Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I first heard Buckley’s name as a freshman at William and Mary in the spring of 2001. I was sitting in the “Power and Informal Politics” freshman seminar taught by Professor James Bill, an expert on the Middle East. Bill was describing his appearance on Buckley’s Firing Line show where he debated the pros and cons of going to war with Iraq in 1991. He asked the class if any of us had ever heard of Buckley. I’m embarrassed to say that none of the fifteen students in the room, including myself, had. I soon found out who he was. That summer following my freshman year, I wrote a letter to Buckley. Not expecting a response, I was shocked when I received his reply in October 2001. A month after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the father of conservatism makes time to read what I’ve written and writes back. Amazing.
Reagan once said of Buckley: “You didn't just part the Red Sea. You rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism. And then, as if that were not enough, you gave the world something different, something, in its weariness, it desperately needed — the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.”
Monday, February 25, 2008
I'm reciting these figures from memory (no time to double check the article...you can use the link above and do that yourself), but some of the key facts are:
51% of Americans are Protestant
16% of Americans have no religious affiliation
20% of Men have no religious affiliation
13% of Women have no religious affiliation
25% of 18-29 year olds have no religious affiliation
50% of Hindus have a post-graduate degree
33% of Jewish people have a post-graduate degree
So interesting! I wish I had the master data set in SPSS. I could spend days drooling over stats!
I am such a nerd.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The Plastic Surgery residents I'm working with are pretty cool dudes. There is one weird thing about them, though. They love the Planet Unicorn videos. I had never heard of them before this rotation. The other day, one of them was like, "Dude, you've never seen Planet Unicorn!? What are you smoking?!" I'm like, "What's that, yo?" So he tells me that I've got to watch one of the videos when I get home. Because you're not a cool Plastic Surgery homeboy if you don't. Well, I've watched some of the videos...and. Uh. Well, see for yourself.
Later, party animals.
Friday, February 22, 2008
This is like the Twilight Zone. It has just come to my attention that Michelle Obama's senior thesis at Princeton has many similarities to my own. It involved surveys! She opened the thesis with this:
"My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second."
Wow. This was written in 1985. Fast forward 19 years to my thesis. I could have had a virtually identical intro, like this:
"My experiences at William and Mary have made me far more aware of my 'conservatism' than ever before. I have found that at William and Mary, no matter how conservative and open-minded some of my liberal professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with liberals at William and Mary, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be conservative first and a student second."
Mrs. Obama complains that Princeton's "Afro-American studies" program "[was] one of the smallest and most understaffed departments in the university."
Well at least she had an Afro-American studies program. I don't know any universities that have a Conservative Studies program. In many instances, I am the Conservative Studies program. Of One.
To read more about Mrs. Obama's thesis, go to:
I have to round on 8 patients tomorrow. Grrrr. Later, rockstars.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The word of the day is: "Delphic."
Let's use it in a sentence:
"Judging from complaints by her minions, Hillary Clinton considers it unfair that Barack Obama has been wafted close to the pinnacle of politics by an updraft from the continent-wide swoon of millions of Democrats and much of the media brought on by his Delphic utterances such as 'we are the change.'"
~George Will, Playing the 'Fair' Card, Washington Post, Thursday, February 21, 2008
1. of or relating to Delphi or to the oracles of Apollo at Delphi; "Delphic oracle"
2. obscurely prophetic; "Delphic pronouncements"; "an oracular message"
In other news, I spoke with a Surgery Fellow last week. We had a bizarre conversation that went something like this:
Surgery Fellow: "Enjoy 4th year [of medical school] while you can. I've looked back at pictures of myself then and I look at myself now. I was much happier then. Residency changes you. It turns you into a different person."
Me Thinking: Bummer, dude!
That's all for this time, we'll try to do better the next time. Goodnight, Canada!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So today was the first day of my Plastic Surgery: Wound Repair rotation. I quickly discovered that the rotation wasn't what I was expecting when one of the patients I saw this morning was asked these two questions (I am not making this up):
"What is your bra size? What do you want your bra size to be?"
OK, so I did get to see a good number of burn, wound, and cleft palet patients in clinic today. And most of the breast stuff was breast reconstruction following breast cancer chemo and mastectomy, so it was pretty legit. But still not what was advertised. I hope I get some sutering practice in, I am so rusty. :-P
Tomorrow I have to round on patients at 6:15 am, which means I'll have to get to the hospital at 5:45 to pre-round. Med students don't get parking and the bus doesnt' start running until 6am, so this means I'll have to start walking at about 5:20. Highly suboptimal!
Peace out, homies.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The DoG Street Journal had a number of articles on this:
“We need to reform the board of visitors…I want a better board of visitors,” said one student.
One of the students interviewed said he believes the only way for students’ voices to be heard is through continued radical protesting.
Deb Hill, Coach of the Women’s Volleyball Team said (why did the DoG Street Journal interview her, she’s the coach of the volleyball team, who really cares what she thinks), “I’m very upset now because…the Board of Visitors is teaching all of you students all the wrong lessons. The Board of Visitors is teaching you that if you have money, you can be a bully.”
In response to the protesting, the BoV will visit the campus next week.
Wow. This is all so funny. But I think the protestors are missing the big picture here. If they want to get worked up, they should be mad at Richmond, because they were the ones who put the screws to the BoV. About a week before Nichol resigned, new members of the BoV were told to go to Richmond to have a little chat with the politicians. After all, William and Mary is a public school, and a substantial portion of the public hasn’t been too pleased. According to one news story:
“The chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, Del. Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania, has asked members of the William and Mary board of visitors who are up for confirmation to report to Richmond this week for a talk. Cole revealed his request yesterday after Del. Timothy D. Hugo, R-Fairfax, said on the floor of the House that he was embarrassed for his alma mater, which he said is ‘becoming a joke.’ He said he hopes college President Gene R. Nichol does not seek another term.”
Read the rest of the story here:
Earth to protestors. Nobody cares what you say. You’re not being heard in Richmond. They don’t care about you. What they care about is William and Mary turning into a laughing stock by getting headlines on Drudge Report and elsewhere (see cartoon above) relating to the sex show and the Wren cross. I’m sorry the Women’s Volleyball coach has such bad feelings toward money. This is the real world. Money matters here. If you tick off the people who pay the bills (millionaire donors and the taxpayers of the state, who the politicians answer to) and can’t fork over the cash yourself, that matters plenty. That’s life. Accept it and grow up.
*Please forgive me for the redundant title.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The EX-President of William and Mary, Gene Nichol, is now officially toast. Is Hillary next?
That’s right, the former President of my old school resigned earlier today. It turns out that the man who thinks that a cross is more offensive than topless girls was not offered a contract renewal starting this July. So, instead of being a lame duck, Nichol made the best decision of his tenure by tendering his resignation. Hopefully, the new Presidential search committee will select a better candidate this time around than a pro-ACLU lawyer who lost a previous Democratic Primary run in Colorado. They certainly couldn’t do much worse. For those of you worried about Nichol, don’t. He will continue as a faculty member at William and Mary’s School of Law.
Nichol’s Resignation Made the News:
Read Nichol’s Statement Here:
In political news, could Hillary really be toast? Obama’s won something like 16 of the last 24 states and it looks like he’s going to sweep VA/DC/MD tonight. Obama appears to be on track to sweep the rest of the primaries in February [“He’s on fire,” in NBA JAM terms]. Hillary is stuck with the now toast Rudy Florida strategy. She’s banking on big victories in (supposedly) Hillary-friendly Texas and Ohio primaries that will take place on March 4, 27 days after her last victory (assuming Obama remains “en fuego” in February). But if Obama builds up enough momentum and steals those states from Hillary, she’s probably dog meat. If Hillary wins those two, the best case scenario for GOPers will continue.
On the Republican side, McCain is virtually guaranteed the nomination. As I write this email, it appears he is barely squeaking out what should be a comfortable victory in Virginia (delegates are winner-take-all; I guess my contribution to Romney’s 3% didn’t do much). McCain has a serious problem courting conservatives. If Obama wins the nomination, Republicans could suffer a Perfect Storm scenario this Fall. Independents (typically strong supporters of McCain) all go for the rockstar Obama while dissatisfied conservatives stay home. Seeing how Obama is the most liberal Senator in America, I’m predicting this will not happen. Although he isn’t as hated as Hillary, I think Obama-fear could drive enough disgruntled conservatives to the polls to keep the race competitive. Overall, the Dems have the advantage. For now.
In polling news, both my boy Robert Novak (conservative) and liberal pundit Susan “my voice is worse than nails on a chalkboard” Estrich have brought up the Bradley/Social Desirability Effect recently. For example, in California, polls were predicting a 13% win by Obama, while Hillary won by about 10%. Of course, Obama is still doing well and the Bradley Effect doesn’t appear to be surfacing everywhere, but watch out for it.
Some of you may have noticed that Penn’s Governor, Ed Rendell (D), has made some controversial statements recently. The vocal Hillary supporter came out with this:
"You've got conservative whites here [in Pennsylvania], and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate."
Those evil, racist, puppy-kicking Republicans! I don’t appreciate how Rendell tied the word “conservative” into this statement. A conservative person, regardless of his or her race, would not vote for Obama for ideological reasons. True, there are morons who won’t vote for someone just because of the color of their skin. But linking conservatives to racists is inappropriate. Jerk.
That’s all for this time. Adios my peeps!