Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What to do when your sick? Sickblogging (and a little bit about Adm. Dennis Blair)

Well, I have had some unpleasant winter bug that on top of everything my kids seems to have or at least have something similar.  It has been fun at night here to say the least.  I was hoping to get some work done over winter break especially since I was overwhelmed with teaching in the fall quarter.  That is not happening.  But in the few moments of peace here, I have looked for something to do --- and hey there is one thing I could do with only a little time.  Blogging.  And of course I am not alone in this.  So here are some links to others on sickblogging:
And what have I to say today?  Not much but here is a preview of things to come.  I have a feeling that Obama is stalking me scientifically.  Why?  Well, I am one or two steps removed from a huge number of his appointees and I plan to write about them in the next few weeks once I get better.  One things the science bloggers might not have heard about is the passion Adm. Dennis Blair has for science.  Dennis Blair is Obama's pick for DNI (Director of National Intelligence) and I know him through a program called the Defense Science Studies Group (DSSG).  I will write more about this later, but what I can say here is I think Blair is a brilliant pick by Obama.  Not only does he have a strong military and intelligence background, but more importantly to me, he believes in evidence, and is a strong supporter of science.  And below is a little pic of me getting my certificate from Adm. Blair.  


  1. Blair should be rejected as National Director of Intelligence because of his role in the East Timor crisis of 1999. He undermined the Clinton administration's belated efforts to support human rights and self-determination in the Indonesian-occupied territory and opposed congressional efforts to limit military assistance. In fact, he downplayed human rights concerns and essentially gave a go ahead to the Indonesian military to violate human rights. His belief that engagement with the Indonesia military would lead to tempering of its human rights crimes and reform had no basis in reality. Indeed, the evidence was to the contrary. The Indonesian security forces behavior was at its worst when the U.S. was most engaged. The result - hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    See here for the details.

  2. John

    I understand the criticism. I do not know enough about this issue to say much about it. But the fact that he did not do exactly what the state department wanted does not bother me and I think it is unclear whether his strategy was misguided or not. If he gave the go ahead to them to violate human rights, that would be bad, but my reading of the record does not indicate that he did that. From what I have read, he favored engagement over isolation and the Indonesian military may have used this as an excuse for their behavior --- this does not in any way mean that engagement caused their behavior or even supported it. Engagement with others, even those doing things we do not like, is a stance favored by Obama and is one I support.

  3. YOU'RE A COLLEGE PROFESSOR????? Then how come you don't know that YOU'RE sick is the way not YOUR sick???? No wonder our kids can't read now-a days!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

  4. Thanks for the error correction

    But FYI the problem is blogging from an iPhone with it's awkward keyboard and error correction systemand not bad spelling ....

  5. You clean up nice! Have never seen you out of your usual 'uniform'...

  6. I have a feeling that Obama is stalking me scientifically. Why? Well, I am one or two steps removed from a huge number of his appointees

    And so the rest of us who are associated with you are therefore two or three steps removed? It's like Erdős numbers....

  7. Dear blogging guru

    Thank you for teaching me another important blogging term.

    I hope you wont be Sickblogging for long.

    I look forward to your posts on Obama's new picks. Keep your answering machine on, he still has a few posts to fill. I want you at the top- once removed is not good enough.

    I hope to see you in the new year.

  8. Does Blair realize I am only 2 degrees from him, shouldn't you alert homeland security....or your mother.

  9. umm - like they do not already know --- my mom clearly knows and when they did my background checks for Security Clearance I am sure you were the #1 topic of conversation

  10. My wife reminds me that you thought highly of Sec. Rice...

  11. Well, the thing with Rice is different. I liked her as Provost of Stanford and worked on a committee she chaired. But I knew nothing of her politics nor have I ever commented positively on them. Blair on the other hand is both not only impressive intellectually but also, in my opinion, in terms of politics and experience. Rice was clearly picked largely because of her neocon style and not her experience per se. Blair has both an Obama-esque style as well as extensive military and intelligence experience. So, sure, I liked Rice when she was at Stanford, but only in terms of being smart and running this one program ... Blair is orders of magnitude better ...

  12. She doth protest too much....


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