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Inside the System

September 6, 2002 | Page 4

McDonald's hits a new low

CORPORATE GIANT McDonald's has never been known for "good taste"--either in the quality of its food or its ever-present advertising campaigns. But the company hit a new low in August when officials rolled out the new "McAfrika" sandwich at 15 McDonald's restaurants in Oslo, Norway.

According to the company, the sandwich--made of beef and vegetables and wrapped in pita bread--is based on "African recipes," and is a part of the company's attempts to launch more "exotic" food in some of its European chains.

But there's nothing exotic about famine. Right now in Africa, an estimated 12 million people are in danger of starving to death, in one of the worst famines to hit in decades. So to mark the launch of the sandwich, the charity Norwegian Church Aid gathered outside of a McDonald's in Oslo--and handed out the high-protein crackers that aid workers use as emergency rations for starving people.

McDonald's was so embarrassed that it was forced to agree to a deal to inform customers about the potential famine in southern Africa and tell them how they can help.

--Associated Press, August 26, 2002

Send your kids to Dubya Elementary

THE STOCKTON Unified School Board in California recently voted 4 to 3 to become the first district in the country to name a school after Dubya. Now, small children can have the dubious honor of attending George W. Bush Elementary School.

As one of the four Republican board members told a local newspaper, "I'll be honest: Choosing [Bush's] name is politically motivated, because I am a conservative…It's kind of an 'America now' vote. Through that vote, I was attempting in some way to articulate my patriotism, love of country, deference and respect for the current president and the huge task that faces him.", June 17, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"I'M A European. I see an America that's rehabilitated in a way that was unimaginable to me 10 years ago. Back then, the U.S. was the neighborhood bully, inept in foreign policy, beating up on the wrong guy everywhere…Now America looks smart and, dare I say it, sexy again."
--Idiot rock star Bono

"FORMER PRESIDENT George Bush used to refer to Portland as 'Little Beirut' because of the protesters he encountered during his visits."
--Los Angeles Times, commenting on the Portland, Ore., protest against George W. Bush

"I'M KIND of like Che Guevara: I lead the revolution, but at some point, I turn it over to someone else."
--Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, on his decision not to seek re-election

"THE WAR against terrorism is terrorism. The whole thing is just bullshit."
--Actor Woody Harrelson

"[THE ISRAELIS have] got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make a case that both sides are involved in terrorism."
--Media mogul Ted Turner

--Securities and Exchange Commission spokesperson Christi Harlan, on why the SEC is almost never able to recoup money from corporate executives who defraud the public

"IT'S SAD that I can't run longer. It's one of the saddest things about the presidency."
--George W. Bush, in Runner's World magazine

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