PEANUTS: ‘Paper Boy’, 1952

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“PEANUTS” (April 9, 1952)
By Charles M. Schulz

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Hong Kong’s Charlie Brown Cafe

A travel and food blog, Bitten by the Wanderlust Bug, has a great little photo series featuring an unlikely theme for a Hong Kong restaurant. The Charlie Brown Cafe. View the whole series, it’s fun. Here’s some samples:

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From the Department of Petty Controversies: Schools Cancel Halloween

Of all the conflicts to roil our educational system, this one is pretty absurd

 writes:  In the latest example of small-mindedness plaguing our educational system, schools around the country are attempting to ban costumes and candy on what is surely one of most kids’ favorite days of the year. The excuses range from vague concerns about “safety” to specific worries about food allergies to—get this—fears of breaching the wall of separation between church and state.

But whatever the motivation, the end result is the same as what Charlie Brown used to get every time he went trick-or-treating: a big old rock in the candy bag. What sort of lesson are we teaching our kids when we ban even a tiny, sugar-coated break in their daily grind (or, even worse, substitute a generic, Wicker Man-style “Fall Festival” for Halloween)? Mostly that we are a society that is so scared of its own shadow that we can’t even enjoy ourselves anymore. We live in fear of what might be called the killjoy’s veto, where any complaint is enough to destroy even the least objectionable fun.

Consider Sporting Hill Elementary School in Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, the school sent parents a note explaining that wearing Halloween costumes was was canceled because, well, you know, “safety is a top priority.” A spokesperson further explained, “We recognize that the education about, and celebration of, seasonal festivals is an important aspect of the elementary setting…[but] we must do so in a manner that is safe and appropriate for all children.” You’d think it would be easy enough to craft basic guidelines on what’s safe – only fake blood, no trailing ghost or ghoul fronds that might get tripped on– but such a simple task is apparently beyond the powers that be in Sporting Hill. Read the rest of this entry »


Lucy and the Nuclear Football

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If you grew up any time in the last half-century, chances are you have fond memories of Charles Schulz’s iconic “Peanuts” comic strip and its hard-luck protagonist, Charlie Brown. Each week brought a new misfortune for the unhappy Charlie, but never more so than when his crafty friend Lucy offered to play football — a game that, no matter how many times it was attempted, invariably ended with Charlie flat on his back.

These days, that little vignette is a particularly apt analogy for the Obama administration’s Iran policy. Time and again, the Iranian regime has succeeded in frustrating the White House’s earnest attempts at diplomatic “engagement.” So it was last week, when — on the heels of a very public diplomatic charm offensive aimed at the West — Iran’s new, ostensibly moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, struck a familiar tone during his visit to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

Ahead of Rouhani’s visit, hopes in Washington had run high for some sort of meeting between him and President Obama. But Rouhani’s entourage snubbed an offer from the White House for just such a symbolic “encounter,” deeming the logistics to be “too complicated.” And when Rouhani took to the podium at Turtle Bay last Tuesday, his address contained the same tired litanies about Western imperialism and injustice that have become de rigueur excuses for the Iranian regime’s anti-Americanism and nuclear drive. Read the rest of this entry »