Sunday, November 30, 2003
Drudge is reporting: Dean Attacks Bush on Defense, Foreign Policy
How is this news? This isn't anything new...it sounds like the same-old recycled thing we've been hearing over and over again. An aside: Dean is clueless on defense and foreign policy.
While I'm on the topic of Dean, it looks like he's calling on Jimmeh Carter for advice.
Meanwhile, it looks like Clark is turning to Hollywood to jumpstart his campaign
The Forward reports on how the Dem candidates are apparently ignoring Ohio. It'll be a crucial state come 2004.
Going back to Dean...so apparently the man who claims that the Bush administration is too secretive, has apparently sealed his records as Governor. Eye On the Left has the whole round up
What is he hiding after all?
Via Steve Silver, the Jewish newspaper the Forward last week unveiled its annual Forward 50, or the 50 most influential American Jews.
Taking the top spot for the second year in a row was is a major player in the so called "Zionist Neo-con cabal"--Deputy SECDEF Paul Wolfowitz.
Going through the list, a few thoughts (besides the fact that I don't recognize most of the names):
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)--I don't think I've heard much of the guy
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)--he's Jewish? I never knew that. He's far too left though. Way too far to the left.
Fred Zeidman--never heard of him, but I like his committment to philanthropy.
Michael Lerner---yuck! Just hearing this man's name makes me sick. He's garbage. (He's also big in the NOIN, UPFJ etc. crowd)
Rabbi (officer) Carlos Huerta (101st Airborne Division)-- I've never heard of him until now either, but this man is a real Jewish (and American) Hero!
Rachel Fish--Bravo! She deserves honor for her anti-hate work!
Alan Dershowitz & Phyllis Chesler--their books are supposed to be good.
Daniel Pipes-- *Grin* I can't say enough about this man
Morton Klein--Good man; good organization (ZOA), all around good stuff
Malcolm Hoenlein & James Tisch--These two have done good work. I didn't know who they were until now, I've only heard of their efforts.
Jon Stewart--I LOVE The Daily Show. It's extremely quality TV.
There's one other figure on the list, but I think he warrants a post of his own.
Now back to the studying I should be doing
Let's start in the Gaza Strip, in the town of Rafah, where a Jihad Islami operative was killed in a "work accident"
US Forces Kill 46 Iraqi Terrorists Attempting Ambush
And a bad day for the terrorists...means a good day for all those who love freedom
Update Latest counts say that the 4th Infantry Division nailed 54 terrorists
I'm back here in the Commonwealth of MA (otherwise affectionately known as the People's Republic of Taxachussets), and back inside the little bubble known as Brandeis.
I've got lots of homework to do, and like most Americans, really want to catch some football. So it looks like I'm going to be juggling things around (as usual).
At the same time, I've found some stories that are definitely worth blogging on. With that being said, I guess I"ll be taking periodic "breaks" from my work to blog or procrastinate in other ways. All that aside, it's time to go read...
Saturday, November 29, 2003
This is just too wierd: Protesters turn on Jesse Jackson during rally
and Krugman appears to have taken Donald Luskin's advice (er at least some of it)
I'm back from my grandparents house...mmm....the turkey was so good.
As if thursday night's dinner wasn't enough, Grandma then proceeded to make Shabbos dinner....and she made her chicken soup! With Matzo Balls too! Yay Grandma! (as always)
Unfortunately, I'm in somewhat of a "rut' right now, so I'm home for the night, and am just doing homework. I know, it's very depressing...sigh...
Perhaps I'll blog later this evening (if I get the chance), or normal blogging will resume tomorrow once I return to Waltham. There's so much to blog about too!
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Happy Thanksgiving to all, their families and friends.
And a special greeting and "thank you" to the men and women of the US Armed Forces--we can not even begin to express how thankful we are for what you do
Yes, I'm back here at my home (an East-side Cleveland suburb). Not a very eventfull day traveling. The Mass Pike to Logan was virtually empty, and the lines at Logan were shorter than usual. It was really strange.
Slept through my first flight.
I had a layover in Newark--nice airport. Fortunately, Continental provided free magazines for the taking at the gate I deplaned at, so I was able to get copies of the New Yorker, National Review and Weekly Standard. I also walked around the concourse a bit and visited the bookstores to help pass time. Lots of interesting books on the market right now...hopefully the local library will have them available (I need something to do over winter break).
So from Newark I flew home here to Cleveland. I then had to wait ~90 minutes with my mom in the airport for my sister's flight to arrive. After that, my mom had apparently promised my sister that they'd go straight to this one clothing store to shop (and as an aside, I hate clothes shopping). Groan. Then at long last I got back here to my house, and my room. I got to throw together dinner for myself as well...haven't done that in a long time.
So tomorrow I'm going to my grandparents (who live out of town) for Thanksgiving Day, and I'll be spending the night there, and I probably won't get back home to Cleveland until Friday. Tomorrow I'll be celebrating the day like a lot of other Americans--Football and Turkey. Yeah Tryptophan! Yeah Football! Yay for grandma's cooking!!!
Then Friday, I hope that I won't be dragged off shopping with my mother. I hate shopping (save for certain types of shopping), but especially on the craziest day of the year. I'm also not an earlybird (i.e. I don't line up at stores at 6am for super sales).
Oh, and I probably forgot to mention that somehow I hurt one of my eyes today (somehow), so besides the fact that I'm in a lot of pain, it's my good eye that I hurt so I can barely see (and yet, I'm blogging, go figure).
I need to grab some more advil I think
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
I'm heading back home from school, so blogging will be light to non existant the rest of the day.
I'll be traveling for most of the day (I've got to first get to Logan, then fly, layover, fly again. Then since my sister and I are arriving on flights that aren't that far apart time wise (~1.5 hours), I'll lilkely be stuck on the other side of Cleveland to kill time (it's not worth it to drive me home than drive back out).
As such, blogging will be light until tomorrow evening at the earliest (unless I wake up early tomorrow morning and happen to be very bored).
But in case I don't get a chance to blog:
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
Update: Got a bit of time to kill right now...but nothing too exciting to blog about. Oh well.
No, I'm not talking about Tofurkey, Turducken
Rather I"m talking about "Turkey & Gravy Soda"
There's gotta be a federal law against it, right?
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
From the latest issue of the Justice
Front page story: A CAMPUS TORN: Pipes' visit garners strong support amid controversy
[For more detail on the talk, see the Brandeis Vanguard]
Also on the front page: Flier incites campus outcry (yes, the person turned themselves in)
Asbestos in North Quad not a threat--an interesting story.
And of course: SJC strikes down gay marriage ban
(like you didn't expect it?)
Then there's this piece: Reinharz presented with first official University Ring (It's just a bit expensive, no?)
Jumping to the forum section:
The Editorial Board weighs in on this semester's events
A column: Pipes protest left-wing fascism
A good letter to the editor: Left is just as guilty of intolerance
(yeah, it's from a friend of mine)
And there's other stuff as usual...I'm just being a bit lazy in linking to it...I'm just happy that my paper is done.
So of all days/times, it looks like I'm coming down with some sort of bug...perhaps the one that's been making rounds about the campus.
I've got to finish up this one paper for my cellular neuroscience class this evening, and then do laundry then pack to go home (among other things).
But the latest issue of the Brandeis paper is out...and I'll definitely blog on it later this evening. There's lots of good stuff in it (at least I thought there was at first glance) Big police blotter as well (score!)
Hopefully the meds will kick in soon, I'm gonna try to work on my paper...
So there's a lot in the news about how the Energy Bill is being blocked in the Senate. The reason for the block is a Filibuster (suprised?) which has the Senate Dems along with a group of New England Republicans.
Why are the New England Republicans so against the bill? Well the bill calls for a provision shielding makers of MTBE from lawsuits--and some of the New England states currently have lawsuits against MTBE makers pending. The MTBE clause is popular in the Great Plains area, since they'd like to use corn based ethanol--and this would also be shielded by the clause.
But what exactly is MTBE? Well, since I survived a year of Organic Chemistry and Lab I can explain it to you. Tert-butyl methyl ether, otherwise known as 2-methoxy-2-methylpropane; methyl t-butyl ether; Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether; Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) ; MTBE; Tert-butyl methyl ether.
It's molecular weight is 88.1492 and has a melting point of -109 (c) and a boiling point of 55.2 (c). That means that you'll usually encounter it in a solid form. And if you want to learn more about it, just visit this page
And for the record, I hated Organic Chemistry...
The revised figures are in! Consumer Confidence is at a 14-Month High and the U.S. economy grew at an 8.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter
This is the fastest rate of growth since 1984 when none other than this man was President:
(Yes, I know I put in a shameless plug for the Gipper)
So the so called "Geneva Accords" (text -- PDF file) which aren't even a formal agreement (they were authored by a bunch of "dovish" far-leftist Israeli figures and some outsider PA figures) and has been slammed by the Israeli public, the Israeli gov't, a former IDF Intel head and is even opposed by many in the PA including Arafat are obviously a bad idea.
(You've got to be an idiotarian or an asshat extrordinaire not to realize that this "agreement" is beyond screwed up and not worth the paper its printed on).
So just further proof that it's a bad idea:
I rest my case
Via Allah Is In the House
Now you really don't see lines like this in many newspapers op-ed columns, (maybe save for Dowd and Krugman)
It's actually from this piece in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.
Now for those who don't know much about the Israeli media, Ha'aretz is without a doubt the official paper of the Israeli post-Zionist left wing. (For some more colorful commentary on Ha'aretz visit Prof. Steven Plaut's Blog) Ha'aretz has a very hard-left bias, and almost anyone can tell you that (if the quote from the article didn't give it away).
Ha'aretz also bills itself as the "newspaper for people who think" also came under fire recently from outgoing Israeli AG Elyakim Rubenstein--who said:
and that was just the tip of the iceberg as other media outlets also said the same thing about Ha'aretz.
Via Fox News: Two Sentenced for Trying to Join Taliban
These guys obviously have their administrations mixed up...Cruise missile diplomacy was such a thing of the 90s. President Bush on the other hand takes the fight directly to the terrorists.
Too bad these guys surrendered in a plea bargain...they should've gotten life without parole for the charges against 'em.
So I've finished my term paper for my neurogenetics course; but now I've got to finish my paper for Cellular Neuroscience. It's as if the fun never ends (granted, I'm over half way done on the latter)
Monday, November 24, 2003
Here's some stuff to think about:
On that last quote, think about it in the greater sense (outside of abortion and gay marriage--substitute other issues)
As for the quote about divorce lawyers--groan--I don't like money grubbing lawyers [but that's common knowledge here]
Regarding the RNC ad, there's also posts up over at BlogsForBush, Limbaugh, VRWC Inc and Zogby Blog
My opinion, simply--it's politics. Nothing more.
And with that I return to finishing up my neurogenetics paper (which I should be doing right now...)
Drudge is reporting that "KERRY STAFFERS OVERHEARD PLOTTING IN IOWA HOTEL BAR
Apparently they want Kerry to ride more motorcycles (aside: I think he looks stupid when he does that) and "develop how Kerry's the real anti-war protester, not Dean" (after all, that's the current "core" of the Democrat base who vote in the primary--note the lurch leftwards).
You see...they're trying to steal Dean's base (which is the "activist" wing of the Dems). Problem is, the vote Kerry originally cast in favor of the resolution and his constant flip-flopping since then.
Kerry's campaign has apparently already started with this strategy according to this article
Perhaps the fact that Dean did indeed dodge the draft will bouey his support with the fringe groups who are supporting him, because he did what they would've done in the time of a draft--rather than fighting in general.
I still think that Kerry is French looking and very, very aloof. Also getting insulted by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog doesn't help very much. He really needs to pull something off soon, or he's sunk
After the President did that whole turkey pardoning thingy, a while later the news cut into a signing of a Huge Defense Authorization Bill
Most importantly though the President remarked: "Our military is making America proud"
And they sure as hell are!
That's why they deserve the across-the-board average 4.15% pay increase as well as hazardous service and family separation pay [increases]
Other good parts of the bill appear to be:
Cutting the red tape and bureacracy (sp?) at the Pentagon by allowing civilian managers to be moved to areas where they can offer the most help, speeds up the hiring process and gives the defense secretary much greater latitude in the hiring and firing of 700,000 civilian employees
Partially overturns rules preventing disabled veterans from receiving some retirement pay as well as disability compensation---the disabled vets deserve compensation for their service and bravery.
Exempts the military to provisions of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Pentagon claimed environmental laws restrict training exercises; environmentalists said the laws have had little effect on training and that the exemptions go too far.--which is good because some of the rules were way too strict and put the military at a major disadvantage in terms of training, and gave the military many more hassles than needed.
Finally, the President hit the nail on the head when he said:
"To win the war on terror, America must fully utilize the skills and talents of everyone who serves our country and this bill will achieve that goal"
So I woke up this morning and turned on the news (as I usually do), and all of the sudden they cut to the White House and they're showing the President giving a live presentation.
The President was issuing a pardon for the national turkey, which is named "Stars and Stripes" (as per an internet vote).
Here's the coverage of the event from the White House
I've never understood why our country has a custom to pardon a national turkey. I know, its a tradition and all, but I simply think that its silly.
At least the President isn't pardoning a Tofurkey or something like that
I know, I gripe about it a lot...but I'm not big on term papers. In case you're wondering what I'm currently struggling with, here's the paper I have to write my paper on:
Homer binds TRPC family channels and is required for gating of TRPC1 by IP3 receptors
It would be much more interesting if the paper was about this Homer rather than this one
Back to work I go....sigh....
Sunday, November 23, 2003
I've combined all three of my posts on Dr. Pipes' lecture into one big post and it's up over at the Brandeis Vanguard if you'd like to read it.
Apparently tolerance on campus doesn't extend to Republicans (as usual).
As was the case of this email:
Yay for tolerance [/sarcasm]
From the Cry Me A River Department:
Big Crowd at Military School Protest Gets Earful of Patriotic Music From Army
Oh no! They're playing patriotic music! It may even be jingostic! *Gasp*
Now the floor opened up to Questions from the crowd. People were instructed to keep their questions to a simple one line thing (rather than make a statement), due to time constraints. They were then allowed a follow-up question.
I don't have most of the questions written down verbatim, but I tried to capture the important part.
Q: What is your response to the allegations made against you?
A: This all began with a "radical" group known as the Council on American Islamic Relgations. This group is an apologist for terrorist groups, and their leaders want the US to be an Islamic country. [Aside from Josh: for more on CAIR see LGF or this piece by Pipes himself with bibliography]
CAIR maintains a list of quotes and publishes it. Pipes then said something along the lines of that a lot of the criticism comes from "some people who don't do their own thinking"
Pipes then said that the first victims of militant Islam are muslims; militant/radical Islam has the microphone, loud voices and this includes voices and professorships on college/university campuses.
Q: About the Oslo accords and a peace plan (a request for clarification/elaboration)
Israel made a mistake with Oslo. There shouldn't be talks until the Palestinians are ready [in other words to stop terror and recognize Israel]. Peace treaties also don't "trickle down" to influence the public's perceptions either (look at Egypt)
As for settlements and the "right of return"--no talks until the Palestinians make the initial steps.
Q: How can the War On Terror not be perceived as a Judeo-Christian War against Islam?
A: Add any and all anti-radical Islamists should be added to the coalition.
There's an intramural war that'll need to take place within Islam itself, the moderates vs. the radicals--and this battle is for the future of the religion.
This isn't the first war that's been fought against an ideology. Look at WWII, then there was the Cold War against Marism-Leninism.
As for the Rummsfeld Memo that got leaked to the press, Pipes commented that there needs to be a counter influence on the Madrasas. Pipes agreed with Rummsfeld that we need to somehow counter their ideas.
Q: On the Patriot Act: is it against "thoughts"? How doesn't it infringe on Civil Liberties?
[Aside: I was suprised this was asked. Dr Pipes isn't a lawyer, nor does he work for the DOJ...seemed like an odd question]
A: The act is over 400+ pages long; before it was passed Law enforcement couldn't liase with the military and now they can--which is helpful. Local law enforcement and the FBI now no longer have "firewalls" up between them and are able to share information which can help fight terror.
Q: You (Pipes) say its the aim of the Palestinians to destroy Israel, but how can they improve their live under occupation and the substandard conditions? And what about the "Geneva Accords"?
A: Pipes dismissed the idea of the Geneva accords. Noted what he'd said before about Diplomacy, and said he sees no change in the Palestinan mindset about destroying Israel.
Q: In reference to the following quote [and only the quote] from a 1990 article in National Review (NRODT):
A: Pipes notes that that was one quote taken very much out of context. It was written in 1990, right after the end of the Cold War--the collapse of communism. Pipes saw radical Islam as the next global threat (to replace communism).
Pipes tells people to read the next paragraph of the article. He says that the purpose of the quote was to show how the French and German perceived muslims at the time. Not Americans--Europeans, mainly the French and Germans. As for the part about hygine--Pipes simply said, look at the contrast in standards of hygine between the US and Germany. Then compare Germany and the Mid-East or Pakistan...that's all it was.
Then Pipes says something along the lines of, this is what happens when people takes clippings from CAIR and other readings..they never read the article in full (*crowd applauds*).
[Aside: See this page where Pipes responds to CAIRs challenges in detail]
Q: Another question about a quote...What about innocense before guilt? The quote in question was:
Pipes explained that the gov't has limited resources and should be scrutinicizing things that are ordinarilly suspect. Look at the Gitmo espionage case. The DoD eventually said it would rescreen all its chaplains, but it would take a while b/c it doesn't have the resources, rahter than just investigating its muslim chaplains (who are much much smaller in number).
[note: if you read the above article you'll see the rest of what Pipes basically said]
Pipes also argued that as a society were' becoming hyper-politically correct. We're not really serious about conducting the war on terror if we're gonna be this PC.
Q: Seeming that the second biggest terror attack on US soil was perpetrated by a Christian [OKC in '95 and Tim McVeigh] why not be equally stringent about Christian Fundimentalists?
A: Were there a campaign going back 24 years, I'd say to take more action against 'em.
Our country also isn't being very stringent about Muslims and terror. Look at the July 4, 2002 shooting at LAX. First it was criminal, then eventually the FBI reclassified it as terror. But the gov't was hesitant about doing so. They kept trying to downplay it as a disgruntled man See this column too
As for the KKK and anti-abortion groups, they're a problem Pipes notes. but they're not threat to the nation as a whole (on the same level as radical Islam). They aren't on the rise in number, nor do they have any state-sponsors for their actions.
Then returned to the "hygine" topic and said it had nothing to do with ideology.
Q: About the Patriot act: doesn't t suspend rights?
A: Get realistic (regarding our situation). We may need to moderate things, but only temporarilly, because if we don't and something happens, we could lose more rights.
*At this point in time, it's about 1:05-1:10PM and there's only time for 1 more question
So up to the microphone comes one of my least favorite professors. The head of the peace studies program. I wish I had the quote virbatim, but I'll have to make do with what I could get.
Q: Isn't it dangerous to characterize movements in such a binary fashion as being "good" or "bad"? And don't you think the previous actions of the US may have fed into odious feelings (of the terrorists)?
A: Pipes chuckles. [Then 10 students dressed in black, in front row, stand up, throw up some flyers and walk out of room. crowd starts to boo].
Then Pipes simply said that past American actions have nothing to do with it. Then he says: "militant Islam is an evil ideology and I hate it...and if that makes me binary, then I'm binary".
*Crowd erupts in applause, cheering, standing ovation. Gordies' students (a few) congregate around him. People are still clapping. Then crowd leaves the room (people have to get to class--like me)
Outside of Sherman there are ~10 protesters with signs saying "Impeach Pipes from US Institute of Peace", and another one with pictures of Pipes and Joe McCarthy and it mentions campus watch, then another sign saying "don't hate, tolerate". Most people just walk by ignoring it.
And that's the lecture...
Here's post number two of the notes I took from Dr. Daniel Pipes' lecture earlier this week:
This resumse on the second of the three "I"s, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Pipes says that there's a major misconception in the discussion of the Israeli-Palesitinian issue.
That misconception is the result of the letter which Arafat apparently sent the late Israeli PM Rabin saying that the Palestinians accepted Israel. The misconception was that there were just details that needed worked out, and that these would be accomplished through the diplomacy of the Oslo accords.
Over the course of the years since the Oslo accords were originally signed (September 1993), the Palestinians saw Israel as being weaker than she ever was before--in their eyes Israel was a demoralized nation. Naturally, this fed into the excitement of the radical terror groups (Jihad Islami, Hamas).
At the same time, there was nothing in the Palestinian Authority to indicate that they'd come to accept Israel [aside: there's nothing to this day]--one needn't look further than the Palistinan media, the speeches of the leadership, nothing in the newspapers, and the Friday sermons in the Mosques--forget it.
The Palestinians then decided with the start of their latest round of violence in 2000 that they'd be able to force this "demoralized" Israel into making concessions. And as a result of enough concessions, they'd be able to destroy Israel.
All in all, Pipes said that the diplomacy of the 1990s has turned out to be counter-productive in terms of an Arab-Israeli peace accord.
There were three main points:
First: To learn that diplomacy doesn't always work--as such, diplomacy shouldn't be used unless the circumstances are right.
Second, regarding the current state of affairs: one side must win, one side must lose. There's no meeting in the middle. There's gotta be a winner and a loser. The arabs are either going to continue to work to destroy Israel or they must learn to accept Israel.
Third, as for the United States, Pipes basically said that the first US goal should be to get the Palistinians to actually (genuinely) accept Israel's existance. And US policy must change in order to meet this goal.
Now onto the third major part of his lecture, the third "I": Iraq
Pipes was originally against Operation Desert Storm in 1991 (he didn't explain why), but he admitted that he was pleased with the outcome. However in 1998 the sanctions regime established by the UN after the Gulf War began to crumble as many of us know. Ultimately, Saddam Hussein broke the ceasefire and something needed to be done.
Now in 2002-3 Pipes supported war against Iraq. We were doing two things by kicking out Saddam Hussein---we were living up to our side of the agreement, and penalizing him for breaking the ceasefire. We were also establishing our doctorine of pre-emption (against terrorist supporting nations).
As for post-war Iraq, Pipes isn't the biggest fan of the administration's current course of action. He thought that there should've been a "Democratically minded 'Strongman'"--a harmless dictator built on the Turkey, Tiwan model. Pipes then thought that we should keep US troops in the country, but they should pull out to desert bases and let Iraqis run their country for themselves. We needn't pay and do things for them. This isn't a case of rebuilding a country (like Germany and Japan were), rather we just liberated Iraq, we didn't defeat it.
And with that Pipes recaped what he said and moved on to Questions...
Saturday, November 22, 2003
I link...you decide:
F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies (NY Times via Drudge)
The ACLU isn't happy about it.
Also for insight I suggest reading:: David Frum of NRO
and Amir Taheri's guest colum: "The London Streets: Who are these anti-Bush people"
I can't think of a better title right now, so "Craziness on Campus" will have to do. So here are two of the emails I've received in the past 24-hours from the University.
And email number two:
More to come....
Just got on my computer after Shabbat...and from preliminary analysis from the flood of email's I've received from a variety of lists, it looks like all hell is about to break loose on campus--over the charges of "racism". It looks like the far-left groups are unhappy that the university isn't doing "enough" (in their terms) to proactively fight this (note: they're dissapointed that people support Daniel Pipes among other things; and they think the MidEast forum is trying to Brainwash people)...
This doesn't look pretty.....I'll post some of the emails that i've gotten up here as well (w/ names removed). But it looks like the Justice incident was only the tip of the iceberg.
Friday, November 21, 2003
At some schools (read as D-I Universities) Midnight Madness is a big to do. But I go to Brandeis, which isn't known for its athletics.
But here at Brandeis, we've got our own version of Midnight Maddness..and its taken place tonight. Here's the description us students got in our email:
Now lets see...midnight madness is normally held the first night schools are allowed to practice (under NCAA rules). And it's also usually held, um at midnight...
Only at Brandeis...
When I first heard about the SJC ruling, one of the first things I wondered about was what affect this rulilng may eventually have on religions/religious practices/laws in terms of marriage.
As this article from the Cleveland Jewish News mentions
It's an interesting possibility...but its something to think about...
Morning thoughts...by me.
I'm not a morning person...I like sleep
I don't care about Michael Jackson...would you nice folks in the media please stop talking about him
Has PETA said anything yet about Iraqi terrorists using donkeys in attacks?
Have the lefties taken up the "Free Easter Island" campaign yet? I'll give it a few days.
The 9th Circus is back in the news. Any chance this case will be heard en banc
Is there some sort of conspiracy wherein all professors assign large amounts of work due at the same time? And why do finals start right after we get back from thanksgiving break?
I need some caffine...I hate the morning
Thursday, November 20, 2003
I just got back from hearing Dr. Walid Phares talk about the evolution of al-Queda, radical Islamic ideology and our current battle against radical Islamism.
It was an excellent talk and I took notes which I eventually plan on typing up and posting--when time permits me to do so. But I've got to work on another paper and graduate school applications. Tons of fun, I know. And no, I haven't forgotten to transcribe the rest of my notes about Daniel Pipes' talk either. I've been busy.
But in short, Dr. Phares was very, very optomistic about the course of action we've taken and thinks that we will in the end win.
And now back to my regularly scheduled homework
On the topic of the purported flyers, I've now seen a copy (I got forwarded a PDF version of what the flyer looked like). The flyers were in very, very very poor taste. There's also a contact email on the flyer (if it's a valid email address I dunno). I'll see if I can find a public weblink to the flyers so that anyone whose curious can see them (they are posted on a school server, but I'm not sure if it's restricted access based on IP #).
A meeting is being held this evening by a bunch of clubs (see the "Uh oh...here we go again?" post below) about these flyers and apparently Dr. Pipes' lecture.
Here's what one email said about Dr. Pipes' talk:
Again, I'm not sure what was so bad about the Pipes event. Besides the fact that he had overwhelming support from the audience, shot down all the "coalition's" planted questions, and got a standing ovation from the crowd...
There's also the following flyer that was emailed (which the "coalition" apparently distributed or wanted to distribute"). Taking the text from the PDF (I love Adobe Acrobat) it read:
Then there was a flyer posted purportedly posted by the MidEast Forum @ Brandeis (I say purportedly b/c I don't know if it was indeed by MEFAB). It read as follows:
I'll blog more on this story as it develops...but I'll let you reach your own conclusions on it.
I just got word that Dr. Walid Phares is going to speak on campus Thursday night! Yay!
He's gonna speak about: "An analysis the road to September 11, and the current developing strategies of al-Qaida and the international Jihad Movement worldwide. He will review US policy and plans in this regard."
Not only are we getting two anti-Idiotarian speakers to come in to campus this year, they're both coming in the same semester, in the same week!
Wow! This is so great!
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Uh oh, it looks like we may be in for a whole 'nother race related incident on campus.
I've gotten two emails that have said:
I've got no clue what these flyers are/were, nor do I know anything about them besides what I've posted above.
Nor do I know anything about the "nature of knee jerk right wing reaction" either (whatever the hell that is?)
Update: Two more emails:
First, a "saner" one:
and then there's a wackier one:
Now again, I have no clue what the purported flyers are all about--so I'm not going to say anything until I find out more about 'em. As for the "March for Tolerance" and whatever happened with that (see below), I think that more of the complaints from people had to do with the fact that they didn't want to be annoyed with people marching down their halls making noise. It's either that or the fact that a lot of people actually don't really care about the march.
Third, this whole "huge right wing backlash" thing...where is it? Where do I sign up for it?
[A note: according to these people "social justice" usually goes hand-in-hand with "progressivism"...yes, it's these groups, so many readers know what they're talking about when they say "social justice". And their definition of "right wing" is basically anything they don't agree with].
Fourth--I think a lot of this is because we had a non-liberal speaker on campus, Daniel Pipes, and these groups didn't get the kind of response that they wanted (Pipes' supporters vastly outnumbered his foes, vastly--so they're bitter).
Finally, I don't think that students on this campus are racist or prejudiced as these people are portraying things. It may be an isolated person or persons; but most of it is likely apathy on the part of students.
In reference to this prior post about the so called "March for Tolerance" monday night, here's an account from the marchers themselves on what took place.
A very quick dissection of this whole march thing:
People slamming doors: People probably were annoyed that there were people chanting on their hall and didn't want to hear the noise? That's usually what happens in residence halls when there is excessive noise (no?)
Blocking off halls: One can only guess...but maybe they didn't want the noise and all on their hall? In Usen blocking the hall by making a chain of people...isn't that "non-violence"...isn't that what is taught in a lot of the classes?
The kid with the 2x4--um...I have no clue what to say about him. Maybe he didn't like the noise? Maybe he's just a bit off the rocker?
People yelling out of windows: Same with slamming doors, people were simply getting annoyed by it. That's my guess. They were annoying me even when they were outside my dorm. And what's wrong with people chanting opposite slogans?
As for the Village, I've heard conflicting reports about them being rude or not. And that flyer--as Pipes explained at the lecture, the quote isn't racist (I'll be blogging on it later), it was taken out of context and its used in a CAIR made "anti-Pipes" sheet.
As per popular request (and prior promises), I'm going to be blogging about the talk which Dr. Daniel Pipes gave here at Brandeis University yesterday.
Please note, that I'm going to be blogging about the lecture in "pieces", so there will be multiple posts on it, but one [long] complete post will be available over at the Brandeis Vanguard (I'll make a note when it goes up).
I'm breaking these posts here down into pieces strictly because I don't have the time to type everything up at once, nor do I have the attention span to do so (I've been very busy lately typing up a lot of papers, so I need a break from the computer).
So without further ado, Dr. Pipes' lecture at Brandeis:
The lecture was held in Sherman Function Hall. There was a small police barracade set up outside the building (to prevent run away cars?) and there were two Brandeis police vehicles and one Waltham cop car. Inside the building there a few cops and a lot of plain clothes security people (I don't know if they were bodyguards or just private security).
At first I'd say only 150-200 chairs were set up, and that was a woefully inadequate number. Slowly but surely more people began to enter the hall, and more chairs were quickly brought out and set up, but in the end the hall was quite full and people were sitting both on the floor and standing. As for the planned protesters, there were no more than 10-15 people dressed in black (the protesters plan), combined with a handful of professors who you could tell were part of the anti-Pipes crowd. Then there appeared to be many school officials (the "suits") and some staff members from other University departments (such as Student Life, Campus Life). There were a small number of people from outside of Brandeis, but the large majority of people in attendance were none other than Brandeis students. There was a really big crowd in attendance, maybe 300-400 people? (I'm not good at these kinds of estimates).
The presentation began with an individual from the office of Student Life [whose name I'll omit b/c it's not relevant] who gave the general "were honored to have..." shpeil, than went on to read the "Core Values of Division of Student Life".
The floor was then turned over to the President of the Mid East Forum at Brandeis (MEFAB), who gave a biographicalintroduction for Dr. Pipes, and explained that Dr. Pipes would first be speaking and then there would be a moderated Q and A session after he was done talking. She asked that due to time constraints, people only come with one Question (and then one subsequent follow-up), and in the process, that they please keep their questions short and to the point. She also kindly asked that people not interrupt the speech, and that if they wanted to hold up signs during the talk, they do so in the back of the room as not to block anyones view of the speaker.
Then what everyone was waiting for--Dr. Pipes got up (to a large chorus of applause) and began to speak.
Dr. Pipes began by saying that while he'd been invited to speak as part of panels previously at Brandeis, this was his first "General Talk" at the Unviersity!
He said the theme of the talk was going to be "The Middle East Crisis: A review of the bidding". Pipes said that he was going to focus on what he called the "Three "I"s": "Islam [and the War On Terror], Israel [and the Arabs] and Iraq".
He started out with the War On Terror [WoT] and Islam:
Pipes said that the War On Terror didn't start on 9/11/01; rather, war against the US was unilaterally declared by radical Islam back in 1979, when two major episodes occured. The first, is the well known taking of the US Embassy in Iran and then the lesser known attacks on two US missions in Pakistan.
Then attacks against the US by Islamic radicals really began to increase. Pipes pointed out some of the better known incidents--such as the 1993 WTC bombing, the 1998 bombings of US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, the attack on the USS Cole. Pipes also mentions that there were other lesser known terror attacks within the US. For example, the shooting at the Empire State Buidling (1997), the 1993 shooting outside the CIA headquarters, and the 1994 Brooklyn Bridge shooting. [Josh notes:Pipes only mentioned a few specific indicdents in his talk--although, many more occured and Pipes has mentioned these in his writings. These events include the Beruit bombings, Khobar Towers, the Kahane Assasination, the Achile Lauro]
Pipes noted that at the time, the belief was that these cases could be dealt with stricly through the Judiciary system. Everything could be handled by law enforcement. Pipes noted that in some of the cases we did get the men responsible, however, that didn't solve the problem. [Josh notes: The FBI and the police departments also did drop the ball in some of the cases, as did the JTTF, but that wasn't part of Pipes' talk--however he's mentioned it in his columns].
Pipes said that on September 11, 2001 things changed in the way we were going to fight terrorism. We were no longer going to fight with the Judiciary alone. Now we were going to bring in the military and our intellegence agencies to fight this battle. The United States was going to go after the terrorist, defund them, destroy their bases (such as uprooting the Taliban)--in short, we were going to take "active steps" against terror.
However, Pipes noted, this was just one phase of the battle. There's a second phase that needs to take place--a war against ideology: the war against militant Islamic ideology. Pipes went to great lengths to sperate Islam the religon/faith from radical Islam the ideology. He said they were two different things. One was a religion--one was an ideology of radicalism that needed fought.
Then he moved onto the issue of the Israelis and the Palestinians....but I'll begin that part in my second post (I've gotta get to class now)
"Peace-protesters" in the UK think that this pink tank is supposed to scare us (the US).
Personally, that tank scares me as much as the Brandeis football team does.
The latest issue of the Justice came out today. The cover story was naturally about the student who passed away (note: the Boston Globe has more details--note, it is rather graphic though).
It appears that the originally scheduled cover story was supposed to be about last week's stolen copies of the paper. The student senator behind the theft has resigned from his position. It's quite a long article too.
Otherwise, it was anything but an interesting issue of the paper. Very, very slow. There was even a 2-page photo spread of sophore student's dorm rooms. That's how slow it was. [no pix online though]
The University wants to proceed with its "Master Plan" and in the process go into $25 million debt (on top of all the money we're supposively already in the hole).
Here's some article about Waltham being a college town (it's not too much of one compared to other places).
And in the letters section, from what I've read, there's one anti-Pipes letter and one titled: "Push for more tolerant campus not genuine"
I'll hopefully have time tomorrow to Blog about Dr. Pipes' appearance. It was just great all around!
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Via The Angry Clam, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer
CORRECTION: Because of an editing error, this story misattributed a quote from the speaker on an audiotape purportedly of Saddam Hussein as coming from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. It was the speaker on the tape, not Daschle, who said, "The evil ones now find themselves in crisis, and this is God's will for them." The only solution for Iraq was for "the zealous Iraqi sons, who ran its affairs and brought it out of backwardness . . . to return . . . to run its affairs anew," the speaker on the tape said, referring to the Baath leadership. END
Daniel Pipes' lecture was awesome! He just set the record straight. He bashed CAIR and exposed 'em for what they were. He shot down the prepared "quotes" (taken out of context) that were fed straight from CAIR.
He even shot down Gordie! Hooray!
I'm definitely going to blog a lot more on this later, but I'm not feeling well right now, so I think I'm gonna go take a powernap or something
So at long last the Mass Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) finally handed down its ruling on Same-Sex marriages, and said that Gay Marriage Can't Be Denied
I've got a feeling all hell is going to be breaking loose over this decision.
Over at the Corner things are starting to heat up
Now the ball (read as: "hot potato") is back in the Mass State Legislature's court, and things will start to heat up there.
This may also make the whole "Gay Marriage" issue a big one on the campaign trail for 2004...which could make things interesting, especially in light of these recent Pew poll results.
More as the story develops...
I've been blogging about the so called "coalition for tolerance" recently, an ad hoc coalition of groups (mostly the far left groups again) basically against Daniel Pipes.
I previously mentioned that there was a speaker brought to campus last year, by the: Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence (through the Brandeis' International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life), the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and Students for Peace in Israel and Palestine--and this "coalition for tolerance" was nowhere to be found.
The event was titled: "TOWARDS A JUST AND VIABLE PEACE? A VIEW FROM THE GROUND"
And it featured:
So what happened?
So it turns out that this Halper guy has long been putting on this roadshow of lies. (That's a file from CAMERA). Here's a piece from the ZOA on this Halper figure.
Some choice excerpts:
Very tolerant, no?
So here's what wound up happening. A lot of members of Zahav (the major pro-Israel group on campus) showed up armed with facts to hear Mr. Halper and to challenge him on his previous statements and any anti-Israel lies he may bring up during his talk--and Halper went in to the usual anti-Israel lie fest.
In response, he was hammered with tough, fact based questions (which were cited by the way) and his way of responding was yelling and calling people names, including calling a friend of mine a "bitch". Nice of him, no?
And yet there was no "coalition for tolerance". Then when the Justice came to report the story, they totally spun the facts and made the pro-Israel students come off as the "evildoers". Here's the article (scroll down towards the bottom)
Where were all the people protesting outside the dorms for tolerance last year?
Well, tonight, as scheduled, a bunch of "tolerance" protesters marched around campus screaming really loudly (and obnoxiously) about being "tolerant"...in advance of Dr. Daniel Pipes's visit tomorrow. Besides disrupting me from the essay I was trying to crank out, they were simply annoying. I like Dahlia's report of their "march".
And tomorrow the President is going to be traveling to the UK, where he'll be greeted by a slew of anti-war protesters (and the rest of the circus that they bring). Even though the war is done and over with, they still feel like they have to march around like a bunch of fools.
All I've gotta say about these two marches....wankers, bloody wankers
Update: More on what allegedly took place during the "march" here at Brandeis:
Thanks for coming out to the rally last night. It was at times fun and at times threatening. In Massell someone decided to brandish a two-by-four, people chanted Pro-Pipes slogans and burned our fliers, however, the rest of
the evening was relatively calm and pleasurable
(These reports are unconfirmed though)
Monday, November 17, 2003
Here's the link to the university's press-release about the passing away of a student early sunday morning. The press release also has a link to the obituary in the Boston Globe.
I'm not going to say anything else in terms of rumors and details surrounding this as a sign of respect to the family and the late student.
Update: From the Waltham News Tribune
Monday is definitely my least favorite day of the week. After all, it's monday!
In good news, my class this afternoon was cancelled, and I did really well on my exam (from last Wed)
A couple of big events this monday. Ahnuld is now CA Governor.
Rush Limbaugh returned to the EIB Network and made the following statement
However he did say:
Well, it looks like he hasn't changed in some regards.
Fortunately, my blogroll is back up (as are everyone else's) after a hacking attack.
Er...I should go start my work now....
Well, I've gotta run off to Hebrew class soon...
But afterwards I'll be meeting Steve, who is visiting his alma matter.
And then this afternoon I'll be working on a draft of my neurogenetics paper, till my 5pm class (which I don't like), then tonight I've got to do reading and continue typing out my papers.
Sigh...I so hate papers.
And in other news, Rush Limbaugh returns to the airwaves today...there's a lot of speculation what that's gonna be like...
The Waltham News Tribune has picked up the story of the stolen issues of the Justice. [last reported here]. And it's the Front Page Story!
Here's an excerpt from the story
I don't think the University is going to waste the time and money by taking a claim to the Waltham District Court. The most they'll do is send him before the J-Board and let them figure it out.
In the end it was a prank (albeit a somewhat stupid one)--even though I liked spinning out random wacky conspiracy theories at the very begining. Brescia does come across sounding somewhat stupid with his quote: "I was thinking that every copy of the paper was free, so I did not think it was theft......"
I'm sure there'll be more on this story Tuesday when the Justice comes out...
I just got the following email from the Club leaders list. It's an email from the "Coalition for Tolerance".
[note: I've added hyperlinks to some of the cited pieces from the mainstream press--and I've got my words after this letter]
Okay, this is wrong on how many levels?
First off, while the WaPo didn't like Pipes, here's an article from Frontpage Magazine and a list of individuals supporting Pipes. Here's a piece on why Muslims should support Pipes' appointment (apparently from a Muslim). Another one from a prominant muslim from the WSJ. Caroline Glick had a piece in the Jerusalem Post. Even the LA Times endorsed Pipes to the USIP
As for all the quotes that are used in the above letter, those are the standard fodder. It's important to look at the quotes in context, because unlike some other pundits, Pipes doesn't rant nonsensically. Here's a closer examination of what the quotes really meant.
You people should go back and do your homework on people you want to denounce as racist and intolerant.
One can only hope that this headline is right:
I wish their was video of this...I'd watch it over and over
Sunday, November 16, 2003
So a recap of my day today.
Wake up--get myself together--eat brunch--read journal articles for a few hours--look at football scores every so often--back to reading (total of 4 hrs)--start Hebrew paper--break an hour for dinner--continue writing 3 page Hebrew paper. Finish paper--begin outlining another paper and start that paper.
Did I mention that I hate papers?
Update: For those who've previously read this post, the deceased (z"l) is indeed the individual I thought it was...and there's no word yet on what happened...
I just got a campus wide e-mail from the university president indicating that a member of my class passed away off campus this morning.
I knew this him personally, although we were just acquantances...as I played lacross with him through last fall (before he went abroad--then decided to focus on just playing rugby). He was also in USY at the same time I was, granted, he was from a different region, but he did serve on the International Executive Board and was my overseeing officer.
Wow....this is really creepy....
My condolences to the family...
Via Drudge I came across the following story: Brain scan identifies race bias
Based on what the article says, in my mind this story smells like junk science. The paper is not yet online at the Nature Neuroscience website (where according to the articles it is supposed to be), so I have yet to read the study itself--and thus make up my mind.
However, simply using fMRI (Functional MRI) to examine people's brain responses to a series of images doesn't really sound like solid science to me. Perhaps it's more of a psychology thing, but I still don't think it holds much water.
My only hope is that this wasn't a federally funded experiment, as that would be a waste of good research funds.
I'm frustrated with a research paper I have. Yeah, after about a week of work I've finally gotten a topic and I think I've gathered up the appropriate articles to use for my paper, but I've still gotta read 'em and then type out the paper. (That's for Neurogenetics)
And that's only one paper. I have another one to do for Hebrew and then a third one to do for Cellular Neuro.
Then I have to work on my graduate school personal statement. Argh!
Papers suck! But Michigan sucks even more!
Saturday, November 15, 2003
Ohio State just defeated Purdue 16-13 in Overtime; when the Purdue Kicker missed a Field Goal. What a way to end such a game! Oh my goodness, my heart is still racing from all the excitement in that game.
It was a hard core, smashmouth football, defensive battle. It was real Big Ten game. Two of the top defenses in the nation going face to face. Special Teams were clutch in the game. On the last play of regulation Purdue blocked an OSU field goal attempt (set up by a fumble recovery)--and then the game went into OT.
Someone call up ESPN Classic! This game is an instant classic!
I think I need a beer or two (and I don't even drink)
Next Saturday: Michigan vs. Ohio State--at the field of the infidels in Ann Arbor.
[note: This week I will blogging a lot about the OSU-Michigan game and it's history. It's always a big deal. Go State Muck Fighigan!]
Friday, November 14, 2003
On the Front page of today's Globe there was the following article: Fast method to build genes found.
All I have to say is wow! That's really impressive and it's going to be extremely helpful for research purposes.
I'm definitely going to go read the published paper in Proceedings of the Nat'l Academy of Sciences
And also in the news, via On The Third Hand is an article from the UK Sun titled "The mum made of TWO women".
I heard this same story on NPR this summer while in the car with my father on the way to work (dad likes NPR). The woman is a human chimera! It's a rare occurance, but it's really neat when its discovered!
Chimeric species are commonly made in some organisms (such as Drosophila Melanogaster and mice) for neurogenetic studies--but to find this naturally in humans is a big suprise!
Okay, I guess I should stop being such a nerd right now.
Well it looks like some student(s) at Dartmouth either have a sense of humor or were really offended by Dean's remarks about the confederate flag--as it lead 'em to make posters for a Dean speech with the flag as the background.
Then during Dean's talk, a small group of students unveiled Confederate flags as he was introduced. Of course the blame was automatically put on conservative students (whom may have been involved--but it's not definite). They didn't disrupt anything either--and minorities were involved as well! (*gasp*). Dean didn't comment on the students actions when interviewed later.
I also saw on Special Report with Britt Hume last night video of some student walking through the city of hanover with a mock Klan costume carrying a "Dean for America" sign. Excessive? perhaps. Creative? Yes.
Remember that "Palestinian Solidarity Movement" conference, or should I say hate fest that was held at Ohio State University last weekend? Well the Cleveland Jewish News made it the cover story.
There's also an article by the Cleveland Beitar director on the event; and an article on how one of the Jewish day schools chartered busses to protest the conference on Sunday.
Finally, there's the blander JTA article.
Here's the latest from the "coalition for tolerance"
Great signs of tolerance. They don't even cite Pipes' comments...nor did I hear any condemnation from anyone at Brandeis about Mahathir's comments. I did a quick search on that line by Pipes and it's apparently from a speech before the American Jewish Congress on 10/21/01. But it's in CAIR literature non-stop.
Then there's this one:
Well, Ibn Warraq goes by a pseudonym since there are many a fatwa issued against him. Warraq has also written a series of books as well.
Then there's this:
Um, again, the quote is taken out of context. Pipes was refering to an anti-Islamist....jeez...
Then there's this:
Yeah, Pipes comes off rough at the edges, but he doesn't hate Islam. He hates Islamists (or Islamofacists)--and he encourages moderate muslims to take action against the radicals within their own religion. He does make conditional statements as well....as you would see if you read his work people--and not just relied on CAIR's
Finally, this poem was also sent out to the tolerance list: WE ARE ACCUSED OF TERRORISM
Here's one of my favorite excerpts:
Very tolerant guys.....geez.....
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Sorry, it's been a very slow day for me, I've been working all day on some research papers. Thank goodness for online journals, or I would've been in the Science Library all day. But since no one really cares about that, here's the latest news surrounding Dr. Daniel Pipes' on class appearance.
So at last week's Student Senate meeting according to the minutes, Pipes' upcoming appearance was brought up. Here's the discussion on the issue:
[I've removed the names for reasons of privacy]
Let's just say, I report, you decide....
I've got another post in the works about the "pro-tolerance group"...and it'll be a big one (but it's under development)