Peter Snow Cao: “I am sure you are getting a mail on this, but maybe others will find it an expensive way to try standing. Cheap and easy way to try-before-you-buy in under two minutes: boxes. I use an empty book box to lift my monitor and an old computer tower box on its side for my keyboard and mouse. I also stand in my bare feet and have pair of flip-flops I will stand on part of the time for a softer gentler feel. Conversion back to a sitting height is just as fast and easy. No tools required.”


Bob Sakowski: “I am a poll worker here in Florida and the last election I was the Poll Deputy, making sure everyone stayed in line, was orderly, etc., which meant being on my feet from an hour before the polls opened to two hours after they closed. The next morning came and I could barely get out of bed, felt like I had broken my back. After an MRI, the doctor found that all of my disks were severely dehydrated and compressed with a number of herniated disks, much arthritic damage to the vertebrate themselves, plus in three cases adjacent vertebrates were in contact with each other and the disks were actually impinging on the cord. I was 67 at the time. The moral of the story is obviously this: Check with your doctor to see if your spine will be able to hold up to standing all day before taking the plunge.


Sally: “Love the tip about bypassing voicemail. The wonderful David Pogue originated ‘a national campaign to take back your time and money from the country’s cellular carriers.’ You can find his instructions for joining in here.”


After years of delay, the U.N. finally granted consultative status to IGLHRC (rhymes with GIGGLE-herk), the New York-based International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

The vote was 23-13, with the U.S. leading the way – President Obama called the vote an “important step forward for human rights” – and only Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, among South and Central American nations, voting no. (Chávez was joined in his opposition by at least two Republicans who urged other countries to reject the U.S. position.)


My friend Thor Halvorssen gives a perspective in the Washington Post that should give any Chávez fan second and third thoughts:

. . . After his failed coup attempt in 1992 against Venezuela’s democratically elected government, Chávez, who had named his rebel movement for [Simon] Bolívar, was imprisoned for two years and eventually received a presidential pardon. Upon running for office in 1998, Chávez dubbed his party the Bolivarian Movement, and as president he changed the name of Venezuela to include “Bolivarian Republic.” He has often left an empty chair at cabinet meetings, for Bolívar’s spirit, and even ordered the central bank to deliver Bolívar’s sword for his personal use. (He has since presented replicas to Moammar Gaddafi, Robert Mugabe, Alexander Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin, Raúl Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.)

. . . If you can imagine Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Lincoln rolled into one, you can appreciate Bolívar’s historical power in much of Latin America, and why a “Bolivarian ” revolution is infinitely more legitimizing than a “Chávez” revolution. . . .

Now, as you’ll read in the Post, he has had Boliovar’s body exhumed.

. . . “I had some doubts,” Chávez told his nation, paraphrasing the poet Pablo Neruda, “but after seeing his remains, my heart said, ‘Yes, it is me.’ Father, is that you, or who are you? The answer: ‘It is me, but I awaken every hundred years when the people awaken.’ ”

By presidential decree, every television station in Venezuela showed images of Bolívar in historic paintings, then images of the skeleton, and then images of Chávez, with the national anthem blaring. The message of this macabre parody was unmistakable: Chávez is not a follower of Bolívar — Chávez is Bolívar, reincarnated. And anyone who opposes or criticizes him is a traitor not just to Chávez but to history. . . .

And yet, beyond its creepiness, writes Thor, this is a complete perversion:

. . . Bolívar would be outraged by the notion of Chávez, a socialist, as his intellectual or political heir. In his correspondence, Bolívar revealed himself as someone in the company of Thomas Jefferson much more than Karl Marx (who documented his hatred for Bolívar in great detail). He described the American form of government — so disparaged by Chávez — as “the best on Earth.” The small library that accompanied him on his military campaigns included Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations,” several biographies of George Washington and dozens of works on the rights of man and the tyranny of illegitimate government. . . .

☞ Cry for Venezuela.


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