Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Khaled Abu Toameh @ SJSU

Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh spoke moments ago in MLK Library.

An Arab Muslim living in Jerusalem, "suffering from a crisis of identity, like most of us over there," Toameh now writes for the Jerusalem Post.

Toameh spoke about creating stability between the Palestinian and the Israeli government, speaking critically about both government’s handling of security.

“Arafat wanted to divert anger towards Israel [during the 2000 intifada],” Toameh said. “He was a disaster for the Palestinian government, as well as for the Palestinian people.”

Toameh was also critical of the US, for giving the PLO arms to defeat Hamas. “In those days,” said Toameh, referring to the elections in Palestine in which Hamas gained significant power. “Even I would have voted for Hamas; they were about internal reform.”

Toameh said that all sides in the conflict have made mistakes and been at fault, but that recognizing the Unity government in Palestine today is the wrong approach to achieving peace.

“By recognizing this Unity government today,” said Toameh, “we are now giving power to radical, fundamental Islam.”

“There should be no dialogue with radical Islam, according to Toameh. “If I were the US, I would find moderate Muslims to talk to.”

Toameh said that there is still hope for peace in the Middle East. “I still believe there is a majority on the Muslim side, and on the Israeli side, that just want to live… I am not a lone voice in the desert.”

"There must be international pressure to change things," said Toameh, "but things can change."

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Fee hikes at SJSU

There's a great article in today's Spartan Daily about the new renovation proposed for the Student Union, along with a rather large $240 fee that students are going to be paying shortly.

Whether you're for or against the proposal, the increase may have dramatic effects on the student body. Those already struggling to hold down jobs and attend the University may be forced to increase their workload while decreasing their units.

And while the proposed facelift for the SU may have the consequence of attracting higher income full-time students, it may also shut the doors of opportunity in the face of many lower income students in the San Jose area.

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Diversity Video

Bob Rucker has asked me to help set up a website for his Diversity and the Media class. Here's just one of a couple videos that I've created to promote the site (and no, it hasn't been created yet, so these are just teasers).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ze Frank is a Genius

Zonk! Zort! Zula! Are the new readers gone?

Congrats to Ze Frank, who's wrapping up his yearlong show this week, which has drawn praise from across the vlogosphere.

Giant babies and stinky nipples aside, Ze's content has always been timely and fresh. Check out this week's episodes here. Sports Racers everywhere are going crazy.

Good luck to Ze in his next endeavors. I'll be watching.

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Robotics Clubs Meet for Competition at SJSU

Who said, "Geeks are anti-social?" Here's some raw footage from the Robotics Competition being held on campus today. Oh ya, and an alligator about to eat a police officer...

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CFA Votes on Whether to Strike

Over 500 teachers voted today on whether or not the CFA should strike throughout the CSU system, according to Kelly Harrison, an SJSU professor of English, working the voting booth near the Student Union today.
"I would like the pay increase that the chancellor gets," said Harrison, when asked how much of a pay increase would persuade her to not strike. "I think what the Union has asked for is fair."

Harrison said that SJSU is losing teachers to low wages and a high cost of living relative to other states, a sentiment echoed by other teachers in recent weeks.
Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, a professor of Sociology at SJSU, said he would also strike if this week's vote backed such a proposal. "It will affect every department," Myers said.

Check out the CFA's take on the situation here.
The CSU press release from March 8th can be found here.
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SJSU Wireless is Sluggish

Logging on takes forever, and so does surfing. I'm sitting right next to one the the routers in Dwight Bentel Hall, and the bandwidth is still meager at best. I've been told by a few people in the administration that this is partially due to the authentication process for students.

Does this mean that the University thinks that the real threat is the student body?

FURTHER READING: There hasn't been much published about the campus networks, but here's a couple of past articles I found in the Spartan Daily archives. (1) (2)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dust Gathering On Some SJSU Blogs

It's getting warm (global warming theories aside), and students are beginning to do their annual mental vacation. This is no less true for bloggers, apparently. A technorati search of SJSU tags will atest to this.

Students are blogging less, and the blogosphere is again being overcome by other voices.

A CHALLENGE TO ALL SJSU BLOGGERS: Try to post at least one post EVERY OTHER DAY during the work week, and link it to a local blogger you dig. I'll start it off here with this link to a post from Kyle Hansen's blog about student fee increases at SJSU. I hope this gets a conversation started. The CSU system is in desperate need of student voices.

Or, if you're REALLY tired of the real world and just need a getaway, try going to the SJSU campus in Second Life.

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Silence is Complacency

Last night, Paul Rusesabagina, known for his efforts in saving over 1,200 Tutsis while general manager of a hotel during the Rwandan genocide, spoke at SJSU's Morris Daily Auditorium. Rusesabagina, who was depicted by Don Cheadle in the award winning film, Hotel Rwanda, sheltered the Tutsis for over 100 days in 1992, before fleeing to Belgium with his wife and family.

His message for the night: ordinary men must do the right thing. On his heroism, Rusesabagina said, "I never decided to take the risk, someone else, maybe God, made the decision for me... what I did was our duty and our obligation." His humbling remarks speak to the weight of the lessons he teaches.

"'Never again' are the two most abused words I hear today," said Rusesabagina, responding to those who decry the barbarism of the Holocaust but do nothing to stop atrocities like those being committed in Dafur. "It is happening again today."

The speech was pointed and insightful. On the topic of US and western foreign policy, he said, "observing gets a higher salary," adding, "behind every African dictatorship is a Western superpower."

"Silence is complacency," he said. "Today is the day to stand up."

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Newspapers Should Take Points from Green Movement

Reading this article today, I was struck by the impressive resurgence of the Green Movement in the past two years. It got me to thinking about how the movement has evolved from the 70's, gaining momentum and credibility.

A simple search on Google is an eye-opener. Hug someone, veg out, stuff yourself silly, build a community, and participate - darn; newspapers (and politicians) could learn a thing or two.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

SJSU Tennis has a Sense of Humor

French hippos... need I say more. The website for SJSU tennis may be down right now, but I'm still happy.

Check this site out while the video's still up.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bob Rucker Speaks on Walkout to Class

Up front: I have a lot of respect for Bob Rucker, my Diversity in the Media teacher at SJSU.

Today, I asked him what his opinions were on the purposed CFA strikes. He responded to my inquiry by saying that he found it disturbing that administration officials can garnish wage increases as high as 40% while teachers, "that do the heavy lifting", cannot get a 6% increase in wages.

Rucker went on to say that it is getting hard to make a living at SJSU, and if wages to not rise, that it would, "become difficult for the University to keep teachers" such as him.

Before moving on with the rest of the class session, Rucker added that he had never personally been involved in a strike, and that if the vote came back in favor of striking, that he would go along with the CFA and walkout.

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Teacher Strike Looms Over SJSU

Steve Sloan posted the text of an email today from the California Faculty Association. The CFA is calling for a vote on whether or not to strike.

This is big news for the whole CSU system, and would mean thousands of students would lose out on schooling, while the CSU system would lose out on an untold amount of money.

A journalism student at CSULB, Armando, posted more about the voting here.

Check out the CFA's headlines for more info here.

Or check out the official CSU press release in response to the strike vote.

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STEM meeting today; WE GOT RECOGNIZED!

I just wanted to let everyone know that there will be a STEM meeting today at 4:30 PM in the Academic Success Center. Our room has been moved today because of a conflict in the scheduling. Instead of our normal room, we'll be meeting in a room just adjacent to 116. I'll be there early to show everyone where to go.

P.S. Some good news about the club - Jess told yesterday that she received a letter from the University, saying that STEM has been officially recognized by SJSU. Now that's cool.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Coming Back from the Flu; Vlogging, and JMC163

I'm finally back to blogging and school after a week off with a nasty case of the flu. Thanks to my teachers for being understanding.

Tonight I'll be speaking at Steve Sloan's JMC163 at 6:00PM, with an intro into vlogging and video-editing. Fun stuff, and even more fun when lots of other people you know are doing it too.

ASIDE: This is the reason I haven't had cable TV for the last year. Aren't all the networks online now anyways? Minus, of course, Fox. (24!)

I've been hearing good things about the class, as a few of Steve's students have also attended STEM meetings. (There's another meeting tomorrow at 4:30, Academic Success Center, Room 116...FYI)

Well, that's enough for excuses and blatant plugs - here's some current events.

The Spartan Daily had this article today about the use of podcasting in classes at SJSU.

The political end of blogosphere is going CRAZY over the result of the Libby trial.

And Wikipedia may be in the mist of a drastic change of policy. Why is this important? Because, like it or not, Wikipedia has become a major media gatekeeper - people read Wikinews, study from Wikipedia, and more and more, live in a Wikiverse.

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