultant). We;ve actually toyed around with the idea of moving back to Vancouver if his job requires him to be moving back and forth for the whole of 2015. I’ve contacts in Vancouver still so I can easily get back into the homeopathic profession in Vancouver, that’s not a problem. However, I seriously dislike the weather in Vancouver and believe it or not, that is a serious ‘off putting’ issue for me. It’s so serious that even my husband understands it and would back me aainst moving to Vancouver 😀 (I love him to pieces!)

So my plan is to try to post in my blog as time allows. I’m just amazed at how the internet works and the immense possibilities it offers. Just the other day, we had a web designer come into our office showing us some of the web designs for our clinic that he had drafted for our site and I was completely amazed with how the website was going to look. I don’t know about you but I still have in my mind the designs from back in the late nineties when it was all pure HTML and ugly designs LOL Luckily my husband was able to set up this blog for me as I’m still a newbie when it comes to the internet world! I’m trying to get better though.

So that’s it for today. I’ll try to see if I can take pictures of the printed drafts I took of the designs that we were given and I’ll post them here. Unfortunately I don’t have the actual files so I can’t just upload them here. Plus they were in some weird file extension I had never heard of in my life – take me out of the usual JPG files and I’m lost :-)

Oh by the way, I ended buying the cordless hair clipper I mentioned in my other post and my hubby loved it! He also got me a beautiful golden bracelet with our initials which I of course loved too! :-)

Best hair clippers to buy for my husband?

hair-clipper

With Valentine’s day almost here, I’ve decided to buy my husband a hair clipper. He has a lot of curly hair and I have been trying to convince him to get a buzz cut. He used to have a buzz cut hairstyle when he was young and it just looked so great! But I haven’t been able to convince him to get a buzz cut… yet :-)

So as a woman, I am familiar with hairstyling tools like hair dryers and flat irons, but hair clippers? I don’t think my hairstylist has ever used one on my hair. We do see quite a few young women here in Buenos Aires with that Miley Cyrus haircut. I think they call it the undercut hairstyle. Or something like that.

I like to use the internet to get the best information on products so I looked around for information on the best hair clippers. I could not find any serious advice on hair clippers until I found this great hair clippers guide from a curly hair guy called Rogelio (that’s a Latin name by the way but he seems to only write in English). The hair clippers guide was good enough for me to make a decision but it wasn’t just the guide itself. I was actually surprised to see a man create a blog about curly hair! I read some other guides in the blog and I could not believe a man would know so much about hair. He has a hair shampoo guide and even a men’s hair products guide with men’s hair products and unisex hair products that I use regularly like pomade and since the advice in those guides was great compared to my own findings, I decided to trust the advice on hair clippers from Rogelio.

OK so when I said that I made up my mind to buy a hair clipper, I was really saying made up my mind to buy any of the two following hair clippers according to the hair clipper guide. I will order any of the two probably tomorrow or the day after so it gets here on time, so if any of you know which is the best hair clipper, then just post your advice as a blog comment.

The first hair clipper is called Andis and it is cordless. I take it that cordless means that you don’t have to plug the hair clipper at all to use it right? The model is BGRC+ and in the hair clippers guide, it actually says that this one is the best cordless hair clipper.

The second hair clipper is called Oster and it does have a cable to work. It is cheaper than the Andis hair clipper. I guess this is because of the lithium battery as I know those batteries are expensive for hair styling tools. The model of the hair clipper with the cable is Oster Classic 76.

One thing I didn’t know was that hair clippers could be so expensive. A hair dryer is about 30 dollars in the United States and Amazon. A flat iron is a little bit more, about 50 dollars. Yet a hair clipper is 150 dollars? What are they made of, gold? The price seems excessive to me but I read that cheap hair clippers break after some weeks so I want to buy my hubby something that lasts until the next Valentine’s day at least LOL

I think I’m going to go with the cordless hair clipper as I think it’s the best hair clipper. Please post a comment if you know more on which are the best hair clippers!

Does Tintin hide political messages?

foto4Tintin has some degree of sophistication, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

I don’t think there are too many “hidden” messages in Tintin.

Take for example, the mythical countries Syldavia and Borduria. Now it is well known that Syldavia represents a Baltic state and Borduria represents Nazi Germany. I think that the author was not a Nazi supporter (as many people have argued) but he is deeply sympathetic towards the victims.

I think during the period of the War, he was forced to be neutral and so could not make strong political statements in his books.

But yes. Tintin does carry political messages in many books (see Picaros for instance). And these messages are very relevant in our time. Tintin is for the oppressed and the weak and anti-authority in most parts.

I just don’t think that Hergé really intended to put as much meaning into his works as the creators of Asterix, Goscinny and Uderzo did.

I think Goscinny and Uderzo are much bolder and more tongue-in-cheek when it comes to parody.

An outlook on Judaism from personal experience

devisita

I was reading a private bulletin board the other day when I read a very interesting post about Judaism. I don’t really want to get too personal with my blog but I will say that I am Jewish. We have a strong Jewish community in Buenos Aires and in other places like Mar del Plata. I actually moved to Vancouver because I had some Jewish family members there and it was a smooth move. I will admit that I am not very religious. I respect it and try to be as good as I can, but I am not a participant of this faith or any other faith. Still I wanted to share this interesting reading on Judaism. It’s private and posted by someone I know so I was given the OK to post it in my blog.

Today represents the 360th anniversary of the arrival of the first Jews to North America – Arrival Day. Coincidentally, tonight I will be attending the final nominations committee of Geshercity – Boston a volunteer driven organization with the mission of trying to connect young Jewish adults to the greater Jewish community. As it turns out, this last meeting will mark my final act as the chair of Geshercity-Boston; after 3 years of sitting on the Geshercity-Jewish Interaction board, you’re automatically put out to pasture. It’s an odd feeling realizing that I’ll no longer be a part of Geshercity – I’ve been part of the organization for at least 5 years. In fact, I would describe myself as a Geshercity success story: I had no connection with the Boston Jewish community prior to becoming involved with Geshercity. However, as the organization’s name suggests, Geshercity is but a bridge to the Jewish community, and although I’ve taken the scenic route in crossing it, this part of the journey is finished. I must now decide what to do next.

I specifically chose to describe my time at Geshercity as part of a journey back to the Jewish community because it has indeed been a long road, and it isn’t finished. I grew up in a predominately Catholic section on Long Island, and as you might imagine most of my friends were not Jewish. To be sure, a significant portion of my friends were Jewish, but that was more of a function of geographic coincidence (we lived pretty close to each other), rather than, say synagogue membership or youth group attendance. Indeed, I always felt that the forced socialization of Jewish kids to be contrived. I did attend Hebrew school, which was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. (The material was interesting but the kids were mostly intolerable.) I hated the local youth groups for their cliquish ways and I never wanted to attend “Jewish camp.” Why should I want to hang out with a bunch of snotty Jewish kids when I already had my friends – Jewish and goyish. One might say that I was a well assimilated American Jew.
This is not to say, I never encountered anti-Semitism – I still remember being called a “Jew Boy” by some Italian kid in second grade – but this, like the other few events were pretty minor.

My anti-contrived Jewish socialization continued through college. I tried becoming a part of the Hillel, but I just didn’t feel at home, although I make use of the Hillel for High Holiday services and for Passover meals. Indeed, the Hillel was instrumental in fighting the Claremont Colleges for the right to use a never used kitchen to prepare kosher for Passover meals. The resistance the Hillel met was testimony to how un-Jewfriendly the Claremont colleges were at the time, but that’s a whole other story for another time. Besides, I didn’t have much time for Jews or Judaism – I had problem sets to complete and exams to prepare for.

I had the same attitude when I started grad school, but eventually my attitude started to change. Some of the change was prompted by the reaction to a couple of fellow students in my early grad school classes. Both of them were orthodox and during the High Holidays and Passover, they took off several days, missing several classes. This prompted some grumbling from on professor in particular and this grumbling proceeded to irk me. These two weren’t taking off time to go frolic on a vacation – they were being true to their religion and culture. I suspect the professor’s attitude was a function of the inability to grasp that someone could consider something other than his class to take priority. Looking back at it now, I see the reaction as an example of the intellectual elite’s tendency to dismiss and denigrate religion. But at the time, I saw it as an example of Jews being misunderstood in America.

Nevertheless, my contact with fellow Jews during my early grad school years was minimal. It wasn’t a conscious decision per se – although I never sought out Jews, I never actively avoided them. I hung out with my non-Jewish friends, dated non-Jewish women and was pretty happy – except around Jewish holiday time. My lack of Jewish friends left me decidedly alone on the Jewish holidays (if nothing else, the Jewish religion is a very social one). After several of these holidays I decided to seek out fellow Jews. Eventually, I found Geshercity Boston and, as they say, the rest is history.

So what does this have to do with Arrival Day? 350 years after the arrival of the first Jew in America, in many respects, the American Jewish community has, for lack of a better word, arrived. Jews have become an integral part of the social, political, cultural, and intellectual fabric of America. We can generally walk around without any fear of being beaten, harassed or discriminated against. However, lately, things appear to be changing. The internet is rife with anti-Semitism, some blatant, some less so. Indeed, take a look at any forum that allows anonymous posting and you’ll find plenty of anti-Semitism. Given the safety of internet anonymity, people will reveal their true colors. With the recent “Israeli spy” scandal, accusations of Jewish dual loyalty have resurfaced, and even if the suspected mole, Larry Franklin, isn’t Jewish, he sure talks like them.. The Passion of the Christ, a movie that, at best, paints Jews in an unsympathetic light, recently became one of the highest grossing movies of all time in the US, (thanks in no small part to Abe Foxman’s big mouth). The list goes on.

In these times, American Jews need each other, and yet our numbers are dwindling. Judaism and Jewish culture are seen as burdens rather than gifts. Indeed my friend’s Jewish co-workers were actively rooting for a new hire not to be an orthodox Jew. This shouldn’t be. Judaism, in its strictest form, is a difficult religion to follow, but that shouldn’t mean it should be tossed aside as an inconvenience. Jewish culture should not be something to be embarrassed about. Members of minority of groups find themselves identifying more and more with their culture, and we Jews would do well to do the same. If we do not, there will be precious few of us to celebrate Arrival day in 2354.

Kill a terrorist and thus instigate more terrorism?

hellokitty

This is the story the left is telling now – that killing terrorists only makes more terrorists. In their minds, killing a terrorist insurgent is like lifting a bucket of water out of the ocean. It makes no appreciable difference in what’s left. But that’s not true. Terrorism isn’t a constantly-refilling ocean. It does have boundaries, and while we are unlikely to scour every terrorist out of every place in the world, we can drain their swamp until it’s a mostly dry ditch with a few pockets of festering rot.

When I lecture on sentencing, one question I always ask my students is this: What correctional response has the least likelihood of recidivism among those who receive it? The answer is “the death penalty”. I do think it serves a deterrent purpose, but that’s hard to measure so it’s not easily proven. What I know unequivocally is that none of those executed have committed another crime. You can discuss the fairness vs unfairness of it all you want, but that is an unquestionable fact.

The same is true of a terrorist. If you kill a terrorist, he’s not going to terrorize anyone else. If you kill enough of them, you limit their ability to spread their deadly poison both ideologically and geographically.

Another thing Spencer neglects to point out (or maybe even think about) is that many of the “innocent civilians” are killed by terrorists. The families know that, and they also know that if the coalition were to pull out of Iraq, the result would be another Saddam-like regime full of even more killing and oppression. The choice isn’t between death and no death, it’s between some death now/freedom later and death now/death later/freedom never.

Naturally Spencer, and the left in general, offer no solution to the problem of terror. The anti-war types would be sheep to slaughter for the terrorists if it weren’t for hard people doing hard tasks to keep them safe. If we ceded to the Islamist fanatics what they require before they will put down their arms, it would be nothing less than control of the entire world under Taliban-like rule. Where short of that scenario would the anti-war left draw the line and agree to use arms? Unless they admit to a willingness to live under radical Islamist rule without fight, then their drawing a line now is nothing but hypocritical posturing. There is no other option than to fight or surrender.

As for the effect of the Iraq war on terrorism in general, we’ve not seen a major terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. And I think Bush, his policies and his administration deserve the credit. Certainly the left has done nothing but make matters worse, and give constant succor to the enemy.

Exercising the right of Free Speech

libertystatue

I just sent this email to the local NBC affiliate station in Birmingham, which was one of the places I lived at while in the USA. It’s the best local news, in terms of both quality and professionalism. We’ll see if it gets a response.

Fran and Mike, I haven’t seen every newscast lately, so forgive me if you’ve covered this and I missed it. Apparently the University of Alabama Faculty Senate passed a resolution last fall that would limit free speech on UA’s campus, under the guise of promoting “tolerance”. It’s something that’s happened in several universities, and students are pushing back. At UA, the Student Senate has repudiated the Faculty Senate’s resolution, and passed a resolution of its own some time ago on the 24th February seeking to protect free speech at the university, even speech that some people don’t like (the link includes the names of the students responsible for the resolution).

The student newspaper wrote about the Faculty Resolution and objections to it back in November. Thus the decision on an actual campus policy would of course be made by the administration.

Two UA professors. Charles W. Nuckolls and David T. Beito, provide some context in an article about the similarities between the Faculty Senate’s resolution and segregation supporters in the 1950s (I won’t quote it here in case putting links in this email has it sent to the junk folder). But you get the idea.

Todd Zywicki, a law professor at George Mason University, has written about it on the his Volokh blog, with several links with more information including incidences at other universities. Feel free to ask me for the links in your reply.

Randy Barnett, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Law at the Boston University School of Law and another contributor to the Volokh blog, also wrote about it.

The organization FIRE – – which has been involved in free speech tussles on other campuses, has a press release and other information on it. Just do a search on any search engine for it as it’s a press release that was syndicated to plenty of online news resources.

As journalists, I know you understand how crucial free speech is to our democracy – it is absolutely fundamental. While good people never like to see innocent people harmed, at the same time we must protect *all* speech in principle or we become subject to the whims of those who would limit speech to what they approve of. That may seem okay when those in power agree with your own views, but it becomes untenable quickly when they disagree with you. And whose definition of “hate” do you use? For example, the UA Faculty Senate resolution arose from a comedian making remarks about homosexuality during his performance on campus. The FS want to prevent that kind of thing in the future. But there are many people in Alabama who believe that homosexuality is un-scriptural – people who would never ever seek to harm someone because of their sexual preference, who believe the violence is just as wrong as they believe the homosexual behavior to be. The Faculty Senate want “hate” speech prohibited at all university functions. Would a religious club meeting on campus be thus prevented from discussing Biblical views on homosexuality because some people would consider it hate speech? It’s not a far-fetched possibility – a Swedish minister was sentenced to jail for preaching from the pulpit against homosexuality. The sentence was later reversed:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17496-2005Feb11.html

Would discussions of the gay marriage amendments that are under consideration in various states across the country also be restricted because of the Faculty Senate resolution, especially if a group on campus supported it? It’s a real question. And I think parents across Alabama would be interested to learn about this from your news station, because it’s about their children and their children’s education. Are their children being taught to hear *all* sides and evaluate their reasonableness based on some rational criteria? Or are they being taught to “Listen to us, we won’t allow you to be bothered by dissenting ideas” by the Faculty, rather than encouraged to think on their own?

You can’t limit speech because someone’s views make someone else feel uncomfortable or even intimidated. The answer to “hate speech” is not politically correct resolutions, but more speech denouncing it from all sides. Less is *not* more when it comes to speech. Less is dangerous.

As a former journalist and aspiring academic myself, I find the concept of a “university faculty” officially seeking to limit speech on a college campus almost incomprehensible. What happened to the importance of debating competing ideas? And what kind of deadening effect would this have on journalism, if opposing viewpoints on controversial subjects were suppressed by law or resolution?

I encourage you to look into this and report on it at NBC 13. And just so you know, I am not connected to FIRE or anyone I’ve linked above. I’ve just been following this situation from personal interest, and wanted to encourage you to think on it.

And thank you for the fine work you do at NBC 13. It’s the only television news I watch on a regular basis despite being thousands of miles away. The rest of my news I get online.

Have a great day. Elena Amha.

I also included my phone number, but I don’t think I’ll post that nor do I think they’ll be phoning all the way to Argentina! Maybe they’ll Skype? :-)

When news aren’t really news

It appears that 60 Minutes just can’t help themselves, like an alcoholic reeling into another bender. Sunday night they presented a story on Emmett Till, a young black man in Mississippi murdered in 1955 whose murderers were found not guilty at trial. Historians believe that this case sparked the active phase of the civil rights movement, but two of them who know the case extremely well don’t think 60 Minutes did an accurate or even honest job of covering it.

The historians who wrote this, David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito, briefly outline what 60 Minutes got wrong, and clearly establish that 60 Minutes had the information that proved what the truth was. They chose not to use it, and, according to the Beitos brothers, instead made unsubstantiated claims they made no effort to definitively support. The Beitos had even made the same point earlier, before 60 Minutes got involved.

I’ll pause a moment for you to recover from the shock of CBS knowingly overstating or even making up their case.

I hope this rebuttal becomes known widely, as another nail in the coffin. In this case, what Glenn Reynolds calls a “generalized demonstration of non-ideological incompetence”, it would seem that there’s no explanation other than just that – incompetence. But I think there’s more. It has to do with the media’s purpose, especially in today’s society, which is more reflective of the yellow journalism period of William Randolf Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer than the staid neutral legacy journalism that they all claim to practice. It is encompassed in two words: entertainment imperative.

Or, to give it more detail: They have to tell good stories to hang on to or win viewers/readers, the customers they use to sell advertising. The journalists would be overcome with haughty shock if you accused them of trying to win “customers”, but they have the same goal if for (somewhat) different reasons: The greater their audience, the higher their status. The more provocative and sensational their stories, the more they feel they are “real” journalists, digging up dirt and knocking the world’s socks off.

The issue of audience for money and status is often at odds with the issue of accurate, measured journalism. A program digging through the President’s newest budget in great detail will have fewer viewers than yet another show talking about the Scott Peterson case. A show on the Scott Peterson case that has NEW DETAILS!! will have more viewers than a show that rehashes the old details – although the NEW DETAILS!! may be nothing of any importance or even germane to the trial. The show will make the case that their “scoop” is important, at least until they can get another one. The goal is not accuracy, or giving the public information need, but simply one of entertainment drama.

I think that’s what happened with 60 Minutes: It’s a lot more dramatic, in their judgment, to say “12 involved! 5 still alive!” than whatever the truth is. I’m sure they have some foundation for those specific numbers, however shaky, but it’s certainly nothing that stands the scrutiny of historians. And we see that they can’t even claim, in this case, that their research was inadequate – it’s very clear they just ignored it. How do you explain that away?

My new medicine box

Will you believe it? I was able to purchase on Ebay a really cool box (I don’t know the real name in English lol) for some of my homeopathic collection of medicines. I collect the old homeopathic medicines as a hobby, so I am always looking for accessories for it.

Pretty cool. It costed me 80 dollars including shipping fees.

medicines

7 things about me

in the cafe

I would like to officially start my blog by posting some random things about me so you can get to know me better! :-) You can also read the page about me (this page) if you want to know more.

I am a vegetarian

I feel that there is no need for meat in my diet or in the human diet, for that matter. I do believe in eating dairy but only from sources where the animals are treated ethically.

I wanted to be a veterinarian

I wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age (are there any girls who don’t?!). I come from a humble background and going to the closest veterinarian school was too expensive. So after 18 I worked for some years, saved enough money and then applied for homeopathic school. The best decision I ever made!

My favorite city is Paris

I really love Paris. It’s so beautiful and enchanting. There are some parts of Buenos Aires with the same type of architecture as Paris, and obviously those parts of the city are my favorite too because of how it looks like Paris.

in paris

My favorite music band is Depeche Mode

I don’t think this needs any explaining at all. They just rock!

My hair is naturally curly

This is a well kept secret of mine as only a few people know this. I have very curly hair and it gets tangled all the time so I keep it straightened all the time.

I am obsessed with hair

I find myself in my free time browsing websites and magazines for hairstyles and haircuts. Since my hair is straightened permanently with keratin, I need to be very careful with my hair care.

I am married and have two sons

This goes for the couple of creepy emails I already got from some men with too much time in their hands. I am happily married with a wonderful husband and we have the most precious gifts God could give us! :-)