Thursday, April 29, 2004

Please Contact Sinclair Broadcasting and inform them they are utter cowards for pulling the Nightline piece running tomorrow night from their affiliates. Remember, to people like those running Sinclair Broadcasting, it's okay that the President uses the flag draped coffin of the 9/11 Victim. It's not okay to let the American people see our war dead. Nope not at all. It's just contrary to the public interest.

Here's the number: 410-568-1500

do it politely though. However, do let them know they're cowards. Politely.

via Atrios.
Full time posting resumes Monday.

Monday, April 26, 2004


Tomorrow is the Pennsylvania Primary. Something new in this primary---You WILL need a photo ID if you are a first time voter or you've recently moved. Get out there and vote!

(Big Democratic Race is the Attorney General race. The obvious hot race on the Republican side is the Toomey/Specter Race.)


I think most Lancaster County residents will agree with me, regardless of party. We really need to upgrade our machines. Yeah, the rest of the country is worried about Diebold. Here in Lancaster, we're still using the old 50s style Lever machines. In fact when states throw away their lever machines, they end up here.

had some annoyance at the polls this morning. I have no idea if my vote counted. The person before me (who was a dem, incidentially)..her vote did not record cause all the levers jammed. I was fine but still...

double update

then back to hardcore studying.

this blog endorses Arlen Spector!

Saturday, April 24, 2004

finals week

I have finals until Thursday. Thus I shouldn't be posting at all this week.

In lieu of me posting stuff, I'd rather you did the following:

lois herr

For once, the Democratic Party is actually going to put up a fight against Joe Pitts, who ran unopposed in 2002. Ok, so there was a Green Party candidate who got about 9% of the vote. Pitts got 88%. There's a lot more Democrats in the 16th Congressional District than that...i guess they just didnt vote.

Well now they have a chance. I've met Lois Herr once or twice before. She's a great person and I think she's a great choice for the 16th.

Drop her some dollars.

ben donahower

The site will be up in May. Otherwise the campaign is going well. He's getting some press that will be coming up in the next week or so. It's going to be a fun and vibrant campaign made all the more interesting by the fact that Ben is 20. Yep, that's right. 20.

You can drop him some dollars here:

Friends of Ben Donahower
Po Box 933
Brownstown, PA 17508

John Kerry

You can help me make my fundraising goal from this site by clicking the John Kerry button on the left and sending him some dollars.

Have a good week everyone. I'll return soon.

Friday, April 23, 2004

This site pretty much sums up how I feel about John Kerry . . . but I'm voting for him anyway. So are those dudes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

dollars for kerry

I want to raise about $600 for Kerry by, we'll say, October 12 through this site. I think that's a modest goal given that I receive about 150 to 400 hits a day. You can contribue by clicking the button over there on the left.

new email
Blogger is finally good for something! I'm beta-testing gmail, their new huge service. New address is now If I haven't emailed you this yet, it'll probably forward there soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Ugh....Looney Toomey closes on Specter.

Ya know, I know of more than a few Democrats who switched their registration here just to vote Specter out in the April 27th Primary next week.

I wish they hadn't done that.
dollars for ben

The site goes up in May, but here's how you can contribute:

Contribute to:
Friends of Ben Donahower
PO Box 933
Brownstown, PA 17508


He's not afraid to invest in Pennsylvania's future folks. Let's help him out.
I am curious.

Why is the known world supporting a plan that will probably lead to more bloodshed? Just curious.

And this is totally off topic, I admit, but Mrs. Sean Paul has one wicked wit.
Campaign event went very well. I was so anxious I had to go out and relax. My making it to Lab tomorrow morning is doubtful now, but at least I don't have butterflies trying to force their way up my throat.

Monday, April 19, 2004

jawdropping wow...just head just exploded

I actually read this earlier in the evening, and didn't think too much of it because I read it quick and I've been kind of preoccupied by personal matters.

It must have been a dream or something, because it made my head explode sometime around four a.m., eastern.

But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.

"Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, 'Top secret. No foreign.' No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this," says Woodward.

"They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, 'So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?'" And Cheney who has said nothing says the following: "Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast."

After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, "I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."

But this wasn't enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. "Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, 'Their message is my message'" says Woodward.

Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election -- to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.

The emphasis is obviously mine. Ain't that a big ass money quote?

This is one of those things that makes you want to stab yourself in the ear. It's just that unbelievable.

We're, of course, supposed to trust Prince Bandar. I don't. Neither does Newsweek.

A federal investigation into the bank accounts of the Saudi Embassy in Washington has identified more than $27 million in "suspicious" transactions—including hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to Muslim charities, and to clerics and Saudi students who are being scrutinized for possible links to terrorist activity, according to government documents obtained by NEWSWEEK. The probe also has uncovered large wire transfers overseas by the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. The transactions recently prompted the Saudi Embassy's longtime bank, the Riggs Bank of Washington, D.C., to drop the Saudis as a client after embassy officials were "unable to provide an explanation that was satisfying," says a source familiar with the discussions.

Let's also not forget the context is pretty damn obvious as well.

President Bush refused on Tuesday to release a congressional report alleging possible links between Saudi Arabian officials and the Sept. 11 hijackers

Let's not forget that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Let's not forget that the Saudis are actively exporting Wahhabist Islam (because the House of Saud and the House of Wahabbi are pretty much one due to intermarriage) abroad to Africa and Central Asia. Let's not forget how puritanical and fundamentalist that branch of Islam is. Let's also not forget that the fundamentalists hate anything and everything Western. It does not take a leap of imagination to go where I am headed with this.

The Pandagon twins comment. They are pissed.

Click on Jesse's link below. The only difference between Bush and Reagan is that the latter's people only might hvae made deals with terrorist supporting countries to ensrue their electoral prospects. Bush's people, conversely, have now been outed by Bob Woodward for it. This is the most important story of the election.

It's actually true. This Administration is worse than Nixon's. Much worse.

Update: The more I think about this, the angrier I get. Jesus, this is a disgusting way to treat democracy.

Yeah, fury. And the President, his Administration, his army of hack-job asshole talking heads, and the loads and loads of loud mouth supporters had the temerity to call ME, and others who thought the same as I did, a traitor. The more I think about it, the more infuriated I become. And you know what? NOONE will care. No one. Meanwhile the White House has sold the soul of this country out so Billy-Ray Sixpack can get cheap gas to fill his fucking Hummer (and let's note that Billy-Ray lives in the posh cookie-cutter suburbs. He's not actually USING that Hummer for what it's really supposed to be used for. It just looks cool in his driveway...and he's also compensating for something else too but we won't go there).

The talking heads will cry "Oh Bush haters, Bush haters, why do you continue to lie about our fearless leaders?!"

The news networks will take polls, manipulated of course by their own statisticians. Trust me, I've done poll work before. It's so bloody easy to do.

The White House will then deny all allegations.

The media will then distract. I'm sure there's some rich white girl somewhere that needs kidnapping. Or some celebrity that needs to molest little kids. Or Kobe! Yeah, that's right, we gotta find out all about the Kobe trial! Or maybe J-Lo will have a wardrobe malfunction this time.

And that will be that. Not another word will be said. I'm still waiting for the Plame Affair to play out. I want to know what intelligence made us push for war when we have not found one iota of WMD YET. I want to know why the President was on VACATION when the chatter increased so loud that the intelligence services of no less than SEVEN nations said the eqivalent of "hey dudes, these guys are coming to kick yer ass. You might want to do something about that."

I want answers. I want them now. I'm waiting for answers. And I'm mad as hell that we're not getting them. I'm even angrier that no one seems to care.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

crunch time still, and a reminder

We're in the home stretch! One week of classes (including two group presentations---accck!) and then one week of finals. Then Summer begins and I get a week off before I go back to work.

At any rate, posting will be sparse, as it has been.

Also if you're in the Lancaster PA area, the Donahower campaign is having its campaign kickoff on Monday evening. There will be food, folks, and fun (yea, I stole that from McDonalds.) 7pm. Ford Atrium of McComsey Hall (directions are provided in a post below, but if you missed them you can get them here. McComsey is #63 on the map.)

Friday, April 16, 2004

plug for Pennsylvania

I like this guy. Drop him some pennies.

I like this guy too, and he's running in Delaware County which is my home area, so drop him some pennies too.

Also, if you'd like to help out the guy I'm working for, Ben Donahower, here's where you can send some pennies:

Contribute to:
Friends of Ben Donahower
PO Box 933
Brownstown, PA 17508

His site should be up soon and when it is I'm going to do a fairly substantial fundraising campaign.

That is all.
looney toomey watch

Looney Toomey's commercials in the WGAL market are absolutely hysterical.

I especially love the one I saw this morning while on the treadmill. I was in mid-sprint...nearly flew off.

"Arlen Specter," it read. "Three Decades of Liberalism." It then tied Specter with John Kerry.

Yeah, did your brain try to abort itself after reading that too?

I think the girls running next to me were Toomey fans too, cause when I said "fucking lying asshole" they gave me the look of death. Complete with hissing.

And the suckers in Lancaster County and the surrounding conservative rural areas will suck that up cause Looney Toomey is like their hero. I'm not a Republican and my guy is running unopposed in the primaries so I really don't care. However, I hope Specter makes it, because the thought of Looney Toomey replacing him , assuming he is able to beat Joe Hoeffel, makes me nauseous. (reminder, drop Joe some pennies--link at left. I know its payday out there for some of you. Not me. But others. Oh wait, actually, it IS pay day for me.)

Ahh Looney Toomey and Pennsylvania.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

still busy

I'm still busy, however here's a little something I banged up. It's on the Iraqi Interim constitution. Now it was written before the current crisis, so it may be outdated. I am a bit late too, the constitution has been available for over a month.

Comment away.

thoughts on the iraqi constitution
The interim constitution is strongly federal and modeled on the US constitution, but borrows elements from Canadian federalism, a US-inspired Bill of Rights, a ceremonial presidency and strong prime-minister much like India, Germany, and Israel, and an elected national assembly that resembles Great Britain’s along with an independent judiciary much like the United States . The constitution is very much a hybrid of several constitutions.

The Constitution’s very federalism designed to decentralize power may be Iraq’s undoing. The country’s divide along ethnic and religious identity lines are strong and may be the likely base of division in the federal system. Preservation of minority rights are an important thing in any democracy and represents the heart of the democratic process according to some. Even now, the current 25 member Iraqi governing council is divided in much that way: along ethnic and religious lines. The current constitution assumes that all ethnic groups within Iraq represent singular political blocs. This system could prove to be unstable, as the lesson of Lebanon has proven . In addition, the nation’s many minorities are granted rights to maintain their previous autonomy given under Saddam, much like the Kurds.

Minority rights are strongly protected at the expense of the majority Shia population who make up 60% of Iraq’s population. Because the Kurds have a permanent veto, it allows them to have the upper hand over the majority Shia, who would likely dominate any Iraqi Assembly by sheer force of numbers, as they do constitute a majority of Iraq’s population. The Shia have objected to the Kurdish veto that allows their provinces of the nation to reject any constitution that does not coincide with their interests . For the Kurds, however, this clause is non-negotiable . This could represent a time bomb waiting to go off.

In addition, the Kurdish autonomy also presents a problem to the Constitution. Saddam’s regime largely left the Kurds alone following the 1991 War with the United States and its UN allies. The new constitution also does much of the same. The Kurdish region has legislative and judicial independence and vaguely defined powers of local government. Article 54 of the interim constitution provides these rights to the Kurds . It implies, since Article 54 allows the Kurds to maintain their own internal security forces that they could operate independently of the central government located in the capital of Baghdad.

Article 7 states that Islam is the central basis of Iraqi law, along with the democratic process. However, the constitution is vague on where individual liberty and religious law coincide. Here in the United States, individual liberty such as who has the right to marry whom, sexual practices in private between consenting adults, the use of “God” and religion in public forums and women’s right to choose are all heavily controversial topics and the American constitution is largely secular in language and origin. It also does not state which branch of Islam will make up the basis of Iraqi law. Given that the Shia are the majority of the population, it can be inferred that the Shia could legislate a more conservative version of Islam into law however the Kurdish and Sunni veto could override this. Also, as the Shia trend toward a more religious state and the Kurds trend toward a more secular state , this could hasten a further divide in the nation.

The transition period between June 30 and January of 2005 is without clear leadership. The current Iraqi Governing Council, handpicked by the United States, will likely retain control over Iraq while elections are prepared for January. The constitution does not provide limits on what this council may do or decide for Iraq. The constitution officially goes into effect on July 1, 2004, yet there will be a period of several months where the three branches of government enumerated upon are not active. The Council will apparently also retain much of its deal making status, including if it chooses, an invitation to allow US and Coalition Forces, currently numbering more than 100,000, to remain in Iraq. In addition, the interim constitution was imposed by a handpicked governing council and its creation was supervised by the United States. The general resentment of the United States within Iraq could cause a resentment of the constitution by the Iraqi people, who may or may not embrace the interim constitution’s federalism. Given recent violence and unrest, this could unravel any attempts at bringing true democracy to the war-torn region.

The Interim Constitution is imperfect in addressing these major issues. While it should be commended for protecting the rights of women and minorities, a move fairly unprecedented in the Arab World, it is fairly vague in other major areas. It does not address the problems that the veto given to the Kurds and other minority groups could cause given that an elected Assembly would likely be largely Shia due to population demographics. The interim constitution does not state if the current Iraqi Governing Council will be re-elected or appointed given there is a several month period before elections where the three branches enumerated in the constitution are inactive. It also leaves vague in areas concerning religious law and individual liberties. Lastly, it does not explicitly state that the United States will actually turn over full sovereignty to Iraq, something that many have called for inside and outside of Iraq.

What the Interim Constitution should have added was a transition process during the period from US handover to the elections to be held no later than December 15. Elections could have been held sooner than December which would perhaps allow for an easier transition to democracy. The Iraqi Governing Council will get all of the authority that is currently held by the Coalition Provisional Authority and this could open up a source of tension within Iraq between various competing groups. The powers of the Council who will oversee the transition to the democracy laid out in the interim constitution are not explicitly enumerated and it is possible that these 25 people handpicked by the United States will be ruling the country for period of several months while elections are prepared. This does not correctly represent the Iraqi people, as it can be assumed that they will probably have to lay the foundation to many of Iraq’s new democratic institutions and they were not elected by an Iraqi electorate.

Iraq’s interim constitution does a good job in protecting minority rights. However it gives some minorities too many rights at the expense of the majority. The Kurds did give up many concessions when they signed the interim constitution such as control over Kirkuk and control over revenues from oil extracted from their region . However, their veto power of whatever an elected assembly comes up with in terms of a permanent constitution represents a major source of tension. Also, an interesting note is that the interim constitution does not give representation to Iraqis who self-identify as merely Iraqis first and whatever ethnic group they belong to second. The interim constitution should have protected minority interests without dividing the nation into seemingly monolithic political blocs divided along ethnic and religious lines. These blocs, of which the Shia would likely be the majority, could divide the nation given the fundamental differences and interests that each group has for its own self-preservation.

The Interim Constitution is a good but vague start, but has many flaws and holes that could unravel Iraq’s nascent federalism. The US turnover is only a few months away and recent violence sparked by a Shia rebellion could plunge Iraq into a civil war following the turnover.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

crunch time

It's usually the last two weeks in every semester where I curse my decision to go to college. I'll be back at the end of the week--just really busy with a lot of work to do.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

if you happen to be in Lancaster County . . .

the candidate I'm working for is having his campaign kickoff in a couple weeks.

Ben Donahower's Campaign Kick Off!
State Representative Candidate in the 43rd State House District
Lancaster DFA Coordinator Emeritus

April 19th
7 pm
Ford Atrium
Millersville University

* FOOD *
* FUN *


To Millersville:
From Route 222, traveling south: Take the exit for Route 30 west.
Take exit for Route 741 east. On Route 741 east, the name
Rohrerstown Road will change to Millersville Road. About four miles
beyond Route 30, turn right at the light onto Route 999. After the
second traffic light (after Route 741), watch for the fork in the
road and bear left onto George Street. Follow George Street. After
you cross West Cottage Ave., you will see University buildings on
either side. Watch for brick entrance signs on the right.
From Harrisburg and west: Take Route 283 east. Take exit for Route
741 east. On Route 741 east, the name Rohrerstown Road will change
to Millersville Road. About four miles beyond Route 30, turn right
at the light onto Route 999. After the second traffic light (after
Route 741), watch for the fork in the road and bear left onto George
Street. Follow George Street. After you cross West Cottage Ave.,
you will see University buildings on either side. Watch for brick
entrance signs on the right.

To Ford Atrium:
The Ford Atrium is McComsey Hall, which is #63 on the map following
this link:

His website won't be up until May, and when its up I'll post it here.
Confirming what we already knew, Bush knew.

You know, I pretty much figured this is what was in that memo. Nice that they released it on Good Friday, when most people aren't paying attention.

There's a scrappy little weekly university paper in Pennsylvania that's running this story with a 90pt font headline this week. It's the last issue for the semester, I figure they're just going to go all out.

This story isn't going down the memory hole.

and where is Kerry?!

Friday, April 9, 2004


We all know Miserable Failure is on vacation, fishing, clearing brush, and having a good-ole time. We all know the contempt I feel about that. We don't need to rehash it. I suspect for some reason, since he doesn't read newspapers, that he knows very little and his handlers are basically pulling a Potemkin. That's only one tiny suspicion. The rest of me thinks he's some words I really shouldn't print here and he should go do something that I also really shouldn't print here.

Where's Kerry been? I haven't heard a word out of him. He was on Judy Woodruff the other day and he said very little about the al-Sadr Jihad (or intifada, or rebellion, whichever you prefer).

This is probably begging the question, and it is a little bit critical, but Mr. Kerry? What's your exit strategy gonna be? Cause now that Afghanistan is also trending toward chaos, if you don't have one, the world won't look much different if you get elected. I mean you've got Rand Beers, Mr. Kerry. Can we hear some real foreign policy please? I don't mean being nice to our French allies. As long as Chirac and the right-wing Gaullists are in power they're not going to cooperate with us on much. I mean WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO END THIS CONFLICT IN IRAQ AND REBUILD AFGHANISTAN LIKE WE PROMISED?

Is that too much to ask?

No, I didn't think so.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

things fall apart

From Riverbend. . .

And as I blog this, all the mosques, Sunni and Shi’a alike, are calling for Jihad...

And where's the president? On vacation. Clearing brush, no less.

There really are no words. None. Mr. Bush, as usual, you have my complete and utter contempt. There aren't enough insults and curse words strong enough in the English language to completly and accurately describe the contempt I'm feeling right now, so I'm not going to go there. I'll just leave it at that.

Send Yankeedoodle some good karma gang. He's going to have some rough days ahead as Iraq completly falls apart. We're all going to need some good karma, at that.

One small nugget of good news, at least personally to me, is that a friend from high school is not among the Marines fighting in Fallujah and al Ramadi. He's in the Marines and he's probably on his way home soon. I couldn't post the last couple days because I was trying to find out where he was and was on pins and needles. My heart goes out to the families of all those lost over the last few days and months.

Sean-Paul as been covering this since it started.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Been watching the news, updates will follow later this evening.

we should probably title what's going on in Iraq as the al-Sadr Jihad, considering this he is who sparked this.

Sunday, April 4, 2004

observations on this flap i've been watching grow all weekend

So apparently, Kos said some stuff about the gruesome attacks last week in Iraq that wasn't too kosher. It was spiraled out of control by the usual InstaHack and "That Guy from North Texas who is Two Sandwiches Short Of A Picnic.." also known as the Anti-Idiotarian Rotweiller...and that other crazy guy from Little Green Snotballs...which is full of people who should have found those sandwiches a long, long time ago.

Now the Kerry Campaign has wimped out and dropped their Kos ad.

And people have commented.

One, Atrios seems to have spanked the Kerry Campaign. And then changed his policy, which you can read in depth over there.

Sean-Paul is annoyed. And rightly so.

My turn.

I'm annoyed by all of this. Kos is an excellent fundraiser. He may have said something dumb that got blown out of proprotion by people who have no real sense of reality anyway. It's kinda like "yeah, grow up." And now Kerry is out of a good fundraising source.

Holding people responsible for "speech" is beyond lame. It's almost like forcing people to self-censor. Quite frankly I'm sick of it. You know, the Crazy Annie Coulters and the Drugged-Up Rushies of the world can shout all they damn want to. Everytime we bend to their criticism they win. It really is quite that simple. Amazing how simplistic the world works, isn't it.

This seems to be typical of the entrenched Democratic elite. Here, on the net, there's a vibrant Democratic party. It seems to me the DNC or whatever they're called these days has forgotten that there's an entire country outside of the Beltway.

Seriously guys, grow some cojones, please. And while you're at it, take a survey course in geography on North America. I'm sure you'll learn that the world actually begins OUTSIDE of the Beltway.

The Blogging of the President has some good stuff up that's pretty cogent.

Mr. Gillard said some good stuff too.

And of course a related question has nothing to do with Kos's nonkosher statement. It simply is "where's the oversight on the security in Iraq?"
cause everyone else did it...

Maureen Dowd
You are Maureen Dowd! You like to give people silly
nicknames and write in really short, non
sequitur paragraphs. You're the most playful of
the columnists and a rock-ribbed liberal, but
are often accused of being too flamboyant and
frivolous. You tend to focus on style over
substance, personality over politics. But your
heart is in the right place. Plus, you are a
total fox.

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, April 3, 2004


I'm going to be fairly busy over the next week or two with campaign season starting up and the semester crunch starting up and starting on some cross-blog projects so feel free to peruse the links at the left. Especially Nightcrawler who is doing some good stuff out there in Portland. I'll still be posting the big stuff, just not the small news items and observations that make up the majority of my postings.

Also, feel free to donate some money to some political parties. If you're in PA, drop Joe Hoeffel some dimes. (add 4 cents so I know it came from me.) Ben Donahower (the guy I wrote about a couple days ago) won't have his site up until May, so when that day comes I'll suggest you donate some dimes to him too.

Friday, April 2, 2004

I'm just being a little bit speculative, but I suspect the reason why the White House is holding the Clinton papers is because they will prove without a doubt that Richard Clarke was telling the absolute truth.

go laugh

cause I said so.

Jesse has outdone himself this time. There's unsweetened ice tea all over the monitor.
opening salvo

In the coming weeks and months, as I construct (write is far too . . . well write doesn't quite cover what I am trying to do with my thesis) my thesis, I'm going to begin posting excerpts and analysis. My thesis topic is issues of geographic identity in right-wing movements here in the US and over in the UK and France, although I may cut France out depending on how busy I get this summer. A significant portion of it is devoted to religious fundamentalism, nearly all of it Protestant, and largely from the American right. My original idea was to connect the global rise of religious fundamentalism with fascism---it has many of the earmarks. Like the 30s, fundamentalism worldwide is growing largely independent of one another. All are closely related to the various societies that they pop out of. I thought this was a good idea--the survey would cover the United States, the UK, France, the Middle East and Islamic world (as the two are not necessarily congruent), and India. I have some ideas on China but they don't quite fit because officially, the Chinese aren't religious. My advisor thought this was more than needed. Graduate school though, I'll tackle it.

I've floated some trial ballons. Another one here. Registration may be required. The first dates from September 2003. The second dates from Feburary 2003 and is a rewrite of a post from just before New Years, 2003.

Both got their share of letters. Now the campus thinks I'm a raving atheist, which is farthest from the truth.
As a research interest fundamentalism terrifies me. That is why I study it. Connecting it to fascism (research interest that terrifies me) is what I'm hoping to do with what I'm writing, at least for the American part of my writings. And as modernity (remember, fascism was a huge reaction against liberalism and modernity) does not give people what they want, they'll look for something simpler. More fundamental. Twisting religion provides that simple fundamental. Hence---fundamentalism. It won't be pretty either. Thus all the more reason for me to study it. I don't know if I want to stop it. Indeed it may be unstoppable. I do know I want people to be aware of what's going on.

More later.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

and now for something completely random

It's my sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, Jen!
blogroll MIA

My blogroll is MIA. Not sure what happened to it.

I'm still . . . disturbed. .. by the images I saw at Reuters, and then over at Billmon. Seeing death never gets easier, no matter how many times you watch the sexy teens get chainsawed in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Goes to show that reality is always more real and more disturbing. Some of the sites I surfed . . . had no warning. It's still something that I think everyone needs to see and I am annoyed that our media shyed away when they had no problem parading pictures of Uday and Qusay which were gruesome as well.

I surfed through the blogosphere this evening after my various staff meetings. I was struck by some of the vitriol at some of the more Right-leaning sites. And concerned.

One, I'm concerned that there is no exit strategy. Kerry hasn't come up with one and when(if) he is elected President in November we're going to need one. After seeing todays horror which really has jarred me I don't think the "We broke it so we fix it" is going to work anymore. I think it's time to call elections and begin to withdrawl. Actually, to be honest, I think Iraq, a victim of the geography of colonial administrators, would probably be better off as three countries instead of one, although the world itself wouldn't necessarily be safer.

1. Kerry needs to start stating the exit strategy. He can trade barbs with Bush over rising gas prices all he wants (and I can snidely ask why gas prices are so high if we invaded an oil-rich country, and then others can snidely say it was all about liberation and never about the oil so that's why oil prices are up--but that's just being snide) but he really needs to discuss this. There's now 600 dead US soldiers, tens of thousands wounded, tens of thousands of civillians dead and a population that isn't being pacified as easily. They're not throwing flowers people. Its only a matter of time before Fallujah gets mowed down. . . which is something i've seen advocated on right-leaning blogs, which is why I'm concerned.

If we don't have an exit strategy (Bush doesn't...and Kerry ain't talkin') I don't think this will be the 21st century's Vietnam. It's going to be the 21st Century's Phillipines. Although, if you think about it, they were both pretty much similar.

why young people need to care

I want to tell you about this kid I met the other night. His name is Ben. He's a student at Villanova University which is located in Radnor, PA (at least I think the address is Radnor, my hometown isn't too far from Villanova.) He's from Lancaster County. I think he's a little bit younger than me. He's a Democrat, like me, which I think is considered a minority group in Lancaster County (the Democrats, not people like me...)

Unlike most kids my age, Ben is doing something different. I'm sure he has fun on the weekends like I do and probably likes music, etc. However, he's doing something that most kids wouldn't even consider. Hell most don't even vote. Ben is running for legislative office. He's running for the Pennsylvania 43rd State Assembly district.

This is what I like to see. I mean it isn't a federal office. Change can be effective at the State level too. In about 15 years I, and Ben, and all others in my age cohort will be approaching middle age. We'll be expected to take the reigns. We can't just get involved then and expect to know what we are doing. It starts now.

This is an area that Democrats and Republicans alike need to work on. They need to reach out to America's youth. We're cynical and we don't vote. Yet, in an age with rumors of a draft we deserve a say in what political leaders down in Washington do. Sadly we don't do it. When I talk to people my age it's mainly because they believe Washington really doesn't care. It works on the state level too. Kids don't vote. Then tuition goes up. The cynical attitude is noone really cares about the students--cause they don't vote. Imagine if they did.

But back to Ben. I'll have more on him as I get it and his campaign gets their website up. There aren't too many kids my age actively working for real change (other than protesting, ya know) and I want to see him elected and sent to the Assembly this November.