The Case Against War.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 19th, 2004 by byronkho

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020930&s=zunes

This is an old document, but it’s been proven correct on many points. It is still true that we have not found any links between Saddam and al-Qaeda (bin Laden, according to Humes, offered to raise a mujahedeen army to liberate Kuwait from Iraq). Containment has failed, no matter how much we try to make it appear so. Yes, Saddam is captured and everywhere broken, but how are American soldiers still getting attacked by bombs and missiles at every point, and the Green Zone isn’t as safe as it’s reputed to be? No WMD’s. No real need for inspectors now. But we have earned the distrust of the Arab world, and ever-increasing virulence in their messages of hate. I must include this next cited paragraph, as it is important. “If the United States can unilaterally claim the right to invade Iraq because of that country’s violation of Security Council resolutions, other Council members could logically also claim the right to invade states that are similarly in violation; for example, Russia could claim the right to invade Israel, France could claim the right to invade Turkey and Britain could claim the right to invade Morocco. The US insistence on the right to attack unilaterally could seriously undermine the principle of collective security and the authority of the UN and, in doing so, would open the door to international anarchy. International law is quite clear about when military force is allowed. In addition to the aforementioned case of UN Security Council authorization, the only other time that a member state is allowed to use armed force is described in Article 51, which states that it is permissible for “individual or collective self-defense” against “armed attack…until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.” If Iraq’s neighbors were attacked, any of these countries could call on the United States to help, pending a Security Council decision authorizing the use of force. Based on evidence that the Bush Administration has made public, there doesn’t appear to be anything close to sufficient legal grounds for the United States to convince the Security Council to approve the use of military force against Iraq in US self-defense.”

Documentaries

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16th, 2004 by byronkho

In the long documentary battle, the Right is being left far behind. All the recent documentaries are somewhat left-leaning. The Fog of War has Robert McNamara explaining the policies that led to the firebombing deaths of hundreds of thousands in Tokyo and in Dresden, and why his actions in war were (what he thought was) right. He seems like a nice man, but the implication is that he isn’t. Fahrenheit 9/11, naturally, is anti-Bush, anti-Republican, and a breadwinner for Michael Moore. The Hunting of the President depicts the Right’s attempts to stymy Clinton during his tenure; it’s supposed to be chilling in the way it depicts a giant collaboration to slow all political activity in Wahington (all Dem activity of course)… but then again, the Democrats tried to do that to Bush too, with less success, due to inefficient attacks or not rising totally to the bait. And now, the penultimate “documentary” for the left campaign is Going Upriver: the Long War of John Kerry. There will be an October 1 theatrical release, with plenty of time left over for this to sway minds for the November elections. Any tricks and advantages the Bush campaign thinks it has right now, or that it can pull in October – you better make sure this movie gets canned. Points in its favor (or against it, depending on which way you lean) include the movie’s director: George Butler, a long time friend of Kerry. Mmhmmm. Documentary.

Orchestra, Debates.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10th, 2004 by byronkho

I guess first impressions really do matter. It got me my first random frosh moment of the month

Went to the orchestra last night. But not really – we got there, and the student tickets were sold out. Instead, we went out to eat. Waited an hour to be served, made awkward conversation, but got into the swing of things later. Brandon seemed a little stilted at first, as did Peter. But I find it’s just me being used to laid-back American as opposed to laid-back European (two entirely different things). Caroline organized the trip and brought Martin along. Now something happened last night. I still am not sure what it meant as a whole, and I somehow don’t want to ask. But… if it’s what I think it is, then it’s REALLY good for me. Meaning, I will have been 2 for 0 this weekend. And when homecoming comes around, I’ll be 3 for 0. Allll riiiiiiight! Giggity giggity…. ah, I’ll give it a rest.

Watched the second debates. Happy to see that both Bush and Kerry are more comfortable in their roles. Kerry seemed much more passionate than usual, more like the average man,. Bush seemed more focused, and less stupid-sounding. I like the town hall format, because it gives a sense of informality to the proceedings that make it a little easier to see inside each candidate. Unlike the first debate, I didn’t grimace every five minutes and look at my watch wondering when it would be over. That, and I finished off some more of that stupid bottle of SoCo that always seems to have a little more, a little more. Damn!

Somebody slap me in the face, I really got to stop crushing. Like now. It’s so distracting.

Oh, I got so hustled last night too. So hustled.

Notable Quotables

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3rd, 2004 by byronkho

Palladio98: i dont have time to save the world, i want to save what i want to save on my own terms

Palladio98: fucking socialists

Palladio98: sorry, its my inner republican screaming to get out

nemesiscacronosa: holy cow

nemesiscacronosa: i hope i didn’t lose respect

Sefulus: but i’m becoming a bit of a celibate mofo

glitter612: i’m sad…it’s like i’ve been DISMISSED and replaced by her

bmk j a c k: who is lyne? she has suspiciously only commented on your articles, like so: “i think mjk is a super super person and she says the smartest things, and she must be the happiest person in the wide wide world because her name is full of melodies and joys and jappy sorority chick english major fun! love, mom.”

glitter612: bye :-)

Auto response from bmk j a c k: whats the story morning glory

glitter612
: BYE BYE BIRDIE!

ITScubed: yeah, my goodness they’re huge

bmk j a c k: yup

bmk j a c k: any bigger and they’d be too big

ITScubed: yeah true

ITScubed: she doesn’t look like she has the frame for it

ITScubed: highly unnatural almost

ITScubed: she’s a Jersey girl, who knows

bmk j a c k: i mean, if she can stand, then… it’s off to the races!

quimper4: pounding a nalgene

fine laughter: senior year is going to be the best disaster of my life, i imagine

marie m 117: philly is still kinda dirty

Halabushta:

ROLA,

I hope all is well! I have a question for you! Everyweek in the [W&M] paper we publish a “Beyond the ‘Burg” column and we pull a story from another campus paper from this wire service, U-wire. This week’s story was from your school paper and it was written by a Byron Kho – aren’t you friends with him? I know Penn is big, but I did a little googling! That’s so funny if it’s him.Hope your week is running smoothly!

Cara

FyreSingr1: yeah, it’s got good meaty texture.

FyreSingr1: balances out the fishiness.

JGracieT114: takes 3-5 people

JGracieT114: 1 tilts head back adn opens mouth

JGracieT114: 1 pours apple juice and a shot of vodka (or 1 on each)

JGracieT114: 1 squirts whipped cream adn sprinkles cinnamon (or 1 on each)

JGracieT114: first person closes mouth, swishes around, and swallows

bmk j a c k: oh that sounds very very nice

JGracieT114: it is!

JGracieT114: and fun

JGracieT114: leading to things like “Julia creamed my pants!”

bmk j a c k: i always thought sending happy bday facebook messages was kinda like cheating. like they told you about it when you went online, so you already “knew” it going in tho you didn’t actually know it before. it was kinda like reading that freshman girl’s name off her door before you “remembered” who she was, though you do remember hooking up with her the night before. but that’s a different story – the real story, the right now, is someone having a happy birthday that brooks no cheating, and is so real and right now that even crazy people like you yourself concede it’s happening (with her parents, in the wilds of new jersey. or the ghetto). it’s awesome. and it’s so right now. these messages brought to you by “best wishes on another year, but you’re still not twenty one…ha-HA!” with, of course, that obligatory snicker made famous by Nelson Muntz on everybody’s fave TV flick of the 90s, the simpsons.

Classes, People, DP!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2004 by byronkho

Like thousands of others across this nation, I sit here tonight to deliver a ceremonial rant on the state of the nation on the eve of the first great battle between the two contenders for the title of President of the United States. Without paying attention to the substance of their meaning, Kerry comes across as more well-spoken and forceful, while the incoherent mumblings and repeated enunciations of buzzwords from President Bush evoked a sense of confusion in the Republican camp. As a Kerry supporter, I do admit I have a definite bias in preference. I prefer Kerry’s message. I prefer to commit to bilateral talks with North Korea to limit their nuclear proliferation, and not with Bush’s multi-nation effort. I agree with the need for new blood to replenish our foreign ties, and not with Bush’s “usage” of diplomacy. I agree that entering the war in Iraq under the outlined pretenses was wrong, but now that we are there, that we should continue to support the soldiers who were there – if for nothing else, but to leave the country a little better than it was. However, the Republicans did score points somewhat passively in the debate by letting Kerry trip himself up. To the average viewer, Kerry’s pronouncements on Iraq during the debate are confusing and seem to echo Bush’s constant cries of “changing position.” But it is indelibly printed on all viewers that only one of the candidates emerged with his dignity more or less intact. I leave the rest to our future history.

I guess some updates are in order. I am taking a class with Kathleen Hall Jamieson now, on an introduction to Political Communication. By studying political ads, media biases and persuasion techniques and analysis during an election year, I hope to make myself a more knowledgeable, articulate and aware viewer. Perhpas the goal of Communications is to make the individual more aware of how there are constant attempts to manipulate him (or her). Like most people, I am content to be manipulated – but it is sure nice to know exactly how I am.

I don’t need to buy the books; Caroline has graciously provided me with all of them, and refused offers of investing (“think of it as both our books,” she says), and I feel incredibly guilty. Hopefully she reads this and becomes AWARE of this. Megumi, her roommate, is a Japanese exchange student who I’ve found to be a little clueless but ultimately really nice. Austin is a good guy – his dad or uncle or some relative was ambassador to Singapore and he apparently saw us when we performed at the Esplanades. His roommate (I forget his name) makes a ridiculous effort to be friendly, even to the point of re-introducing himself several times. Felicity is a great RA – really a Faculty Fellow who has a hilarious dog and has hilarious parties with her crepe-maker and cameo on the Michael Moore show and British oddities. Val, the VPUL, lives on our floor and is so generous with her laughter and her promises of secret hall hush money. I really felt like introducing some of these people. Seventh floor is actually pretty hot stuff.

I met a Bulgarian yesterday, by the name of Valentina. Apparently, she’s this crazy music lover that loves to listen to the piano and can sing pretty well. So instead of heading to coffee – I end up getting sidetracked and spending two hours playing ditties and trying to remember the second halves of all these random songs that we both knew only like two lines of lyrics for. It was great. There was also this other freshman – Carol – that works at Pod already. She gave me some chicken from Pod. I seemed to think it was all Japanese, but apparently it’s a little more pan-Asian than I thought. Oops.

I’m taking History 001 with Safley. He’s a funny guy, soaring into class with his ponytail and Oakleys and giving a tightly focused lecture on the Oikos, Roman slaves, Germanic invaders, the feodum relationship, during the two one-hour lectures we have every week. There’s this girl in the class that I facebooked her a while back thinking she was this other girl with the same last name. They looked a little similar, but not really. I messaged her later, apologizing for the mistake though God knows I should have kept my mouth shut, and there she is in class. No problem.

I’m jealous. Brenna’s heading on a trip to Ireland in November – and I really, really want to go. I had a little issue with her going alone and driving around County Cork with her past history. Thank goodness it’ll be too expensive as she’s still under 25, and it’s a pain in the ass to rent a car out before that age. So instead, she’ll do a lot of biking in the prisinte, rainy wilderness of Ireland. A little better, but I’m still worried. There, I said it.

Ooh, and we’re going on retreat this weekend. All the Old Men and the New Men get to powwow in the woods while it rains and we can do Never Have I Ever and sing crazy songs to the whirling wind out there in the boonies. We’re not eating at the Cock and Bull – which happens to be a block from where one of my friends live (yeah, Julie). Bastards are booked up and so we’re going somewhere else. And prices got raised to $75. Ugh. Neha’s going, which will be cool, and I get to chill with some of the other guys there. And if I’m correct, that certain somebody is NOT going. Yes! Too bad Assad ain’t around, it would have been a good time. Now there’s no one to double team with to ridicule Steve for his extreme age.

Restaurant Week has been so amazing. Last week I went to AOI and got so stuffed I could barely walk home. It was the all-you-can-eat and I had at least 50 points, though I think I ate much too quick. I should have done the frat-boy thing and ride it out slowly, trying to get past that golden apex of 70 points. I probably would have been carted home in a wheelbarrow. But that was only the appetizer to Restaurant Week. Entree came with dinner at Angelina’s on that freaking Tuesday when it rained so hard that everything drowned (almost) and my umbrella got broke and the wind then fixed it back. The place was decorated real nice – with red patterning all over the walls, Mona Lisa on the lamps, great big Renaissance painting hanging the wall, a good glass of wine and chicken and tiramisu that almost killed me, they were so good. And for $30, on the prix fixe menu. The tiramisu…. oh god. We were the last people (Sourabh, Julie, Paul, Jame and I) there at 11:30 and the rain was still pouring and we still got back in time for brownie bar at Becky’s place. Becky is this funny vegan who likes her tea and is not so good at baking. But I admire her efforts. She is good at making people interested in weird art, country music and getting their hair dyed. Dessert was early dinner at Patou tonight. This is a French place that looks small from the front, but the inside is really wonderfully decorated. Cafe style in the front with cushions and low tables, and in the back, more romantic table settings in an airy room with ceiling extremely high, and cloth set like sails around the walls. Almost like we were by the sea. I ordered the mussels with tomato and some sort of white wine (it was a good wine too, I could taste it); a lamb shank that fell off the bone, it was so tender; and a wonderful custard to finish it off. A good bottle of wine, while I listened to Melody discoursing on food and Steve shouting about politics and walking back to campus in the mid-dark and looking at old houses on Spruce St. and passing by the Kramer apartments and St. James Place, that little alley with beautiful houses in the English style that neither of them had seen before.

I like to think that what I write makes a difference… and I think it has. My stories are distributed across U-Wire, education networks, link sites (like Fark), technology websites, mentioned in a few blogs, criticized and complimented by students and praised by Penn administration. I don’t like writing a completely event-based story – I like filling in the big picture for everyone. That’s how a tip on electronic voting machines turns into an analysis of election reform across the country, a nanotech grant becomes an exposure on all of Penn nanotech, online auctions become national trend descriptors, a Cereal restaurant becomes a novel business plan to be studied, a quiet technology development becomes the university’s most important contribution, a Google IPO becomes a critique of the institution (subtly). Well-researched, that’s me. Hopefully well-written. Look for it at www.dailypennsylvanian.com, and let me know how it goes.