Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Beinart Pwns Foxman on The Changing Israel

May 31, 2010

Just one of the scary parts:

Firstly, Palestinian rejectionism cannot explain Avigdor Lieberman’s crusade to humiliate, disenfranchise, and perhaps even eventually expel Arab Israelis, the vast majority of whom want nothing more than to be accepted as equal citizens in the country of their birth. Lieberman is not a marginal figure. He was Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff; he heads Israel’s third-largest party; he serves as foreign minister; and when Israel held mock elections in ten high schools last year, he won.

A Nowruz Message from President Obama (Iranian New Year)

March 20, 2009

I can’t help but agree with Ezra Klein of The American Prospect on this one:

There are times when it’s hard to believe that this is how my country acts now. That somewhere in government, some young bureaucrat had the idea that the President should publicly honor the Iranian New Year, and that bureaucrat felt that her superiors would also think this a good idea, and, indeed, the thought went all the way to the President, who agreed that a display of engagement and goodwill was consonant with our national values and foreign policy goals. It is hard to believe that five years after we were ordering “freedom fries” in the congressional cafeteria, we’re posting Persian translations at Whitehouse.gov.

Chas Freeman is the public target, and victim, of a smear and destroy campaign by neocons and the hawkish side of the pro-Israel Lobby

March 11, 2009

I have been closely following the nomination of Charles “Chas” Freeman to the position of Chairman of the National Intelligence Council for about 7-10 days.  He was nominated by Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, but received no public support from the White House, who stayed silent on the issue throughout.

The public response to his nomination began with Steve Rosen, former AIPAC official currently on trial for charges of espionage for passing secret documents to reporters and an official of the government of Israel.

a look at Chuck Schumer’s consistency: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/11/schumer/

Hypocrisy on China from humanrightsers

http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2009/03/10/freeman-and-the-cognitive-dissonancing-of-sino-israel-relationship/

WashPo “article”    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031003223.html?referrer=emailarticle

Walt  http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/node/16250

Rothkopf @ FP.com http://rothkopf.foreignpolicy.com/node/16237

More to come (as I can stomach revisiting all the articles I read)

World Events Roundup

March 4, 2009

News bulletin for today from around the world.  Happy perusing!

 Middle East

While visiting Israel, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to a two-state solution. Nathan Brown thinks it’s time for Plan B.

Clinton told an Arab foreign minister that it’s “doubtful” that Iran will respond to U.S. offers of negotiations.

International donors have pledged $4.48 billion to rebuild Gaza.

Asia

Sri Lanka’s cricket team was attacked by gunmen in Lahore, Pakistan.

The United States’ new North Korea envoy Stephen Bosworth arrived in Beijing to being work reviving the stalled six-party talks.

An aide to Japanese opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa has been convicted of bribery.

Americas

Congressional Democrats are cracking down on tax havens.

U.S. stocks hit a 12-year low on Monday.

Raul Castro has ousted two top officials who were loyal to his brother Fidel.

Africa

The head of Guinea-Bissau’s parliament will become interim president after Monday’s presidential assassination. 

Tanzania has launched a campaign to prevent the widespread murder of albinos.

A prominent Rwandan minister has been convicted of genocide.

Europe 

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in Washington to meet with Barack Obama.

Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party dominated local elections in Russia.

Poland has renewed its commitment to early entry into the Eurozone.

Pulitzer Preview!

February 28, 2009

Editor & Publisher magazine runs its Annual Pulitzer Preview.  I was surprised to find myself somewhat inspired by this article.  I know it can be hard to get “truth” or the full story from “the media”, but this article highlights the somewhat noble pursuit of truth of dedicated journalists across the country.  This is the sorta investigative/long-form journalism that I love. 

Here are a couple examples:

Two Washington Post series in the running include Debbie Cenziper and Sara Cohen’s “Forced Out” investigation that revealed how local landlords drove tenants from rent-controlled apartments…The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has already gotten notice for its six-part series on toxins in everyday products and the failure of regulatory agencies to monitor them. “Chemical Fallout” has received a Polk Award and the 2008 John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism.

It just feels good to know journalists are still chasing the truth, yaknow?

Al Sharpton, on the secret of dieting

February 28, 2009

Jeffrey Goldberg bumps into Al Sharpton on the shuttle in DC and asks him for secrets:

“What’s your diet secret?” I asked him. After all, stripping weight away is somewhat easy, compared to keeping it off. Sharpton put his arm around my shoulder and said, “I’ll tell you the secret. You ready for the secret?” He lowered his voice. “Never, ever eat anything after 6 p.m. Never.”

Now say that again in your best black-preacher-voice.  Aw-Huh.

Jindal = Kenneth (part II)

February 27, 2009
The Jack McBrayer Response To The Internet Response To The Republican Response To The President’s Address To Congress

[clearspring_widget title=”Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – The Jack McBrayer Response To The Internet Response To The Republican Response To The President’s Address To Congress” wid=”4727a250e66f9723″ pid=”49a86ba8319e612f” width=”384″ height=”283″ domain=”widgets.nbc.com”]

Video Recaps | Full Episodes | Webisodes

Judge Rules Anti-Gay Marriage Donors Can’t Remain Secret

February 26, 2009

This is somewhat of an old story, but I had saved it to come back to after the LSAT.  I found it very interesting because I wasn’t entirely clear how I felt about it.  On some level, I do find it kinda creepy that political donations are entirely in public view (name, address, amount), but I also think that’s a very important principle that I wish would extend far further: it forces a small degree of accountability for one’s beliefs, as if political opinions should be something you can declare and defend publicly. 

There is a certain delicious* irony to sentences like this:

Supporters of the ban on gay marriage said public disclosure of their financial supporters had put the donors at risk of personal harassment or boycotts to their businesses.

I first thought their claims were BS merely because of the somewhat inherent harassment that lay in voting to ban gay marriage, but apparently some pro-Prop-8ers were threatening to boycott people who didn’t donate!:

Fred Karger, founder of gay-rights group Californians Against Hate, said the initiative’s backers had threatened boycotts against businesses that failed to donate to their effort during the campaign.

MY THOUGHTS

Afternoon Newsea

February 10, 2009
Like nausea, but from the news.

NYT Op-Ed in favor of repealing DODT; hard to argue with his larger point:

…six years of war have clarified priorities. The battlefield has its own values, starting with courage. Sexual orientation falls somewhere below musical taste. What a person chooses to do back stateside, off-duty, in his own apartment is irrelevant in a fight.

Guide to what’s hot on South Beach!  (you may now exhale)

The Catholic Church brings back plenary indulgences:

Its revival has been viewed as part of a conservative resurgence that has brought some quiet changes and some highly controversial ones, like Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the council’s reforms. (HatTip: Creedo)

Sullivan unpacks Neoconservatism a little:

…perhaps the case against this strain in neoconservatism is best expressed by the the worry that passionate support for Israel can become, if internalized too completely, a blinding and knee-jerk response, and a barrier to thinking more coolly about America’s regional options.

Philip Weiss waxes philosophic on Jews in neoconservatism and credits Sullivan for his clarity

A pipe-dream from ForeignPolicy.com: Bibi the Secret Dove

A-Rod admits to the doping:

“I am guilty of being negligent, naïve, not asking all the right questions,” he said. (among other things)

It’s worth your click

Workplace Survival Kit!

February 10, 2009

Here’s a lil list of life-saving time-wasters for the endless workday.  If anyone has something they think should also be on the list, comment me  for a FistPound.

User-generated self-loathing: www.Fmylife.com:

Today, on the crowded train, a cute guy called me over and told me to stand next to him because there were less people there. We started talking, but he left before I could get his number. Just when I was about to tell my friends about it, I find out that he stole my phone. FML

This is what I’m watching now: Chomsky vs. William F. Buckley

Although it was funnier and less sold-out before he landed a book deal, it should still be mentioned, www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com like: taking a year off, political prisoners, statistics, having gay friends, study abroad, and public radio!

www.jacksonpollock.org for a mindsplattering good time

Here’s a segment from a local gem that might still be appealing for non-NYawkers, www.overheardinnewyork.com:

Friendly guy to two cute girls speaking French: Hi, where are you girls from?
Girl #1: We are from Switzerland.
Friendly guy: Oh, so you speak Swedish?
Girl #1: No, we speak French.
Friendly guy, slowly: So then, you come from France?
Girl #2: No, we come from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Friendly guy, confused: Oh, okay. So uh, how long did it take you to drive here?

–Burger King, W 42nd St

 http://thisissand.com/ will surprise you with its staying power

petswhowanttokillthemselves.com  This is my favorite. 

IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR THE CATS TO EXHAUST THEIR USUAL PARTY TOPICS—THAT NIGHT’S COSTUMES, THE FUTILITY OF  ESCAPE, RINGWORM—BEFORE MR. WHISKERS CASUALLY INTRODUCED THE IDEA OF A SUICIDE PACT. (HatTip: Sara)

(more…)

Awesomeness! (part V)

February 10, 2009

The Australian Coconut Crab

Coconut  Crab (Birgus  latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. It is  known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in  order to eat the contents.

It  is sometimes called the robber crab because some coconut  crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware  from houses and tents.
 
The second  photo gives you a good idea of how large these crabs are – a coconut  crab is seeking food from a black trashcan.

and here he shows you muthafuckas…

WHO’s BOSS!

(HatTip: Coutts!)

No Major Violence for Iraqi Elections

January 31, 2009

Despite reduced turnout, Iraqi elections were “almost violence-free” and had solid turnout from Iraq’s Sunni population, whose participation “now is considered critical to restoring balance to regional politics and perhaps undercutting a reason for violence” (note: they bocotted the 2005 election, which led to problems regarding their under-representation in the government…surprise surprise!).  The Iraqi elections still managed to leave us plenty of reason to appreciate our own elections:

There was some violence in the period leading up to election day, with at least five candidates and three campaign workers killed during the campaign.

(much more after the Jump; Woodward’s The War Within and the secret new weapon he discusses)

More on Sunnis and an Iraqi political cartoon

Ladies, do something special for your man today.

January 22, 2009

WHY?

 

‘Cus things could be much, much worse.

Smart Power

January 20, 2009

Hendrick Hertzberg explores the emergence of what is being called Smart Power:

Thesis: Hard Power…All about blood and guts. Antithesis: Soft Power…Movies, books, songs. Ideals, diplomacy, moral authority. All about hearts and minds. Synthesis: Smart Power…(Hillary, at her confirmation hearing,) “the full range of tools at our disposal—diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural—picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation.”

Although, Hertzberg doesn’t think the middle of the road is necessarily virtuous.  Last week, he agreed with Yglesias on the dangers of adhering to a dogma of centrism.  In sum,

Dogmatic centrism not only puts you at the gravitational mercy of whichever side is prepared to move furthest toward its own extreme, it also obliges you to reject certain ideas automatically, without any analysis except spectrum analyses.

The Tyger

January 19, 2009

Today may be a slower day than normal in PapoWorld.  There is much remembering of MLK Jr. to be done, much community service to be done under Obama’s national See-How-Baller-My-Army-Is event, much snow to avoid in NYC and…probably the only real constraint, Logic Games to solve.

So we at P-World decided to offer pensiveness and rich imagery: William Blake’s The Tyger.  I like the questioning of the origin of things and the duplicity of creating predator and prey, good and evil (?), even ‘fearful symmetry’ perhaps.  Its cadence evokes a jungle-like, muscular prowl akin to a, well,  tyger.

Please feel encouraged to comment and discuss.

The Tyger by William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
 
And What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Comment Emancipation

January 17, 2009

I dont wanna steal any thunder from the megapost below, but I did wanna reassure all you Citizens of PapoWorld:
Comments now do not require logging in! (I think…) You at least don’t have to involve your email and such.
I really like feedback, be they comments of encouragement, criticism, or little tweaks you wanna suggest. Also, any suggestions for cool content, or cool tools for the blog, are enthusiastically welcome. I have a thick skin. I don’t get enough honesty. Hit me.

What’s going on at Circuit City??

January 17, 2009

Its a sad day for us nostalgic types.  Although I never had a particular affinity for Circuit City, it still is an icon of our society that we all heard of, went to , or even preferred.  I guess its just a jolt of reality, of change, of life…to see that such a huge institution will no longer exist.

A recession is a helluva drug

The City is put to sleep

  • Due to challenges to our business and the continued bleak economic environment, Circuit City is going out of business and the company’s assets will be liquidated to pay off creditors.
  • The process was extremely difficult and we were left with no other choice but to liquidate.  Circuit City had a proud heritage of serving the public for 60 years and we deeply regret the impact this decision will have on our associates, our customers and the communities where we have operated stores and other facilities.
  • We had hoped to be able to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a stronger, more competitive company and we made significant progress during the reorganization to improve our business.  Unfortunately, the economic climate is so poor that we have no choice other than liquidation.
  • Liquidators will start arriving in our 567 stores across the U.S. over the weekend, and closing sales will start as early as Saturday, January 17.  Closing sales will run as long as it takes to sell existing inventory, but are expected to wrap up by the end of March.  When the liquidation sales are completed, the stores will be closed.

Obama’s People

January 16, 2009

peruse at your lezzure…

I won’t swoon too hard right now, but needless to say, Obama is a very good thing for the USA and the world. (both worlds, 😉 )

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/magazine/2009-inauguration-gallery/index.html?hp

PS: dont miss the voice over from the photographers at the bottom (HatTip: ?…comment if you sent me this)

deals deals deals!

January 16, 2009

I heart Newegg.

They usually have the most competitive prices and their customer reviews are an excellent resource.  Me and my legion of techie friends all generally trust Newegg and turn to them for goodies.

Like this:  Its a Deal, Its a Steal, Its the Sale of the Fuckin Century (name the movie reference for extra credit)

PS: that’s $109 with the promo code EMCABBGBH.  life is greener in PapoWorld

Feature Artist: Sara Eagle

January 15, 2009

This is an upstart photographer I met in NYC who really has an eye for the clever shot.

Known for taking every day places or items and presenting them in a perspective that highlights their wonder and beauty, Sara frequents between Manhattan (the UES), Brooklyn (the ‘Wick), and Miami (everywhere fly), finding occassional respite in Westport, CT.

If you like her stuff, send along an encouraging word!  She’s very, very charming.

 

(some of her pics are cycling on the right –>)