Monday, July 31, 2006

My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me (Disraeli)

For the third week Israel has continued to bomb southern Lebanon to oblivion. The score you ask?(according to BBC News) 750 to 51 (18 of those being civillans). So who is suffering and living in fear. Certainly not the Israelis.

Not that I side with Hezbollah or anything, but this situation has gone from worse to utterly ridiculous. Innocent civillians, especially children, are being forced to suffer the carnage of war because the government and people of Israel feel that they should while they root out "terrorists".

However, a 48 hour hold on firing is not a "humanitarian gesture" as Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz calls it.

The town of Qana according to news reports is a complete ghost town at the moment. Qana previously experienced a significant state of dismay back in 1996 when over a hundred people were killed while hiding out in UN base. "Operation Grapes of Wrath" was very similar in nature to the current one. According to UN reports of the incident, Hezbollah fighters had fired missiles from in front of the base, and Israel responded not knowing that over a hundred people were inside the base. This not knowing of what exactly they are targeting is becoming an overburdening problem for Israel. Why don't people learn from the past?

An Associated Press story was just filed at 1:37pm today that indicated the Israel has continued airstrikes in light of the agreement for a 48 hour hold. Apparently there was a condition that Israel would strike in case of "imminent danger".

So apparently imminent danger means attacking a truck that is carrying huminatarian relief supplies!? As well as a truck that is carrying a Lebanese army offical and soliders? To Israel's credit however, they thought the aid truck was carrying missiles across from Syria while the other car had a senior Hezbollah offical in it.

Give me a break. Israel has apparently been misfiring all over the place according to their army officals. I wonder why. From all the reports and news briefs I've managed to scour, I've convinced that Israel has no fucking idea as to what they are doing, absolutely none and are firing whereever there pick. Are they playing some game of pin the missle on Lebanon here?

Later, Olmert continued to defy international pressure for a cease-fire, saying
that fighting would end only when Israel recovers the two soldiers Hezbollah
guerrillas captured in the cross-border raid that sparked the current
''We are determined to succeed in this struggle,'' Olmert said. ''We
will not give up on our goal to live a life free of terror.''

However while Olmert attempts to live a life free of terror, people in Lebanon don't have food and have been hiding out in their homes for the past twenty days.

''We had no food, no water. Everyday we had only one candy each, one candy
that is all,'' he said, grabbing his loose trousers, held together with a pin,
to show the weight he had lost. ''How much you eat in one day is how much we
have eaten in 20 days.''

According to the Red Cross News, relief workers have been unable to get through to towns in need of aid in the southern portion of the country due to continued bombing and fighting. The United Nations and the World Food Program are currently in preparation to send aid to Qana and Tyre, while attempting to overcome security problems in other towns.

Oh, and another reason why England is still our bitch.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland. (Woody Allen)

As I opened the Post Express this morning on the long ride to Capitol Hill this morning, I noticed the following:

"Hezbollah attacked Israel. I know Hezbollah is connected to Iran. Now is the time for the world to confront this danger."
- President Bush, sharply condemning Iran's role in the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.
Single quote with a picture on top of the national news page. Not a mention of anything else. What is our intelligent and investigative president implying? Come on, he KNOWS Hezbollah is connected to Iran, that must have taken some intelligent investigative work, right?

The situation in Israel seems to have finally blown up in their face earlier this week with reports concerning the death of 4 United Nations and the entire world clamoring for an immediate cease-fire, but it seems like the United States as gotten away with it again. We're allowing our lap dog Israel to continue bombing away at Lebanon because Condi wants a "sustainable cease fire". Sustainable!? Haven't most cease-fires in the history of war been sustainable?

It is mind-blowing that the US is allowing for Israel to continue targeting civilian sites in Lebanon. It just takes me back to September 2001. We flew off the handle and bombed Afghanistan into oblivion because we said we could. We let thousands die, left a nation in worse blight than before and with a puppet for a prime minister. I fear that it may be a similar situation for Lebanon, especially since they just began to rebuild after suffering from civil wars for

As of earlier this morning, it at least seems as him Israel will not widen its targeted area in Lebanon, though they are starting to call up its reservist troops. But the behavior of Israel is out of hand and are forcing a civilian government and its people to suffer the consequences of their ill-developed plan to hunt out Hezbollah.

This was also in the one of the articles from the New York Times today:

At the Pentagon, senior military planners cast the conflict as a localized example of America's broader campaign against global terrorism and said any faltering by Israel could harm the American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- New York Times
Israel's faltering can harm the American's efforts!? First, what efforts?And how? Is that people will realize that we did the same thing to Afghanistan?

What's the world coming to these days? I'm sure Sam Huntington has been waiting..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Society That Can Not be Named

Let's talk about secret societies and the people who decide to join them, especially when its the editor-in-chief of the school paper. The ever so arrogant Donn Fresard at the Michigan Daily has announced his plans to join the society formerly known as Michigauma.

Daily Editor in Chief to join senior society - News

(For background information on Michigauma, refer to Robert Goodspeed's blog, the Goodspeed Update.

Fresard is the editor-in-chief during the academic year, while someone else serves as a summer EIC. And being a daily staff member, I can vouch for Fresard's concerns about editors keeping themselves holed up in the student publications building, which is something that needs to be addressed but not like this. Michigauma has a very turbulent past and has been the cause of increasing concern among the campus community because many notable campus figures have been given membership. This past year the membership of Neal Pancholi and Sam Woll caused concern because both individuals held significant power in multiple groups. Eventually both were made to step down from the South Asian Awareness Network and the Campaign to Cut Coke Contracts (coke coalition) because significant conflict of interest.

Personally, I don't believe Michigauma has reformed itself, especially not by just making the pride of '06 and '07 known to everyone else. The group has a very hostile relationship with other campus groups, making it significant fodder for stories, as well as strong connections to other campus groups that are written about, as well as influential alumni. This itself creates a huge conflict of interest, and the Daily has certain rules that deal with conflict of interest. The most prominent rule being that a staff member of the Daily can not be in student government. I wonder why that is? Is it because we cover them and attempt to hold them accountable for their actions, promises and mistakes? As a newspaper, wouldn't be do the same for Michigauma? Of course we would.

I do give the managing board credit for having a majority against him joining and remaining, but not enough to make him resign. I don't understand what happened and how people thought it was okay. Managing Editor Ashley Dinges resigned in protest, but has also being receiving comments over her rash decision and how it will hurt the newspaper. I admire Dinges for what she believes in, but sometimes you have to fight to make sure he doesn't step over the line.

As a writer, I don't appreciate having my work and its integrity compromised, and I'm going to make it does not happen. As a staffer and not an editor, my opinion, along with all the other staffers, was left out. I'm going to make sure that voice is heard because we're the ones who all the work, instead of keeping our noses stuck in the newspaper instead the drafty old student publications building.

This situation has catapulted its way to the pages of the chronicle for Higher Education, and connected a lot of alumni and former Daily editors/staffers together. Its great publicity, but not the good kind. I honestly fear the situation that will at hand once the academic year begins again because of so many members such as N.Stallings, A.Yahkind, G,Pai and others being in charge of influential groups.

For many, the Daily has served as a place to grow, learn and become deeply involved in our passion for writing, and there is no way something like this is going to happen while I sit on the sidelines. I couldn't join the ranks of the editors because of my time committment to my schoolwork (as a science major, it takes alot of time to study) and campus groups, but as a staffer who's been there forever, I'm not going to let something like rank and title push me aside.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


A month and a half flew by me and many of the thoughts jostling in my head remained there instead of appearing on this blinking computer screen, or even on paper, however that shall be no more.

After a significant series of events (which I'll mention as they were incredibly recent) I am prompted to make sure that this blog does not lose its purpose.

Wednesday, I attended the Campus Progress conference at the Mariott Wardman Hotel in Adams Morgan and was actually pleased at the turnout and plan on the conference, except for how incredibly long it was. Senator Barack Obama was the featured keynote speaker, though overshadowing the many other wonderful people who were there. The first panel discussion I attended concerned the media and investigative journalism, something right up my alley considering I write for the Michigan Daily. It gave a few good ideas as to how to improve the quality of my writing, and some incredibly new story ideas to refresh my beat since it's so ambigous to begin with.

The most intriguing panel was the one labeled "war on science", where former FDA director of Women's Health, Susan Wood was there. I've heard Wood speak before about her resignation and the partisan problems within the FDA( fyi, she quit due to lack of movement on making Plan B [birth control pill taken within 72 hours to prevent unintended pregnancy] over the counter) , however someone brought up a very good question. How come there is always a strom of controversy surrounding women and their reproductive health options, but no one cares when men start popping Viagra like candy? You have to love the hypocritical and male dominated society we live in. I understand the significant differences between the women's reproductive and birth control options and those available for men because of the homrones and biological substances involved that may cause side-effects and other serious problems. But how come a 16 year old girl has to get permission to get Plan B if she doing it for her own preventative measures, while a boy her age can just go to the store and buy a pack of condoms, no questions asked?

Of course there was also the hip hop panel where rapper Fat Joe was present and being speared about his misogynistic lyrics, while his defense is "i'm an entertainer".

And this only further stirs the pot about women and science. Take that Lawerence Summers!

* Don't peg me as a raging feminist, but its taken some work on women's issues on campus and being in Washington DC for me to realize that women still don't have a level playing field to work on.