Saturday, July 29, 2006

Okay Kids

I had a great summer, but since I no longer have grading power, I can't make you stick around and post any more. However, you are all more than welcome to stay and comment on current events if you'd like to. It's a good idea for you, and I'll interact more since I'm no longer the teacher. If you get serious about posting, I'll put you up on the front page, or help you get started with your own blog.

I had a wonderful summer and the next week I'm spending at the lake and in the mountains will feel entirenly too relaxed and not busy enough, nor will there be enough interesting idea play...

Anyway, I wish you well and you should all keep in touch...


Monday, July 24, 2006

Open Thread for Current Events

Here's a place for you to post and discuss current events, but put this at the bottom of your priority list...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Open Thread for Current Events

here ya go...

Good point about the evacuations

Even though the language in this post is a bit below my standards for commentary (so don't be surprised when you read it), he makes a good point.

Why do you complain about the way someone saves your life when there was ample opportunity for you to stop risking it yourself? And why should I pay for your stupidity? I'm sure that there were people with legitimate reasons for being in Lebanon right up until the point that we decided to evacuate...I'd also like to think that those people are reasonable, responsible people (the ones with good reasons to stay) and are therefore not the ones complaining about a "dirty" ship (really the only *clean* ships are cruise ships and navy when a tanker saves your life, don't complain about it). I like to think that in America, the government isn't supposed to be a nanny, or a parent, telling us what to do and taking care of all the messes that we make.

Americans citizens of age are some of the most priviledged people on the planet, with more resourses than almost anyone else. And our government is supposed to treat us that when the government says "you probably don't want to go there unless you have to. They've been fighting and bombing people for 25 years" and then a few weeks later says "Oh crap! They're really blowing stuff up now! Get out!" or "There's a really big hurricane coming your way in four should probably leave where you are" You are supposed to make your own responsible decision and do what you need to do...but you should expect our government to babysit you.

Those are my two cents...well, more like fifty cents.

It's always Israel's fault

Read this post from Consul-At-Arms to see some extreme thoughts about Israel. "
Would peace come to the Middle East if the USA were to relocate Israel within the US borders, giving them, say, one or two large states as their new nation of Israel? Apparently, the biggest problem in the Middle East is that Israel, which was carved out by the USA and Britain in the middle of Palestinian land, wants to obliterate the Palestinians, much like the USA did to the Native Americans, and steal all of Palestine."

Update: I realized that I was unclear about where the quote is from...Consul linked to a 'Reverend' who said the above. It's not the Consul's opinion...I should have been more clear.


Check it out...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Are you ready for this?

Do you want the truth? Do you? You can't handle the truth!

This video is sort of scary, and really funny. Just be warned that it doesn't make sense.

Fun Reading for tonight

How Hillary Clinton won the elections of 2008 and 2012.

The Presidential IM's: Bush explains his policy to Condi... All of the Presidential IM's are funny, and they can be found here.

To lighten up the tone, yet provide some 'useful' information that relates to class, check out these Fun Facts about Hezbollah, Iran, Hamas, North Korea, Syria. And now, just for good measure: The Patriot Act, Amnesty International, Haliburton, The United Nations,

How to spot a Terrorist.

Here is a game that teaches about the situation in Darfur...that's not really among my strongest current events knowledge, but it seems to do a good job, and it's good to learn more about. It does take a while to load, and a long time to play, but it does help you to understand the many things that people over there (and in many failed states) have to deal with every day.

Here is some information about "the next big humanitarian crisis" which is already happening, and has been happening for a while, the situation in Burma. Sorry that it's a wiki, but it does have good basic info...

Ok, I know this isn't really a reading...and it's not really current...but it's hilarious. It's a satirical Bush re-election speach, and here is a rehash of the Presidential debates. I think all sides will find them funny. There are other similar clips here.

Open Thread for Current Events

Here's the post for Thursday...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Letter came today

I passed the FSWE!!!! State Department, here I come!!! Now I just need to get my scores, and find a good time to do the Orals...

Open Thread for Current Events, 7/19/06

You guys know what to do by now...
I am going to change one thing though...I really want you to discuss with each other and the people who comment on your stuff. So, if you see something in another comment that you want to respond to, (as a question, provide an alternative, challange an assumption, anything) please do so. And, please keep checking back to see if someone has responded to you, so that you can answer their questions or whatever. It's a dialogue.

Oh, and don't forget the links. Go to this website,, so that you can make a link that will fit into your comment post (If it's too long, it won't display correctly, and we won't be able to use it)

I'm also encourage you to visit some other blogs and comment if you'd like...the ones on my sidebar here are good places where people have good comments and are open to outsiders, but there isn't a huge variety of political bias there, so I'll try to get some more good letfwing sites for you to check out if you want...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Current Events for the Students

Here is your open thread to post current events. I'm going to respond to them all like I tried to do yesterday, and I'm probably going to take a 180 degree opposing view to the side you took, so don't feel like I'm attacking you...I'm just trying to make you further your arguments.

I'd love it if you would respond to my comments, and I'd also love it if you would discuss comments from other people, especially if it relates to what you wrote about...

Thanks guys, you're doing an awesome job.

Update: Don't forget to put a link to the article that you least copy and paste it into the text, but it would be better to use it as your "web page" where you type in your name...
We need context for your posts...

There might be problems if you try to post after 8 or 9 o'clock...if it doesn't work, try again later, and keep checking back. It should be okay around 9:20.

Pick Me! Pick Me!

I did it! I swear!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Time waster

How fast can you type?
I got ...84 wpm, with 4 mistakes. I did better last night...

Here are the stories that caught my eye today...

Russia and Britain are talking about sending peace-keepers to Lebanon. But Wait! Hold on! Let's wait for the UN to catch up with us! No unilateral action can possibly succeed! (sarcasm alert)

Sometimes this president makes me so disappointed...he should have known better. But this quote is slightly ominous..."It was the second time in less than a month that remarks at a G-8 event in Russia ended up being heard over an audio system officials thought was off. "

This AP report is worth quoting in full...and it's short.

A new barrage of rockets fired by guerrillas in southern Lebanon hit northern Israel late Monday, Israeli security officials said.

Security officials said one rocket hit a hospital in the northern town of Safed, but the army later said the rocket hit near it.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Other rockets hit the northern city of Haifa, where a three-story apartment building was destroyed by a rocket earlier in the day, and the border town of Kiryat Shemona, officials said.

Should Israel respond in kind (directly targeting a hospital or an apartment building?), or should it continue with it's strategy of attempted destruction of Hezbollah's fighting ability? And, it's amazing that Al-Jazeera is only reporting 25 Israeli civilian deaths in the conflict to this point. I guess that Israel's emergency medical system is really well trained and experienced, at least in this part of the country. I wonder why that would be? At least they are good at keeping casualties from turning into deaths.

Of course, Israel has hit some targets that I don't believe they intended to hit...if only because they wouldn't have wanted the reaction the world has given to these probably mistakes...though, I don't doubt that they would hit a house if there was a missile launcher right next door and they couldn't destroy the missiles without hurting the house...

At least some attempts at diplomacy have been made...despite statements from earlier today that Israel wouldn't stop without returning the two soldiers to their homes, stopping the rocket attacks, and having the Lebanese Army patrol their border with Israel, Olmert evidently softened his position today, though I can't really tell how. But the same news agency put out these two reports, and the 'softer' one comes later, so ok.

From Afghanistan, some good news and some bad news. The first is that someone is promoting soccer for girls in Afghanistan - though they did have to come to America to play. But, five years ago, women and girls weren't allowed to go to school, so there has been some improvement. However, the Taliban have reportedly re-taken two towns. That sucks. I'm sure we'll take them back, but I don't like the idea anyway...

Evidently Human Rights officials are bored. They couldn't find any human rights abuses that they couldn't fly first class to, so they decided to pick on America. I don't doubt that they are correct about what they saw, I just dispute the priority it should be given...I'm sure that illegal immigrants in other countries get treated worse (in fact, Mexico is notorious for this) and the only problem I really have with our supermax security prisons is the fact that the inmates get cable...but point well taken. We'll see what we can do to clean up our act. If we do that, can the Human Rights people take a look around the world and stop some serious abuses?

They figured out the type of explosive that blew up the subway in India (well, not all of it, to be fair), and it's the kind that the Kashmiri militants use all the time. Figures.

News from the Front

I'd like to point people towards this page of links.
NZ Bear (a quite distinguished citizen of the blogosphere) has compiled a list of people from Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iran...and various other areas.

You should head over there to see if you can get a pulse of the citizens in the area...

Isn't the internet great? This is the one biggest example of how globalization is changing the world, and one of the only things that makes me think the International Liberals might be right after all. Of course, most of the news that I can now see points to the fact that the international world order is still anarchic. However, a technology like this has the potential to change the world way more than the invention of easy transportation (which also took a generation to gather steam. Haha - tell Bazos to stop giving me bad jokes)

Current Events

Ok guys, here's the post for post a comment, just click the "comments" link underneath this, and then scroll down to the bottom...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Here are some pictures that suck
Those are obstensibly Hamas "Freedom-Fighters" who took all those civilians to use as human shields. Hey jerks, get some uniforms and stop using the people you claim to represent as protection. Isn't it supposed to work the other way?

This next picture earns it's photographer a special place in whatever condemnation you wish to throw at them.

It's from the New York Times, and it is an Iraqi sniper shooting at American troops. How can you not distrust the old grey lady after seeing where their sympathies lie like this? Maybe I'm comming on a little strong, but doesn't it bother you a little when the paper that complains about the progress in Iraq obviously has some information they could share that would help us progress (i.e. where the sniper's group is), or better yet, stop paying them ransom for safe passage to get "great photo ops" and "exclusive interviews" like this. And, you could also stop telling them when we're comming and how we're looking for them...thanks.

I mean, it would be great if they were even just indirectly supporting the allowing the papers that explicitly support the fighters to get these pictures and then pay those papers for it...instead of just paying the fighter.

The place I found the picture titled the post "The Media Are the Enemy." I can't really say it any better...

Cool Picture

I think I've gotten about 80% of the "cool picture" posts from the guys at Op-For...does that tell you something about how I think, or does it tell you something about the photo blogs I visit?

Anyway, this is a cool picture.


You gotta love it...or not.

My Current Events Post

I'm going to link to stuff...and try to give more than just a point to what I think is important about it...

Israel (stupid Salon site, by the way. They made me pay money (watch an ad) to see a three paragraph AP article. Thanks) is blowing up lots of stuff. So is Hezbollah.
I haven't seen reports with a total of civilian casualties in Lebanon, but from what I can find, it sits around 75-100 civilians, and slightly more confirmed militia deaths. And, probably some of the civilians were also Hezbollah, but we don't know because they don't wear uniforms (jerks, more on that later). One article I've seen puts the death total in Israel at 15, but that's old, and the sentance is misleading. (the first half says that there were 100 casualties in Lebanon, and 15 civilian deaths in Israel. The point is to make you REALIZE how disproportional Israel's reaction is...but when you think about it, casualties are also injuries, so we're not comparing like, the deaths in lebanon also include the militia's that Israel is fighting against, so it doesn't make sense to compare strictly civilian deaths in Israel. If we include military casualties, there were about 50 from the boat that Hezbollah (or Iran; also here) hit yesterday. Hopefully that adds a bit of perspective to the whole thing.)

On the whole, I think that Israel is doing a good job limiting casualties. I don't like to see anyone get hurt...but I also don't want Israel to have to deal with Iranian-supplied Hezbollah missle emplacements that can reach Tel-Aviv, and those missles are all over the south of Lebanon. I'm going to have to agree with Op-For that the Israeli's are prepping the terrain for a ground war. And I can't say I blame them...and I'm not sure that Lebanon does either. (What the Hell is wrong with Hezbollah? - Free Cedar, Lebanese blogger.)

The Diplomats are starting to intervene and do their job (not that they hadn't been trying before), but I'm not sure that anything short of a destruction of Hezbollah's capabilities will do anything productive.

Some good news in India, and some bad news. The peace talks between India and Pakistan need to continues, because we need that area of the world to be stable right now. There is just too much other activity at the moment. Also, Pakistan's president needs to start living up to his promises, or we need to stop giving him money. India should really like US at the moment because of the nuclear priviledges we gave them (or talked about giving them) a few months ago, so we could use them as a base against Afghanistan. I know this would suck, but it also sucks to use jerks like Musharef, and that's the same mistake we made the first time we were involved in Afghanistan. We need to do things right the first time, otherwise they come back and bite us in the backside.

North Korea is correct when they say that they aren't bound by this UN Security Council agreement...but that doesn't mean they aren't affected by it. The declaration says that no country can trade with NK and give them deadly weapons, essentially. That doesn't really say anything to NK. But it does show how much of a joke China thinks the Security Council is...they are true realists. (and kids, realize, they still haven't started a "war" ever in their communist history.)

The rest of the current events stuff belongs in a real post, so you've probably already read that stuff...

Open Thread For More Current Events

My students are at it again, check out what they have to say, and please feel free to respond.

I think most of the time you'll click on their name and go to the article they're talking about...


Friday, July 14, 2006

Great News Site

I have decided that I really like the Al-Jazeera website. I was obviously skeptical when I started to read it, but it's doing a pretty good job...and even it's coverage of the Israeli war is almost less biased than the American news sources. I think it's doing a pretty good job...especially if you keep in mind that it is an Arab news source...

I recommend that you go read it...

Open Thread for Current Events

I've asked my students to find a piece of current events to link to and post a comment about. I invite the rest of the world to join them, or to respond to any of the comments they put up.

To link to an article in the comments, type '<' a href="">text that you want displayed.' only without the '>' around the > Got it? I can't just type it plain because it shows up as a link...

So, if I wanted to put this link in the comments, I'd type "<"a href="">thislink" "


If you have trouble, just cut and paste the link, then e-mail me...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is anyone surprised?

At all? That congress approved an extension of the voting rights act? It would only be news if they didn't.

I feel I can pretty accurately predict the pass/fail state of a bill just by knowing the title of said bill...that doesn't mean I can say whether or not it should pass...just that I can predict if it will pass...

War, and sundry...

The US tests the missle that shoots down other missiles...

Here are some other cool pictures, by the way.

Here is an Allah Egg...sort of like the Virgin French Toast...

Check out Drudge for links to the latest news on Israel.

Why did Hezbollah provoke an attack? Here are some thoughts...

Here are a couple of reactions from Lebaneese bloggers. (with links so that we can find more)

Here is a round up of public statements from various governments and involved people.

Here is a round up of various news sources commenting on the events...

I love blogs, and American Future is doing a particularly good/amazing job today...

Here is some good news about Iraq...there is a transfer of power at the earliest moment. This is especially notable because I'm sure we'd like to keep as much control as we can in the middle east at this moment, but we're still giving it up because the Iraqi's are ready for Yay for them and good job for us. (actually yay for the Brits)

India seems to move on pretty quickly...(check out this e-mail from the scene) I can't judge that very well since there isn't much news about them. But, all things considered, getting on with life quickly is probably a good thing. Here is a wrap up on the criminal stuff...

I just loved Oil-For-Food when it was happening, so I always like to keep up on the news when it comes out.

Here's some opinion on the NYT decision to publish inside info about counter-terrorism stuff..

Iran got relegated back to the security council...lets see how they do with it...

For some relative fun...check out Al-Zarqawi's Mom's blog. Warning, I haven't really looked at this all that closely...but it definitely relates.

Here is an "objective" look at whether or not Isreal deserves to exist.

Random Reading

Here's some Greg Gutfeld stuff that people should is a review of "An Inconvenient Truth" (although he hasn't seen it yet) and the other is a list of some questions he would like to ask progressives from the Huffington Post. It's funny yet pointed...don't read it if you don't have either an open mind or the same beliefs he does...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Current Events for the day

Was Zidane's outburst related to terrorism? Find out.

A Chechen terrorist leader is killed. And here is more. BBC over here. Al Jazeera over here.
Here is more

More sectarian violence in Iraq.

"Islamists" claim victory in Somalia - the first place we cut and ran from potential chaos. (Whoops, that might have been too biased for the kids in my class to read from me...well, they are smart, and they'll figure it out. I want them to be thinking about where the opinions people express come from anyway, so it'll probably be good for them to read.)

A guy with hollowed out shoes gets on a plane in Houston, and "It was looked at and deemed a non-event," said the FBI.

Why would I link to something about India's space program?

From the blogs:

This is about the Shia death squads in Iraq...

This is a very interesting piece about the differences between Iraq and other muslim nations, it's written by a blogger who writes from Iraq...

A look at the recent strategies in dealing with North Korea.

Money in the Bank

Lower taxes never lead to higher revenues, isn't that what they always tell us?

I wonder what page the Times printed this story one? Any guesses?

Only three more years untill Frank J. is a Lame Duck

Go check out the celebration from the first four years of Frank's blog...I got me my old link...but I actually kind of need to update it and I don't have time. Whatever. You should check out the's a funny place.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Current Events

Is the Bush Doctrine done? Do you agree with Time on this? Are they a credible authority on something like this, or are they too involved with the opposition to have an unbiased view?

Rape Sucks

This is a very interesting article about gender trends in education. My kids from class should definitely read it and think about it...even though it doesn't really apply at all to terrorism...

It's interesting to get a different perspective sometimes... I must have missed the memo about that secret war though...definitely worth the read for my students.

Now for the blogs and commentary...

Jane Galt
talks about unemployment...and it's worth a read if you think you know what that word means but you haven't taken any eccnomics...

On the NYT and secrets...

About Iran and inspectors...

Gitmo suicides and motives...

"The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime" - Iran President...

Links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda? Had you heard about this from the MSM?

Blogs are always slow on the I wonder how much our productivity really does increase when we get the internets at work.

On Blogging...

This is an interesting article.

There's a blogger who is now his news-niche's standard...and he's 20 years old. That's cool, but it's not why I linked...

Last week, after the unexpected death of former Enron chief Ken Lay, someone e-mailed Stelter to say — erroneously and anonymously — that CNBC planned to run a prime-time special on Lay. Stelter posted it but quickly corrected the report after CNBC contacted him. He says his willingness to do so has increased his blog's credibility.

"People write me and say, 'Thank you for correcting yourself.' I guess that's in short supply these days. Not enough people admit when they mess up. To me, credibility is all I have."

Isn't it pretty standard to correct yourself when you're wrong on a blog? I's the MSM that doesn't always correct itself? So isn't it interesting to see this standard thing get touted on a news story about a guy who writes news about the way news programs are run? I think it's noteworthy here for the people who are reading it. This article is for people who care about the way news is run. Mostly those people who are involved with running the news, and those people are interested in seeing things that are new to preserving your credibility with a retraction when you are wrong...

How cool is the MSM? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Friday, July 07, 2006

More News

A plot to bomb NYC is uncovered...

American Future discusses the NYT and the Swift story.

California and Al Queda

Iraq raid...on shiites...

Putin is strange, and maybe I should give him more of a benefit of the doubt, like Tiger Hawk does, but he's done too many things for me to like him much.

A new threat from North Korea, in retaliation to stuff from Japan. There's also a good explanation/overview of the posturing going on over there...

Is Bush loosing Cowboy status?

I like to keep tabs on Ukraine...the opposition parties just merged. Damn.

This is good news
, Hamas is at least saying that the Israeli soldier is still alive...

Straight from the BBC headlines...Iran feels positive about the new terms on the nuclear deal.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Link Fest...

So, this summer I have the best summer job ever...I get to teach kids who are smart and super-excited to learn. I couldn't have asked for a better place for my first true teaching experience. I'm helping to teach the class called "International Terrorism," and it's extremely interesting. I've studied the material before, but looking at the same articles from a teaching perspective casts new light on them, and I'm learning (probably) more than I'm teaching.

In short, it's awesome.

The only drawback is that it's taking up almost too much of my time. I don't really have enough time to blog anymore...not that I have for a while. But, a solution occured to me. I need to read the news and gather links to current events stuff anyway...why don't I just put it on the blog? Then I can send the kids to my site to look at them later, and I'll even get more hits that way!

So, here's a round-up of current happenings, and especially stuff relating to Terrorism and International Relations.

First on the list is, of course, the honorable Althouse. I also love stuff like this from her.
The first post is about a prof at UW who is a 9/11 denier and wants to include his theories about how the buildings were toppled by the government in an intro class. The other is just heartwarming...

Go check this blog out. Regime Change Iran. They're obviously biased a bit, but that's ok if you know about it, and they link to the relevant news stories. (Thanks Consul-At-Arms)

Was there a connection between Al-Queda and the London 7/7 bombings? Check out this ABC news story.

Check out this Afghanistan Photo blog (AfghaniDan) It's got lots of stories. If you need something to do, check out the archives.

Op-For has some thoughts on walls, Gaza, and terrorism.

Check out these two posts by Tiger Hawk on North Korea.

Now Taiwan wants to test fire a missle that could hit China? Can the region get any more unstable?

Bush says "I'd rather be right than popular."

Russia and China are refusing to go along concerning North Korea.

That missile North Korea threw was aimed at Hawaii.

Some good news
for Europe and it's Muslims.

That's it! Enjoy....sorry I haven't been posting enough lately...hopefully I can get back to it relatively soon.