Thursday, November 29, 2007
My Chinese politics professor was talking about what American politicians think about China. China's military modernization is a very controversial topic right now. He says debates about what policies the US should take usually very quickly turn into ad hominem attacks. People who take a milder view are accused of being "panda lovers." HA! Typical.
There are two sides. The Neocons say, China is a revisionist country that seeks to disrupt the world order, and needs to be deterred with an overwhelming show of force to get them to back down and integrate peacefully with the global community. Hillary Clinton's advisors take this view. FUCK THEM.
The traditional balance of power foreign policy people say, no, it's not especially alarming. They are still way behind. We should not needlessly make enemies and fuel their weapons buildup.
NO MORE NEOCONS!
Monday, November 26, 2007
let's feel sorry for ourselves
AIM from mirthbottle 22:11
ok, i'm sorry, self
AIM from lookImawave 22:12
i'm sorry me too
AIM from lookImawave 22:12
and i'm sorry for you
AIM from mirthbottle 22:12
i'm sorry, too
AIM from mirthbottle 22:12
i'm sorry, for posting an aim convo.
but we wanted it for future reference because they're lyrics for our blues song.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
These things are so cool. They're not really that new, but it's the first time I saw their AAA batteries. They plug into your USB port to recharge by having a folding USB port! I'm going to try to get a job with these people.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This one is about his Il Senate days. Not about issues, but about approach to
working with people.
"What if a politician were to see his job as an organizer, as part teacher and
part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about
the real choices before them?."
This is about his time as President of the Harvard Law Review. It's also
mostly just about him working with people. Actually, I think the take away of the article is supposed to be that he wouldn't be a good president because of his leadership style, but I disagree.
Obama talking about black issues and education. Pretty interesting.
This is a good article comparing Obama and Edwards' opinions on
But really, for the issues, you have to read his speeches yourself, and then
maybe see what some experts think.
In particular, I agree with his foreign policy views, poverty, and education,
and government ethics reform issues. I also more or less agree with his
approach to energy and technology although you can kind of tell he's not an
expert on energy. The stuff he says on technology is pretty good, actually,
because he talks about technology policies in terms of encouraging
participatory democracy. I also agree with his approach on health care, but
in that case, I don't really know what's going on, and most people say that
his, Edwards, and Clinton's plans are pretty similar. I haven't really read
too much about what he says about immigration but from what I've heard him
talk about, I agree. He also used to have something on rural america that I
thought was good, but I guess you can probably find a speech on that somewhere
else. And besides having the right opinions on the issues, I think he's got
the right approaches.
I really like that he's not into blaming Republicans and trying to paint
Republicans as the "enemy."
I also really like that he has a lot of literature. He provides reasoning behind his positions, and he provides a vision for what an ideal system would look like. I generally agree with his reasonings and so I trust his judgment more.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Center: Belon (the cream of the bivalve crop). Clockwise from top left: Bluepoint (tasty and relatively cheap), Kumamoto (a good beginner's choice), Moonstone (the pride of Rhode Island), and Wellfleet (straight from the Cape).
(Photo: Davies + Starr)
Wellfleet - always good
Sabavi - good texture, small
Blue Points - big, not very good.
Ninigret - well-balanced
Thatch Island - tasty
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
haha, that's my new slogan
I went to New Hampshire today for more canvassing for Barack Obama, which is where you go door to door talking to people. We were also marking levels of support for Barack and what issues people said were important to them. It was a lot of fun, and I met a lot of interesting people. It has definitely restored some faith in democracy because of its participatory nature. We had a lot of good conversations with people. At the same time, it's not like this is happening on a national level. Iowa and New Hampshire get a special focus because of their early primaries.
Anyway, here's a little bit about what happened and the people that I met.
New Hampshire is a dog state, seriously, and so basically every house had at least one dog. I canvassed with a woman named Kathleen who was very very good at emoting with people and getting them to spill their beans, so to speak. She said she used to be a journalist and even worked for washingtonpost.com and now she teaches ESL students at Harvard. We were canvassing in a poor neighborhood where many of the houses looked like trailers. The people were pretty friendly and receptive.
One woman said that she and her husband used to be Republicans but they have since changed their party affiliation to Independent. They are still deciding which primary to vote in, but if they vote in the democratic primaries, they are pretty sure would they vote for Barack.
A few people were completely undecided but seemed open to Barack.
There was this farmer guy we chatted up, too, who was like, I think I like the lady. Haha. He said he watched the debate and Barack did too much mud-slinging. But he also said all the information he gets is just from the TV. *sigh* Actually a lot of people don't have computers there.
We talked to one grandma who had to use an oxygen tank and she said things were going bad. She was undecided but she seemed to appreciate our empathy and was interested in looking into Barack.
We had maybe one say that they already decided.
We had one supporter.
Finally, we talked to this woman who had so many animals. She said she supports Hillary, but a big part of the reason is that she was such a big fan of JFK and MLK that it was really traumatizing when they got shot, and she thinks Barack will just get shot.
People really responded to how Barack is not taking PAC and lobbyist money for the election and so he would actually be able to do what's best for people. Or at least he won't have to appease them as much as Hillary does. Even with all the best of her intentions, it's not like she can bite the hand that feeds her.
People also really like how he does not demonize Republicans and blame everything on Republicans. This is very important to New Hampshire people because there are so many Republicans there and Independent voters who share some of the same views as Republicans. They are not likely to agree with Barack on every issue, so it's important to them that he is going to listen to everybody and not just stick it to Republicans. In fact, part of the reason that he got elected to be editor of the Harvard Law Review is that eventually the conservative faction threw in their lot with him because even though they didn't agree on things, they felt that at least they would not get alienated and their concerns would still be taken seriously.
So yeah, some semblance of participatory democracy! Yay!
I think we're going to throw some elections events through LSC or something, too. WHOO
Friday, November 16, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
"Using a network of 32 active and passive near-infrared optical sensors, it detects motion above the table and changes in ambient light. Made of fully analog circuits, the light patterns sweep outwards from your motion with perfect fades, ripples across a pool of 480 super-bright white LEDs. It works in full sunlight or total darkness. Without motion it calms down to a very slight twinkling, with lots of motion all sorts of complex emergent behavior begins to happen."
Monday, November 5, 2007
What does he offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy. The war on Islamist terror, after all, is two-pronged: a function of both hard power and soft power. We have seen the potential of hard power in removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. We have also seen its inherent weaknesses in Iraq, and its profound limitations in winning a long war against radical Islam. The next president has to create a sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power to isolate the enemy, to fight where necessary, but also to create an ideological template that works to the West’s advantage over the long haul. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this. Which is where his face comes in.
Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
If you just want the Obama vs Hillary without the big picture, page 3.
Friday, November 2, 2007
New York Times blog about it.
She also spoke at Wellesley.
"In so many ways, this all-women's college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics," she said Thursday to cries of support.
In Tuesday's debate, the New York senator was grilled about her integrity, electability and tendency to sidestep tough questions. Her comments at Wellesley and a new fundraising appeal from campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle suggested there was an element of sexism at play.
"On that stage in Philadelphia, we saw six against one. Candidates who had pledged the politics of hope practiced the politics of pile on instead," Solis Doyle wrote. "Her opponents tried a whole host of attacks on Hillary. She is one strong woman. She came through it well. But Hillary's going to need your help."
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I watched this movie for class, and it's pretty good. It's like an Ocean's 11 spoof, Chinese style.
Some highlights from a review
Crazy Stone tells a story about a bunch of bumbling thieves who have their eyes set on stealing a precious Jade stone. But the mob and a zealous security guard hamper their plan.
The story itself can easily make you laugh by countless coincidences and an array of local dialects. One can feel dizzy following Superman rocketing around skyscrapers. Besides, it is hard to connect with a perfect specimen who isn't grounded in reality - or grounded in general. But audience members can chuckle and relax watching these three stooges mistakenly return the genuine jade and try all methods to steal the fake one.
All the jokes are subtle and perfectly crafted. This flick is enough to show that the director can entertain the masses, which can be rare in most mainland movies.
Reality sells here, but what really soars here is the use of dialects.
The actors in the movie use several different ones from Chongqing, Qingdao, and Hong Kong. This creates some of big laughs and a mix of local phrases: "I bump your lungs." "BMW means Bie Mo Wo ["don't touch me" in Chinese]." "You insulted my IQ."
The director also clones many classical scenes from other movies, which adds some inside jokes for movie buffs. The scene that includes the Hong Kong thief stealing the jade from the ceiling while he wears a tight black outfit will remind one of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible I. There is also some homage paid to Andy Lau's Run Out of Time.