Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union

first, a shout out to S, who leaves for a longish trip with the debate kids to Calgary today her time. have fun with the kiddies, dress warm, try and get some sleep, and tell us all about it when you get back!

all right -- the BA seminar session went rather well on monday - comments from various people were v helpful and much appreciated, and i am in reasonable shape. what's left to be done, however, is the nasty empirical work -which means bashing my way through lots of newspaper articles and ASEAN statements this weekend. in between reading Starett's book on education and Islam, of course. i have to say that i'm learning rather a lot from this Islamic Politics class with Lisa Wedeen. i know next to nothing about Islam and its impact on the politics of the middle east, much less southeast asia, which is sort of sad. (i guess i've always thought about the middle east in terms of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and have almost always come at it from the American/Israeli point of view rather than the Arab/Palestinian one -that, only as far as it responds to or evokes an American/Israeli response.) so i'm mostly excited about it, though the reading sometimes really pisses me off. (read: Baker is a twit. take a look at his Islam Without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists to see what i mean.)

L -i will send you my draft as promised as soon as my stupidass cranky Entourage will let me send outgoing mail. right now it appears to be in receive-mode only. bleagh.

have a ton of reading on the causes of World War I to do tonight -question: were the Germans responsible? who was responsible? were the Germans ever convinced of their guilt?- WWI is a much less clear cut case than WWII (who doubts that Germany deliberately went on a rampage through Europe on that one?) . which makes it fun to hear JJM go off on it for an hour and a half at a time. after that, must put together a problem set on the price of crack cocaine and its effect on crime for Levitt. the fun and cheery things i learn at the U of C!

but i'm having fun nonetheless.

tomorrow night is the State of the Union address. who knows if i will watch it, and if i do, if i will liveblog it like last year. (i have a sneaking suspicion i'll be reading the Hefner -on Islam, democracy and Indonesia- in front of the TV tomorrow night.) but stay tuned for more snarky remarks on Bush in his new term --

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