Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Having trouble controlling how big the portions are in your evening meal?  You can get portion control dinnerware. This divides your plate up into three portions; you then put a certain amount of each food item in each section of the plate, and voila! instant self-control.  And if you're an eco-friendly person, these plates come in fully compostable versions, so you can dump 'em straight in the compost at the end of your picnic.  If there's a compost available.  The plates apparently provide 'portion control with a conscience.'  Right.

And talking of control, in Saudi Arabia, a Lebanese man was sentenced to 300 lashes with a whip and six years in prison for his role in helping a Saudi woman convert to Christianity and flee the kingdom in the latest example of the religious intolerance that grips the region.

I'm not sure how many people would survive 300 lashes.  His offsider, a Saudi man, received 200 lashes. I'm also not sure how you convince the Saudis that 'freedom of religion is an internationally recognised human right' as Joe Pitts, the representative for the Helsinki Commission and Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, claims. Islam is not fundamentally a religion of tolerance; expecting it to suddenly become one is probably like banging your head against a brick wall repeatedly. 
Control is something human beings have a leaning towards: North Korea is an example of a different kind of religious control (though of course we all know, don't we, that Communism isn't a religion?). Try to be anything but a Communist in that country and you're either executed or sent off to the North Korean equivalent of Siberia.  But I think there's more likely to be some change of stance in North Korea than in the world of Islam.  If Albania, the most Communist nation in the world, can revert to normality, then North Korea can.  It's a matter of time - perhaps waiting to see the old warlords die off. 

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