Thursday, February 05, 2004
That's right ladies and gentelmen, I've moved off blogspot!
My new Blog home is: http://brandeiswiz.onefinejay.com
Please Update your links/blogrolls/etc. accordingly.
And a major thank you to Jay of One Fine Jay for all his help!!!
I just caught parts of Tennet's speech (I had to jump in the shower during the middle of it) but he did give an interesting talk. I think I'm going to have to look at a transcript of exactly what he said.
Fox News cut out to former DCI Adm. (Ret.) Stansfield Turner and talked with him--and all I can say is what a wanker this guy was. A brief bit of history on Turner--he was Carter's appointee to be DCI, and he basically emasculated the CIA--much to Carter's satisfaction. He also turned it into a bureacracy and made it even more risk averse and cut down on the agency's HUMINT capabilities, Covert Ops and not to mention cut the budget.
It was a waste of an interview in my opinion--so I flipped over to C-Span to catch the Q and A with Tennet (though again I missed a lot of it as I was getting myself together). Oh well.
You know what else I thought would be cool. What if some of our top intel agents/agency heads were to remain as secret figures like a lot of Israel's Mossad heads were (and other intel/security agents are)--like whenever they're mentioned in the press (rarely) they're refered to just by a letter or two. That would be cool in the spy novel kind of way.
A friend wants me to write an editiorial for a campus paper. It needs to be a "news" related editorial--the topic can be on either a national or international news topic (recently in the news that is)
I'm striking out on ideas....so I'm turning to you people for help.
Leave me any ideas in the comments
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Kucinich Predicts He'll Win Nomination
The following letter was sent out to a list I'm on by one of the sociology professors here at Brandeis (it's a different one than the prof I usually refer to)
I think the letter sums things up rather nicely. My one critique per say, is rather than teach-ins (which don't accomplish much)--I think Brandeis would be the perfect place to hold a (scholarly) conference on the Rise of Anti-semitism in the world.
Why Brandeis? Besides the fact that it was established by the American Jewish Community, it was created because of anti-semetism and quotas that excluded Jewish students from getting into other colleges. Brandeis has since involved into one of the top universities in the nation, and has one of the best programs/departments/scholars in Jewish/Judaic Studies who could contribute greatly in this regard.
Just my two cents.
Now to venture into an area which I don't normally touch upon.
When I was watching the half-time "Extravaganza" thingy at the Super Bowl, I noticed that Kid Rock's choice of an outfit consisted of a flag-turned poncho. I knew some group was going to get peeved about it, and I was wondering how soon until it was going to be until it hit the news. Well, it's now hit: Veterans Angry Over Kid Rock Flag Flap
I'm also a fan of James Bond movies and I think I've managed to see them all at least once (yikes!) But this report is bothersome: Report: Britney Eyes Role as a Bond Girl . Please don't tarnish the Bond series! Please!
Today was my weigh in day, somehow I dropped 4.2 lbs this past week. In all honesty, while I'm very excited by this, I'm somewhat disturbed that I lost so much in the course of such a short period of time--I dunno if it's really healthy. I can't complain though.
Wow, I'm blogging up a storm, and I haven't even gone 'round the blogsphere yet.
My late grandfather fled Europe when the Nazis began to invade Romania, and my grandmother (his wife) survived time in a labor camp in the Ukraine before being able to flee to Panama. They fled because of persecution and a desire for freedom--from the Nazis and the Communists.
The horror stories my grandparents told me about that era disturb me a lot. It is with this thought in mind that when I see stories like this I feel very bad: Desperate Cubans Escape to America by Car
I find it ironic that we don't let these people come to our shores and country to seek amnesty and freedom.
At the same time, while we capture these people and return them to Castro's gulag, our immigration services ignore all these other illegal immigrants, many of whom cross over from the Mexican border. Why? Where are all the "activists" on this?
When I took AP US Gov't in high school (great class by the way), we learned that one of the major "powers" that the House of Representatives has is the "Power of the Purse". It looks like the Republicans in the House may start to exercise this power: GOP lawmakers plan cuts in Bush budget
This is something to keep an eye out on
I think there's going to be a few inter-state constitutional issues coming up in the very near future.
Mass. High Court Rules for Gay Marriage
Meanwhile, in my home state of Ohio:
Ohio's gay marriage ban heads to governor's desk
The Ohio House voted, 72-22, on Tuesday to approve a ban on gay marriages amid much debate over the ramifications of the bill.
How soon till the case(s) reach the Federal court(s)? That's what I'm curious to know.
Also, why is the MA high court called the "Supreme Judicial Court"? Why not just the State Supreme Court (or something similar)--just curious.
My apologies if my posts yesteday seemed overly angry and/or cynical. I was in a quasi-disgruntled mood with the University (because the Registrar's office screwed me over big time).
I'm happy to report that I'm in a much better mood today. As such, I hope that my blogging will be more representative of that fact.
So in that spirit, here's an article about one of my favorite historians, Bernard Lewis. He's beyond brilliant in my opinion, and I love his works!
I'd also like to point out that this Friday is a very important day. Not only do I get to visit the on campus (underground) NASA lab, but it is also Ronald Reagan's 93rd birthday. More importantly, my little brother will also be celebrating his 14th birthday (also on Friday) No picture available yet, I'll see if I have a digitalized one available. So this friday is a big day, no?
Got a copy of the dead-tree edition of the Justice this evening. There's one thing that really stood out in this issue--there were no letters to the editor printed! I'm not sure if this is because they wern't submitted in time, or if there just wasn't space. I usually like the letters to the editor.
Why do I bring it up? I just got this email from the Hillel list:
I don't know what the deal is with the Justice not printing it, nor do I care to get involved with that. I'm suprised though that this kind of letter wasn't automatically sent out to the University as a whole. Then again, there was no email from the university president about this--nothing besides Dean Mays' email. Partially disturbing is the fact that Hillel didn't say anything about it when this was first revealed. In retrospect, that's also very dissapointing. Oh and not even the "tolerant"/"social justice" lefties said anything, but I'm not suprised.
How soon till I graduate?
Update I just got this letter (forwarded) from the ICC list at 10:07am on Wed.
Update 2:: I just got another copy of the letter forwarded from the Hispanic club at 1310
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
VILLAGE VOICE ALLEGES: Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton's Campaign...
This sounds a bit conspiracy theoryish. However, if it is really true, I'd like to thank this "GOP Covert Operative" for his providing us with so much entertainment.
So Sharon wants to unilaterally pull out all the Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip. Bad idea. Very, very, very bad idea.
Here's one reason why: Islamic Jihad: Our resistance led to pullout plan
I haven't done one of these in a long time.
What's wrong with being "heavy on the guns"? Please describe what the "useless cold war weapons" are? I want details!
By the way, funding for education increased, as did health care costs (e.g. the Medicare Boondogle)--and we still send aid to other countries (though some countries don't deserve it)
And people ask me why I don't buy Ben & Jerry's ice cream...(I actually don't buy it because its expensive and I'm on a diet).
Update: There's also a funny MoveOn email right now--they want the President censured. Let me know if you want to see it.
Okay, this week's issue looks more nauseating than usual. You'll soon see why:
Curriculum to get boost of diversity---Arrrgh! I hate this "diversity" crap. I don't get it at all!?!?!?!
Then my least favorite professor at the university chimes in
Prof. Gordon Fellman (SOC) said he looks forward to seeing the provost's initiatives implemented and possibly taking an active role in them.
This is all a big to do about...nothing. I wouldn't object to expanding some of our programs, like the East Asian studies, Latin American studies, get a few more specialists etc. But this whole "exploration" talk is a bunch of hogwash.
Reich at UC Berkeley; will return to Brandeis and teach in Fall 2004--He'll get a good audience there. It's Berkley. Nothing else needs to be said.
Focus of diversity group in question--In my opinion, I think the term "diversity" needs to be defined. Is it a committee to focus on minority students? I don't know. There's already a special Senator for Minority students, (who I also believes sits on the allocations board). So minorities already get special representation.
BBSO members upset over speaker--yeah, I would be too. This guy's rhetoric sounds like an Al Sharpton rant. What are the odds of the BBSO inviting a black conservative? Do I hear slim to none?
In spite of some challenge, tolerance club gets nod--this was the anti-Daniel Pipes group. Basically, they only tolerate things they agree with. Just what Brandeis needs another club like this.
The Justice Editorial Board has penned a good piece: Editorial: An in-depth look at the proposed diversity iniatives at Brandeis
Another good op-ed: TAKING AIM: North Quad swastika somehow fails to stir public outcry--I couldn't agree more with the points he makes. The answer probably is that because it happened directed towards Jews, it's not as important.
Another Op-ed: The right war for the wrong reasons--interesting points, but the author is wrong on numerous occasions. NATO is involved in Afghanistan by the way. Hitchens article in Slate magazine is supposed to address this topic very well from what I've heard.
That's all for now I think. There will be more later, I promise. How soon until I graduate from this place? Someone please tell me?
Apparently the DNC is resorting (yet again) to its old playbook, as apparently Kerry is trying to challenge Bush's record on Nat'l Guard Service as is DNC head Terry McAuliffe
This whole issue of Bush's guard service is very lame. It was made an issue in the 2000 Campaign; then it was put to rest. I mean come on, why keep beating a dead horse?
Bill Hobbes has a great post on this topic, dispelling the AWOL myth and not only that, he's got a whole category of posts on his blog on this topic.
Can we please just put this whole thing to rest--where it belongs. If we're going to debate things, why not discuss more pertinant issues?
Wishful thinking perhaps...oh well, one can only hope.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Had our first practice of the semester this evening. It was short (45 minutes) but very productive. We had about 10-12 people, at least (I didn't count)--and that's an amazing turn out for us. Seeing how Brandeis is oh so accomodating to its club sports, we had access to one indoor tennis court (sans net).
All that aside, perhaps the small space won't be too bad for us, as we're playing in an indoor league (6 v 6 on an astroturfed hockey rink) this semester, and hopefully we'll be able to play some outdoor games.
We started out running some line drills, and we were looking pretty rusty, but then we started with some 3-on-2s and then 4-on-3s and we seemed to get back in the rhythm of things. It felt good to start playing again, and even getting whacked and body checked wasn't that unplesant.
I did manage to scrape one of my knees---it's now about as red as mars, but it's only a minor thing, I've had much, much worse (and still played). It really felt good to get back into things.
Okay, perhaps this is getting a little excessive. Everywhere I look (online) that is, rather than discussing one of the greatest Super Bowl games of all time, all people are doing is talking about the Halftime "Spectacle" w/ Janet Jackson.
Now I can imagine that CBS and the NFL would be angry. As for MTV--it was their production, so I think they may be in CYA mode. I mean if she wasn't expecting it to happen, then why was she wearing a pasty in the first place?
I can understand why people were so angry about it, especially with so many kids watching the event. I don't doubt that for a bit. And it looks like the FCC is now stepping in.
I wonder how long this whole thing will take to blow over. I'd rather hear more about the game (e.g. analysis) rather than just hearing about the halftime hoopla.
Update I think this headline from Limbaugh puts it best: Great NFL Talent Polluted By MTV Garbage
Update 2: Drudge is now reporting:
Anyone happen to catch the Lingerie Bowl? It sounds like that was a lot cleaner.
As if the city of Boston isn't already in an excited frenzy over the Patriots win last night (and yes, things got out of hand) but starting this afternoon, another major Boston event begins.
It's time for the 52nd annual Beanpot Tournament!
A quick recap of who is playing: Harvard, Boston U, Boston College and Northeastern face each other in an effort to win this coveted prize.
This year BC is the favorite, as they come in ranked number 2 or 3 in the nation!
Tonight BC is taking on Harvard (5pm) followed by BU vs. Northeastern (8PM).
Then next Monday (the 9th) there will be the consolation game and then the championship game. It's basically the best of Boston Collegiate hockey--and is a big even for hockey fans.
The President is sending his $2.4 Trillion budget to Capitol Hill today.
I don't quite know what the budget entails, so I'll naturally have to rely on the news to find these things out. Apparently Sen. Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy (D-MA) hates it already, so perhaps there's some good stuff in it?
Rumor is non-defense spending is slated to increase no more than 1%; and net spending is expeected to increase no more than 4%. Let's hope that the Republican Congress actually toes the line, and that the President threatens a veto.
I think it'll also be important to see what the economist pundits think of the budget--as they probably understand these things best.
But speaking of cutting down gov't spending--I wonder how much we could save by not printing out the oodles of copies of the budget--what about PDF files? (just a thought)
So Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning we've got 6 more weeks of winter ahead.
I didn't know this bit of history:
You learn something new every day I guess.
Oh, and for those living in Cleveland--no matter what Phil does, you're still gonna be screwed with the weather--if you aren't used to that already.
They're talking about last nights commercials on the news. Apparently the top ranked commerical was the Bud Light dog trick commercial. That was a funny one. Bud Light had some really good commercials, like the Cedric the Entertainer one, and the "Rocket Sleigh". Heh.
The Homer Simpson one finished "in the middle of the pack"--I thought the simple fact that the Simpsons appeared deserved major points, by default.
Then apparently the Chevy "Soap in Mouth" ranked the lowest. I thought there were commercials that were much worse than that, but they obviously didn't poll me. I thought it was somewhat cute, though it didn't make much sense till the end.
As for the first Sierra Mist commercial, with the Bag Pipers--that one was, um, shocking to say the least. Somewhat funny, but overall shocking.
The Pepsi--Jimmy Hendrix commercial was also a good one--but I don't know how many of the younger viewers picked up on it.
I found the Cadillac commercials to definitely be lacking, and the American Chopper/AOL spots really seemed to bomb out.
Sunday, February 01, 2004
Wow! What a game that was! After watching the 1st Quarter, I would've never expected a 31-28 game. But wow...it was amazing.
It's really gotta suck to be the Carolina [place] Kicker--what bad timing
[Didn't something similar happen earlier this season? Possibly on MNF? Anyone remember?]
The CBS announcers--they left something to be desired.
The commercials this year--a mixed bag. A lot of 'em were simply lame, save for a few of 'em.
As for half-time...was P. Ditty lip-synching? And the whole Janet Jackson thing--I can't even begin to fathom the immensity of the uproar it'll cause.
Just some preliminary thoughts.
According to today's Jerusalem Post: [Israeli FM] Shalom announces 'free Lebanon' PR campaign
Now Israel's PR machine/apparatus hasn't been the best thing in recent years, so one needs to keep their fingers crossed on this one.
Zaka campaign to return remains of Eli Cohen
Cohen's remains should definitely be returned to Israel--at no cost. For those not familiar with the Eli Cohen story, see this piece. The man is a hero in Israeli society and history--and he deserves an appropriate internment in Israel.
[Israel DM] Mofaz: Terror leaders are not immune
Atta boy! That's what we want to hear! Show the terrorist slimeballs that they're not safe. They're going to get what's coming to 'em (hopefully sooner rather than later)
[Palestinian "PM"]: Qurei commemorates "martyrs" on first day of feast
Yeah, forget the roadmap. This stooge is Arafat's puppet.
Okay, and that's today's wrap up of news from Israel....
In recent days it looks like Kerry may have caught a case of Dean's foot-in-mouth disorder.
There was the special intrests story, his claim that the terror threats are "exagerated"
Now his latest blunder appears to be that he has just come out saying that "he'll treat terrorist acts against the U.S. as a law enforcement problem rather than as acts of war"
In short that's a major foot-in-mouth approach. Our treatment of terrorism during the 90s was in that direction and it is safe to say that it failed.
For a better explanation, see the following: Two pieces by Daniel Pipes: Mistakes Made the Catastrophe Possible and Democrats Unlearn 9/11 and then this piece from National Review: Counter-Counterterrorism: The debacle pre-9/11.
Anyone else thinking there's a foot-in-mouth problem?
Woooohoooo! It's Super Bowl Sunday!!! Woooohooooo! Hopefully this evening will hold a smashmouth hard-fought gridiron battle. If not, the commercials better be good (at a minimum).
I think that today should formally be made into a national holiday. And in doing so, teachers (of all academic levels, from elementary to college) should be prohibited from assigning homework due Monday. Yeah--I like that idea.
And just how big is the superbowl? Well, there are people willing to watch the game at odd hours of the morning as well. Don't believe me? Just look at Kin, who will be watching the game live at 2AM (over in Israel).
I don't have any predictions for the game (sorry to dissapoint anyone)--I just want a good entertaing game.
Just got in from a friend's birthday party. While there, I made a few observations and made some mental notes about should and should not dos of college parties:
Do have a wide variety of "beverages"
Do have some sort of decent music
Games like beerpong are definitely entertaining
Don't set beerpong table in a high traffic spot
Do be a good host
Do offer something to go with your "beverages" (i.e. chips, pretzels, etc.)
If you're the host of the party, don't go AWOL during the middle of things for an extended period of time
Just some random thoughts