Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Craic from Ireland

Above is Sarah, Me, John and Arther.
Not really sure what my thinking was on this pose... ^^^^^
John is our resident Marine. He obviously has PTSD from Iraq.

I would sooooo do me...

Here I am explaining for the millionth time that the Iraq war was a good idea....

On the bus headed downtown for some fun...we are all already pissed...
Not sure who that is in the middle but her eyes creepin' me out!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Where on earth is the Global Civil Society? Certainly not in Somalia or Ethiopia.

Where are these throngs of do-gooders armed only with good intentions and global cooperation. Why aren't they making headway in this "newest" (new only to the headlines) conflict. The GCS is the network of NGOs that serve the world. Everyone from Human Rights Watch to CARE to Amnesty International and in most definitions, the UN. Mary Kaldor is the Matriarch of this movement if not its author.

"But..." you ask, "are not these organizations present in this conflict?" I imagine a few are. I imagine some have been there for years which illustrates my point. Where are they, where is the measurable progress of the GCS? Why has not the "non-coercive collective action around shared interests and values " stalled Al-Qaeda's advances. Why have they not stopped the further hijacking of Islam via the implementation of extreme Sharia Law?

The polar opposite of GCS is at work in Iraq. It is coercion at is strongest. It also seems to be stumbling. So what is the answer?

Perhaps GCS is the Carrot and the other the Stick. Or more specifically, one is too much Carrot and the other is too much Stick. The answer becomes the proper balance of both.

The problem now is how do you administer these carrots and sticks. Who is the arbiter? What happens when the person or entity that needs carrots looks just like the one who needs the stick? Or worse, you wrongly deliver the stick to those most in need of carrots.

To be sure, there is no easy answer.


A sad note on the baby Jesus' birthday. R I P James Brown.

How terribly sad. Thank you James for providing a portion of the soundtrack to my/our life.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

One semester to go.

I thought I might get reflective as I pack to go home from Dublin for the holidays.

I have to say I really like it here. It is a beautiful city and the people are fantastic. My professors, save one, are top notch and my friends here are the best as well. My grades to this point are good but not great. I hope to change that with these last two assignments I have to turn-in in January. All in all this has been a grand experience.

I have learned so much since arriving. To a few that are looking for me to turn liberal after being here or anti-American it may not satisfy them in terms of what I have learned, but to myself and those like me or those that understand me, well, I have taken in and processed a lot.

What I enjoy most is being able to discuss things that matter to me with people that share the same passions. Not only that, but being able to verbally spar with those that are up to the challenge. Now, having said that, I am a little disapointed at the level of understanding of US foreign policy and an understanding of the facts about Iraq. There is so much misinformation out there about Iraq that people who wish only to confirm their bias have no trouble finding that confirmation. That is just as obvious in academia as it is on the evening news.

The most glaring example is a professor of mine trying to pass off the 2002 version of the National Security Stratagy as the current version (2006). What is more, he is fine with that even after I asked him about it. You see, the 2002 version confirms his research theory (read: bias) and the 2006 does not. Oh well, I came here to learn -not to teach.

Finally, I have a job interview in January before I come back to Dublin...wish me luck.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Halo 3, a life altering experience.

Nerd, Geek, pathetic, sad...whatever you want to call me I don't care. I love sci fi. What is more, I LOVE Halo. The only reason I bought an xbox two years ago was to play the game. So that means I spent $200 on one game. I will spend close to $500 to do the same thing when Halo 3 comes out. I would probably spend $600 and not blink an eye.

I have read all four back-story books. I read the last one that came out recently in three sittings. I own the graphic novel. I am invested. I quite often visit the "Halo Universe." What great escapism.

Halo 3 Trailer

Halo TV Commerical

and...Halo Wars

Thursday, December 14, 2006

WARNING...these songs will rip your heart in two.

Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Ricky Scaggs

Go Rest High On That Mountain

George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

Alison Krauss and Union Station "When You Say Nothing At All"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On a bender for the next three days...and womens rugby!

I leave for the states on Sunday...until then I will be pretty knackered, pissed, drunk, in tatters, wasted, etc.

Tonight we have a party thrown by the folks in International Relations.

Tomorrow, two parties. One is thrown by my guys in International Sec. and Conflict Resolution, the other by the Globalization folks.

Friday the French girls are throwing a party.


Today I watched a women's rugby match. Impressive. Rugby is rather addictive. I challenge anyone to watch a match and turn the TV. I love it. I also don't know any of the damn rules. I have no clue why they stop and start games. Penalties, scoring scheme...nothing. There is lots of hitting. It is like a well choreographed mugging!

If a mugger and a ballet dancer had a kid...he/she would play rugby.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Classmates and Teammates

First, here are a few pics of the football team I play and coach for. The DCU Saints!

And here are some of my friends bolting for the door as soon as class is over.

My view of the Hate America First crowd is best expressed by our 26th President

Saturday, December 09, 2006 (originally post to my MySpace page)

My view of the Hate America First crowd is best expressed by our 26th President

"Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as a cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty...A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities - all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves intheir own weakness...

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
"The Man In The Arena"
Speech at the Sorbonne
Paris, France April 23, 1910

My Photography Pages

I am a freelance, amature, guy with camera. I love feedback about my photos.

You can visit my old blog at my MySpace page.

There will be occasional blogs on myspace that do not get posted here. So swing by from time to time.

And for the hardcore. Here is an old blog I had forgotten about that I found... 4 years later!!! I googled myself and found this! It is kind of embarassing. Lost loves, pining away for some girl, photography, misadventures...the whole thing.