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Melantrys’ Page » Blog Archive » hijab or not hijab

hijab or not hijab


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Without a doubt the Muslim headscarf - or hijab - has been used as a symbol of oppression and inequality through the ages. Fundamental Islamistic states have forced their women to hide their hair and often their faces as well from the outside world, whether those women wanted to be “protected” that way or not. This was and is wrong. Every person has to have the right to wear - or in fact, not wear - what he or she pleases.

This misuse of the hijab is what remains in people’s heads most strongly though. Even I have to admit that I have a certain feeling of… reservation towards this symbol.

But we should not forget that it is also a religious symbol.

Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish state, wanted the Turkish women to have equality. One way of achieving this was for him to forbid the hijab, declaring Turkey to be a secular state.
Today there’s a move by some of Turkey’s politicians to try and reverse this, but they will face some major difficulties.

This November the European Court for Human Rights in Straßburg/Strasbourgh rejected the suit of a 32-year-old medical student who had been forced to leave her studies at a university in Istanbul.
The court argued that the ban of the hijab was not against the basic rights to education and religious freedom.
In their decision the judges referred to the protection of democracy and pluralism and the equality of the sexes. Yet they admitted that the plaintiff had been barred from showing her religiousness and from taking part in lectures.
Somehow contrary to that they still judged the ban to be constitutional. It would keep the Turkish state from favouring one religion and would therefore ensure freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.
As the ban would forbid people to publicly display their belief, people of a different faith and non-believers would be protected from repressions by the state or religious fundamentalists.

(In 1999 already the young woman went to Vienna, Austria, to continue her studies…)

For a few years now politicians in Germany have been advancing the idea that teachers should be forbidden to wear hijabs at state schools and universities.
Turkey was always named as a glorious Muslim example. “See, if they are forbidding it, it can’t really be a religious symbol, or a Muslim country would never do that!”

School rules and lesson plans being decided by the counties rather than by the state, the decision about the hijab was left to the respective counties as well.
Some politicians advanced the idea to not make any general decision at all but to decide in each case. Basically not such a bad idea, but how exactly does one find out whether that new teacher wants to wear a hijab because of religious reasons or because of being a fundamentalist?? If she is the latter she will very likely be clever enough not to say so.

If I am not mistaken (either Google doesn’t know everything, or I’m asking the wrong questions ;) ) five counties so far have passed a law to forbid the hijab, among them Baden-Württemberg, Niedersachsen, the Saarland and Hessen. My own county Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) has just set the process in motion, endeavouring to become number six.
I find it very interesting that they manage to forbid the hijab while not even explicitely naming it. The reason for that is said to be that this way the law sounds more like something that international courts would approve of.
Here’s the bit they want to put into the school laws (there’s two different words for male and female teachers in German, and I want to keep that in, so excuse the awkward translation):
The new passage will forbid female and male teachers the use of symbols that endanger “the political, religious or ideological peace at school” through “giving the impression that a female or male teacher will take a stand against the dignity of man, equality (…), the right to freedom or the free democratic basic order”. Only in the attached formal explanation they actually state that what they mean is: No hijab for female teachers in NRW.
If no miracle happens in the meantime this will be the law from the beginning of the schoolyear 2006/07 on.
The choice of vague words has been well thought through. They are meant to forbid the hijab, while at the same time allowing the wearing of the Christian cross or the Jewish kippa, as for many the hijab is - so the additional law text states - a symbol of the inferior status of the woman in society and family or a demonstration of a fundamentalistic theocracy. The Christian-occidental tradition though is a fixed part of the regional constitution.

Apart from kippa and cross the hijab-free counties still allow the habit of the nuns, some even defining the habit as work clothes.

An FDP politician stated that the point was not the evaluation of religions but the self assertion of our order of values against the Islamic fundamentalism.

A Die Grüne politician quoted Johannes Rau (SPD; “The illegal use of a symbol should not impair its legal use.”) and added “How do I recognize a fundamentalistic male teacher anyway?”

I will conclude my fact finding - again - with a little passage I found on the web, on the main page of the Institut für soziale Dreigliederung to be correct:
The issue here is not the question whether one approves of the hijab or not. The decisive factor is that one cannot forbid the hijab without betraying freedom oneself. And the question arises whether one is much better then than those who work for enforcing the hijab in Islamic countries.

Well, like in the good ol’ school essays, time for my own words here at the end.

Like I said in my opening paragraphs I myself am having mixed feelings about the hijab. We do have a problem here with Muslims taking the ancient “traditions” too far, be that by keeping their women from learning German (or to read and write, for that matter), forcing them to wear hijab in public and keeping up the time honoured values of family honour by killing their daughters and sisters who dare go against that.
There I do agree with the - also time honoured - cry of: If they want to live here, they have to accept our social and democratic values. Period.

But if we are a free and democratic country, offering religious freedom, then we can’t do that with one blind eye.

We can’t allow the habit and crosses because they’re part of our “Christian-occidental tradition”. I am a Christian - although admittedly from the point of view of the Pope the wrong kind of - and all the crosses on the school walls I encountered annoyed the heck out of me.
The habit of a nun defines her as a nun, so in a very broad sense you could maybe argue that this makes the habit her working clothes. But as her “job” is religion that renders the whole thing null and void again. Besides, a lot of nuns active in youth work often do not wear their habit at work. Interesting, hm?
Besides, I’ve always felt that the habit serves exactly the same purpose the hijab does in some places (except for the bride thing of course): A nun is the bride of Jesus (I think. Or was it God? Can somebody tell me?) and every earthly man has to keep his hands off her. So she dresses up in some drab uniform, even hiding her hair from people. Hm, that does sound familiar, doesn’t it?

As for the Jewish kippa being a part of our Christian-occidental tradition… Since when? So, ok, Jesus was a Jew and all the rest, but we are a Christian country, not a Jewish one. And maybe it is just this region (I’m not going to google for population percentages now), but a male teacher with kippa would have surprised me more than a female one with hijab. You see hijabs everywhere!
For any Jew happening across this humble blog I’d like to add that I don’t have any problems with either Jews or teachers wearing the kippa; it’s the principle here that I’m having a serious problem with.

And talking about religious freedom at schools, I’d like to take you back to my youth.
In grade school our main teacher prayed with us once a week before school started. I don’t remember her sending out our two Muslim pupils, or there ever being a word about them having a different faith and these prayers not concerning them. Unfortunately I was caught up too much in my own confusion and misery (and ignorance) to notice whether or not they were in the same awkward position I was.
Because, you see, we always had to cross ourselves.
I didn’t even know how to do that! I am not Catholic; I did not have to!
Only after having a word with my parents - and they with the teacher - did I stop trying to keep up with that crossing thing. But I still felt out of place.

In Germany we teach religion at school. I know that in some places more is offered, but here it’s just Catholic and Protestant religion lessons taking part at the same time. To keep our two Muslims busy it was offered to their parents to let them take part in one of those lessons (one family declined apparently). But was there a choice for the parents who sent their son to religion classes at grade school? No. It was a given that Muslims would attend the Protestant course.

Much later, at the end of the fourth grade, a fellow pupil told me that in Catholic religion class - held by that main teacher lady by the way - they had been told that Protestants were heathens. Furthermore we were also said to be stupid.

Thankfully this is not happening in the local grade school anymore, but back then - and further back - these were not single incidents.

My sister often had to walk back home from her grade school in the place we used to live before 1980 because if the last lesson for the day for some reason did not take place at the Catholic grade school, their dean called the bus company and cancelled the last bus for the day, totally forgetting about the fact that they shared the bus service with the adjoining Protestant grade school. And that was quite a march, or else there would not have been a school bus in the first place…

57 Responses to “hijab or not hijab”

  1. Frenzie Says:

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    I didn’t have any pressure to do either Catholic or Protestant stuff over here, that’s probably the reason why religious outcasts have been moving over here for over four centuries from all of Europe…

  2. David Says:

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    Melantrys, since you might be spying on me with your Site Meter :), I think that I will write you a comment here. I have read all of your posts and I think that this may be the best one. You make some very good points that reveal the inherent hypocrisy of banning the wearing of hijab, while allowing the wearing of various other religious items. I never really thought about the similarity of a nun’s habit to a hijab, but I think this is a good point too. I agree with you, to wear hijab, or not, should be the free choice of every Muslim woman.

    I am a little surprised that you went to a Catholic school, even though you are not Catholic. However, some children in the U.S. do the same thing. Some parents, especially in poor neighborhoods, believe that their children will be better educated in a Catholic school than in their local public school. It is a sad statement on the quality of many U.S. public schools that this is often true!

    I come from a mixed religious background, at least in terms of the two halfs of my extended family. My father is Jewish, while my mother was raised in a liberal Protestant environment. I was brought up with the intention of instilling Jewish traditions within me, but I was a Free Thinker from a young age. I was exposed to Reform (liberal) Judaism. There are actually quite a few free thinkers in the Reform movement. Anyway, I didn’t know many men or boys who actually wore kippas (these were called “yalmukas” in my experience: different strokes for different folks, I quess :) ). Reform Jews don’t really adhere to any strict dogma. Perhaps the Jews in Germany are more conservative in their religious outlook.

  3. Melantrys Says:

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    Haha! I’m also spying on you with that neat email service whenever ppl comment. ;)
    Well, these posts are just me. Polititcal, cynical, childish, moody, boring me. :D So the quality of the content varies.

    Anyway, the majority is Catholic here. This is a small village, so there is just one grade school. There was just no choice…

    About the kippa… I seriously wouldn’t know. Don’t recall ever seeing a Jew with one. Not sure if I ever saw any Jew out in the wild, so to speak. ;) I definitely personally don’t know any. Well, apparently I know a free thinking liberal Jew now. ;) I was just quoting what I found on the net concerning the law changes and drafts.

  4. David Says:

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    Hey, this is fun! We could have our own little conversation way back in your archives! :)

    Wow, only one grade school! The smallest city that I ever lived in had about 30,000 people. I am guessing that your village has maybe 1000? The metropolitan area of Indianapolis is more than one million. It is the largest city that I have lived in. I am curious, did you ever feel that you wanted to move to a big city or do you really enjoy the small town environment?

    I decided to do a bit of research on Jews living in Germany today. I really know almost nothing on that subject. I read a couple of articles, but this particular article was by far the most informative, although it is a bit dated. Apparently, there are now more than 100,000 Jews living in Germany, the majority of whom are immigrants from Russia.

    I’m not sure if you have really met a Jew yet, as many Jews would not consider me to be Jewish since my mother is not. However, I don’t mind if you think of me in that regard. I certainly do feel somewhat culturally connected to Jewish people.

    Btw, I did not think that any of your posts were boring. :) Thanks for being conversational!

  5. Melantrys Says:

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    Haha, well, if all my new fans are as thorough as you they’ll find this convo. ;)
    It often feels like the population is around 1,000, but actually now it’s around 6,500. I said it years ago, and I still say it now: I’m sure they counted the cows and pigs as well.
    We do have one grade school, one Hauptschule (lowest form of follow-up school; adds a mere six years to the four years of grade school), no universities ;) , two Kindergartens (one Catholic, one public), a huge Catholic church, a tiny Protestant church, now almost hidden behind the new Mennonite church plus their public hall, one grave yard, one youth center, two banks, three lousy doctors and a dwindling number of supermarkets.

    Well, my feelings about this place are ambivalent. On the one hand it’s a cool place for a kid to grow up in (two creeks, fish and frogs and whatnot to catch, woods to play in…), on the other hand we moved here from a coupla cities away and for years on end were The New People. (*makes throwing up motions*)
    The nosiness of the people annoys me. Gossip, gossip, gossip.

    I loved the big cities I’ve been to so far, like Istanbul, London and Berlin, but I’m not so sure I could really live there. Especially not in Istanbul, but I heard they managed to get a grip on the smog problem since I’ve been there.

    Jews…
    Sadly, Ignaz Bubis is no longer the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany; he died a while ago. His successor is Paul Spiegel, from a family that lived only 10km from here. I went to school in that city, but I never conciously encountered a Jew.
    Still, I am aware of the Jewish Community as such; it’s hard not to be. As the article hinted at, the Jews are represented in the media. And although some people seem to be able to tune it out we are constantly reminded of our past with the Jews, like at school. I think that is right; we should not forget.
    The Central Council of Jews in Germany always voices its concern whenever racist or fashist violence occurs, but I’m getting the impression that recently they’re more focusing on their own.
    I always respected them, but with a growing urge of German politicians to try and help with the Israel/Palestine situation, and people pointing out that Israel might also be adding fuel to the flames, “we” are suddenly in an awkward position. Any kind of criticism - and I’m talking well-meant criticism between political friends - is denounced as anti-semitism. The past is used to keep German tongues in check.
    I’m not saying there is no anti-semitism, hell, there is, but I’m not sure if that’s the right word, really. We do have some racist scum here, and I’m fairly sure that they are against Jews as well. I don’t believe there’s a need to distinguish between various dislikes there though, you know. But I never made a poll of my own… ;)
    About you…. seems I forgot the “half” in front of the Jew in my above comment. :) Anyway, I consider you to be whatever you tell me to; I was just trying to express that you are the closest thing to a Jew that I actually held a conversation with; seeing Michel Friedmann (ex-half successor of Ignatz Bubis…) host his talk show before that little scandal with the drugs and the prostitutes was interesting (he’s really good at taking right-wing people apart ;) ), but not what I’d consider a conversation.

  6. David Says:

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    Well, I have always been detail oriented, perhaps sometimes a bit too much! I have rarely met another person as thorough as I am. I don’t know about your new fans finding this little discussion, but if I keep you too busy here in the “past”, maybe your current fans will come looking for you! :)
    I am interested that you have Mennonites in your Village. There is actually a fairly sizable Mennonite community in Indiana. I even see some of them in the local shopping malls occasionally. I always thought that they were a branch from the Amish community in America (Mennonites, as far as I understand are similar to the Amish in many respects, except that they accept the use of modern technology and wear colorful clothing). I believe that the Amish are of Dutch ancestry (or is it German?) and that they immigrated to America about 400 years ago. Did the Mennonites originate in Germany?

    I always thought that the German health care system was quite good. It sounds like your experience, though, has not been very satisfactory. In America, health care is good for those who can afford it, but we have more than 40 million people here with no health insurance, and little to no access to the health care system. It is really morally indefensible, as far as I am concerned!

    I used to really like catching small creatures when I was a kid. Well, except for long legged spiders! I remember when I and some friends would wade barefoot in a creek looking for crayfish (small freshwater lobsters) that lived under rocks. It was a lot of fun (who knows what sort diseases and pollution were in that city creek - kids have much fewer worries!), and they came in a variety of colors: red, green, blue, brown, and possibly yellow, as I recall. I caught lizards and a few snakes, too. I never had much woods to play in as a child, but when I got a bit older, I went camping a lot with my Boy Scout troop (little racist bastards, for the most part!).

    I was the New Person a few times, as we moved three times before I turned ten years old. It was always hard to have to start over and make new friends, but it didn’t last for years on end. I guess that people in small towns, where everybody knows everyone else’s business, take longer to accept New People.

    I am a bit envious of your ability to hop on a train (I presume that was your mode of travel) and visit some very interesting cities in Europe. In the U.S., our train system is almost non-existant, as far as passenger service goes. The only really serious passenger rail service here runs from Washington, D.C. to Boston and New York City. We have air planes that go everywhere, but they are rather expensive to ride. At this time nearly every U.S. airline is operating in bankruptcy! In a few years, some of them will probably be out of business. I really wish that our government would get behind funding a really good passenger rail service like European countries and Japan did. But, as long as Republicans are in power, it will never happen. They are only interested in making the rich richer, not in improving the quality of life for average citizens.

    I agree with what you said about Israel “adding fuel to the flames”. Half my ancestors may be Jewish, but Israel has been repressing the Palestinians and stealing their land for more than 50 years. I have some relatives who are true Zionists, but I don’t agree with their attitude. Most of the Jewish people were forcibly removed from their homeland nearly 2000 years ago. I simply don’t see how Jewish people were entitled to be given their distant ancestors land back. You know, the really ironic thing, in my opinion, about the blood feud between the Israelis and Palestinians is that they actually share strong “blood” ties. They both have a common ancestry. I can only hope that they will come to realize that some day and learn to live in peace. I know, that is a very idealistic wish, and being mostly a realist, I have to acknowledge that the chances may be slim.

    Don’t worry about forgetting “half” with respect to my Jewish roots. I was just commenting on the somewhat illogical belief among many Jews (mostly Conservative and Orthodox) that Jewishness is passed only from a mother to a child. Seriously Orthodox Jews have some really wierd customs. From what I know of Hasidic Jews, husbands and wives are forbidden to look at each other. In fact, children are conceived through a small hole in a sheet!

    Hmmm, what should I tell you that I am? Well, I don’t really think of myself as Jewish, although I am quite accepting of that title as a part of who I am. What I mainly think is that I am a human being, not so different from any other human beings. I have never really been able to understand the need of so many people to divide themselves along racial, ethnic, and religious lines, and the seeming ease with which they can justify the killing of people who they see as outside their “accepted” group. I think that it has a lot to do with greed. We live in a world of limited resources and there have always been a certain number of sociopathic individuals who see it as their right to dominate others and horde wealth and power. The acquisition of greater wealth and power often comes from the conquest of people who are unable to defend themselves. I sometimes wonder about the French Revolution, and the fact that nearly all the aristocrats were put to death or driven into exile. I think that it is the derth of aristocratic domination in France that allowed the French people to vote themselves a thirty hour work week and other things to make their lives more pleasant. But, I also know that France suffers from very high unemployment, especially among immigrant classes like the Muslim population. The recent riots there paint a very unpleasant picture with respect to the national motto of Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood.

    Sorry if I have rambled on too much. Thanks for being a good conversation partner! :)
    essmu? :)

  7. Melantrys Says:

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    Well, atually it’s some of our Russian immigrants that are Mennonite. And that’s all I know, haha.

    Oh, the German health care system is still goodish although the recent reforms make me fear they’re using America as a role model. It’s just that crappy doctors seem to be attracted to this here village, which is why we’ve been driving to the next city for the last… hm… 10 years? More?

    Spiders, ick! Got a phobia, me.
    We used to catch two sorts of really small fish, frogs, and the very occasional eel. Our pride and glory - an eel half a meter long - we hurriedly carried back to the creek when my mother suggested eating it.
    As for the water being unhealthy, in the bigger creek it sure was. I once slipped and fell and swallowed some of the water there and was heartily sick for the next two days or so. The other one must’ve been pretty clean as we often found Köcherfliegenlarven (I have no idea, man, larvae of some odd type of fly) which aren’t found in polluted water.

    Well, to Istanbul I flew. :P Berlin I saw on two school trips, a holiday with my sis and a holiday on my own (first by bus, the other three by train indeed).
    To London we flew as well. Twice. It’s so awsome to be able to walk into a bookstore and browse tons of English books. Even in the “bigger” cities around here the number of English books is so limited!
    Oh, and I went to Brussels twice last year. By car, crazy me. Brussels is a nightmare to navigate through; they seriously hide their street signs, the bastards. If I go there again I might lose my mind, haha.

    Wonder what mxtdobss is. Something to eat? ;)

  8. David Says:

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    Well, I have never heard of Mennonites from Russia. You have aroused my curiosity, which invariably leads me to a net search. :) I found a very informative article on the history of the Mennonites in the Wikipedia. It surprised me! The Amish are actually an offshoot of the older Mennonite tradition. I also learned that the Mennonites were persecuted for centuries in Europe in ways not so different from Jews. The Mennonites originated in central Europe in the late 1400’s and initially spread their beliefs alone the Rhine River. They are pacifists and have always refused (even at risk of death) to go to war. They believe in strict separation of Church and State. Also, doing good works to help others is integral to their philosophy. As an observer of various cultural traditions, I find a great deal to admire in these people!

    I have never eaten an eel, although I know it is a delicacy to some people. I am glad that you were kind to your small catches. :) Your mention of the Köcherfliegenlarven made me curious once again. I used to collect insects as a child. For a while, I captured them and used chloroform to kill them. However, after a while, I changed my attitude and decided to only observe living insects instead (I suppose that I became kinder and gentler). Anyway, I web searched your ‘larven and discovered that they are known as caddisflies in English. I remembered them from one of my insect books. Here is a general article about caddisflies with some nice illustrations. I found another article to be quite fascinating. It describes how some species of caddisfly actually build silken nets similar to real fishing nets to catch their small prey. It must be obvious to you by now that I am a real science nerd! :)
    I am a bit surprised in your interest in English books. Indeed, I am astonished by your proficiency in English! Are there a lot of books in English that are not available in German?

    The only large European city that I have been to is Rome. I loved it! I went with my High School Latin teacher and some classmates on a week long tour of Italy. I was just awe struck by the surviving Roman structures that I saw! Of course, many of the more recent buildings in Italy are amazing too! Hey, try not to loose your mind on your next trip. ;)
    Otdpris? Not sure I want to eat that! ;)

  9. Melantrys Says:

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    Well, actually, for all I know that church might be the temple of Offler, the Crocodile God (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then you missed some really cool books. ;) )
    I never knew anything about Mennonites (and am too lazy to follow your link this evening), but several people mentioned that that church was a Mennonite one. On the other hand, what people around here tell as hard fact more often than not originated in fairyland. ;)
    Eel is exteremely delicious, but you need a strong stomach for it, as it contains a really incredible amount of fat. That’s one of the tastes vegan me occasionally misses.
    Caddisflies look right all right, those larvae dwelled in twigs; they really amazed me as a kid. I never was the insect type though, really, except for liking ladybugs and, er….. Maikäfer (literally May bugs). The first link is evil as the site also gives tips on how to kill ‘em off, but the first picture is just so cute!
    And this picture as well.

    Well, thanks for the compliment. :D My sister told me early on how cool English was, so I was eagerly awaiting English classes at school. ;) And I did like English. So of course I started trying to read English books and watch movies in the original language (we dub everything here). Thing is, once you start doing that, you soon notice that something is terribly amiss.
    Everything is translated, the problem is that the people doing that at times
    - lack the vocabulary
    - want to be authors themselves and totally change the author’s style, in extreme cases leaving a sentence out while inventing a paragraph elsewhere (translation of Stephen King’s “It”)
    - think it’s appropriate to translate names
    - are utter pillocks.
    I once tried parallel reading a book by Terry Pratchett and its translation but I failed. Otherwise I think I’d be in a closed mental ward now. ;) Let me quote the highlight of all the bullshit I encountered. People are mentioning rhymes about magpies in that book. One line is “Seven is the devil, his own sel’.” Which Andreas “I can think of funnier names than Pratchett” Brandhorst translated as (hastily re-translates): “Seven for the devil’s dick.” Rrrrrrrrrright. Now how did the translator get there….?
    When I read “Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis” I seriously started doubting my sister’s sense of humour. That book could maybe make you smirk occasionally, but not really laugh. When I read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” a bit later I realized what my sis found so funny about the book.
    Same with movies. Or tv series. And it’s not just the often bad translation, sometimes the wrong voice can kill it all. I always strongly disliked Bones of Star Trek. Until I saw the original and realized that I must have hated the person who dubbed him. :D Talking about Star Trek! I don’t know how familiar you are with it in all its glory? Anyway, the Next Generation captain is played by a dude who used to work for the Royal Shakespeare Company. That man has a voice! He’s amazing. When he says “Energize” they damn well hit the buttons right now. ;) The German voice is a reedy old man’s voice. I mean, for heaven’s sake! They should have gotten a really good theatre player to dub him!
    Um. I’ve been going on about this for ages now, have I? *coughs*

  10. David Says:

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    Sorry Melantrys, I didn’t mean to imply that the church was not Mennonite, I was just surprised to hear they were from Russia. Actually, the article mentions the migration of Mennonites from Prussia to the Russian steppes in the 1700’s.

    I’m not familiar with the “Temple of Offler, the Crocodile God”. Care to enlighten me? :)
    I think its cool that you are a vegan! I hope you don’t mind that I am not. Actually, I cut down on my meat eating about ten years ago. I stopped eating beef, partly out of a desire to eat less saturated fat, but also out of fear of mad cow disease (I still drink milk every day, though - hope that’s safe!). When I was still a teenager, I vowed to never eat veal. I can’t stand how those poor calfs are mistreated! Also, I will not eat lamb because it just doesn’t seem right to take a baby sheep from its mother. What I eat these days is mostly chicken along with some turkey, fish, and ham. As alternate protein sources, I eat eggs and beans fairly often. I also like to eat lots of fruits, vegges, and nuts. I really don’t know much about vegan dietetics. I would be interested to hear what you like to eat.

    I agree, your May bug is quite cute! :) I really like those bushy antler-like antennas! Are they a major pest of crops or something? Personally, I don’t think very highly of modern farming practices which entail the use of so many chemical poisons. I am definitely a fan of organic farming techniques and the use of biological methods for pest control (spiders and praying mantises, for example). Unfortunately, we don’t have much organic stuff in the supermarkets, and in the small shops that do carry organics, they are very expensive. In the second picture, the bug looks like it has a really hairy chest. Must be a big hit with the “lady” bugs. ;)
    I can see why you search for books in English! I think that Brandhorst guy must have been hard up for some back door breaking and entering! :D
    I read “The More Than Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide” a few years ago. It contains five books from the original “Guide” to “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe”. It was a lot of fun to read. I really want a pair of those Disaster Sunglasses! :)
    I am a big fan of Star Trek and its various sequels! I agree, Patrick Stewart is a really excellent actor. Can’t imagine him with an old reedy voice! :) Recently, I have been enjoying Deep Space Nine reruns. I think that is probably my favorite of the spinoffs. I really love the strong character development and continuing story lines of that series. The Farengi episodes with Quark, Rom, and The Grand Nagis are some of my favorites. There was really some great humor in those stories.

    Have you ever seen Babylon V? I think that’s a great series that really tells a long and intricate story. More recently, I have gotten into the Stargate series. The new Battlestar Galactica is pretty good, too.

    Take care of that cough now! Looking forward to your next “age”. :)

  11. Melantrys Says:

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    For the book: These comments are spam! *lol*

    Oh, Offler is just one of the major gods on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Due to his large crocodile teeth he speaks rather muffled. ;) And everyone should be reading the Discworld series, as those books are just brilliant.

    Well, eating less meat sure is good for anyone’s health, and that’s not a rabid vegetarian speaking but someone who learned that kind of stuff at school.
    I don’t know anything about vegan dietetics either. ;) I learned at school that we need different sorts of protein in varying measures. The problem with veganism is that some plants only contain a low amount of one of these types and the body can for some reason only process that low amount from all types then. So although I suspect I’m far too greedy to not get enough protein through that effect I try to combine plant types that complement each other, like legumes + grain (easily done by cooking something with a lot of beans and serving it with pasta or rice).
    Every couple of months I order fake meat vegan stuff online. It’s frigging expensive (cos of course that stuff is all organic, as you guys say) but it’s incredibly yummy. It’s nicknamed wheat meat, and it beats tofu by 59,000%. I mean, I dunno what tofu is, but it’s certainly not food. ;) My Dutch friends occasionally make fun of me and ask me why I as a vegan want to eat stuff that looks and almost tastes like meat. Well, I do miss the taste at times….
    Oh incidentally….. *opens pack of kosher praline chocolate*
    *melts just as fast as the chocolate*
    Oh, and as long as people don’t wave raw meat under my nose (about one year after turning vegan the smell for me changed from “raw meat” to “rotten meat”; some physical reaction I guess)or make the umptieth joke on the lines of, say “c’mon, eat this chicken wing, chicken’s no meat” I don’t mind the meat eaters around me. But if you ever read the headline “German cashier crushes ex-colleague’s husband’s skull at colleague’s Barbeque” that’ll be me finally losing it. ;)
    Those May bugs - like most bugs - eat leaves of course. In some years we get incredibly huge amounts of ‘em in some regions, which makes them a pest there then. But here they mostly serve as snacks for the bats. :( Maybe other regions just don’t have enough bats?
    They’re not just hairy, they also have hooks on their feet. Once when I still had my dog I showed him a May bug, and before I could react that idiot had grabbed it off of my hands to eat it! Then he wanted to get rid of it very quickly again, and tried scraping his tongue against his teeth while making a decidedly funny - and unhappy - face. Suppose those hooks aren’t fun to have gripping into your tongue. ;) Both parties came to no harm; the bug was still alive and well when I removed it from my dog’s mouth - though possibly traumatized for life. ;)
    Sadly Brandhorst is the official Pratchett translator; he even gets to ruin what little text there is in the calendars and other Discworld fan stuff. It’s a shame, really. A friend of mine just isn’t good enough in English to read the original, so she is forced to read the German books. They’re still funny, but well…. When the translator realizes mid-series that one character is gonna get more important and decides to give him a more dramatic name (from the attempt of a translation of Downey (concentrating on the “down”) to Widowmaker) and absent-mindedly (stupidly?) uses both names throughout one book for him that causes some amount of confusion. Luckily Nina and me were able to sort that one out, once I had realized who the fuck that Widowmaker dude was supposed to be.

    Yeah, apart from the Classic series DS9 is my favourite as well. I do like Enterprise a lot though too, that new spinoff.
    I kind of lost track of Stargate cos something more important was running at the same time, and now I think I couldn’t follow the plot anymore, haha.
    Don’t know the new Battlestar Galactica, only the old one, oh my, haha.
    Are you kidding?! I just got the DVD box with the first season of Babylon 5 for Christmas!!!
    Damn, if I could get Alien Nation on DVD I’d buy that as well….

  12. David Says:

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    Spam really is a pain in the butt! You may need to consider activating comment moderation! :P

    Since you highly recommend the Discworld series, I think that I will look into it. Is it anything like Larry Niven’s Ringworld series? Now that is some really imaginative SF!

    I’m glad you are trying to get all the nutrition that you need. I know it can be difficult for vegans. Are there any supplements you could take to make sure you get all your vitamins and amino acids? Here is another thought. People who eat very little fish are often deficient in Omega 3. This deficiency can lead to increased feelings of stress or even depression. I have some problems in that area. I do eat some fish, but I also eat walnuts every day. They are a great source of Omega 3. I also take various B-vitamin supplements. They can work wonders in the way of stress reduction. I mention these things since you were feeling very stressed recently. I like to be helpful when I can. :)
    The “wheat meat” sounds interesting. I wouldn’t mind trying it sometime. I occasionally eat veggie burgers that I buy at the grocery store. They taste pretty good, almost like grilled hamburgers! Tofu is made of soy beans. I know that because I used to live in Alabama. Farmers there grow vast quantities of soy beans that are all shipped to Japan. I actually like tofu that is fried together with Chinese veggies. I respect your choice to be a vegan. It is not something that I would ever make fun of (I do like to have fun with other stuff, though :) ), but I am sure that your friends mean no harm.

    Mmmm, I love chocolate and pralines! I think that most products like that in the U.S. are labeled “pareve”, which means they are ok for kosher diets. Real kosher food has to be very specially prepared and blessed by a Rabbi. Hey I’m getting hungry right now! :)
    Glad you mentioned bats. They are great insectivores! Actually, they are threatened all over the world. As far as I know, all the non-tropical species need caves to hibernate in. Many caves in developed parts of the world have been walled shut or paved over. Some people put up bat houses, and I think that is great for warm weather shelter, but they are useless for winter hibernation. Happily, biologists are getting the word out about the need to preserve caves to maintain wild bat populations. They really do us all a great service in natural pest control!

    Your May bugs probably have a gland that secretes a nasty taste as a defense mechanism against hungry dogs. ;) Back in Alabama, we had giant grasshoppers that oozed a nasty brown fluid when they were disturbed. Nothing ate those grasshoppers! They were really huge, the biggest females were nearly three inches long! I’ll try and find a picture of them.

    Have you ever thought about translating books? With your English skill and obvious passion for the books you read, I am sure that you would be good at it! This Brandhorst character probably gets paid big money and he doesn’t seem to care about doing his job right!

    I was really beginning to enjoy the Enterprise series and then they cancelled it. I was really pissed! I definitely wanted to see more of the romance between Topol and the engineer character. I was getting pretty turned on by all that Vulcan massage therapy! :0

    The old Battlestar Galactica was a lot of fun, but the new series has a harder edge to it, and some interesting differences. In the new show, Starbuck is a woman, and some of the Cylons are extremely close copies of real humans with real human emotions… interesting possibilities!

    Enjoy your B5, I know you will love it! :)
    Btw, do you know that the actor who played Sikes in Alien Nation was also in Enterprise? He played an old Vulcan official, although not very convincingly. He is just too emotional!! :D

  13. Melantrys Says:

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    Yeah, I guess I should. I think I can just delete all comments by this weird David dude without bothering to read ‘em first. ;)
    Unfortunately I am not familiar with Larry Niven. It is said that Pratchett is the Douglas Adams of Fantasy. I say, true, but he’s better.
    I came across him in a huge book store which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. One floor just for English books! Anyway, the book was called “Reaper Man”, and it is still one of my favourite books of the series. Here you can try to read a few pages. I say “try” because these Amazon peeks are always rather faulty and miss words. Should you like him well enough one day to buy his books you should make sure to get the British ones. The American covers are just so bad!!!

    Well, my problem is that all the things it might be wise to take are sold as gelatine capsules. Which for obvious reasons I don’t wanna take… There used to be one brand of vegetarian’s vitamins, but the shops around here aren’t selling ‘em anymore for no logical reason at all.
    Um, sorry, I know what tofu is, I just wanted to state that I don’t consider it edible. ;) And “unfortunately” I can’t eat it anymore anyway, cos I’m allergic to soy. The only drawback is that I can’t eat all the yummy soy puddings Alpro is selling anymore either… :( Hm, I’m afraid the only way to remove the stress from my job’d be to remove my boss. ;) Oh, and that one colleague.

    Says “parve” on the chocolate. And there’s some official looking seal: Rabinat ISR. R.G. Zürich. :)
    Nah, the bugs just have very tongue-unfriendly feet. They must’ve hurt on flesh so sensitive. Or at least felt extremely strange and uncomfortable.

    Alas, that is one profession I would not be good at. I can speak/write German. And I can speak/write English. What I can’t do is translate though. While typing this I am thinking in English. (I am better than Brandhorst at translating though; I once tried for a bit for some reason I forgot.) If people want me to translate something I always start to stammer cos often I simply can’t recall the German word.

    Hahahaha, so you’d like a Vulcan massage, eh? Oh yes, I thought Sikes as a Vulcan was hilarious. I also discovered Francisco in one season of Fame (yeah, that ancient art school series) as a teacher. He sure looks weird with hair. ;)

  14. David Says:

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    Yeah, that weird Dave character has been trolling over at my blog too! I’ve been laying some subtle hints on him to piss off, but he is as dense as a stellar core remnant, and like stink on a week old bologna sandwich left out in the sun, he just won’t go away! :P
    I promised to look for a picture of the giant grasshoppers that lived in Alabama. Here is a pretty good picture along with a grade school lesson. ;) Apparently, the females are up to 8 cm in length.

    I read the “Reaper Man” pages at Amazon. They have some kind of strange cut and paste look (the words literally appear to have been cut and pasted!). That’s something I haven’t seen before at Amazon. Maybe they are trying to make it harder to copy the pages or something. Well, I can honestly say that I have never encountered anything quite like the beginning of “Reaper Man” before. Who is One anyway? Is it one or more than one? One of the Ones said “I” and burned up. The other Ones didn’t seem to care that one of them was forever gone, and they seemed indifferent to the appearance of the new One. One has to wonder what in the hell was going on! It was a singularly incomprehensible experience! ;)

    To be honest, I don’t know what to think of Pratchett from just these few pages. After one reading, I really didn’t understand what I had just read. For a book to be enjoyable to me, the author has to paint pictures with words, or at least give me enough to fill in the pictures with my imagination. I also really like character interaction through dialogue. If Pratchett can satisfy those needs, then perhaps I would enjoy reading his books.

    I take a Vitamin-E suppliment every day that is in a gel capsule. I haven’t had any problems with it. Are you worried about someone tampering with it, or is it something else?

    Sorry to hear about your soy allergy. It sounds like you were not always allergic to soy. Did you eat a lot of soy products as a child? I think the veggie burgers that I eat have a lot of soy in them, but as far as I know, I am not allergic to anything. However, I have a three year old nephew who is allergic to just about everything. My sister had a hell of a time trying to figure out things that he could eat. She somehow discovered that he could tolerate goat’s milk when he was a baby. When he was ready for some solid food, she found more things that he could eat. He tolerates meat, oatmeal, and some cheeses pretty well, but he is allergic to anything with wheat or nuts in it. He has a long list of do not feeds!

    Am I correct in understanding that you only feel stressed when you are at work? If that is the case, then suppliments are probably not the answer. Are there any possibilities for different employment that you could explore?

    It sounds like your kosher chocolate is the real thing! I have eaten various swiss chocolates. I love Toblerones! Have you tried any other kinds of kosher foods? When I was 8 or 9 years old, we lived pretty close to a real kosher restaurant. They had the most delicious roast beef, corned beef, and pastrami sandwiches. Also, their matzo ball soup was the best I ever had!

    Well, it seems that I was wrong in assuming that you could be a good translator simply because you are proficient in two languages. Speaking only English, I simply don’t have a point of reference to understand the difficulties involved. I do not have a facility for learning languages. I took three years of Latin in High School, but I had great difficulty remembering my Latin vocabulary. I could translate Latin writings, but only if I had an English/Latin dictionary next to me the whole time. I had a friend in college who was very good at learning languages, though. He learned Japanese well enough to tell dirty jokes and make Japanese girls blush! After he mastered Japanese, he turned to German. I assume he learned it just as well, but I lost touch with him. I am curious, when you are just speaking German, do you have any trouble remembering German words? Is it only when you are trying to quickly transition from one language to the other that you have difficulty? This is really quite interesting. You see, my first degree in College was psychology. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to analyze you. ;)
    Would I like a Vulcan massage? Perhaps so. Actually, I am somewhat ticklish, so it would have to be carefully applied! :)

    I never saw Fame, but I have seen the Francisco actor in other roles, and with hair! :) Actually, he was in a B5 episode late in the series. I am pretty certain that he played at least one Star Trek alien, too.

  15. Melantrys Says:

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    Bah, and he just won’t stop spamming! ;)
    That’s a pretty colourful grasshopper. Here we only get brownish and rather bright green ones, the latter also in a variant that grows big; 8cm sounds like a good measure for the ones we saw that one summer.

    Well, the “problem” with Pratchett is that his books start slow, and Amazon always has the first few pages, so….
    I think “Reaper Man” is the first book that featured those weird cowled creatures. They’re… well, call them the Auditors. To quote a later book “They were not life forms, they were… non-life forms. They were the observers of the operation of the universe, its clerks, its auditors. They saw to it that things spun and rocks fell. And they believe that for a thing to exist it had to have a position in time and space. Humanity had arrived as a nasty shock. Humanity practically was things that didn’t have a position in time and space, such as imagination, pity, hope, history and belief. Take those away and all you had was an ape that fell out of trees a lot. Intelligent life was, therefore, an anomaly. It made the filing untidy. The Auditors hated things like that. Periodically, they tried to tidy things up a little.”
    The Auditors don’t have an identity. So therefore, should one of them for some odd reason suddenly perceive himself as “I” he immediately ceases to exist. Death is just an Antropomorphic Personification, but He started perceiving himself as “I” and taking an interest in people. The Auditors didn’t like that at all. (In some other book they hire someone to kill the Hogfather, which is the Discworld’s Santa Claus…) They really don’t like humanity at all.

    Pratchett’s books feature humans, Fantasy creatures and gods on a flat magical world that still is a lot like ours. I think he’s a genius in taking our wars and prejudices and turning it into something you laugh about, while knowing it’s not really funny at all. Well, sometimes he’s just plain funny. ;) The Patrician of the city of Ankh-Morpork is a ruthless despot, but you can’t help but love him. In one book Ankh-Morpork and Klatch (the Disc’s Arab world) both lay claim on an island that has arisen in the sea right between them. Talk of war is in the air.
    “Why are our people going out there?” said Mr Boggis of the Thieves’ Guild.
    “Because they are showing a brisk pioneering spirit and seeking wealth and… additional wealth in a new land,” said Lord Vetinari.
    “What’s in it for the Klatchians?” said Lord Downey.
    “Oh, they’ve gone out there because they are a bunch of unprincipled opportunists always ready to grab something for nothing,” said Lord Vetinari.
    “A masterly summation if I may say so, my lord,” said Mr Burleigh, who felt he had some ground to make up.
    The Patrician looked down again at his notes. “Oh, I do beg your pardon,” he said,”I seem to have read those last two sentences in the wrong order…”

    Written in ‘97 that book is eerily prophetic. One small spark, and people discover their only shallowly buried hatred and distrust of the “towelheads” over in Klatch…. Sound familiar…?

    Anyway, Death is a very interesting character as well. The books with Him are among the best.

    Hmmm, if you really don’t know what I was getting at, maybe google what gelatine is made of and then try to fit that into veganism. ;)
    From what I read my soy allergy is an effect of my nickel allergy. I am lucky that I only react with stomach cramps to soy and peanuts and not to all legumes…. But just as my nickel allergy moves around and shuffles its feet, that soy allergy only appeared after I had been eating those yummy puddings for a while already. And I really don’t wanna try and find out if I can eat them when my nickel allergy is at a low point because those cramps are no fun at all.

    It’s just a coincidence that the praline chocolate I ordered from that vegetarian shop was kosher. ;)
    No, I usually don’t forget German words while talking German. Well, not more often than anyone else I’d say. :) I wasn’t able to learn French though, btw, so maybe you should ask that friend of yours about how is German is. ;)
    Oh, my god, a fucking psychologist!!!!

    Arrrrr, it’s late already, gotta run!!!!!

  16. David Says:

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    Spam, spam, spam…spammity, spammity, spam…spamming, spamming, spamming the night away… :)
    Wow! I didn’t know there were any giant grasshoppers in Europe. You know, some people think that insects are delicious. I haven’t tried eating insects, but lobsters, crayfish, crabs, and shrimp aren’t all that different. ;)

    Well, I have to admit that you have got me interested in Pratchett’s books. I’ll have to see if my favorite used book stores have any of his paperbacks. Actually, I haven’t done a lot of book reading since I started blogging. I used to read myself to sleep, but after a few hours of blogging, I usually just climb in the bed and turn off the light. Still, I recently read a fairly new book in Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series. The Rat character (a thief with a heart) is a lot of fun and his stories span the Galaxy in the far distant future. Harrison has written a lot of really good books. He is one of my favorites. Another book that I have been reading is “The End of Eternity” by Issac Asimov. He is probably my all time favorite SF writer, and I have many of his books, too.

    I apologize for my ignorance! I never really knew what gelatine was made of. From what I read, most gelatine is made from pig skin and some from cow bones. It seems like there should be some sort of plant derived substance that could take the place of gelatin. Hmmm, maybe I will do a bit of web searching about that.

    You are not the only person that I have known with a nickel allergy. I’ll bet you can’t wear a watch without getting a rash. Even some jewelry apparently has traces of nickel. I wonder what the connection is with soy and nickel. Maybe the plants absorb trace amounts of it from the ground. I wonder, can you eat potatos?

    I have been doing some thinking about veganism. I am sure you have heard something like “you are what you eat” before. Obviously, the atoms and molecules that make up our bodies come from food that we eat, water that we drink, air that we breathe, etc. Vegans (please correct me if I am wrong) only eat vegetable matter because they feel that it is ethically wrong to eat animals. However, the atoms and molecules that make up the animals often were part of plants before the animals ate them (excluding strict carnivores). If a herbivorous animal is what it eats, then isn’t it basically composed of plant material? The way that I look at the world is something like what has been termed the “Gaia Hypothesis”. This idea postulates that the Earth is one giant living organism. We are all but tiny parts of the whole. I also, consider that the atoms and molecules that we are composed of have existed for billions of years. I have no doubt that some of my atoms once resided in a dinosaur that lived tens of millions of years ago. So, I think of my body as an assemblage of borrowed components that will continue to be recycled for millions of years after I am gone. Sorry, I didn’t mean to ramble on. Also, I am not trying to convert you away from veganism. As I said, I very much respect that choice. I guess I am just wondering what goes into the choice to become a vegan?

    The last I heard about my old friend the language prodigy was that he had married a Japanese girl. But, I learned that from a newspaper announcement. I haven’t seen him for years. For all I know, he may be living in Japan now.

    Hey, what do you mean by “a fucking psychologist!!!!”? :) Actually, I only have an undergraduate major in psychology and a minor in anthropology. After that I got a second degree and a Master’s in engineering. It is truely amazing how different engineers are from people who study social sciences. To be honest, I never had a good friend who was an engineer. They tend to be very conservative, both religiously and politically!

    Oh, btw, I read a very interesting article about East German watch makers yesterday. Here is a link if you are interested. You probably know all about them already. ;)

  17. Melantrys Says:

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    Nah, I never felt the urge to eat insects, snails, frogs or any of the funkier seafood.

    I’m a bookoholic; I have to read.

    Well, there is…. meh, stupid dictionary. As uninformed as I am. In German it’s Pektin, the stuff in apples and so on, some stuff that’s made from some algae and that agar agar (English????) stuff that chemists and biologists use to make cultures on.

    I have a watch with a stainless steel back plate and plastic wrist band. ;) I dunno what the connection is, but I once read that ppl with nickel allergy are also allergic to any variety of legumes, which includes soy beans and peanuts. And I developed a peanut allergy shortly after the soy one. I hope the rest won’t follow suit.
    I could eat potatoes, but I only do if they’ve been mistreated for long enough that they don’t taste of potatoes anymore, like in chips and fries. Potatoes taste like crap. Brrrrr.

    I indeed eat only plants (and chemicals). Well, it’s vegetarianism plus extreme paranoia of Mad Cow disease - hence my skipping the milk as well.

    Watch makers? *yawns*

    *falls in a coma anyway due to long work day*

  18. Granny Weatherwax Says:

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    Hah! Found your Hidden Conversation! Hm… is a hidden conversation in a blog something like a Hidden Track on a CD?

    @David: You are what you eat? Hm… interesting concept, that. So I guess at the moment I’m a giant chocolate-covered fake meatball.

    @Sis: So. You’re using this secret conversation to try and get David to read Pratchett? Good girl. Keep it up!

    agycc??? What’s that? A giant chocolate-covered fake meatball? Or the sound a mistreated potato makes?

  19. David Says:

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    Talking about funky foods, I ate some allegator once. It was battered and fried with a lot of spices. It actually tasted pretty good, but it was a bit too greasy.

    Do they have a chapter of bookoholics anonymous in your village? You may need help for your addiction! ;)
    I found a brand of kosher vegetarian vitamins for you. The company’s website said they sell worldwide, so maybe you could get some. Here is a link.

    I have learned something new. I was at first quite surprised that you were not allergic to your stainless steel watch. You see, the person that I knew with a nickel allergy was very allergic to her stainless steel watch. I used to think that nickel was an additive in all stainless steels, but I just discovered that is not correct. Some stainless alloys contains nickel, but others do not. Interesting. I guess you lucked out on your watch’s type of stainless.

    Who knows, maybe all of us meat eaters will die of Mad Cow someday. Here in the U.S., there is a variation of Mad Cow disease that has infected a lot of deer. I have no idea how that is possible, as deer eat wild plants, not pieces of ground up cow scraps. Its really wierd! My cousin is married to a deer hunter and they have been eating his kills for years. They are worried about the problem, but not enough to stop eating deer meat. I like them and their kids, so I hope they will be ok!

    I know you had a very hard day, so I hope that you have had a refreshing sleep followed by a much easier day. :)

    Hello Granny,

    I guess Melantrys is your ‘baby’ (or perhaps ‘grandbaby’) sister, eh? ;)
    Are you a vegan, too? Chocolate covered fake meatballs, yuck!!

  20. Granny Weatherwax Says:

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    Hi, David!

    I’m an ovo-lacto-vegetarian. I don’t know if this ugly word-monster is used in English, too. It means I eat eggs and things made from milk besides vegetables.
    And I didn’t actually eat chocolate-covered fake meatballs. I ate fake meatballs for lunch and munched on lots of chocolate since Christmas.

    You guessed right, Mel’s my “baby”-sister.

    Hm, I’ve got to stop spamming, my hubby looks ready to leave the house to go shopping and as I wanted to accompany him…

    See ya,
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  21. David Says:

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    Hi Mel,

    Well, here I am back to my old spamming ways after a relaxing hiatus. ;)
    As promised, my email address is:

    dwruben@earthlink.net

    Talk to you soon. :)

  22. David Says:

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    I have decided that you are overdue for a good spamming (or maybe a virtual spanking!)! ;)
    Well well, its been almost five months since we began this spam log (could that be shortened to mlog or maybe splog? ;) ).

    The weather here in Indianapolis has really sucked for the past few days! Unseasonably cold and raining. I need sunshine! If this keeps up, the Indy 500 car race may get rained out later this month. Oh well, I never cared that much about it anyway.

    I wrote emails to some Iranian biggus whiggus yesterday. I posted it to my A.D. blog. It would be interesting if I heard back from the wacky Iranian President. :)
    I’m getting hungry! Story of my life, I guess. ;) Hope you enjoyed your generous helping of veggie spam!

    azvfbv :P

  23. Melantrys Says:

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    lol

    You could have sent an email, you know… ;)

  24. Dina Says:

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    Wow you two sure talk a lot :P I got past 2 comments I think then gave up :D

    But I agree there’s a hypocrisy there… but to be honest I think if they want to be fair they should either just ban all of them or allow all of them.

    But this hypocrisy is not limited to european countries. In Egypt, if you are a female dipolomat, you would be ruining your career if you start wearing the hijab and you’ll never be sent to any “good” countries, just the neighboring arab countries. And if you go in with the hijab to start with, it’s unlikely you’ll get accepted. So we do this to ourselves as well.

    I also wish people who wear it would stop bugging those who don’t about it with their self righteous bullshit. It’s so frustrating.

  25. Melantrys Says:

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    We did, didn’t we?

    Welcome to my silly little humble blog.

    Hm, talking about hypocrisy…. The reason they’re forbidding hijab for teachers is - or so they say - that the hijab stands for oppression of women and the innocent little kiddies shouldn’t have teachers wearing this symbol of oppression.
    Only today this thought entered my mind…: Picture a young Muslim woman who grew up really oppressed. Let’s say she had the fear of Allah and the necessity to wear hijab beaten into her. She’s so full of fear (family, “the people”, god) that she has to wear hijab and could never imagine taking it off. The young woman wants nothing more than to become a teacher. But she cannot because she cannot take off her hijab. She’d be wearing it for all the wrong reasons, but would it be right to force her to choose another profession because of that? I think this would just be adding even more oppression.

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