Tuesday, December 08, 2009

When you sup with the Devil, you need a long spoon

Bolivia's government sells out its women - cheap:
Good: The Iranian Red Crescent paid $1.2 million to build a hospital in the Bolivian city of El Alto.
Not good: The Iranian government is requiring that the hospital’s female employees, who are mostly Christian, all wear Iranian Muslim-style hijabs. As might be expected, El Alto’s doctors and nurses are livid.

According to local paper La Prensa (Spanish, English translation here), the hospital told potential female applicants that they would be required to wear the hijab during job interviews.

The South American country is in the middle of a national debate over the hospital’s policy. Lourdes Millares of the opposition Podemos party called the hijab-only policy “an assault on the dignity of women” and criticized president Evo Morales for “submission to the rules of another government.” Popular Bolivian television host and gay rights activist Maria Galindo criticized the hospital’s rules as well — she considered it a step backwards into the medieval era.
A lot of prestigious American universities have similarly been gobbling down free food from Muslim tables; how long before we read about dress codes for students enrolling in courses of study bankrolled by Saudi-donated "chairs", or maybe quietly-enforced entrance barriers (i.e., no Jews allowed)?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

False advertising

Winter may be just getting underway, but I have something to help me get through the dark months ahead: the first spring seed catalogue has arrived!

My Dominion Seed House catalogue came in the mail a few days ago, and yesterday I finally settled down to examine it. I usually order something from them every year - they're the source for Chaleur seed potatoes, and I'll probably get some multicoloured swiss chard seeds from them this year, as well as the usual Morning Glory (oh, faint hope!) which I try to grow every year.

We're going to cut back on the potatoes this year, in keeping with garden hygiene; you're not supposed to grow potatoes year after year in the same spot, because the soil can end up harbouring diseases particular to potato plants. So this year, we've decided to try growing corn. My aunts in Victoria grow corn, so I can consult them for advice, and the farms around Ottawa grow lots of corn, so I know the climate is suited to it.

Yesterday I turned to the Corn section in the catalogue to see what varieties we might go for, and as my eye travelled down the page, I stopped at a certain entry. Here it is in the online catalogue: http://www.dominion-seed-house.com/en-CA/ProductList.aspx?CatID=838&PL=1. Looks nice, eh? "Best early variety. High yield. This variety of white pop corn is the one that is best adapted for our northern climate..."

But in the printed catalogue, THIS is what you find:

I don't know if Dominion Seed House is quite prepared for all the orders they're going to receive from Las Vegas and the San Fernando Valley, nor for the complaints that are sure to follow: "Hey, I swallowed them and I inserted them, and nothing happened! I want my money back!"