Politics


Well, our self-proclaimed “fiscally responsible” party just shut down the IRS. The country no longer has a way to make money. What a great way to solve debt!

This “moral majority” is so concerned about the safety and healthcare rights of Americans that they’ve closed the CDC and the FDA. We now will have no monitoring of our food, medicines, or infectious disease outbreaks. It might not even be worthwhile for our enemies to use sophisticated bioterrorism agents. Just send over a bunch of guys with drug-resistant TB to cough on our lettuce.

Oh, and we’ll probably be destaffing TSA in a week or two, so they can walk right in. Since we won’t be inspecting imports, they could save the plane ticket, but who doesn’t want to visit the Statue of Liberty? Or look at it through binoculars, I suppose.

Since we have so many people on forced holiday, it would have been a great time to take the kids to the park or a museum, but nope. The Republicans also just shut down or national tourism, preventing us from making money off foreigners or, you know, enjoying our furloughs.

Apparently the justice department is largely extraneous, as well. No more rule of law for us!

Thanks for looking out for America, guys.

When my dad, my brother, and I were in Berlin this summer, we of course had to walk over to Museumsinsel, which is home to all of the incredible museums and archives that the soviets did their best to destroy through neglect. Buildings that stood open to the elements for 50 years after the war are finally being restored, and the artifacts reconstructed and displayed once again. It’s an incredible transformation, and is producing my favorite collection in the world. Nothing beats the Pergamon!

Last time Dad was in Berlin, the wall was under construction, so he’d never gotten to walk down Unter den Linden Strasse (where, yes, they have now replanted the linden trees). While it’s come a long way even since I was last there, you can definitely tell that you’ve just transitioned between the Marshall Plan and ex-Soviet block. “Block” is the operative word there, since it seems they only allowed you to build with the concrete kind. The restoration of the city is beginning to manifest in the East as scattered architectural gems, and even the old palace reconstruction is underway. As Berlin rebuilds, however, it is adding in some potent reminders of a nasty past.

On our way to the museums, we stopped by the Neue Wache, which has become the memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. We were the first people there at opening, so we had the rare chance to see the memorial in silence.

Neue Wache Pieta

Pieta
Neue Wache

Deck the halls with books on fission
fa la la la laaa la laa laa la
β€˜Tis the season for revision
fa la la la laaa la laa laa la
yawn, we now are tired of reading
fa la laa la la laa laa laa la
still, we must make one more meeting
fa la la la laaa la laa laa la.

Yup, it’s that time of year, when your bum gets sore from multiple days on end spent sitting hunched over a laptop, tik tak typing away. Just to warm you post-grads with the comfy glow of schadenfreude, I just sent in 28 pages of political analysis on apartheid South Africa and the genocides in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Last Friday I turned in a 10 page paper for the same class, just a few hours before an evolution exam(…for which I had just turned in another 6-pager), and Thursday I had a short story due along with about 37 or so pages of revisions. So, I get tomorrow off, but Thursday holds a Swahili final, and Friday is my Evolution final. I think my eyes may be welded to my laptop.

Any cool news from the outside world?

Hi everyone,
Nov 2 is election day. Please vote. Put it on your schedule. Take the time and trouble. Voting is an official requirement in some countries [Brazil, for instance]. Here it is merely a “right”. But rights actually entail obligations as well. And if you are inclined, as I am, to complain about the leadership of our country then you have an even larger obligation to vote. Don’t forget.
Best, RLC

~
A reminder for election day from my Civil Conflicts professor. He’s right. It’s Tuesday Nov. 2, 2010. I just mailed my absentee ballot Express. What are your plans?

I wish I had more time to devote to this, but I want to take even a few inadequate minutes to draw your attention to an issue that’s been tearing apart Tel Aviv. As if Netanyahu’s posturing against the Palestinian Authority were not enough (and, mark you, this is coming at a high cost to US politicians, in much the same way as the Iranian revolutionaries swung the 1980 presidential election), he now appears to be openly antagonizing Israel’s neighbors by requiring that all politicians in Israel swear fealty to a “Jewish State.” Were Netanyahu a more charismatic and competent politician, or simply in another part of history, delineating a Jewish state in opposition to a rising Islamic movement could work. Here and now, however, I worry that this will push moderate Muslims within Israel and in surrounding territories into the arms of the rapidly growing extremist movements. Already this nascent bill compromises our national security, or interests in the middle east, and, most immediately, the lives of our soldiers and aid workers in the region. Were this to pass the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), I doubt peace would ever be achieved with the Palestinian Authority. Of course, peace does not seem to be high on Netanyahu’s agenda; war solidifies his power.

For more on this, check out today’s BBC.

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Thu, September 09, 2010 — 5:13 PM ET
—–

Florida Minister Cancels Burning of Korans on 9/11

The pastor planning a burning of the Koran on Saturday said
he will cancel the event, adding he plans to meet with the
imam planning to build an Islamic center near ground zero.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na

πŸ™‚ *Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go off and celebrate the fact that some people have multiple neurons to rub together. This could be the greatest anti-extremist media event of the war* πŸ™‚

Here’s an ink I did last semester, which is now pleasantly faded into the haze of the half-forgotten. The pencils were courtesy of my roomie EB, and I did the inks and hair. Hair can be surprisingly fun to draw.

I highly suggest looking up Margaret Trudeau on Kate Beaton’s website, as well.

Margaret Trudeau's Night Out

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