Even Rambo Gets to Go Home

February 29, 2008


There I was, just in for a view of gratuitous violence. I admit it. I was in the mood for some serious blood-and-guts. Based on a friend’s recommendation, having read about the body counts in this flick, and completeness (I confess to having seen the previous ones in the series too), I went to see Rambo.

I was not disappointed in my lust for gore. But I got a lot more. I was actually moved to a few tears by the scene where villagers were killed off. All I could think was, “How similar this scene must be to our plight a century ago. What a good presentation of genocide at the micro level.” So the stage was set, my mind was in “Genocide” mode.  Read more. . .


Elections in Armenia Could be Improved Only by Changing Society’s Value System

February 28, 2008

By Harut Sassounian ~ Publisher, The California Courier

Last week’s presidential elections in Armenia received substantial coverage in the international media. Here is how The Economist, a British weekly newspaper, assessed the situation:

“Elections in former Soviet republics rarely yield surprises. The incumbent wins; the opposition cries foul; it takes to the streets. The presidential vote in Armenia on February 19th ran true to form. Serzh Sarkisian, the prime minister, won 53% of the vote, enough to avert a runoff with his main rival, Levon Ter-Petrossian, with 21%. Mr. Ter-Petrossian, a former president, said Mr. Sarkisian had stolen the vote even before ballots were counted. Independent observers talked of ballot stuffing and intimidation. Yet, as thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Yerevan, monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe opined that the election was ‘mostly in line with the country’s international commitments’, even though the vote count in 16% of stations was ‘bad or very bad’. That verdict makes it more unlikely that the opposition can overturn the results.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Totah Confusion

February 22, 2008


I’ve always advocated action, participation, doing something over doing nothing, in a word, activism.

But all along, I’ve held a bias that’s now been revealed to me. I suppose I owe everyone an apology. I’d just always assumed that activists, especially any who survive into their twenties and beyond, also develop/have good judgment. At the very least, I’ve observed most organizations checking the overzealousness of some of their members/activists in the interest of not doing damage to their cause. It seems I am dead wrong on this front. Read more…

While Everyone was Busy Watching Elections in America and Armenia …

February 21, 2008

By Harut Sassounian ~ Publisher, The California Courier

In recent weeks, while Armenian-Americans were preoccupied with Presidential elections in America and Armenia, there were other interesting developments that may not have attracted public attention. Here are my brief observations on some of them: Read the rest of this entry »

Sayonara Saccharin

February 15, 2008


Finally, we may be on the verge of getting rid of those disgusting tasting sweeteners.

A study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana and funded by the school and the U.S. National Institutes of Health made an interesting discovery. Rats fed saccharin-sweetened madzoon before their regular meal gained more weight after five weeks than rats fed madzoon sweetened with glucose (the simplest form of sugar, what the body actually burns for fuel). The saccharin rats consumed more calories too.   Read more. . .

Armenian-American Community Has Come a Long Way…

February 14, 2008

By Harut Sassounian ~ Publisher, The California Courier

We all can recall the time when a city councilman would show up at an annual banquet with a proclamation commending Armenians and their achievements. Those in attendance would welcome the politician with rousing applause and a standing ovation. And if the elected official managed to greet the audience with one or two mangled Armenian words, he or she would be hailed as a hero. Read the rest of this entry »

Picking a Pair of Presidents

February 8, 2008


Super Tuesday was and wasn’t.

It wasn’t super in that we still don’t know who the Democratic Party’s nominee will be. That outcome will be a grueling battle between Clinton and Obama. As I’ve pointed out in the past, organization wins. Hillary has a better campaign organization. On the Republican side, prevailing wisdom and arithmetic both indicate that McCain will be the nominee (eight years late, after Shrub used very dirty tactics against him in the 2000 race).  Read more. . .