Blogging in Berkeley. Notes on news, politics, law, and technology in the US and China. [This blog is inactive. I am now staying busy and having a great time at UVA Law.]
Yahoo! News - Before U.S. Poll, China Criticizes 'Bush Doctrine'
"BEIJING (Reuters) - On the eve of the U.S. election, China criticized the 'Bush doctrine' of pre-emptive strikes, said the Iraq war has destroyed the global anti-terror coalition and blamed arrogance for problems dogging the United States around the world.
In a strongly worded commentary, Qian Qichen, one of the main architects of China's foreign policy, said the United States was dreaming if it thought the 21st century was the 'American century.'"
I though that the PRC leadership had better judgment than to do stuff like this. I'm not sure what Qian wanted to accomplish with this kind of statement, but the timing obviously would imply that he was trying to somehow influence our election. If they are trying to influence the election I don't know what their motive would be for such a risky diplomatic maneuver that is unlikely to yield any positive benefits. The Chinese leadership is usually too shrewd and too cautious to try something so foolish and transparent.
And speaking of bears...
Stingy D propels Golden Bears to historic ranking
"The Golden Bears (6-1, 4-1 Pac-10) beat Arizona State 27-0 Saturday night to record consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1968. The next morning, they moved up three spots in the AP poll to No. 4 -- their highest rank since Oct. 20, 1952."
Roll on you Bears!
Scotsman.com News - Latest News - IVF Embryos to Be Screened for Genetic Cancers
"She said the licence only applied to people carrying familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) which is an inherited genetic colon condition.
If passed on, it could lead to the development of rectal or colon cancer in early teens.
The HFEA spokeswoman said the chance of passing on the genetic form of cancer from parent to child was 50% and that there was a 'strong chance' the disease could develop later in life."
At first glance this would seem positive, though it may be a slippery slope. If society can decrease the occurrence of rectal and colon cancer it seems like a medical advance. Yet we would not be decreasing the likelihood of these diseases occurring, we would actually be decreasing the number human beings with the greatest potential of developing this disease from surviving to birth. Those that have the greatest risk of developing this type of cancer will simply not have the opportunity to exist. What will we do when we are able to identify the genetic signs of other undesirable traits? Will we destroy the embryos that are more likely to have vision defects? Those of us who do not have 20/20 vision may have no place in this type of future because they may never be allowed to be born. Many claim that homosexuality is genetic; if the genes which would make a child turn out to be gay could be identified before birth then what will stop a parent from choosing to destroy that life before it starts? Even progressive parents may think twice about letting a gay baby come to term rather than waiting for a straight one, most people that have kids would like to have grandkids someday as well. What about dyslexia? ADHD? Manic depression? Addictive tendencies? This sort of technology and medical ethic could lower the rate of cancer in humankind, improve the average vision of a population, and produce offspring that more closely meet the parents social expectations. How many of us would be allowed to be born in to such a world and how many of us would be denied the opportunity to exist? Such a future gives me pause.
: "It's absolutely impossible and irresponsible to suggest that if I were President, he wouldn't necessarily be gone. He might be gone."
I heart nuance.
Andrew Leigh on the Left's Rage on National Review Online
A family that does everything together, they actively encourage their son to share in this hate. Their beautiful home, in a very posh neighborhood, brims over with anti-Bush books, from Noam Chomsky's latest to Michael Moore's most vociferous. The son's room features one of those standing punching bags with Bush's image on it. Magnetically pinned to the refrigerator door, alongside the son's lovingly displayed schoolwork, are all sorts of demeaning caricatures of the president, including a target symbol with Bush's face in the middle. But on the back of their SUV, next to their shiny new 'Kerry-Edwards' bumper sticker, they have a faded one that reads, 'Teach Peace.'
2004's Scariest Halloween Costumes
The photos are pretty funny, and yet disturbing at the same time. The Lyndie England costume is shocking and the Nancy Reagan is just plain mean. Anyone who would dress their kid in any of these costumes is deranged.
Solid analysis from Dan Rather below.
I think Bush will get the popular vote, now it is a matter of whether he can nail down all the electoral votes that he needs. It would be ironic if there was a reversal of the 2000 election and Bush won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote.
Dan Rather handicaps the race
Should Bush lose this time in Ohio and New Hampshire, states he won last time, he would be at 254 — providing he wins every other state he won in 2000. That would push him down to 254. But if he then carried Wisconsin and Iowa (both of which went for Gore in 2000), he would pick up 17 electoral votes, pushing the president back up to a winning 271.
It is, of course, only one of many possible scenarios in which Bush could win. But if one puts one's nose to the wind and sniffs, it may be as good a guess as any. And better than most.
So, think of election night this way: First, concentrate on the Big Three: Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Then watch the Middle Three: Wisconsin, Iowa and Colorado. After that, the Little Three: Arkansas, New Mexico and Hawaii
The Kerry Spot on National Review Online
The campaign is going to avoid the Russian angle and go with the straightforward, “As the facts mount in this story, American people have a choice between believing Kerry-NYTimes-CBS or believing Bush and the Troops.”
This source close to the campaign didn’t say it, but I wonder if the Bush administration wants to deal with Russia in its own manner, and not have whatever diplomatic confrontations are going on behind the scenes complicated by a furious American electorate blaming Russia for hiding Iraq’s weapons and explosives.
Seems like nobody wants to talk about Russia in this Al-Qaqqa story...
Dhaka airport needs to be upgraded. The airplane parking facilities are unacceptable.
South Korean man arrested for botched defection bid to North
According to the National Intelligence Service and the prosecutors, a 34-year-old man, whom the press did not identify, was found to have secretly entered North Korea and was later deported to China, from where he returned to South Korea. He was arrested on charges under the National Security Law. According to the authorities, the man harangued his friends about "South Korea's subordination to the United States" and the unfairness of capitalism as a social system.
On 1 September, the man entered North Korea illegally via Jilin, China, crossing the Tumen River and then entering Hoeryeong, North Hamgyeong Province, in the North.
The investigation by the National Intelligence Service, officials said, showed that the man dropped out of high school and then worked at a garment factory. After he entered North Korea, he told a women working in the fields, "I am from South Korea. I want to live in an equal society like the North." North Korean authorities welcomed him with a banquet but interrogated him the next day about his motives for defecting and was sent to a detention camp for foreigners. For 40 days, until 9 October, he was interrogated by the military and Pyongyang's Immigration authorities. Eventually, he was expelled to China. On 21 October, the Chinese government deported him to South Korea.
From jarhead to bowl maker: Grad student Ehren Tool's art of war
"Now a UC Berkeley graduate student in art practice, Tool is a former U.S. Marine who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. He wears his gold Marine Corps pin on a desert camouflage apron, and his hair as short as in his jarhead days. At 6' 2' and 320 pounds, he looks like a saner version of the Vincent D'Onofrio character from 'Full Metal Jacket' -- like someone you would not want to mess with.
Which would be too bad, because then you'd miss out on getting one of the cups he makes. They are clay, usually dull black with a shinier black glaze, and decorated with press molds of military medals, bombs, or babies, their bottom edges scalloped into sandbags. Tool has given away more than 4,000 of them since he graduated from the University of Southern California in 2000. Homeless people have Tool's cups, as do workers at Cafe Strada, where he likes to mainline espresso. He mails them, free of charge, to Marines related to people he meets. More than 800 of his cups went home with people from the Burning Man festival in 2003. "
Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - October 28, 2004
"Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned."
This Al-Qaqqa missing explosives story is getting very interesting. This may not be good news for President Bush. If the Russians were involved and a deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security knows about it, as well as European intelligence services, then why didn't President Bush know about it?
Yahoo! News - Remains of New Species of Hobbit-Sized Human Found
"The partial skeleton of Homo floresiensis, found in a cave on the island of Flores, is of an adult female that was a meter (3 feet) tall, had a chimpanzee-sized brain and was substantially different from modern humans.
It shared the isolated island to the east of Java with miniature elephants and Komodo dragons. The creature walked upright, probably evolved into its dwarf size because of environmental conditions and coexisted with modern humans in the region for thousands of years. "
Yahoo! News - Postal Experts Hunt for Missing Ballots in Florida
"U.S. Postal Service Inspector Del Alvarez, whose federal agency is independent from the U.S. Postal Service, said it had yet to be determined if the ballots reached the post office.
'It's highly unlikely that 58,000 pieces of mail just disappeared,' he said. 'We're looking for it, we're trying to find it if in fact it was ever delivered to the postal service.' "
The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Political Points: Secret Weapon for Bush?
"Mr. Badnarik is the presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, which says he could 'Naderize' Mr. Bush. A recent Zogby/Reuters national poll showed him tied with Ralph Nader at one percentage point each - not much, but possibly critical. Unlike Mr. Nader, Mr. Badnarik is on the ballot of every battleground state except New Hampshire.
'If we have a rerun of Florida 2000 in Pennsylvania, Michael Badnarik could be the kingmaker by drawing independent and Republican votes from Bush,' said Larry Jacobs, director of the 2004 Election Project at the Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota, which has been tracking third-party candidates.
Mr. Badnarik, reached by telephone on Thursday while campaigning in Michigan, said that polls commissioned by his campaign showed him at 2 percent in Wisconsin, 3 percent in Nevada and 5 percent in New Mexico.
He dispatched quickly with most of the major campaign issues. Foreign policy? 'I would be bringing our troops home from Iraq and 135 other countries.' Taxes? 'I would eliminate the I.R.S. completely.' Health care? 'Of all the things I want the government out of, health care is probably the first thing.' "
And you thought Bush is a dunce- The Times of India
"Based on various academic and military school records including his SAT score (1206), conservative columnist Steve Sailer has calculated that Bush's IQ is between 125 and 130.
That would put him in the 'very superior intelligence' category and in the 95th percentile, which means only one out of 20 people would score higher. "
NPR : NYC Subway Turns 100
"When it opened on Oct. 27, 1904, the New York City subway was not America's first underground transit system. But it transformed the nation's largest city and how the world viewed it. In a series of reports, NPR celebrates the subway's centennial. "
The Redskins Rule
: "One of the great fallacies of this political season is that the election will be decided on November 2. Wrong. The whole thing will be determined this Sunday afternoon at Fed-Ex field in Washington, D.C. That's where the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers. You can forget Zogby, Gallup, Rasmussen, RealClearPolitics, etc. None of them can match the track record of the Redskins Rule.
For the past 72 years, the fate of the Redskins in their last game before the election has predicted whether or not the incumbent party holds the White House. If the Redskins win, the incumbent party stays. If the Redskins lose or tie, the incumbent loses the White House. The rule has held for the last 18 elections (see below)."
Ohio Gov. Taft: Four Counties Have More Registrants than Eligible Voters
Appearing on CNN’s American Morning program Tuesday, Ohio’s Republican Governor Bob Taft painted a disturbing picture of widespread vote fraud in his state.
Taft told CNN’s Bill Hemmer that in four Ohio counties, more people have registered to vote than live in those counties and are of voting age.
New York Post Online Edition: Dick Morris, Bubba to the Rescue
"It's about time middle-class African-Americans began to desert the Democratic Party. Bush's dependence on Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice demonstrates amply his freedom from racism and his tax cuts show how good he is for upward mobility for all people of all races. If middle-class blacks start voting their class not their race, it would help all blacks by forcing the same kind of bidding war as we've seen for the Hispanic-American vote. "
OpinionJournal - Featured Article
"BY RUTH R. WISSE
Monday, October 25, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
Last spring, I was surprised by a call from a reporter at the Harvard Crimson asking me to comment on my contribution to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. His inquiry was prompted by the disparity he'd discovered in donations by Harvard faculty of about $150,000 for Kerry to about $8,000 for Bush. (The figures have since changed but not the percentages.) I could have filled the whole issue of his paper with reasons for supporting Bush over Kerry, but as we both knew, the real story was the 'herd of independent minds'--the image is Harold Rosenberg's--charging through the American academy. "
Rehnquist Hospitalized With Cancer in Md.
: "No matter who is elected president next week, a vacancy on the high court is likely during the next presidential term. Both President Bush and John Kerry have avoided describing a litmus test for a Supreme Court nomination, although their differences on abortion are cut along partisan lines. The future of the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion is the most visible symbol of the court's ideological split.
The last vacancy on the court occurred in 1994, and then-President Bill Clinton appointed Stephen Breyer to fill the seat vacated when Justice Harry M. Blackmun retired.
Other members of the high court have also been treated for cancer. Justice John Paul Stevens, the oldest at 84, has had prostate cancer. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had breast cancer and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had colon cancer."
In the key of fake
: "Teen songbird Ashlee Simpson had a microphone malfunction on 'Saturday Night Live' last night, scurrying off stage when a production glitch caught her lip-synching the wrong tune."
The Onion | What Do You Think?
Bill O'Reilly Sex Scandal
"'Whether Andrea Mackris' claims are true or false, one thing is certain -- that woman is never working for the vast right-wing conspiracy again.'"
Early voting brings cries of bullying
: "One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were 'trashing our president,' Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, 'Who are you voting for?'
'I said, `I don't think that's an appropriate question,'' the woman said she responded.
'Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here,' screamed the man behind her.
For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, 'I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!' she reported.
That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, 'We have a Republican right here!' There were 'boos and jeers' from the crowd.
'I felt intimidated, harassed and threatened!' the woman wrote in her complaint to the Republican Party."
Political Poseur - Pretending to be a Republican in Blue California. By Richard?Rushfield
: "I live solidly in 'Blue' to-its-core Venice, Calif., a neighborhood so left-wing that anyone spotted in a Bush button is more likely to be a costumed trick-or-treater than an actual GOP voter.
As a political and journalistic experiment, I decided to see how people who live in primarily one-party areas would react when faced with a living, breathing member of the opposition."
I'll be doing a similar experiment in Berkeley with my GOP hat on November 2. I would wear a Bush-Cheney shirt but I have no idea where I would get one. I think that campaign buttons and t-shirts are tacky, but I am curious to see how hostile the reactions will be. I've been wearing a custom made GOP hat since the 1994 election. I was not able to wear it in 1996, though it was not very close. (I realize that my lucky hat can't possibly account for much more than 2 points in the popular vote and 3-6 in battle ground states). 2000 went well, then I had a new GOP hat made on Telegraph Ave. and in 2002 the Republicans beat the precedent and gained seats in the House and Senate. I'm not sure about wearing my lucky hat to class though; should I risk my grade to express my support for the Republican party? Should I censor myself out of fear of academic retribution from intensely anti-Bush professors and GSIs? Principle or pragmatism? I would appreciate any advice...even a 'yea' or 'nay' in the comment block would be nice.
Mama T on Moms
: "When the would-be first lady decided to take a shot at Laura Bush in yesterday's USA Today by stating that Mrs. Bush had never held a 'real job,' she committed the rarest of things--a triple gaffe. Like triple plays in baseball, these are rarely seen in these days of well-coached candidates and spouses. But Tuesday's was one for the ages.
First, it is bad form--very bad form--to speak in anything other than the most complimentary terms of your opponent's spouse. It's just tacky. But after the assault on Mary Cheney's privacy by John Kerry, Mary Beth Cahill, and Elizabeth Edwards, I guess more appearances of the merely tacky should not surprise.
Blunder two was to denigrate, by omission, the professions of teacher and librarian. Ms. H-K quickly figured out these were interest groups in good standing in the Democratic party and rushed out an apology: She had 'forgotten' Laura's service as both. Not believable, of course, but acceptable damage control.
The worst part of the Ms. H-K triple feature was failing to mention Laura Bush's 'real job' as a mom. The apology crafters were no doubt in a bind when it came time to deal with that oversight. It would be hard to claim that Ms. H-K had 'forgotten' the twins, but she couldn't exactly double-down on the status of mom not being that of a real job. So they said nothing. Mistake again. She ought to have begged the forgiveness of the tens of millions of American moms wondering: 'What am I, a potted plant?'"
House Approves Splitting 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
: "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is not only the largest of the circuit courts, it is also considered the most liberal. On Tuesday, the House passed a bill that would split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals into three courts.
The vote to split the court passed by a 205-194 margin -- as an amendment to a larger bill (S. 878), creating additional federal court judgeships.
The Ninth Circuit currently represents 56 million people, roughly one-fifth of the nation's population; and has 48 judges to serve an area that encompasses nearly 40 percent of the geographic area of the United States, the House Judiciary Committee said in press release."
Yahoo! News - Court Says Whales, Dolphins Cannot Sue Bush
: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The world's whales, porpoises and dolphins have no standing to sue President Bush (news - web sites) over the U.S. Navy (news - web sites)'s use of sonar equipment that harms marine mammals, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, widely considered one of the most liberal and activist in the country, said it saw no reason why animals should not be allowed to sue but said they had not yet been granted that right. "
Here is a website for those who will be holding their noses on the way to the polls November 2nd:
Kerry Haters for Kerry :: Main Page
"We're Kerry Haters for Kerry -- perhaps his largest constituency! No need to hide in the Kerryhating closet anymore while you pretend to everyone that he'll be a great president. Here you are among friends. You can speak freely and honestly. You can admit: 'He's awful! And I'm for him!' "
"We need to be strong. In the dark hours, when you think, 'Can I really vote for this guy? Isn't he, like, a gigantic turkey,' the KH4K community will be here for you, whispering, 'Yes, you can! ... And yes, he is!' "
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | 200 million Chinese are overweight
AP in Beijing
Thursday October 14, 2004
China's rising incomes are expanding its waistlines, the health ministry has found: 200 million citizens are now judged overweight.
More than 160 million have high blood pressure and 20 million have diabetes, the ministry says.
Other conditions linked to obesity are also rising in number.
The weight has piled on as the country has shifted to more sedentary work in the past 20 years, been freed from famine, and switched to a fattier diet.
The report released this week says that since 1992 the proportion of adults who are overweight has risen by a third, to 23%, and the number considered clinically obese has nearly doubled to 60 million, according to the official news agency Xinhua.
Many older Chinese people remember the hunger of the late 1950s and early 1960s, when as many as 30 million starved to death.
Today, fast food restaurants, convenience shops and western-inspired junk food are ubiquitous.
Health ministry officials are drafting nutrition guidelines with the help of the World Health Organisation.
The deputy health minister, Wang Longde, was quoted as saying: 'We will work hard to intensify public education, advocate a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to improve people's awareness and capabilities of keeping personal health.'
Voting on the Electoral College | csmonitor.com
: "For more than 50 years, a majority of Americans has consistently favored scrapping the Electoral College altogether. But this year some Coloradans want to start changing it, and hope other states will follow suit. "
More great video today...
The Silence of the Domes
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Paratrooper Who Lost Leg in War Re-Enlists
: "FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - George Perez still feels the sweat between his toes when he exercises. He's still plagued with nagging cramps in his calf muscle. And sometimes, when he gets out of bed at night without thinking, he topples over.
Perez, 21, lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq more than a year ago, but despite the phantom pains that haunt him, he says he is determined to prove to the Army that he is no less of a man - and no less of a soldier.
``I'm not ready to get out yet,'' he says. ``I'm not going to let this little injury stop me from what I want to do.''
Perez is one of at least four amputees from the 82nd Airborne Division to re-enlist. With a new carbon-fiber prosthetic leg, Perez intends to show a medical board he can run an eight-minute mile, jump out of airplanes and pass all the other paratrooper tests that will allow him to go with his regiment to Afghanistan next year. "
IFILM - Short Films: Jon Stewart's Brutal Exchange with CNN Host
: "Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart browbeats CNN's Tucker Carlson over journalism ethics on Crossfire."
Jon Stewart has a huge chip on his shoulder.
Pat Buchanan endorses George Bush
"No matter the quarrels inside the family, when the shooting starts, you come home to your own. When the Redcoats approached New Orleans to sunder the Union and Jackson was stacking cotton bales and calling for help from any quarter, the pirate Lafitte wrote to the governor of Louisiana to ask permission to fight alongside his old countrymen. “The Black Sheep wants to come home,” Lafitte pleaded.
"It’s time to come home."
I bet the Democrats wish Nader felt the same way.
The Jews in Islamic Spain: Al Andalus
: "Within a century of their activity, the Moors, with assistance of the Jews, had developed a civilization based in Cordoba that surpassed that of any in Europe; it was known as Al-Andalus. At the end of the eighth century, Al-Andalus was the most populous, cultured, and industrious land of all Europe, remaining so for centuries. During this prosperous period, trade with the outside world was unrivaled. It was during this time of economic expansion, the Jews, who had been virtually eliminated from the peninsula in the seventh century by the Christians, grew once more in numbers and flourished. Hume wrote in his book ?Spanish People?: ?Side by side with the new rulers lived the Christians and Jews in peace. The latter rich with commerce and industry were content to let the memory of their oppression by the priest-ridden Goths sleep? (Hume 23)."
BBC NEWS Satellite smashes Chinese house
: "'The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year,' the tenant of the wrecked apartment was quoted as saying by the newspaper."
This could be a great opportunity for sports diplomacy with China. The Chinese professional basketball league is popular, and the NBA is big in China as well.
NBA Considering Taking Games to China
: "BEIJING (Reuters) - The NBA is considering playing some of its regular season games in China, commissioner David Stern said Friday.
The Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets, team of Chinese national Yao Ming, are playing pre-season games in Shanghai and Beijing.
With a rocketing economy and a population of over 1.3 billion, China offers huge marketing prospects -- and the NBA's popularity is growing. "
Facing Our Madrid
: "The violence in Iraq has a purpose: to influence America's presidential election.
by Powl Smith "
From Drudge...this is so surprising that I decided to psot the whole thing.
The Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives to declare voter intimidation -- even if none exists, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.
A 66-page mobilization plan to be issued by the Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee states: "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a 'pre-emptive strike.'"
The provocative Dem battle plan is to be distributed in dozens of states, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
One top DNC official confirmed the manual's authenticity, but claimed the notion of crying wolf on any voter intimidation is "absurd."
"We all know the Republicans are going to try to steal the election by scaring people and confusing people," the top DNC source explained.
Old school days long gone, but not forgotten: Congressman's streaking stunt exposed
: "Democrats are circulating old newspaper clippings of a 1974 college streaking stunt staged by hundreds of students at what was then called Southwest Texas State University.
One of the participants was an 18-year-old freshman named Pete Sessions -- who grew up to become a conservative Republican congressman."
Sorry Kelly, MC/MM Lee was rejected as well...I'm batting 0 for 3 now.
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My father, my brother, and I together after the ceremony.
Cutting the cake.
Exchanging vows. My brother, Rob on the left.
The Buddhist portion of the ceremony part 1. That is Carol's son, Matthew in the background.
A medley of "What a Wonderful World" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
The Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole version
is available online.
Carol's son, Andy making an announcement: there will be a slight delay.
Here are some pictures from my father's wedding on September 25th. This first one is of sister trying to hide from the camera, there's her fiance John next to/in front of her. John and I watched Cal take on #1 ranked USC on Saturday
. Good game, Cal could have won with a stronger performance by their special teams.
Last week was tough...I really took it easy over the weekend. I spent several hours playing a campaign simulation called the Political Machine
. After playing out the Bush vs. Kerry election I created my own candidate (me) and I ran in several full presidential campaigns. I beat Wesley Clark
and Jimmy Carter
pretty easily, but I got stuck on Bill Richardson
. I just had to beat him, so I decided to try running Schwarzenegger
's campaign. I lost the first time through in a really close election. (I really should not have neglected Alaska.) I got him the second time with a Schwarzenegger - Barbara Bush ticket; his running mate was Dick Gephardt. It was an enormous time suck, but there were a couple benefits: I have all the geographic locations of each of the US states memorized for the first time in my life (how many Californians can really point out Delaware, Kansas, and Iowa on a map?); and I have the electoral vote count for each state memorized as well now. That information will come in handy, well...every four years.
Poem entitled "Litany," by Billy Collins
You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.
VDH's Private Papers::
: "Indeed, a conservative in the university is about as popular as a snitch in prison, and is just as likely to get a shiv in the back."
The latest from Realclearpolitics.com
. Ohio is back in the toss-up category. If New Hampshire and Oregon go Democrat then the regional red and blue division of states in the US will be very tidy this election. The entire West coast and the entire Northeast would be blue. Everywhere else will likely go red except for Illinois and Michigan. Some pundits have criticized the red and blue characterization of US politics
. It seems pretty convincing to me, especially when it is broken down to counties
. The urban centers generally go blue, everything rural is mostly red. If the president were elected by acreage instead of electoral votes it would be Bush in a landslide.
I've seen this picture a lot since the first presidential debate. Laura had a message for Theresa during her appearance on Leno last night. The first lady plans to wear blue to the next debate.
The redness and blueness of each US state today:
Electoral Vote Projection
This site scrapes the data from Tradesports.com.
Market forces applied to handicapping politics and current events...pretty interesting stuff.
At tradesports you can trade futures on whether or not Michael Jackson will be convicted, where the 2012 Olympics will be hosted, when Osama will be captured, which Supreme Court Justice will be the first to retire, and who will win the 2004 presidential election just to name a few.
I took the Law School Admission Test
today. I feel cautiously optimistic about how I did. Now I get to wait for 3 weeks to find out my score. Now I also get to focus more on my classes too. I have been putting off anything that I could put off in order to spend more time preparing for the test. Monday morning at 9am I have a mid-term in psychology 126
. I missed the lecture and my discussion section for the class last Monday; Wednesday morning Professor Prinzmetal reminded us to bring a scantron for the mid-term next Monday. "Uh...mid-term?" I'm glad I am taking this class pass/no pass. Monday I also have to turn in a take home mid-term for Chinese political science for Professor Dittmer. 1500 word essay on the relationship between imperial collapse, the revolution, and Chinese cultural transformation. Along with an 8-12 page on Marsilius of Padua and Martin Luther for my political theory class, as well as the final draft of a 7 page essay for Western Civ on The Iliad and the epic of Gilgamesh, I have a lot to do before I can start working on law school applications. I guess I better turn off NPR and get back to work...
Janell touching the top of the Sears Tower antennae.
More Chicago pics. Janell also posing at the Adler Planetarium. I think my pose seemed slightly more "Eureka!
" while she seems more "The Thinker
Here is some info about the space elevator, it is an exciting concept:
The Space Elevator: 3rd Annual International Conference
Market reaction to the debates...
I recently started trading in the Frontline fantasy market:
FRONTLINE: presidential market: home PBS
Bush is up 2.12 there today.
I have 3 shares of Bush and I am shorting 2 shares of Kerry. I'm looking for bargains rather than making partisan bets, though. I own 2 shares of Kerry winning Pennsylvania and I a try to get an order filled for 4 shares of Kerry in Minnesota. I don't necessarily think he will win those states, but I think that the shares are way under-valued as compared to his actual chances.
has Bush -2.5 today.
Iowa Electronic Markets
2004 US Presidential Election Winner Takes All Market Price Graph shows both candidates up.