Monday, March 24, 2008

MSU Anti-War Protesters Try to Intimidate the State News

Typically, I am as pro-civil liberties as a person can be, but this video really made me angry. I am also a MSU grad student, but I have a different perspective of the protest. In the video, a mob of anti-war protesters at MSU were angry about the recent decision of the State News (MSU's student newspaper headquartered in downtown E. Lansing on Grand River) to not cover some of their recent protest events. This protest group drew crowds of over 400 on several occasions, but had been covered in the paper previous years.

Regardless of one's stance on the Iraq War, this behavior is appalling. First, I object to the use of numbers to intimidate the editorial board at the newspaper. The students were chucking newspapers at the window, cussing, and mocking the newspaper employees who refused to unlock the door. Second, the vulgar language was unacceptable on such a busy street. Third, many students used this protest as a means to protest administration decisions that had nothing to do with the paper including a University safety policy that prohibits skate boarders. Wow, how altruistic of them. That brings me to my fourth point. It seems incredibly selfish of the protesters to intimidate the newspaper into re-printing the issue because it did not cover the protesters' event or put their names in the paper. This "we want to be in the paper" mentality seems antithetical to the altruistic mission of stopping the war in Iraq. Fifth, the entire protest wrongly criticizes the character of those who are merely working on a student newspaper. Especially the lady with the blood red paint on her hands who smeared the window. What is their point? Are the student editors responsible for the number of casualties in Iraq?

There are those who support this protest in the Michigan Liberal community. They seem to believe that the ends justify the means. They do not. Feel free to protest, but please do not attempt to intimidate and harass others in the process. They believe that they are conforming to a great tradition of anti-war protests in the 1960's. However, this current anti-war movement is just a cheap knock-off of the Vietnam anti-war movement, where the issues mattered and not the egos.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mideast Politics and Religon Quiz

Given the issues of the day and the current events in the news, I thought it would be great if we had a short three question quiz about religon and politics in the Mideast. The answers are at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

Question #1:

Which branch of Islam is the dominant religous group of the nation of Iran and has complete control of the Iranian government:

A) Sunni

B) Shia

Question #2:

Which branch of Islam do the members of Al-Qaeda follow:

A) Sunni

B) Shia

Question #3:

Would a Shia or Sunni government provide material support to a violent extremist group of the opposing branch of Islam when the two branches have waged an often violent struggle against each other for over 1000 years?

A) Yes

B) No

Now check your answers at the bottom of the post.

Questions Answered Correctly:

3- You are a brilliant foriegn policy mind. The breadth and depth of your knowledge of geopolitics and religous affairs is astounding.

2- Not bad. You have a good grasp on the issues of the day but you could do better.

1- Well, there is room for improvement. Don't be discouraged, watch the evening news or visit websites other than or Facebook!

0- Great News!!! You are the presumptive Presidential Nominee for the Republican Party Arizona Senator John McCain. Continue talking about subjects that you obviously don't understand and rationalizing an irrational war.

That's right folks John McCain got all three questions wrong. From the :

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate."

Fourtanately for Senator McCain, his pal Sen Lieberman was there to help his illiformed collegue.

It is all on video courtesy of the good folks at CBS News and YouTube:

The Answers

1) B

2) A

3) B

Hat tip to Daily Kos for first bringing Senator McCain's gaffe to my attention.