Monthly Archives: September 2007

Domestic Spying: Don’t Email Me

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At the recommendation of Rewrite, two nights ago I listened to a podcast of the Bill Moyer’s Journal on domestic surveillance and wiretapping. With the renewal of the FISA Act’s domestic surveillance policies by Congress, the White House continues to have carte blanche to intercept all email correspondence, listen into phone calls, etc. of US citizens when communicating abroad. And this can all be done without a warrant (essentially a warrantless search against what is proscribed by the US Constitution and its jurisprudence). In other words, if you are US citizen and want to send me an email or call me on the phone and you don’t think the government should be listening, then don’t contact me.

Not only would these communications apply to emailing me, but would also include the following: Continue reading

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Fatal Error, Grave Error

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It was looking like start of a promising weekend, but then on Friday night, my computer shut itself down with a “fatal error” message. That meant that my +40G of music (now around 10,000 songs) was in limbo. I have a 100G external hard drive that I use as a backup, but when I got my computer up and running again and tried to update my backup with new music, my computer crashed again.

Then on Saturday morning, my landlord showed up early to install a new hot water heater. From the way he put it, it would only take a few hours and I would probably have to spend one day without hot water. I might not be much of a handy man, but I am smart enough to know my limits. Seventy-two hours later with gaping holes in my kitchen ceiling, I still don’t have hot water. At least, I got to share my weekend with my landlord. Continue reading

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¡Cumpleaños Madrid!

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Today is my seventh anniversary in Madrid. Yep, I moved here exactly seven years ago in Y2000. Strange how time flies by and how so much changes without you realizing it. For example, I have never lived in the Bush Administration USA. My country has changed plenty while I have been away, and so has my host country.

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European Anti-Semitism or Stupid Ignorance

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It’s election season in Morocco, and one of the candidates for Parliment is Maguy Kakon, a Jewish Moroccan who identifies first as Moroccan and secondly Jewish. The other day I was reading a post in Martin’s blog about how the Spanish newspaper El Mundo referred to Kakon as being of “Israeli faith”.

Wow! That’s a new one for me. I didn’t know that Israel was a faith or that all Jews were inherently Israeli. Obviously not all Israelis are Jewish (Jews make up about 75% of Israel and the rest are Muslim and Christian Arabs), and not all Arabs in Arab countries are Muslim. Continue reading

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The Politics of Blind Hatred

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I just read this interesting article by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, about the inherent falsehoods of Islamofascism. Definitely worthwhile reading. Continue reading

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Distant Thunder

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This morning I woke to the sound of distant thunder. I was startled and couldn’t tell where I was. I was so disoriented that I couldn’t even figure out who I was. This was due in fact to two aggravating factors. First, it was the first time that I had really slept since Saturday evening (and this was Wednesday morning). I left from DC on Sunday night and arrived in Madrid on Monday morning, getting my sleepy ass to work. Needless to say, I was suffering from jet lag and wasn’t able to sleep more than two hours until last night (Tuesday) when I finally got a full night’s rest. It was wonderful. At least until I was confronted by a sound that I hadn’t heard in a long time. Continue reading

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Time to Change

I just caught myself singing the song “Time to Change” from the Brady Bunch episode when those fun loving Brady kids form a group and sing just as Peter’s voice is changing. I can’t believe that this song could pop in my head. The episode is from 1972, but I probably saw it only a handful of times in the latter part of the 70s. The song was probably never played on the radio, and I only heard it when watching the Brady Bunch re-runs. It’s funny how music can pop into your head at any time from such distant places and times — especially when that music was so very low in quality or importance in my life.

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No Espeak English

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These are great ads by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo for its new English lesson supplements. The ads ask what these former (and present) Spanish presidents all had in common — the disadvantage of not speaking English (hence, the headphones). We’re still waiting for an audio version of the ad with Aznar lecturing in English at Georgetown University. Aznar speaks English almost as well as Miss South Carolina.

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Step Inside This Room

One of thing that I achieved while home was to clean my room. My room was filled with almost everything that I have ever owned and kept since I was born, including clothes, books, letters, and banks statements for all of the nineties.

In this video to Lyle Lovett’s “Step Inside This House” (from the album of the same name), I try to show the general mess and then the results of the cleaning. I threw out about five large American sized trash bags worth of papers and other garbage (including my 1990 30 pound Zenith laptop). I also found my baby blanket (or what’s left of it) and my first teddy bear (“Baby Bear”) that is probably as old as I am. I thought the process would be more nostalgic, but strangely it was not. Continue reading

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Zizou Revisited

Just found this Zidane highlight video and thought I would revisit Zizou. The image quality isn’t great here, but you get to see some of the reasons why Zidane was such a pleasure to watch. As a matter of fact, I saw some of this footage live at the Bernabéu.

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