May 2008 Archives

Pastor-gate

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For weeks on end Barack Obama had to address the storm of media coverage surrounding controversial comments made by his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Meanwhile anti-Catholic comments made by another pastor, Rev. John Hagee, who supported John McCain, garnered a few headlines. Namely, he had referred to the Catholic Church as "the great whore."
Now McCain said he didn't agree with those comments but at first he didn't disavow Hagee. Finally he did on Thursday and he rejected the pastor’s endorsement.
That was after anti-Semitic comments surfaced that Hagee made in the late 1990s. He suggested God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reached the promised land.



Mark Bittman
As we begin on Sunday our occasional series of editorials on how the food we eat gets to our tables, here is a fascinating speech New York Times food writer Mark Bittman gave last year explaining how we've wound up with the food choices we have today.
Bittman makes an interesting argument that how we eat can put the planet in peril.
At 20 minutes, the speech is a little longer than usual for the Internet, but well worth checking out.
You can also find the speech here.

A cyclone left at least 22,000 dead in Myanmar and the death toll could still climb. More than a million people are now homeless after this natural disaster, and 40,000 are still missing.

But the repressive military junta that has ruled since 1962 is limiting who it accepts aid from to "friendly" countries. President Bush offered help from the U.S. Navy but so far Myanmar isn't accepting.

At BackTalk, we want to highlight some of the better Chicago-themed blogs out there.

We just came across Lee Bey's The Urban Observer, and don't know how we've missed it for so long.

Bey is the executive director of the Chicago Central Area Committee and a former high-ranking official in Mayor Daley's administration.

And he's got a passion for Chicago architecture.

In his blog, he offers up original insights on well known Chicago landmarks.

Cinco De Mayo

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For most people in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a chance to down some tequila shots and Mexican beer. It's like the St. Patrick's Day for Mexican-Americans.
Here it is largely celebrated because of extensive marketing campaigns by beer and tequila companies.
While I'm all for fiestas, I think the holiday has been trivialized.

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