Jul 24, 2007
Americans are obsessed with happiness. We are bombarded daily with images of things that promise at least temporary happiness—whether it’s a laundry detergent, a gourmet meal, an exotic vacation or a sexual triumph. Meanwhile, social scientists study whether we feel happy, and if not, why not.
Tom Fox, 54, a peace activist and a member of Langley Hill Friends Meeting in McLean, Virginia, was kidnapped in Iraq in November 2005 along with three other members of Christian Peacemaker Teams—Norman Kember, 74, of Britain; and James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, both of Canada. Their captors, a group called the Swords of Righteousness Brigade, accused the four of spying for Western governments. Fox was eventually separated from the others; his dead body was discovered in Baghdad on March 9, 2006. The other hostages were rescued two weeks later.
This is a response to an article by Jan G. Linn.
Surgeon general appointees are often controversial, usually for reasons having to do with sex. Conservatives fumed when C. Everett Koop praised the virtues of the condom and when Jocelyn Elders extolled the virtues of masturbation.
In the wake of 9/11, Daniel Pearl, Southeast Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was in Pakistan chasing down leads to a mysterious figure named Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who he believed had connections to Osama bin Laden and to the recently captured “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid. Omar, a Muslim extremist, lured Pearl into a phony interview with Gilani, then abducted him in an effort to embarrass Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf with a high-profile international incident.
Where would Jesus bike? Bicycling advocates in Chicago are seeking to close a network of boulevards on Sundays from May to October so they can be used by bikers, roller bladders and skaters. They’ve met resistance from some churches along the route. One of the pastors adamantly opposed to the plan is calling for a compromise—wait till Sunday afternoon to close the streets (Chicago Reader, June 22).