Monday, January 31, 2005

 

Wariness Of Chinese Intentions

A US congressional delegation returned from a recent visit to China with more questions than answers regarding Chinese intentions. More on the China threat here. (via Winds of Change)

 

Two economic positives

Those who know me know that I am not optimistic about the US economy. The reasons are the economic bubbles first in the stock market and now in the real estate market. Bubbles are caused by a central bank that makes credit too easily available which inflates the price of a certain asset class beyond rational value. History is our only guide as to what will happen and financial bubbles have never ended well.

But there are a couple of articles I have read recently which are net positives for the US economy. First, concerns the available supply of oil and the fact that there are limits to the price of a barrel of oil and that known oil reserves will be enough to service the world far beyond what I would think would be our need for petroleum to power vehicles. Second, a clear eyed look at the Federal debt and the fact that it is not anywhere near as bad as people think. That is not to say that we can run $500 billion deficits for the next 10 or even 5 years but that $200 billion will barely move the debt-to-GDP ratio which stands at a manageable 38%.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

 

Tim Russert brings up Kerry's military record


. Posted by Hello

Russert is grilling John Kerry on his claim to have been in Cambodia on Christmas eve, 1968. Kerry's response is that his boat was on the Cambodian border that night. It was another night when he was in Cambodia and he got the two nights mixed up. With regards to the claim by Steve Gardner that Kerry was not in Cambodia in December 1968 or January 1969, Kerry claimed Gardner did not know when they were in Cambodia because, "..it wasn't his job." So Kerry claims he went into Cambodia, that "Special Ops guys" were on the boat and that one of them gave Kerry his hat which Kerry still has.

I know that I would like to let this drop and if Kerry said that he made a mistake and he was not in Cambodia then it might just fade as an issue. (It certainly faded immediately after Kerry was forced to acknowledge he was not in Cambodia in Christmas, 1968. I don't remember if Kerry ever addressed the issue during the campaign in public) I credit Russert for asking the question. Will any reporter pursue Kerry on this question?

Update;

I missed a big detail. Kerry said he delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge? When will this guy learn to shut up?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

 

Evolution Stopped Short?

Something amusing, via Donald Sensing.

Friday, January 28, 2005

 

Insurgent Photo-op?

Blatent media complicity in the dissemination of enemy propaganda: Here's proof.

UPDATE:
Wretchard says that the Iraqi police successfully foiled a terrorist operation, though this isn't how it was reported.

 

I could have had a 4.0 or a very expensive indoctrination


Bookworm's post reminded me of my senior year at Kenyon college. I was wondering through the sociology cottage looking for a course when I happened to walk into a class in which there were only women. I realized I had the wrong class and apologized and left. A friend was taking that class and later when I told her why I was there she said she was sure it was a mistake because she knew I would never take a class like that. I asked why and she said the name of the class was "Sociology and Gender". I tool that as a challenge. Since all Kenyon students were allowed to take a few classes pass/fail to encourage the student body to take chances on subjects they might not normally take, I decided to take this class P/F in case I wasn't able to keep my mouth shut.

My intention was to play along and see how well I could do. At this point, I did not want to have anymore arguments about feminism at Kenyon. I had done that more than a few times and it had done nothing for my popularity. So I went to class and I contributed with the idea that whatever the teacher said was correct. Everything I said was meant to reinforce the teachers point. The teacher was a woman in her 50's. She was not native to the US, I am guessing German or Austrian, but I never did find out. Being the only male and since I was agreeing with feminist dogma, she loved me. More than a few of the girls in the class (about 20 people) knew that I was full of stuff but I credit them for never ratting me out. I think they were enjoying my performance. Often the class would degenerate into a conversation between myself and the teacher. I could hear the eyes rolling behind me. My friend called me out in front of some other friends who all shared my point of view and who all got a big laugh out of it.

The class was only one semester and the grade would largely be determined by a paper we would write. I decided to write a paper on the economic positives of women entering the working world. I had a read a couple of books on labor economics and thought I could make this argument and apparently I did very well as I received an A. At that point I regretted that I was taking this class pass/fail. I was not only going to pass but I was sure that I was going to get an A. When I went to pick up the paper and discuss it with the professor she was ebullient in her praise especially with the research I had put into the paper. I thought it was a decent paper. IMHO, a college paper should present all sides of an issue, fairly and accurately, the conclusion is where you draw comparison and give your judgement. I did not do this because I felt that it would not have been what the professor wanted. Maybe she would have accepted a paper with a critical look at women entering the workforce. One reason makes me doubt this, she never presented any material in her lectures that was critical of feminism.

I never did let on to the professor that I did not agree with her about most of what she said. It would have been cruel and served no purpose. I took the class and parroted the party line to see if I could. I did feel a little shame for perpetrating a fraud but my guild was diminished by the thought that I really was not getting an education in this class. I was getting an indoctrination.

More:

The Monolith on the Hill


John O
adds:

This Parapundit post describes how feminists are destroying education and undermining the development of boys.

Also, George Will comments on Harvard hysterics.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

 

Illegal Immigration...

...y los bastardos que no respetan nuestra soberanía

The Mexican government threatens to ask international courts to block an Arizona law limiting services to illegal immigrants. What will the federal government do in response? The same thing they always do: Nada.

Just another demonstration of the respect paid to American sovereignty in both Mexico City and Washington DC.

UPDATE: More on the border chaos here and here.

 

Praying For The Presidency?

Hillary Clinton courts the religious left

Sister Hillary, from the latest issue of The Economist.


UPDATE:
Victor Davis Hanson has some related thoughts. They are very distrubing:
Most Americans do not trust the Democratic party's foreign policy, its commitment to a government-mandated equality of result rather than of opportunity, and its divisive identity politics that seek to cobble together angry interest groups — radical gay activists, ossified D.C. civil-rights insiders, abortion-rights advocates, and Moveon.org types who distrust the United States — in lieu of a grassroots national majority. Yet even such political self-destructiveness does not necessarily mean that the Democrats cannot regain the presidency even without a centrist candidate like Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman. In 2008, we could see another splintering of conservatives as happened in 1992 and 1996. A sober, stable Ross Perot-like national populist could well siphon off discontents — perhaps 5 to 7 percent of the conservative electorate — furious about immigration, deficits, and a sense of American financial impotence abroad.

In response, a liberal triangulating Clintonian — and there is one still left — could suddenly talk about sober spending limits, faith-based initiatives, the need to enforce immigration laws, moderation on abortion, American energy independence, and an end to unnecessary corporate subsidies, and win by capturing 45 percent of the voters.
Unfortunately, this could happen. Very frightening.

 

French President Jaques Chirac passes under the entrance gate at the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland


Allied cemetery vandalized Posted by Hello
Jewish cemetery vandalized

I don't know why but I get the impression that Chirac is just a tad uncomfortable. Or rather, he should be. Ok, Chirac is a politician and he has to do all sorts of things that he probably hates doing. On the Chirac hate meter I think this visit has to be at least an 8. On the other hand maybe Chirac is so dense he doesn't understand why he should be embarrassed. Afterall, the French are masters at slippery art of morality, that would be French morality.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

 

Iraq's Interim Constitution

With the Iraqi elections just a few days away, I was reminded of a post about the interim Iraqi constitution by Steven Den Beste from about a year ago. He thought it was an ingenious doccument and was optomistic that it would work in practice:
The reason I'm discussing the difference between semantic and structural solutions is that the Iraqi constitution which was signed on Monday also contains a structure which is unprecedented and which has every chance of solving a large number of major problems without having to address them semantically. It is extraordinary, subtle, profound, inspired. It is the Presidency Council.

This is an interim constitution. It establishes a government which will rule during a transition of power from the Coalition, and which will be responsible for writing a permanent constitution to replace it. But at the same time, it will establish a lot of precedent, and will be used as the starting place for development of the permanent constitution. There will be changes, but the ultimate shape of the Iraqi government will look a lot like what this interim constitution describes.

It is far from perfect. But I'm not interested in perfect. It faces an even worse political problem in ratification and execution than the Framers did in 1787 or the Europeans did in the last few years, because of the historical legacy of colonization and empire, because of religious schism, and because of recent brutal tyranny.

Iraq contains a broad variety of ethnic groups such as Turkmens, but politically speaking the most important are the Arabs and the Kurds. Iraqis have a great range of religious beliefs, but politically speaking the most important division is between Shiite Islam and Sunni Islam.

The primary problem here is designing a system which can be implemented and which will not destroy itself or become tyrannical. To even go into effect, it has to be approved by the Sunnis, the Kurds, the Shiites and the Americans (and British, but we're mainly driving this). The three Iraqi factions don't trust one another, and none of them totally trust the Americans or vice versa.

Of the four, the American demands were the most radical. The Iraqi constitution was required to guarantee the right of free expression, the principle of equal justice, the right of free exercise of religion, and the full and unconditional equality of women. It had to be democratic and it had to be secular. It had to establish an independent and impartial judiciary. It had to place all military power under civilian control. It absolutely could not fully and unconditionally incorporate Sharia as a body of law. If it did not satisfy the American demands, the Americans wouldn't approve it.

Bit within those considerable limits, those writing the Iraqi constitution also had to create a system acceptable to the three primary factions inside of Iraq. If they did not, the system would shake itself to pieces and there was a risk of Iraqi civil war.

The divisions within Iraq are very real. But this constitution takes advantage of the fact that there are three competing factions none of which really trusts the other. This constitution leverages that weakness, and makes it into a strength.

There is much more, including a comparison of the interim Iraqi constitution and the US constitution. There is also a bold prognostication at the end. It's worth reading in its entirity.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

 

Two More Interesting Articles


In his article The New Wave, Colin May contends the alliance the US formed in order to respond to the tsunami disaster is a preview of the future. An exerpt:
In fact, the big four alliance of Japan, India, Australia and the US is precisely contrived to surround and hem in China, and here special light has to be thrown on the Indian case. During the Cold War, India was a key player in the non-aligned movement. Today, the world’s largest democracy is a key American ally, both politically and economically. Out-sourcing of American jobs to India is no mere financial operation, but part of a political move intended to secure Indian friendship. And from India’s perspective, facing the Chinese on their northern border, the sub-continent is more than happy to reciprocate. Supplemented by Japan (which after the US is the second largest individual donor to international humanitarian organizations) and Australia (a regional power that has long been a reliable American ally), the Indian-American alliance could well be the most significant international alliance to emerge in the twenty-first century.

In a post inspired by a new book, "The Anglosphere Challenge" by James C. Bennet, Arnold Kling's calls the political left a "self-marginalizing group" An exerprt:
Bennett argues that modern technological change requires the sort of flexibility that the Anglosphere culture has been developing for over a millennium. It requires, in my terminology, easy entry and exit for social, economic, and political institutions. Intense emotional attachment to an arbitrary group or an outmoded institution will tend to be dysfunctional.

Failure to understand this requirement for flexibility can lead to what I call self-marginalizing groups. These are groups whose taste for coalition-building is weak but whose commitment to solidarity is strong. Unable and unwilling to compromise and form temporary alliances, such groups will tend to get stuck outside of the mainstream of political and market developments.

Interest-group politics, as traditionally practiced, has shown the characteristics that Bennett associates with the Anglosphere. Coalitions are fluid, pragmatic, and temporary. From the 1930's through the early 1960's, the Democratic Party included both the racist Solid South and the urban African American vote in the North. Meanwhile, Republicans tried to stitch together a coalition that included rural constituents and large banking interests.

At the moment, American politics seems to lack this flexibility and fluidity, particularly on the Left. The focus seems to be on conformity to dogma rather than breadth of coalition.

Both authors are absolutely right. Kling has a few additional observations worth reading.

 

The Iraqi Elections

An interesting post describing the insurgents' plans for disrupting the elections, which were supposedly posted on a terrorist web site.

 

In One Night, Iraqi Turns From Friend to Foe


The last temptation of Imaad Posted by Hello

Read the story from WaPo and then the commentary that I found at Instapundit, especially Iowahawk. Picture a 32 year old loser sitting at home with his Mom when American soldiers discover his porn collection. Then he beats his Mom because he is embarrassed. There is a subtext of repressed sexuality in our war against the Islamists. This story is really about a man who is wound so tight because of a culture that treats woman as barely human and sexuality as something for which they should be ashamed. It is funny in the same way that the poor weatherman makes you laugh and cringe at the same time. It makes me want to send Imaad a subscription to Playboy (as if that were possible) and tell him its alright, its natural and your Mom understands.

Monday, January 24, 2005

 

French appeasement does not work!


Florence Aubenas Posted by Hello

Undated file photo of French journalist Florence Aubenas, who has been working for French newspaper Liberation and has been missing while working in Baghdad since January 5, 2005. The French Foreign Ministry will not say whether she and her interpreter have been kidnapped, but the French officials in Baghdad and Paris are making every effort to find them.


 

My wife is pregnant!

I am going to be a Dad! The doctor confirmed that she is a little over 2 months pregnant. So one down and four more to go to catch up to Matt.

Our first indication was from a home pregnancy test on Christmas morning. I have never had a better Christmas present. Right now, she is in her home town of Saratov, Russia. She will have the baby there. Most of her family is there and they have a doctor she likes. Also, she (and her mother) thinks Moscow is too expensive to have a baby. It would cost something like $2500 including delivery at a private hospital. Yes, cheap in my book and I said that she shouldn't think about the money but what would be best for her and the baby. She is very frugal, I don't want her to lose that trait, but I just want her to get the best.

One more Republican voter in eighteen years, seven months.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

 

Bush's Inaugural Speech

Widespread ignorance in the news media

I don't understand why President Bush's inaugural speech has upset so many people in the news media. All Bush did was expound a bit on official US policy as stated in "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America." In an introductory letter to the doccument dated Sep 17, 2002, Bush wrote:
Finally, the United States will use this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe.We will actively work to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world.

The text of the doccument expands on this:

America’s experience as a great multi-ethnic democracy affirms our conviction that people of many heritages and faiths can live and prosper in peace. Our own history is a long struggle to live up to our ideals. But even in our worst moments, the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence were there to guide us. As a result, America is not just a stronger, but is a freer and more just society.

Today, these ideals are a lifeline to lonely defenders of liberty. And when openings arrive, we can encourage change—as we did in central and eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991, or in Belgrade in 2000.When we see democratic processes take hold among our friends in Taiwan or in the Republic of Korea, and see elected leaders replace generals in Latin America and Africa, we see examples of how authoritarian systems can evolve, marrying local history and traditions with the principles we all cherish.

Embodying lessons from our past and using the opportunity we have today, the national security strategy of the United States must start from these core beliefs and look outward for possibilities to expand liberty.

Our principles will guide our government’s decisions about international cooperation, the character of our foreign assistance, and the allocation of resources. They will guide our actions and our words in international bodies.

We will:

* speak out honestly about violations of the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity using our voice and vote in international institutions to advance freedom;

* use our foreign aid to promote freedom and support those who struggle non-violently for it, ensuring that nations moving toward democracy are rewarded for the steps they take;

* make freedom and the development of democratic institutions key themes in our bilateral relations, seeking solidarity and cooperation from other democracies while we press governments that deny human rights to move toward a better future; and

* take special efforts to promote freedom of religion and conscience and defend it from encroachment by repressive governments.

We will champion the cause of human dignity and oppose those who resist it.

It seems many in the media were either hearing these ideas for the first time or they had decided to simplyl ignore them all this time. As I see it, their collective reaction is quite shocking, considering the fact that the speech really contained nothing new and it is supposed to be their job to pay attention to things like this. But it wouldn't be a real surprise. Far from it.

 

What's Our Exit Strategy For Iraq?

A silly question

From Mark Stein's column in today's SunTimes:
The Democrats' big phrase is "exit strategy." Time and again, their senators demanded that Rice tell 'em what the "exit strategy" for Iraq was. The correct answer is: There isn't one, and there shouldn't be one, and it's a dumb expression.

Very well put, though I can think of an answer that's almost as good: We are following the same exit strategy in Iraq that we are using in Japan, Germany and South Korea.

 

Howard Dean: Prospective War Leader

...of what war?

From an AP artcle about the race for DNC chairmanship, via Ace of Spades HQ:

"This is a war for the survival of the United States as we know it," Dean declared at a breakfast meeting with labor leaders and Hispanic activists.

As Ace puts it, "They won't call a genuine war a "war," but they insist on describing internal politics with just that word." Scary stuff.

 

Moscow Melts in Record Warm Spell

Chicago weather

Moscow weather

I have to start playing the lottery. I was all set to freeze this winter. This is the first full winter I have lived in Moscow (moved here in March '04) and although it isn't finished, so far it has been pretty nice. It was a fairly cool summer from what I was told. Reminded me of Northern California, warm during the day and cooling off 30 degrees at night.

I have visited Moscow during an unbelieveably cold January 2002. That was miserable. Looking at the weather in Chicago does not make me want to return home any time soon. This is a fluke and I keep waiting for the endless days of sub-freezing temperatures to start. But I wouldn't feel deprived if I did not live through a bad Russian winter.

 

Protesters, some locked to a gas pump, sit at gas station while protesting President Bush's second inauguration



Wouldn't want to show our faces. Our stupid, bourgeois parents might cut off our credit cards. Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 22, 2005

 

French appeasement works!



. Posted by Hello

Obviously, the French have it right when it comes to dealing with terrorism. Give them what they want and they will leave us alone.

P.S. Yeah, I am a little late on this but my internet has been very spotty lately. My phone is out now and the Moscow phone company says there is no problem. The landlady says the phone just needs a new battery!

 

The worlds worst weatherman

Warning! This is painful to watch and, yet, so funny. I think this is a University of Ohio student television station. If this is a put on, this guy should get an Academy award.

Now that you have been warned here is a complete, miserable failure.

Oh my lord do I feel sorry for this guy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

 

Barak Obama

Greg Djerejian reviews (via Instapundit) the Condoleeza Rice hearings. He focuses mainly on the questions posed to her by Sen. Barak Obama. He was very impressed by Obama's performance. I was too.

I'm somewhat conflicted about Obama. He is frighteningly far to the left, particularly for a US Senator at this point in time. But because he won the Democratic primary race without the backing of any local power brokers and decisively won the general election, he is genuinely independent of Illinois' corrupt political establishment. He is a serious, substinative man with an abundance of integrity, qualities which are exceedingly rare among Illinois politicians. (In fact, he posesses at least 98% of the aggregate integrity in Illinois politics.) If he had run for Governor or Mayor instead, he probably would have become the fourth Democrat I have ever voted for in my life (ret. Cong. Lipinski, Mayors Washington and Daley).

I expect Obama will do very well in the Senate articulating/formulating the kind of responsible, substinative, principled positions an opposition party should be taking in order to hold the party in power accountable. The current Democratic obstrutionism just isn't healthy for the counrty. (I also hope that Democrats take notice of his use of God and religious rhetoric during his campaign speeches and the affect this had on religiously minded Democrats here. This too would be good for the country.)

But I hope he fails to advance the progressive cause in any way. The best scenario I can think of is that, after one term in the Senate, rather than immediately pursue any national ambitions, he decides to run for Governor and either forces the Republicans to nominate a serious person of integrity (very unlikely) or wins the job himself. He could then use his considerable talents to finally bring serious reform to Ilinois government. From my perspective, that is the task he is best suited for.


UPDATE:

It seems you guys missed my point about Obama. In truth I did a poor job articulating it, so a clarification is in order.

Maybe Obama has a more conventional politcal game plan than I think he does. Perhaps I'm wrong about him and he is just a another ruthless, cynical, self-promoting politican bent on achieving personal power above all else. But at this moment, I see something different.

I do see much idealism in Obama. I also see him as ambitious politician with a long term, strategic outlook; he just doesn't (yet?) seem to be a ruthless tactician, as are most successful Illinois politicians. His track record in the IL Senate, his primary challenge to Cong. Bobby Rush, and his US Senate campaign all indicate to me that he is crafting a reputation for formulating substanitive policy positions and personal integrity primarily as a means to an end. Ideological politicians often mix personal ambition with the advancement of their cause, occasionally subordinating the former to the latter. I believe that the mix Obama seems most likely to choose will be good for long term interests of both America and the state of Illinois.

Nationally, conventional liberalism is an electoral loser. Obama, who is smart and clearly has presidential ambitions, surely knows this. So he is positioning himself as a populist reformer with substantive, solid progressive credentials who can appeal to the religious left. This seems to be the best (to me, probably the only) way to make progressivism electorally palatable. In doing this, he will employ substantive, principled policy positions to keep Republicans honest, appeal to left of his party and hold those in power (perhaps even Democrats) accountable. He will also show the Democrats a way to act like a responsible opposition party and to how become electorally competitive, both of which are vital to the long term health and proper functioning of the country.

Locally, he will likely try to maintain his reputation for integrity and political independence by keeping the Illinois political establishment at arms length, which his prominent national profile will allow him to do. He may also find it politically useful to occasionally defy vested local political interests. (This may also be true at the national level.) He may even be willing to force popular policy changes heretofore blocked by appealing (or by threatening to appeal) directly to the people. This could have immense implications for politics in Illinois. I feel that corruption and an insular political class are the biggest problems facing this state. The way I see it, Obama's strategy for achieving political power will probably place him in a position where he will find it politically opportune to force change, perhaps even as governor.

In short, I see Obama's pursuit of his long-lerm political ambition as likely having a positive political impact at both the national and local level. He could prove a tactical success in most every area, which I see as good, and strategic failure, which (as you guys should know) I see as necessary. This is my hope, anyway.

 

The Liberal Media and War Heros

Stories they ignore

Ace of Spades HQ has a post entitled "Uncommon Valor ....that really seems worthy of more common mentions by the liberal legacy media." It links to a Rich Lowery piece about an act of battlefield heroism by Rafael Peralta in Iraq. Check out Ace's commentary. He's right.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

 

Casualties in Iraq

Who blames the terrorists?

Kos says he knows who deserves the blame for this heartbreaking situation. But it seems to me this is just another example, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, of something Kos thinks he knows but doesn't know he doesn't know.

 

Is the US reconnoitering Iran?

We'd better be doing things like this.

Update:
Bush says he won't rule anything out when it comes to dealing with Iran's nuclear program. I hope he means it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

 

Kerry Kicks Off Demoralization Tour 2005


. Posted by Hello

Eyes on the Ball News

"It indeed is demoralizing to the enemy that you're still here," he went on, "I can't believe so many of you are still alive; I thought for sure we'd have a 90% mortality rate, instead of the lowest mortality than of any war in history. But that doesn't mean it will stay that way. Mark my words, all of you will die if we don't stop Bush and Rumsfeld. Go US Troops!


Thursday, January 13, 2005

 

Going Blue


. Posted by Hello

Diplomad

A colleague came back from a meeting held by the local UN representative yesterday and reported that the UN rep had said that while it was a good thing that the Australians and Americans were running the air ops into tsunami-wrecked Aceh, for cultural and political reasons, those Australians and Americans really "should go blue." In other words, they should switch into UN uniforms and give up their national ones.

(Emphasis added)



Wednesday, January 12, 2005

 

I could have had a 4.0 or a very expensive indoctrination

Bookworm's post reminded me of my senior year at Kenyon college. I was wondering through the sociology cottage looking for a course when I happened to walk into a class in which there were only women. I realized I had the wrong class and apologized and left. A friend was taking that class and later when I told her why I was there she said she was sure it was a mistake because she knew I would never take a class like that. I asked why and she said the name of the class was "Sociology and Gender". I tool that as a challenge. Since all Kenyon students were allowed to take a few classes pass/fail to encourage the student body to take chances on subjects they might not normally take, I decided to take this class P/F in case I wasn't able to keep my mouth shut.

My intention was to play along and see how well I could do. At this point, I did not want to have anymore arguments about feminism at Kenyon. I had done that more than a few times and it had done nothing for my popularity. So I went to class and I contributed with the idea that whatever the teacher said was correct. Everything I said was meant to reinforce the teachers point. The teacher was a woman in her 50's. She was not native to the US, I am guessing German or Austrian, but I never did find out. Being the only male and since I was agreeing with feminist dogma, she loved me. More than a few of the girls in the class (about 20 people) knew that I was full of stuff but I credit them for never ratting me out. I think they were enjoying my performance. Often the class would degenerate into a conversation between myself and the teacher. I could hear the eyes rolling behind me. My friend called me out in front of some other friends who all shared my point of view and who all got a big laugh out of it.

The class was only one semester and the grade would largely be determined by a paper we would write. I decided to write a paper on the economic positives of women entering the working world. I had a read a couple of books on labor economics and thought I could make this argument and apparently I did very well as I received an A. At that point I regretted that I was taking this class pass/fail. I was not only going to pass but I was sure that I was going to get an A. When I went to pick up the paper and discuss it with the professor she was ebullient in her praise especially with the research I had put into the paper. I thought it was a decent paper. IMHO, a college paper should present all sides of an issue, fairly and accurately, the conclusion is where you draw comparison and give your judgement. I did not do this because I felt that it would not have been what the professor wanted. Maybe she would have accepted a paper with a critical look at women entering the workforce. One reason makes me doubt this, she never presented any material in her lectures that was critical of feminism.

I never did let on to the professor that I did not agree with her about most of what she said. It would have been cruel and served no purpose. I took the class and parroted the party line to see if I could. I did feel a little shame for perpetrating a fraud but my guild was diminished by the thought that I really was not getting an education in this class. I was getting an indoctrination.

More:

The Monolith on the Hill

Saturday, January 08, 2005

 

We are taking some time off blogging

MattO's father passed away Thursday morning. He was a good man who will be greatly missed by his many family and friends.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

 

I bet these headphones sound great...


TG Singh, a financial analyst with Reliance GP listens to Sony's Qualia 010 high definition headphones at the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005. The Qualia 010 stereo headphones utilize nano-composite diaphragm technology, an oxygen-free copper cord, and a lightweight magnesium frame. The QUALIA 010 headphones are available for approximately $2,600. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) Posted by Hello

...but I am going to wait until they come out with the turban-free version.

 

The future of leftists in America?


A US judge ordered a top leftist Colombian rebel leader Ricardo Palmera, also known as 'Simon Trinidad', to remain in jail for trial on drug, kidnapping and terrorism-related charges. Palmera, pictured being escorted to a plane by Colombian soldiers, was extradited to the US(AFP/File/Gerardo Gomez) Posted by Hello

Yes, this line was stolen from the Simpsons. Sideshow Bob sitting in prison contemplating his future. So true, so sad.

Which raises a serious question, who will win the heart of the Democratic party? Right now it looks like a battle between the Moveon crowd and the Clintonistas. Whoever wins the head of the DNC will give a good indication of the direction of the party. You know who I am rooting for. YAAARRR!

 

Only food with "moral authority" please


. Posted by Hello

Diplomadic

Bush 'Undermining UN with Aid Coalition'
By Jamie Lyons, PA Political Correspondent

United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response. But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN. “I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said. “Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme. “It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers.”

Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records on responding to international disasters. She said the US was “very bad at coordinating with anyone” and India had its own problems to deal with. “I don’t know what that is about but it sounds very much, I am afraid, like the US trying to have a separate operation and not work with the rest of the world through the UN system,” she added.

(Emphasis by Diplomadic)



 

Clinton for General Secretary



I am not shocked by the suggestion, just the source.

"I'd like to see Bill Clinton take the job," Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday. "The world loves him. He'd do a good job. It would be good for the United States. Hillary would love it." "O'Reilly Factor" guest, former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke, agreed. But while Clinton would be perfect for the job, Holbrooke said he didn't think scandal-scarred U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan should be forced out.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

 

Plasma screen, RIP

Being a big gadget person with less sense than dollars I have relied on the opinions of others to guide me for a lot of my high end tech purchases. Thank God. Now that I am a little older and have a few product cycles under my belt I am not so quick to jump at the latest. I have watched the HDTV hype and having seen a few HD broadcasts* on Plasma screens, I was all set to jump onto this trend. Circumstances prevented me from getting in on the first round. (I was broke) Then I started to hear bad things about Plasma screens. Specifically, they are prone to wearing down.

My clearing firm bought three 50" Plasma screens in 2001. That was back when they were well over $10k a pop. Part of the screen was used for a financial news broadcast and part was a feed from a financial data service that will remain nameless. (Not because the service did anything wrong, I just figured no company that has content for sale wants that content put on public display) The office manager told me that the part of the screen used for the data feed was wearing out. He said the technician who looked at it said that the screen was not designed for computer use. The data from the financial services did not change very often and that caused the the burnout. Keeping the display on a particular color wears on the screen. That was the first downside I had heard for Plasma screens.

Since I have heard much the same from others and now it looks like the market for big screen, HD is giving up on Plasma. Why? Well, there are a few guys on this site who know a whole lot more than I do about the science. But I can read and this looks like a technology that is a lot more promising. OLED displays have issues with the life of the display as you can see at the bottom of the previous linked to article. Maybe Samsung has a solution. Or maybe OLED's are so cheap to produce lifetime won't matter. Anyway, I will leave this to the scientists. While your at it, how about explaining surface conduction electron emitter display's (SED), also.

Take your time, I won't be moving back to the US until 2006.



*At least, what I thought were HD broadcasts. It is amazing how little those guys selling TV's know about their products.

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