If I had a million dollars

If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a house.

If we had $100,000 dollars, we could buy us:

– Brandeis 10-Member Delegation to Rwanda
– New Weight Room in Gosman Athletic Center
– One-Day Carnival
– Peace and Social Justice Week
– Radio Transmitter for WBRS
– Renovation of Chums
– Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Free Testing for approximately 300 students
– Solar Panels for Brandeis Building

We should build Solar Panels.
The office of the Treasurer sent out the following announcement:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please bear in mind that this is an one-time opportunity only. This type of voting will NOT occur in the future. Therefore, it is our strong recommendation that students choose a one-time investment that will be sustainable and benefit the student body and the community for years to come.

(emphasis mine)

Of these options, only Solar Panels, a Weight Room, antenna for WBRS, and renovating Chums will benefit the student body for any length of time. While ideally the school should pay for all of these, I contend that only Solar Panels and renovating Chums will benefit the broad Brandeis community. Given the choice of the two, I definitely want Solar Panels, especially since renovating Chums costs much less than 100 grand. Therefore, my original endorsement still stands: Go Go Gadget Panels!

Vote here.

BREAKING: UJ decides to hear Brooks’ case

I recieved an email from newly appointed Chief Justice Rachel Kagan early this morning. Basically, it says that the UJ will hear Brooks’ case before the end of the semester, probably tomorrow. It also names Kaamilla and Noam as defendants in addition to Nelson Rutrick in his capacity as elections commissioner.

Both Brooks’ original compaint and the UJ response are below.
Continue reading “BREAKING: UJ decides to hear Brooks’ case”

Solar Panels at Brandeis?

On Friday, April 11, then-Student Union President Shreeya Sinha wrote a campus-wide email soliciting ideas on how to spend the approximately $100,000 it had accumulated in roll-over funds.

Well, the proposals have been submitted, and we’ll all be able to vote on how to spend the money from noon today to noon Thursday.

While I won’t know what all the submissions will be until students receive the official email at noon, I do know what three of the submissions will be:
– Build a weight room.
Install Solar Panels on the roof a prominent building on campus.
– Fly 10 students to Rwanda.

I think each of these proposals has strengths and weaknesses, but I propose that, out of these three options that we know about, solar panels are the best option. They provide a benefit to the campus and environment in terms of less energy costs and less pollution, they are semi-permament fixtures that will serve the community in years to come, and they serve as an important signal and symbol that Brandeis is getting serious about this whole Global Warming thing.

In a few years, imagine bragging “So your campus has some tunnels? That’s nice I guess. Us? Oh, our campus isn’t that special. Unless you count the Solar-Powered-Castle! f’zyeah!”
Continue reading “Solar Panels at Brandeis?”

A few short snippets before Brooks vs. Noam is heard…

Sorry to be a hypocrite and add another post on this tired and beaten subject, but some clarifications on stuff people seem to be confused about…

From the Student Union Bylaws:

Should a candidate be disqualified during balloting, the election shall be voided and a new election for that position shall be held. Should a candidate be disqualified after balloting has been completed, a new election for that position shall be held if the disqualification affects the outcome of the ballot.

From the Union Constitution:

The Union Judiciary may order an election to be re-run if it finds that the Constitution or other elections rules have been violated so as to unfairly negatively impact the campaign of one or more candidates, or if an election rule itself is found to have unconstitutionally negatively impacted the campaign of one or more candidates. An order to re-run an election must be issued within five academic days of the original election.

So the best Andrew Brooks can hope for is a new election, which I would hope he recognizes will be exceedingly difficult for him to win (and which will be necessarily drawn out to next year?!?). Regardless of what the UJ decides, I find it difficult to believe many, if any, people’s vote was swayed by the statements he deems libel. SImply put, it seems like he just isn’t wanted by his constituency anymore…

But let him do as he will.

New blog on the block

So some folks doing a journalism project made themselves a blog. Welcome!
It’s called “Unto Its Innermost Parts“? Scandal!

You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; looks like our influence is spreading.

Seriously though, welcome y’all. U-IP, as I call them, is the web presence of a radio show. They review notable events on campus and give a summary report, as far as I can tell. I know some of the creators – Kalynn, Pat, Claire, Kara. They’re cool people; hopefully they’ll make this a success.

One problem, though. They registered the name “innermostparts” on youtube. Not cool.

Rutgers Students Prosecuted for Anti-War Protest?!?

Three Rutgers students have been issued summons to appear in the illustrious courts of my home state of NJ because of their efforts in organizing a walk-out last month against the Iraq war. From the NJ Star Ledger:

Three Rutgers University students who participated last month in the annual walk-out against the Iraq War, where about 350 people marched along Route 18 in opposition, have been issued summons’ for disorderly conduct by city police. 

Suzan Sanal, 21, Erik Straub, 20, and Arwa Ibrahim, 21, were issued summons’ on April 10 for their behavior during the March 27 event. They will appear in New Brunswick municipal court this afternoon to request an adjournment until after the Rutgers semester ends next month, Straub said, and have received advice pro bono from the National Lawyers Guild.

By law, the charge could carry a 30-day prison sentence and a $500 fine.

This is ridiculous, an affront against student activists everywhere, and reminiscent of Vietnam-era efforts to stop protests. Sign the petition decrying the activities or check out this blog for more info.


I have always been of the firm belief that the moment an activist movement or presence begins to be taken seriously is the moment at which it begins to be attacked. Therefore, the entire Innermost Parts community owes a big thank you to Andrew Brooks for validating our site and its mission.

Seriously, one would think that after failing to break 40% of the vote as an incumbent in a two-seat primary election in which you are one of two candidates, having your complaints about libel dismissed without punishment by a duly elected third-party elections commissioner, and going on to lose by 80 votes on the final ballot would be enough to convince you that your constituents have decided in a fair election that they want someone else doing your job. However, that would only be the case if you have any respect for the democratic process.

Unfortunately, former Senator Brooks seems to lack that respect, so before Noam Shuster can take her rightful place on the Brandeis Student Union, we will have to deal with the injunction Brooks filed with the Union Judiciary to have this election invalidated. It is my firm belief that this case has absolutely no merit and that Union Judicial precedent shows that there is no reason why this injunction should not have been dismissed immediately. Continue reading “Libel”

BREAKING: Noam Shuster Not Allowed to Swear In!

I’m sitting in the Senate meeting right now and the new Vice-President Mike Kerns has just announced that Noam Shuster will not be allowed to swear in as Senator-at-Large

Andrew Brooks has filed an injunction against Noam Shuster asking that she be not sworn in. The former UJ has accepted the injunction and has left the final decision up to the next UJ and Noam cannot be sworn in for at least five days. Brooks is accusing Shuster and her campaign of slandering Brooks on this website and possibly elsewhere. For the record, we would like to state that nothing published on Innermost Parts was written, approved or influenced by anyone but its stated authors.

More information to follow in the coming days.

How Knox College dealt with a War Criminal

John Ashcroft gave a speech at Knox College the other day. Then came the student question and answer period. It is instructive to see how the students there dealt with him:
Chalking Stairs! This looks just like Rabb.


As to the questions, I’ll quote a few – Continue reading “How Knox College dealt with a War Criminal”

Self-Segregation and Racial Identity at Brandeis

Tonight is the first night of Passover, and I’m with the Hirschhorn family in Philadelphia. My mother’s brother, Larry, is an alumnus of Brandeis University; he now works as a high-priced business consultant here in Philly. I’m spending a few nights here before moving onto New York with Liza. My cousin Dan Hirschhorn, Larry’s son, is also an alumnus of this fine institution.

Unlike Larry, who went here in the 1960s, Dan graduated just last year. In his junior year, he was the editor-in-chief of the Newspaper of Record at Brandeis University, The Justice.

At dinner tonight, we discussed, at length, Brandeis politics and future careers. He mentioned in passing that while at The Justice he did a story on race relations at Brandeis that had gotten him fascinated in the issue of discrimination. I decided to snoop through The Justice‘s records to see what I could find.

Here is the the main story he wrote, and the two sidebars (equally fascinating) can be found here and here.

The thesis of the set of articles is that Brandeis’ institutions designed to promote diversity and inclusivity are partly responsible – along with racism – for the segregation and racial tensions at the University.

Dan argues that as minority students feel unwelcome by the majority white community at Brandeis, they turn to people who have similar experiences in institutions like the Intercultural Center, the Posse program and TYP. It creates an environment of self-segregation.

“‘The way our campus is, people that are not of the majority feel like they need to find their own community because they don’t fit in,’ said Christina Khemraj ’09, the Student Union’s senator for racial-minority students.” Continue reading “Self-Segregation and Racial Identity at Brandeis”

Let’s Go Green Party??

Interesting debate shaping up on DailyKos right now.

When faced with the dilemma of a Democratic Party imperfect from a progressive perspective, the reaction of most progressives seems to be to work within the Party to bring about needed change rather than to reach out to a third party. In recent years, improved organization among progressives has made this strategy effective in some cases. Strong primary campaigns have resulted in the nomination of outsider candidates superior to their institutional counterparts (Ned Lamont in ’06, Steve Beshear in ’07, Donna Edwards in ’08), and as a result, the Party is beginning to refocus itself on its progressive roots rather than the centrist “New Democrat” philosophy which led to Congressional losses throughout the ’90s and set the framework for the conservative domination of all three branches of government from 2000 to 2006. Continue reading “Let’s Go Green Party??”

Reflections on Ed Markey

So, as you know, I was at the Ed Markey address last Sunday. Someone recently asked me what I thought of it. Here’s what I had to say:

So first of all I want to say that I respect Congressman Markey a lot. He’s great on Net Neutrality, general Telecommunications policy, and the environment. I don’t remember disagreeing with much, or any, of his speech. I applaud his realization that we can grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time. Furthermore, his characterization of India and China, and how we had to tell them to stop polluting carbon from a position of having done so already as spot on.

Ed Markey clearly gets it. That said, I did have some questions for him and some disagreements. During the question and answer period, he briefly remarked on realizing the goal of an electricity network where every can use renewable energy and sell it back to the grid. I wish he would expand on what plans are in place to make that happen.

During the question and answer period, someone else asked about Nuclear power. I think Markey had a very smart answer – it’s investment bankers, not politicians, who killed nuclear power. Then again, it would be more truthful to note we have a policy frowing on new Nuclear plants until we find a way to deal with nuclear waste (that’s better than Yucca mountain). To be clear, that’s a good thing. Nuclear power brings a lot of problems, including the fact that increasing nuclear power worldwide increases the risk for weaponized nuclear proliferation.
Continue reading “Reflections on Ed Markey”

Detailed Preliminary Results for the Final Round of Elections

Here are the numbers for the statistics-lovers out there.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I’ll leave the interpretation and commenting up to you.  Enjoy!

Dear Candidates,
The winners of the Associate Justice of the Union Judiciary race are as follows:
Judah Marans, Danielle Shmuelly, Julia Sferlazzo, and Rachel Graham Kagan.
The winners of the Senator-at-Large race are as follows:
Noam Shouster and Justin Sulsky
The winner of the Senator for the Class of 2009 race:
Eric Alterman
The winners of the Senator for the Class of 2011 race:
Lev Hirschhorn and Alex Melman

Thanks to all candidates who participated.  Please contact elections@lists.brandeis.edu for questions or contact uj@lists.brandeis.edu if you wish to appeal any decisions that the commission has made in the decision making process in this election.
The Elections Commission

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Final
Report date: Fri 18 Apr 2008 00:01 EDT
Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Final (all campus)
Report date: Fri 18 Apr 2008 00:01 EDT
Associate Justice of the Union Judiciary
As at poll close: Thu 17 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 716 • Group size: 3251 • Percene voted: 22.02
Ranked by votes
Rank    Candidate       Votes   %
1       Judah Marans    351     49.02
2       Danielle Shmuelly       313     43.72
3       Julia Sferlazzo 302     42.18
4       Rachel Graham Kagan     292     40.78
5       Zachary Handler 245     34.22
6       ABSTAIN 126     17.60

As at poll close: Thu 17 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 895 • Group size: 3251 • Percene voted: 27.53
Ranked by votes
Rank    Candidate       Votes   %
1       Noam Shouster   447     49.94
2       Justin Sulsky   399     44.58
3       Andrew Brooks   367     41.01
4       ABSTAIN 124     13.85

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Final (2009)
Report date: Fri 18 Apr 2008 00:01 EDT
Senator for the Class of 2009
As at poll close: Thu 17 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 198 • Group size: 794 • Percene voted: 24.94
Ranked by votes
Rank    Candidate       Votes   %
1       Eric Alterman   115     58.08
2       Dani Baronofsky 50      25.25
3       ABSTAIN 33      16.67

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Final (2011)
Report date: Fri 18 Apr 2008 00:01 EDT
Senator for the Class of 2011
As at poll close: Thu 17 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 300 • Group size: 791 • Percene voted: 37.93
Ranked by votes
Rank    Candidate       Votes   %
1       Lev Hirschhorn  147     49.00
2       Alex Melman     121     40.33
3       Naomi Cohn      107     35.67
4       Lexi Kriss      105     35.00
5       ABSTAIN 34      11.33

A New Student Union

Tonight was a great victory for progressive activism at Brandeis University. Andrew Brooks didn’t lose because he’s a bad person. Andrew Brooks didn’t lose because he’s not popular. Andrew Brooks didn’t lose because “lies” were written about him on Innermost Parts. Andrew Brooks lost because the Brandeis community wants change. You don’t have to be an avid reader of the Justice and the Hoot to know that the Student Union was a mess this year. Tonight the Student Body placed the blame on the head of our esteemed Senator at Large, Andrew Brooks.

Of course, Andrew Brook is not entirely responsible for the mess in the Student Union. Far from it, he’s just a small part of it. The real blame belongs to every member of the Student Union. When one or two Senators or Executives causes problems, the Union should not let those problems prevent action. This year the Union needed leadership to ensure that partisanship, pettiness and play-politics would not get in the way of taking action for Students. The Union failed.

Elections have taken place, the students have spoken, and they want a change. I firmly believe that Jason Gray and Mike Kerns can and will take the Union in a new direction, and as a newly elected member of the Senate, I hope to take part in this new Union. This isn’t a matter of liberals versus conservatives; it’s a matter of people who want to take real action versus people who want to play with politics and power. Lets not get excited because Alex, Noam (whom I barely know, but I have only heard wonderful things) and I are progressives. That doesn’t really matter; I believe that conservatives can accomplish wonderful things in the Senate. No, lets get excited because Alex, Noam, and I are people who want to take action.

On another note, elections are still not over. In fact, less than half the Senate has been formed. This fall elections will take place to elect quad Senators, Senators for the class of 2012 and the TYP Senator. I doubt that tonight is the last we’ve seen of Andrew Brooks (anyone know his living plans for next year?). We need to ensure that candidates who want to take action and transcend petty politics fill these seats. With that in mind, I am announcing that I fully support Sahar Massachi, founder of Innermost Parts, for Castle Quad Senator.

I look forward to working with everyone in the new Student Union next year.

Breaking – Student Events submits to the will of the Students

This just in – Student Events will now return to the previous arrangement of getting its funding through the Student Union F-Board. Looks like those Student Union protests had an effect after all. I wonder what behind-the-scenes work went into this…

This is excellent news – a reminder that we have power, if we organize well and use it.

Noam Shuster is wicked awesome

(Remember, voting starts (and ends) today. Vote for Noam, Alex Melman, and Lev Hirschorn. They are all pretty awesome people.) I’ll try to keep this as the top post all day: new content below

Noam Shuster is a 22 year old Israeli woman. Why is she, then, a freshman at Brandeis University? Because she’s spent her post-high school life volunteering, doing community service, taking classes at the New York Film Academy. Oh, and what else? Touring Europe giving lectures:

The pair are in England on a lightning two-week marathon lecture tour sponsored by the British Friends of Neve Shalom in an attempt to explain to anyone who will listen how their unique and extraordinary mini-society works – and how they believe that, at a time of complete deadlock in the Middle East, the type of co-existence their village practices is the best way to ensure peace.

Neve Shalom, where they live, is situated directly between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and is inhabited by 50 families – mixed between Jewish Israeli and Muslim and Christian Israeli Arab – learning, living and coexisting together. For Noam and Ranin, aged 22 and friends since they were small children growing up in Neve Shalom, or Wahat al-Salam as it is known in Arabic, such coexistence is completely natural – and the conflict that exists in the society outside completely alien.

So Noam toured Europe lecturing the Jewish community on how she, an Israeli, could have a Christian Arab best friend, and her experiences growing up in a genuinely peaceful and mixed community. More than just talk about how great things could be, Noam has also spent great effort taking action to create positive change: Continue reading “Noam Shuster is wicked awesome”

Building Blunders of Brandeis, Part III

This post is part of a series that addresses the physical aspects of our campus, specifically the history and the current state of Brandeis University architecture and planning.

I think I can safely say that almost all Brandeisians agree on at least one thing: the Castle is really cool. Many of us have explored its rooms and passages, and some of us have even gotten lost in them. It’s the only still-standing building I know of that existed before Brandeis was founded. Usen Castle is on the National Register of Historic Places, and while almost all other buildings on campus will likely face destruction at some point in the future, the Castle is almost certainly here to stay.

Unfortunately the Castle has undergone a lot of changes over the years, mostly for the worse. I’d like to tell you about one of these today.

Between the two gates is a long, thin stone wall with red crenelations on top. On the interior side of the wall you can see through the windows that there’s a long room with a lot of junk in it. One day the door was open, so I walked in for a moment to take a picture.

From my research at the University Archives, I learned that this area between the gates used to serve as a reading room, complete with study corrals and cubbies for students to work and store their things. The room had an intimate feel, with a warm light from the lamps on each desk and the shimmer of a beautiful mosaic tile ceiling. It has since been closed and forgotten.

So, let’s do a before and after:



Some areas of the Castle have legitimate reason to be closed: many spaces contain asbestos, which could be hazardous to students’ health. I don’t believe that this area suffers from that problem, because it looks like it’s actively being used for storage. So why can’t students enjoy this space today? I would love to study there. This is just one of the Castle’s lost treasures.

I urge the administration to restore some of the Castle’s lost glory through renovating this space and making it usable for our great students once again.

A More Perfect Union

In the end, my initial opposition to Brooks/Sulsky came down to this: It seems that they believe that their mission in the Senate is to improve the material quality of life of students, to bring lox to Einsteins, to organize Midnight Buffets, etc. I believe a Student Union senator has a much greater mission than that. A Senator must fight for Brandeis values. A Senator must fight for student safety – no arming campus police. A Senator must try to heal the very real divisions on campus. A Senator must try to hold Brandeis’ actions to its rhetoric.

Now, though, I’ve found another reason to be very critical of the two. To them, this election is about more than the issues. They take it as a personal affront, to themselves and everything they stand for, that anyone would dare run against them. What we’ve seen with this campaign is an unrelenting assault on Reason and Democracy. They have painted Noam with the colors of a serial slanderer and clothed themselves in a mantle of pure, innocent, lambskin. I’ve seen numerous reports and examples either Brooks or Sulsky complaining about being wrongfully attacked: a challenge to their incumbency makes them victims of some sort.

Justin Sulsky’s sign says it all – “because hard work should be rewarded”. Brooks/Sulsky consider this position a reward. I consider the position an opportunity. A position in the Senate is an opportunity to stand up for Brandeis values, an opportunity to shape the dialogue and heal the rifts on campus, an opportunity to pro-actively bring about big changes, like Endowment Transparency, or Gender-Neutral Housing, an opportunity to prevent another Mamoon from being disowned by Brandeis without due process or reasonable cause. A position in the Senate should not be a trophy for badgering Einsteins into carrying Lox; it should be a promise to the student body that you will advocate for their concerns, but also present them with a more perfect Union.

Are Sulksy and Brooks abusing their incumbency?

(update – I’m assured that, in fact, they aren’t.)

We’ve been receiving reports all night of a mass email sent by Justin Sulsky on behalf of himself and Andrew Brooks. They’ve used blind-carbon-copy, so we don’t know where they got email addresses of all these people.

Now, this is just unsourced speculation at this point, but the question must be asked: Where did they get all these email addresses? Because if they used their positions to gain access to these emails, then that’s probably illegal.

As to the content of these emails, they basically paint a picture of two Senators who rubberstamp worthy projects such as Endowment Transparency and Gender Neutral housing, while themselves taking the lead on small-bore projects like Spring Shuttles and Midnight Buffet. I agree with this characterization. Activists like our very own Alex Melman and Lev Hirschhorn (themselves both running for Student Union Senate) did all the work regarding Endowment Transparency. Activists like those in TRISK, along with Mike Kerns, brought us Gender Neutral Housing. I don’t think Sulsky and Brooks should pat themselves on the back too much for “supporting” either of those initiatives when all the work they did amounted to little more than voting the right way.

Mamoon back on campus

breaking news – Mamoon Darwish is back on the Brandeis campus, and he says that he’s allowed on Brandeis property . He’s in Shapiro Campus Center right now, surrounded by joyful students. Go meet him!

More on this story as it develops…

update: Mamoon says he is in some sort of disciplinary probation at the moment.

update 2: Mamoon was acquitted on all charges, on appeal. His statement: “Two months of my life gone, and I didn’t even do anything wrong.” He also is under housing probation.

Remembering Virginia Tech

One year ago today, 33 people died on the campus of Virginia Tech University – Seung-Hui Cho, a severely disturbed victim of mental illness, and the men and women he killed in their dorms and classrooms.

I just came back from a moving vigil organized by my friend Kay, a Virginia native whose friend died in the shootings. It was a sobering experience to listen to Kay and another speaker talk about the grief they felt upon learning of the senseless deaths of people they had known and cared about. As I looked around at the friends I love listening with me, I could hardly grasp what I would feel if the same were to happen to them. The smiling photos of the victims spread across Chapel’s Field were indistinguishable from the faces I see walking up the Rabb steps every day, and as we listeners were told of their little quirks and aspirations – how one baked a cake for his studying friends, how one loved to run track, how one loved to stick her tongue out in photos – it really hit home that these were folks just like you and I. Except that we are lucky enough to keep making those little moments that are worth remembering, while theirs have all passed.

I cannot really find the words to draw some lesson from the deaths of those who never asked to be heroes, but I want to leave you with an image I found particularly moving. As the vigil went on, the wind grew harder and began to blow out the candles set for each victim. Yet as soon as a candle went out, there was always someone ready to relight it. Candle after candle was extinguished, but the people working were always faster, until finally, for a brief moment, all the candles were lit again. As dusk came on, the vigil ended and I startted to walk back to my dorm. But for as long as I was able to see, some candles continued to burn, their flames flickering in a darkening night.

It meant something to me. If it does for you too, take a moment and reflect on those lost in Virginia Tech. Remember how lucky you are to be alive and have people who love you. Pledge to do something great for the world – for the 32 victims who no longer have the opportunity. They deserve it.

Student Bill of Rights: The Real Story

Every Tuesday morning I read through The Justice in order to stay current on campus affairs. One of the issues I’ve been following is the Student Bill of Rights, proposed by Jason Gray, Union President-Elect. Jason is a good friend of mine, and he’s revealed that the Student Rights and Responsibilities is long on responsibilities but severely lacking on rights. You can find a working draft of the bill here. In The Justice‘s weekly summary of the Student Union’s activities, they wrote,

Director of Union Affairs Jason Gray ’10 reported that Union members did not collect enough signatures to make the April 30 vote on the Student Bill of Rights an official referendum. He said the vote would instead count as an unofficial opinion poll.

I was very surprised by this news. Together with the title “Vote on Student Bill of Rights will be an unofficial opinion poll,” it sounded like the Student Bill of Rights had already failed!

While factually accurate, I believe that, as stated and without further explanation, this report is misleading. As I understand campus wide votes, a group of students will seek to pass a referendum in order to get official recognition by the Student Union to their specific issue. If the petition doesn’t receive enough signatures, it isn’t likely to receive serious consideration by the Student Union Senate and Executive Board. The thing about applying the “unofficial opinion poll” vs. referendum in the case of the Bill of Rights is that it came from the Student Union itself, so one can assume that the Union will take the vote seriously no matter how many signatures they collect.

Also, unlike other student referendums, the Student Bill of Rights needs to be approved by the administration in order to carry any legal authority. Approval by students or by the Senate means close to nothing. Jason Gray and other Union members have a lot of negotiating work ahead of them, but by no means has the Student Bill of Rights failed in any way.

Detailed Preliminary Elections Results

The Elections Commission sent me these preliminary results. I encouraged them to make students more aware that they can obtain these numbers and also to post them on the Union website.

Senator for the Class of 2009
As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 186 · Group size: 794 · Percene voted: 23.43
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Sung Lo Yoon 99 53.23
2 Eric Alterman 88 47.31
3 Dani Baronofsky 37 19.89
4 ABSTAIN 14 7.53
5 Dianne Ma 1 0.54
5 Matt Hope 1 0.54
7 Frank Golub 0 0.00

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Primary (2010)
Report date: Wed 16 Apr 2008 11:29 EDT

Senator for the Class of 2010
As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 282 · Group size: 841 · Percene voted: 33.53
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Paul Balik 140 49.65
2 Rebecca Wilkof 123 43.62
3 Feya Hillel 107 37.94
4 ABSTAIN 22 7.80
5 Nicholas Brown 1 0.35
5 Kayla Sotomil 1 0.35
7 None 0 0.00

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Primary (2011)
Report date: Wed 16 Apr 2008 11:29 EDT

Senator for the Class of 2011
As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 337 · Group size: 791 · Percene voted: 42.60
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Lev Hirschhorn 139 41.25
2 Lexi Kriss 99 29.38
3 Naomi Cohn 95 28.19
4 Alex Melman 93 27.60
5 Joshua Mandell 86 25.52
6 Stephanie Cohen 18 5.34
7 ABSTAIN 13 3.86
8 Noam Shuster 4 1.19
9 Kaamila Mohamed 2 0.59
10 Kaamilla Mohammed 0 0.00
10 Ori applebaum 0 0.00

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Primary (all campus)
Report date: Wed 16 Apr 2008 11:29 EDT

As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 1023 · Group size: 3251 · Percene voted: 31.47
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Justin Sulsky 411 40.18
2 Andrew Brooks 392 38.32
3 ABSTAIN 274 26.78
4 Noam Shuster 112 10.95
5 Kaamila Mohamed 53 5.18
6 Kaamila mohammed 41 4.01
7 Kayla Sotomil 9 0.88
8 Noam Shouster 8 0.78
9 Noam Schuster 5 0.49
10 Noam S 2 0.20
10 Kamilla Mohammad 2 0.20
12 Noam Shuster and Kaamila Mohamed 1 0.10
12 Noam Chuster 1 0.10
12 Sung Lo Yoon 1 0.10
12 Keyla sotomil 1 0.10
12 Kaamilla Muhammed 1 0.10
12 Noam Schuester, Kaamilla Mohammed 1 0.10
12 Dan Newman 1 0.10
12 Naom 1 0.10
12 Ayal Weiner Kaplow 1 0.10
12 Adam Barish 1 0.10
12 Jordan Suchow 1 0.10
12 Sam Packer 1 0.10
12 Alex Trott 1 0.10
12 Anyonebut BrooksPlease 1 0.10
12 Josh Mervis 1 0.10
12 Justin Backal-Balik 1 0.10
12 Divya Vangala 1 0.10
12 Aaron Voldman 1 0.10
12 Hana Nagel 1 0.10
12 Michael Martin 1 0.10
12 Sarah Linet 1 0.10
12 Timothy Kane 1 0.10
34 A 0 0.00
34 Andrew Gluck 0 0.00
34 Julia Sferlazzo 0 0.00
34 Kam 0 0.00
34 Kamil 0 0.00
34 Kamila m 0 0.00
34 Kamilla 0 0.00
34 Kamillah 0 0.00
34 Nosm Shuster 0 0.00
34 Robbie Schwartz 0 0.00
34 Your mother 0 0.00

Justice of the Union Judiciary
As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 958 · Group size: 3251 · Percene voted: 29.47
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Jordan Rothman 506 52.82
2 Danielle Shmuely 392 40.92
3 Judah Marans 376 39.25
4 Julia Sferlazzo 356 37.16
5 Rachel Graham Kagan 323 33.72
6 Zachary Handler 284 29.65
7 ABSTAIN 157 16.39
8 Bojan Rajkovic 2 0.21
9 Jonathan Pincus 1 0.10
9 Elisette Weiss 1 0.10
9 Emily Moignard 1 0.10
9 Sarah Ibrahim Enan 1 0.10
9 Alex Trott 1 0.10
9 Michael Bohen 1 0.10
9 Charles River 1 0.10
9 The Rt. Hon. Justice Steven N. Sasmor, Count of East Quad 1 0.10
9 Justin Backal-Balik 1 0.10
9 Rufus Wainwright 1 0.10
19 Daniel Baron 0 0.00
19 Dustin Smith 0 0.00
19 Sahar Massachi 0 0.00

Poll menu: Student Union SP08-2 Primary (RMS)
Report date: Wed 16 Apr 2008 11:29 EDT

Senator for Racial Minority Students
As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 171 · Group size: 643 · Percene voted: 26.59
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Kamarin Lee 130 76.02
2 ABSTAIN 38 22.22
3 Adonis Watkins 2 1.17
4 Jon Kane 1 0.58
5 Athena 0 0.00
5 Denise 0 0.00
5 Gabe 0 0.00
5 Gabriel 0 0.00
5 Kaamila 0 0.00

Finance Board Member for Racial Minority Students
As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT
Number of voters: 166 · Group size: 643 · Percene voted: 25.82
Ranked by votes
Rank Candidate Votes %
1 Adonis Watkins 94 56.63
2 ABSTAIN 40 24.10
3 Aarish Sheikh 29 17.47
4 Adriel Orozco 2 1.20
5 Rev. Jonathan A. Kane 1 0.60

Congratulations Noam Shuster!!!

We did it!

Think about this for a minute. We squared off against a pair of entrenched Union insiders, both of whom were listed on the ballot, with a freshman candidate and a grassroots group founded just hours before the election. Yet we still were able to pull together more than enough of the vote to ensure Noam Shuster ballot access for the final round. When it looked like our options for a progressive alternative in the at-large race were entirely non-existent, we pulled together as a community and now have a great opportunity to elect an amazing candidate to represent us.

There are two reasons for such a stunning and unexpected success. The first is the incredible burst of activism that we saw over the course of the past day. I have never experienced anything more inspiring at Brandeis; we pulled together everyone on campus who was disenchanted with the Union as it is and rejected the reactionary mentality that has gripped too many of our representatives for too long. Moving forward to the final round, we now have an incredible community of volunteers prepared to spend their time and energy making fliers, doing dorm-storms, designing a website, and writing messages and e-mails. And we’d love to have more people; anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch with myself or the campaign through Facebook, e-mail (athughes@brandeis.edu), or in person (or just leave a comment). You all owe yourselves a round of applause for this unprecedented victory.

However, none of this would have possible without Noam herself. She has proven to be the right person to lead this movement and win this election. Her passion for positive representation was the genesis of all we have seen in the past two days, and her optimism that change was possible made us all believe. It has been a great pleasure to get to know her better through this campaign, and I am thankful that I can now call her my friend. Her bio from her official campaign website gives some indication as to what makes her such a special individual:

I grew up in a village called Neve Shalom~Wahat al Salaam- the Oasis of Peace- the only community in Israel where Israelis and Palestinians choose to live together and build a harmonious community. I came to Brandeis as a Slifka Co-existence Scholar. The program chooses peace activists in Israel to be students at Brandeis and continue coexistence work.

She is exactly the type of person I would be proud to call my senator.

I would be remiss, however, if I were to fail to address the voting outcome for our other endorsed candidate, Kaamila Mohamed. In many respects, her campaign was doomed from the start; it only began to get off the ground after voting started, when many activists had already cast their ballots. However, it is a mark of the strength of our activism and the immense campus-wide respect for Kaamila that we finished just eight votes shy of number required for final round ballot access. Almost 100 people answered our call and wrote in Kaamila’s name, and the coordination between her campaign and Noam’s helped us claim at least one victory; the Vote Kaamila movement was definitely not in vain. I continue to hold out hope that she will opt to run for a Quad senator spot next year, for I know the Union will lose much without her involvement.

Still, considering how highly the deck was stacked against us, yesterday was nothing but an astonishing success. We have proven that the progressive activists on campus have the power to unite and make themselves heard, and we placed an excellent candidate on the ballot. There will be much more hard work ahead before we can claim victory in this race, but the primary results have made me more confident than ever that we can do it.

Event: How to build an activist coalition

I have been pondering activist coalitions at Brandeis for a while, so it’s with great anticipation that I pass on the info for this event:

Spend some time with Nobel Peace Prize nominee and leading African American, lesbian social justice activists as she is at Brandeis this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Carter will be giving a keynote speech and workshop on Wednesday from 6:30-8 in the ICC Swig Lounge on the topic of creating coalitions to achieve progressive change and developing transformative models of organizing that connect race, class, culture, gender, and sexuality identity.

Outside of the speech and workshop, she is available for coffee or food dates, group lectures, club meetings, or question and answer sessions. To schedule time while she is on campus, please contact Scott Frost (sfrost@brandeis.edu)

Where: Swig Lounge
When: 6:30-8pm

Many people have a habit of comparing any activism today to that of the Sixties, and finding our generation lacking. Yet, as Danny the Red tried to tell us, forget 1968: it was wonderful, but it’s over.Conditions are very different today, and trying to use the organizing models and tactics of the earlier age only plays into the hands of the establishment, which by now has figured out how to deal with 60’s -era protests. I believe, but cannot prove, that one reason that campus activism today is dissimilar to that of the past is due to the great fragmentation on campus. We have so many activist clubs that even dedicated members of the activist community, such as myself, can be caught unawares by stellar work done by other student organizers. Yet that’s the problem – there is no real activist community. Hopefully this talk will help us learn how to start fixing that.

That’s right. You can even schedule time with Mandy Carter(!) for your club. FMLA has already gotten into the act (7pm Thurs).

Thanks to Jessica Stearns for the tip.

Preliminary Election Results

Thanks to a combination of Lev, facebook, and word of mouth, we have the results:

Remaining candidates – (winners in bold)

  • 2011: Alex Melman, Lev Hirschhorn, Lexi Kriss, Naomi Cohn
  • 2010: Paul Balik, Rebecca Wilkoff
  • 2009: Sung Lo Yoon, Eric Alterman, Dani Baronofsky.
  • Judiciary: Julia Sferlazzo, Jordan Rothman, Rachel Kagan, Judah Marans, Danielle Shmuelly, Zachary Handler
  • F-Board: Adonis Watkins
  • Senator for Racial Minorities: Kamarin Lee

and now, the race you’ve all been waiting for….

  • Senator at Large: Justin Sulsky, Andrew Brooks, and Noam Shuster.

Kaamila, I am told, didn’t make the cut by only 8 votes. Too bad.

Congrats to the winners, condolences to the losers.

A special congrats goes to Lev and Alex for making it to the next round for 2011, but also for Noam Shuster, who, though a write-in candidate, will be on the ballot of the final round of elections.

Elections Results: Where Are They??

It’s currently 1:15pm. The first round of Student Union Elections officially ended over one hour ago, yet I still haven’t received any results.

I have been very disappointed with how the Union has made no effort at transparency in this election cycle. The votes are counted via computer software, so we should be able to receive immediate results after the polls close (if not in real time, like real U.S. elections!). Instead everyone but the candidates has to wait until one of the newspapers or one of the candidates publishes the results they receive privately via email. I hope that the elections commissioner will make a better effort in the second round, but I’m not feeling too optimistic.

I sent a message to elections@brandeis.edu expressing my concern. Hopefully they’ll respond and I can publish the results here. I shouldn’t even have to do that–the elections commissioner should send the results to students via the all-campus list serve at 12:01pm.

Remembering Virginia Tech on Brandeis

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre.

There will be a candle-light vigil held at Chapel’s Field from 7-8pm.

On April 16th, 2007 Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. A total of 32 people were shot and killed, in addition to the shooter who later took his own life. The events at Virginia Tech have affected universities nationwide. The tragedy is important to commemorate, as it helps us to appreciate the freedoms we, as a university community, fight to protect.

A vigil to remember the victims will be held Wednesday evening. Assuming the weather is nice, we plan to hold it outside on Chapels Field. Please bring your thoughts to share about Virginia Tech or about non-violence on university campuses.

If you plan to attend, or even if you can’t make it, please wear maroon and orange (VA Tech colors) on Wednesday in commemoration of the tragedy.

This event is organized by Kalynn Cook (and, if I understand correctly, Shanna Rifkin) and sponsored by Democracy for America. More info on the facebook page.

The VA Tech tragedy hits us all in different ways. Whenever I think of the event, I remember the long posters/papers that students at Brandeis, and other colleges (I was touring Universities at the time) signed and sent to Virgina Tech.

The Waltham-based Daily News Tribune has already written an article about the vigil

A year ago Wednesday, Kalynn Cook’s childhood friend was killed when Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus.

To mark the first anniversary and to remember her friend, Erin Peterson, the Brandeis freshman from Sterling, Va., planned a candlelight vigil for tomorrow night.

“I’m from northern Virginia and I came up here for school. When it got to be April I knew that the one-year anniversary would be coming up. I looked at the Brandeis calendar of events and I noticed there wasn’t anything scheduled,” she said. “I decided to talk to some of my friends who happen to be involved in student activism. They suggested I host an event myself.”

Cook said she contacted the student organization Democracy for America, which helped organize the event.

Starting at 7 p.m. tomorrow, students will read a biography of each person killed in the massacre, hold a prayer service and conduct an open forum to discuss the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

The article goes on to discuss the shootings and Brandeis’ response to them. I agree with Lev, it’s too bad the Daily News Tribune avoided mentioning that the DFA-sponsored coalition Students Opposing the Decision to Arm opposed the arming of campus police.

Building Blunders of Brandeis, Part II

It is obvious to me that Brandeis seeks to destroy Modernism on its campus. In architecture there is the so-called “50 year rule” which says that after 50 years a building will be harshly criticized as unsightly, a monstrosity, etc. Considering that many of Brandeis’ buildings were constructed in the 1950s during what is called the Modernist era, we’re starting to hit the 50 year mark where people strongly dislike the styles of Brandeis’ buildings. Take a look at this map of campus, complete with dates of construction:

Brandeis Campus with Years of Construction

I think you’ll find the rule to hold true with your personal preferences. You strongly dislike Massell Quad (1952), Sherman Hall (1959), Goldfarb Library (1965), Rabb Quad (1961) and the oldest parts of the Science Center (1956-1958). However, Usen Castle (1928), the oldest building on campus, is beautiful, and Farber Library (1984), the Mailman House (1972), and Ziv Quad (1980s) aren’t so bad. For me, the 50 Year Rule is a very interesting concept that says a lot about human nature. We like the things from the years around our grandparents’ birth, hate the things from the years around our parents’ birth, and aren’t sure about the things from around the years of our birth.

Nowhere have I seen the 50 Year Rule more clearly expressed on Brandeis Campus than in the Olin-Sang American Civilization Center. One day I arrived at my politics discussion section on the second floor a few minutes early. After I sat down I noticed that one of the ceiling tiles was missing, so I got up and checked it out. I saw the well-known waffle-block ceiling found across campus, but that wasn’t all. To my amazement, I viewed through the hole a beautiful arched frosted glass skylight, the light shining through.

Modernism Revealed

Modernism Revealed

The Light Shines Through

The Light Shines Through

Normally I don’t find connections between my love for Brandeis, architecture, and progressivism, but in this case I do. Progressives don’t believe in erasing the past, we believe in embracing it and fitting it to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs. Our university sought to hide elements of Modernism, ironically in the effort to modernize classrooms with new lighting, carpet, and “normal” ceilings. Even though progressives may not like the America of the 1950s, that doesn’t mean we see history in black and white, right and wrong, modern and old-fashioned.

Noam Shuster and Kaamila Mohamed for Senator-at-Large!

(bumped and edited slightly for tone- Sahar)

As Sahar mentioned in the previous post, a grassroots movement has been started to impact the Senator-at-Large election by writing in Noam Shuster in place of backwards reactionaries Andrew Brooks and Justin Sulsky. To this movement I would like to add one of my own: another campaign focused on writing in Kaamila Mohamed for the other at-large seat.

Sahar has already done a great job discussing the horrible job of representation that we have had to suffer through courtesy of Brooks and Sulsky, so I feel no need for any further comment in that direction. Instead, I would like to focus on Kaamila’s stellar record of service as this year’s North Quad Senator and the reasons why I feel she embodies the progressive change we need at Brandeis. A quick look at Kaamila’s project reports, available here, reveals an incredible dedication and consistency in a progressive direction. Among the clearest examples of this are:

  • “I worked with Mike Kerns this week on a resolution asking for a committee to assure transparency in this university’s financial investments.”
  • “I have been attending the weekly Social Justice Committee meetings. We’ve been working on gender-neutral housing (plans for a forum on this topic in the works) and hope to provide mini-grants for social justice projects.”
  • “I have been in touch with the Brandeis Labor Coalition about restarting work on the sweatshop free clothing initiative.”

This is just a small sampling of the incredible diversity of projects Kaamila has been involved with; feel free to examine her record for yourself. Compare this with Justin Sulsky and Andrew Brooks’ horrible records (I know I said I wouldn’t, but I just can’t help it!):

  • Authoring and co-sponsoring the infamously divisive and unsuccessful Israel 60th birthday resolution.
  • Authoring and being the only two senators to vote for the ridiculously partisan American flag resolution. (correction – only Sulsky authored this resolution)
  • Doing absolutely nothing about almost every key progressive issue like endowment transparency and gender neutral housing (at least, to judge by their project reports).

Kaamila has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is one of the hardest working and most dedicated individuals on this campus, and I can’t imagine anyone who would have a better chance to take one of these seats. I don’t know Noam as well, but I worked with her briefly on a theater project last semester, and I am convinced that she has the drive and work ethic necessary to be a vast improvement over both Sulsky and Brooks. I strongly encourage everyone to vote for both of these candidates; it will take only 10% of the vote excluding abstentions to earn them a spot on the final round ballot. If we pull together as an activist community and support both Noam and Kaamila with our votes and our word-of-mouth, we can do something unprecedented and replace two ineffective and seemingly uncontested candidates with clear examples of the type of progressive activist on which the Innermost Parts community thrives.

Facebook: Write in Kaamila Mohamed for Senator-at-Large, Vote Noam Shuster

Update: The 10% threshold for final round ballot access means that every vote for Kaamila or Noam counts the same as 9 votes for Justin and Andrew. Therefore, every vote makes an enormous difference and gets us much closer to our goal. Please, PLEASE make sure you not only vote before midnight tonight but you tell ALL of your friends to vote too. Once on the final ballot, Noam and Kaamila can put up posters and use Union resources. This can definitely happen, and it will be a truly great victory for us, but only if we get every single vote possible. Again, make sure you tell everyone who is eligible to write in Kaamila Mohamed and Noam Shuster.

A Global Brandeis

The Globe just did a feature focusing on Sam Vaghar and Seth Werfel, specifically regarding the Millenium Campus Network.

Don’t tell Sam Vaghar that today’s generation is apathetic.

At 21, the Newton North High School graduate and senior at Brandeis University is the executive director of a growing nonprofit organization dedicated to tackling the planet’s major problems. The Millennium Campus Network, which unites organizations from a number of Greater Boston schools, is entirely run by its student members.

Vaghar and Brandeis sophomore Seth Werfel, a New York City native, founded the network last August. The group is preparing for its inaugural Millennium Campus Conference to be held next weekend at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. The event has booked several notable speakers, including former senator John Edwards; R&B artist John Legend; and Ira Magaziner, who was a senior policy adviser to President Bill Clinton.

Holy Crap that’s impressive. (h/t arcblog)

One issue I’m struggling with lately is the idea of campus and off-campus focused activism. Much of my attention is held by the events and initiatives that are focused on campus. Yet there’s a thriving ecosystem of more globally-focused groups as well. We really need to combine these two communities. Among other things, that’s what we founded Innermost Parts to be – a place for progressives of all types – from Positive Foundations, SEA, AHORA, what have you, to all have a place to talk and so forth.

Innermost Parts is maneuvering to reach that third phase in our development where we can really tackle that goal of a more connected community. If you have any suggestions, comments, or even want to be in the know/help out in this effort, contact me at

Write-in movement afoot for Senator at Large

Feya Hillel an organizer of the Silent Protest, 2010 Senate Candidate (and, in the interest of disclosure, a friend of mine) sent out the following message:

Hey guys,
the 2 ppl running for senator at large this year are the same people that i talked about in the demonstration, denying my Palestinian identity!!
that’s why i decided to add Noam Shuster as write-in candidate!!!

here are the instructions:
go here
scroll down and click “vote now”
pick senator at large again
check the left side of the screen and click “submit new candidate”
add Noam Shuster
you will get a msg saying this candidate is already added, confirm that and vote for her

Andrew Brooks and Justin Sulsky are two dinosaur reactionaries in the Senate. They are the embodiment of those people who “treat Student Union Senate as Mock Government Club”. They are simply self-interested roadblocks to progress. I believe that the two announced candidates – Andrew Brooks and Justin Sulsky, do not represent the values of Brandeis University, especially a commitment to Social Justice. In my mind, they are symbols of the failure of the Student Union Senate to live up to its purpose and full potential; I heartily endorse Noam Shuster as a write-in candidate for Senator at Large.

Andrew Brooks will always be remembered (by me, if no one else) as the man who stuck the metaphorical shiv into Kamarin Lee, and bizzarely called Kamarin a racist for being offended by someone else’s remarks. (update – Andrew claims The Justice misquoted him. I take him at his word)

update: Turns out Lisa Hananiya sent out that message accidentally from Feya’s account.

update x2: Innermost Parts contributor Adam wants me to share the idea of writing in Kaamila Mohamed as the second Senator at Large candidate.

update x3: Struck a few phrases that were too over-the-top, added a few new ones (in italics). I’m sure Andrew and Justin are fine people and I mean no offense to them personally, we just have differing visions as to the role, values, and intended function of the Student Union Senate.

Irregularities at the voting booth

Stop the election!

Voting begins (and ends) today in the primary round of the Spring 2008 Round 2 elections.

Yet, problems in the voting software have rendered the results of the primary suspect.



As you can see, one should be able to vote for two candidates for Senate. The software only allows one vote. This is a serious problem. Hopefully they’ll allow a revote one the problem is fixed.

Update: They seem to have fixed the problem now. However, that doesn’t solve the problem of every voter who mistakenly only cast one vote. Since they caught it so early, I doubt that this problem tipped the election, but it’s still not an encouraging sign.

News from Nepal – Democracy on the march!

This just in: The Nepalese people overwhelmingly reject the monarchy in their latest elections by voting for … Maoists!

The Maoist government will proceed to dismantle the pillars of Nepal’s feudal structure and will take recourse to radical economic and political reforms based on distributive justice and egalitarian principles. That is bound to catch the attention of impoverished Indians in the sub-Himalayan belt sooner or later. The Indian states (provinces) bordering Nepal are notorious for their misgovernance.

More details:

The South Asian political landscape will never be the same again following the Maoist victory march in Nepal’s elections to a new 601-seat constituent Assembly last Thursday. It may take several days before the election results are fully known, but available trends indicate that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is surging ahead. By Monday, the Maoists had secured 89 of the total declared 162 seats for which results were declared.

So the Nepalese people voted for equality, democracy, and an end to the fuedal state in the most direct way they could – voting for the Maoists. Now, before people start red-baiting, remember that the CPN(Maoist) will only be one party in a multi-party parliamentary democracy. We’re likely not going to see “Cultural Revolution” or Stalinist brutality. What Nepal probably will experience is a more socialist, economically egalitarian state.

This is a great blow for freedom and against dictatorship, at least so far. The CIA better not mess this up.

I’m sure we have some international students here at Brandeis from Nepal. What’s their take?

Continue reading “News from Nepal – Democracy on the march!”

More Kudos

While we’re on the topic of kudos to Jehuda, I’d like to thank the Administration for, among other things, refusing to take huge bribes to force Ayn Rand down our throats. CEO’s are trying push their free-market ideology,

Ayn Rand’s novels of headstrong entrepreneurs’ battles against convention enjoy a devoted following in business circles. While academia has failed to embrace Rand, calling her philosophy simplistic, schools have agreed to teach her works in exchange for a donation.


Scholars scoff at the Rand bounty, saying her ideas are too shallow to build courses around her.

“Rand could not write her way out of a paper bag,” said Harold Bloom, a professor of the humanities and English at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Bloom, 77, is the author of ``The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages’‘ (Harcourt, 1994), an examination of the most important works in Western literature. Rand isn’t on the list.

So thanks to Jehuda and everyone else for refusing to compromise Brandeis’ integrity and reputation by rejecting tainted corporate money. If only they would protect the Brandeis name/brand in other areas as well.

Markey Liveblog

Quick notes from the address-

4:22 – There are lakes formingin the sheets of ice on Greenland. The melted water also flows to  the  bottom on the ice sheets, lubricatingthe ice sheets and carrying them ever so swiftly to the sea.

4:25 – Whyisthe world angryat us? “Most of the CO2 is Red White Blue”

4:26- ‘You can’t preach temperance from the bar stool.” Re- Our attitude to India and China

4:27- “The Amazon is the lungs of the plan et.”

4:30 – Touts the Energy Bill’s improvement of CAFE standards. 35 mpgs by 2020.   The same  energy bill that  gravel scorned as too weak, by the way. Markey talks about Toyota, GM,   etc  fighting it. Talks about   how youth are pushing congress and  are ‘the future”

ed – It’s good that markey acknowledges that the energy bill was weak. It’s also good that he pushes thee idea that we have to pass a cap and trade program before we have the credibility to  tell india and china what to do.

4:39 – Apparently now we are “The Green Generation”

4:40- Tells the walmart CF lightbulb story.

4:43 – Markey’s challenge – Find a product or company that wastes power (ex. cell phones can be more energy efficient, etc) and start a publicity campaign to hold these  companies accountable.

4:45- The old apollo program analogy