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Saturday, April 10, 2004

Happy Easter 

I'll be gone all day, so have a fine Sunday.
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Friday, April 09, 2004

For all the marbles 

In NCAA hockey action last night, the University of Maine Black Bears beat Boston College 2-1, despite long stretches of sloppy play. They will face the University of Denver Pioneers for the Frozen Four championship on Saturday at 7 pm eastern at the FleetCenter in Boston. Live broadcast on ESPN.

It should be one hell of a game, as Maine goes for its third national championship, and the Black Bears' sophomore goalie Jimmy Howard, a second round draft pick of the Detriot Red Wings, looks to seal up NCAA records for goals against average and save percentage in a season.

GO BLUE!

UPDATE: Well, so much for that. Unlike a couple of their other NCAA tournament games, Maine actually lost when they deserved to lose this time. But my quick math shows Jimmy Howard setting NCAA single-season records for goals against average (1.19) and save percentage (.956). At least there's that.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Disturbing 

Atrios calls this photo gallery "really disturbing."

Yeah, it's disturbing alright... if you consider visiting with people in Africa, helping at a soup kitchen, reading to schoolchildren, and lending a hand to Habitat for Humanity to be deeply disturbing activities.
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Journalists headed to Darfur 

Abraham McLaughlin of the Christian Science Monitor is headed to Sudan. He writes from Rwanda:

“What am I doing here? I’m 10 years too late..."

Even now, by being in Rwanda, we all may be missing a crucial story: "Ethnic cleansing" (as one UN official calls it) in western Sudan.

I’ve already asked my editors if I can go. They've agreed. So my next big trip will be to try to get a closer look at the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. If my colleagues join me, maybe we’ll be in the right place at the right time to help highlight a current conflict that needs the world’s attention.
Let's hope so.
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Rwanda remembered 

Rwanda observed three minutes of silence today to mark the tenth anniversary of the 1994 genocide, in which 800,000 people lost their lives.

The Guardian describes how the West is all but ignoring the anniversary, and tells of the mental health care effort to repair the trauma that so many people suffered.

On this side of the Atlantic, the New York Times finds one way that Rwandans are breaking from the past, and the Christian Science Monitor asks if the world would allow another genocide. (Almost as an answer to that question, Kofi Annan says there might be genocide in the making in the Sudan.)

UPDATE: Bill Clinton had an Op-Ed in yesterday's WaPo, entitled "Learn From Rwanda." For those counting at home, he spends nearly 40% of the piece describing Rwanda's AIDS problem and his own HIV/AIDS work instead of sharing the lessons of genocide.
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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Support the Marines 

Allah has an excellent suggestion.
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First-rate analysis 

Belmont Club is providing some of the highest-quality analysis you're likely to find about the current situation in Iraq. Wretchard's in-depth looks at the Moqtada Al-Sadr/Mehdi Army problem, and the operation in Fallujah are truly top-notch. Just go to top of the page and start reading.
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Honesty 

As Rusty Shackleford says, Holy Freaking Schneike.

The Emir of Qatar actually said,

Honesty obliges us to stress that the wrath in our region does not spring only from the Palestinian cause but goes deeper and is due to problems of our own creation that have nothing to do with the outside world - problems that we allowed to grow unremedied and unchecked...

For years, loud voices have been coming out from the region ... claiming that if popular participation is broadened it would only result in bringing in those who would endanger peace and put an end to security.

Yet, the adoption of reforms has always been the right way to stability.
Almost as big a deal as the Emir's words is the fact that Al-Jazeera reported it.
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Google bombing for a good cause 

For an explanation of what the following is all about, click here.

Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew
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Monday, April 05, 2004

Failure 

BBC reports:

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused the international community of deliberately failing to prevent the genocide in the country 10 years ago.

Speaking at the opening of a conference on the killings in the Rwandan capital Kigali, Mr Kagame condemned the worldwide inaction at the time.

He also questioned whether countries would act differently now.
That's an excellent question. Why don't we ask the people of Darfur?

The top United Nations official for humanitarian affairs says Arab militias in Western Sudan's Darfur region are conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign to drive out the black population and U.N. officials have witnessed the attacks. The U.N. official urged the Security Council to pay greater attention to the crisis.
Granted, this is "ethnic cleansing" a la Bosnia, and not genocide like in Rwanda. But reports of murders, gang rapes, large scale destruction of villages, and a massive population displacement--750,000 people by one count--are no small matter. The methods and the scale of the ethnic cleansing are much the same as those used in Bosnia and Kosovo. And yet the international response in the Balkans was quite robust, if a little slow in coming. Why is this being allowed to happen, when it the Balkans the perpetrators were subjected to western military power? (While the U.N. sat on its hands, I might add.)
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Spain terror warning 

First, a bomb is found on a high-speed rail line, and then terrorists blow themselves up in Madrid. And now this:

Also Monday, the conservative newspaper ABC said that just hours before the terrorists killed themselves in Leganes, it received a fax from the same group that had claimed responsibility for the March 11 bombings. This time, it warned it would turn Spain "into an inferno" unless the country halted its support for the United States and withdrew its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, ABC said...

"If these demands are not met, we will declare war on you and ... convert your country into an inferno and your blood will flow like rivers," the letter said.
I guess electing the PSOE last month wasn't enough... What a shock.

There was also an attempted train derailment in Germany and a bomb found on a French rail line. I'm sure the governments and people of these countries are asking themselves what they have done to deserve this. Surely their opposition to America must gain them salvation from terror. News flash, folks: They're targeting you because you're secular Western democracies. Unless you change that, you're the enemy. Plain and simple.
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Service 

In a post entitled "Servants," Atrios calls Andrew Sullivan "crazy" for espousing the following view:

I'm sorry but I pay for those soldiers to fight in a volunteer army. They are servants of people like me who will never fight. Yes, servants of civil masters. And they will do what they are told by people who would never go to war. That's called a democracy.
Atrios might think that's a "crazy" thing to say, but as one of those servants, I emphatically agree with Sullivan's take on the role of the military in America. We are servants of civil masters. We must be. Among the many wise decisions made at the Constitutional Convention was the decision to place the armed forces under civilian control. That's one of the cornerstones of a democracy. Civilian control of the military is not a necessity for creating a democratic system, but it is vital to preserving democracy. A military unbeholden to the people would be a scary thing, and it's unfortunate that Atrios criticizes Sullivan for saying so.
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