Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
This amazing photo has cheered me up a little bit on this dreary Monday morning. On my drive to work, just a ten minute little commute, I was listening to the English language global news. Often times I forbid myself from doing this as it tends to ruin my day, but I was just curious what was going on out there on planet Earth so I just couldn't bring myself to kick in my Wu Tang DVD and roll on.
Of course there is news of an explosion that killed over 100 people, fighting in north Iraq between Christians and Muslims, protests in Tibet as the Chinese continue to crack down on their freedoms, violence in Africa, and tension rising between the US and CHINA because of Myanmar, trade disagreements, and Tibet. No matter what magical realms still exist on our remarkable planet, HUMAN NATURE seems bent on destruction. Man can not possibly hope to be the dominant species on the planet into the next millennium because someone will have figured out how to destroy what's left of our ozone layer and sell off laser shield protection to nations that can afford it, like Saudi Arabia or Japan, and all the poor nations are going to get fried. Thailand will have to bring back Taksin just so he can flip the bill for this. Then, finally after everyone realizes the truth is there will never be enough cash to satisfy human greed, people will turn on these ozone killers and kill them. Sadly, as a side note, they will have destroyed the instrument that could have saved them from the harmful rays of the sun and in victory they will fry as the sun sets on man kind permanently.
I'm betting on FISH to be the dominant species into the future. Like Box Head up here, beautiful and probably -- with that big square brain of his -- smarter than us.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE I CUT AND PASTED BELOW.
Matthew Weaver and agencies Wednesday October 17, 2007Guardian Unlimited
Buddhist monks during the recent protests. Photographer: PA
The Burmese military admitted it was interrogating hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators and hunting for more, as reports emerged of the first Buddhist monks to be jailed for protesting.
In their state-run newspaper today, the junta said nearly 3,000 protesters had been arrested, many of whom are still being interrogated.
They also said only people who agreed to sign "pledges" not to take part in further demonstrations were being released.
In an official statement published in the New Light of Myanmar newspaper, the military leaders said: "Those who led, got involved in and supported the unrest which broke out in September were called in and are being interrogated.
"Some are still being called in for questioning and those who should be released will be."
The statement said 2,927 people had been arrested since the crackdown started, and nearly 500 were still in custody.
There were no details of the pledges those released were required to sign. But some free protesters said they involved a promise not to support the pro-democracy movement.
The statement said if the Buddhist monks who led the protests had stayed in their monasteries the protests would not have been put down.
The news agency Reuters said a 26-year-old monk, Eik Darea, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for taking part in the protests.
"He was charged with inciting public unrest and illegal association. I'm so sorry he might be sent to a labour camp," a monastic source told Reuters.
It said he was sentenced by a district court in Sittwe, the capital of the north-western state of Rakhine, where several protests took place last month.
There was little word on the closed trials that have taken place in Rangoon. But yesterday relatives of five members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy said they, too, have been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for taking part in the protests.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Lincoln, Neb. -- In a new development in leadership changes in the athletic department at the University of Nebraska, today Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced Tom Osborne has agreed to serve as athletic director on an interim basis.
Osborne left his head coaching post at Nebraska in 1997 after 30 years coaching football, including leading the Nebraska Cornhuskers to three national championships, 12 Big Eight titles and one Big 12 title. Osborne's teams finished in the top 10 17 times. He ended his head-coaching career with a record of 255-49-3.
Since Osborne left his post as Third district Congressman following a gubernatorial bid in 2006 he has been a senior lecturer in the UNL College of Business Administration, teaching leadership and business ethics.
Osborne met with Perlman this morning to discuss the interim post and Osborne agreed to serve, on an open-ended arrangement, until Perlman finds a permanent athletic director. Perlman on Oct. 15 fired Steve Pederson, who had held the AD post since 2002.Osborne said he looks forward to the challenge.
"I've spent the majority of my life working with the Athletic Department at the university and I want to do what I can at this point to continue in the pursuit of excellence that has been previously established," he said today.
Osborne said he anticipated taking over duties right away and would also finish the semester teaching his two classes, which he enjoys.
Chancellor Perlman said he is pleased that Osborne agreed to provide leadership and that the university will benefit from Osborne's vast experience.
"I am very pleased that Tom Osborne has agreed to help bring some leadership and direction to our Athletic program. Tom is committed to making the entire program successful. He brings the right experience, an understanding of Nebraska, and our aspirations. I look forward to working with him."
Monday, October 15, 2007
The final big hitter of Thailand's Book world has ordered ECHO POOL! This was great news as I had heard months ago that Kinokuniya Singapore already had the novel, and so I was a bit frustrated that the Bangkok branches didn't. Let's face it this is the little giant of Bangkok. It only has 3 locations, but come on, the two best book stores in Bangkok are in the Emporium and in Paragon, and these are both Kinokuniya.
I'm honored that they have decided to give ECHO POOL a bit of shelf space. They should be there by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Still haven't got a copy? Got to Kinokuniya and show them some support. Also, if you haven't ordered one on line, click on the title above for an easy payment gateway.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
UN security council experts met today to finetune a Western-sponsored statement condemning the bloody military crackdown in Burma, but China pressed for softer language.
Experts from the council's 15 members huddled behind closed doors this afternoon in a search of consensus on a draft that could be submitted to their ambassadors for approval.
Early today, China's deputy UN ambassador Liu Zhenmin said there would be consultations "to improve the text", meaning to soften language in the draft submitted by the United States, Britain and France on Friday.
The three Western powers introduced their text after the council heard a report from UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari on his recent mission to Burma to defuse the crisis.
The draft would condemn "the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations" by Burma's rulers, urge them to "cease repressive measures" and release detainees as well as all political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
It was submitted amid intense pressure for strong council action from world public opinion following outrage over Burma's deadly repression of peaceful anti-government protests led by Buddhist monks late last month.
Official figures reveal at least 13 people died and more than 2100 were locked up in the crackdown as security forces used live rounds, baton charges and tear gas to crush protests involving up to 100,000 people.
On Saturday, protests were held in several cities around the world in support of Burma's embattled pro-democracy movement.
"What is important is that the council give a strong message in support of Professor Gambari," a South African diplomat said as he went into the meeting.
The diplomat predicted agreement on a text by Wednesday at the earliest.
Italy's UN Ambassador Marcello Spatafora for his part stressed that it was urgent for the council to send a "strong, unified' message to Burma's ruling junta.
"There's a sense of urgency to send a strong message, a unified message, at the right moment. That is now," he said.
Unlike a resolution, a presidential statement requires the consent of all 15 members to be adopted.
China, which has close ties with Burma and favours constructive engagement with its military regime, warned last week that putting pressure on the ruling generals "would lead to confrontation".
China's UN envoy Wang Guangya Friday urged members to adopt "a prudent and responsible approach".
The United States has threatened to push for UN sanctions against the military regime, including an arms embargo, if it refuses to halt its crackdown and refused to cooperate with Mr Gambari's mediation for national reconciliation.
But any sanctions resolution was likely to face resistance and possibly a veto from China and Russia, which deem the turmoil in the South-East Asian country an internal matter and not a threat to broader peace and security.
Last January, China and Russia used a rare double veto to block a US-sponsored draft resolution that would have called on Burma's rulers to free all political detainees and end sexual violence by the military.
In a conciliatory move apparently aimed at forestalling tough council condemnation, Burma's rulers trumpeted the release of hundreds of monks and demonstrators and donated thousands of dollars as well as food and medicines to monasteries in Rangoon.
And junta chief Than Shwe named the deputy labour minister, Aung Kyi, as the "manager for relations" with Aung San Suu Kyi, four days after the military supremo made a heavily conditioned offer to meet with the Nobel Peace prize laureate, state television said.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who has come to symbolise Burma's peaceful struggle for democracy, has spent most of the past 18 years under house arrest.
On Friday, Mr Gambari had said that all council members agreed the status quo in Burma "is unacceptable and unsustainable" and backed his plan to pay a return visit to Burma before mid-November.