Thursday, November 23, 2006

Newspaper seminar

Just for this week we will meet on Friday at 430pm at the SAIS bar
instead of the usual to 530pm to accomodate the talk at 530pm in the
penthouse by Prof. Roberto Belloni on "The Problem with
Humanitarianism". To get ourselves ready for the talk we will make our
theme (drumroll please)


1. This reading is a broad poetic account of the problems of aid,
whether in conflict zones or for poverty reduction. Kristof is a
fantastic writer and its a short quick read and will put you up to
speed quickly on some of the more pertinent issues in Humanitarianism.
As an added bonus our classmates in the "seminar on the humanitarian
aid enterprise" will be present to discuss their new found expertise on
this issue and will field any questions to add depth to our discussion

"Aid: can it work?" -By Nicholas D. Kristof

2. Kosovo Independence - A real world example of the problems of
humanitarianism. Some articles and talking points. This presentation
will be led by fellow classmates who have been involved in the region
and will guide our discussion.

Issue:  Kosovo Independence
Background:  The following articles discuss specifically the Status
Solution for Kosovo and Serbian Parliamentary Elections.  After most
republics of former Yugoslavia had broken away, Kosovo was still an
autonomous region in the territory of the Republic of Serbia with a
majority ethnic-Albanian population.  Milosevic’s efforts to tighten
control over the region prompted a guerilla insurgency by the ethnic
Albanians calling for independence.  The Yugslav army (essentially
Serbs) moved in to crush the insurgency, and is accused of genocide in
the process, which prompted the 1999 NATO bombings of Serbia to compel
a withdrawal.  Since 1999, Kosovo, while still Serbian territory, has
been a UN protectorate. 
The Contact Group had chosen 2006 as the year to propose a status
solution for Kosovo, to remain part of Serbia with varying levels of
autonomy or independence or some in-between.  The question prior to
November 10, 2006 was if the Kosovo status solution proposal would be
announced by Ahtisaari (leading the negotiations) before or after
Serbian Parliamentary elections.

Washington Post News Article, November 10, 2006
Relation between Serbia’s Election announcement and the status solution
Washington Post Editorial, November 10, 2006
Pro Kosovo Independence
Washington Post OpEd Piece by PM Vojislav Kostunica, July 12, 2006
Anti Kosovo Independence

Alright thats it. I look forward to the presenters and facilitating a
lively discussion. Onward, ho!

Peace and Love


"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror,
murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci
and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had
five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce?
The cuckoo clock." - Orson Welles

Monday, November 13, 2006

The end of western civilization?

maciek just sent me this article which I urge all of you to read when
you can. It addresses our first topic of fertility rates and the
world. It is quite the lombastic politically incorrect'll make you think ALOT. It is the end of the world
(as we know it) .....and i feel fine.

Newspaper seminar November 10

Wow what a week of news and events. This weeks topics and
readings (drumroll please)

1. God and Politics

Europe is losing its secularity. Everyone with liberal values please

2/3 of Americans believe the war in Iraq was a mistake the other 1/3
are evangelical!

2. Saddam Hussein Trial

This trial is more than meets the eye. An article exploring the
legitimacy, sanity and consequences of executing Hussein.


3. Mid term election results

I am still waiting! How did Lieberman win? A quick recap and some of
your thoughts on the outcomes.

As always we will be in the bar at 530pm. This week there is no
aperitivo though guilio(the bar guy) told me he can possibly cut us a
deal for some wine. We can also make other arrangements. I will at
least have a bottle I will bring to get me through my opening remarks.
Look forward to facilitating a lively discussion.

Peace and Love,


Johns Hopkins NEWSPAPER seminar

I am running a newspaper seminar at the Johns Hopkins - Bologna
center in Italy this semester. Basically its not the Daily Show but a
Weekly Show (doesn't have the same ring to it does it?) and I am no
Jon Stewart just yet though I do select reading, invite speakers and
run the show. I will post on my blog here weekly the topics and the
readings so you can be up to date. And if you are passing by bologna,
italy you are always welcome to stop by for some good times....

Good evening my people. It is with great pleasure and honor that I
inform you of the commencement of The Newspaper Seminar Series at SAIS
Bologna center this Friday November 3rd, 530PM in the SAIS bar area.
The Newspaper seminar has been a weekly tradition here at the Bologna
center, serving as a much needed forum in which students can discuss
and actively stay informed about current events. The seminar will
serve to identify key trends and stories in the news and relate them
to what we study in our courses. It is student organized and run with
professor Erik Jones as faculty advisor and myself Gabo as the TA.
Every week we will highlight some key topics for discussion, send out
links, ask people if they would like to present and over time with
your input discuss topics you feel most interested in. This is all
going to be very relaxed and you don't have to do the readings to
participate (although it helps), you can just show up and join the
discussion. We will also from time to time have prominent guest
speakers and faculty to join in to spice things up.

This week our theme will be

The U.S. MID TERM elections and their relationship with the WAR in IRAQ.

As many of you know the war in Iraq is becoming the numer one issue in
the US mid term elections, so we will devote our first session to analysing and exploring the links to possible election outcomes and their influence on US foreign policy.

As an added treat, our very own Professor JOHN HARPER has agreed to stop by to discuss and comment on our presentations and perspectives.
Now thats exciting. And to make it even more exciting we are also offering a free aperitivo (wine, cheese, etc) for the first 15-20
Students who show up.

So are you lonely? Workload got you down? Don't have time to keep up
on whats happening in the world? Looking for a platform to spew your
crazy views? Are you are looking to make friends and influence
people? Then NEWSPAPER SEMINAR is for you. I look forward to
facilitating our first discussion this friday 530pm in the SAIS bar

Peace and Love,


P.S. below our the links and quotes from them we will use as a
luanching point for discussion. If anyone wants to present and or
comment write me an email. after the first session we will set up our
own listserv to get this party started.

<fontfamily><param>Helvetica</param>Cut and Run? "America's voters are entitled to punish George Bush. They should not punish the people
of Iraq." The economist October 28th, 2006

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do
your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If
you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Senator John Kerry
Watching from afar - How the rest of the world sees America's mid-term

War with Iran?
"A hidden crisis is under way. Many government insiders are aware of
serious plans for war with Iran, but Congress and the public remain
largely in the dark"- Daniel Ellsberg (of pentagon papers fame)

For full text

The Next War - Daniel Ellsberg

orson welles

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror,
murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci
and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had
five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce?
The cuckoo clock." - Orson Welles