Thursday, July 14, 2011

165,000,000: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Repercussions on Society

What is the 165,000,000?  That is what we learn in the new non-fiction book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl.   The number is the number of female fetuses aborted in Asia  due to sex selection.  That's more than the current female population in the US.  Now hold your horses.  This isn't a blog on the word  that begins with "A".  I don't go there.  It's like trying to win an argument about who should be the US president.  But, what I did find interesting in this book is that there is a whole heck of a lot going on out there that needs to be known.  Let me see if I can give the book its due justice. The author, Ms Hvistendahl, is pro choice.  What she is interested in and concerned about is...the future of girls in the world.  What I know:  Because of China's overpopulation, they had instituted a 1 child per family policy, that the Chinese family prefers to have sons, that India is overpopulated, that women in Indian society, because of a lack of dowry paid in full,  have often been killed and that the US upholds Roe V Wade. What I didn't know was the extend to which sex selection abortions occurred and I didn't know the involvement of the Western world in causing this phenomena.  Read more...11467568

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Horse Race Like You've Never Seen

Like horse racing? Well, this is a horse race you have never seen before. The horses are blessed in their local churches before the race. The jockeys ride bareback and can knock each other off their horses. They can use trickery. And a riderless horse can win. If a riderless horse wins, the knocked off jockey can challenge the offender to a fist fight. The Kentucky Derby is a lightweight compared to the bi-annual Palio horse race in Siena, Italy. We had the good fortune of traveling to Italy for a wedding which was held in Siena during the Palio. We had found a great villa on that was not far from town, was AIR CONDITIONED as well as having internet and satellite TV. The owner really knew how to cater to Americans. It was really an old barn that had been converted into a stand alone villa. Now you may scoff at us wanting these luxuries. Many stayed in more traditional villas with the thick walls and ancient history, but they were constantly hot (it was July after all) and the bathrooms were like shower stalls.  But, we were within walking distance of a grocery store and a great local restaurant (no one spoke English). But, let’s go back to the horse race. Read more...