Saturday, September 16, 2006

American Dream (reflection)

The American Dream. I am a believer that we can accomplish the majority of things that we wish and dream for. Hard work and dedication are the foundations of being successful, though knowing people in influential positions and keeping them in your network can expedite the process.

I grew up in a middle-class family in Denver, CO and thought that my life was pretty normal compared to my friends until I moved to Aspen, CO. This was eye-opening because in Aspen, we were not middle-class. We looked downright poor compared to the filthy rich children that I went to school with - kids that lived in mansions, were chauffered to school, and had every imaginable toy that anyone could ever want.

My parents have always told me that I can be whatever I want to be, a notion that I definitely believe. I know that some people say that the American Dream isnt available to everyone, that some folks cannot succeed no matter how hard they try because the Governement, society, whatever is against them. To them, I call bullshit. Immigrants arriving in America in the early 1900s had literally nothing to their name and some of them became extremely wealthy because of their dedication and hardwork. Andrew Carnegie was an impoverished immigrant from Scotland who came to America, after selling all of his belongings and even borrowing money from friends, and struck it rich in the steel business. Mind you, this was at a time when Americans were not friendly towards immigrants(well, i guess this is still the same), especially those from Scotland.

Luckily, my parents didnt have any "downclass" fears, as my mother had come from a poor Mexican family of 12 and knows how bad it is to prejudge someone because of their clothing or neighborhood.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Austin City Limits

So, Austin City Limits starts tomorrow. I'm gonna be there all three days and maybe even then some. If anyone else is going, lemme know who you are going to see. There are so many good bands that its going to be impossible to see everyone that I would like, so I am forced to make some tough decisions.

Friday:

2:30-3:30 - Guster (or Deadboy & The Elephantmen)
3:30-4:30 - Wolf Parade
4:30-5:30 - Gnarls Barkley
5:30-6:30 - Gomez
food/shade break
8:15-9:30 - John Mayer

10:00-1:00 - Kings of Leon - aftershow at Emo's



Saturday:

12:30-1:30 - Centromatic
1:30-2:30 - Phoenix
2:30-3:30 - Ben Kweller
3:30-4:30 - The Secret Machines
4:30-5:15 - The Long Winters
5:30-6:30 - Calexico
6:30-7:30 - The Raconteurs
7:30-8:15 - Kings of Leon (again)
8:15-9:30 - Willie Nelson

10:00-1:00 - Okkervil River and Deadboy (aftershow at the Parish)


Sunday:

12:30-1:30 - The Stills
2:30-3:30 - Damian Marley
3:30-4:30 - Jose Gonzalez
4:30-5:30 - Matisyahu
6:30-7:30 - The Flaming Lips (missing Ben Harper)
7:45-8:30 - Muse (missing G.Love)
8:30-10:00 - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The new Saudi Arabian student body (news)

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Cnn.com reported that several large universities in the United States are very excited about the huge influx of international students from Saudi Arabia into their schools. The main reason, the story says, is that the student's tuition is being completely funded by the Saudi government. This means that the universities can make the most money they possibly can from these students, as they are in no need of scholarships, financial aide, or work-study programs. Also, they are out-of-state students and therefore pay a higher price to attend. I think that it is great to have such a diverse student body at a college so that we all can meet many new people from all walks of life, but how are many people that are outside of the college life going to see this new development?

Not good, probably.

To many U.S. citizens, these international students will be looked at with great suspicion and contempt and will be treated accordingly. With the government telling us all the time of the threat level being raised to "orange" or downgraded to "melon" or whatever (note: this is not a real threat-level color), who will people come to suspect of being indirectly responsible for such changes? The fact is, we have been berated with information from all sorts of media that any Middle Easterner is or could be a terrorist that we seem to forget that there is an overwhelming percentage of people from these countries that are law-abiding and friendly people.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nightmare Before Christmas

Movieweb reported that Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas will be re-released in October in 3D. I wish more movies were in 3D because "sometimes two dimensions are just not enough".

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Trouble in Iran (news)

On Cnn.com there is a new story about how Iran's President Ahmadinejad is trying to rally the students at the major universities in Tehran and other cities to expel all liberal and non-hardcore professors and teachers because they do not preach or promote Islamic fundamentalism as much as Ahmadinejad feels is appropriate.

There will hopefully be some protest from the students there, as the educators in question will not have any say in the matter or will probably face having a secret police force keeping them from publicly voicing their opposition and disapproval. Maybe some of the students in Tehran's universities will see this as yet another push towards complete fundamentalism and will stand their ground in allowing more than one point of view be present in higher education. But then again, maybe there really are more Islamic extremists than open-minded individuals amongst Iran's youth and this is just the beginning of a larger, more focused campaign that will further put the country at odds with other nations around the world.

Higher education is supposed to nurture and support different ideas. Without liberal professors, or even just professors that do not continually preach radical Islamist agendas, the student population there will be subject to anti-Israel, anti-America, anti-everyone-who-is-not-hard-core-Islam propaganda that stresses violence over understanding and unity.

Good luck Tehran U students. Don't lose this opportunity to fight for your mental freedom.

Friday, September 01, 2006

new test post

I hope this works.