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Bernie Goldbach's Journal Blog

Thursday, March 20, 2003

9:59PM - The Arrogance of Power

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, spoke on "The Arrogance of Power."

We flaunt our superpoower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split. After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

8:41AM - A different kind of French kiss

Dave Barry writes about Franco-American relations in The Miami Herald

Relations are at an all-time low. The French view us as a bunch of fat, simplistic, SUV-driving, gum-chewing, gun-shooting, mall-dwelling, John Wayne cowboys who put ketchup on everything we eat, including breath mints. Whereas we view the French as a bunch of snotty, hygiene-impaired, pseudo-intellectual, snail-slurping weenies whose sole military accomplishment in the past 100 years was inventing the tasseled combat boot.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

7:38PM - Bush doctrine alienating many in Ireland

Iraq is the first instance in which the Bush doctrine is being applied and it incites anger in most Irish citizens.

The Bush doctrine is built on two pillars: first, the US will do everything in its power to maintain unquestioned military supremacy; second, it arrogates the right to pre-emptive action.

The Bush Doctrine is grounded in the belief that international relations are relations of power. This belief is not entirely false but it exaggerates one aspect of reality˜military power˜at the exclusion of others. This does not sit well with most Irish.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

6:49PM - Island Fever

Snowed inAlthough it is great to be inside where it's nice and warm--next to the fire making s'mores with the family that I haven't seen for up to ten years--I'm begining to get a little antsy. You see, it has been snowing 20 hours straight. I am in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (in the United States), and we are in the middle of a snow storm. It took the death of my beloved Grandpa to bring the family together after so long. (When friends hear I'm here for a funeral, they say sorry, but really, the Goldbach family is so optimistic, that really, this is more like an uplifting family reunion). The only problem is the snow. My small family of three is supposed to leave tomorrow, but the airports are closed. It's snowing 2-3 inches an HOUR, and we're up to 9 inches. By the end of Monday, we should be up to 20-28 inches! We are all stuck together, watching movies, eating munchies, but I find that I hate my cell phone more each minute. My cell phone has absolute shitty reception everywhere. None of my Flagstaff friends and teachers know I am going to miss even more school, and with a crappy cell phone--looks like they won't know until I come home. I'm trapped...at least with the family...hope all is well where you are!

Posted by Misty

Current mood: anxious

4:18PM - Misty and Kitty Snowbunnies

There's nothing colder in Pennsylvania than an icicle booger. Misty spotted one on the nose of a bugle player and you have to wonder what happens to it when it melts.

Saturday, February 8, 2003


The most productive thing I could do every day is to set aside 90 minutes to read the overnight feed from my Newzcrawler and Radio News Aggregators.

[Posted by Bernie]

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

5:05AM - Colorspeak

Suggested name: "sad eyes"

I chose this color because it's the color of my ex-boyfriend's eyes... I miss him


Current mood: awake

Monday, February 3, 2003


Jimmy Demaret. "Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at."

Sunday, February 2, 2003


"There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence." - Jeremy S. Anderson

Saturday, February 1, 2003


Win the Lover's Guide Video by Emily Dubberley. Get it on DVD. The question is hysterical.

Sunday, January 26, 2003


Only Jon Hanna separates me from Gaddo Benedetti. Google knows all.

Current mood: anxious

9:32AM - Most Challenged Books in America

Here are the books most likely to be challenged off the shelves of school libraries in the USA. Freedom received a total of 515 reports of challenges last year, a 15 percent increase since 2001. The books, in order of most frequently challenged are:

  1. Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, for its focus on wizardry and magic.
  2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, for being sexually explicit, using offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
  3. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier (the "Most Challenged" book of 1998), for using offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
  4. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, for sexual content, racism, offensive language, violence and being unsuited to age group.
  5. "Taming the Star Runner" by S.E. Hinton, for offensive language.
  6. "Captain Underpants" by Dav Pilkey, for insensitivity and being unsuited to age group, as well as encouraging children to disobey authority.
  7. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, for racism, insensitivity and offensive language.
  8. "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson, for offensive language, sexual content and Occult/Satanism.
  9. "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor, for insensitivity, racism and offensive language.
  10. "Julie of the Wolves" by Julie Craighead George, for sexual content, offensive language, violence and being unsuited to age group.

[The ResourceShelf and Jenny Levine]

Friday, January 24, 2003

11:11AM - Get it out of my face.

There's way too much smoke in Irish public places. Smokers who want to bring their (anti)social act into the public realm should be just as accommodating to those who want to use public space for equally private acts. That's the point Professor John Allen makes.

"Everyone has the right to smoke cigarettes because ... everyone has a fundamental right to be stupid. However, an individual's right to be stupid is limited when he or she inflicts this stupidity on others. Smokers have every right to indulge their dirty little habits in the privacy of their own homes or the confines of their automobiles. But, I have the right not to have to breathe their foul effluvia. It has been conclusively demonstrated that second-hand smoke poses quantifiable health risks to non-smokers. Thus, local governments do have the right to ban smoking in public places because, among other responsibilities, local governments are charged with protecting public health. Based upon your line of reasoning, I suppose that you could argue that people should be allowed to masturbate in restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, public masturbation would probably still be prohibited by law due to health concerns even if 30 percent of the restaurant-going public, like smokers, claimed to enjoy the practice."

[John Allen: "Those who oppose smoking ban are dupes of tobacco industry" in Indiana Statesman]  [MyBlog]

Sunday, January 12, 2003

4:42AM - Which * Are You?

Dane Carlson wanted to find all the "Which * are you?" surveys and quizzes out there so he painstakingly assembled them in one place: here.
Posted by Bernie

Saturday, January 11, 2003

3:04PM - Relieved but not dismissed

The US Navy relieved the commander of the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier battle group because he had an "improper relationship" with a female naval officer.

Read Admiral Steven Kunkle was moved to another post because of a loss of confidence in his ability to command. Kunkle was temporarily reassigned as commander of US Naval Forces in Japan.

In similar cases, the officer dismissed from the military without benefits.

Friday, January 10, 2003

5:15PM - What the Army Knows about Urban Warfare

Here is a very interesting article on the lessons learned by the Russians in Grozny. Some interesting snippets:

The psychological impact of high intensity urban combat is so intense that you should maintain a large reserve that will allow you to rotate units in and out of combat. If you do this, you can preserve a unit for a fairly long time. If you don't, once it gets used up, it can't be rebuilt. According to a survey of over 1300 (Russian) troops, about 72% had some sort of psychological disorder (as a result of the fighting around Grozny). Almost 75% had an exaggerated startle response. About 28% had what was described as neurotic reactions, and almost 10% had acute emotional reactions.

Russian wounded and dead were hung upside down in windows of defended Chechen positions. Russians had to shoot at the bodies to engage the Chechens.

The Russians were surprised and embarrassed at the degree to which the Chechens exploited the use of cell phones, Motorola radios, improvised TV stations, light video cameras, and the Internet to win the information war.

Chechens weren't afraid of tanks and BMPs. They assigned groups of RPG gunners to fire volleys at the lead and trail vehicles. Once they were destroyed, the others were picked off one-by-one.

Russians were not surprised by the ferocity and brutality of the Chechens, but they were surprised by the sophistication of the Chechen use of booby traps and mines. Chechens mined and boobytrapped everything, showing excellent insight into the actions and reactions of the average Russian soldier. Mine and boobytrap awareness was hard to maintain.


Current mood: blah

Thursday, January 9, 2003

3:47PM - Emily Dubberley Interviews Her Mum

DUBBERLEY -- I was going to call my mom today but something in Emily Dubberley's blog about moms and casual sex gave me pause.


Wednesday, January 8, 2003

2:43PM - Ultimate Luxury Travel

A tour operator, Jeffersons is offering a selection of two-night breaks around Europe, traveling by private jet and staying in luxury hotel suites, from €3000 per person. I would rather spend that kind of money on a private traveling experience instead of a weeding reception.

Current mood: bouncy

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

8:31AM - Don't Judge on Personal Lives

I have several "Great Books" about famous people and through them I discover interesting things. For instance, Hitler was a vegetarian. He didn't drink or smoke. He had a long-term relationship with a woman that he married. And he killed six million Jews.

Winston Churchill drank, smoked, and was a womanizer.

You shouldn't judge leaders by their personal lives.

Current mood: awake

Monday, January 6, 2003

5:05PM - The Smell of Castration

I have a 4-yr old male Pomeranian who is lying in a haze beside my feet, after having returned from being snipped at the Abbeyside Veterinary Hospital. Doggie (his real name) now cohabitates with Holly, a Samoyed-Spaniel that we adopted from the Inistioge Puppy Rescue. Doggie was being too much of an Alpha Male with Holly so the vet advised castration. Six hours after the operation, the smells of the procedure still linger on his long hair. Inside the closed confines of my study, it's the smell of castration that may linger until I can open the windows to the cold freezing wind outside.

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