Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hooray for the Sunnis

In a move generally looked down upon by the press and certainly by the Bush administration, the Sunni factions in Iraq are poised to disavow the Iraqi constitution for several reasons one of which is the imposition of Islam as the source of the country's laws. The Sunnis object for a couple of reasons, the first being a proclivity towards secularism fostered by the secularism of the Bath party, which while being dictatorial, was generally westernized in respect to religious fanaticism. The second is an obvious and well-grounded fear that the majority Shiites will install the Imams who will interpret the Koran in a way detrimental to non-Shiites.
So while the terrorists seem to be mainly Sunnis, I must say a hooray for them for (seemingly) putting the brakes on an ill-conceived and fundamentally fatal constitutional structure.

Friday, August 26, 2005


I was accepted to the Objectivist Academic Center with a tuition waiver/phone scholarship. Classes begin September 12.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Aims at Wrong Person

The media has given much air time lately to a fringe leftist loon whose son, despite the leftist influence of his psychotic mother, actually had enough liking for his country to join her armed forces and potentially put his life on the line in defense of that value. Of course, the risk inherent in joining the armed forces, in peace or war (since war can break out at any time, and training accidents claim numbers of men and women every year even in peacetime), claimed her son, Casey, while on duty in Iraq.
Now she demands a meeting with the president (which she isn't entitled to, but that she has already had, apparently she was so awestruck she forgot what she wanted to say and now wants another crack at it) with a whining and extremely annoying commercial and all sorts of free air time on all news mediums. Why doesn't she condemn her son? He was the one who volunteered to defend the country she despises. She already spits upon his profession and chosen values everyday she allows pseudo-communist groups to parade around the area surrounding the private residence of the president.
I considered very seriously joining the armed forces after the terrorist attacks of September 11, but decided, with the counsel of my parents, to at least finish undergraduate school first before making such a life altering decision. At this point, with the prospect of fighting for the right of Iraqis to ignore the examples of modern history and the moral and political rights of mankind (by adopting a theocratic constitution based on a very faulty mode of republican government, that of an unyoked legislative leviathan parliamentary system), I could not in good conscience sign up for the military.
Ms. Sheehan would have a legitimate case to make if her son were pressed into service by the government and made to fight and die in the war, but he volunteered to fight and accepted the possible risk of death. He was a grown man, and any rational person can, by looking at recent and not so recent American history, foresee that any given president may send you to do idiotic things at any time and under extreme risk. The foray and retreat from Lebanon under Reagan is a small example, the large and deadly commitments in World War I and Vietnam are major examples. It's an added risk one must assume even when they join in the hopes of righting the wrong of aggression.
If she is not merely using her sons death in the hopes of effecting radical political changes, then she is awfully misguided and extremely gullible. That is the best that can be said for her.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Today began the graduate school experience, orientation. If you've ever been to an orientation, whether for school or a job, then you know what it was like, mostly boring. There were some amusing highlights, like the president of the graduate college using the politically correct non-word "personkind" instead of the oh so awful "mankind." But mostly it was just boring.

The great exception was the meeting with the US history portion of the history department, which was enjoyable and greatly alleviating as those I will be working with are not obnoxious or maddening. I was able to pick two good classes, one on the early republic and the other on the atlantic revolutions from ours to those in latin america spurred by the Napoleonic Wars. The other class is an annoying one that was impossible to get out of, on interpretation and the social history of the United States. I anticipate much confrontation, but so be it.

So anyway, school starts on Thursday for some reason, and I will be able to report on the early republic class then. Starting next week I will only be attending classes Monday through Wednesday and should start getting some classic anecdotes from the social history class.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

From Grad School

Well, I made it to Clark in one piece. I was thoroughly searched getting onto the plane, including the minute checking of my laptop. Of course my flight into Pittsburgh arrived late, leaving me little time and my luggage no time to transfer to the flight to Boston. Hence I arrived without my bags, but fortunately they were put onto the next flight to Boston which arrived an hour later.
So then I was picked up and driven to Worcester and my new college. Of course, the Dunkin' Donuts closest to the college is located in the worst possible part of town that everyone is telling me not to go into, even during the day.
I live in a suite with four bedrooms, a common kitchen, a common bathroom, a common living room. Only one of my other suitemates is in right now, a Turk who is working for his MBA. He was kind enough to take me down to Wal-Mart and the grocery store to pick up supplies and food.
My room is pretty nice, though there is no air conditioning and the fan aisle in Wal-Mart was cleared out so it is a little muggy in the room but it is tolerable. School related activities don't start until Monday, with the graduate orientation and the meetings with Dr. McCoy, my advisor and the James Madison expert here (the reason I applied here to begin with).
The campus is small, but very nice and easy to get around. One drawback, a crazy church (is there another kind?) a few blocks down blasts these bell tunes via loudspeakers five or six times a day.
Getting to Boston is easy according to Sinan (the Turk), a five dollar cab ride to the bus station, a twenty-five round trip bus ticket to a south Boston bus/subway station and then anywhere is Boston from there. I will have to plan some trips into town shortly for a tour of the Constitution, etc.
The physical geography of the area reminds me very much of New Hampshire, very hilly, granite mountains, thick foliage.
This is all I can report of my first two days so far, tomorrow I expect most if not all of my UPS boxes to get here, to crowd up my room further.