Friday, May 02, 2003

You are them.

Think about it.

Bush read a speech in Santa Clara (Silicon Valley, CA) that has been referenced by all the major news outlets, but they all take the same snippets and use them as sound bytes-- as Yahoo News does here.

Strangely, though, I can't seem to find a copy of the actual speech outside the White House Website, which surprises me (negatively), to say the least. I'm probably being a (paranoid) curmudgeon but I thought the information age would lead to more sources and more varied honest interpretations of content. Eh--I'd better just get my head out of the clouds and start cheering whenever my President "stare[s] at the smoldering wreck on his screen."

Though I guess I have no right to complain-- the information age also gives free rein to people to "manage" information in whatever way they choose. The era started by Kennedy and Nixon's TV debates continues in spades through the present, as Tom Shales points out nicely (Washington Post 050203). Yes-- I know I've cited him before.

A couple of thoughts:

One can never learn a foreign language.

It is impossible to be a radical in isolation.

Do these make sense, or am I just deluding myself?
I wonder how he got involved in politics and law:

The meeting will be chaired by the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, William H. Taft, IV, and will be open to the public up to the capacity of the meeting room.

(From a DOS press release on the Meeting of the Advisory Committee on International Law Friday, May 16, 2003) And no, I am not taking potshots at him individually, but am justifiably peeved about the overarching phenomenon of "legacies" skating into positions of power. But by all rights, State particularly needs people who are both shrewd and have that kind of political clout.

In other news, I was wondering what people think of memorials and general:
Possible clarifying questions: How do you think about and interact with memorials and monuments? The general public? What actually is a monument or memorial? Is there something about the general idea that those two words don't include? Any other thoughts?

Thanks :-)
What did I write to get "Buy Poppycock here" added to my Blogger ad rotation? Not sure if the "hundreds of candy items for sale" subscript is a good or bad sign either.

Another interesting thing-- this time quoted from Wednesday's (043003) Washington Post Style section's article "Hall Pass to the Voting Booth" about a Pew Charitable Trusts program that is trying to figure out how to connect with younger voters (18-25-yr olds):

" 'I would have to be involved with what the candidates are saying to vote, says Roderick Stewart, a high school varsity basketball player who turns 18 this spring. "I don't want to have to dig deep into their platform.'"

OK-- nothing new there, but what got me is how it is implied that _this guy's statement is somehow different from the vast majority of American voters_. Ask almost anyone in the US and you'll get nearly identical answers whether they were 18 or 45. You'd probably get at least 20 or so percent of people who say exactly that.

And from the "what the hell did he just say?!?" department:

Tom Shales reviewing the TV show Jiminy Glick:

"Glick is an acquired taste, but when you think about it, so is everything but breast milk."

Yes, this is also in the Style section of the Washington Post.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Oy-- I hate office politics. If the meeting were a sea, no craft of any sort could have survived on or within it. People going off half cocked and looking to push blame for the flimsiness of their arguments on others. "Well, if _you're_ going to take ownership of this....." kinds of things.

DC has a height restriction on buildings, but certainly not on egos. Sheesh!

Time to go home :-)
Hmmm-- is there any significance to the fact that my download of Oingo Boingo's "Wild Sex" has stalled with only 666 bytes received?

I also wanted to post an extremely good quote by Nade Proeva, History Professor at the University of Skopje, Macedonia:

"Whatever you write, understand that every nation has its own truth. In the Balkans we only speak through myths."

From the National Geographic article entitled Macedonia: Caught in the Middle by Priit J. Vesilind

I would go further and make the point that we all speak through myths (nations, states, individuals, other groups, etc), but it is much more overt in the Balkans.

I don't have a date on the article, but it was late 1990s. I might be able to dig more information out of my "archives." Ah, the glory of being a pack rat :-)

And for all you Greeks out there, it is the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"-- no claim has been made on Thessaloniki (Salonika/Solon/Solun)-- at least officially.
Oh-- it's May Day, isn't it? Workers of America, join your brethren around the world! Throw off the tyrannical shackles of capitalism!

Hey-- at least we'll all be together when Ashcroft revokes our citizenship
Lots of things going on and still a lot to do before tomorrow, though I wanted to put a couple of things up before I went over and started working in bed....

Got in late tonight after being invited to a joint Wellsley-Harvard event-- basically a hard-core proponent of "shock therapy" for the liberalization of the Soviet economy in the late '80s and early '90s who sincerely believes that somehow bad influences (apparatchiki and the mafiya) pushed ("piratized") the Russian economy off the tracks onto which it was "shocked" (Marshall Goldman-- a close friend and buddy of Jeffrey Sachs). Of course, without such "criminal" influence, the Russian economy would be reaping all the rewards the West ever promised them. But, he and Sachs claim, "shock therapy" shouldn't be judged on Russia alone-- just look at (the poverty-stricken and hugely unstable) case of Bolivia and Poland (where private business had been operating over 20 years before, without even mentioning the huge differences in the privatization structure and political situation). And, no, the former Soviet Union was not "a total void" after Gorbachev went on TV in December 1989 and declared the end of the Soviet Union.


Possible addition to Tricia's link to Murphy's Law according to Librarians-- "The amount of influence and attention an academic attracts is inversely proportional to how solid (and/or thorough) her/his research is" Some major exceptions, especially if you're only talking about attention within an academic field. But at least it's generally true. (Vigorously attracting attention to myself)

I also love the new moniker Tricia has given me :-) You have no idea how fitting "Straight outta Indio" is.

Miles to go before I sleep......

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Why is it that Punxatawney Phil, a lowly groundhog, has the luxury of deciding to head back into his nice warm den (and presumably to sleep) while we humans are expected to wake at dawn and deal with rush hour on their way to work?

Just curious.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I wish rent and food (and the possible lack thereof) didn't loom so large for me. If I could, I would certainly do something to support this proof that "special education" students are more than capable of complex learning processes and must not be written off by local and national policymakers. Please, help if you can and distribute it far and wide!

Thanks to a good friend for alerting me last week when President Aliev (of Azerbaijan) collapsed several times during a televised speech. Given where Azerbaijan is, politically and geographically (one of the more stable and pro western business, though authoritarian and corrupt, former Soviet republics just north of Iran and Iraq), a change in leadership (and/or power struggle) would have a huge impact on Russia, the Middle East, oil markets and much, much more.

I'm curious: What does everyone think of when they hear the phrase "public service?" Is it mainly in a certain sphere (government, private sector, academia, etc)? A certain scale (local, state, national, international, etc)? Other things?

Been thinking about this for work and otherwise. Comments/e-mails would be great :-)

Also have an old Garrison Keillor song verse stuck in my head:

Mr. Reagan is a popular man
His ratings are real high
But he's done some things as president
We'll pay for, you and I.

The National Debt is above our heads
The government is immense
We don't feel safe with the millions spent
on national defense.

And I say Stop! Danger! Read the directions!
America I love you!
In the dawn's early light, oh say can you see?
The management assumes no responsibility.

I haven't found a link for the whole thing, but I have a cassette recording of it and will play it for anyone interested.
But isn't it interesting how easily it might be updated to the current administration.
From the "Conflict Jobs" North American Scholarship Listserv (right below the Department of Homeland Security's Fellowship program):

3. Ben And Jerry's Free Ice Cream Day
April 29, 2003

Join us noon - 8:00.

It all began in 1978 in a dilapidated former gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Ben & Jerry renovated it themselves with a lot of help from their friends. The first year was a wild one. On the shop’s first year anniversary, in May of 1979, Ben & Jerry held the first Free Cone Day. They scooped free ice cream, all day, to everyone who stopped by. It was their way of celebrating having survived their first year in business as much as it was their way of thanking their customers for eating all the stuff they made that year.

Location: US Stores
Deadline: April 29, 2003 (12-8)


I'm consciously avoiding the "Chex Morning Mix" with their "better before" date (as opposed to "best before" or "sell by") and adding to my research clippings file.

One subtitle in yesterday's paper struck me: "Iraqi Challenged US Authority" (on the front-page story entitled "Self-Styled Mayor of Baghdad Detained")

How dare the Iraqis challenge US authority!