June 23, 2006 at 12:50 am | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Well…

I bowled a 132. And then a 166.

But I still miss Derech (a bowling alley near OSRUI).

Go John

June 22, 2006 at 5:35 pm | In politics, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Go John

Run Edwards, run!

Fundación Nueva Esperanza opens new classrooms, library

June 21, 2006 at 10:18 pm | In human rights, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fundación Nueva Esperanza opens new classrooms, library

If you only have a minute, please sign this petition, End Impunity – Support the Spanish Investigative Commission in Guatemala. If you’re confused, read to the end.

This is really exciting news. Over spring break I went to Fundación Nueva Esperanza, a school for the indigenous Maya Achi in Rabinal, Guatemala with Hillel and American Jewish World Service. Guillermo Chen Morales, who we interacted with a lot while we were there writes:

Dear friends,

We would like to share with you the success of the Foundation Nueva Esperanza and our secondary school which are: an opening of our new classrooms, our new scince lab and the library. This achievement is for all young indigenous people of Rabinal. Best wishes.

When we were there we stayed in two rooms that weren’t in use for anything else. I’m pretty sure one of them is now the library. We were also there when they were working on the new classrooms. We weren’t qualified to actually help with the construction, but we did clean up. You can see part of one of the new classrooms on the right in the back of this picture:


And here’s a picture from a newspaper clipping of it completed. Wow:

There’s a bunch more pictures from the newspaper article here.

AJWS, which is itself a wonderful organization, has more information about the vitally important work that the Fundación does for a people that has, at the hands of the Guatemalan government and paramilitaries, been at best neglected and at worst massacred. The founder of the organization, Jesús Tecú, is himself a survivor of the Rio Negro Massacre. Before founding the school and since, Jesús has worked for justice, testifying against paramilitaries in one court case and encouraging others to speak up.So now, if you haven’t already, please sign the petition: End Impunity – Support the Spanish Investigative Commission in Guatemala.

One more picture:

Investment, not Divestment

June 21, 2006 at 7:36 pm | In Israel and Palestine, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Investment, not Divestment


The Presbyterian Church (USA), which previously had called for divestment from companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine, adopted a different strategy of engagement in the Middle East today with a decision to back selective investment in companies committed to peace in the conflict between Israel and their Palestinian neighbors.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is meeting this week in Alabama.

Last summer the United Church of Christ adopted a similar policy to the one adopted this week by the Presbyterians and just this month the UCC and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) released a new guide book for churches committed to peace in the region.

“Qassams, shmassams”

June 19, 2006 at 11:30 pm | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Qassams, shmassams”

Sderot shuts down in protest of Qassam attacks

Vice premier Shimon Peres (Kadima) on Monday voiced skepticism over the reaction of the government and the citizens of Israel to Qassam rockets.

“We have to stop the hysteria we are all rousing. Instead, we must say: ‘We will get through this, we won’t leave here.’ What happened? Qassams, shmassams! Kiryat Shmona was also fired upon for years.”

So wait, is that a translation from the Hebrew? Or if he was speaking in English, how would you translate that into Hebrew?

Mmm…sustainable whaling

June 19, 2006 at 12:57 am | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mmm…sustainable whaling

Someone better alert the Sea Shepherds:

Pro-whaling nations have won their first vote towards the resumption of commercial whaling for 20 years.

The meeting of the International Whaling Commission backed the declaration by a majority of just one.

Anti-whaling countries say they will challenge the outcome, which Japan has described as “historic”.

But pro-whaling nations need support from three-quarters of the commission to overturn the 1986 ban aimed at protecting the endangered species.

The resolution, tabled by St Kitts and Nevis where the meeting is being held, declared: “The moratorium, which was clearly intended as a temporary measure, is no longer necessary.”

Tokyo believes whale numbers have risen sufficiently to allow the hunting of certain species.

However, Japan’s Deputy Whaling Commissioner, Joji Morishita, said any future commercial whaling would be on a much smaller scale than in the past.

“It’s not going back to the commercial whaling, it should be the beginning of sustainable whaling, plus protection of depleted and endangered species,” he said.

About the Sea Shepherds:

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was founded in 1977 in Vancouver BC by Captain Paul Watson. The mandate of the organization was marine mammal protection and conservation with an immediate goal of shutting down illegal whaling and sealing operations.

With financial support from Cleveland Amory of the Fund for Animals, the society’s first ship a North Atlantic sea trawler “the Westella” was purchased in Hull, England (UK) and renamed the Sea Shepherd. It’s first mission was to the ice floes of eastern Canada to interfere with the annual killing of baby harp seals known as whitecoats.

In the same year, 1979, the Sea Shepherd hunted down and rammed the notorious pirate whaler the Sierra in a Portugal harbor ending its infamous career as the scourge of the seas.

The success of the seal campaign and the ramming of the Sierra was the start of Sea Shepherd’s historical 160 voyages over the next 2 decades, enforcing international laws where no law enforcement existed – on the high seas.

Sea Shepherd continues to accomplish its mission by upholding and enforcing international treaties, laws and conventions of world governments.

Sea Shepherd is committed to the eradication of pirate whaling, poaching, shark finning, unlawful habitat destruction, and violations of established laws in the World’s oceans.

To that end, Sea Shepherd assists national and international bodies in the enforcement of international law under authority of the United Nations World Charter for Nature.

Sounds like they just enforce laws (through that most unsubtle of methods–ramming their reinforced ship into whalers); maybe they’d better start lobbying too.

Greenpeace has more.

Special Luxury Booklet Package???

June 12, 2006 at 11:10 pm | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Special Luxury Booklet Package???

Maybe this explains all those tourists in Harvard Yard. (To see actual episodes, search YouTube.)

Love story in Harvard OST – Special Luxury Booklet Package (SBS TV Series)
~ Korean TV Series Soundtrack

Love story in Harvard OST - Special Luxury Booklet Package (SBS TV Series),Korean TV Series Soundtrack
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Final note: I’ve never seen a Wikipedia entry end like this before: “What Hyung Woo will do after seeing Soo In again??”

More evidence for the strange world in which we live

June 12, 2006 at 9:46 pm | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on More evidence for the strange world in which we live

Update: Benjamin Brigit-Fishbein has confirmed our friendship on facebook. I hope he doesn’t mind me reposting a tiny bit of his profile:

I’ll say. The Brown Daily Herald has more.

“Advice for the Democrats”

June 11, 2006 at 11:23 am | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Advice for the Democrats”

Question: Any guesses on who gave this advice? Answer in the extended entry.

The war in Iraq is over except for the dying. Campaign for a date to bring our forces home. Speak for Americans on big issues like gas prices, health care, the environment and alternative energy. Don’t be afraid to say we’re for the people, not the powerful. Be Democrats — for a change.

Continue reading “Advice for the Democrats”…

The strange world in which we live

June 10, 2006 at 6:02 pm | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on The strange world in which we live

Fatah “activists” (Ha’aretz’s word, not mine) kidnapped someone named Benjamin Bright-Fishbein, possibly from a coffeeshop in Nablus. Once they realized he was an American and not an Israeli, Brigit-Fishbein was handed over to the IDF. Brigit-Fishbein had been studying at Hebrew University and was in Nablus as a tourist. Now I say we live in a strange world because the Ha’aretz story says this:

An individual with the same name is known to be a student attending Brown University in the United States. His name also appears as a contributor to the web site of the university’s student newspaper.

Not only is an individual with the same name attending Brown, he’s on facebook. And the weird picture (sorry, I don’t want to get in trouble for reposting it) makes it pretty clear, at least to me that this is the same person. It depicts him smiling next to some graffiti on a stone wall of a Jewish star and the letters “Fuk”. Whatever that means.
Good to find out he’s safe. Needless to say, I’ve friended him on facebook. We’ll see what happens once he gets out of IDF custody.

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