Archive for March 2nd, 2004

Moment of Truth in Haiti

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Supporters
greet rebel leader Louis-Jodel Chamblain upon his arrival in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, Monday, March 1, 2004. Chamblain, a convicted killer and accused
death squad leader, says he has no plans of fading into the shadows. (AP
Photo/Pablo Aneli)

One of the Very
Bad Men
mentioned earlier has declared
himself the ruler of Haiti, and threatened to jail the new
prime Minister, a guy by the name of Yvon Neptune. Another, pictured
above, a convicted death squad leader, also wants a piece of the power.
Meanwhile, the new President, by constitutional succession, who took
over when
Aristide fled, is an unfortunate gentleman named Boniface Alexandre,
the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court. He hasn’t been seen in public since
he accepted the position. He seems to be frozen in a deathgrip of panic
and fear, and who can blame him, considering the successive fates of
the last few Presidents of Haiti.

This is the moment of truth for Haiti. Now is the time for the US to
step up to the plate and turn this tragic turmoil into a good thing,
a positive
change.
By
all
accounts
the Rebel
Leader Guy Philippe is a murderer, drug dealer and gangster on a major
scale, not the sort of leader we should be working with.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound as though old Boniface has either the
power base or the intestinal fortitude to pull things together, but there
must be a number of reasonable alternatives. If the US was involved,
directly or indirectly, in the pressure which forced Aristide out, we
are willing to forgive them, or at least give them the benefit of the
doubt until we learn more, if they show they had the foresight to have
a viable "Guy" of their own ready to go, and someone a bit more palatable
than "Guy Phillippe".

Ever since President Monroe came up with the concept that we have an
obligation to keep our hemisphere "safe for democracy" we have periodically
intervened in practically every independent nation in Central America
and the Caribbean. Sometimes we intervene on behalf of the democratic
aspirations of the majority of the population (Aristide I, Grenada) and
sometimes we intervene against them (DOminican Republic and Nicaragua).
Sometimes we install and then remove the same regime (Somoza family)
But we always seemed to have our "Guy" ready to go and our plot well
thought out.

Oh please let this be part of some Machiavellian plot to
install a ivy-trained technocrat
and
not
a
cowardly capitulation
to cheap
thugs
and voudou
charlatans….

story from the New
York Times

Childish Humor at the President’s Expense

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Americans Carrying Extra Weight

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Ever
wonder how clothing manufacturers agreed on what was a size 8? Turns
out it was a resuult of a massive study of the American anatomy back
in 1941.  Now TC2, a North Carolina company in, has used light-pulsing,
3-D scanner technology to measure some 10,000 Americans
of all ages and
ethnicities.

Guess what? We grew. Who knew?

The study was funded by clothing manufacturers, the military and colleges
and universities, all of whom have a keen interest in body sizes.

Size 8 has long been thought to represent the measurements of the average
American woman. In the clothing industry, a size 8 officially is supposed
to be a 35-inch bust, a 27-inch waist, and 37 1/2-inch hip.

But in the survey, white women ages 18 to 25 came in, on average, at
38-32-41, with white women ages 36 to 45 coming in at 41-34-43.

Average black women were a little larger, according to the survey, at
40-33-43 for ages 18 to 25 and 43-37-46 for ages 36 to 45. Hispanic women
shaped in at 39-33-41 for ages 18 to 25 and 43-36-44 for ages 36-45

Because of its size and breadth, the survey also will allow a closer
look at the typical body size of different minority groups, including
blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

"Minority populations were not well represented in previous studies,
which included no Hispanics or Asians," Lovejoy said.

from NBC17.com

A Lesson in Evolution

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A teenager jumped out of a second floor window during
a science lesson at a Miami school after making a bet with his teacher.

Police say the 17-year-old pupil at Miami Beach High bet $20 that he could
make the leap, in the middle of a class on evolution, without injuring
himself.

The Miami Herald reports the teenager won the wager after landing on a
patch of dirt.

His teacher Yrvan Tassy Jr has been moved to a non-teaching job while police
and school officials carry out an investigation into the incident.

It’s thought the pupil had been trying to prove a point about evolution
when he decided to jump out of the window. A police report said he landed
on his feet and returned to the classroom.

These stories beg more questions than they answer. What do you suppose
the point he was trying to prove was? That he was more evolved than the
teacher? Was the teacher secretly hoping the student would be
hurt or killed, thus proving his point? Did the teacher pay off?

When the Dowbrigade asks a student why he wore his New York Yankee
jersey to class on the day of a big game with the Evil Empire (our
campus is
a few short blocks from Fenway Park and said student was risking serious
physical injury) and he says "Yoshi told me to do it" we are wont to
respond, "And if Yoshi told
you
to jump
out
the
window,
would you do it?" If he does it, are we liable? Is Yoshi?

Hopefully we’ll have some lawyers in our class this summer and can get
to the bottom of these issues…

from Ananova

picture from Worth1000

BU – Fraud or Incompetence?

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The Saga of the poor little rich University that couldn’t,
continues.  Now, Alex Beam reports in today’s Globe that the Boston
University School of Law (disclaimer – The Dowbrigade has taught there
the past three summers and hopes to do so this summer as well), jealous
no doubt of the snazzy new School of Management, is raising funds for an equally
snazzy $110 new Law School megaplex.

Except that the $36 million on hand to start construction suddenly turned
up missing. According to Dean Cass, there is actually less than $10.
The rest? Your guess, appearantly, is as good as ours….

So was it fraud, or was it incompetence? Everyone I spoke with suspects
the latter, but so what? I asked the university spokesman if anyone would
be held accountable for the embarrassing shortfall; my question was greeted
by silence. Accountability? This is a university that is paying a man
$1.8 million not to show up to work as its president. No one is accountable.

from the Boston Globe