Friday, October 31, 2003
It's that time of year again
Happy "Chicks and extremely gay men get to dress up like idiots because they think they're still kids and Halloween still applies to them" day.
. . .
Gee, Yvette, get a clue
Yvette Felarca writes:
"The ASUC is not an adjunct of the administration. We receive our own funds from students."
Hey, lady, do you want to take a guess as to why you receive any funds from students? I'll give you a hint: It's not out of the kindness of their hearts, or faith in the ASUC.
That's right, it's because the administration makes them! Anything the administration can't do with my money is something that the ASUC shouldn't be able to do with my money, because it comes from exactly the same authority.
. . .
The Daily Cal publishes a letter from School Board Member Terry Dorran which appeared in Tuesday's Daily Planet, which is disappointing. Aren't there Berkeley students who actually took the time to write a whole letter for the Daily Cal on their own who could be published in that space instead of some random figure complaining about nothing in particular via mass media mailings? (Oh, violence is bad, you say?)
. . .
Don't be a menace
The Daily Planet covers the hearings of those protester guys.
Of course, they're a bit off. The refer to the original rally taking place on March 23 (it actually took place on March 20), and they repeat the 4000 protester figure which seems to be available only on the website of the protesters, which isn't exactly the most trustworthy source. Oh, well.
. . .
Silly Berkeley Bowl workers, unions are for people who don't use their college degrees to work in a grocery store.
Both The Daily Cal and The Daily Planet cover it, and the result was NO, 119 to 70.
One hundred and nineteen employees voted against forming a union. Only 70 voted in favor of it, delivering the store’s management a comfortable victory.
Geez, here we go again. Someone needs to beat the Daily Cal staff with the parallelism stick. Regardless of the fact that "One hundred and nineteen" is not how you write 119 is words (properly, it would be one hundred nineteen), if you are going to write it in words, you have to write "70" in words, too! Or, alternatively, write them both in numbers. But there's no way you can write one in numbers, one in words, and call it proper English.
"There were five languages we had to translate to get our message out," said cashier Irami Osei-Frimpong, one of the leading union organizers. "The only message they had to get across was fear and intimidation."
That has to be the lamest excuse I've ever heard. "We had too many languages to write in!"
"Their goal was to create a partnership," Plague said. "If I worked here, I would probably quit right now."
Yeah, I wouldn't want the plague working in my grocery store, either.
Meyer and others union supporters attributed their defeat to a strong anti-union campaign.
“I definitely think that if we had voted two weeks ago before their campaign I think it would have been different,” he said.
Before the decision to file for an election, the union had signed up 70 percent of the employees on union authorization cards. They said the steep decline in support could only have come from the company’s campaign.
They say it as if there's something wrong with it. "When people only heard our side of the argument, they were supportive of us. Once they got a chance to hear both sides of the argument, they reconsidered. Management should be ashamed for making their argument." Yeah, definitely.
. . .
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Headline inaccurate, temporally infeasible
Today's News in Brief includes this headline:
"Berkeley Resident Knocked Down, Robbed During Evening Walk"
Reading the article, though, it appears that the guy was just threatened, and when he gave up his money, the robbers left. The knocking down was from an older story.
. . .
Politician panders. Shocking
Bates is now a Dean supporter! Er... Howard Dean, that is. Check out this list of goals:
"...universal health care, investing in renewable energy and mobilizing youth."
Universal health care, which grants the government authority to tell you what you can and can't eat, who you can and can't have sex with, and what stupid things you can and can't do. We love universal health care!
Investing in renewable energy, because we only get 1% of our power from wind, while the damn Danish get 20%. How windy is it in the Denmark compared to here, by the way? Also, having less wind power than the Danish is really an atrocity. Really.
Mobilizing youth, because when young people get out and do things, positive results always follow. Just look at what happens after football games.
"We’re going to have more votes than George W. Bush and this time the person with the most votes is going to the White House," Dean said.
Oh, how I would savor the irony if once again Bush won the presidency without the popular vote.
. . .
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Haha! You got raped!
Rape is no laughing matter. Stop laughing. Now.
Person A drinks too much, gets raped.
Person B drinks too much, gets raped.
Raise your hand if you see a pattern here.
Raise your hand if you see a solution here. Better counseling? Harsher punishments? More Take Back the Night marches? I'm putting my money on less excessive drinking.
Speaking of which, I hear The Black Sheep closed. BCR's going to have to relocate on Thursday nights.
. . .
Flag! Personal Foul!
Ah, the never-ending flag-in-classroom dispute. Obviously, if we don't put flags in the classroom, children will grow up to be murderers.
It's a stupid law, if you ask me, but no one did, which makes Bill Pratt's argument that much dumber.
...history teacher Bill Pratt was reported as saying he would not put up the flag due to political reasons.
Also, he reported that he would not pay taxes, follow traffic laws, and avoid killing people due to political reasons. Laws aren't optional, and you don't get to opt out of them "for political reasons." If you think the law is bad, fight the law, don't break it.
"It's not necessarily anti-American, rather a quiet dissent from a lot of the values that the flag traditionally represents."
Like the value of good cloth manufacturing techniques, and dyeing methods. It's not a country. It's not a government. It's not an oppressor. It's not a destroyer. It's a piece of cloth! (Which raises another question: Why exactly do we pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth?)
Pissed-off Parent Michael Larrick has the perfect (equally stupid) response:
"I want a nonbiased atmosphere," he said. "I'm not going to let them break the law. We live in a country of laws, and that’s what makes America so great."
Not letting someone do X is, by definition, making the atmosphere more biased. And if living in a country of laws makes that country great, what about all those other countries with their law thingies? Are they not as great? Equally great? And the two points, country of laws and nonbiased atmosphere, are about as related as me and your mother.
. . .
Boy, Camejo is bored
Apparently, Peter Camejo has nothing better to do with his time than to join student protests for pointless hearings.
Suprise! Protesters call Neal Rajmaira a liar who distorts facts and truths. Talk about the pot calling the kettle a food/drink preparation receptacle. Not that Rajmaira isn't a liar (I really wouldn't know), but those protesters, with their 4,000 person protests and chairs who refer to the second person in the third person, aren't exactly bastions of truth themselves.
"The university should give these students an award for trying to defend the rule of law," Camejo said.
Umm.... occupying buildings isn't exactly defending the rule of law, there, Pete.
. . .
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Wow, I'm speechless
Normally, this is where I whine about something stupid someone said in The Daily Cal. But today, I couldn't find anything worth mentioning. (Probably because there are only three stories covering uninteresting topics) I could, I suppose, point out how absolutely horrible Sarah Mourra is as a cartoonist (I mean, geez, look at that thing. It just reeks of 'trying too hard.' Maybe we were spoiled by Darrin Bell), or maybe the fact that they only had a captioned picture of some protest about Albany Village housing, while The Daily Planet actually wrote an article, but frankly, I've got nothing. Oh, well.
. . .
Monday, October 27, 2003
The grass is always greener
If you were strolling around the South end of campus, you might've noticed arrow-shaped patches of "grass mat" on the ground. I wasn't sure what it was, but I assumed it was an art piece, because I understood the deeper meaning:
There exist some really bored people with access to a lot of grass.
. . .
And, to close of Monday Marbles
It's Mack time! Stupid things he said (some possibly in conjunction with Daily Cal editorial practices):
"...women yelling from balconies instead of telephones."
In America, women yell from telephones. Wait. No, they talk into telephones instead of yelling from balconies. Or maybe Mack's referring to when someone calls for someone and a woman answers and shouts for that person... that's yelling from telephones.
"...Cairo experienced a slow decline, ravaged by unwinnable wars, ballooning in population."
Geez, who taught this guy English? Parallelism? Hello? Ravaged and balooning are not the same verb form. Weren't you the one complaining about the lady who couldn't pronounce Arab? Learn some English yourself.
"One of the kids opens my mother’s door unexpectedly: I follow my immediate instinct to scream and lock the doors, but my mom plays it cool. It turns out he only want to say “hello.” Everyone laughs at my pesky fright, which makes me realize I’ve been harboring a stereotype: my inner orientalist sees the kids of the third world as unpredictable beasts."
Can you believe that Mack is trying to pass off his fright as being a result of American-bred distrust of the Third World? I, too, would be frightened if Third World kids opened my car door, but that's because in America, when a bunch of kids surround your car and opens your car door, they're not there to say hi. Being scared of strangers opening your car door is a legitmate fear in America, and has nothing to do with a bunch of starving kids in Egypt.
. . .
Gosh darnit, what do we do now?
Haas is looking for ways to increase diversity. And blast that affirmative action ban for screwing us over. Now we have to scramble for ways to increase diversity.
Oh, wait... why don't we just... you know... not. Let the folks whose job it is to worry about diversity worry about diversity, and just "teach some business." (Bwahaha) Seriously, it's not a problem unless you make it one.
. . .
Crap Dump Trucks on approach:
"The only Jewish-Israeli journalist living in the Palestinian territories mesmerized a packed auditorium on campus Thursday night, dispelling widespread images that all Palestinians families see suicide bombers as martyrs."
Oooh... how so? Is it because they don't support the attacks on civilians? Is it because they feel that violence isn't the answer? No, not really.
"Hass said families of suicide bombers she knew were often angry at their relatives for engaging in missions because it endangered the entire family."
Yeah, killing civilians is fine and all, but don't make things troublesome for the family.
. . .
Yes, it may.
Peace Pole! "May Peace Prevail on Earth." Maybe. Maybe not.
"...in Farsi, Japanese, Croatian and five other languages..."
Geez, I'd hate to be one of those other languages which wasn't good enough to earn a mention by name.
. . .
The party is over
Alas, our fun is over. While most students pride themselves on engaging in slightly-illegal acts for fun, that era is over. The police have upped the ante, and the students just can't compete: They have Segways.
. . .
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Shame on me!
Shame on me and The Daily Cal for acting as if this abortion letter was a real one.
The Chronicle got the same letter. I suppose both publications should've been suspicious at the line "Every major newspaper recently published articles about the Senate passing a ban on an abortion procedure." The Daily Cal moreso because they did not. Oh, well. Mass media mailers suck.
. . .
Somebody get me a dictionary
Random political guy Chris Daly pissed off other random political guy Willie Brown.
It's something about behind the back appointments and such, and if I'm reading it right, Daly acted like an asshole and deserves ungood things. But Willie Brown could've picked some better words:
""It's like stalking. You knew exactly what you were intending to do. You concealed all your steps. You carefully plotted, then you did it behind closed doors, and then you laughed about it."
No, that's premeditating. Stalking would be if he followed Brown to Tibet, or tried to get a lock of his hair for a voodoo doll.
. . .
Friday, October 24, 2003
Today's strange consumer product of the day:
Nietzsches Will to Power Bar. I saw it today... a very somber bar, which exudes "damn, people have to be really really insane to buy this"ness.
. . .
Cry me a river
Good for you if you can read this. It's the sob stories of some lads and ladies who got admitted with low SAT scores.
The reporting of these details, however, is shameful. First, parallelism. Look at the first sob story:
ONE STUDENT WITH a 4.2 GPA lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a family of eight, and did homework in the bathroom to concentrate. Immigrated in middle school without basic English skills.
Nor did the people who wrote these summaries have a good grasp of basic English skills, either. The first sentence is a sentence. Subject, predicate, etc. The second sentence is not a sentence, but more of a bulleted point. It gradually gets worse and worse, until the end, where:
STUDENT BEGAN MENTORING program for girls, acted as peer advisor at school.
This is written not in sentence form but in article headline form (i.e. drop linking verbs, conjunctions). Really, people, get a grip on English.
Also included is most students' GPA. Some have GPAs above 4.0, which is clearly a weighted GPA. But some have GPAs below 4.0, yet the article doesn't say whether these are weighted or not. (It makes one hell of a difference, you know) Shoddy work, all around.
. . .
Slow down there, Paul
Maybe I just have sour grapes, but this statement is ridiculous. And so I will ridicule it.
The radar technology... first shoots a radar beam below the surface. The beam is then reflected back, bringing with it new information about what lies beneath the soil.
If the velocity of the radar beam returned to the surface is high, soil moisture is low. If the velocity is low, soil moisture is higher.
Noo, actually, the important question is how long it takes for the radar beam to get back. The velocity of the beam in the receptor will be identical no matter where the receptor is, because that's just the way light works.
Which just goes to show you, journalists suck at quantum mechanics.
. . .
Michelle Myers writes an uncharacteristically good column today. Still, I've got whining to do.
Social responsibility extends beyond the few boisterous cause junkies who willingly thrust themselves into progressive, change-oriented social organizations. Their efforts are in vain if no one is listening.
No and no. Social responsibility, in my opinion, only exists if the person in question feels that she has social responsibility. So it doesn't really extend beyond those people who do thrust themselves into things. (Word choice!) Also, their efforts are not in vain even if they accomplish nothing, because they feel like they are achieving their social responsibility. Which is a success, and the only important one for these folks. Changing the world isn't success, because then you have to go find some other cause.
. . .
Abortion is fun.
It would be wrong for President Bush to sign this bill. It is unconstitutional and immoral.
Morality aside, (read the previous letter if you want to see how morality works), I must have missed the "No banning of abortions" part of the constitution. My knowledge isn't exactly lawyer-like, but I think I would remember something like that.
No one has the right to dictate to a woman what medical procedures she must follow.
It's okay to dictate them to a man, though. And since the government has the right to dictate what kind of ID we need, where we can go to the bathroom, what kind of clothes we wear, what kind of medical procedures we can do, what kind of registration we must do, and what kind of weapons you can use, I don't quite see how abortion falls outside of the realm of what the government can tell you to do.
Also, for those of you wanting socialized health care, remember that if the government pays for health care, they do have the right to tell you what to do, because if you hurt yourself, everyone suffers. Vote no on socialized health care, which isn't up for vote.
. . .
A penny earned is a penny blown
Remember, the Daily Cal knows.
Hoping to find a way to save money during this budget crisis, the university plans to cut one week out of the school year by taking away one of the dead days before finals and condensing finals into seven days instead of eight in both semesters. This plan would put students’ interests second to saving money during the most stressful time of the year.
Someone needs to mention what exactly saving money means. It's not like they're saying "Let's screw the students, and put some more money in our piggy bank." They're saying "Well, we're going to have to screw the students anyway, this method seems the least damaging."
. . .
Go ASUC my balls
Yvette Felarca, of DAAP, threw three bills out there which were quickly passed because senators had nothing better to do. (Without money, why not complain?)
1. Calling on Ward Connerly to resign. Because, since we value diversity so highly, anyone who disagrees with us must resign immediately.
2. Hey, administration, "'respect the autonomy of the ASUC by ceasing to tamper with the business' of the ASUC." Don't mind that the money is the administration's, collected by the administration, and only paid because the administration demands it.
3. Let's boycott Coors, because they gave money to Ward's cause. This will have two possible effects, as I see it:
a. Students who currently do not buy Coors will not buy Coors.
b. Students who currently do buy Coors will continue to buy Coors.
Change is good.
Paul LaFata: "When the senate takes policy stances, it goes nowhere and turns people off." But think about all the change the ASUC has effected over the past few years through symbolic resolutions. There was that time when... umm...
. . .
Even though there are questions about admissions processes, students are still applying to Cal! Can you believe it?
This is definitely news. I was totally expecting that, while people were trying to find a way to improve admissions processes (i.e. every damn year), students would not apply to UC at all.
. . .
Thursday, October 23, 2003
More Counter Fun
Today's random link:The Facts Machine. As we all know, machines create things, and this website creates facts.
In actuality, though, Brendan makes a valid point about my criticism of Sex on Tuesday columnist Andrea Demaray. It is a bit of a strawman, more out of frustration that she can't even talk about sex without trying to take shots at conservatives than anything else. Add that to the rest of the columnists being equally incapable of writing without trying to get their jollys whining about stupid conservatives, and it's a pretty disappointing column semester.
And there's nothing conservative about repression-monkeys. Sexual harassment, cultural sensitivity, political correctness... that's liberal repression-monkeyism in action. Also, monkeys do a lot less repression than humans, I'm not quite sure how the repression-monkey metaphor makes sense.
As far as searches go: How to tell gender in the asian beetle. Strangely, or perhaps not, none of the websites that come up on the search seem to be particularly helpful in accomplishing that goal, and I might add that talking about "telling gender in asian beetles" fails to account for the fact that some beetles might be unsure about their sexuality.
. . .
They call him Mr. Freeze
Oh, that Paul LaFata. Always following these queer things called "rules."
“While our rules are super-important, student groups don’t give a damn. They just want their money,” said APPLE Senator Misha Leybovich.
So it's okay to circumvent the rules... I guess.
“Ideally it wasn’t a good idea to waive the by-laws, but it was really important for us to conduct business and support our student groups,” said CalSERVE Senator Bahar Khanjari. “That is what we were elected to do.”
Wow. What a CalSERVE thing to do. Try this alternative. "Ideally, it wasn't a good idea to ignore the constitutional ammendments and re-enslave all the blacks, but it was really important for us to improve the economy. That's what we were elected to do."
The rules aren't much use if the people subject to those rules get to change them whenever they want. Part of being elected to an office is saying "elect me because I will do the most I can with the powers I'm granted by the rules structure." You choose who to vote for based on the rules they would be restricted by. If someone ran under the platform of "I will spend all of the ASUC's money on handing out free shiny metal tubes on Sproul all year long" and that was something you support, you still wouldn't vote for her if the rules wouldn't allow her to do so.
Point: The rules are an integral part of "what we were elected to do."
. . .
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Well, I'll be damned...
Dariush Zahedi, the unlucky lecturer who's in Iranian jail right now, is actually a victim of the Jews!!!
Darius Zahedi has served as the director of West Coast operations of the American Iranian Council (AIC). of American Iranian Council . AIC has been of the most vocal advocates of Iranian-American rapprochement and has brought together Iranians and Americans, including government officials, many times in the past to engage in positive discussions. And this has of course has angered the people who think their survival is dependent on hostilities between Iran and US.
It's interesting to note that there are two camps hard at work to prevent the normalization of relations between Iran and US. These are the fundamentalist hardliners in Iran and the pro-Israeli Jewish lobbyists in US. These two camps, who are supposedly sworn enemies too, are hard at work to thwart any attempts to bring Iran and US closer together.
Meh. You know, if you're so sure that it's the damn Jews who control everything, maybe you shouldn't keep trying to make them your enemy, and instead enlist their aid. The Iranians have no great love for the Arabs, why not invoke the "Every other country rule"? (that is, since all Middle Eastern countries are at war with all bordering countries, you can find potential allies in every other country)
. . .
WAR!! That'll show those Palestinian bastards, draw swastikas in the bathroom. Palestinians are very sympathetic to Jewish causes, you see, and such anti-semitic drawings shows great insensitivity to.... oh, wait.
Anyway, why are there pictures of 12-year-old Palestinian schoolgirls in the bathroom? Why are there any pictures in the bathroom? Usually, bathroom stall art is sufficient.
. . .
"Katz’s underlying message was serious: People need to stop violence against women."
Wow. That's a unique message which no one else has ever ever thought of.
“It’s our interest not just because we care about women, but because we care about ourselves,” he said.
Translation: "The more women get raped, the harder it's going to get for us to get laid."
“Perpetrators of rape are overwhelmingly men—but we call it a women’s issue,” Katz said.
Well, because when men rape women, it's usually the women who take issue.
“He showed me the ways to stand up to all my friends who are the ones holding down women,” said UC Berkeley junior Angel Quintero.
By "holding down women" is he talking both figuratively and literally? And jeez, dude, you're not going to grow any more of a spine over this, and you'll keep smiling and nodding when your friends brag about their latest female conquests. And your friends reflect on you.
. . .
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Random Link of the Day
Commiewatch! (This time, the exclamation point is my own) That's right, a blog dedicated to complaining about commies. I suppose there are worse things to be done with free time. While I may agree with his general attitude towards Socialistic folks, I can't stand by and look at this travesty of inaccuracy.
I agree with most of his talking points, but the first one:
1) 'Non-violent civil disobedience' does not entitle students to deprive other students of services they've already paid for - in this case, the classes scheduled to be held in Wheeler Hall.
is simply inaccurate. The building occupied in this case was not Wheeler Hall but Sproul Hall, an administrative building with no classes.
Hehe. Commiewatch. It tells the time to everyone, not just the wearer.
. . .
Wooo! We're number one in getting oppressed!
The front page of today's SF Chronicle shows a picture of a bunch of palestinians holding a stretcher and being real excited-like. We've all seen the pictures. You have to wonder what they're so excited about.
Strangely, the picture is not available of the Chronicle website, or if it is, I can't find it. If you look at the paper itself, you can see a guy holding up one finger in the same way an American might rush a college football field with his hand in the air screaming "WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!!" Hopefully, there's a cultural issue I'm missing here, because it'd be pretty sick if some guy decided to say hi to mom while carrying a corpse, so to speak.
In any case, you'd think they'd be a tad more somber about being oppressed and bombed all the bloody time. Instead, they seem to be taking advantage of every opportunity to garner media attention (and by "every opportunity" I mean "every corpse"). I doubt anyone in the picture actually gave a damn about their fellow countryman beyond what his death meant for the PR war. Then again, maybe they're just efficient.
. . .
Ever wonder who reads the Daily Cal website?
Your curiosity can be satisfied. I'm the number one blogger who links the DC, which is quite unsuprising, since the website is being renamed to the Daily Cal whinathon.
. . .
Big student-relevant news!!!
If you care about such things, you might be interested in a Daily Planet article about those protesters who just got convicted. They're circulating a letter for a full-page ad, and have already gotten support from such greats as Peter Camejo, Howard Zinn, and Noam Chomsky. (also known as blowhards A, B, and C respectively)
Snehal: "The fact of the matter is that the students were right, and this speaks a lot to how this trial is being used as a cover."
Fact, is it? Bad times for those moral relativsts out there. The students were right. It's a fact. Really.
Here's their statement.
"On Tuesday, October 14, three University of California, Berkeley students, Rachel Odes, Michael Smith and Snehal Shingavi, were convicted in absentia of "disturbing the peace" by a university disciplinary panel for their role in a March 20, 2003 anti-war sit-in."
Note that they were convicted "in absentia" with no mention of the fact that they actually "in absentia"-ed themselves by storming out.
"On that day, 4,000 Berkeley students..."
Bwahahaha! Yeah, right. Here's the story, which doesn't include a crowd estimate. I do remember that protest, though, and Sproul plaza wasn't even close to packed. 400 is closer to the truth.
"Compounding matters, the UC Berkeley administration has made a mockery of due process rights. It has stacked the deck by assigning full-time administrators to prosecute the students, while assigning only two unpaid and inexperienced student advocates to the defense."
Don't screw with people with better lawyers than you. And they didn't even think about how they'll hurt the SA office's feelings.
"If the conviction against these three prominent activists in the Berkeley Stop the War coalition stands, it will chill free speech at UC Berkeley."
Free speech has been pretty stupid lately. Free speech is supposed to be cool. I think this is a good direction.
"The third student, Rachel Odes, never even received a letter. University policy clearly states that defendants must be notified at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. When this fact was brought to his attention, disciplinary hearing committee chair physics professor Robert Jacobsen told Odes that "since her friends told her about it, she only lost a day or two.""
Another obviously inaccurate statement. If Robert Jacobsen was telling Odes that, it would've read something like "since your friends told you about it, you only lost a day or two."
"As the defendants attempted to plead their case, the Jacobsen interrupted them, held up his finger like an umpire and said, "that's one!" When the defendants continued, he continued, "that two!""
Were you speaking out of turn? There is a procedure for such things, which they seem quite willing to quote when it might mean the university was out of order, but then they just toss it out the window when it becomes inconvenient for them. You know, becaue they're fighting for something which supercedes the rules.
Here are their summary points:
"We believe that Berkeley is violating these students' right to due process."
You believe that your protests have an impact, too. Shows what you know.
"We do not understand why a reasonable delay in the hearing could not be granted."
We do not understand why occupying a building is supposed to protest a war.
"We protest the decision to convict them in absentia."
If you don't want to be convicted in absentia, don't leave, dumbasses.
"We call on UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl and Dean of Students Karen Kenney to step into this process and cancel the October 28 sentencing hearing."
Yeah, that'll work. Berdahl is always willing to step in on these matters. Isn't Kenney the one who does the sentencing anyway? Why not just call on her not to sentence them?
"We demand that a new hearing date be set, on a date mutually agreeable to both parties that respects the students' right to organize an adequate defense."
"The Bush Administration has carried out an unprecedented attack on civil liberties in this country over the last two years. The UC Berkeley administration has a special duty to ensure that its academic community stands as a beacon of light for hard-won legal protections for which so many generations have fought."
Woo! Way to tie in related topics! Actually, the UC Berkeley administration has a special duty to ensure that the academic community can do that academic thing free from distractions such as building occupations.
. . .
Hill Airy Us
If Jason Bayer is right, someone needs to get canned.
"For example, the article states "although Pilipinos are the largest Asian-American group in California, they only make up 3.7 percent of the campus's undergraduates." First of all, this is not correct. According to the 2000 census, 2.9 percent of the California population identify their race as Chinese, compared to 2.7 percent for Filipino (as the census spells it). So, Pilipinos are not the largest Asian-American group in California, according to the latest census.
"Plus, the article seems to imply that "although" the California Pilipino population is very large, they "only" comprise 3.7 percent of undergraduates. But when you look at it, Pilipinos are more represented in the Berkeley student population than in the state!"
. . .
Listen to the OverMan
Or a guy named Overman.
"Michael Moore epitomizes everything that Congressional Democrats have failed to do in the past year."
Such as being called "Michael Moore" or gaining weight or filming movies.
"He has the courage to stand up and speak truth to power..."
I don't quite know what "speak truth to power" means, but it doesn't take courage to do what the Democrats in Congress can't. Congressfolk have constituencies and can't just go blabbering about opinions. Michael Moore, however, only has to deal with people who agree with him in his speeches, so he can say whatever the hell he wants. Politicians can't. You'd think the OverMan would know that.
"The ASUC and SUPERB both deserve an immense amount of gratitude from the students. To be represented by a student government that really works for us- it's refreshing."
First off, SUPERB is not part of the government. And they do deserve an immense amount of gratitude, as they are one of the very few student organizations which do anything worthwhile for the student body.
And if you think the ASUC campaigning against Prop 54 is "working for us," you're nuts. Working for us would be giving more money to SUPERB, or the Squelch, or funding other publications, or doing something which actually helps the student body.
. . .
Today's editorial almost takes an exceptional shot at protesters, though they stop just short of following up.
"But how do students begin to protest the actions of Iran, one of the three nations in George W. Bush's apocryphal axis of evil that has not had diplomatic ties with the United States for more than 20 years?"
They're probably referring to the fact that nobody gives a damn what protesters in Berkeley do, but I read that and immediately thought "They can't protest something Bush doesn't like." Contrarianism is a bitch.
. . .
Oh, no, they don't like investigative reporters!!!
Investigative reporting is unpopular. Why?
Jeffrey L. Rabin: "It has to do with the nature of the media and what people are told to think."
Yeah. It has nothing to do with the fact that investigative reporters regularly take things out of context, misrepresent facts, and generally make things up. Surely that has nothing to do with why the public mistrusts investigative reporting and wants to close records to journalists.
. . .
Sure, I'll oppress you
Atheists are trying to convince you that they're oppressed. Yeah. Because you can't go anywhere if you're an atheist without being screamed at, harassed, attacked, or otherwise harmed.
Of course, those of us paying attention to reality might note that atheists probably have it less hard than non-atheists, especially around here. Even in "backwater" Kansas, where I spent a long portion of my life, I never ran into the slightest trouble, persecution, or inconvenience associated with being an atheist. Well, almost never. I did face the difficult choice of what to do with my Sunday mornings.
In short, "activist atheists" need to quit whining about it. They spend more time worrying about a fictional God than most religious people think about a real God.
. . .
Who wants a tissue? We get to see some "Human Side" stories! While this isn't as bad as "The guy I had a crush on went off to war," it ranks up there.
Thinly veiled in the "Alumni offer 'You'd-better-have-crippled-or-dead-parents-to-apply-for-this-one scholarship'" news, it's really just an excuse to let some people complain about the struggles they've faced.
Oh, you're gay. Good for you. Let's hear about your first crush on a guy, that's plenty relevant.
"If God does not love me, then what would be the point of being alive?" he would ask.
Then he would realize "Oh, wait, God's male, I'm male... maybe we can love each other... frequently."
Nguyen just co-founded a program to walk high school students through the UC application process and Gonzalez has tutored dozens of middle and high school students.
Translation: Nguyen has done nothing, while Gonzalez has actually tried to help people. Which just goes to show you, gay mexican catholics are a lot more helpful than refugee vietnamese children.
. . .
Not even sex is clean
Wow. Joining the rest of her fellow columnists, Sex on Tuesday columnist Andrea Demaray decides to play the "all conservatives are stupid because I can find stupid conservatives" card. I've heard this in columns four times already this semester (because every single columnist this semester feels exactly the same way, maybe the SEB could've thought of some variety), but somehow she can't even talk about sex without condemning conservatives in general.
This is similar to The Patriot which goes "all liberals are ___" crazy at times, though The Patriot is slightly better at going on a case by case basis. I also try to call liberals idiots on a case by case basis, and never genuinely say "liberals are _____" because it wouldn't be true. Unless I said "liberals are liberal," I guess.
Yes, there are stupid conservatives. There are also stupid liberals. There are stupid people in general. Leave the broad generalizations for the jokes.
. . .
Monday, October 20, 2003
The wheels on the bus go round, but slowly
"University officials said Friday they are planning to 'express concern'..." Cool.
In the conference room
Mr. A: Say, there, let's draw up a proposal, for a possible episode of "giving a damn" in the future.
Mr. B: Sure thing. It'll take a few months.
Ms. C: That's no problem. Just let it out that we're "planning to express concern."
Reminds me of the first and favorite Squelch article worth remembering I read.
. . .
Dude, nobody cares
Good for you, Mr. Mack, you're an agnostic. We all believe that you're oppressed. Really. Keep referring to the Other, that'll get us to like you.
. . .
How queer is that?
Today's front page of The Daily Cal has two pictures.
The bottom one is of Michael Moore, who came to campus to whine about something or other. Note that the picture The Daily Cal finds is not one of Michael Moore in Berkeley, but a shot from one of his movies. Way to report, folks. "We take pictures of things which can be vaguely related to occurences on campus."
Not content to stop there, check out this work of art. In some surrealistic way, the photographer/artist Brad Aldridge is trying to make a point about how the high costs of journals can cause damage to libraries. And it's not a bad piece of work, actually, if you ignore the fact that the angle of the books make them more or less harmless to the structure of the library, if my civil engineering skills aren't failing me (which they may be. Also, if I recall correctly, there's not enough space for the full width of those books to be supported next to Doe, if the books are to scale.). But really, it's an artistic expression. It's not a news photo, and sure as hell shouldn't be sitting on the front page. "We put our metaphors in our pictures! Go news!"
. . .
What do you get when you ask campaigners to talk?
When campaigners act without politicians in front of them, you get these kinds of comments:
"Democratic Party spokesperson Bob Mulholland pointed to the allegation that Schwarzenegger inappropriately groped 16 women. He added that if anyone had abused his wife in such a way, he would 'kill the bastard.'"
This must fall under the Democratic Party's "Pro-Death Threat" platform.
"One Republican strategist eventually shouted 'You lost, it’s over.'"
Nice and brief. It's like trash talk without the sport. And without being recognized by the journalist.
"At one point a moderator, (LA) Times political reporter Mark Barabak, broke from his moderating duties and defended his paper."
. . .
How do you fight crime?
Let's ask Tom Bates of the Spotless Record:
"We need people to think outside the box, but not outside the circle."
No analysis necessary, but I'll add that a box is three-dimensional, while a circle is two-dimensional.
. . .
Sunday, October 19, 2003
You mean Michael Moore is misleading?
From a Calstuff comment thread about football:
That's so creepy. I know the prime minister of canada, and I know the countries bordering iraq and afghanistan. but Michael Moore has this simple party trick that is so reliable that it works at every event that he does on tour. He finds the canadian in the audience with the lowest GPA, and the american with the highest GPA, and the canadian will win in a geography contest.
Since it has nothing to do with football, I'm going to respond here.
If you're a Michael Moore fan you probably haven't, but for the rest of you, have you ever wondered why many of these tests to prove Americans are stupider than people from other countries almost always focus on geography? Not math. Not science. Not writing skills. Not reasoning. Geography.
In my high school, the role of the "geography class" was filler. It wasn't a requirement to graduate. It wasn't a requirement for any other courses. No universities recommended it. It was taken by those students who really just wanted to get their diploma and move on. The motivated students looking towards universities and careers, who had higher GPAs, never took the class, because there was always something more important. I've heard similar situations from other people's high school experiences.
American schools usually don't place an emphasis on geography, and with good reason. How many times have you been in a situation where not knowing the location of Bahrain, or what the capital of Madagascar is, would really have cost you? Schools in other countries place a much higher emphasis on geography because foreign countries like trying to prove how much smarter their citizens are than ours. (actually, I don't know why they focus on it in other countries. I know more about the English system of government than any of my English friends, though, so maybe there's a tradeoff) In any case, focusing on geography is a cheap way to stack the statistical deck against the U.S. Would Michael Moore engage in bad statistics? No way!
. . .
Friday, October 17, 2003
But who didn't know North Korea sucked?
. . .
Foreign Countries still suck
. . .
People are stupid. Unfortunately, people are probably too stupid to notice. Letters:
Sid Patel: He misses the fact that this whole process is being rushed by the university as a backhanded way to deal a blow to the anti-war movement on campus.
That's some fact. Are you absolutely sure it's not your hypothesis?
In fact, the students were informed that they were to go on trial less than 10 days in advance. And they were required to submit all of their evidence and witnesses five days in advance of the trial.
According to the university, they were informed months earlier. It was merely the date that they found out recently.
So the university, and their full-time, professionally trained prosecutor Rajmaira, got five months to prepare a meticulous case against these activists. The grassroots activists got less than five days to put together their defense.
Aww... whassamatter? Don't like that things aren't fair? It's also not fair for the students to have to put up with protests interfering with their classes and their business. But that unfairness is acceptable, apparently. Also, it's not like this was news. If you don't have the guns to go up against an enemy, don't provoke it.
[T]here is another reason I think this trial is a sham.
Those three students did the right thing in protesting the war on Iraq.
Yep... because they did the right thing, the trial is a sham. That makes perfect sense.
The university is trying to send a message—protest is not welcome on this campus.
Message received. Communication successful.
From Pablo Arredondo:
Specifically, when the defense objected during the opening argument that they had not received any information about the defendant’s priors, Mr. Rajmaira replied that he did not send the information, despite having it “ready to go,” because he was not specifically asked to.
Guess they should've asked for it, eh? Welcome to the world of law. It's not supposed to make sense to the layman. See above comment on guns.
Daniel Watts: UC Berkeley’s the only campus with protesters stupid enough to think that commandeering an administrative hall is an intelligent way to convince Bush to pull out of Iraq.
I doubt it's the only campus, but that is a good point. How did stopping the war in Afghanistan go, lads? Oh, right...
. . .
The Daily Cal has a new website which replaces it old and perfectly adequate website. Instead of sticking with the more comfortable, friendly old website, it looks like they're trying to emulate UCLA's Daily Bruin. Way to go, guys, in giving us a unique newspaper experience.
. . .
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Whoa, random tie-in!
In a closely related topic, some LA Times guy stopped by to defend the reporting of the LA Times, specifically waiting until the home stretch to try to soil Arnie's name with the groping accusations.
Although the story came near the end of the campaign, the compressed schedule of the recall left investigative reporters no choice but to run with the story near election day.
My favorite blog of the day, The OmbudsGod! points out a few issues associated with some columnist saying something about some editor somewhere. Or something. Read it if you're interested.
Veracity aside, I love this quote:
One woman did not sleep for two nights after a Times reporter showed up at her door, with the thinnest evidence, demanding to know if her child was Arnold's love child.
. . .
Random Link Time!
The OmbudsGod! (The exclamation point is in the title, don't blame me.) It includes a post adding to the growing body of evidence that Canada sucks.
Guy A gets accused of sexual assault, accusations reported.
Court imposes publication ban.
Guy A gets aquitted.
Nespaper can't clear Guy A's name.
Anyway, The OmbudsGod! looks like a cool little blog for those of you who love to hear about crazy things happening in the press room. (Yeah, that means you, Liberal bias Nazis)
. . .
In defense of Evan
Evans hall gets a lot of crap, and I don't know why. Now, sure, it has its flaws (the doors to rooms 458 and room 460 lead to exactly the same room, and the back wall of the 4th floor has a picture of a normal distribution curve with an emblematic capital sigma emblazoned across it), but no building is perfect.
But Beetle, it's ugly! The only ugly thing about it is the ugly paint they smeared over it's beautiful sides. It was much nicer as a big concrete box, and sent a more appropriate message, to boot.
Seriously, it's ugly! It doesn't fit! It's too tall and it's not architecturally (mindless babble goes here). Well, if you like, we can tear it down (releasing pollutants and occupying even more of campus with pereptual construction) and replace it with a more aesthetically pleasing structure... of course, to do so and still keep the same amount of space we're going to have to put it in Memorial Glade, because everyone knows architecturally (mindless babble goes here) structures are required to be pathetically inefficient with space.
Math lives there! A common misconception is that the number one attraction of Evans is math. Admittedly, the ground floor may as well be called the Math discussion floor, but most of the building is not math. Also, math kicks the ass of (mindless babble goes here) studies.
It's really, really ugly. You're not a work of art yourself. What the heck is particularly ugly about it? It's a box with rooms in it, also known as a "building." Sure, it's no Barrows Hall (a box with rooms in it), it doesn't even compare to Dwinelle (which we all wish was a box so we could find the damn numbered rooms on the lettered floors), and is put to shame by Wheeler (another box with rooms in it, except for one really big room, which is good, I guess), but it seems good enough.
. . .
Drums were beating themselves! Or so it seemed. I couldn't see anyone hitting them.
They sang solemnly to the beat of clashing bamboo sticks and canned goods, telling a story of many Pilipino immigrants' experience—years of work on farms and canneries, and in domestic and sex industries.
So, the canned goods go with the canneries, and the bamboo sticks go with the sex industry, I guess. Beat the bamboo sticks, woman!
Although Pilipinos are the largest Asian-American group in California, they only make up 3.7 percent of the campus's undergraduates.
The explanation, of course, comes a few paragraphs later:
Last month when the Pilipino American Alliance surveyed students about stereotypes of Pilipinos, many people—both Pilipinos and others—considered the group ..."dumber than other Asians."
Well, that's because Pilipinos (or Filipinos, if you want to add the F of oppression) really are dumber than other Asians, as far as scholastics are concerned. Maybe if they didn't perform so poorly in academic pursuits, people'd stop thinking of them as dumber than other Asians. Duh. But it's really an unfair stereotype, as one participant explained:
"Some stereotypes might be true for certain people but not for the whole," said junior Mark Ramos. "In the end we're all just brown; we're all just Pilipino."
Rarely will you hear a sentence structure of "Stereotypes for us aren't true, because we're all just..." and for good reason. Much like "The Asian American community unites with one voice to fight stereotypes."
Speaking of the F of oppresion (last letter on the page, Genene's letter about my comments is there by coincidence, I swear), I just realized that it's our good/useless buddy Ligot-Gordon who had gotten pissed off that time about how using an F is just as demeaning to Pilipinos as colonizing them. . . . Yeah. I might add that to the list of "Holy crap, that's one hell of an overstatement." (Remember, trying to put the African American studies classes into other departments, and not slavery, was "the manifestation of white supremacy at its zenith.")
When did The Daily Cal change its editorial policy to spell it with a P?
. . .
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Berdahl said some things.
Feeling the brunt of the university's budget woes, some staff members expressed discontent with their lower standing compared to faculty, who Berdahl said get "top priority."
"I feel frustration and disenfranchisement as a second-class citizen," said Norah Foster, a library assistant.
And we all care how Norah Foster feels. The staff is easily replaceable. The faculty is not. Of course the staff gets lower priority.
. . .
Wow... hearing convictions. That's actually a first for me. In my time here, this is the first time I've seen a high-profile code of conduct violation case actually lead to convictions.
While the case isn't over yet, I congratulate the university for getting this done quickly enough to avoid a circus.
I'm more interested in the newspaper-stealing bastards, though, and how their case turned out.
. . .
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Wow, I'm sensitive
It's also Pilipino Visibility Week, according to chalked messages on the ground. Don't worry about it this week, but in future weeks, do be careful when you walk, lest you run into one of them invisible Pilipinos.
. . .
They changed something
Anti-War Protesters Make Last-Ditch Effort to Open Hearings to Public. This sounds oddly familiar. Maybe they changed the Matrix.
Shingavi said he thought they should have been notified more directly that the hearing was going to be closed.
"I think it's pretty cheesy. We're students, not legal experts. It's a cheap excuse," Shingavi said.
Yeah, I buy that. It's not like you've ever seen anything like this before.
. . .
Monday, October 13, 2003
Guess what week it is!
It's North Korea awareness week! In that spirit, let me make you aware that there is a country called North Korea. It can be found somewhat North of South Korea. I hope you are now aware of this. Thanks, North Korea awareness week!
. . .
And, of course, the Big Mack
Mack goes back to his enemy-finding this week.
The war on terror is the new race war. The last claim, without doubt the most volatile of the three, poses a problem for the white/Christian hegemony because it's pronounced by an African American.
First of all, why can there only be one race war? Seriously, people hate the blood out of each other all over the world, what goes on in America and its targets is middling compared to what goes on in other parts of the world.
Mack mentions "the white/Christian hegemony" without any real claim to back that up. He does this kind of thing several other times, too. "Bush's warmongering Christian fundamentalism."
I like this kind of broad accusatory unsupported claim. Mehammed Mack, who rapes 6-year-old girls when he isn't kicking puppies or lighting kittens on fire, enjoys lynching blacks and does so on a regular basis (but not before pulling off their nails and skinning them alive with a rusty knife). Really.
Well, no, not really. What is real is that Mack shows his tendency to find enemies and hatred in every human being he sees, without ever stopping to wonder why it is that he sees it and no one else seems to. Mack himself is rather full of hatred, and probably feels a whole lot of that liberal guilt thing the Patriot likes to talk about.
Dude. Get a life. People aren't really that bad if you stop trying to see them as bad.
. . .
The Daily Cal Monday Blitz
Just two days after my Lei comment, Cuaresma-Primm gets his ass arrested, and a picture of him without his lei shows up. Perhaps the lei was stripped from him in shame. Perhaps.
Not that it's a big deal. Presidents getting drunk in public, senators hanging from goalposts, parties fucking over the student body because they want their pet political goals to go through, ASUC lives on in the quasi-serious state it normally inhabits.
No Multicultural center for you. One wonders why they want a bigger multicultural center. We already have a gigantic multicultural center. It's called reality.
. . .
Sunday, October 12, 2003
TIME MACHINE! Now, only $59.99 you can have a time machine delivered right to your door. TRAVEL THROUGH TIME* today!
*Time travel rate limited to one second per second
. . .
Friday, October 10, 2003
Totally uncensored pics of ASUC president Kris Cuaresma-Primm WITHOUT A LEI!!!!! (Is this even legal? We won't tell if you don't!!!)
I'm just playing with y'all. I couldn't find any in two minutes of looking, and that's about all I'm willing to do.
. . .
Thursday, October 09, 2003
And, in an unrelated story...
More disputes over public record. University says they need to keep their investments from going public in order to invest in "top-tier venture capital funds" (I have no idea what that means, I admit), while the unions say that they need to know the information because it concerns their retirement funds.
It all makes you wonder where this quote from lawyer Karl Olson comes in: "UC seems to think it's far more important to use outside lawyers than to educate people."
Wha? Did someone forget to put context in? Did The Daily Cal just pick a random quote? Or is Olson that desperate to connect unrelated issues?
. . .
This story about Random J. Blowhard again criticizing foreign policy includes a picture. When I first saw the picture, though, I thought "What the hell. Phil Jackson?" It does look like Phil Jackson trying to get a technical to boost team morale, but after closer examination, I realized that it really was just another random guy complaining. Oh, well.
. . .
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
From my course coordinator:
"What Arnold's autograph? Check your diploma."
. . .
So, I was walking down the street and...
Sproul Plaza, about 1 pm: I saw a bunch of signs and such with something to the effect of "Prop 54 defeated, now Ward Connerly must resign." Which makes sense, because... umm... you see, since Prop 54 was defeated, that implies.... er... well, Ward Connerly is... umm... hold on a sec...
Which just goes to show you, underrepresented minority representation Nazis can't use logic. (I was going to use a "black people can't use logic" joke here, but I figured someone might take it the wrong way. Maybe.)
. . .
Dear Georgy Russell Fans
Some results. Note how Huffington and Ueberroth, who had dropped out of the race, each received over ten times as many votes as Georgy did. California needs a governor who can get more votes than people not running for governor.
. . .
The H word!
Slipping in under the radar, two sets of hearings seem to be going on for issues which I had assumed were dropped.
BSTW members, including our good buddy Snehal, are facing hearings for, if I recall correctly, occupying Sproul hall. A phrase which anyone who covers protests has on macro appears here, of course: "The district attorney dropped all charges."
Why only these three? 119 were arrested, and the list of charges would probably include all 119 of them. What makes the university think they can pull this off? I certainly don't think so. Snehal is like Teflon(TM). The university axed academic quality just to accomodate him. The protest in question was peaceful, if I remember properly. If they couldn't score a victory when classes are being disrupted and police officers are being bitten, how on Earth do they think they can score a victory on a peaceful protest which occupied an administration building?
But wait, there's more! Below a completely irrelevant story about some guy getting arrested, we learn that Student Judicial affairs is holding hearings for the two students caught stealing newspapers in the whole "don't put pictures of black men getting arrested on your newspaper" flap. Once again: "Alameda County Assistant District Attorney John Adams said that his office would not pursue its case."
Kudos to the Daily Cal for putting lookouts to watch their newspapers get stolen, by the way. (The sad part about that article is that, at the end, they list three other instances where the newspaper has been stolen in the past, and that's not even a complete list)
Unlike the protestor case, this one is actually winnable, though I doubt the university'll come down particularly hard on either student.
. . .
Women are still stupid
Dorie Perez of NOW on Arnie's win: "I think this is the beginning of a downturn for women's issues, gay rights, minority rights and everything I care about."
If anything, Arnie's victory is a huge boon for these issues, because now he's got to play all apologetic and will push these issues for image reasons. Also, anything a NOW person says is wrong.
. . .
Election results, and their impact on us
So yeah, new governor, some propositions failed, etc. etc. None of it'll matter for the state. Where it will matter, though, is here on campus. Here are the important impacts:
No on Prop 54:
a) BAMN doesn't get to add another number to its list of things to overturn/get to resign.
b) Pointless, useless research continues on race.
c) Now that the vote is over, ASUC might actually recall what SUC stands for. Maybe.
a) Daily Cal headline humor.
b) Protestors add another name to their list of evil people.
c) A whole new set of stupid editorial cartoons.
. . .
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Per Peterson, a real life Nukee, wants to know why his salary is public knowledge. So do I. We got to see the trippy effect of having a letter in a newspaper mentioned in a news story in the same newspaper. Like, whoa. Public records laws are soooo cool! I can't wait to become an employee in government services!
. . .
Important lessons to learn
Amber Taylor is unsafe in Ghana. There are important lessons to be learned.
"If we were in UC Berkeley residence halls, measures would be taken to protect us. Do we lose such privileges in leaving Cal?" Yes, you do.
"Violent crimes should not be an assumed risk of studying abroad." Yeah, and babies getting killed because someone forgot to open a van window sholdn't happen either.
Moral of the story: Foreign countries suck. Especially African ones.
. . .
Monday, October 06, 2003
In the "you've got to be shitting me" department
The Patriot claims credit for Berdahl's resignation. Ya. Definitely.
. . .
I hate GE 'cause it's soooo deliciee
Dress up like a giant tomato. That'll convince people to take you seriously.
The GE food war has to be one of the most ridiculous things out there. Much like environmentalists who want a cleaner, cheaper alternative to fossil feuls but don't want the cleaner, cheaper nuclear energy, anti-GE folks don't like genetically modified foods.
Newsflash! ALL LIVING THINGS ARE GENETICALLY MODIFIED. Making modifications with particular goals in mind is safer than leaving it all up to chance, anyway.
"It's absolutely beyond hypocritical that she should get a public policy award," said Mary Bull, a Killer Tomato from San Francisco. "She represents corporate interests, not those of the general good."
What is the general good that they should be representing? The general good of not making better crops?
Sidenote: Fight pesticides. They decrease the protein content in our fruits and vegetables.
. . .
Aren't we clever
Yay! Death threats! Seriously, people need to grow up. "Oh, you debated for an opinion I don't like, now I'm going to threaten to kill you." Good work. Way to fight the argument that Israeli army is violent:
"...me and my buddies, who were trained in the Israeli army, will come and kill every one of you sons of bitches for what you are doing to destroy Israel."
Dude, sending death threats on behalf of Israel is doing more to destroy Israel than whining about an Israel-Palestine issue in a debate at Berkeley.
On the even sicker side, what if some pro-Palestinian guy did this to give bad publicity to the Israeli cause? Not that I believe that, I'm just throwing it out there.
Besides, if you're going to be pissed off at someone in that debate, be pissed off at Bazian. Even in a rally he's the most boring speaker ever to exist. "And the Native Americans were forced off their lands hundreds of years ago, and because of that, the War on Iraq..."
. . .
The Daily Cal has its endorsements out. Nothing unexpected. The endorsement for No on Prop 54 should've read:
Proposition 54: No
Look, it says no. NO. Please don't steal me.
In the actual article, it says:
Within the last decade, collecting racial data has shown examples of police using racial profiling, Latino students dropping out of school at a higher rate and a higher mortality rate among African American women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Okay, sure. But the question is, did finding this information out help anything? Police still racially profile, Latino students still drop out of school at dismal rates, and black women still get deaded from breast cancer.
. . .
Friday, October 03, 2003
It's midterm season, and...
Especially in some of the larger classes, midterms frequently have a page of instructions. Now, it might seem sensible to have these instructions, but you have to wonder what alternative they're excluding:
No glances to the left. Glances to the right allowed.
This exam has 6 pages, but they're pretty boring anyway, so it's okay if you don't have all of them.
Use neon ink only.
Cheating is allowed on this test.
Begin your exam at any time you feel like it.
Do not write your name on the exam. Your grade will be assigned randomly.
Keep your eyes in your eye sockets.
. . .
Too funny to ignore:
The Beetle Beat. Your one stop source for information on recalled VW Beetles
. . .
Why do you honk your car horn when you drive past the picket line?
a. Because, even though I haven't a clue what they're marching for, and they could be advocating an increase in baby/woodchipper unions for all I know, they're picketing, so they must be right.
b. Because I want to support them any way I can, and if I make enough annoying noise with my horn, UC is sure to give in.
c. Because the car in front of me did.
d. Because I'm unloved, and they cheer when I honk.
. . .
The previous post was a bit rambling and a bit rushed. I'll treat the letters' attitude in more detail later, but here's a list of issues:
Is the ASUC/GA allowed to spend money on political campaigns? While CalSERVE's invocation of the Southworth case seemed to suggest they were grasping at straws, regulation revisions made as part of a settlement in a later court case seem to suggest that the student government can spend money on political campaigns if those campaigns are helpful to students:
This revision reflects a condition of the Settlement Agreement in ASUCR v. Regents (U.S. District Court No. C98-00021 CRB), and permits the funding of official student government lobbying activities on student-related matters by compulsory student fees available to such governments, provided that any student is entitled to a pro rata refund under the procedures outlined elsewhere in the Guidelines.
GA has claimed fighting Prop 54 is, and that's gone more or less unchallenged. While CalSERVE has been playing this as a rights vs. oppressive authorities issue, by invoking court cases and all, they may not even be in violation of these particular regulations.
Was funding No on 54 viwepoint neutral? This may be the Republicans' angle on this, because with all the court cases being quoted, it's clear that if funding the campaign was not viewpoint neutral, somebody's going to get screwed. However, proving that something is not viewpoint neutral requires proving discrimination, and proving discrimination just doesn't happen, especially when it comes to conservatives. ("Snehal is discriminating against conservatives. Let's change the rules so it's okay.")
Is the ASUC/GA/University in violation of law because of unreported campaign expenditures? The Daily Cal hasn't raised this issue yet, and as a result, we have yet to hear arguments against this issue. I'm also rather unfamiliar with the law so I can't say a whole lot. But the issue does need to be raised. Here is some info:
Any person or combination of persons is considered to be a recipient committee pursuant to Government Code Section 82013(a), if contributions totaling $1,000 or more have been received in a calendar year for the purpose of influencing California’s city, county and/or state elections. Such persons must file the original and one copy of the Statement of Organization - Form 410 with the Secretary of State’s Political Reform Division within 10 days of qualifying as a recipient committee as specified in Government Code Section 84101(a).
Was the money spent, though? Does it matter? Is no on 54 a recipient committee?
Is the headquartering of the stop54 campaign in the ASUC offices illegal? Contact information at Stop54.org lists ASUC (that is, university) resources as the contact location. Again, I'm not familiar with the laws and policies in question, but Kevin seems to know that policies banning such action exist. I can't find it, but I don't know where to look. It would make sense that such regulations exist, though. Again, this issue needs to be raised.
. . .
How high can you go?
Alicia Criado, Peter Gee and Bahar Khanjari. They invoke "ASUC Riverside v UC Regents," a case that doesn't quite exist under that name. The case in question was settled, so there's not really a court opinion to invoke. (Thanks to The Angry Clam for finding the case. Also, according to the Clam, the case said basically the same as Southworth did, that it would not be illegal to allow student government lobbying, but without any requirement for the university to do so. But see below)
They also invoke University of Wisconsin v. Southworth, which is pretty clearly not relevant, because it merely allows universities to allow student governments to lobby and such, it doesn't require anything.
"The court ruled that refusing to fund political speech is program viewpoint discriminatory (as long as funding decisions are viewpoint neutral)."
This is clearly not the case. A quick google search can turn up the case and it reads as follows:
"The First Amendment permits a public university to charge its students an activity fee used to fund a program to facilitate extracurricular student speech, provided that the program is viewpoint neutral." (emphasis mine)
What is not allowed is discriminatory funding (sure, people of one opinion can get money, but not those of another), but the case does not declare that denying a student government a certain class of action is in any way discriminatory.
In general, any letter which begins with "TRUTH GOOD":
"What happens when you don't have the truth? It leads to misinformation. This proves to be the case with the majority of campus because of the lack of real information from The Daily Californian and the university administration. The truth still has yet to be heard in regards to the ASUC spending funding on the "No on Proposition 54" campaign."
and proceeds to make a bunch of assertions is immediately suspect.
Supreme Court cases aren't going to come to the rescue of the ASUC and GA. Southworth doesn't help them, and Riverside came to a settlement. The changes to the policy, however, may come in handy for the spenders in question.
Guideline 83.10 in University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students is the relevant passage, and was modified as according to these revisions:
"This revision reflects a condition of the Settlement Agreement in ASUCR v. Regents (U.S. District Court No. C98-00021 CRB), and permits the funding of official student government lobbying activities on student-related matters by compulsory student fees available to such governments, provided that any student is entitled to a pro rata refund under the procedures outlined elsewhere in the Guidelines."
The GA has made the case that the funding is student-related, after all.
What would really come in handy is the current Statement of Understanding Between the University and the ASUC. I don't know where to find such a thing, however.
In any case, despite the stupidity involved by certain individuals invoking irrelevant or nonexistent court opinions, it looks like the University has a way out of this mess which will turn out to be in favor of CalSERVE and co.
. . .
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Normally, I crap on people who say things in The Daily Cal. Today, I'm taking a glance at some downloaders quoted in The East Bay Express. The self-righteousness these people have is apalling.
"If the record companies weren't so greedy, I would buy a lot more music." If the record companies weren't so greedy, they wouldn't be very successful, and there wouldn't be a lot more music to buy. Artists need financial support to do things, and a lot of them have to rely on big rich people to provide that, in exchange for money. Most artists are not independently wealthy.
"I'll go out and buy their CD," he says. "I like having the art and liner notes, and besides, if they produce good music, I'm willing to pay for it." Okay, so there's a few types of music in a person's opinion. Good music, and bad music. If it's good music, he's willing to go out and buy it. If it's bad music he's not, and will just download it. Which raises the question: Why are you downloading crappy music?
. . .
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Blame assigned in CRENOgate
("CRENOgate" shamefully ripped off from Kevin)
I think the real blame here lies with the big bang. If it wasn't for the big bang, none of this would've happened. We should impose some kind of sanction or fine.
. . .
Academic freedom smells like ass
Faith Stein makes a good point about the problem with the academic freedom code changes in relation to Snehal's infamous "conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections" quote:
...the real issue being the ability of said instructor to acknowledge and tolerate discussion and debate, which was seemingly dismissed outright by this teacher before the very first class.
That's the intellectual reason why the code revisions are pathetic. ("Oh, oh, we don't want any trouble, so here, instructors, do whatever the hell you want, and academic integrity can be considered secondary.")
The non-intellectual reason why the code revisions are pathetic is that TEACHING IS A GOD DAMNED JOB! Why do these people think they should have any kind of freedom? They're being paid to do a job. In just about any other job, you get paid to do a task, not to have freedom. You accept pay in exchange for temporarily giving up your freedom. That's a concept called "employment." If these folks want "academic" freedom, then what claim to they have to getting paid for academic work? Does anyone else actually challenge this concept of "academic freedom"? Is my opinion really that strange?
. . .
Whining is fun, though
A bunch of reporters and stuff talked and stuff about stuff and stuff.
"(The Bush administration are) control freaks," said Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst for National Public Radio. "They want to control what people think."
This coming from a guy who has a job in mass communications. They want to control what people think, do they? Well, they just have to join the ranks of... well... everyone.
"Being a journalist is difficult for fear of being labeled unpatriotic," Schorr said.
Dude, if you don't like your job, quit. If you like your job, quit bitching about it. It's not like you can't get a job somewhere else.
. . .
The Daily Cal, headlined my way
Beer-maker uses crappy equipment, calls it "organic."
Free money not forthcoming.
Berkeley continues proud tradition of paying people to whine.
University solves problem of crappy teaching by saying crappy teaching is OK.
. . .
Faith Stein has a wandering column which tries to tie in mocking Berdahl, challenging the academic freedom rule changes (but not too much), and something about the ASUC. It doesn't really fit very well.
"I can't help but express my heartbreak over your resignation, and not simply because of the impersonal mass e-mail that announced it..."
This is, suprisingly, not the first time I've heard cheap shots at Bob for the "impersonal mass e-mail." What the hell was everyone expecting? Individualized letters to a campus of tens of thousands? Here's what mine would look like:
Dear Student 12345678
I am announcing my resignation in this individualized letter to you. I don't know you at all, but the legal definition of "individualized" means that at least five words have to be different. So here goes: Midget Flag Anal Torn Rape. I hope you appreciate this individualized letter.
Speaking of a campus of tens of thousands, I noticed a sign about meat-bad and such in VLSB which read "Today 40,000 children on this planet will starve to death. That's twice the population of UC Berkeley, dying every day of hunger." Which just goes to show you, vegans can't do math.
. . .
. . .