Wednesday, January 15, 2003


Passing Go
Illinois Gov. George Ryan's decision to offer a blanket commutation of the entire slate of state death row inmates, in my opinion, is a terrible example of ego rampaging recklessly over justice. Gov. Ryan, perhaps trying to distance himself from the impending federal investigation into the potentially illegal shenanigans of his administration, decided to issue a blanket commutation in order to improve his notoriously uninspiring record in the state house.

Essentially, Ryan is trying to get to Heaven on the back of the victims of some of these criminals and their families. I supported then, and do now, an individual case-by-case analysis in order to determine the merits of each case. Maybe Ryan thought that would take too much time, and by then wouldn't be governor anymore, thus depriving him of the craven need for applause and good commentary from the media.

Sean Mullaney (B'00) writes: "Gov. Ryan really is, as the Washington Times calls him, disgraceful. It would be one thing if he reduced the sentences of just those criminals where the guilt was not slam dunk. But he reduced the sentences of some incredibly brutal murders who were obviously guilty of sin. He showed no regard for the victims or their families. To former Gov. Ryan, their pain is a small sacrifice for glorifying himself in the media. Good to hear the new governor, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, has called the decision a "big mistake.""

Suicide in Village C
For those of you not aware, GU freshman Jeremy Dorfman (C'06) was found dead after an apparent suicide in his dorm room on the 4th floor of Village C-West's Y Wing. The details surrounding his death are so far not forthcoming via any official sources, but as the days progress the University might issue some sort of statement.

This is a phone call no parent should have to answer. It is a sad day for the family, for his friends, and for Georgetown.

The incidents of suidide on the Georgetown campus are rare, and the class of 2000 luckily avoided that tragedy. The last case I know of was about 8 years ago, if I'm not mistaken.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003


Timing Patterns
With U.S. troops and equipment moving en masse to the Persian Gulf, the UN inspection teams say they want more time to complete their inspections -- say, a few more months. The inspectors so far have been a useless distraction that is meriting alot more coverage than warranted. A smoking gun was never going to appear, in my opinion.

My take on this is that the inspectors, timid and prone to manipulation as they are, are providing an offsetting benefit for coalition forces. The fact was that even with about four brigade sets' worth of weapons and material prepositioned in the Gulf, we still lack the adequate firepower and manpower strength to invade Iraq and "roll" into Baghdad.

The deployment of the remainder of II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) and the move of the entire Army 3rd Infantry Division are crucial pieces of what is looking like a 150,000-200,000-man force that will likely strike Iraq sometime in the spring or summer. Of course, it may be mid-April before anything really happens.

The next key will be if one of our NATO-based divisions in Germany, 1st Armored and 1st Infantry, pick up stakes and make their way towards the Gulf. We are still a long way from Desert Storm 2.0. Plus, with a precedent that former President Clinton established in Kosovo and Bosnia, UN "approval" isn't necessary.

"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." -- President John F. Kennedy

Monday, January 13, 2003


Buffy Recap: The War of Buffy’s Succession
Tuesday’s episode did a good job explaining why the First Evil (FE) decided to strike the Slayer line. Evidently, Buffy’s death-resurrection-death-resurrection has “disrupted” the slayer lineage. This is a bit of a tangled web, but if you follow me, I can guide us through it:

For the uninitiated –

In the finale of Season 1, the Master vamp bit Buffy and drowned her in the sewer. Xander, however, resuscitates her using CPR. However…
….Buffy had “died”, thus activating a second Slayer, the Jamaican sensation Kendra. Kendra appeared in a few episodes in Season 2 but then was killed by the mostly insane and completely homicidal vampire Drusilla. Slayer line corrected, right? Well…
…the show’s creative team created a nice exception. The next slayer to be called was Faith, played by the fair lady Eliza Dushku. But Faith was called to replace Kendra, not Buffy. Faith’s gradual descent into evil led her to serve as the right hand of the Big Bad of Season 3, the Mayor. Buffy, as fans of the show may remember, tried to kill Faith after the latter had nearly killed Angel, Buffy’s then-beau and currently the star of his own show on the WB, the aptly-titled Angel. But Faith got away and was rendered unconscious for what in the Buffy timeline constituted nearly a year (note: when politicians do this, it’s called spending more time with your family. In actor-speak, Eliza went off to pursue a career in the movies).
Faith awoke (movies done!), caused a lot of trouble for Buffy in a two-episode arc of Season 4 (there’s an involved explanation I’ll spare you here), and escaped to Los Angeles, where she ended up causing a lot of trouble for Angel on his show (again, details shmetails).
Faith is still alive in the two shows’ continuity, serving a prison term at a facility outside LA. Eliza is scheduled to renew her role as Faith in both shows this season (which requires a tangential, separate, and at this moment unnecessary explanation that binds the two shows, which appear on different networks, this season).
Plus, Buffy died again at the end of Season 5, sacrificing herself to save her sister (and the world, too. Hey, big responsibility). Season 5 was the last one on the WB network, so I suppose the creative team wanted to end in a blaze of glory. Well, poof, in 2001 Buffy is on UPN, and it’s not Buffy without the heroine, so she is again resurrected…
…which is why Anya, the former-current-former vengeance demon, felt so guilty about resurrecting Buffy from the dead after her and Giles’ visit with the really gross-looking eye-studded blob who explains the problem It is not that Buffy kept dying, it is that she kept coming back.

SO, when the new slayers-in-training in the latest episode talked about there being more than two slayers, it’s technically true. There’s Buffy, fighting the FE and the ghastly Turok-Han (TH) ubersupervamp, and there’s Faith, who’s lounging in prison.

All that said, the final fight with the TH helped put this episode as one of the 15 best in the history of the 6-plus-this-season run. Buffy’s mocking of the TH, calling the construction site where they fight “Thunderdome”, reminds us of the numerous times the show’s characters play off popular culture. Buffy’s victory over a creature which had nearly killed her in the chapter before the Christmas break “showed” the potential slayers that they could defeat what the FE offered, but also admitted it would take a terrible toll.

Buffy takes this Tuesday off, but will be back with a new episode on the 21st.