A bomb-blast by a shrine in southern Thailand killed one person today. The U.S. imposes more sanctions on Burma, freezing the assets of an arms dealer accused of enabling the regime. The Irrawaddy mentions rumors of ill-health in Burmese Supremo Than Shwe or his family. Cancer, some say. But others say it is wishful thinking arising fro athe natural Buddhist assumption that karma would come calling on the general. Big surprise: Sandalwood is being smuggled brought into China from Nepal. Wat isn’t being smuggled into China from neighboring countries? Of course, the U.S. has drugs and people smuggled in through its borders — it is a natural and tragic consequence of money being on one side of the border and resources on the other. Courtney Love says Orlando Bloom introduced her to Buddhism and credits her daily chanting practice with helping her stay clean. She also says Bloom doesn’t mind being “outed” as a Buddhist, but he has discussed it before. Finally someone backs us up on the crude racial stereotyping going on in the Superbowl ads. It was very blatant and present in at least three ads.
“We never thought anyone would be offended,” said Mr. Gupta, who developed and wrote both commercials himself. “The pandas are Chinese,” he said. “They don’t speak German.” Still, “if I offended anybody,” Mr. Gupta said, “believe me, I apologize.” Mr. Gupta said he planned to keep running the other Salesgenie commercial, featuring an animated salesman named Ramesh who speaks with an Indian or other South Asian accent. The reason, Mr. Gupta said, was that “more people seem upset about the pandas than Ramesh.” “People have been making fun of my accent for years,” said Mr. Gupta, who described himself in the interview as half-Indian and half-Jewish. “And I love it.”
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