Cafeteria Cuisine Goes Middle Eastern

Cafeterias campus-wide served up a global plate last week during MSU’s International Education week. Starting Tuesday, November 16 and ending Thursday, November 18, cafeteria staff exposed students to Italian, Middle Eastern, and Spanish cuisine. On Wednesday, the cafeteria dished up familiar Mid-East cookery, including tabouli, hummus, and baklava, while also introducing students to many other unique Middle Eastern dishes to add to expand the typical college kid’s palate.
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Check out this Mid-east sweet, namoura (nah-more-ah). It’s a rich yellow cake with almonds and honey on top. This pleasantly sticky Middle Eastern delight was quite a treat for Marisa Llombart who said, “It’s different than anything I’ve ever tried before, but I definitely enjoyed it.”
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This little cookie is called mamoul. The pastry has a traditional decoration on top, but many people are creating their own intricate designs and topping them with powdered sugar. The date or nut-filled pastry is especially popular in Syria and Lebanon. Rachel Buchholz is neither Syrian nor Lebanese, but the cookies were popular with her. She said, “They were delicious.”
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Not everyone wanted to eat the Middle Eastern cuisine served on Wednesday, so some students opted for grilled cheese. Even this American dish took on a Middle Eastern twist.
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Although the roasted lamb was not prepared by the traditional spit-roast, it was still a popular dish. Whole spit-roasted lamb is said to be one of the Middle Eastern Delicacies.
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Is red-skin mash a Middle Eastern dish? Jon Booker didn’t know but said, “I like mashed potatoes.”
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The fattuslit salad was filled with pita bread, peppers, onions, lettuce, and assorted spices.
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Is it sweet or salty? Everyone had a different opinion about the Lebanese yogurt and cucumber salad that contains plain yogurt, mint leaves, garlic, salt, and cucumbers. Jessica Henderson said, “The salad was good: One bite was sweet, the other salty. Nonetheless, it was interesting.”

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Can You Feel a Draft?

Recently, there has been quite a buzz about reinstating the draft. Rumors are flying about drafting men, women, and college students. But if either presidential candidate were to admit to plans of reinstating the draft, it would be campaign suicide, and they both maintain they are against it.[troops]
“Both candidates are very militaristic, but the draft would be more likely to be reinstated under Bush so that he could further support the war that he prompted,” Jessica Henderson, an MSU junior, said.
Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, supports an all-volunteer army because according to an Army ROTC representative that wanted to remain anonymous, “it is not the military’s code to take a draft.” When asked if women and college students would be exempt from the draft, the ROTC representative would not offer any further information except he again emphasized, but worded differently that “it is not the military’s policy.”
But, it seems that the reserves are getting thinner and there’s a demand to deploy more troops. The question remains as to how President Bush or Sen. John Kerry will address this issue without a draft. There are approximately 5 million Iraqis living in Baghdad alone and United States has about 150,000 soldiers on the ground in entire country. That brings the ratio to 33 Iraqis to every American “volunteer” in Baghdad alone. With those frightening odds, there is no wonder that there is an average of one soldier dying per day in Iraq. As of October 20, 1,102 soldiers have been killed and 7,782 wounded. [sam5]
There is still a single division (600,000 soldiers) that could be deployed to Iraq. But can the United States afford to send that division with the rising threat of countries such as North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia? Our troops are dwindling and the United States reserves are stretched thin.
What frightens Americans even more is that what Kerry calls the “backdoor draft,” where soldiers are extending their military careers to serve. The Pentagon does not want to extend the stay for troops already being asked to serve the longest unbroken war since Vietnam.
As for the candidates, Kerry points the finger at Bush, saying that Bush will undoubtedly reinstate the draft and has publicized the advertising for the re-staffing of draft boards. However, the filling of vacancies is an ongoing and public process. On the other hand, Bush has openly admitted to his involvement in the “backdoor draft” and continues to deny any rumors of an actual draft.
Regardless of who is the elected, our country will still be involved in the war. Until Bush or Kerry comes up with a plan to “win the peace” as Kerry says, young men and women will die and the possibility of the draft will continue. Neither candidate wants a draft, but time will tell if they can keep their promises. The question is not whether the country wants a draft, but if it will have to be reinstated. Until Bush or Kerry gets real with the draft-age generation, we will have to wait and wonder.

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Caricatures or Candidates?

The blinker or busy hands? Who are you gonna vote for?
Forget a discussion on foreign policy, terrorism, homeland security, and the sad state of the economy; the candidates barely answer these questions anyway. Much more is communicated to the audience in the presidential debates through the candidates’ body language and presentation, which is all we’re really looking for anyway, right?
First, let’s take a look at George W. Bush. While behind the podium at the first debate, Bush never once stood up straight and instead leaned against the podium, resting his elbows on top, like a teenager giving a high school speech rather than a commander-in-chief speaking to the free world. Also, throughout the debate, Bush seemed agitated and hostile. While giving his rebuttals, he often grew flustered and lost his train of thought, and as Kerry gave his responses, Bush would frown and grimace.
“Bush’s scowls and smirks affect the public’s reaction to him, whether that reaction is positive or negative,” said Dr. David Rohde, a political science professor here at MSU. “Bush is the candidate that relates to the public better,” he added. “That is one of his great advantages in the upcoming election.”
Now, let’s turn our attention across the stage where Kerry stood– straight and tall, I might add. His demeanor throughout the first debate was calm and cool. One of his downfalls, though, was that he rarely looked at the audience as he spoke; rather he directed his arguments toward the mediators. As he spoke, his wild gestures and constant hand movements said even more.
Mike Hoerger, a psychology senior, felt that these mannerisms detracted from Kerry’s speech, saying Kerry’s hand gestures “Looked contrived and unnatural. His upper arms don’t move at all. It seems like his advisors are trying to improve his hand gesturing skills.”
Even though the debates have come to an end, you can still see the candidates’ mannerisms in action in speeches and interviews. Make a game out of counting how many times Bush blinks when answering a question. Watch for his patented deer-caught-in-the-headlights stare, his profuse head-jerking while he is being attacked, and his inability to formulate coherent sentences. While watching Senator Kerry, notice, as sophomore Brenton Montie did that “he is gawky; he just has a Herman Munster body.” Brainstorm other characters Kerry remembles. Also, be on the lookout for new gestures while his hands are flying away at the next public appearance.
In years to come, as we look back on these debates, chances are we won’t remember the defining words or issues. Instead we will remember the performances, both good and bad. But, hopefully, when we step into the voting booth come November, we will remember the candidates’ content, and not their cariacatures when deciding who will best lead our country for the next four years.

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