Monday, September 19, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Political scientists have long identified transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy to be one of the most dangerous situations for a country to find itself in. Consider, for instance, the many different groups within the country that are used to a high degree of power. In Egypt the military now has control of the country, and while they have stated that they will soon hold elections, we should understand that military regimes rarely, if ever, hand over power once they have gained it. Even if they do, creating democracy is a very arduous process that frequently requires outside monitoring by international parties. Libya faces an even worse situation, with a dictator who has demonstrated clearly his intentions to stay in power as long as he can. Should the protests continue there is little doubt that Libya will descend into civil war.
These are all very pressing concerns for America, given our national interests in the Middle East. Iraq, still unstable from recent years of turmoil is in a very delicate situation that could easily be upset should the violence spread. My final thought is that we should approach this situation cautiously, understanding that even if true democracy is finally arriving in the Middle East, it's still a long ways from over.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Late the night of the 28th, students gathered in the Honors Forum to register for their spring classes. They were all going to be up late anyway, waiting for 12:01 exactly, hoping the powers that be didn't decide to apply an update to Banner at the exact wrong time. So why not have a party?
HSAC hosted the event and had treats for sale. And even though the steely resolve was obvious in everyone, so was the late hour after a Thanksgiving break. I had imagined that as midnight neared, the crowd would become loud and agitated, sort of like New Years Eve at Times Square. But the mood was calm, and as 12:01 struck, I hardly noticed. Everyone was simply at work.
For most, those were a few good minutes that set them up for the spring semester. Overall the mood was jubilant.
Okay, maybe that one was a little posed. Not my idea though, I promise.
Unfortunately, for some 12:01 was the time when they found out they had a hold of one sort or another on their account, and they would be unable to register for classes that evening. Since most of UNM isn't open when registration begins, there's no one to remove that hold until the morning.
For many classes, this isn't such a big deal since the next group of students isn't eligible until the following week, but for those popular Honors classes, those first five (if not two) minutes are key. Even among those without problems that night, a frequently heard piece of advice was to sign up for the Honors class first because the few seconds elapsing between successive page refreshes would mean the difference between a seat and the waiting list.
All in all, I'd say the night was a success. Look for the registration party again next semester!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I'm sure we can all imagine what Obama's reaction would be to an attempt to get rid of his prize piece of legislation.
On the flip side, the Democrats won't be able to get anything through that the Republicans don't like either. So what this means is that for at least the next two years, we're likely to see a whole lot of nothing coming out of Congress. Just food for thought.