Saturday, May 28, 2005

Front opinion: Newsweek and anonymous sources

My last commentary for this quarter in The Western Front is up online. The angle I took on the Newsweek lunicy is hardly my only thoughts on the issue--it's probably one aspect of the issue with which many liberals might agree: mainstream media needs to stop using anonymous sources as a staple.

Give it a read, for what it's worth.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Friday, May 27, 2005

The way things ought to be...

In a conversation just a minute ago with one of the department staff, she asked me how the internship happened to turn out. I sat back and laughed--she rightly gave a look of worry...

I told her I was genuinely amused though, having gone up against the rock star of the journalism department and (duh) lost. She was surprised--she had thought Matt was going to use his scholarship on a bigger newspaper. I just nodded as she shrugged and said "Things turn out the way they are supposed to be." I nodded and told her I was a big believer in that. Just between you and me, I'm probably a bigger believer in that statement than she even realized.

So how are things supposed to be this summer? A job? Naturally, that's the first move. There have already been a few ideas that have sprung into my lap. There is one other option, though, that I am considering: Summer quarter as an editor for The Western Front...

It's a weekly paper over the summer, which got me thinking about what day they publish. So far, I've gotten three different stories--my reason for wanting to know is so I can tell whether there would be a conflict like there has been in the past: spending Sunday afternoon and evening at the office is not easy on my conscience. Even if an editor's spot is out of the question, I might consider applying as the columnist. What could be a better: finishing up on the Front by writing a weekly column on WHATEVER I WANT! Now that could be fun!

Just a few things I'm thinking about. Here's another thing:

I'm facing a long weekend. What's worse than that? (ok, what was the question?)... Well, everyone says a long weekend is for relaxing. For my part, I don't see how that could be the case, with most of my finals and final work due next week! Who is going to relax with that kind of shadow over the head?

Ok...probably me and a thousand other students, but that's just the problem. There's no way I will be able to truly relax with that over my head. It's just not gonna happen.

Let me never take the mantra "Things turn out the way they are supposed to be" as license for sloth.

The slothful man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man's precious possession.

Proverbs 12:27

Thursday, May 26, 2005

'World's greatest spamfest'

Check out the latest from the IndyMedia crowd. There's a new devision open in Bellingham and I know they've started holding "workshops" from what some of my liberal friends have told me.

Joel from Western Unraveled came across a new protest they are sponsoring next week... Crazy stuff; makes me laugh!

The event is a completely online protest, by email. The goal is to encourage people to email hundreds of media news desks and politicians requesting Bush's removal and investigation.

It seems almost laughable to me. I hate to break it to you, but swamping the media with email is probably not the protest wave of the future. In fact, I would venture the guess that thousands of emails in one day about removing Bush from office will probably not help the cause even with those who oppose Bush. Rather, it will make the recipients mad. I know at least for myself, getting hundreds of emails in one day with the same old info I've heard hundreds of times could get really frustrating...

...I guess, I think the event is silly, but I'm interested to see if and how the media responds to the massive influx of spam...

...the event seems to be run by the "Independent Media Center" who apparently just opened a branch here in Bellingham. After searching online I found a copy of the flier ... but with a different title here.

Oh, and I just found the one for Bellingham here.

Crossposted at Head West, Turn Right

Monday, May 23, 2005

A little color

Just think...for the first time I'm using the compose tool on blogger dot com. I don't think it's really needed actually...I usually get pretty weirded out when other bloggers can't seem to leave it alone...

It's like the only creativity they can muster is to change the color of the text to something completely unreadable, or corny, or rediculous, or outlandish...

And what was it they were trying to SAY? Who knows--it's all been lost in the
(color) sceme of things.


(regaining composure)

I've tried to limit such outbursts, but sometimes they just happen. Fear not, sanity still reigns here.

Disclaimer: the above pseudo-commentary does not constitute more than a fulfillment of my need to write something off-topic. I do not really judge other people by their blog style. thankyou bye

Dave Johnson is back

How appropriate as the major trial in Chelan County starts today...

That's right: Pollster, political analyst, and CEO David Johnson, who was previously scheduled to speak at Western in April but had to cancel due to food poisoning, will be giving his interpretation of the events surrounding november's gubenatorial election. He will be giving a lecture and answering your questions on the recent governor's race.

Unfortunately, the event will be at 6pm in Miller Hall 104 tonight. Since the college republicans got a grant from the school to fly him out here and he's paying for his hotel and transportation instead of being at this major book show in New York, I think it's important that we get as many people as possible to show up.

Don't sweat it though...I know it's pretty late notice.

Read about it at the ever changing Western Washington Unraveled

Running toward...something

I finally called the Tribune back today... It seems my early interest, or locality didn't help me when up against the likes of Matt Anderson. I'm sure they're needs will be served quite well, rock-star reporter that he is! Actually, by the time he is finished at the Tribune, I'm sure he will have taken reporting on that paper to a higher standard--he's that good. All the best to him.

Now about my summer internship, which just blew up in my face....

I suppose I'll just have to start job hunting again. True it wasn't wise to put all my eggs in the Tribune basket, but the alternatives were pretty sparse. My mistake for not going for the Herald at the same time (as was my original intention). So the short answer to the pickle in which I find myself: don't panic, keep trusting.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Front opinion: McConnell v. Le Moyne college

Today's issue of The Western Front has my latest commentary on Scott McConnell, his expulsion from Le Moyne and his subsequent $20 million lawsuit against the college.

The article titled "College should allow all viewpoints" is not intended to justify McConnell's lawsuit--indeed, I think it is excessive. True, I think he probably didn't deserve to be expelled, but I fail to see where $20 million should play a role in rectifying the problem. While Le Moyne is a private, Jesuit college with the right to dismiss whoever they want, they are looking ever so hypocritical by pretending to be inclusive and then kicking someone out at the first sign of anti-PC. If they are discriminatory about what they allow students to believe on something as simple as classroom discipline, they should just say that and be done with it. I go, saying what I could have said in the article.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Friday, May 20, 2005

Unraveled template

Check out Western Unraveled and let me know what you think of the new layout. I finally accomplished my preliminary goal of adding another sidebar after some vicious trial and error last night. Mostly, I do it by checking other comparable blogger sites...then seeing what they've done with their code...last night I went way beyond that in trying to get to a point where I didn't mind publishing. There’re still one or two glitches that keep popping up but that's life.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Affirmative action action

Ok, so the real exciting part was meeting Dinesh and having him sign my copy of "What's So Great About America."

Image hosted by

I must say, being taller than him was like having my cake an eating it too.

The debate with Tim Wise was great. Too bad Mr. Wise's biggest points were only backed up with eye-rolling, crude language and assenting jeers from the crowd instead of real facts and reason. Joshua (my friend with whom I will travel to DC next month) showed up and I ended up sitting with him on one side and Tony Russo and Alanna Ahern--two prominent liberal AS board members (Russo is on the way out thankfully). Oh the irony: they only know me as a reporter, so I felt a little compelled to stay my enthusiasm for some of Mr. D'Souza's zingers.

Tonight was the ultimate expose of liberal political correctness on campus... Gasps whenever Dinesh would say something out of the ordinary like, "the founders weren't racists." ... You get the point. I, having already read many of his arguments, was glad enough to see what the real reaction is when they are employed.

Now I am forewarned.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Calvin College cracked

This from The Washington Times:

College ad to protest Bush visit

I have to take special issue with this because I'm of the Reformed faith myself. I've heard horror stories out of Calvin for a while now but this is the most specific thing I have seen in a while and I just feel like shaking my head.

One-third of the professors at an evangelical Christian college in Grand Rapids, Mich., are taking out a large ad in a local newspaper Saturday to protest President Bush's commencement speech.
"As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort," the ad will say. "We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq."
Pseudo-augustinian scholars pretending to be political authorities. If you think that's cracked, there's more...

"No single political position should be identified with God's will," says the ad, which also chastises the president for "actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor."
Christians are to be characterized by love and gentleness, it adds, but "we believe that your administration has fostered intolerance and divisiveness and has often failed to listen to those with whom it disagrees."
More blanket statements that wreak of slobbering liberal, government-worshiping theology. And it gets better...

Moreover, says the letter, set to run in the Grand Rapids Press, the Bush administration's environmental policies "have harmed creation," and it asks the president "to re-examine your policies in light of our God-given duty to pursue justice with mercy."
This is just funny. They may be trying to be good little liberals but they are sure doing a pathetic job of it. They are speaking in past tense, as if the environment has been damaged somehow because we rejected Kyoto and the senate passed the needed permission to drill in the frozen tundra.

Ok, so it's just more of the same. I shouldn't really care but the fact is, many of the people who are in my church used to be in the Christian Reformed Church. Now you know why they aren't anymore.

Dinesh is comin' to town!

I really hope I don't have to stay at the Western Front office so late that I can't attend the affirmative action debate. One of my favorate authors, Dinesh D'Souza will be debating Tim Wise (no, I haven't heard of him) at 7 p.m. and I don't want to miss it. If you happen to be in the area here's the details:

Debate on racism with Dinesh D'Souza & Tim Wise
Hosted by The Civil Controversy Series

Time and Place:
Date: Wednesday, May 18
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room
Western Washington University
516 High Street, Bellingham

Contact Info:
Phone: 360.650.2526

Dinesh is the author I have referenced several times in verious posts, including this one and this one.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The logical choice

Finally a quiz that was really good.

I Am Incredibly Logical

(I got 75% of the questions right)

Move over Spock - I'm the new master of logic

I think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, my mind is like a computer!

Ok...I hope you will forgive me for changing the text to first person. I really shouldn't be too egotistical about anything because someone is going to come along and get a better score--be warned, though, mine was achieved on the FIRST try. I reserve the right to cry foul if I suspect someone of cheating (anyone who beats my score, that is).

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Now to Him...

...who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
I read this text the other day at a moment when I couldn't have needed it more. It was a moment where every single word was fresh and clean and cut right to the chase. A more typical scenerio is when one line of one verse really takes you by suprise... Not this time. Every single line was enough to make me stop and rest my amazed eyes.

This passage came up Sunday evening briefly as pastor talked about the typical way most of the epistles end. Then to sit down and read it after having my face rubbed hard, as it were, into the mud of my stumblings and faults--there's nothing quite like it. to get this article through copy.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Gonna blow this town!

How does this sound?

I've been offered a trip to Washington D.C. in order to attend the national Eagle Forum Collegian Summit on June 9-10. I was unsure if I'd be able to make it at first because of finals but as it turns out, I think my last final is two days before the trip!

Didn't think I'd have any more chances to go anywhere before I graduate. I guess I was wrong.

For those who are wondering, the directors of Washington Eagle Forum are here in Lynden. A big thank-you to Luanne for the offer!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

An inspiration

Something I have neglected to mention since my post on the Fairhaven building...

As I was walking away from the Fairhaven building, I was picturing in my mind's eye the difference of settings from that point on campus to some place like the library, which is one of the oldest buildings and has plenty of old-style university "presence" (something I love). While the library has a stately appearance, along with Old Main (the other old building), with lush grass, brick walkways and noble old oak trees in-between, Fairhaven is a brown drab wooden building, so completely hidden in the trees next to the parking lot that you can't even see it if you stand more than a few dozen feet outside the trees.

So, my thought, as I walked away from this habitat of trees and tree-hugging nannies, was that I really ought to do a little photographic storytelling--with myself as the main prop. This would entail a little time, work and, yes, an assistant. My vision may be a little difficult to explain, but my goal is not. I just want to demonstrate the striking difference between these two fine corners of campus.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It's official

The letter came at an odd moment.

At the moment, today's insanity is in the process of winding down. But this morning, I faced the prospect of finishing two pieces for the Front, and my first mid-term on top of that.

I was 15 minutes late into meeting of The Western Front and I made my way to the front of the class to turn in my two papers. As I was about to go back, John, the faculty adviser walked over and handed me a envelope--which was a little freaky at the time since my mind was so centered on the mid-term he was going to administer that afternoon.

I sat down and couldn't wait to open it. I remember going through the possibilities in my head at the time and concluding it would be one of two things since it was from the Journalism Department: either I had done something pretty bad and this was some kind of probation notice, or I was finally accepted into the department as a declared journalism major. I won't mince words and keep you on your toes: it was the later! Simply worded and to the point, it said a little congratulations and wished me the best.

I like reading something like that on a day like this.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Nursery tails

I've this odd fascination with the modern renditions of hippy thought.

There have been two occaisions during my time at Western when I have had the chance to walk around in the Fairhaven building on campus. It's a small (by comparison) isolated building, set into the trees on the southern-most tip of the campus. Walking around on the main floor is a euphoric experience as office after office displays verying degrees of lunatic expressions of anti-American passion. I don't know if anyone really knows what a cult is run in that building. One look at the upcoming activities on a bulletin board won't suffice to take it all in. The board demands five minutes of your time if you plan to take it all in from scratch.

Most of these activities are not published on campus and I can only assume that "fairhaven" students are the primary audience and participants--hence my cult delineation.

On the other hand, if you stop to speak to the average student and pick their brain on an issue such as war, or gas prices (take your pick of any issue), stand back and be amazed at the level of raw passion that goes into blanket statements. I can't give my prime example at the moment because the quote will be used in a Front article--I can only hope there is enough sanity on campus that people will laugh when they read it.


The word that came to my mind after talking to the student was "nursery." Indeed, cult or nursery, both could describe the atmosphere of the place. People are friendly enough, so don't think it's scary or anything. Then again, I didn't walk into there with a suit and tie, handing out Halliburton business cards, did I?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Mid-terms madness

It's not really madness.

To be quite honest, although I was extremely discouraged earlier today regarding a major newspaper faux pas, I'm now reveling in beauty of God's grace--a frame of mind that should be more consistent, of course.

This week is mid-terms. It's going to be interesting, to say the least...