Australia today announced that it is relaxing political sanctions against the country formerly known as Burma. The US and England will soon follow suit…all responding to growing political reforms after decades of military rule and political oppression. Meanwhile, crony capitalists that profited under the military regime are re-branding their images in an attempt to maintain their wealth and influence.
Japanese linguist Kazuo Ueda (left) worked 20 years on a 1,300-page, 28,000-entry <em>Idishugo Jiten,</em> or Yiddish-Japanese dictionary. He is shown here with his wife, Kazuko, at their home in Kyushu, Japan.
Credit Lucy Craft for NPR
Worldwide, the number of people fluent in Yiddish — a hybrid of German, Hebrew, Russian and other languages that uses the Hebrew alphabet — is dwindling. In Japan, it's estimated there are only a few dozen devotees. This Yiddish poster from 1917 exhorts immigrants to the United States to buy Liberty Bonds.
A smattering of Yiddish words has crept into the American vernacular: Non-Jews go for a nosh or schmooze over cocktails. Yet the language itself, once spoken by millions of Jews, is now in retreat.
But you don't have to be Jewish to love Yiddish. In Japan, a linguist has toiled quietly for decades to compile the world's first Yiddish-Japanese dictionary — the first time the Jewish language has been translated into a non-European language other than Hebrew.
In a new book, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores how we reach different moral judgments about the same issue. Haidt says we join groups to reinforce these judgments and this "groupishness" contributed to the survival of our species, but it has also been cause for fierce divisiveness. Haidt says there’s another option: mutual understanding and respect.
It's in a ritzy section of town, so the company is hoping to appeal to high end customers with a retro farmhouse style decor. This includes Ottomans covered in vinyl cowhide fabric and the front of a 1960s van mounted on the wall.
The housing market has a new frontier — turning foreclosed homes into rental properties. Some big-time investors are starting to buy up thousands of homes to turn into rentals. That might help shore up home prices. But some housing advocates are nervous.
For decades, most single-family homes available for rent have been owned by mom-and-pop landlords. Sometimes it's the nice old guy up the street who owns a couple of rental homes, and some even offer advice on the Internet.
That's a matter of fierce debate among Christians — with conservatives promoting a small-government Jesus and liberals seeing Jesus as an advocate for the poor.
After the House passed its budget last month, liberal religious leaders said the Republican plan, which lowered taxes and cut services to the poor, was an affront to the Gospel — and particularly Jesus' command to care for the poor.