Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.
30 April 2009
Tyler: Join the Navy.
Me *half-whispering, half-singing*: See the world!
Tyler: . . . You've been brainwashed. Stop digging those trenches and get out of that bunker.
And then, later Tyler was referring to our professor as "an army of one," for various reasons. So I told him that, "It's 'Army Strong,' now. You need to update your slogans."
Also, I'd like to mention that I'm truly batting a thousand in that class. Today we handed in our media experience papers. We had to attend media events (which included watching movies with friends) and then write papers on audience reactions and elements of style. My first paper was about "The Bank Job," which was fairly easy since it was all about sex and action and heists and all that jazz. I wrote about "An American Carol" for my second essay.
I'd like to mention that this post is going to be absolutely random in terms of content, and I'm also so incredibly ecstatic that I have the feeling that nothing I write past this point will make any sense.
I started writing the above after I returned to my dorm (around 11:00), and within the hour and a half that's passed since then, I've been making all sorts of calls because . . . I'm going to go to NYC tomorrow to the filming of the Glenn Beck program! Floyd (who organized the tea party two weeks ago) called me to ask if I wanted to go (of course I wanted to go!) and then I had to call my parents to get a ride home, and then Floyd asked if my dad wanted to go, and then I had to rush my thesis off to my Women in the Middle East professor, and now I've got to pack because my mom is picking me up at 3:30, right after Chinese. Wow. I think I might die of happiness. Or nervousness. Or both. I seriously could not stop smiling the entire time I walked to my professor's office.
29 April 2009
The WHO vamped up the alert level to five, "meaning that it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent" (MSNBC). And, "'all countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans,' [WHO Director General Margaret] Chan told reporters in Geneva. 'It really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic.'" In a press conference, Chan said that "'it is important to take this very seriously' . . . but for the average person, the term 'pandemic' doesn't mean they're suddenly at greater risk.'"
Just how seriously have people been taking this swine flu? "Britain closed a school after a 12-year-old girl was found to have the disease. Egypt slaughtered all its pigs and the central African nation of Gabon became the latest nation to ban pork imports. . . . Cuba [is blocking] flights coming in from Mexico. And Asian nations greeted returning airport travelers with teams of medical workers and carts of disinfectants."
On a more personal level, this afternoon my college's dean sent an e-mail regarding precautionary measures and what not, and there's information about hand washing at each table in the caf. And to think that my friends and I have been joking about this all along. I do understand the need to be concerned since so many are dying and the disease has spread, but no one seems to mention the fact that many of the people who have been diagnosed are getting better. It's not as though thousands of people die from the flu every year, after all.
(By the way, I don't have swine flu.)
28 April 2009
President Obama has asked for an internal investigation of a photo-op featuring the presidential jet that sent thousands of New Yorkers running for their lives. . . .
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday Obama was "furious" when he heard about the incident and has ordered a deputy chief of staff [to] find out "why that decision was made and to ensure that it never happens again."
Many New Yorkers, too, were asking why the administration would authorize an Air Force One backup plane to fly over the Manhattan skyline for photos capturing the presidential plane with the Statue of Liberty in the background -- without assuring the public in advance that there was no cause for alarm.
The 747 plane, with an F-16 escort following close behind, circled the Statue of Liberty and the skyline near the World Trade Center site for about a half-hour. Offices were evacuated. Emergency call centers were inundated. Witnesses reported that the planes were flying dangerously low. . . .
One White House official told FOX News that all future photo-ops with the Air Force One backup plane have been banned, but another White House official would not confirm to FOX News that a reported flyover of Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop scheduled for May 5-6 had been scrubbed. . . .
Others in the White House say the flyover served as a dual photo-op and training hour, explaining the pilots needed flight hours and they wanted the pictures.
According to WCBSTV as quoted on GatewayPundit, "a memo obtained by CBS 2 HD the Federal Aviation Administration's James Johnston said the agency was aware of 'the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes' in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor's office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out."
The sheer stupidity involved in approving the flyover is beyond my understanding. If the pilots need flight hours, let them log their hours somewhere else. The US has over 3.5 million square miles of land. Pick an area. To even consider repeating this over the White House is more than ridiculous. People in the administration may have forgotten what happened on September 11, 2001, but I assure you that New Yorkers have not.
This was the homepage image that greeted me this morning when I signed on MSN. I especially love the first bullet, and the fact that it follows headlines of "alert," "outbreak spreads," "death toll rises," and "more US cases."
27 April 2009
Normally, I reserve the phrase "epic fail" for such things as taking the wrong notebook to class, tripping over flat surfaces, and running into walls or door frames. However, I do believe the above clip, originally found on HotAirPundit, is not only an epic fail, but also an example of a poor excuse for a leader. Despite the fact that George W. Bush was no great orator (or scholar of the English language), I believe that he was able to speak frankly with the people. I realize that Obama is more technically-savvy than many of his counterparts (remember Biden's question about the Internet number?) or competitors (I'll never forget the third debate between legal tablet-wielding McCain and Blackberry-brandishing Obama), but I feel that he tends to use TOTUS as more of a crutch than an assist. Maybe he'll have all of the technical difficulties worked out before everyone dies of swine flu (which is what he was addressing).
26 April 2009
With the help of Operation Mend, "a one-of-kind partnership between the UCLA Medical Center and Brooke, the program provides reconstructive surgery to members of the military who've been severely disfigured in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, 24 men and women have been treated" (FNC).
"Sgt. Mikeworth hopes to join an Army unit by summer. He's on medical hold while he looks for a suitable slot. He's thinking about military intelligence or becoming an instructor" (FNC).
24 April 2009
I was just thinking of a time when I was in line for the Kalahari River Rapid ride in the Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. My sister (who is of Chinese descent) and I were standing behind two Asian men when the older of the two looked at me and said, "Hey, lady, are you Korean?" I was slightly taken aback by his forwardness, but I replied that, yes, I was Korean. He immediately recognized my sister as being Chinese, and then informed us that he and his son were Hmong. For the rest of the forty-five minute wait, I listened to the man talk about Asian unity and how Asians would be so strong if only there wasn't the language barrier, if only they'd set aside their differences and unite, because Asians are Asians. If only I'd have recorded that conversation. I could have shipped it off to North Korea.
22 April 2009
Alan Solomont, the chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said that expanding the programs fit a demand as more Americans, especially young people, were seeking service jobs through AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and short-term teaching programs.
"This upcoming generation has grown up in a country affected by 9-11, by (Hurricane) Katrina, by the current economic crisis," he said. "These are things that tend to bring people together. They are much more diverse than any generation before. They're more practical and less ideological." More online communication has boosted volunteer organizing efforts, too.
Solomont also recognizes an "Obama effect" of younger Americans being drawn to the president's call for service. From November, when Obama was elected, to March, AmeriCorps received 48,520 online applications, more than triple the number of online applications during the same period the year before.
. . . The "Obama effect?" And to think I could have been the 48,521 applicant. I still need a summer job, though. . . .
21 April 2009
What a coincidence . . . a right-wing extremism report and a left-wing extremist placed on the "Most Wanted" terror list!
20 April 2009
Last night, I learned that the Westboro Baptist Church (http://www.westborobaptistchurch.com/) will be coming to my college campus to protest.
If you've never heard of the WBC, it was founded by Fred Phelps and is based in Topeka, Kansas. According to the WBC's website, they "adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all forms of sin (e.g., fornication, adultery [including divorce and remarriage], sodomy), and insist that the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace be taught and expounded publicly to all men. These doctrines of grace were well summed up by John Calvin in his 5 points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. . . . Even though the Arminian lies that 'God loves everyone' and 'Jesus died for everyone' are being taught from nearly every pulpit in this generation, this hasn't always been the case. If you are in a church that supposedly believes the Bible, and you are hearing these lies, then your church doesn't teach what the Bible teaches.
WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth. We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including: GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAG TROOPS, GOD BLEW UP THE TROOPS, GOD HATES AMERICA, AMERICA IS DOOMED, THE WORLD IS DOOMED, etc."
Also, they do not believe that God forgives everyone, they do not "pray for the salvation of those who [they] feel are condemned," "Jesus died only for His sheep," and "the Bible preaches hate."
The WBC is protesting Judy Shepard's appearance on campus to speak, and the theatre department's performance of "The Laramie Project" the following night. A Facebook Event has been created, of which I am an administrator (contact me for more information). The event, "Stand Up For Love," will feature a silent, peaceful counter-protest/human chain near the chapel where Judy Shepard will be speaking, as well as a human chain around the theatre.
Personally, I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle. However, many of my friends are homosexual (and many of the students on my liberal arts campus are also homosexual), and I love them, regardless. I will support them. I do not believe in the WBC's message of hate.
I and over 100 others (not including the presence of Public Safety) will be there to spread our silent message of love. I would like to ask for prayer over those two days (April 30 & May 1), as violence has been known to occur whenever the WBC appears, and I am certain that emotions will be running high. Although we've been policing ourselves and repeatedly reminding everyone to remain silent (or not to come at all if they feel they will be unable to control themselves), I do worry about people not from our group who may come to protest the WBC.
I would like to request prayer for strength, for solidarity, for self-discipline, for success of our counter-protest. Or, if you are not inclined to prayer, we would appreciate good vibes/thoughts those days.
19 April 2009
I saw this video on melvin_udall @ livejournal.
Many thanks to former Penn State student (and former ADF Center for Academic Freedom client) A. J. Fluehr, who alerted me to a Penn State University video — part of its "worrisome student behaviors" educational series. It has to be seen to be believed, but is a virtual carnival fun house of leftist academic stereotypes. The well-meaning and completely unbiased anti-war professor? Check. The smiling, wise administrator who cares for his students and is committed to protecting the safety of his teachers? Check. And, of course, we have the scowling, angry veteran with the vaguely threatening demeanor who needs to "get help."
This is a disturbing account of profiling which is being disseminated among Penn State's faculty (and no doubt, its students). Although only once have a veteran and I shared a class, the young man was courteous and respectful. Despite the blatant anti-war opinions that were shared over the course of the class (which was a political science course), he always remained tolerant and accepting of other views.
Invest in a tripod. I used Mr. Ritter's, which worked wonderfully.
Buy a newer digital camera. My Sony Cybershot is four or so years old, and even though it still takes great photos, sometimes the setting switches for no apparent reason, and I missed some really good shots yesterday because of that.
I need more pockets. Or something. I had a digital camera in my front and back pants pockets, a digital recorder in my other front pocket, a cell phone clipped to my jeans, and a Sony Handycam strapped to my hand.
Don't doubt the importance of a notebook and a pen. I left mine in my backpack most of the day, and then when I needed it, it was in my Jeep, and so I conducted my interviews and took notes with my Handycam.
18 April 2009
The sound and my lips are not aligned, which is odd, because everything was peachy when I recorded it this morning. . . .
I went to Soldiers' Park (which, semi-surprisingly, does not have an American flag anywhere in sight) around 10:00. A Vietnam Veteran by the name of Frank was already there, and shortly after, my dad arrived, so they chatted and I mostly listened and nodded. After Floyd arrived, the men raised a flag which Floyd provided. Two other men and I taped various political and patriotic quotes to the bridge where those who had gathered later dumped tea into the river (with the permission of the PA Fish & Game Commission).
Around 65 people of all ages gathered for the tea party, bearing home-made signs, wearing patriotic garb and armed with knowledge. After three speakers addressed the crowd, everyone marched to the bridge to dump tea into the river. I had a lot of fun taking pictures and interviewing people, and it was incredibly encouraging to hear people honk their horns in support as they drove by. Everyone was rather courteous and it was simply a very friendly atmosphere -- and I made a few new friends, too!
The only downside was that I had left my backpack (with my laptop and all sorts of other expensive technologies) in the park when everyone went to the bridge. My dad picked it up for me, and then told me he was going to put it in my Jeep. Not thinking, I continued snapping pictures and filming for a good fifteen or twenty minutes before I realized that my car keys were in my backpack. So, I was stuck in the sun for another half hour while I waited for Dad to come back and unlock my car for me.
Also, as I was filming people walking to the bridge, a man passed me and said, "你好!" Not certain whether I'd heard him correctly, I said, "I'm sorry?" He then said, "You're Chinese, aren't you?" My next response? "Yes, yes I am." That's one of those facepalm moments. He then asked how I was, ["你好吗?"] to which I responded, "I'm very well, thank you. And you?" ["我很好， 谢谢。 你呢?"] The only way I can think to redeem myself is to blame my answer on either the fact that my brain decided that I'm Chinese because I'm learning Chinese, or else the sun was getting to me. And no, I didn't correct myself. That would have been interesting. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm actually not Chinese. I forgot for a moment. Just kidding!"
16 April 2009
An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall -- one of the three tea parties he was attending across the state -- that officials in Washington have abandoned the country's founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt. . . .
Later, answering news reporters' questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he sees no reason why Texas should do that.
"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
15 April 2009
According to House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX), the "DHS is 'using people's political views to assess an individual's susceptibility to terror recruitment'" (FNC).
Where do I start on this one? I hate to tell the DHS, but this country was founded by a bunch of Bible-toting gun owners. This is a huge slap in the face to our returning war veterans, and any member of the military. These people are helping to prevent a second 9/11, and the government is accusing them of being potential terrorist recruits. This is ridiculous that pro-lifers and others who hold Christian views should be suspects. And you'd better take that Ron Paul sticker off of your car right now!
Check out PJTV for live coverage of the tea parties -- by citizen journalists, no less!
"Anti-tax 'tea party' organizers say they will deliver one million tea bags to a Washington, D.C., park Wednesday morning" (FNC). I wonder if it's raining in D.C. right now. . . . "'This cuts across party lines and demographic divides. It's not about Republican or Democrat, it's about citizens who believe America can only survive if we protect the principles of liberty from a federal government that is out of control and must be reformed now. And that's a real message of hope,'" said Senator Jim DeMint (R) of SC.
14 April 2009
Classmate: They're losers, so let's just get them in the Army and kill them.
Class and Professor: *laughter*
It went downhill (in my opinion) from there.
I was surprised (sort of) and dismayed (a lot) by the fact that my classmates found his comment to be amusing. There are brave men and women dying for his right to say that and their right to laugh about it. Some college students and intellectuals are so out of touch with reality. They have not been touched by war, they don't have loved ones in the armed forces and spend their evenings watching American Idol. Although I have never seen the face of war and have never spent a day serving in the military, it angers me that some people are so far removed from the military sector. I suppose we should be grateful that we Americans have a military comprised entirely of volunteers, but at the same time, I must admit I sort of wish that the military and civilian sectors would coincide once in a while. I do not understand the lives of military personnel, and I am certain that many would not understand mine.
I wonder if this sort of incident is merely the product of ignorance, or perhaps the product of the indoctrination many colleges, universities, and other educational institutions seem so fond of providing. Many of my peers condescend to members of the armed forces because of their lack of college degree -- or simply because the latter chose to enlist and serve the "corrupt American war machine" (all right, so that quote is possibly a slightly butchered one from An American Carol . . . I left the DVD at home with my dad, so I had to base it off of the fact that I've watched the film countless times).
Young Michael Mallone: You got drafted!
Marty: I wasn't drafted. I enlisted.
Young Michael Mallone: Why would you want to serve the corrupt American war machine!
My adviser told me that I should keep up with politics, and since I couldn't take Comparative Politics next sem. due to scheduling conflicts, she marked me down for Obama's Foreign Policy. I'm actually sort of interested in it, as I've heard that the professor is "crazy, but it's a good crazy" (whatever that means), and I know if my adviser hadn't scheduled it, I doubt I'd have done so voluntarily. I think it's important that I learn more about the current administration. After all, tolerance and understanding are key! Right?
Also, because of my schedule, I won't be able to eat lunch in the caf on Tuesday or Thursday (I still haven't decided whether or not that's a bad thing).
On the bright side, I'll be done at 8:50 on Fridays, which gives me a longer weekend and more time to procrastinate. I mean, more time to do my work Friday morning and be done for the rest of the weekend.
On the other hand, John O'Hara, who will be hosting a tea party in Chicago, said, "'If ACORN wants to send some of their paid, pretend activists to show up, that's fine. . . . They don't have a message that resonates wtih the American people or resonates with this broad coalition that's upset with the spending that's going on in Washington'" (FNC). Sacremento organizer Mark Mekler says, of ACORN, "'We don't take them seriously. . . . We expect people to attempt to infiltrate, we expect people to attempt to disturb what we're doing. But the reality is this is a very broad-based grassroots movement. . . . There is no leader at the top. There is no individual event that they can disturb that would cause us a problem nationwide'" (FNC). According to Taxdayteaparty.com, "more than 250 locations in all 50 states will hold rallies on April 15" (FNC).
"A bunch of small get-togethers?" I think not. At about 1:23 in the below video, Julie Johnson, the national communications director of tax day tea parties, says that 30,000 people attended the first tea party, with 500,000 to one million expected to attend on Wednesday.
For FOX News' tea party day coverage, click here.
Unfortunately, I will not be attending any of the tea parties April 15th, as I have classes (and no car). However, I will be attending a tea party on April 18th, and I hope to cover that either via Blogger or Twitter (or both).
09 April 2009
And just what does Rep. Brown mean by names that are "easier for Americans to deal with?" Exactly who does she consider an "American?" Clearly, immigrants are excluded . . . which leaves everyone but American Indians. Some Asian names are no more difficult to pronounce or spell than Eastern European names (the last name of my dad's grandfather has three or so different spellings, and he was Russian). And exactly what is she suggesting with the phrase, "you and your citizens?"
Also, I personally don't find Chinese to be exceedingly difficult -- there are no verbs to conjugate and no gendered words. I applaud those who learn English as a second language, as I believe it is far more difficult than Chinese.
In my opinion, the ignorance of this woman is shocking and unacceptable. As a politician, I hope that she would try to treat her constituent fairly, with understanding and acceptance. Her close-minded attitude is appalling in this day and age.
我也觉得中文不难。 我喜欢学中文， 觉得写中文容易。
Aren't you all grateful that I was adopted and answer to the nickname of "Betsy?" I'd hate for everyone to have to attempt to pronounce Lee EunYoung.
I meant to post this two days ago. It's interesting that I can't live without my laptop when I'm at school, but rarely use it at home. I apologize for my tardiness.
04 April 2009
03 April 2009
The bill was crafted after a Michigan woman who was carrying quadruplets stabbed and killed her boyfriend after he struck her in the stomach. The woman lost the babies and was convicted of manslaughter.
"Pregnant women who refuse to abort their child are too often attacked by their partner in an effort to force a miscarriage," said Rep. Mike Thompson, who co-authored the bill after Americans United for Life asked him. "Women put in this position should have the legal right to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary."
I can't believe that woman was convicted of manslaughter. Her boyfriend killed three people.
02 April 2009
On the other side of the world, "South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted unidentified officials as saying the North had moved a squadron of MiG-23 fighter jets to a base near the launch site in what appeared to be a response to Japan's deployment" (FNC). The North has also issued "warnings against any efforts to intercept the rocket, take the issue to the Security Council or even monitor the launch. It says its armed forces are at a high level of combat-readiness" (FNC). The general staff of North Korea's military has said, "'If Japan imprudently carries out an act of intercepting our peaceful satellite, our people's army will hand a thunderbolt of fire to not only interceptor means already deployed, but also key targets'" (FNC). "The Koeran-language version of the [Korean Central News Agency] report said: 'The United States should immediately withdraw armed forces deployed if it does not want to receive damage'" (FNC).
Apparently, I should have been able to imagine the Queen power walking with an iPod -- she already owned a video iPod before Obama gave her another.
Also, Obama failed to shake the Queen's hand properly, but his wife did no better. Not only did she fail to curtsy to the Queen, but "by the end of the evening, the two women were standing side by side . . . as they moved closer and continued their chat, the Queen put her hand on the back of Mrs. Obama, who did the same for a few moments" (FNC). Nevermind the fact that it's a major breach of protocol to touch the Queen.
I'm just curious -- is this is a display of power on the Obamas' part, or are they simply ignorant?
01 April 2009
During their private meeting, President Obama and the first lady gave the queen a personalized iPod with video footage of her 2007 visit to Washington and Virginia. She was also given a rare songbook signed by composer Richard Rodgers.
In return the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, gave the Obamas a signed portrait of themselves.
I'm trying to imagine the queen going for a power walk with her iPod on full blast. It's not working. Also, I'm wondering where the Obamas are going to hang the portrait.
G20 Protestors Jam London, Storm Royal Bank of Scotland Branch
Thousands of G20 protesters jammed downtown London on Wednesday, storming and smashing the windows at a Royal Bank of Scotland building. Others tried to storm the Bank of England, pelting police with eggs and fruit and rocking the barricades designed to control them.
One police officer was injured after being hit with a large pole during the demonstration and other officers were forced to retreat behind metal barriers as scuffles with the crowd intensified. . . .
"Every job I apply for there's already 150 people who have also applied," said protester Nathan Dean, 35, who lost his information technology job three weeks ago. "I have had to sign on to the dole (welfare) for the first time in my life. You end up having to pay your mortgage on your credit card and you fall into debt twice over."
Demonstrators hoisted effigies of the "four horsemen of the apocalypse," representing war, climate chaos, financial crimes and homelessness.
"The greed that is driving people is tearing us apart," said Steve Lamont, 45, flanked by his family and protesters who were banging on bells, playing drums and blowing whistles.
At least eight people were reportedly arrested for having police uniforms. One police officer lost his helmet and demonstrators tossed it around like a trophy and chanted slogans. . . .
Fearing they would be targeted by protesters, some bankers swapped their pinstripe suits for casual wear and others stayed home. Bolder financial workers leaned out their office windows Wednesday, taunting demonstrators and waving 10 pound notes at them.
If I'm reading this correctly, the FBI is dismissing Mehsud's threats because this isn't the first time he's made them. Quite frankly, I feel that a threat against national security should be taken seriously, regardless of how many times an extreme militant Taliban leader has made them.
Also, "'If the brigandish U.S. imperialists dare to infiltrate spy planes into our airspace to interfere with our peaceful satellite launch preparations, our revolutionary armed forces will mercilessly shoot them down,'" claimed North Korea's state radio. However, the aforementioned planes are capable of reaching ten mile altitudes, and it is uncertain as to whether or not North Korea possesses the capabilities to shoot them down.