Political Activism Among Other Random Thoughts

Wednesday, 2003-03-05; 08:48:00

Major political activism, due to the protest here on the Stanford campus, and a few other thoughts

(If you read my other blog entries, I would encourage you to read this one in its entirety too, even if you don't feel like being particularly active in the political community.)

So I stayed up last night 'til 3 and I couldn't get to sleep 'til 3:45, and then I got up this morning at 9:30 not to go to class, but to go the peace rally that started at the Clock Tower, and then went on to the Main Quad. It was pretty cool seeing about 1000 people there, but I was a little disappointed that we just kind of walked for 15 minutes around to the main quad, and we didn't really stop anywhere to express our views and make them heard to people other than ourselves... kind of preaching to the choir, I guess.

Anyhoo, once we got to the quad and got through the stupid chant where we just stood there for a few minutes clapping and listening to people say random things, there were professors there talking about different issues relating to the war. I listend to Prof. Sapolsky (apologies if I spelled his name wrong) talk about the evolution of agression, from how hamsters can tell who are their relatives (by smell), to how we consider who are our "relatives", and sudokinship and sudospeciation: how our government uses our cognitive abilities against us to manipulate us into thinking some people are bad and are really not like us, so killing them really doesn't amount to much. He gave three poignant examples:

1. During our first war with Iraq under Dubya Senior, we were told that Iraqis went in to Kuwait, and took 300 premature babies and disconnected them from incubators, leaving them to die. Well, apparently, there was someone who escaped from that hospital who escaped from Kuwait, and testified before Congress in order to sway opinion -- guess what? The whole story was, of course, a crock of bull, just to gain an overwhelming support for the war. A couple months later, it was figured out that the story was bogus, but of course the "liberal media" didn't choose to run the stories on front pages.

2. In recent years, we got hyped up into a frenzy by the anthrax scare. The Dubya Junior administration, in their infinite wisdom, used this to say that Al-Qaieda were the ones who sent this to us. Guess what? The anthrax strain that was in the laced messages was chemically different from strains developed in the Middle East, and instead conformed to what we've developed here in our United States labs. We were infected by people in our own country! I hope that pisses you off as much as it does me, because that's pretty immoral.

3. You know the recently released documents given to the UN Security Council that Iraq released on their weapons of mass destruction? They came out a few months ago. Well, apparently the United States was given priority access to it before it was released to the public, and our government removed hundreds of pages detailing where Iraq got these weapons. Yes, in our (again) infinite wisdom, during the 80s and 90s under the Reagan and Dubya Senior administrations, we supplied Iraq with the means to create their weapons of mass destruction. That's what your goverment doesn't want you to know.

My favorite other facts from Michael Moore's awesome movie "Bowling for Columbine":

-- In the past year, homicides have gone down 20%, but the media coverage of these homicides jumped UP 600%. Isn't that scary?

-- In Detroit, there are hundreds of gun-related killing cases each year... but just across the border in Canada, a similar-sized city (of which I can't remember the name) had only 2 gun-related killings, and both were committed by a guy from Detroit.

-- Last year, there were over 11000 gun-related killings in the United States. In Great Britain, there were less than 200. In Australia and Canada, there were less than 100. In Japan, there were less than 50. WTF!?!!?!!

OK, enough political activism. Sorry about my weird mood last night... I often get depressed at night when I listen to specific songs. It's kind of weird, but I usually get through it.

Let's see... anything else interesting to talk about? Oh, yeah. I didn't get into the Cocoa Developer Kitchen that's happening at the Apple Cupertino campus this Spring Break. Wah. It was free, too, so I was itching to go. But oh well -- I guess I got my hopes a little too high up. :\

That's about it for now (at least what I can remember). Maybe I'll post something tonight (I wonder how long my blog fad will last).

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