Thursday, July 24, 2008

Recipe for Surviving the Summer

frozen bananas
frozen strawberries
1 cup of juice (any kind will do)
1 yoghurt (any flavor works)
a few ice cubes

blend it all together and you get the only way to survive the heat in Tunisia.


Recently Read:  Jesus for President, Ender's Game and Me Talk Pretty One Day
Listening to:  Thrice - Live Myspace Transmissions
Recently Watched:  Grey's Anatomy Season 4 (Ep. 11-16), Street Kings and Point Break
Accomplishments:  got a 90% on my last French test.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just a Game

Here's an interesting blog from (one of my new favorite world issues websites/magazines) that puts forward the idea that the United States and Israel are playing good cop, bad cop to Iran so that United States can persuade Iran into an agreement regarding their nuclear enrichment program.  

Read the short blog here.  

Definitely could be the case considering the Under Secretary of State William Burns just met in Tehran with Iranian officials this past weekend, which was one of the first diplomatic meetings between the United States and Iran in nearly 30 years. This meeting is an incredibly large change in Iranian policy by the Bush administration even if Mr. Burns is just there to listen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Top 5 Places I Want to Visit

5.  Greece

4.  Dubai, UAE

3.  Jerusalem, Israel

2.  Tokyo, Japan

1.  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bashir's Charge of Genocide

Here is a quote from a BBC News article where they paraphrase a Sudanese Foreign minister speaking in regards to the War Crimes and Genocide claim made by the International Criminal Court:

"Allegations of genocide by the ICC's chief prosecutor were designed to generate hostility between tribal groups in Darfur, Mr Salaheddin said."

This statement from Sudan is ridiculous for multiple reasons:

First of all, the ICC's chief prosecutor is Luis Moreno-Ocampo. He's Argentinean. So why in the world would he be interested in creating more hostility between tribal groups? How would Argentina gain from creating conflict? How would any country gain except those that have interests specifically in Sudan (i.e. China)?  

Second, the first step towards any kind of change occurring in Sudan is when the leaders admit that they have a problem and that it's an atrocity what is going on in their country. Not to mention they are appealing to the Arab League and if the Arab League has any integrity they will put pressure on Sudan to admit its issues and accept the reality that its government has allowed genocide to take place. I find it quite strange that the country appeals to the Arab League despite the fact that only 39% of the country is Arab while 52% are Black Africans.  

Another thought is that Russia needs to get on board and actually make an attempt to do some good in the world instead of always nitpicking what the West and specifically America tries to accomplish. Yes, we make mistakes but at least we even try and do anything. Simply googling how much Russia gives in foreign aid only goes to articles about how much the U.S. has given to Russia, not how much Russia has given.

Change won't happen in Sudan until it's own country does something or at least admits its wrongdoing. But if you have any idea about an honor/shame mindset, specifically within an Arab context then their admitting wrong has nothing to do with whether they are right or wrong. It has to do with the fact that admitting guilt will bring shame to the leaders and then there will be no way for them to remove the shame because they only have themselves to blame.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Part of my life finishes

So, today at about 1:30 p.m. or so (not really sure what time but I had yet to truly get out of bed even though I had been up since 9 a.m.) part of my life finished.  

For the past 4 months I have been watching The West Wing on DVD.  I've been watching it a lot as there are 7 seasons of 22 or so episodes each (basically 4 1/3 days in length).

And today I finished. I'm quite sad/satisfied. It's the best TV show in my opinion that's ever been produced and was consistently top notch throughout its 7 seasons.

Now I have to find another show to watch. 

Any suggestions?


P.S.  "Jesus for President" is blowing my mind and I'm finishing it tonight.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Solution to Iran

BBC News Washington D.C. correspondent Matt Frei gives a well-balanced and healthy perspective on how we should be dealing with the Iran problem.  

He writes:

"A few years ago North Korea launched its own plea for attention by test-firing the Taepodon missiles AND testing its first nukes.

After the initial shock and condemnation, America obliged Kim Jong Il by pressing on with the six-party talks and just last month President Bush hailed a deal with North Korea which involves them verifiably scrapping their nuclear programme and the US providing them with energy, food and access to international markets.

It was a rare diplomatic triumph for the Bush administration.

Why not try the same with Tehran?"

Read the rest of the article here.

I hope that more people at the State and Defense Departments take this stance and see Iran's reactions as a cry to begin talks with the EU and the US. Unfortunately, with the fossil fuel reserves that Iran has they are not in the same financial predicament that the Koreans were in so, it wouldn't be a cry for aid but instead a cry for not being shunned by the major powers of the world and countries starting to not buy their natural resources, which would eventually destroy their economy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Iran's Missile Test Response

In the news today you can read about how Iran tested a long range (2000km) ballistics missile that is capable of reaching Israel if the U.S. or Israel were to attack their nuclear enrichment sites. You can read the story at

The State Department called it "provocative." I call it scary.  Really, it's something that should make the Middle East incredibly nervous and the rest of the world as well.  

But the real question is whether we are headed for another war. Will the U.S. invade Iran if they are not willing to comply with U.N. or EU sanctions concerning the enrichment of Uranium? For one, if we do invade Iran we have to not be the lead on the invasion and that's not just because of our troop commitments in the rest of the area. It must be EU led. Israel cannot be the lead on the invasion either because that will have enormous ramification in the region and cause incredible damage to a future peace with Palestine (and the rest of the region for that matter). Thankfully, the EU has tried to take the lead for the world's actions towards Iran and imposing sanctions of their own.

The most worrying thing to me in this entire situation is the rhetoric that has been used by both Israel and Iran. Public statements that an invasion is "inevitable" (Israeli Minister of Transportation, who apparently is a possible candidate for PM if Olmert steps down due to the scandal. Now that's a scary thought.) or Iran's continual statements about the fact that Israel is an enemy (talk about a wonderfully diplomatic term) do not particularly turn the heat down on the situation.

So what do we do? We have to keep the EU in the lead on this and we should back up what they plan on doing. Give Israel a stern warning that attacking Iran alone will not be tolerated and will drastically hurt the West's relations with them. That probably won't happen but always backing Israel in everything they do is going to get us into World War III. And we definitely need to be negotiating with Iran's leaders just as Barack Hussein Obama has suggested and been openly mocked for even thinking about.

Let's hope these nations can start acting like real countries and try to be diplomatic in some manner.  HA!!


Currently Listening to:  The new Sigur Ros - Med...whatever the hell it's called
Currently Reading:  "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw
Recently Watched:  In Bruges and West Wing Season 7

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Waking Up Sweaty

So as some of you may have noticed, it's now officially summer.  What comes with summer? Hot weather.

In America, this is generally not too big of a deal because everything is air conditioned. In Europe, it's the same. In Tunisia, it depends on where you go if it's air conditioned or not. My house is not. So when I take a nap in the afternoon (because the whole country shuts down during the hot part of the day and then you stay up til 1 a.m. and then get up early) I find myself waking up a sweaty mess.  

It's quite disgusting.


Currently Reading:  BBC,,, TIME, Newsweek, What is the What by Dave Eggers and A Short History of the Arab Peoples
Currently Listening to:  Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket
Recently Watched:  Definitely, Maybe (2 1/2 out of 4)