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Nap Time!!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Words to ponder

From Iris Mallgren:
If people do not talk about their love for their vaginas and their experiences, how do you expect equality to come about?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/30/2006 01:04:00 AM #
Comments (2)
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Thursday, September 28, 2006
The surveyors are coming!!!

Some folks have been talking about this study which found that some seniors answered fewer questions right than some freshmen on some test about pointless factual details of American history.

Too bad The Daily Cal is statistically illiterate, or they might have pointed out the contradiction between this:
The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut, was based on questionnaires that were distributed to random samples of students at 50 college campuses across the country, Ratliff said.
and this:
[Danise Sugita], who was given the survey on campus last year and decided not to participate, said the questions were about specific details in American history that might not be relevant for students who are not specifically history majors.
But that's probably asking too much.
The study's implication that faculty are doing an inadequate job and that there should be a systematic focus on American civics threatens the autonomy of university faculty, [History department chair David Hollinger] said.

"I think it's part of a national move to put universities under pressure," he said.
Oh, noes! People are doing surveys! Academia is doomed!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/28/2006 10:32:00 AM #
Comments (8)
. . .
For those of you wondering

I don't really have time to read the Daily Cal anymore. Well, to be more accurate, since I have no classes, I don't have those few minutes of down time between them when I misjudge when to leave for class, which means that if I wanted to read the Daily Cal, I'd have to take time away from doing other things to do so, and that's not going to happen for a paper like the Daily Cal.

Anyway, the punchline is that I'm not doing as much Daily Cal blogging as usual. Eventually I'll get around to finishing the propositions, though. Maybe. Just as a summary, though, I'm voting NO on everything.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/28/2006 12:32:00 AM #
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Challenge

Defending Cloyne's reputation is Nathan J. Danielsen, house manager.
I would say that the alleged "pot cookie" incident is a classic example of mass hysteria. It doesn't take pot cookies to make you have "feelings of doom." The recipe is simply police officers suggesting that if you do not cooperate, you will be arrested, kicked out of school, convicted, ostracized and sent to jail for criminal behavior, as some of my compatriots told me occured. Now just imagine the multiplication of these "feelings of doom" when you have eaten a green cookie.

Please empathize that after this, one would be truly hysterical. These circumstances then led those students to be rightfully and forcibly evacuated to the hospital for safety reasons by the authorities.
Uh... what? The authorities were demanding cooperation with threats beforehand, which led them to call for help from the authorities? The police were already chilling at the party?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/26/2006 04:50:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
Deciphering the editorials

This is an interesting Daily Cal editorial which says something about taking tobacco money. I think I agree with the final conclusion, but the editorial doesn't seem to make the case for it, if it is what I think it is.
This is just another example of the separation between research and funding. And while the tobacco industry has acted with gross negligence, the principles of the university dictate we must continue to pursue academic progress assuming independence from all donors.
Pursuing academic progress assuming independence from all donors seems like a good way to study poverty. I dunno how this principle also dictates that dependence on donors is necessary, which is the point of the editorial. I think.
Activists past and present can attest to the variety of corporations and organizations with poor public images with which UC schools have engaged in the past. Armaments, petroleum and pharmaceuticals are just some of the industries that have faced public scrutiny from which the university continues to accept funds.

In light of this, the moral argument for not accepting these funds just falls short, and does puts the UC system on a "slippery slope" towards losing funding sources, as Regent Sherry Lansing put it.
I... uh... yeah? Wait, now we're leaving principles behind.
Furthermore, to deny these funds would be to uphold a double standard. Rejecting the monies implies that tobacco industry donations should face a higher level of scrutiny than donations from other industries because they are inherently more likely to illegitimately influence the results of the researchers.
That's not really a double standard. The double standard is that there are a lot of folks inherently more likely to illegitimately influence the results of the research, and the most significant of them are the researchers themselves.

I dunno, maybe I just don't understand what point the Daily Cal was trying to make with the editorial.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/26/2006 04:44:00 PM #
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Friday, September 22, 2006
Do you know your Senators?

Do you know who your ASUC Senators are? I hope so, because you certainly won't find that info on the ASUC's website one month into the academic year.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/22/2006 11:50:00 AM #
Comments (5)
. . .
I don't know what I'm talking about

Gordon Wozniak lies about the Judicial Council. No shock there.
My resolution's actual intent was to correct what I saw as a gross injustice. I wanted the ASUC to uphold its democratic principles. As someone who respects and values the autonomy of the ASUC, I am glad the ASUC resolved the situation internally and, ultimately, the Judicial Council agreed with the objective of my resolution.
No, the Judicial Council was forced by a loophole to let Student Action off the hook. Neither the arguments raised in Wozniak's resolution about vote counts nor the copy-and-pastes from Student Action's brief were accepted by the Judicial Council as valid. Indeed, the Judicial Council went to great effort to point out that the fact that Student Action was getting off was a gross injustice. There was no agreement with Wozzy's intent.

I'm tired. I hope someone else corrects this.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/22/2006 11:44:00 AM #
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Thursday, September 21, 2006
No! Freedom! Stop!

Why do they hate freedom? "They," in this case, refers to Berkeley's elected representatives. One of the props I haven't gotten around to talking about will make it harder for cities to manipulate property owners by forcing them to provide compensation when they fuck up your property through regulation. That is, people will have control over their own stuff, rather than having to beg for approval from the government whenever they want to do something. Tom Bates isn't subtle about why he's upset:
"I think everyone agrees that Prop. 90 would be bad for the city," said Mayor Tom Bates at Tuesday's meeting. "What we want to do is put in place a system that will allow us maximum choices."
Of course, "choices" here doesn't refer to individuals being able to choose. It means "choices" for the government to dominate you and prevent you from behaving as you like. That's why the City Council is passing highly restrictive rules on property owners before the proposition passes and they'd have to be fair about it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/21/2006 12:16:00 PM #
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Hum

Shocking front page news! Some woman who isn't important at all was deported because she was a guard at a German concentration camp a half dozen decades ago. Wait, did I say shocking front page news? I meant shocking front page news two days in a row.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/21/2006 12:00:00 AM #
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Pre-school!

Now, Jimmy, stand in front of the class and apologize for what you did. This is what goes on in a newspaper that's a tool of the administration.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/19/2006 01:12:00 PM #
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We're ignorant! Yay!

The Chron bitches about the Pope. As you recall, the Pope was explaining that one needs to be critical and use reason to reach faith. As such, spreading religion by war is nonsense.

Or maybe you don't recall that, because the major news services were more interested in provoking a holy war than anything else. And The Chron falls for it.
But this out-of-nowhere example, plus no elaboration from Benedict, made for misunderstanding.
It was only out-of-nowhere with no elaboration if you weren't actually reading the speech, and instead getting your news from folks who want to see war.

Update: Tarek Abdel-Aleem bitches about the Pope, too, saying:
It would have been more tactful to quote the verse of the Holy Quran that persistently invites mankind to choose the religion they please by whatever means, including the logic by which the Pope so desperately appealed to.

The Quran's stipulation that "There shall be no compulsion in religion" is just one potentially more effective dialogue-facilitator the Pope could have used.
If you follow the link to the text, you'll see that he did.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/19/2006 12:57:00 PM #
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Tap tap

Here are some things I'm still waiting for:

Daniel Gohstand to bring the gay community to bear against me for my apparent promotion of gay bashing.

Kamela Harris to be held hostage by the destruction that would inevitably follow the expiration of the assault weapons ban.

The world's inability to wait to get Bush out of office. (We've still got a few years for the world to end, though)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/19/2006 02:19:00 AM #
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Whew

There are a few more propositions I haven't gotten around to doing, including the Reverse Oil Tariff. Does anyone want to write the relevant Beetle Beat posts? I doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/19/2006 02:14:00 AM #
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Monday, September 18, 2006
More on free speech reduction

Another article on Prop 89, the clean money proposition, or the free speech reduction act, or the compelled corporate speech act, or whatever you want to call it. Recall, Prop 89 requires corporations to fund political ads by individuals they don't get to choose, while simultaneously reducing the right of most people to speak on political issues (except for unions, who wrote the proposition, and who are coincidentally magically exempt). From Arizona:
But voters who know about the public finance rules increasingly like the idea. Although it passed by 51 percent to 49 percent in 1998, a January survey done for the state commission found that 85 percent of those familiar with the system now believe it is either very or somewhat important to Arizona voters.

"It's much more popular than it was," said Todd Lang, executive director of the clean elections commission. "People see that it allows strong candidates who don't have access to special interest money to run competitive campaigns."

The commission's survey, however, found almost 50 percent of the electorate remained unfamiliar with the system.
Note that the study was done by the comission itself, which apparently got to choose who is considered "familiar with the system."
But the rules don't cover everything. About a week before last Tuesday's election, a number of Arizona voters received a call from a purported pollster asking them if it would make a difference if they knew that Munsil had "fathered an illegitimate child."

The poll took on statewide significance when Munsil, a social conservative who had headed a group calling for abstinence from premarital sex, was forced to admit to reporters that his wife was pregnant when they were married 20 years ago.

Munsil, who ran a publicly financed campaign, immediately appealed to the state's clean money commission, saying he needed extra money to counter the effects of the poll.

Although the board did not know the source of the poll, the cost of the survey or how many people were called, members voted to give Munsil $80,000 for last-minute advertising to counter the effect of the negative publicity. His opponent, Don Goldwater, received nothing, even though he was not believed to be responsible for the poll.

"People involved in a statewide election deserve more than unelected commissioners throwing darts at a dartboard" when deciding how money is allocated, said Hamer, the Arizona GOP chief. "It feels like a high school political science project run amok."
Need money? Run a campaign against yourself. Genius.

Again, this is symptomatic of a broader authoritarian trend in America, led by liberals in political ideology, though most folks get in on it for other reasons. In this case, the elite folks who have decided what the ideal state of the universe is have determined that free speech is detrimental to that state. Therefore, it must be curtailed.

In other words, these folks simply don't believe in rights or freedom. Rights and freedoms are granted not because people should have them, but because it suits the grand ideal. Once those rights or freedoms get in the way of the grand ideal, they are halted. Of course, this means they aren't rights or freedoms at all, but allowances to be revoked according to the convenience of the government. It's an arrogance founded in the unyielding belief in the rightness of your position, and a demand that all should submit to it because of its rightness. The mindset is identical to that of a dictator, even if the apparatus isn't present.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/18/2006 02:47:00 PM #
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Sunday, September 17, 2006
Right

Phil Bronstein defends protecting criminals. It's interesting the defense these folks use:
Let's keep in mind that Williams and Fainaru-Wada are not criminals. They are accused of being in contempt of court for protecting sources who may have violated grand-jury secrecy. The hearing Thursday is to determine what penalty, if any, should be imposed, not to punish them, but to try to coerce them into revealing their sources. Jail is one option the judge has.
Now, he worded it as nicely as possible, though it should read "They are accused of being in contempt of court for protecting criminals." Still, it's tough to square this with:
Reporters should not be put in jail for finding out and telling the truth, which is exactly what we ask of them.
Only a few paragraphs back, Bronstein explained that this isn't what's happening. They aren't being put in jail for finding out and telling the truth, they're being put in jail for finding out and telling the truth only to the point that it's profitable for them, but when it comes to outing criminals, their "finding out and telling the truth" mandate abruptly stops short.

Compare with the Chron's bellyaching about HP's internal investigation, seeking to find out and tell the truth. But that was done by a corporation, not the special supercitizens known as the "press."

Oh, and here's a bit of genius:
But it is the government's responsibility to safeguard its secrets, whether it's grand-jury testimony or conduct of a war.
How does the government do this? By punishing those who spread them. See, the alternative way to "safeguard secrets" is to throw everyone who knows a secret in jail and never let them see the light of day. Instead, they use the honor system, and then pursue folks who violate that honor. Imagine this absolution of responsibility from other parties in other contexts. How would the government fight crime? They have a responsibility to stop crime, but aren't allowed to pursue criminals? Witnesses? Does everyone need to be monitored 24 hours a day in order to make sure no crimes are committed?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/17/2006 03:16:00 PM #
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Saturday, September 16, 2006
Good call

Stephen Salvatore says:
Thankfully, no soldier from any war or conflict guarantees my or any American citizen's right of the freedom of speech, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does.
Well hey! Should someone try to restrict your speech, the First Amendment will come along and kick that dude's ass, right?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/16/2006 12:24:00 PM #
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Friday, September 15, 2006
Unity!

Cameron must be overjoyed. Kim Dan and Jude Dizon explain why Asians should sacrifice their success for blacks and Latinos.
It is not accurate to place a vague and arbitrary label on an entire continent's worth of diverse ethnic groups. The overgeneralization of Asian Americans being nearly half of the campus population blankets the unique issues and struggles of multiple Asian ethnic groups, leaving them unaddressed and unresolved.
But...
After Proposition 209 was implemented, eliminating race and gender as factors in admissions, the freshmen representation of Latinos at UC Berkeley dropped 49 percent in 1998, while African Americans decreased by 43 percent. The misleading increase of Asian Americans on campus marginalizes the underrepresented subgroups hidden under the pan-Asian category.
African-American, however, is not a vague and arbitrary label on an entire continent's worth of ethnic groups. Neither is Latino. Right.
With race-conscious policies, the struggle is not just that of Asian Americans, but of every racial and ethnic group. Asian Americans and all oppressed and marginalized people must work together to ensure collective success.
We are the Borg. Don't succeed. You can only succeed as a collective. You are not an individual. Only white people get to be individuals.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/15/2006 11:16:00 AM #
Comments (2)
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Thursday, September 14, 2006
Whoops

Well, I was wrong. The union is going to bitch about the new "Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion, and I had predicted they wouldn't. Looks like Chancellor Bob 2.0's placation strategy wasn't quite complete.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/14/2006 11:48:00 PM #
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Rich

Whee! A panel discussion of people who all are in agreement. Yay! (I like the term "preach-in" from Professor Ron Hassner)
As part of the campus's observance of Constitution Day and the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, journalists, historians and law scholars met on campus yesterday to discuss the attacks' impact on the U.S. Constitution.
How? By pulling the "Patriot Act" boogieman out of the closet again.

Also, Christian Pecaut is still batshit insane. He's like Zach Liberman, but for the City Council.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/12/2006 01:10:00 PM #
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Saturday, September 09, 2006
The Christians are coming!

The last letter in The Daily Planet comes from Billy Trice, Jr.
Half of the people in this country think that the biggest threats here are Islamic terrorists. That is a lie. Personally, the biggest threats in this country are right-wing Christian fundamentalists forcing their own moralities onto others.
Sure, Islamic fundamentalists engage in murder, but Christian fundamentalists don't want you to marry certain kinds of people! That's twenty times worse!
I am seeing their actions exposed on TV. For example, their involvement in the Terry Salvo case and pushing the president and the Congress for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
All vitally important issues to everyone on a personal level.
People should understand that these right-wing Christian fundamentalists learned from their ancestors about controlling people in the name of Christianity. Their ancestors forced their moralities in a brutal fashion against American Indians in this country several centuries ago.

For example, in New England in the 1600s, the Pequot people were massacred by these same Christian fundamentalists because they refuse to convert to Christianity. Back then, these Christian fundamentalists attacked the Indians' religion by claiming it was "the duty of good Christians to exterminate them."

This kind of thinking is what I'm seeing today by these right-wing Christian fundamentalists. Their madness needs to stop at once.
Okay, we've gone from "kill everyone who refuses to join our religion" to "don't pull a feeding tube." Frankly, I can live with that trend. I find it especially odd that "kill everyone who refuses to join our religion" is mentioned as if it's completely at odds with what those friendly neighborhood Islamic fundamentalists do.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/09/2006 05:54:00 PM #
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A PSA

This issue has gotten surprisingly little media attention, despite its importance. I like Patterico's take on it so far.

For those of you who aren't in the know, a national Free Speech Reduction Act (Incumbent Protection Act is its more common name) was passed a few years back and is now going into effect. It prevents advocacy groups from, well, advocating against an incumbent unfriendly to whatever the advocacy group advocates. Of course, there's a "media exemption," which means control of information about our elected officials is controlled by the highly trustworthy media.

Forget porn. Forget war protests. Forget the right to be an asshole. This is what "freedom of speech" was for: We need the freedom to criticize the people in the government. For the government to limit that is a betrayal of the most basic requirement for a democracy.

And yet here we are, poised to do it here in California, too.

What kind of thinking goes from "Gee, when people speak freely, there's a lot of corruption" to "reduce free speech"? Liberal thinking, apparently. ("Liberal" here is not limited to Democrats. Bush signed it and some Republicans voted for it) For those of you who bitch about our supposed loss of civil liberties because of the evils of the Bush administration, this is far more horrendous, but no one outside of blogworld seems to give a crap.

I'm pointing this out as a PSA just because newspapers have kind of sucked at it. The actual arguments about it have been discussed at great length elsewhere, and you can go there if you want real discussion.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/09/2006 01:45:00 PM #
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Friday, September 08, 2006
Geez

Berkeley folk bite the bait so easily. We got trolled in the Daily Cal, and they just lined up to act like dumb tools and respond.

William Hong is unhappy about Cameron Huey's op-ed on Tuesday. Let's go line-by-line:
Thanks to Cameron Huey for his views, but he can keep them to himself.
Oops, I guess Cameron forgot to ask Hong for permission to speak. But it turns out that Hong didn't ask me for permission to speak, so he should keep his views to himself.
The Daily Californian should stop providing him with a soapbox for his inflammatory views.
Newspapers absolutely should avoid publishing interesting viewpoints. Hong is absolutely right.
By arguing against affirmative action using the points he employed, he has in effect become nothing more than an "Asian" Ward Connerly.
Oh, no! A Ward Connerly! That's terrible! I would hate to be like some guy who managed to ban government-sanctioned racial discrimination.
Frankly, I'm sick of hearing from him.
Quick! Everyone accomodate William Hong! By the way, how much have we really heard from Cameron Huey?
Let him harangue his colleagues at the University of Cincinnati Law School, not the minds of UC Berkeley students and Berkeley residents.
Our fragile minds! We can't take the pressure of opinions we might disagree with!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/08/2006 12:42:00 PM #
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Yay!

Mike Weinberger sure is happy about getting money for his RSF. It doesn't seem to trouble him the slightest bit that all this great news is coming on the backs of unwilling students.

"Now that we lashed the homeless to wheels and have them run and provide us power or else face electricution, we are helping save the environment. This is great!"

"Thankfully, cotton exports are up!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/08/2006 12:38:00 PM #
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Thursday, September 07, 2006
Too much speech!

Prop 89, the Free Speech Reduction Act of 2006, seeks to further limit contributions to candidates, and place limits on individuals' abilities to spend money to say things even if not contributing to a candidate. As a sidenote, it also requires corporations to provide compulsory campaign donations to candidates in a manner determined solely by the state. (This provision is also known as "public financing paid for through a corporate tax," but differs from state-forced speech in no meaningful way.)

By my framing above, you might be able to guess that I don't like the idea. Did I mention that certain nonprofits are exempt from the restrictions placed on every other individual and group in the state? You know, like unions, and in particular, the one that put this on the ballot? Ahem:
Burger Admits that when it comes to ballot measures, Prop 89 does not hold unions to the same limitations.

Deborah Anne Burger: "We didn't feel that it was actually necessary."
Riiiight.

Essentially, the point here is to shift communication from the candidates themselves to a press which we all pretend provides fair and complete coverage. After all, when The Chron publishes another Democratic Party press release, that's not campaigning, that's just reporting. I'm a little concerned about putting control of public information in the hands of newspaper editors, though.

Public financing provides a certain amount of money, but if your opponent spends more than that (by not taking public financing), then the government will give you even more money to cover the difference. Oh, and whoever wins will get taxpayer money to help cover expenses once in office, too.

The one thing that could make campaign season more annoying will happen: We'd have to pay for it ourselves. Yay. I think I'm going to give an emphatic NO endorsement on Prop 89.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/07/2006 06:53:00 PM #
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Soliciting Evil Plot Ideas

Please leave a comment with your evil plot idea.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/07/2006 06:14:00 PM #
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Yes!

Awesome. Some Japanese company is buying Cody's Books. For those of you who aren't familiar, Cody's Books is a place that people love because it helps them pretend they aren't tools just like everyone else.

I'm totally calling anyone who complains about this a racist. Like Ben.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/07/2006 03:55:00 PM #
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Sweeeeet

Um...:
Their symptoms included anxiety, rapid heart rate, chest pains, "and a feeling of doom," said Alameda County Fire Capt. Tim Dillon.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/07/2006 01:04:00 AM #
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Where there's smoke there's tax

Prop 86! Basically, it'll slap a $2.60 tax on packs of cigarettes, which is something like a 300% tax increase, maybe increasing the cost by 60% or so. It'll be spent on hospitals and medical programs, including expanding the "Healthy Families Program" to illegal immigrants. I guess the program offers health insurance to kids. I'm pointing out this particular spending aspect because I know a lot of people care about it. I should also point out that this expansion isn't necessarily covered by this tax, and may require funding from other sources in the future.

A lot of the money goes to covering emergency care for hospitals that are otherwise unpaid for. It also gives them some exemption from antitrust laws. The opponents suggest that the hospitals will start charging a shitload for emergency care for the uninsured, so that they can get a bunch of money from the government.

A 60% price increase is quite a bit. I don't smoke, so I don't know how much this will matter to folks, but it might convince folks to import their cigarettes (i.e. avoid the tax). Any smokers out there want to enlighten us?

One nifty detail is that the ginormous tax increase is being exempted in the constitution from the requirements of Prop 98, which says that 40% of taxes must go towards education.

Since overpopulation is a big problem, and Prop 86 may save lives, and will probably cost money in the future, I'm going to endorse a mild NO on it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/06/2006 08:19:00 PM #
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Excting Prop 84!

When it comes to exciting propositions, nothing beats bond measures like Prop 84. Essentially, the state is going to borrow money to do... uh... stuff. Fixing walls near water or something. Preservation, conservation, blah blah stuff. Mainly, it's a bunch of folks asking the voters to give them money ($5 billion). There's some commission that'll probably be controlled by the same people who wanted to put this on the ballot (like the Health Care thingie here at Cal).

I should also note that a different proposition, 1E, is a legislative bond measure which gets a bunch of money for levees specifically ($4 billion). Also called the "Emotional Spending Caused by Hurricane Katrina Act," it's probably best summarized by the rebuttal to the proponent statement:
After reading Prop. 1E, it won't surprise you to learn that the Legislature adopted it after 3 a.m. when they got tired of arguing. They couldn’t agree on a list of projects or even a list of priorities; they could only agree that THEY WANT MORE OF YOUR MONEY right away. How typical! That's what this $4,090,000,000.00 bond is all about: raising taxes to give Sacramento politicians a blank check based on vague promises that they won't waste our money this time. It's like giving a drunk one more drink for the drive home.
The proponents of both measures seem to insist that this won't cost the state money. For those of you unfamiliar with bonds, here's a quick primer: Bonds are loans. Interest must be paid on them. That payment takes the form of money. That is, there'll be an extra bunch of money that needs to be paid every year. Some people call this a spending increase.

Anyway, both of these are pretty dumb ideas. "Give us money, and we will employ our godlike powers to will the state to safety, because if there's anything that can solve a problem, it's a government bureaucracy!" I think I'll endorse NO on both Prop 84 and Prop 1E.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/05/2006 06:01:00 PM #
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Whoops, that won't work

How odd. Now that the obvious victory has been achieved for the Democrats, as Arnie says he'll veto the government-run health care bureaucracy proposal...
Schwarzenegger's Democratic opponent, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, did not take a formal position on the measure. However, he has said that if he were elected governor, he would work with Kuehl to move toward universal coverage.
A week ago:
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides is not supporting the Kuehl bill.

"He supports moving toward universal health care by first covering all children and then requiring businesses to cover their employees," said Angelides spokesman Nick Pappas.
I suppose that's technically an agreement between the two articles, but it sure looks like The Chron is helping cover a politically unpopular claim from Angelides.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/05/2006 02:04:00 PM #
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Hmm

What does Vishal Gupta think he should do for students?
The biggest one is probably expanding resources for students and student groups. Of the 10 departments in my office, the resource department is probably the biggest. By the end of the year I want to be able to say that we made ... specific contributions to the community.
So, he heavily opposed last years efforts to expand executive budgets and provide more funds for student groups, right? Or does he mean "give them more resources, but only if they have to go through us to get it, so we can take credit"?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/05/2006 01:39:00 PM #
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Friday, September 01, 2006
More bad ideas!

Well, government-funded health care was a pretty bad idea, but now we've got a pretty blatant power grab. The idea is to get 270 electoral votes' worth of states to agree to always throw their electoral votes behind the president with the popular vote.

One current concern is that no one really cares about California when it comes to campaigning. But with this proposal, people would care! Another proposal that would accomplish this would be to cast electoral votes in proportion to votes in the state. This would also preserve California's control over its own votes, and could be done immediately. But that plan would help Republicans, while the other one would help Democrats. Which one was picked? Hmm...

I don't like this new idea for two reasons. First, it pretty much forfeits California's claim to any semblance of sovereignty over its own people. Medical marijuana conflicts can't be taken seriously in light of something like this.

More problematic for me is the fact that this would take rural folks completely out of elections. To me, the opinions of six million people huddled around a pond and six million people scattered across 100 times as much area, with 100 times as many cultural settings, do not carry equal weight. The electoral college's inequity prevents elections from being dominated by one type of person, which could have disasterous consequences on our protections from our governments. "Equal rights," which grant individuals equal protection from the government, and "proportional domination," which grants folks power over their fellow Americans based on their population, are very different issues, and confusing the two, like the rhetoric surrounding this plan does, would be devastating.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/01/2006 11:14:00 PM #
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Our existence is justified!

Some dude named Brent Laabs, UCSA Board of Directors Chair, thinks I was unfair when talking about the uselessness of the UCSA. Some amusing defenses:
However, UCSA does accomplish things for students. First of all, we got ACR 34 (Liu), the Student Compact passed, a non-binding resolution passed by the state legislature, which we can use to make legislators feel bad about increasing fees in the future.
I barely need to comment on this. But hey, good job on stopping the fee increases for a bit, though I have little reason to believe the UCSA's existence as a coercion-funded organization was necessary for that.

I also couldn't tell if he was being ironic with:
After all, it wouldn't be fair to conservative students if we at UCSA were, say, liberally biased.
Then we have more of the usual "well, get involved and conquer our organization" stuff, which seems like a lot of work to get my $1.30 back. One would think it would be the responsibility of those who want funding to convince folks to give it to them, rather than those who want to keep their own money to take over other organizations. But I guess I must be one of those crazy conservatives with their antiquated concepts of "freedom."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/01/2006 01:47:00 AM #
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