Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Hello? Officer, I'd like to report a crime. A girl just asked for birth control..."

According to this NY Times article, a law to prohibit sexual activity among teenagers under the age of 16 in the state of Kansas is going to trial. How are they going to enforce this law? By requiring health care workers report any sexually active teens under the age of 16 to authorities. The article doesn't mention the penalty will be for those sinful demon-possessed children in Kansas if the law is passed, but discouraging them from seeking health care and increasing the number of teen pregnancies and the possible spread of sexually transmitted diseases is probably punishment enough.

Monday, January 30, 2006

In Alito, G.O.P. Reaps Harvest Planted in '82

If anyone is wondering how it came to be that the Republicans have control of the White House, the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court, read this article from the NY Times.

Click here for the article

In some ways, the Republicans deserve to have all that control. They've been working and planning for decades, and now it's finally paying off.

- Jean Chen

Taken for a Ride

From Yahoo News:

"Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday — $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year... Exxon's profit for the year was also the largest annual reported net income in U.S. history."

Click here for the full article

No comment.

- Jean Chen

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Looks like Green is the new Red


Photos taken this week from the West Bank show Hamas members waving large green flags proudly, after party members took 76 of 132 votes in a preliminary election for Palestinian legislative elections.



Crowds of Hamas supporters crowded streets in celebration, signifying the probable end of 40 years of rule under Yasser Arafat’s Fatah leadership party. The images are striking, and were plastered on front pages and Web pages yesterday and today.

It’s almost remniscent of those Bolshevik Revolution images you see in history books, like this:



It appears likely that Hamas will take control, and they’ve stated, according to reports, that peace talks with Israel will come to a screeching halt, according to this

It’s got to feel empowering for the Hamas. But what’s next for Middle East peace talks?

Kanye Walks


I like Kanye West's music; I think he's a talented producer as well as a decent emcee, and I think he's definitely one of the few positive role models in mainstream hip hop -- he doesn't pretend to be a thug, drug-dealer, or gangster and he doesn't hide the fact that he's a suburban backpacking nerd; both of his albums revolve around a college theme (okay, dropping out of college isn't necessarily the best way to encourage the youth, but at least he went to college and not the school of hard knocks), and he turned a song about Jesus in a radio hit. He's bold, brash, unafraid to take a stand and speak on what he believes in ("George Bush doesn't care about black people") but...damn the man's ego.

He poses on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone issue as Jesus. A very, very ballsy move. A black man posing as Jesus?!?!?! Kanye's never gonna hear the end of it.

But it's not the first time a rapper has played Jesus. Though 2pac was already dead, the Makavelli album cover featured an illustration of 2pac on the crucifix and and actor portrayed 2pac on a crucifix in Scarface's "Smile" music video. Nas carried the crucifix on his back in his "Hate Me Now" video also.

First blasting Bush and now posing as Jesus? Kanye might just have been added to Pat Robertson's hit list.

does the truth matter?

Best selling author James Frey has gotten busted for wildly exaggerating portions of his memoir, "A Million Little Pieces."

Click here for the article

At the same time, it was discovered that JT Leroy, who wrote a memoir about being a teenage male hooker, is actually a middle aged woman with middle class roots.

Click here for the article

Does the truth matter when it comes to memoirs? Knowing that "A Million Little Pieces" is not all true, is it still a strong piece of work? What about JT Leroy's "memoir?" Can it still hold it's own as a fictional work?

Also, how accountable should authors be in writing their memoirs? They aren't journalists. But should they be accountable?

-Jean Chen

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

a more tolerant church?

From the NY Times:

"Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday in his first encyclical that the Roman Catholic Church has no desire to govern states or set public policy, but can't remain silent when its charity is needed to ease suffering around the world...

In the encyclical, Benedict said the church's work caring for widows, the sick and orphans was as much a part of its mission as celebrating the sacraments and spreading the Gospels. However, he stressed that the church's charity workers must never use their work to proselytize or push a particular political ideology."

Click here for the full article

The Catholic Church is going to focus on charity and not on pushing ideology? I find this really hard to believe, but I'm hoping that it's true.

- Jean Chen

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

political bets

Check this out... you can place bets on how many times Bush will say, "Space Terrorism" during his State of the Union address. You can also bet on how many times he will say, "nuclear" and on how long Jack Abramoff will be sentenced to prison:

Click here for the site.

- Jean Chen

Thursday, January 19, 2006

that's your finger in my chili!

The couple who was convicted of planting a finger in a bowl of chili at Wendy's just got sentenced to nine years in jail. Nine years! Sure, it was a bad thing to do, but nine years is a long, long time.

Click here for the article

I wonder how much jail time Tom DeLay will get.

- Jean Chen

Saturday, January 14, 2006

the death penalty in black and white

Stanley "Tookie" Willaims, who was convicted of multiple murders, was executed last month. Seventy-six-year-old Clarence Ray Allen, a Choctaw indian who was convicted for orchestrating four murders, three of which he ordered while in prison, will be executed on Monday, January 16. The wheelchair-bound, blind, and nearly deaf deathrow inmate hasn't received nearly half the attention that Williams received. Why not?

This article argues that it's a matter of race.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Movies!

Heh heh, check out these spoofs:

From Mad TV (Memoirs of a Geisha)

From SNL (Chronicles of Narnia)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Economic Sanctions

From Yahoo News:

"British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that Western countries were likely to seek economic sanctions against Iran after Tehran restarted its nuclear program but Iranian leaders said they would not curtail the research even in the face of sanctions."

Click here for the full article

How do folks feel about this? Sometimes I wonder if economic sanctions are the answer... When we had them against Iraq for ten years in the 1990s, it only seemed to harm Iraqi citizens. Over a million Iraqis died because they didn't have adequate access to medicine, clean water, etc. And clearly Saddam Hussein didn't care. And look at Cuba. Fidel is still in charge and the only thing sanctions have done is deprive Cubans of daily necessities.

- Jean Chen

Thursday, January 05, 2006

David Letterman Serves Bill O'Reilly's Ass on a Platter

Check out this clip of Bill O'Reilly on David Letterman. He gets ripped to shreds, which is pretty funny.

Watch the clip.

It's long (about 12 minutes) but worth it. What I find interesting is that two years ago, there's no way someone as mainstream as David Letterman would be talking about how being in Iraq is a mistake. He may have been thinking it, but he would never have voiced it. So why is it all of a sudden ok to speak out against Bush and the war?

- Jean Chen

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

humor or disrespect?

A billboard in Los Angeles, CA for Howard Stern's new radio program depicts a black fist with the words "Let Freedom Ring and let it be Rung by Strippers," putting a play on Martin Luther King Jr.'s words: "Let freedom ring" and upsetting memebers of the African-American community who view the ad as a spit in the face to African-Americans.

Click here for the article.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Nukes are cool in 2006

As a kid in the 80s, I grew up thinking nuclear war would wipe us all out. Movies like "The Day After" didn't help assuage the fear much.

Well, the fear is back, compliments of the Bush Administration's foreign policy and power interests abroad among smaller nations.

For a while now, North Korea's been spearheading the latest nuclear race and playing tug of war over access to nuclear power, according to this.

Now, Iran is stepping up to the nuclear power plate too, according to THIS

more trash

Ok, one more piece of trash to start out your New Year. Someone wrote Cliff Notes to R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet." Truly truly a work of genius:

Read the Cliff Notes

-Jean Chen

Hee hee

Check out Kevin Federline's website. He's coming out with a hip-hop album.

I guess with a good producer and some studio sound effects, anyone can rap.

- Jean Chen

Monday, January 02, 2006

Forget the Bird Flu

People are freaking out about the bird flu, but there's a stomach bug (Clostridium difficile also known as C. diff) that's going around that seems much more dangerous. It's already killed hundreds of people:

Click here for the article

- Jean Chen