Tuesday, August 31, 2004
It looks like this year's incoming freshman class is even whiter than last years, which itself looked pretty white. Things are looking grim for Berkeley's quality of student body. (pun not quite intended)
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Not that there's any point in keeping track, but:
Yvette Felarca and Ronald Cruz each earn BNPs. I voted for neither! Yay!
Yvette mentions "free speech" four times, "due process" twice, and "student democracy" twice, so that's 8 BNPs. Free speech and due process are mentioned with respect to the U.S. constitution. The ASUC is not the federal government. Sorry. There is no such thing as the "student democracy," either, because the ASUC is not any kind of government.
Ronald Cruz mentions that low levels of blacks in Berkeley in general and in the engineering college specifically are "abysmal and unacceptable." I have accepted them. Therefore, they are not unacceptable. One.
UC Berkeley should be the state's trailblazer at achieving a truly integrated and diverse campus, representative of all the people of California. However, UC-Berkeley now has the notoriety of admitting the state's most segregated freshman class.
To the first sentence, I say "Why?" Let some other campus do that. Or better yet, let no campus do that. Two. To the second sentence, I will mention that "segregated" means "separated" or "isolated," which is not Cruz's complaint at all. Three.
When Birgeneau takes office in October, he has an obligation to put forward a plan to address this crisis now.
No, he doesn't. Four.
The nation's highest court, in its landmark Grutter v. Bollinger ruling on June 23, 2003, established affirmative action as the law of the land.
No, it didn't. It established affirmative action as an okay law of the land in certain circumstances, if the state in question feels like it. Our state does not feel like it. Five.
The University of California can no longer pursue its educational mission of serving all Californians and establishing a diverse campus without affirmative action.
Declare that a top priority of the new administration is reversing the drop in underrepresented minority enrollment, and that he will use every measure possible under the law to do this.
Well, saying that it's impossible without affirmative action, and then demanding success by working under the law seems a bit futile. After all, the absence of affirmative action is the law in California.
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Is this guy for realz?
Tom Hipsz, a former coach for Toronto's football team, wants to scare us by saying that incoming chancellor Birgeneau is no fan of athletics. Imagine a large football player huffing and puffing about how important what he does is, even though he doesn't really have any good perspective on it. That's what I imagined when I read the opinion.
If UC Berkeley has decided sports are not important, then Birgeneau is your man.
For the most part, yeah, that's what many of us have decided. Sports are a perk, but the point of the university is education.
At Toronto, he is on record as not wanting "to mimic the U.S. system which offers full scholarships based on athletic, not scholastic merit." How will that go over with your alumni?
That will go over well with the alumni who like education.
Birgeneau was just trying to enforce the 'dumb jock' stereotype by his portrayal of scholarship football players as idiots. How will he feel about your beloved Golden Bear football and basketball teams?
Oh, dude. I'll be honest, the 'dumb jock' stereotype is being reinforced in my mind, too, but mostly because of the writing on this letter, not because of the new chancellor. Our football and basketball teams aren't really all that beloved. Next time, come to Cal before you want to make broad statements about what we do or don't want.
If you want a good laugh, ask him if he has any clue who Jason Kidd, Kyle Boller, Shareef Abdul-Rahim, Tony Gonzalez, Kevin Johnson, Todd Steussie, and Lamond Murray are.
I know who Jason Kidd and Kyle Boller are. That's it. I don't really care. Quick poll: Do you know who these people are?
GO FOOTBALL!!! ROAR!!!
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Beetle Negativity Points
I think I'll start issuing some BNPs to folks for abusing the English language.
The inaugural BNP goes to Misha Leybovich. While arguing against the OSL's failed attempt to place a $40 fee on OSL registration, he writes "There was no justification. Free speech should not be charged."
There was a justification (OSL needs money). Even if you don't think it's a very good justification, it's still there. But the BNP goes to Misha for his failure to omit some broad statement about free speech. Everyone likes free speech, but that doesn't make it okay for folks to attach free speech to their individual, unrelated issues. Free speech is your ability to speak freely, not to have free access to university space for your free speech. That's a seperate, and in my opinion, good policy, but it has nothing to do with free speech. (I voted for Misha. Booo!)
And a BPP (Beetle Positivity Point) to Ben Narodick for not invoking free speech, but instead invoking something relevant: the OSL's job. Yay Ben! (I voted for Ben. Woohoo!)
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The Daily Cal published a letter of mine complaining about a pretty pathetic column last week. But before folks get on my case for the letter, I do want to point out that the published letter is just as pathetic, because it was heavily edited for space, unfortunately leaving out most of the important details. I also want to point out that I did not claim the columnists views on gay marriage were ridiculous, only that her interpretation of the controversy was.
End disclaimer. (And no, I'm not blaming The Daily Cal for anything, just covering my ass)
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Monday, August 30, 2004
Oh, no way
While waiting on my laundry, I took a glance at my old posts from last September. I read them, chuckled a few times, maybe. Nothing much.
But then today, I noticed that Mehammed Mack has a column in the Daily Cal again. Trippy. The "very flattering bloggers who sacrificed their time to flesh out my complex character flaws" included me, and I did most of that during that particular September. At least he doesn't look like an idiot with that peace sign this time.
(By the way, I stand by my objections from the past, but this column isn't nearly as horrid as his old ones)
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Sunday, August 29, 2004
Quick voting guide
It's the beginning of September, and that leaves two months or so before the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. I hear that congressfolk are running for office this year, but nobody really cares. It's far more important that we discuss the presidential election, where our vote doesn't actually count.
But instead of just telling you who to vote for and saying anyone else's voting motivations are stupid, here's a quick guide to how to vote depending on how you feel about this fascinating institution of "Republic."
Theoretical idealistic voting: Vote for the person who best represents your beliefs. This is a popular voting philosophy to support in public, but following this philosophy invariably leads to a write-in vote for yourself on election day. (If it doesn't, you've got yourself some serious problems)
Pragmatic idealistic voting: Vote for the person who would best serve as the President of the United States. I would write-in my mother, probably.
Victory voting: Vote so that your choice of President has a better chance of becoming President. Certainly a reasonable philosophy, but most of us aren't in a position to engage in victory voting. As a Californian, my vote will not impact the winner of the presidential election in any way.
Protest voting: Vote to make your voice heard. While your vote may not impact the election, your vote is still going to be reported and available to anyone who wants to look it up. You have the opportunity to let people know that you support Kerry by changing the report from "12,593,221 votes for Kerry" to "12,593,222 votes for Kerry." Of course, if you're really doing it for the protest value to make your voice heard, you would again be doing write-ins, perhaps for "Not Bush" or (in my case) "Somebody not as boring as these people."
Strategic voting (Beetle's Pick!!!): Vote for whatever is best for you. If you're a Californian, regardless of your political affiliation, this means voting for Bush. Given that Kerry wins the state (as he will), we may as well do as much as we can to make the state-wide race as close as possible, so in 2008, the presidential candidates actually have to come and promise us things, too. Then we can get in on the indignation that the swing states have felt for decades when promises are broken.
That's it for Beetle's Quick Voting Guide. A few notes to end with:
A vote for Nader (or any other third-party candidate) is not a vote for Bush (or whatever major party candidate most opposes your third-party's beliefs). It is, in fact, half a vote for Bush (or "").
Not voting is not sinful, shameful, or horrible. It is actually just not voting. Don't care who wins? Better to not vote than to cast a meaningless one. Think voting is too much effort when your vote doesn't matter anyway? Vote for someone who will change things. Oh. Well, just don't vote, then.
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Five reasons why I'm right and you're wrong.
1) Because I'm me, and you're not.
2) Because I respect your wrongheaded, incorrect, absurd, idiotic opinion without dismissing it outright.
3) Because my friends say so.
4) Because someone totally unrelated to this conversation said or did something stupid, once.
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