Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?
James Chen: Asian-American writer, film director, journalist, entrepreneur, athlete, political activist, environmental activist and renaissance man
Sunday, January 30, 2005
The Terrorists Have Lost
With the defeat of Axis forces at Battle of El Alamein (1942), Winston Churchill remarked, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Today's event in Iraq was a huge victory in the War on Terror. The Iraqi people have voted in large numbers in their first democratic election in 50 years--even CNN reports a 72% turnout. The apparent success of the Iraqi elections leaves the Mainstream Media seaching for a negative angle. Leave it to Reuters to highlight them:
Insurgents unleashed a wave of bloody attacks on Iraq's historic election Sunday, killing at least 22 people and wounding dozens in suicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations across the country.The expected left-wing harping over a "low Sunni turnout" can only mean that Reuters could find nothing else amiss about the election. And nine suicide bombers in a nation of 25 million people and over 5,000 polling places can hardly be termed as a "sustained assault". In fact, if this is all the violence that the terrorists could muster on Election Day in Iraq, then the terrorists are clearly losing.
Militants determined to wreck Iraq's first multi-party elections in half a century struck mainly in Baghdad, carrying out nine suicide attacks in rapid succession.
A low Sunni turnout could undermine the credibility of Iraq's first election since Saddam Hussein was toppled in a U.S.-led invasion in April 2003.
The election is a cornerstone of President Bush's plans in Iraq. But many fear that instead of quelling the anti-American insurgency, the poll could foment sectarian strife, delaying any withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.
Despite draconian security measures imposed by Iraq's U.S.-backed interim government, the militants launched a sustained assault aimed at frightening people away from voting.
We shouldn't be surprised to see the Iraqi elections downplayed in the Mainstream Media. We heard almost nothing from them about the huge success and victory over tyranny symbolized by the Afghani elections in 2004. Afghanistan had their first election in 5,000 years (that's five thousand), and the media could only harp about disputes between the presidental candidates.
Mark my words, this really is the end of the beginning for Islamic Terrorism.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Punky is 5 Months Old Today
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
The Word is Getting Out
Students at Yale and Dartmouth are bemoaning the lack of ideological diversity, too. I had mentioned this last week in my review of the Jewish-Arab divide at Columbia.
From the Yale Daily News:
What is more troubling than any of the issues raised by activists is the fact that at an institution that claims to foster a diverse academic environment, 93 percent of Yale faculty political donations for the 2004 presidential race went to the Democratic candidate. Real "diversity" is intellectual diversity, and Yale should hire faculty and accept graduate students solely on the basis of their ideas and scholarship, not their skin color or genitalia.From the Dartmouth Online:
In my almost four years at Dartmouth, I have encountered more than a handful of dyed-in-the-wool liberals. I have yet to meet one conservative professor. I am sure they roam the halls of Silsby and Carpenter, but they either remain shamefully quiet or teeter on the verge of extinction. In this aspect, Dartmouth is indeed no different than any other prestigious university.Hat tip to Instapundit.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Either You Are For Us Or You Are For the Terrorists
For nine hours today, the Senate heard from the dreaded trio of Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, as Democrats continued to obstruct the nomination of Condoleezza Rice.
Senate Democrats today attacked the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be secretary of State, saying she had misled or even lied in order to sell the American public and the Congress on the need for war against Iraq.This is really about trying to whip up the Islamofascists in Iraq into a frenzy of terror and murder before the elections. The Democrats believe they can only succeed by causing the failure of the Bush Administration's effort in Iraq. These Senators are traitors, using this platform to stir up support for the terrorists. I feel sorry for our brave troops because everyone of these soundbites is intended to provide support and encouragement for every soldier of Islam seeking to kill a GI.
While Rice was expected to win confirmation easily in a Senate vote scheduled for Wednesday, Senate staff members said that at least 10, and as many as 20 senators, were expected to vote against her nomination. If so, Rice would be the first secretary of State not to win unanimous confirmation since 1981, when six senators voted against the nomination of Alexander M. Haig.
However, the Senate Democratic leadership did not attempt to rally votes against Rice, who was described even by her fiercest critics as impeccably qualified for the job, a candidate with an inspiring personal history, and an official who will be known to speak with the president's voice when talking to foreign leaders.
The left-wing of the Democratic Party now wants democracy to fail in Iraq. They are reliving the 1960s, thinking that they can use the willing media to manipulate America as they did with their Vietnam lies and distortions and selective reporting. This is one despicable group in the Senate. They will go overboard, as they always do. Save what they say, it will destroy them and their party in the coming years.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Pictures of the day
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Let Them Eat Cake
The obnoxious Michael Moore hires bodyguards that break existing laws by carrying handguns to protect him, while telling everybody else their best protection is to criminalize carrying weapons.
NEW YORK — Filmmaker Michael Moore's (search) bodyguard was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon in New York's JFK airport Wednesday night.Of course, concealed carry permits are for the liberal ruling class, not the rank-and-file people like you and me. Just a reminder that liberals believe laws don't apply to them.
Burke is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and California, but not in New York. Burke was taken to Queens central booking and could potentially be charged with a felony for the incident.
Moore's 2003 Oscar-winning film "Bowling for Columbine" criticizes what Moore calls America's "culture of fear" and its obsession with guns
Only yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors proposed a law to ban all handguns from the city.
The proposal will appear on the municipal ballot in November and would bar residents from keeping handguns in their homes or businesses. It also would prohibit the sale, manufacture and distribution of any firearms or ammunition in San Francisco, where residents have bought nearly 22,000 handguns since 1996, according to the state attorney general's office.I wonder what former S.F. mayor Dianne Feinstein, who carries a licsensed handgun for personal protection, will say about this?
UPDATE - Moorewatch reports that the Fox News article linked above contains several inaccuracies. While Moore does have armed bodyguards, the person in question does not work for the pudgy filmmaker.
A quick check on GOOGLE confirms that Senator Diane Feinstein does indeed have a concealed weapons permit.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
What We're Reading in the Chen-Sui Household
With most of our attention focused on the kids, both Jenny and I have been forced to cut back drastically on our reading. But still we manage to read a book every few months. I try to read a few pages before going to bed each night. These days, we read more to the kids than we read for ourselves.
This is what I am reading now
This is Russell's favorite book
Jenny's current reading--which is banned in China--is about modern day Chinese peasants (Title: Chinese Peasants - A Survey).
Zachary's current book (It's never too early to teach kids about the Great Communicator)
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
I Went to Columbia, but My Kids Will Not
Liberal brainwashing has always been a part of an Ivy League education, but I'm surprised to hear about the current dispute at Columbia University over the alleged anti-Semitic sympathies of certain faculty members in the Middle Eastern & Asian Languages department. I attended Columbia over 20 years ago, and a large number of the students (around 30%) and faculty (perhaps around the same percentage) were Jewish, which is not unusual since the college drew largely upon New York City's population. Back then, I even recall Columbia being referred to as "the Jewish Ivy".
Determining the boundaries of this dispute is a slippery exercise. At root it is about some Jewish students and recent graduates, who could number several dozen, contending that in recent years they felt mocked and marginalized by pro-Palestinian professors. They have not, however, pointed to any grade retribution. Complaints of this sort have buzzed around campus for some time, but the issue flared into international news in late October, when the news media was shown a film, "Columbia Unbecoming," which had been made at the behest of unhappy Jewish students at Columbia by a pro-Israel group in Boston called the David ProjectWhat Columbia and the New York Times have virtually ignored is not just departmental "balance" in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian question, but the ideological make-up of the faculty as a whole. Does anyone have any doubt that the Columbia faculty is overwhelmingly liberal in its sympathies, and that Bush-bashing is an accepted norm in its classrooms? In speaking about the issue, one faculty member manages to get in a swipe at President Bush (italics are mine):
The quarrel has also become about whether the department in question, known by the acronym MEALAC, is heavily unbalanced in favor of Palestinian sympathizers, not that anyone entirely agrees what "balance" means in academia and whether it is even warranted. And the whole matter has come to be wrapped in the broader cloth of academic freedom.
Pro-Israel professors on campus, who have been conspicuously quiet, say they feel cowed and nervously out of fashion. "Many Jewish faculty members feel uncomfortable with this whole issue and wish it would go away," said Stephanie G. Neuman, a senior research scholar and the director of the university's comparative defense studies program, who has taught at Columbia since the 1970's. "Most of them come out of the same leftist, assimilationist background as I do. We're uncomfortable with the idea that the left has abandoned Israel and maybe abandoned Jews. We're in cognitive dissonance."
Said Andrew J. Nathan, a political science professor who is dubious about the students' charges, "Now it is not clear to everyone that the classroom is where the faculty is in full control. I teach a course called Introduction to Human Rights. We had a whole week on the torture memos of the Bush administration. Now I'm starting to wonder whether there's somebody in my class of 143 students who might grieve against me, that I indoctrinated them, that they went through emotional suffering to hear about these things."Back in the 1980s, I observed that Reagan-bashing was an everyday occurence at Columbia, but support for Israel was also very high. Liberalism today has apparently evolved to the point where Jew-hating is one of the core pillars of its ideology. Given this, I have often wondered why Jewish voters continue to support the Democrats in overwhelming numbers. Now, maybe Jewish students and faculty at Columbia are asking the same question.
Monday, January 17, 2005
A Teletubbies Weekend
Saturday and Sunday were busy as usual. On Saturday, we went to Savannah's first birthday party in Castro Valley. As usual, Russell wasn't too friendly with the other kids and even pushed Savannah's sister Bethany when she tried to get close. Eventually, we had to leave when Russell started to get antsy without his regular dose of Teletubbies videos.
Today, we spent most of the day at Jenny's parents house in San Jose. There was a Teletubbies video waiting for Russell--his cousin Andrew's--so Russell was in a good mood most of the time. He also really liked playing with his grandmother, too. Punky was pretty well behaved all day until the ride home tonight from San Jose. He started screaming for his mom (and her milk) about half way into the 45 minute ride home. It was a relief to pull into the driveway and get home. I quickly put in the Teletubbies DVD for Russell's enjoyment and Jenny fed the baby to calm him down.
So in the span of two short weeks, Russell has gone from watching only Baby Einstein videos to Teletubbies. I suppose that's progress, since the Baby Einstein covers say they're for kids from 3 months to 3 years.
Russell holds LaLa as he watches Teletubbies
Friday, January 14, 2005
One Reason Why We Moved Out of Oakland
I mentioned only a few posts ago that we moved to Alameda in part because of the miserable public school system in Oakland. So I wasn't surprised to read that current Oakland School Board member Dan Siegel was arrested this week for marijuana possession at the Oakland International Airport as he attempted to board a plane.
"Yes, I use marijuana occasionally for stress,'' Siegel said Wednesday, a day after he was caught with the marijuana. "It's just a part of life." He said he does not have a prescription for medicinal marijuana.
Siegel, a former school district attorney who is expected to run for Oakland mayor in 2006, was cited Tuesday night after Transportation Security Administration officials found less than ounce of the drug in a piece of his checked baggage, Oakland police Sgt. Larry Krupp said.
Keeping in mind that this miserable piece of shit is not only in charge of the Oakland public schools, but could also be the future mayor of Oakland, I am relieved that we moved out of Oakland before handing over my children to this dirtbag's school system. With people like Dan Siegel in charge, is it any wonder why the Oakland public school system recently went bankrupt and was placed under state control for failure to meet minimum state testing standards for 4 consecutive years?
Thursday, January 13, 2005
How and Why I Blog
Welcome to my blog! Unlike most bloggers, my approach to blogging is to combine personal posts and commentary into a single blog. I like to alternate between the two areas to let people know what's going on in my personal life and in my beady, little mind. Recently, I bought this inexpensive Kodak digital camera to replace my very old Olympus that Russell recently destroyed. Armed with this, I'll generally try to post a few pictures along with each personal post I add. My commentary will generally center around a news item that I will link to my post, along with an short excerpt from the article itself. Any subject is fair game. I generally get my news from websites like Google News, Realclearpolitics.com, Powerlineblog.com, Instapundit.com and others.
I know it's been a while since I've been in contact with many of you. At this point in my life, I have very little time to do anything other than work and take care of my immediate family. My hope is that we can use this blog as a means to stay in touch, especially through the comments section. And when I get my life back, I'll be sure to spend more time hanging out with you all.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
A Star is Born - For those of you not in the know, our second son, Zachary, was born on the morning of August 27, 2004 in Berkeley, California. Jenny gave birth only a couple of hours after we arrived at Alta Bates Hospital, a mercifully short interval compared to the 40+ hours that it took Zachary's older brother Russell to be delivered. Except for the requested epidural, it was a natural delivery that took less than 20 minutes of pushing on Jenny's part.
Zachary weighed in at exactly 4 kg (8.8 lbs) and measured 53 cm (21 in.) long. Not quite as big as Russell, but still large by most standards. I am still awestruck by the miracle of life, and seeing Zachary for the first time was a moment that I will never forget.
As this was the second time around for us, we were prepared for the sleepless nights and frequent diaper changes that followed upon our return home the next day. Nevertheless, Zachary turned out to be a remarkably well-behaved child--compared to his brother Russell. Within a few weeks, Zachary was sleeping for most of the night without entering the colicky phase that we endured with Russell. I went back to work after only a week, and Jenny returned once again to her role of full-time nursing mom.
Whereas people think Russell looks like me, the consensus is that Zachary is looking more like Jenny with each passing day. I just think he looks dandy, so I will let you be the judge with the following photograph taken when Zachary--now known as "Punky Brewster"--was only 1 day old.
Zachary Chen a.k.a. Punky Brewster
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
In the aftermath of Bush's reelection, I've received several e-mails from disgruntled liberals suffering from PEST (Post Election Selection Trauma). The latest version of these messages suggests a day-long suspension of all economic activity on January 20: Inauguration Day.
A protest called "Not One Damn Dime Day" is circulating in cyberspace, encouraging critics of Bush and the war in Iraq to send a message by not spending any money on Jan. 20.
The point of the protest is to "remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it," says a letter that has spread across the nation through e-mail and Web site postings.
These protests--which typically ask people to not buy things like food and gasoline for a day--always make me laugh. Even if you get a lot of people to participate, they're just going to make up for it some other day. Someone needs to knock some sense into these people, or make them watch "The Simpsons".
In one Simpsons episode, the townspeople become angry with the Kwik-E-Mart store owner and decide to boycott in protest. One of the people in the crowd points out that if they are not going to be buying anything for awhile, they'd better stock up in preparation. They end up cleaning out the store and on the way out, the last customer (Homer Simpson?) tells Apu the store owner, 'There, maybe that'll teach you a lesson!'.
This is the Democrats in a nut shell. They love power much more than they love America, so they attempt to instigate damage to our nation, albeit in a stupid manner. For me, January 20th sounds like a good time to buy a book, go out to dinner, shop for some bathroom fixtures and watch the President's inauguration.
Monday, January 10, 2005
A little over six months ago, we moved from Oakland to Alameda, an island community that borders the Oakland Coliseum. Our house has three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms--just a shade bigger than our house in Oakland, but in a much better neighborhood. Jenny and I are relieved that we can send Russell and Punky to public school in Alameda and not worry about it.
One of the previous residents of our house was none other than the Oakland Raiders' Ray Guy, the greatest punter to ever play the game of football. Ray Guy had a short five-minute commute to the Oakland Coliseum, and left an impression on many of the neighborhood's long-time residents. That's why our house is still known on our street as the "Ray Guy House".
Our house in Alameda along with Jenny's new car