Monthly Archives: February 2005

Enough ’08 Speculation

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m already sick of all the speculation about the 2008 Presidential race.

It’s only been about, oh, say 6 weeks since the President was inagurated for his secoind term, and already, we’ve been hearing almost non-stop speculation about who may be running in 2008!
This goes for both parties as well!

It’s so far down the road people…can’t you lay off the speculation for a while?

Developments in Lebanon

Lebanon (is yet again) a focal point in the news right now.

The pro-Syrian (puppet) government suddenly resigned today, much to the jubulation of the anti-Syrian protesters.

It’s important to note that the anti-Syria protesters are actually a mixture of Muslims, Christians and Druze–Lebanon’s three major ethnic groups.

While this is a very good development, however, we must wait and see if Syria is going to attempt to either institute Military control of the country or installing another puppet leadership.

Yes, I know it sounds pessimistic, but its worth keeping an eye on. Perhaps Assad thinks that by having his puppet government resign, he’s currying favor in the eyes of the world (in an effort to get pressure lifted off his regime)?

No Mas!

I’m still feeling sick (from yesterday) this morning..and lucky me, today is Monday, so it means I’ve gotta TA biology lab then sit and suffer through ethics class!

On top of all that, we’re also expecting another @%#%^$@! Nor’easter up here today, and the powers that be at the University have decided not to call of classes! Ugh!

I’m really getting sick and tired of these big snow storms that keep coming through.

Alas, I know I’m not the only one who feels that way, as here’s Michele who hits the nail on the head: A Small Victory – take this snow and shove it, I ain’t digging out no more

Guess the source

Guess the source of these quotes from an article:

Those on the left seem to be cynical about everything to do with the war on terrorism. I think if Patton were alive today he would say liberals lack the courage to fight the enemy and would slap a few of them around.

Liberals are also cynical about the way the military handles terrorist prisoners. I am sure Patton would tell liberals they lack the basic understanding of warfare and prisoner handling and challenge them to spend a few days on the front line to see how things are really done. Then he would slap a few of them around once again.

Liberals, especially young liberals seem to forget that war is a very nasty thing. It is not a panty raid on a women’s dormitory at a local college. In battle, the enemy has one thing in mind, he wants to kill. War is a contest of kill, or be killed and it is not nice.

The closest most leftists have come to battle is fighting police at various protests in the United States and around the world. Their idea of warfare is yelling obscenities at local police and hurling the occasional rock or bottle. A liberal’s badge of honor is spending a few hours in jail after being arrested at a protest in Seattle or Washington, DC and getting his or her mug shots taken.

First, prisoners captured in Iraq are not leftist protestors staging a sit-in on the steps of a Federal Building singing “Give Peace a Chance”. Prisoners in Iraq have not studied “Activism 101”and have never heard of Martin Sheen, Janeane Garofalo or Al Franken.

They are terrorist thugs who behead captured men and women showing no remorse in the act. They are murderers trained by Al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. They want to kill American men, women and children. They have no rights.

So guess where it’s from:
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And they come down

Starting tomorrow, the 7,000+ “saffron” gates which have adorned Central Park will begin to dissapear.

Granted, they won’t be gone overnight, it’ll still take two weeks for the gates to come down.

Speaking of the gates, I’ve finally downloaded the pictures I took of the gates last week to my computer, so I should get them online very soon (depends on how lazy I am).

If you didn’t see the gates, in my opinion, you didn’t miss anything. It looked more like, oh say, a giant car wash at points.

On the other hand, the gates did serve as good photographic subject materials.

Sick day

I’ve been sick all day…yet again..
Ugh..

And for that matter, I’ve got no plans to watch the Oscars either.
Though last night, when I was heading to sleep I found Comedy Central playing one of Chris Rock’s performances–good stuff I tell you!

A brief book review

I just finished reading Mark Levin’s book Men in Black

It’s a book primarilly written for those not very familiar with legal history, or should I say major cases in American legal history.

Those who are more familiar with many of the better known cases (e.g. Marbery v. Madison, Roe, Bakke, Plessy, Korimatsu) will find a lot of the material which Levin covers to be somewhat repitious and unsuprising. However, Levin also introduces some significant, yet not as well known cases throughout the book.

Levin uses numerous examples from cases to put forward his argument against the philosophy of judicial activism, and does so somewhat convincingly. Levin chose the cases he uses for his argument wisely, drawing on many decisions, some that that even to the non-legal mind are simply perplexing in how they were reached.

One thing Levin could be faulted for, is a failure to provide a stronger argument in support of the philosophy of judicial restraint at the start of his text, before he begins to take swipes at Judicial activism. Levin may also want to bring up/discuss the philosophy of judicial self-restraint as well–as it seems like such a discussion would also be fitting in the context of his work.

To those who follow politics, some of the material will also be very familiar. Such topics include cases which have been decided within the past two years, to the controvery with that especially on what’s going on right now with some of the President’s judicial nominees in the Senate. Though Levin’s citing (and presentation in the appendix) of the memos circulated amongst Democrats on the Sen. Judiciary Cmte. and some of the far left special interest groups may be new material to some and can be rather damning.

I found Levin’s chapter on Bush v. Gore to also be of interest. I didn’t follow all the goings on of the case back in 2000, and to this day, I don’t quite grasp everything which transpired/took place. Levin provides a nice summary and account of some of the goings on in the aftermath of the Florida Election, and the legal opinions which followed. This chapter is one in which I think Levin could have benefitted by discussing the idea of judicial self-restraint more as he touches on it, but he could have really expanded on it. In as much as I respect Levin and enjoy his show, I’m still somewhat skeptical of taking his account of the 2000 election mele as the exact history of what happened, mainly because I feel like I need to read more sources before coming to such a conclusion.

Overall, the book is an enlightening read. You could definitely say that it “preaches to the choir” on one level, but Levin also puts forth pursuasive arguments which could perhaps sway some opinions.

His writing style and attitude does not mirror the “New Yorker” style that he has on his radio show. For those not familiar with Levin’s radio program, let me share the following quote from memory. When asked a the Book Revue book signing “Why don’t you take your show nationally”, Mark simply replied “I’m a New Yorker, and I don’t think my style would be appreciated in the rest of the country”.

In the book, Levin is a lot more civil-natured and presents his case in a scholarly manner, without being too cerebral–thus making it good for a general audience.

News of the wierd

Student to embark on US crime spree

A student is planning to carry out a crime spree by travelling across the United States and breaking weird local laws along the way.

No word as to whether or not he’ll be getting college credit for this journey.

The NJ chapter of the ASPCA has way too much free time on its hands…nevertheless, they were successful in getting “Roadkill” Gummis yanked from the market
Makes me think of the old “Road Kill Cafe: You kill it we grill it” shirt I had when I was younger.

Impostor guilty in train scam

A man with a lifelong obsession for trains was sentenced to prison yesterday for trying to steal a Long Island Rail Road locomotive from a Queens yard in June.

On being a scientist

Via NRO’s “Beltway Buzz“, Newt Gingrich apparently spoke at AEI this morning about education, and among his comments he said:

Gingrich also presented the idea of paying students for success in the sciences. “We have millions in fundraising for Friday football every year, but funding for the sciences, that’s weird,” Gingrich said.

He noted that there is little incentive for young students today to choose studying the hard sciences over more lucrative and immediately gratifying fields.

While this is well intended, I don’t think it’ll work. What Gingrich and many others miss, is that those of us who study science don’t do it for the money.

We do it for the love of science. It is curiosity which drives and motivates us. We seek to make discoveries or to create things. We’re not in it for the money, rather science is more a labor of love than anything else.

Journalists as Scientists

From John mcCaslin’s column today (last item):

When it comes to reporting on pressing scientific issues such as global warming, stem-cell research, prescription drugs and biotechnology, do reporters know what they’re writing about?

“Never before have so many daunting and complicated questions . . . dominated the news – and never before has clear, accurate and insightful writing about the same been more important to public policy and personal decision making. But are we getting the science journalism we need?”

That’s the question the Institute for Humane Studies wants answered Saturday at a Washington panel discussion on the state of “science journalism.”

My answer, in short: No.

Yes, there are some cases of scientists becoming journalists, but more often you find these journalists writing for more scientifically oriented publications e.g. Nature) rather than the “mainstream” press (e.g. the big papers/wire services)

That’s another reason that when it comes to politicians debating science, things are so helter-skelter to begin with that it usually goes downhill from there.

Paging Ms. Manners

Okay, this is something that’s really been bugging me for a while now, but I’m not really sure what to do about it.

That is, I know what I’d like to say to adress a certain problem that I have with one of my roomates, but I don’t know the appropriate way to go about adressing it.

I’ve written more or less what I’d like to say below (you’re gonna have to click “more” to read it, and there’s a foul language warning).

The problem in a nutshell is that one of my roomates, is, well, not so quiet on their feet to put it mildly. He’s a more, um, heavyset individual, and when he walks through the apartment in the morning, primarilly when I’m asleep, the noise he makes is very loud and makes the floor shake and this in turn wakes me up–which I definitely don’t like–especially on days when I wanna sleep in! Hey! I earn the privledge!

So does anyone have any suggestions of a way to politely and as least offensively as possible to address this with said roomate?

Below the fold you’ll see what my brain really wants to say (but that I know better than to utter):
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Thoughts on “GannonGate”

Yeah, count me among those who haven’t really blogged about Jeff Gannon/Guckert (whatever his name is).

Why?

Simply because I could really care less about the whole thing. I don’t care what his sexuality is, I don’t care if he lobbed “softball questions” at White House Press Conferences (does anyone even follow those that much anyway?)

I think Glenn Reynolds has a nice wrap up of all of it here

Though I must admit, over at Protein Wisdom Jeff Goldstein has been blogging up one hillarious post after another. Especially entertaining is his constant interjection of the word “Cock” all over the place. It reminds me of one of my friends from back at Brandeis who would do the same thing with the word. (Random memories, I know)