Thursday itself

It’s Thursday, which is one day away from Friday…

Amidst all the stories of tragedy, gloom, doom, and accusations of stinginess (although the media’s hype of massive generosity seems to belie the accusation of Scrooge behavior) regarding the South Asian tsunami, a Jan. 4 article – NY Times’ David Rhode’s writing on the hopes of humanity’s better nature:

The Tidal Wave Task Force headquarters here is not much to look at, but what is happening inside is extraordinary.

Inside a crumbling, bullet-riddled building in rebel territory in northern Sri Lanka, low-level representatives of the country’s government and Tamil Tigers rebels – mortal enemies in a brutal civil war – are sitting together and planning the distribution of relief aid to tsunami victims. [….]

In a reaction reminiscent of the sense of unity that spread across the United States following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, large numbers of Sri Lankans appear to be spontaneously reaching across the country’s festering ethnic divides and delivering donated food and aid to rival ethnic groups.

“We see people strongly affected by it,” said a senior Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They think about the possibility of working together and the necessity to do so.”


An array of political and religious leaders has called for national unity since the disaster. In impromptu scenes witnessed over the past five days, Sri Lankans of various backgrounds delivered aid to one another or proudly told stories of food being delivered by one group to another.

While it was impossible to gauge the actual breadth of the sentiment, a new passion for unity has been heard repeatedly in interviews. Asked why he had just delivered a truckload of food to a group of ethnic Tamil refugees on Sri Lanka’s east coast last week, Thavamani, a 48-year-old ethnic Sinhalese businessmen who uses only the one name, said it was his response to the disaster.

“Because of the incidents, we have to get together,” he said. “We have to get together.”

In the mountain town of Teldeniya in central Sri Lanka, Jayasingha, a 32-year-old businessman, was one of hundreds of people who attended a ceremony at a Buddhist temple where monks lit 15,000 oil lamps in remembrance of the dead. Sinhalese, who make up about 75 percent of the population, are generally Buddhists. Tamils, who make up roughly 18 percent of the population, are generally Hindus.

Gently cradling his 11-month-old daughter in his arms, Mr. Jayasingha, a Sinhalese, said the nation’s response to the crisis has shown that Sri Lankans can work cooperatively.

“Muslims, Sinhalese, Tamils, they are working together everywhere with this problem,” he said. “I’m hoping in the future it will be like that.”

Sounds beautiful, if it can happen.’s latest “Jurisprudence” column, by Stanford Law prof Richard Thompson Ford, argues that the liberals ought to embrace federalism. Arguably, he has a point – as much as the left of center folks recoil at the idea of states’ rights, there’s nothing inherently “conservative” about federalism. It always irritated me whenever the conservative types wave their so-called federalism flag, since I always thought that there was more to federalism than “conservative” or “liberal” labels. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but federalism was more than just “states’ rights” – it was the Founding Fathers’ idea of balancing the states and the central (federal) government and included checks and balances of the federal government itself (the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches annoying the heck out of each other with various maneuvers). I mean, those Founding Fathers weren’t idiots or just Dead White Guys – they were trying to make an unprecedented government that functioned somehow for more than 200 years…

(ok, it’s too obvious that I spent my undergraduate years studying the history of the Founding Fathers, isn’t it? Rah-rah for the history majors; or else maybe the poli-sci folks can challenge that.).

Wednesday into Thursday

Ok, I’m going to have to make a second viewing of the season premiere of “Alias” (I taped it, of course, even though I was watching it). (plus, it’s crazy to put it on Wednesday night – not to say that I don’t prefer this time slot, but it’s up against a lately-more-interesting “West Wing” and I will feel really torn once “Jack and Bobby” is back on Wednesday nights at 9pm from its midseason hiatus – how will I choose between watching the presidential tv shows and the spy show? hmm)…

Anyway, it’s the usual crazy Secret Agent Sidney stuff (What in the world did her father do this time to earn her distrust and angst? — and once it’s revealed, one is left thinking, “Oh, Jack – there has to be more than this, as usual!”; Sloane is still evil, no matter what he does or says; and, with much echoes to the series’ season 1 premiere – like the scene where Jack Bristow saves his daughter Sidney, even though she doesn’t feel the love for him, just like in the series premiere – and some season 1 plot development again – since Sidney is essentially lying to her friend(s) about what she’s doing as far as the Profession is concerned)… Head spinning stuff. – cool slide essay on Isamu Noguchi.

I don’t know why NY Daily News didn’t have this article posted on their website, but I liked it – in Wednesday’s Daily News, Dick Weiss wrote a profile on University of Southern California’s offensive coordinator Norm Chow (USC Trojans won the Orange Bowl Tuesday night) – Head Coach Pete Carroll gave much of the credit to Chow, who apparently had some great plays and inspires quarterbacks. A Chinese-Hawaiian Mormon, he played college football and Canadian Football League; he’s a Brigham Young University Phd., and had been their college football team’s offensive coordinator (mentoring former NFL quarterback Steve Young back in the day). While Chow’s quoted to be interested in being a head coach someday (cool, an APA head coach, if it can happen), Chow’s proud to support the Trojan dynasty (can we call it a dynasty? I don’t know college football enough to say anything). Here’s the profile from USC.

According to Wednesday’s Daily News, Channel 9 (WWOR) will be the free tv station for Yankees games. The NYC area is now living in an age where Channel 11 (WPIX), the station that used to air Yankees games and Phil Rizzuto’s Holy Cow, is showing Mets games – and starting this upcoming baseball season, Channel 9, the ex-Mets station (36 years of the Mets’ era; plus those Kiner’s Korners, where Ralph Kiner interviewed people), will have the Yanks. It’s like Channel 11 and Channel 9 traded places (well, some five years after the fact anyway). And, there is something so wrong about this. (well, that’s just me, I guess).

Did I mention that I had finished reading “Sense and Sensibility” (Jane Austen) last week? Dry humor – funny; ending was a little odd to me; but all right read. I think I preferred “Pride and Prejudice” as far as a novel, although I really liked the humor of “Sense and Sensibility.”

Thursday’s coming…