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MINING THE HUMANE WAY
Love, Peace and Frogs - that is the slogan, reproduced countless times on T-Shirts, Mugs, bracelets and bags. All available in the gift store of the Rainforest Cafe. In Chicago there is one gigantic Rainforest Cafe which seems to be basically a theme-parked food chain in front of the hotel. I wandered around the block, as I am kind of sick, and for the sake of my room-mate, i wanted to give the cleaning lady time and space to put the room in order.
This going to be cheesy, corny, drippy, sugary... No apologies, you have been warned.
Its real name is 'Cloud Gate', but people commonly refer to it as 'The Egg'. It's a beautiful sculpture in the middle of Millenium Park, in Chicago, and on its smooth, silvery, mirror-like surface you can see reflected the sky, the city and... well, you.
Published in The Australian newspaper, October 1
JORGE Ramos has a simple explanation for the intense political spotlight being shone on the US Hispanic community. "They need us," he says, pointing out that to become president, a candidate needs about 11 million Hispanic votes.
Ramos is the charismatic frontman for Univision, the Miami-based Spanish-language television network that is now the fifth largest in the nation.
As most of my traveling fellows probably also noticed, congressmen, liberal journalists as well as university professors often complain about the polarization of the american society. (Not only in terms of political views, but also considering regional, religious and social differences, though let us here concentrate on the political divide.) We met a bunch of left-leaning thinkers, who kept arguing that the GOP moved further to the right than ever before, particularly considering their views on social issues.
There’s a fairy tale with a line that goes “If your mother only knew, her heart would surely break in two.” Well, that’s the line that popped into my mind the first time I ate a Nathan’s hotdog. We were at the Miami airport, tired and hungry, waiting to take the flight to Tampa, Florida. There were only three food outlet options, but one look at the “Nathan’s famous hotdog” stand and it immediately conjured up these tantalizing images – a juicy frankfurter, adorned with fried onions, two or three thin slices of tomato, some fresh green lettuce, and perhaps a bit of mustard and chilli.
The immigration in United States has always attracted my attention, particularly by the fact it has been since 1965 mostly a product of the Latin-American region, where a come from. And one of the aspects I consider more interesting is the demographic changings it is provoking in the US for the long term.
"I'm so sick of these questions. I live in Kabul and I'm not in danger all the time. People don't get that we are civilized and smart people. All the time they are just like, hey, wha's the security situation in Afghanistan."
So spoke the Afghan guy who I recently talked with in Muscatine, Iowa.
There is no middle ground in the US. Or at least it seems like that from an European perspective. In Europe, we have a lot of middle ground. We call it: taxes. Because, even if the government does want to behave people in a certain way, they tend to leave your choices open, but they will try to make your decision easier by adding taxes on undesired products.
Tobacco is not only not healthy but also a cash cow for the government. The country of our Finnish fellow Olavi taxes for instance the life out of liquor.
I've been talking about this guy, Jorge Ramos, for two days, so I thought I might as well write my blog about him.
There could be few journalists more influential. Last week President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney came down to Miami to be grilled by him. I can't imagine there are too many journalists in the US that have that kind of pulling power.