Monday, December 31, 2007
We got trampled
It's only halftime, but the Air Force Academy walked right over Cal in the college commercial competition.
Every other commercial has something to do with the military, which I hope pisses off a bunch of Cal folks, which would be awesome.
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Thursday, December 27, 2007
I'm in Massachusetts right now, and I've seen a couple of those Hugo Chavez/Citgo oil donation commercials. They're pretty shameless, right down to the pathetic-sounding kid whining "I'm cold..."
"This oil is from Venezuela. Some people say that using it is wrong. I say it's wrong that (family name) has no heating oil" or some such. Classic stuff.
Update: "...from the people of Venezuela."
I wonder if Massachusetts folks are dumb enough to be bought like this.
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Saturday, December 22, 2007
Since you losers couldn't even tell me who to vote for, I'll have to make my own decision.
I'm closest to the "Anybody but Huckabee" camp right now. The only reason he wasn't my least favorite of the viable candidates was that I didn't realize he was one. If the Republican party wants to jump off a cliff, Huckabee's the way to go, but I'd much prefer a viable opposition party.
Democrats have a odd way of making people hate them. If only the Democrats had some shadowy silhouette somewhere that could be their candidate, labeled "not a Republican." That candidate would march to victory, probably with a unanimous electoral vote. But instead, they have Clinton, and it's not even clear that the Democrats are even going to win the presidency. Obama wasn't too far from the "shadowy silhouette" until recently, but he's been having to open his mouth to get the Democratic nomination, and that'll really cost him in the general. I'm pretty unclear on how exactly the two differ in terms of their actual platforms (something about kindergarten ambitions, last I heard), but it's not like I trust a word Clinton says, so her pre-election platform is largely irrelevant to me. (This actually makes her a more attractive candidate in my eyes, and if my vote mattered, I'd probably vote for her)
Republicans, though, know how to be likable. That's why Huckabee is surging among Republicans by promising to be the most liberal president since George W. Bush, which is saying a lot. I don't know why people like him hate freedom, but that's the way it works with those religious nuts.
Oddly enough, despite overplaying the "old white guy" card, the Republicans seem to show a lot more diversity of opinion in their field than the woman and the black guy, who are now discussing who spoke more syllables in support of peace during the past three weeks. Or something.
Unlike Huckabee, the other Republican candidates may actually have a chance at beating the Democrat. This is why Huckabee is surging. The media loves him, because he gives them the best chance of getting Clinton into office, which would mean an unending stream of scandals... and dollars, for media folks.
On the other end of the scale is Fred Thompson, who may or may not be running for president. It's really hard to tell, and the media wants to keep it that way, because what could they do with Fred Thompson? "You did something bad!" "So?" "Oh, no, we can't write about that! We're all fired!" Fred Thompson is the federalist in the race (Ron Paul isn't a person, so he doesn't count). Since he's willing to stand up for principles, rather than just parroting whatever will get him the most votes, he won't get many votes. Sadly, Thompson is the closest thing there is to a candidate I agree with, politically, in this race.
In between is Mitt Romney, the most democratic of the candidates. He seems likely to turn whichever way the wind blows. People are dumb, though, and I don't much care for such candidates. Also, he's kind of creepy.
Rudy Giuliani is running for president, and I remain at a loss to figure out why. He doesn't seem to have anything to offer in terms of ideas or goals or whatnot. This makes him the favorite.
John McCain hates free speech. If all I wanted was someone to go to war, McCain would be my guy, but voting for the guy who doesn't like rights because I think he can win a war seems to be a dangerous approach. Until he gets down on his knees and apologizes for the Free Speech Reduction Act, I will never support McCain. After all the arguments about fairness and dirty money and whatnot, at the end of the day, he supports letting the government decide what can and cannot be said about the government. That's a tool we can't give up, even if we trust them now. Once it becomes the case that we can no longer trust them, it's too late to get that tool back.
And Huckabee is the anti-libertarian, who takes the nanny-stating of the Democrats and the morality-imposing of the Republican to form an enemy of freedom more powerful than you could possibly imagine. I'd almost vote for Ron Paul over him. Fucking Huckabee. Hurry up and scream like a retard.
I'm a decline to state dude, so I probably won't bother voting in the primary, even if it's still a live issue by the time it gets here. And, as a Californian, there's no sense in me voting in the general election. It makes presidential politics quite sporty, rather than, say, a matter of life and death for millions.
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Friday, December 21, 2007
Stuff that makes you want to blow your brains out
There are still 10.5 months to this presidential election. I'm with the Squelch on this.
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Thursday, December 20, 2007
So, now that I'm done with all my silly final duties, I can get back to blogging... but I have nothing to blog about! Oh noes!
I hear the presidential election is big these days. Someone tell me who to vote for.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Another exclamation point
A year or so ago, California voted to spend a shitload of money for no apparent reason because they hate sex offenders. One consequence is that paroled sex offenders can't live in cities, because schools and parks are packed too closely to fit anyone more than 2,000 feet away from them.
Some folks are suing for various reasons. I can't say that the case has much merit, based on my complete lack of legal knowledge and a likely-inaccurate/incomplete Chronicle article, but I think there's a reasonable possibility that I'm wrong on that.
Some guy defending the state, though, has this awesome comment:
"The residency restriction affects only where an offender may live," the attorney, Kenneth Mennemeier, wrote in court papers. "It does not expel offenders from their communities."That's right. It only prohibits them from living in their communities. It doesn't expel them from those communities. Those are totally different things.
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Friday, December 07, 2007
Oh noes! Illegal immigrants are coming!
UC Davis law and Asian American studies professor Bill Hing said arguments about undocumented students taking opportunities away from native-born students are irrelevant.Irrelevant to what? Distractions from what? The Center for Immigration Studies may argue that the issue is the damage done to the economy by illegal immigrants, but for most people, they just don't much care for folks breaking the law and then whining about how hard it is to be a lawbreaker or asking for subsidies. Those discussions, then, are not distractions or irrelevant. I wonder if the Daily Cal is just completely ignorant of this view. If so, they may want to consider improving newsroom diversity.
"All of those questions are distractions," he said. "There's just no empirical data that the category of students that (fall under the DREAM Act) have any negative impact on society."
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There is nothing I could possibly write in response to this op-ed by some tree sitters. In shame, I'm going to run home to my mother. My real mother, not my Earth Mother.
I will never run to my Earth Mother, nor would she care if I did. She's never had a word of kindness for me, and never does anything for anyone. Sure, my real mother had to use her to provide for me, but that's just because my Earth Mother is so indifferent to my suffering she couldn't even be bothered to object.
My Earth Mother is also everyone else's Earth Mother. A deadbeat mother, who vaguely has a role in her children's existence, but not out of any desire on her part. She sloppily lets children be born without the slightest thought of how to provide for them, and then pretends like she doesn't know them, even as they cling to her for dear life. Mother? Not even close. She's no mother. She's a queen, but not even that, because a queen has the duty to protect her subjects as she demands their loyalty.
She is an indifferent goddess, filled with power we have no choice but to rely on. Those who refuse face death. Those who accept may very well face death, too, as she freely destroys her "children" on random whim. An earthquake that killed thousands? No problem. She's got plenty more where they came from. She is not a goddess of beauty and mercy, but a goddess in the Greek tradition, a mere aspect of existence, never worried about those she gives birth to, for they are not her charges, and she feels no responsibility towards them.
Defending your Earth Mother? Are you so proud of that? Are you so proud of defending the existence that chains us all to her whim, to her power, to her strength, and then cares nothing for our fate? And then, when we have the temerity to stand up for ourselves and build ourselves a better life, to fight for the happiness and comfort that our so-called Earth Mother never bothered to provide, she turns around and threatens to wreak havoc upon us for having the temerity to disobey the unspoken, unknown rules she refused to teach us. Instead, she taught us rules that we obeyed and built around, advancement which turned out to be the very taboo she had forbidden. Nuclear weapons are nothing compared to the injustice perpetrated by this contradictory tyrant. And these enablers and apologists who stand up for this whimsical, genocidal goddess happily criticize their brothers and sisters in the Bush administration for atrocities that are mere pebbles in comparison, for they are drawn to attacking the weak while prostrating themselves to the strong, as all cowards are.
She is the one who has made this into a war, one we cannot possibly win. What are we to do? Shall we become obsequious sheep and bow and scrape at our Earth Mother's feet, condemning ourselves to eternal suffering to placate her? That's the path of the slave. No, those of us with any measure of pride will spend our short lives fighting for the future, freeing it by destroying it, as that is the only path to freedom we have been given.
Alternatively, maybe the Earth isn't really a sacred, spiritual entity. Maybe it's just a rock with some trees sticking out. You can pick whichever theory suits you.
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
There was a bill to give some $200 to some Co-Op thingie for some purpose. It failed in committee, and then was resurrected on Rebecca Coleman's motion:
Ms. Coleman SB 106 was failed in Fi-Comm on Monday night. The bill asked for $200 to buy two banners for more visibility for the Co-ops on Sproul. They changed their name to the "Berkeley Student Cooperative," and the reason the bill failed was because she wouldn't compromise. As they know, Fi-Comm had a soft cap for first-year student activity groups of $150, and a hard cap of $200. Ms. Coleman said she wanted the full allocation, so she allowed the bill to fail. But that was a mistake. She talked to the Berkeley Student Cooperative External Affairs Committee and they would really like the bill to be reconsidered, and would like to accept the $150 that Fi-Comm would have given to them. So she would ask the Senate to please allow the bill to be resurrected.Okay. Now skip ahead to consideration. Rebecca Coleman suddenly wants $200 again.
Mr. Wu said he respected the work that Fi-Comm did. He supported the amendment not because of the dollar amount, but because when the Senate voted to revise the bill, Ms. Coleman said she would be willing to compromise at $150. Frankly, the request was now $200, and he didn't like being misled. It was his impending that would be the amount when they decided to resurrect the bill. Ms. Coleman asked if he was aware that she wasn't the one who objected to Mr. Weiner's motion. Mr. Wu said he would apologize, and didn't recall who it was, but somebody said the bill was being revised because there was an unwillingness to compromise.Um... I think Albert Wu is quite right here. She said exactly what Wu said she said.
The motion Rebecca Coleman is referring to is one where Christian Osmeña read the plain text of the By-Laws:
Any amendment to a Resolved clause that specifies a numerical financial amount must use Robert's Rules "Filling Blanks" procedure, from high to low.to mean what it said when Gabe Weiner sought to change the amount to $150:
On a point of order, Mr. Osmeña asked if they had to go to filling in the blank when they amend an amount. Ms. Allbright said they didn't.Remember, the Senate can't bypass the By-Laws this way. Essentially what is being argued is that:
Mr. Osmeña said Article VI, Section 4.3 states that any amendment to a Resolved Clause was done by filling in the blank. Ms. Allbright said that was for Fi-Comm.
Ms. Allbright said the Chair would refer Sen. Osmeña's point of order to the Senate and asked for a voice-vote of those in favor and against filling in the blank, and noted that the nays prevailed. Ms. Allbright said that procedure was in accordance with Robert's Rules, and was something they could do on a point of order.
The By-Laws require that amendments must use the Robert's Rules procedure for filling the blank.
Robert's Rules allow for changing the rules as you go, while the By-Laws don't.
Therefore, being required by the By-Laws to use a procedure from Robert's Rules means you can choose not do that procedure, in accordance with other procedures from Robert's Rules, despite the fact that those procedures don't apply when the By-Laws say otherwise.
The Senate shall be governed by the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and/or By-Laws.If I was more bored than I am, this would be loads of fun.
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Mr. Jackson asked if he thought it was appropriate that ASUC resources like the computer and the printer were used to put materials of a political nature, specifically referring to campus politics. Mr. Nguyen said he would need to have more context in order to give an answer, and he would be happy to talk to Mr. Jackson off the floor. Mr. Jackson said he saw materials for a particular political party on campus in the printer. So he just wanted to know if Mr. Nguyen was aware that ASUC resources were actually being used for that purpose. Mr. Nguyen said no, he didn't think that was appropriate.Well, don't leave us hanging, Corey! We need some drama for winter break!
Mr. Wu said that going back to Sen. Jackson's point, he asked Mr. Nguyen if he was aware that there was political party material in the printer. Mr. Nguyen said he wasn't. Ms. Allbright said that printer was not Mr. Nguyen's and was not in his office as that room was not allocated to the President's office. Mr. Wu objected. As a point of order, Ms. Allbright said she was answering a question that was asked. On a point of personal privilege, Mr. Wu said he would ask Ms. Allbright treat Senators with more respect.He's not going to just sit there and take that, is he?
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Chancellor Bob went to the Senate meeting last week to talk about fees. I noticed an interesting piece which folks might have stuff to say about:
Ms. Winston asked if there's been a decrease in the number of poor students attending Berkeley due to increases in student fees, and also, asked if the money they were talking about would be free money for students, like grants and scholarships. Chancellor Birgeneau said last year, a year ago, there was no increase in fees, and that increased the debt burden to students. So not increasing fees made it worse for poor students. That's because the one-third set aside more than offset the increase in fees. This was a standard misunderstanding. People think that fees and debt burden were connected, but they were actually connected inversely. So the worst thing for poor students at that time would be to freeze fees, because that would decrease the financial aid available to them. That's what actually happened a year ago. Fees were frozen and that really hurt poor students. He realized that was counter-intuitive. They have not seen any decrease in the number of students from poor families. But if they were to have a rapid increase, and the self-help level were to go up, in five years, to $12,500 a year, he'd predict that would really inhibit students from poor backgrounds.This seems like more of a flaw in the set-aside policy than anything else, but it's an interesting note.
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I'm on VACATION! Kind of. I've been on kind-of vacation for a while now, actually, I just forgot to mention it. I don't really have the time to read newspapers right now.
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007
What's the thesis for this piece? I'm going to say "Large signs make Scott Lucas dumb." I can't come up with any other explanation. He merely asserts that the existence of corporate advertising is bad, but seems pretty hard-pressed to come up with any reason for it. Does seeing signs really make it impossible for him to think? That might be a sign of autism or some such.
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Monday, December 03, 2007
The Judicial Council ruled on the veto issue:
In summation, the Judicial Council asserts that the veto powers conferred to the ASUC President under Article II, Section 2, Clause B of the Constitution grants him the power to retroactively veto all Senate legislative actions, i.e. all bills passed by the Senate, regardless of the bills content, such that the veto is issued within the seven (7) day timeframe.This means that all bills are legislative actions. It also means that the veto is retroactive, which means the bill takes effect upon passage, and then untakes effect upon being vetoed. The opinion notes the conflict between this and the possibility of irreversible harm occurring if a bill takes effect and then is vetoed later. They argue that this would be in conflict with the spirit of the veto power, and point it out, though they make no indication of what would happen if such a situation arose.
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Sunday, December 02, 2007
For those of you following world news, a Hugo Chavez-controlled government is holding a Chavez-controlled election about whether or not Chavez should have dictatorial power or some such in Venezuela. And it doesn't even look like he's going to win by a blowout.
I mention this because I know there are a lot of democracy worshipers out there who think that, if something is democratically passed, it's somehow okay and moral. Yes, this includes the TGIF folks who think that taking other people's money for your cause is fine as long as you can get some people to agree with you. This includes the supporters of the open theft of Berkeley Iceland by the government, insisting that it was okay because the democratically elected government okayed it, and anyone who doesn't like it should just get out of town. This includes those who push for taxes on the top x% of incomes (where x is less than 50) through direct election, pointing to the fact that it's only rich people who suffer, so it's pretty much free to enough people to get it passed.
If people vote for a dictatorship, does that make the loss of rights for everyone, even those who didn't vote for it, okay? Let's hear it, democracy-lovers. If not, what's the difference? Is it anything more meaningful than "well, those rights benefit the wrong people, so I don't care about them"?
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Saturday, December 01, 2007
Finally, the new folks feel what it's like to lose the Big Game. For me, this last half-season has felt like the second coming of Holmoe. Hopefully, that will increase the niceness in Cal football.
I hear there was a Ron Paul Noon Sproul Rally the day before. Coincidence? I think not.
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