Monday, January 31, 2005
How pathetic. Seriously, Daily Cal dudes, is this the most interesting guy you could scrape up? "I don't watch much TV anymore. Let me write a column about it."
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Someone wants to make UC Extension count in GPAs. Whatever, I don't really care. But here are some interesting complaints against the idea:
“Extension is used to let the student adjust to the college courses in a smaller environment, and to make the grades that they take in extension count in their GPA is just extra pressure,” said sophomore Cameron Rahgozar, a former extension student.
Rahgozar said the merits of earning grade points for extension courses varies for each student.
“It’s a mixed tool. It just depends on case to case, from person to person,” he said. “But it is a benefit to have a semester where you can explore and get settled down and be comfortable.”
Yeah, extension students should get the same pressure-free exploratory first semester that every other student does. Oh, wait...
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The Daily Cal usually attempts to make major national stories into local ones in fairly pathetic tie-ins ("Cal Dems watch presidential debate on TV" or "Political center hosts gubernatorial debate.") also has nothing to say on the Iraqi election. I was expecting some kind of human interest story about how Bob the Iraqi who is vaguely tied to Cal was happy or sad or something.
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The Chron, never hesitating to address national affairs in its editorials, has this to say about the Iraqi elections: .
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Sunday, January 30, 2005
Don't make up names
Looking for info on Hunterson? I made up the name Jerry Hunterson as a complaint to some whining by CalSERVEr Dorie Perez. But hey, figments of my imagination seem to be a lot more popular than reality nowadays, anyway.
Disappointment abounds, though, when you search for today's posted adverts of horse for sale by private owners in europe. It's a miracle I actually used that many different words in a month.
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Calstuffer Andy R. wants to see a show of solidarity with Iraqi voters of some sort, involving blue markers and such. The ink looks pretty purple to me, but whatever, it's not my barbeque. Andy's idea gets my all-important endorsement.
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Saturday, January 29, 2005
Uh some more
While the link may change, the truth won't. Once again, the Boston Globe succeeds in turning murder into a laughing matter with the headline: "Teenager killed with killing man in parking garage."
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So, here's a great idea from a Chron columnist, concerned about how the Army gets high school phone numbers and recruits using them:
And don't bother trying to fight the premise. Both the Santa Cruz and San Francisco school districts thought they'd come up with a compromise, which was: Let those who are interested in the military have a chance to volunteer for information.
Both districts suggested an "opt in" policy under which interested students would ask to be contacted. No one else would be called.
Not acceptable. Federal officials made it emphatically clear to both districts that the "opt in" policy could put them in jeopardy of having their funds "yanked," in the words of one official.
Wow, how anal of the feds. Why didn't they accept such a reasonable compromise?
But then, maybe you should ask the broader question of what a recruiter does. I have to admit, the idea of recruiters waiting to be asked by the recruitee seems a bit backwards to me.
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Friday, January 28, 2005
Somebody was in a bad mood.
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I can read!
Due to what is probably incompetence, you'll actually have to find a paper paper if you want to read The Daily Cal's opinion pieces. (The interesting ones, not the editorials) They had this problem last week, too. They should really look into it. There's even a Yvette Felarca piece today, talking about how Connerly's departure is all good and stuff. You know, because he "stood for white privilege" during his "crusade to resegregate colleges and universities."
Ward Connerly's legacy? To tarnish the reality and image of the UC system. To make California a leading center of racial divisiveness, where public education grows more segregated, seperate, and unequal, and where the promise of Brown v. Board of Education is ever more faint.
Uh... don't you have to put an "s" in "vs." for Brown? I remember something along those lines. Oh, yeah, and her statements are ridiculous, but I don't really need to point it out, do I?
Anyway, she wants us to use affirmative action programs to "reclaim the reputation as a beacon of education, enlightenment and equal opportunity in education for the world." Because nothing is more equal than racial preference.
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Nobody wants an injury to their right angle. I had that happen once to my rectangle, and it became a general parallelogram. It could've been worse, I guess. It could've snapped a side and turned all pentagonal. And no pentagon can play football.
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Calstuffer Andy Ratto is The Daily Cal's Readers' Rep, and as a newspaper shill, he is required to write in a boring fashion. Still, it's nice to see him actually take a controversial position about the reparations ad.
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Correction correction, please?
The textbox accompanying Thursday’s article “Report: Pell Grants Drive Up College Costs” incorrectly stated the unit of in-state student fees for UC Berkeley as billions.
So... uh... are you going to tell us what the units actually were?
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Jesus defeats ASUC for ASUC senator Jenn Chon's attention. Hey, lady, you know, we elected you for a year. You don't get to just up and quit whenever you think you have something better to do. Well, actually, you do get to, but it would be nice if you didn't.
I like how in order to get an opinion of the incoming senator Betty Duong (CalSERVE), The Daily Cal asks senator Dorie Perez (also CalSERVER). How bland can they get?
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Homeless problems, in fact. Read J.C. Orton's complaints. "People should be spending more money to solve this homeless problem! If only more money was made available to homeless persons, nobody would be homeless!"
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Newsflash: You'll never be accepted as normal actors if you accept that the fact that you act is a justifiable news story.
“Asian-American parents must let go of the immigrant ‘let’s play it safe’ mentality,” says Guy Aoki, who founded the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.
Yeah. We don't want parents to try to look out for the safety of their children.
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I've heard a suprising amount of kerphloper over this appointment. Lower paid workers are pissed that the university didn't just offer a job to the chancellor and not her partner. Because, as we know, if the university only offers a job to one of the partners, they'll gladly seperate.
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Thursday, January 27, 2005
How useful is a picture?
The girls hope the mural will inspire future generations of Latinos to learn more about their identity.
“A lot of our youth are lacking a general consciousness of who they are and where they come from—and what the beauty of life is,” [Lorena] Ahumada says. “They get so easily sidetracked by the ills of society—the fast cars, the jewelry, more power, more money. Diverting their consciousness to what they stand for—that’s important.”
Those damn youth. Trying to be themselves first, rather than Latino first. They don't know anything about their identity, even though they created it themselves. They're supposed to have this identity, dammit! Hey, Latino Youth! Have this identity, determined solely by your race! Don't get sidetracked by useful and fun things. Instead, stand up for principle! Our principles, in particular. Don't come up with your own, that wouldn't be your identity.
And these people bitch about stereotyping, too.
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Some dude again
Frenchie Francis Pisani says:
The perception of the United States in other countries is still largely under-reported in the United States media, said visiting scholar Francis Pisani, who launched the project in an effort to keep Americans informed of how their nation is viewed by citizens of other countries.
Hey, we just don't care. We didn't care before, and we still don't care. If you make a blog with a bunch of information about how other people view us, guess what? We still won't care.
“It’s important for Americans to see what is being said about them,” said Najla Benmbarek, a participating graduate student. “The more we find out, the more we can understand.”
Did I mention we don't care? There's nothing to understand. Even if we did understand, what good would it do? "Oh, no, stop doing what we're doing, we wan't to make sure other people like us!!!" The anti-conformists are crying in unison at such an idea.
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More money from the feds for the homeless problem!
A new Berkeley housing and healthcare program got a $1.4 million jump-start Tuesday when nearly $8 million in federal funding for homeless services was allotted to Berkeley agencies.
The Comprehensive Approach to Chronic Homelessness Project will provide rental subsidies, healthcare, employment services and other support to 21 people in the county. About half of those people will be from Berkeley.
That's over $65,000 each. I wonder how the pick the lucky homeless dudes.
Anyway, most of the rest of the story is explanations for how big Berkeley's homeless problem is. Paraphrased:
"Yeah, we seem to have a lot of homeless folk around these parts." (hands out free services to homeless folk) "We try to get them off the streets, but for some reason, they just keep coming." (hands out more free services to homeless folk) "I think the causal problem is that there's too many crazy people in Berkeley. That's definitely causal, not consequential."
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Some dude says the availability of Pell Grants allows states to raise student fees much faster because of the assumption that the federal government will pick up the slack. An interesting argument, and perhaps somewhat questionable, but here's a great response:
Instead of eliminating Pell Grants as a solution to soaring student fees, increasing aid would ease the burden of paying for higher education, said Roberta Johnson, associate director of financial aid at UC Berkeley.
Of course, that's exactly the kind of thought Wolfram is quoting.
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Are you sure?
Wozniak on Marin restriping:
It’s rare that we get a decision like Marin Avenue where you can literally piss off 15,000 people if we make the wrong decision.
Not that rare. And the decision to literally piss off 15,000 people involves climbing on 15,000 people's heads and urinating. That's the kind of dedication I like to see from my elected officials.
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Why not just ditch the column?
Are they serious? The Daily Cal has grabbed Eitan Bencuya for Thursday's columnist. Last week he talked about awards shows, and how there were more than one, and that as a result, there were different winners, and this is bad, because Mr. Bencuya isn't able to decide for himself which movies were best and needs awards shows to tell him that.
This week he's whining about iPods.
Is it just me or has fliering on Sproul gotten harder lately? It’s not that people are any ruder—they still ignore you just as much, whether or not you have a witty tagline or personally accost them.
So what has changed to make fliering so difficult?
One word: iPod.
Those pesky white boxes have given students the perfect excuse for ignoring Sproul tablers.
Hey, as you mentioned before, people are ignoring you just as much. iPods don't make flyering more difficult, you see, because they don't change anything. When things don't change they don't become more difficult. Understand yet? I can explain it in more detail if you prefer.
Well, at least we've never had a whine-about-iPods column before.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Remember how that Lakoff dude whined that liberals considered people to be basically good? Apparently, they think of people as so basically good that they will punish them for smoking on the assumption that they will litter. Such basic goodness.
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Slow Children at Play
It's a slow news day for the Daily Cal. Some extinct hippo-like creatures, trends, and stuff we already knew. Stay tuned for a Random Topic Rant sometime later today. Maybe.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Best of all
Democracy in action! Of course, to these people, "Democracy in action" means setting up some kind of leadership council in order to decide how everyone of a particular religion should vote, and then most of those members running off and voting exactly that way. Sorry, guys, lockstep, even if it's lockstep-by-committee, is nothing to be proud of.
The following data demonstrates that Muslim Americans constituted the most cohesive voting bloc. The statistics for all groups except Muslims are taken from the National Election Pool created by six major news organizations. The Muslim data was collected by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American Muslim Alliance (AMA) in two separate community surveys.
That's the way you do statistical comparisons. "Oh, but the statistic of interest comes from another group entirely, with obvious bias. Still, it's just as comparable. Really."
Also, how do you spell loser? N-A-D-E-R. Just look at those broken dreams in his eyes.
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We got a rare chance to watch the sanitizing of this editorial. While the original took a little attitude towards those foolish residents, this new one makes sure to change the language to something just plain stupid. In particular, this:
The Neighbors of Memorial Stadium act as if the lights would be on constantly, asking "what else" we’d be doing that would require permanent lights. They seem to forget that there exist things called "On/Off" switches, to be used between games. Just because the poles are standing doesn’t mean the bulbs are always on.
The Neighbors of Memorial Stadium act as if the lights would be on constantly, asking “what else” we’d be doing that would require permanent lights. This is illogical, to say the least—the UC knows the importance of saving energy as much as the rest of California. Just because the poles are standing doesn’t mean the bulbs will always be on.
It's illogical, eh? The Vulcans would be proud.
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Haas Ranks in Top 10 MBA Programs! In particular, they're ranked number 10.
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Insert story here
Newspapers face constraints. They have only so much space to fill, and they must fill it. But, of course, no newspaper would just reprint a story in different words but no new information to fill space. Certainly not the Daily Cal.
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Monday, January 24, 2005
Retry or Fail, next time
It's abortion, this time. An anti-abortion protest got protested. Yay!
“We had to show them that they couldn’t come to the most pro-choice city in the country and do that,” said Jerrie Meadows, member of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Uh... so, in the most pro-choice city, we have to show that they can't do something. That is, that they don't have the choice to do it. Yay for pro-choice!
It's a moot point, though. It sounds to me that they did come to the most pro-choice city in the country and do that. Another loss for the National Women's Political Caucus!
“If it wasn’t for the San Francisco and U.S. Park police, it would have been a bloodbath,” Meehan said. “But what empowered us was our peacefulness.”
Haha. Hahaha. Nice. Bloodbath. Empowered by peacefulness. Classic.
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Ever wonder how to steal a Honda?
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Some engineer. Bookswap theft, money lost, dolts standing around scratching their heads and saying "Durr... what just happened?"
“It’s just really awful when my staff and all the people who helped out have been busting their butts to put on this event to really help out students, and someone has to come and ruin that for everyone,” Leybovich said. “Had it not been for this mishap, it would have been awesome.”
Wow. Wow. Wow. That's all I can say. What a party pooper that thief dude was. She should be more considerate of the students' feelings. Also, she probably shouldn't steal, but that's secondary.
“It’s kind of irresponsible,” said junior Hiu-Yan Chow. “You never know what kind of people walk around campus, they should have had someone standing there.”
Actually, we do know what kind of people walk around campus, and for that reason, they should have had someone standing there.
Anyway, the aftermath of this will be fun to watch. Unfortunately, it's not a polarizing issue, so we won't get to see the heated rhetoric. By "heated rhetoric," I mean the bullshit that always pops up, and is always fun to pick apart. ("OMG, this case over there concerning a totally different issue is a strong statement in support of us! Really!")
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So, remember how last Friday the Daily Cal ran a boring column about gym or something? Well, as we know, the Daily Cal loves diversity in opinions, so today's columnist is... uh.... the same guy. Way to go, Daily Cal!
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Saturday, January 22, 2005
The Patriot Blog points to an article about Lakoff's whining, and links to what I should've done, a decoding. Excepting all the whining about communists, it raises some pretty interesting points about how Lakoff views the world.
In Lakoff's decoding of Thursday's address, "freedom" meant "unfettered economic markets." Same goes for phrases such as "ownership society" and "the governing of the self." They're conservative shorthand for believing that the government should not be regulating business.
Those aren't code words. They're flat out statements that people are more qualified than leftist bureaucrats to decide how to run their own lives.
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Friday, January 21, 2005
Suprisingly straightforward. Yay for telling Berkeley residents to go shove it.
Incorrect designation. twLF is not a diety.
The new Daily Cal editorial policy is somewhat more "Hey, here's an opinion," which is good. (The new opinion editor is a Khan, so that must help) Unfortunately, this happens to be a really stupid opinion.
This time it's the "multicultural center," where the DC is all pissed that it's having trouble, because some folks just don't want to hand over a bit of campus to a coercive group.
What seems to have been lost in translation is that people risked a lot to start this project.
This is the "E for Effort" school of thought. Since they put a lot of effort into it, they should get what they want. Let's apply this policy to other concepts!
Sorry, Iraqis, we put a lot of effort into conquering you, so you should just roll over and give us everything we want, because we tried so hard.
What's that? You want to murder me with a candlestick? Hey, that takes effort. And risk. By all means, go ahead. I'll help!
Better yet, instead of turning decorations and programs into an ASUC-clique political issue, why not open it up to campus groups? This would involve students in the center, a goal that student activists like TWLF would surely support.
Not according to Chris. Besides, ASUC is students, too. It seems that "involving students" isn't much of a goal to strive for, after all.
In light of the fact that the original participants in the hunger-strike were protesting loss of funds to ethnic education, the Multicultural Center should serve to educate in more ways than one.
Uh, what? How are those related? In light of this editorial's poor organization, candles should be available at half price this Monday.
If there is one thing the Multicultural Center should strive to be, it is controversial. It should foster different ideas, raise questions that no one else will ask, and ultimately increase dialogue and cultural awareness on campus. Only then can this project be deemed worthy of its creators.
Wow. Deification of twLF. It's not just for... uh... actually, this is the first time I've seen twLF deified. Is the editorial staff really that whipped?
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Foreigners are boring
On Washington Protestors:
UCLA Italian exchange student
"It will be interesting to see how the president responds. He will try to ignore them, absolutely. He has always done that. Because there is so much security around the president, they will not be able to do anything concrete."
Wow! That does sound interesting. One side not able to do anything, and the other ignoring it.
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Thursday, January 20, 2005
What an ass
That gosh darned Ward Connerly. Read this fabulous editorial talking about how Ward Connerly was bad because of the great damage he caused. Of course, the editorial doesn't actually specify what those damages were. But hey, it's the Bruin.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005
The Globe's resident Angry Black Man, Derrik Z. Jackson, is all angry-like that some white dude had the audacity to suggest that maybe women don't show up in science as much partly because, you know, women and men are different. Yeah. Okay.
Summers's defenders at his speech said that after he mentioned innate differences, he immediately added, "I'd like to be proven wrong" on innate differences. He should just say he was plain wrong.
Why? Because he offended you? Wouldn't you rather he be proven wrong rather than saying "Okay, I was wrong, because what I said was touchy!"? That's some good scientific reasoning. Maybe he's just trying to break the gender boundries by being a male who sucks at science.
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Bearfacts exploded! Yay!
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Challenge: Find the campus link in this story.
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The hottest Blogchick on our roll, Rebecca C. Brown, has a Daily Cal column. Not much to say about it from here, and that's usually a good thing.
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Yeah, well, a typo ruins a good rant. In the last post, I misspelled amendment, like I usually do. I guess I should've made more clear my point, though, that folks often throw in adjectives for no particular reason other than making what they're saying seem really, really, really, really important. Just ask BAMN.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Don't forget the Chron. The Chron actually makes arguments in its editorials, which is a plus, I guess, but it makes very strange ones. E.g.:
The rarity of California executions raises other troubling issues. Foremost among them is the argument that if extremely few of the murderers sitting on Death Row are put to death, the punishment is by definition cruel and unusual -- and possibly in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Murderers on death row are rarely put to death is by definition cruel and unusual, they say. By definition. Wow. Meanwhile, if the punishment is cruel and unusual, it isn't possibly in violation of the 8th amendment. It is, get this, by definition in violation of that amendment. Lordy, Chronwriters are dumb.
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Here we go again
Yay, the Daily Cal editorial is back!
Time for Beetle's Challenge!
Challenge: Find a statement which actually makes an argument in this editorial.
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What is with these UCLA math folks? Second letter:
In his letter to the editor on Jan. 11, Rodrigo Diaz de Viva called the diversity requirement "unnecessary." He also suggested it would be "sticking bored kids in a lecture hall to listen to things they don't care about." This assumption is offensive to students who are here to get a well-rounded education. It is also direct evidence that the diversity requirement is necessary, in that it shows how some students write off diversity as something not worth their time.
Uh... Okay, let's apply some mathematical logic, then.
Jamie Julin is saying that she is interested in taking diversity courses. Therefore, having her take a diversity course wouldn't be "sticking bored kids in a lecture hall to listen to things they don't care about." That's all fine and dandy, but then, if it's something she does care about, she can easily take it anyway, diversity requirement or no. The only people the diversity requirement would affect are those who wouldn't take the classes anyway, namely, the bored kids who don't care. Sorry, you fail.
I think "diversity" (i.e. classes which whine about white people and the like) is something not worth my time. That's evidence that a diversity requirement is necessary. Get it? I don't.
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Thursday, January 13, 2005
Well, that's fresh
Tired of hearing about how the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment? One death row inmate is, and is now complaining about how lethal injection violates the first ammendment.
Inmate Donald Beardslee, 61, alleged that the combination of a sedative and a paralyzing agent would mask whether he is experiencing excruciating pain, would prohibit him from crying out and prevent public witnesses to the execution from seeing him contort, a violation of the First Amendment.
I think he has something of a point. I mean, come on, if these dicks are going to stand around and watch you die, you should definitely be able to shout a few obscenities as them as you go, too.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Eyes! Get your free eyes right here!
Haha, you're an idiot. And a loser, I might add. Eligio Martinez, USAC academic affairs commissioner, (I think that's the UCLA equivalent of our Academic Affairs Veep) blames the failure of the diversity requirement on those racist conservative faculty.
I just think the faculty here is resistant to having a diversity requirement, and I think that shows what their views are, and what they think education, and the value of education, is and should be.
Uh, yeah. They seem to be of the "education to be determined by students" opinion. What fools.
I think the reason this requirement was voted down, as was the first requirement, comes down to racism. The faculty doesn't want it, the faculty doesn't value diversity. They don't want diversity in this population. To me it's racism, period. This is a proposal students have been working on for over 17 years.
That makes sense. Since students have been working on it for so long, for the faculty to oppose it is racist. Or... uh... You know, sometimes it's nice to justify your wild accusations of racism.
DB: How would you respond to faculty members who are concerned the requirement could impede their academic freedom?
EM: That's a contradiction. I think the faculty members that are saying that are the conservative faculty members that want to impose what they consider vital education onto us. And, as students, this is a liberal arts institution. UCLA has been the center of a lot of activism, a lot of politics – students have fought to create ethnic studies, students have fought to create departments on this campus. For them to say that it's impeding their academic freedom, that's ridiculous. By not implementing the requirement they're violating someone else's freedom of expression – like our studies, like ethnic studies, women's studies or LGBT studies.
Oh, damn, that's hilarious. Read that last sentence: "By not implementing the requirement, they're violating someone else's freedom of expression." Did it occur to you that by implementing the requirement, you're violating someone else's freedom of expression? Or does that require you think about the possibility other people disagree with you, which is apparently too much for you?
Note that he's concerned that the faculty members are trying to impose what they consider vital education upon him. But it doesn't at all occur to him that maybe he's also trying to impose what he considers vital education upon everyone else. That's some high quality thinking. How about an "abstract thinking" requirement, where students are forced to consider these things?
"And, as students, this is a liberal arts institution." Parse that bad boy.
And for all the conservative faculty, it's really showed where they stand. To me it's sending a message because it's saying that students like me shouldn't be here, or that our histories, our cultures, are not important, they are not valuable, they are not good enough for everybody to learn about.
Hmm hmm hmm. Interesting. I kind of think higher level math is good enough for everyone to learn about. How about a higher level math requirement? What, you oppose that? Are you saying that math students shouldn't be there? That math isn't important, isn't valuable?
The sad part is that the UCLAers probably eat this nonsense up.
"Interview conducted by Colleen Honigsberg."
Now that's a name worth having.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Sample Daily Cal Editorial
Hi, I'm a newspaper.
Now, now, don't get feisty. Concepts of identity are mushy, it's not unthinkable for a newspaper to refer to itself in the first person.
Lately, my editors have been filling this space with boring, fence-straddling views meant to appease the majority opinion of their readership without offending minority viewpoints. But after a certain degree of my metaphorical equivalent of soul-searching, I've decided to declare my independence from the traditional view of the role of editorials.
You see, I have feelings too, and it's just not fair that I have to be used to say as little as possible. Half of my editorials concern issues that have already been resolved, after all. The other half say things like "While X is important, so is Y. It is important to balance X and Y. Also Z. What 'balancing X and Y' means is left up to the reader to decide. Hopefully, X-supporting readers will think 'balancing X and Y' means a more X-heavy approach, while Y-supporting readers will think the opposite. In the end, both will think that the editorial is supporting their view, and that's important. Because... uh... because..."
Sure, sometimes I get stolen because the editorial is unpopular, but come on, that's like blaming a rape victim for wearing slutty clothes. If my current Editor-in-Chief isn't spineless (*cough* Mr. Hernandez *cough*), s/he'll stand up for freedom of the press and gather pity support from my usual critics, and that's better than no support at all. Just ask those Indonesians.
Imagine a newspaper where the opinion page wasn't sanitized like it has been, lately. Who knows what Ms. Heagerty is thinking, and maybe she's right that nobody is writing any opinions anymore, but the opinion page used to be a party, two or three pages long, with loads of conflicting, interesting, and often humorous views. And they came from different people all the time. Letters from eight different people? Sure, why not? Election editorials from people not named Andrew F. Adams? It can be done. It was fun when Eric Schewe was in charge. Did Berkeley get that much dumber and less opinionated that fast?
So next time you have an opinion about me, please, please, think of my feelings and write me a letter. Maybe they'll get rid of the editorial altogether. Students will wake up early with glee every Tuesday and Friday, anticipating another exciting opinion section. Heck, they'll stay up late Monday and Thursday just to get a first peek. Eventually, the fun will spill over into other days, and the editors will have no choice but to add an opinion section every day. Soon, I won't even need that boring news section, I'll just be one big opinion page. And a crossword. Because SSS is a word, I swear.
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Why don't they just apply math?
Another Bruin opinion. This one from applied math major Lara Loewenstein. The complaint? Not enough Americans go away.
Americans have often been accused of being insular and narrow-minded. It doesn't help that with 8.8 million passports issued in 2004, at most only 30 percent of Americans have one. In other words, 70 percent of Americans don't feel a need to leave the confines of their home country.
How about some applied statistics. It's even more than that. I keep a passport, but I don't plan on leaving this country for anything other than business. How about some information on proportion of Americans who visit other countries? That seems a bit more relevant.
This seems a little ridiculous when the United States is one of the richest countries in the world...
No, it makes sense. We've got stuff here. Why should we want to leave? "Hey, poor people!" That's not my idea of a vacation.
Experiencing other cultures firsthand is a form of education that can't be achieved through books and studying. While seeing the ocean gives one a sense of infinity, experiencing other cultures opens one's mind and heart.
Ooh, now there's the applied mathematics. Ocean = infinity. Anyway, experiencing other cultures firsthand is a form of education that we can do without. We won't even try with books and studying.
People seem to forget that tolerance is a learned attribute achieved by challenging oneself to tolerate.
Others forget that most of us don't really care how tolerant you think we are. As long as we're comfortable in our hearts, why make a fuss over who's more tolerant than who?
By not traveling, Americans are sending a message to the rest of the world that other cultures aren't worth our time or effort.
Yep, that's about right. Hey, don't be sad, rest of the world. We've already got a culture. It's nothing personal.
America has an image. That image is in desperate need of repair. One way of ameliorating this image is to make our presence known abroad.
Because every country wants to be overrun by American tourists. Hey, those Iraqis sure know of our presence.
It's surprising that so few Americans don't want to rediscover their heritage by traveling to wherever their ancestors came from. While we are all American, we are also so much more. By traveling, each of us can rediscover our personal histories, open our eyes to different cultures, open our minds to different people and enlighten other people to the truth about Americans.
Hmmm. Interesting. Personal histories, eh? Let's see. I was born in America. So, my personal history doesn't extend to Iran. There's no heritage to rediscover over there. I already have a culture, I don't really need another one. Are you people really so unimpressed by the culture you create around yourself that you have to supplement it? Is your imagination so pathetic that you need some coincidentally related dead people to bolster your identity? Geez, people, put your brain in charge for once, and stop demanding that the world do all the work for you.
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Oh, I miss the Daily Cal
We'll just have to settle for the crazies over at UCLA. From some day, I have no idea when, the folks writing the Bruin really want that diversity requirement that a small portion of the faculty voted down. But read these interesting descriptions of a diversity requirement (it's parallel to our AC, by the way):
The University should confirm the importance of diversity and make sure students have the opportunity to explore questions about race, gender, sexuality and class with within an academic context.
Now, if these classes already exist, then students already have the opportunity to explore these questions. What this requirement wanted to do was to take this "opportunity" and turn it into a "requirement." And requiring people to explore things isn't exactly rewarding.
Making diversity part of the curriculum will give structure and meaning to the experiences students already have while living in Los Angeles and attending UCLA.
What are these students, pre-schoolers? Can they really get no meaning out of their real-life experiences without a college class to explain it to them?
After all how often do students take an organized, prolonged and proactive interest in the greater structure of their education?
The faculty must heed these calls.
Hey, you know, an alternative view is to let students take an organized, prolonged, and proactive interest in the greater structure of their own education, rather than trying to restructure everyone else's.
If faculty members are truly indifferent or opposed, they should voice their views.
If they're indifferent, they should voice their views. "I DON'T CARE!!!" Happy? Why are editorial writers such doofuses? Can't people write fun and exciting editorials? I'll scribble up a sample for you creative editors to use as a model.
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Have you ever wondered about killing your Filipina baby with a baseball bat? If so, you may have visited our web site. Or that seems to be the only reason I can think of for searching "filipina infanticide baseball bat." Maybe there's a custom-made baseball bat with pictures of Filipina infanticide on it. Sort of like a collectors item. Collect all four! Coming soon: Tsunamis Causing Massive Death and Destruction, the football!
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Sunday, January 09, 2005
You're not helping
Down near the bottom of The Daily Planet's letters to the editor you can find a letter from Jane Stillwater talking about how no one wanted to hear her proof of how Bush stole the election. This just goes to remind folks that building up a repuation as a nut means no one really cares what you or anyone who sounds like you has to say. Check out line one of her proof:
"Five convicted felons wrote the Diebold software!"
Man, that is proof. But that doesn't take the cake. This does:
"Plus two stolen U.S. presidential elections in a row should surely make the Guinness Book of World Records."
Two stolen elections hardly makes a world record. We don't have enough fingers to count the number of countries that have "stolen elections" every election cycle.
Scroll up a tad and you can see Armin Wright whining about John Yoo, the law professor who dares to make legal arguments in favor of some agenda. Because that's not what lawyers do. No way. About Justice Clarence Thomas getting big money in gifts:
I suppose John fantasizes that it’s just charm that attracts this kind of largesse, not the fact that Thomas can pass judgments affecting people’s lives and fortunes. Frankly, I think I am pretty charming, and I haven’t garnered $42,200 in gifts in over 68 years. I guess some professions are just inherently more charming than engineering.
No one who calls himself "charming" is actually charming. Here's my hint: Important people know rich people, and rich people give expensive gifts. Just ask (boring actor in brief actor/actress relationship).
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I checked out the new and improved Unit 2. Construction is done, and two new halls, Towle and Wada (I think), now stand, ready to "imprison" people under contracts they agreed to.
The plaza area is wide open, now, as opposed to the old central building design. There's a sheltered bike rack, some trees and stuff, and very interesting-looking railings. You should go see for yourself. While your average railing is vertical, these are triangular, and look like they form a ring of doom, ready to impale one of two gladiators fighting to the death within its confines. I suppose it's of the new "pointy" style of architecture, similar to the bricks that seem to stick out of the student union and caused serious concern when Sproul was closed down for rennovation.
Move-in should be around this time, so we may hear more about how the new buildings look on the inside.
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Thursday, January 06, 2005
Now that the election is pretty much over, it's time to find a mirror and reflect.
This was the first presidential election I payed any attention to, and I pray that it's the last, too. With any luck, maybe the government will collapse into some kind of non-president-electing system before 2008, or there'll be a special room in every building where I can go and hear absolutely nothing about the election.
We learned that the country is polarized. In an election with two serious choices, where voters could only choose one, and not both, almost everyone chose one of the two choices. That's real polarization. Heck, if you look at an electoral map, you'll see that of the 51 state-like entities, all of them had majorities for either Bush or Kerry. That's huge polarization!
In the name of discourse, observers came forward and found everything bad about one candidate and everything good about the other that they could find. And then accused other observers who were finding everything bad about the other of doing exactly the same thing. Or something.
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Yes, that is a double entendre.
Let's start with the staples:
Calstuff: Well, they have Cal stuff, but the commentwars are usually more fun than the posts.
Sadly, that's really the only staple left in our blogsphere.
Beetle Beat: Meh. Judge for yourself.
CalJunket: Or, uh, stocksvsbondsJunket. Interesting stuff, but also a tragic reminder of the dangers of group blogs. People have unique interests and writing styles, so it's probably worth it for people to have different blogs, since they'll attract different interested audiences.
Res Ipsa Loquitur: Another example of why group blogs don't work. It's not really Berkeley based anymore. And no comments makes Baby Jesus, the blog, cry.
The Facts Machine: I forgot why I added him to my blogroll. "Conservatives are stupid" is a popular topic, but it really doesn't belong, here.
Cal Patriot Watch: Well, this one is a little more specific with "College Republicans are stupid." Sadly, many of the things that make Jon go OMG! aren't really that OMGworthy.
Cal Patriot, the blog! This one's a newcomer, and hasn't impressed me yet. It's also attached to a publication, so warning flags should go up immediately.
Tilted Fish: While I find the topics on this blog to be pretty interesting, I can see how they wouldn't interest most people. Sort of quasi-journalish, but it's still whining, so I think it belongs here in the Berkeley Blogscape.
Cal Politik: I'll admit, I haven't really read it. Still, it seems to be similar to Tilted Fish in scope, but with a different set of topics, which I don't find quite as interesting, but many people probably would.
"Frat" Life: Hey, maybe it could've been interesting, but it'd have to find posters, first.
Progressive at Cal: Who knows where the name came from. It's usually a CalSERVE campaign site, after all, and it may show up again this election.
The punchline to all of this is look at the competition! It isn't hard to carve out a place for yourself at the top of this pathetic excuse for a blogscape. We need YOU! Whining isn't hard. Whining is easy. Whine! And do it on a blog! And let someone know that you have it.
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Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Lessons from 2004
I actually waited until 2004 was over before making my list of "Things I Learned in '04," but my memory is really hazy, so it'll be mostly "Things I Learned at the End of '04."
Folks who give away free money can still be stingy.
Foreign people die really, really easily. Hundreds dead from a nightclub fire? WTF?
New Englanders really love their Patriots. They're also still celebrating their World Series Win. I spent three weeks near Boston and never saw any Celtics merchandise. And the NFL Team-Themed Travel Kits are all sold out. Well, except for the 49ers. Fair-weather fans were out in force, which is strange for a people who live in a place with such poor weather.
Anyway, speaking of football, does the team ditch jerseys every year? Because it would be a bitch to clean out the bootmarks Texas Tech left all over Cal's secondary's back. The conclusion? Since Texas Tech kicked Cal's ass, and Texas kicked Texas Tech's ass, Texas must be better than Cal. In other news, Cal was better than USC last year. I wonder how they missed out on winning a piece of the national championship.
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Oooh, it's me!
Hey, I'm back! Good ol' Berkeley. I was here five minutes and I was already sick of it. Can't you folks keep your ego trips to yourself, like this one?
Anyway, it's a new year, so I had to make a New Years' Resolution. I resolved to make fewer New Years' Resolutions than last year, but I didn't make any last year, so I've already failed this one. Now that that's out of the way, I can go back to doing whatever I want to.
And if you started a blog over break, let me know! I'm looking to trim some blogs from my blogroll, so I'll need replacements.
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