Back when my family vacationed in Miami Beach, it wasn’t uncommon for the hotels abutting the shoreline to have high diving boards. I mean sometimes really high — maybe even the kind you see on Olympics telecasts. It was a scary jump for me as a child, but I think I mustered the courage once or twice. But I couldn’t as an adolescent. You see, the boards were closed down by then (circa 1980), an obvious victim of our society’s increasing litigiousness. Insurance regulations, you know.
Many Internet users look at websites that share aerial imaging technology as a novelty, a fun way to see what their house and community look like from the air. Little do they know that various levels of government around the world are using it for less amusing means. Sites like Google Earth and Bing Maps are being used as a tool to find so-called "tax cheats" and individuals and businesses that willingly or unwillingly sneaked past the building permit process.
Just as the State’s wars and taxes, oppression, corruption and cruelty are a worldwide curse, so is its xenophobia. The United States has plenty of company as it erects walls both literal and figurative at its borders while pitting natives against newcomers: so do Canada, Mexico, Australia, England, Asia, and Europe – specifically Germany.
On Friday, August 13th, President Obama welcomed members of the Muslim community to the White House to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Ramadan with an Iftar banquet — the meal served after the sunrise-to-sunset fast. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar.