While getting over the Chinese feast my wife cooked as we celebrated Chinese New Year last Wednesday, I found a few things the whole world might have overlooked in recent weeks.

1. There is now an environmentally friendly golf tee. You read that right. A company is promoting an Epoch 3 golf tee that reduces the surface contact with balls by 93 percent over regular tees and increases distance and accuracy. I did not make that up.

2. A Texas Tech University research group has confirmed that the Texas Lottery beats up the poor, the uneducated and minorities. “Play it smart and don’t play!” is title of one of my long-lost sermons.

3. An Australian pro surfer has designed “a contoured, air-conditioned” sandal with a steel bottle opener in the sole. (How did Nike let such a great idea slip by them?)

4. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the six largest American air carriers have lost billions of dollars and eliminated 100,000 jobs. Amid such big time airline failure, it is interesting that Southwest Airlines continues to make healthy profits. The big airline CEOs would do well to quit begging the government for money and learn something from Southwest’s management skills.

5. Newborn babies are less likely to survive in the United States than in our island neighbor country Cuba. According to Nicholas Kristof, Cuba is one of 41 countries that now boast lower infant morality rates than the U.S. (The source is CIA World Factbook.)

6. It would take a miracle for an Independent candidate to get on the Texas ballot, much less ever be elected. To get on the ballot, anyone but a Democrat or Republican must get 45,540 signatures from eligible but non-voters in either party’s primary or runoff. And they have only 60 days to get the signatures. In Oklahoma it just takes one signature. Louisiana only requires a low filing fee. Novelist and musician Kinky Friedman sums it up this way: “So these entrenched people in power are not sending the elevator back down.”

7. Noticed how the news from the Iraqi and Afghanistan warfronts no longer make the front page. The public’s ignoring the war efforts overshadows attempts at “patriotism.”

8. Did anyone notice Super Bowl Sunday amid all the hype, fireworks, music shows, bosomy cheerleaders and weird commercials, a football game broke out, right about church time. The Holy Day is now a Holiday. This is a Christian nation. Pat Robertson told me so.

Britt Towery is former Southern Baptist liaison to the China Christian Council. He now directs the Tao Foundation, an organization promoting integrity in missions, and lives in San Angelo, Texas. His column appears weekly in the Brownwood Bulletin

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