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Nap Time!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Oh, the sorrow, the shame

Like most states, California tends to place prison spending above higher education spending. And, like most states, this is a frequent target for criticism in California.

But what exactly does it mean? More money is spent on prisons than on higher education, but then prisons deal with a much larger segment of the population than the higher education system. It's not like you can just cut money from prisons. You can't just reduce prison services to balance the budget. The state gets sued over that. And you can't just turn folks loose on the street until you change the law. That's discrimination, and political suicide, too.

Remember, no one likes college students. We're whiny. We're loud. We're annoying. Of course we're the first target. It's not like we're full of alternatives, either. All I hear from students is blame, usually directed towards prisons.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/30/2003 02:51:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Boy, am I bored

I was bored, so I figured I'd check out The Chron's opinion page, which rarely fails to provide hillarity.

Today's is found at the bottom of the page in a letter from Ruby Turalba about how she's mad that Chinese women are trying to look more "western" (white, I assume) because it's seen as more attractive.

She starts off the letter with a bang:

As a Filipina-American woman, I am appalled to read in the news article, "China grows beholden to skin-deep beauty" (Nov. 23), that Asian women are increasingly having surgery to adopt Western features, such as widening of the eyes and narrowing of the nose.

Now, I'm no expert on geography, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but if I recall correctly, the Phillipines are not China. Being Philipino hardly makes your opinion on Chinese beauty-sense any more valid.

If this is not a blatant sign of internalized racism, then I don't know what is?

That's not actually a question, but I'll answer it anyway. Getting "I am inferior to whites" tatooed on your forhead is. Welcome to reality, where how you look affects how attractive you are. And I don't think I'm stepping over any lines when I say that your race has a very significant impact on the way you look.

While it is any person's right and freedom to express her own beliefs and opinions, I question the root causes of this shift in cultural standards of beauty, and its long-term consequences on Asian society and particularly on young women.

Does it really matter? So the perception of beauty has shifted. Big deal. Adapt and get laid. That's the way it's always been, and there's never been anything wrong with it. And if you think there is, remember that when it comes to self-mutilation for beauty, the Chinese have had us beat for centuries.

The Chinese government has stepped in to regulate the cosmetic surgery industry, but perhaps instead it needs to regulate American business and corporate-controlled media that surreptitiously sell the Western standard of manifest beauty in the name of our modern god, profit.

Well, so much for it being "any person's right and freedom to express her own beliefs and opinions." And what's with looking down upon profit as a god? Unlike many gods, profit actually answers prayers.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/30/2003 02:31:00 PM #
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. . .
Wednesday, November 26, 2003

GSI Strike two!

Hey hey,
GSI's are striking again. Only by ruining the future of undergraduate students can their point truly be made. We saw how well last strike went.

This jumped out at me, though. "...grading deadlines will be relaxed..." I know I'm not the only person looking at graduate schools. And graduate schools need transcripts. And transcripts need that crucial last fall semester. Great work, GSIs. I suppose they're just trying to protect their jobs by eliminating competition.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/26/2003 03:56:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Pay attention now

As expected, the university is
getting its budget cut some more. What do folks have to say about it?

Emma Schwartz (writer): "Schwarzenegger’s plan would slash $34 million from UC’s coffers in the coming months, leaving prisons and K-12 public schools untouched." Here's a quick lesson in politics. People like kids. They don't like young adults. Hence, when it comes to cutting education, the education of young adults gets cut before the education of kids gets cut. What were you expecting? And it's not like anyone can cut prison budgets. Just think of the lawsuits prisoners will bring.

Vice Chancellor Padilla: "It’s stunning news." Because nobody was expecting outreach to get cut some more. It came right out of left field.

Margaret Weir of UC's Institute for Labor and Employment: "Labor was behind the anti-recall (and we have union associations). That’s the number one reason. It’s just politics." Quick! Name something useful your institute has done! Shocking, really. Who would've thought that while politicians were in charge, people would be affected by politics.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/26/2003 03:52:00 PM #
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. . .
Tuesday, November 25, 2003


News in Brief:

...the cuts will affect more than 24 city employees.

Specifically, they will affect 25 employees.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/25/2003 07:39:00 PM #
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. . .

Don't stop laughing yet

Just when we thought ASUC incompetence was going to stop providing us with a steady stream of laughter,
Mike Davis once again doesn't let us down and freezes the $31,000 for No on 54 folks right after the Chancellor gives it the okay. The Chancellor isn't stepping in on this one, though. He's off the hook, and it's now an internal issue.

Seeing Jessica Quindel pissed off never gets old. Keep up the good work, folks.

But maybe the university isn't off the hook. From the Daily Planet:

[University counsel Michael] Smith acknowledged that the university’s legal reasoning would make funding a political campaign illegal whether funds came from mandated student fees or business operations.

“The emphasis is on compulsory fees because of recent lawsuits from students [opposing their fee money spent on issues they oppose], but the bottom line principle would apply to any university money, not just compulsory fees.”

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/25/2003 02:48:00 PM #
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. . .

Keep on laughing

This is why pacifists suck.

We've got Devin Andre apologizing for calling someone an underrepresented bitch, which is silly. She was underrepresented, and, if she was in the ASUC, she'd have to have been a bitch.

Then we've got Suhasini Kachhi who thinks we should just toss the axe into the river for "peace and solidarity." Some people have no pride.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/25/2003 02:40:00 PM #
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. . .

Stop unemployment!

Andrea Demaray wants to make sex less taboo, does she? What kind of selfish, worker-hating evil-doer would try to put huge numbers of people out of business just so that the wealthy middle class can have fun having sex? Did she even stop to think about the impact on the porn industry? No! And I don't think we at Berkeley should stand for that kind of unemployment-supporting attitude.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/25/2003 02:37:00 PM #
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. . .

If only the fire safety tax had passed

Bad news at
the library.

A fire that may have been set deliberately melted a bathroom towel dispenser in Doe Library yesterday, shutting down the main stacks for the rest of the day.

Be sure to read it twice. It wasn't the fire that closed down the library, it was the melted bathroom towel dispenser. It must have been the towel dispenser providing power, heat, and oxygen to the stacks, not to mention paper to dry things with.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/25/2003 02:34:00 PM #
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Monday, November 24, 2003

Mack's dumber than usual today

I practically have to do a line-by-line,
he's so full of it this week.

This Thanksgiving holiday, while scarfing down turkey and contemplating American Indian genocide...

Learn to not get your asses kicked by invaders, next time.

You could submit to the Mall and run up your credit card in the always-vain attempt to substitute gifts for friendship.

Yet more proof that Mack doesn't have any real friends. Gifts are an expression of friendship. There's a reason $20 bills are not considered good gifts, and it's not because the receiver doesn't want $20. (Or I should hope not, anyway)

For 24 hours, participants refrain from purchases and instead perform street theater or irrational acts of generosity.

Gee, I hope they're not consuming any electricity that day. Although, if you look at his list of things-to-do for Buy Nothing Day, you'll note that none of them have anything to do with generosity, and are instead focused on trying to be an asshole.

The Buy Nothing Day campaign recently came up with a series of ingenious commercials, only to be flatly refused airtime by all major TV networks.

Hmm, guess they weren't so ingenious after all. A real ingenious commercial would be able to get aired.

Even the Wall Street Journal has taken note of the Buy Nothing campaign as a legitimate threat. Potential support for the boycott appears strong, as a poll conducted last Nov. 28 by the Opinion Research group showed 62 percent of Americans plan to “buy nothing” on the day after Thanksgiving.

That's probably pretty normal. That means 38 percent actually do plan to by something on the day after Thanksgiving, which is a damn large number. I also plan to buy nothing on the day after Thanksgiving, and I didn't even know about any "Make futile statement for no reason" campaign.

Behind the irreverent, thought-provoking schemes lies a pressing message.

The provoked thoughts and the message are the same: "What a bunch of dicks."

In order to counter the increasingly economic patriotism ravaging the country, anti-consumerists have turned to Buy Nothing Day as the only true holiday left, an all-too-brief vacation from the financial institutions processing our lives.... This Friday, please stop the sad industrialization of our souls and do something priceless.

Okay, it's time someone explained to me what the problem with consumerism is. Okay, we consume. Our souls are "industrialized," whatever the hell that means. How does avoiding society make you a better person? I'm glad to have corporations think for me. It frees me up to think about more interesting things.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/24/2003 01:34:00 PM #
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. . .


Oh, crap we forgot to mention these lines at the bottom we failed to read the first time around.

Like my daddy once told me: "First you start making your own money, then we'll talk about you getting any say in what we buy."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/24/2003 01:26:00 PM #
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. . .
Sunday, November 23, 2003

Go strangeness

How strange does Berkeley get? That depends on how you define "strange." Sure, some people look strange, and you might consider it strange that you can read in your local newspaper in the police blotter that someone was "caught trying to put shingles on her roof." You might think it strange that there are people with nothing better to do than stand on boxes shouting "Happy Happy Happy!" I, personally, still don't understand how chicks can wear a sweater, a coat, a hood, and a scarf, but no pants and consider themselves properly dressed for the cold. But no, I'm talking about the strangeness that can only come from the behavior of those we might consider "normal."

Once, for instance, at the hidden post office on Durant near Telegraph, I stood by patiently waiting for the woman in front of me to stop her arguing so I could get a stamp. She was having serious trouble with the machine. It worked fine, but it only gave out stamps with the American flag on them. "I won't use those stamps," she said.

Now, I can understand how one might be upset with the way our government is going, but honestly, what do you think would happen if she used a stamp with an American flag on it? Would she be excommunicated by her social circles? Would Republicans come to her door asking for money? Would the letter she was trying to send get from her local post office to the address written on the front of the envelope? Pictures of flags don't oppress people. People oppress people.

But okay, I guess. Political statements are important. After all, once Bush finds out that she refused to buy American flag stamps, he's sure to stop the wars.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/23/2003 03:32:00 PM #
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. . .

Woo! Go Bars! Bears, too

While I realize how important it is to some of you how our (# of times we got into large colored box)x6 plus (# of times we kicked a ball through some poles)x3 plus some other stuff was higher than that of an insignificant, hardly worth mentioning college, a lot of folks really just don't care. Please take that into consideration when planning to disrupt classes tommorrow. Remember, when you hold a rally, only people who want to attend go. When you hold a march-through-classes parade, that's not the case.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/23/2003 11:08:00 AM #
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Saturday, November 22, 2003

Happy Some Day!

It's JFK assassination day, or something, where we celebrate the fact that we had a politician as president once. Or something. Wait, we've had a politician as president every time. Oh, right, but they don't get deaded, so they're not really that great.

Anyway, JFK died. Get over it. Especially those of you who use words like quagmire. JFK had more than a small hand in getting us into that little barrel of fun called Vietnam.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/22/2003 12:40:00 PM #
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. . .
Friday, November 21, 2003


Don't expect the NLG to come running to the rescue, though. There's no money here.
Photographers are suing The Daily Cal because they thought they were freelancer photographers, while The Daily Cal thought they were staff.

Of course, since The Daily Cal rarely, if ever, prints a picture worth looking at, I'm not too concerned. If they just include more invisible-but-not schematic folks, we'll all be satisfied.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/21/2003 02:45:00 PM #
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. . .

Terrorists are asses

And use them, too.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/21/2003 02:41:00 PM #
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. . .


Bob Berdahl writes: Please don't be an asshole on Big Game day.

The Beetle Beat agrees.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/21/2003 02:37:00 PM #
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. . .

Lot's of fun ASUC news today.

"Shut up, you underrepresented bitch."

And why is Peter Gee in tears? "Oh, no, someone said something mean, I'm going to cry now." I remember that from 1st grade.

On the upside, ASUC and GradAss are getting off the hook for their No on 54 crap. The university prolly didn't have a great case anyway, so they just paid 'em off with non-student fee funds. Problem solved.

"The rules are still unclear. The university is still unable to admit that they are wrong," said Graduate Assembly President Jessica Quindel.

Quindel maintained that the expenditure was legal, saying that the student government should have autonomy for its spending.

If you want autonomy for your spending, first get autonomy for your funding. Otherwise, shut up, you overrepresented bitch.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/21/2003 02:36:00 PM #
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Thursday, November 20, 2003

In the news today:

"UC settles lawsuit with women in lab." You can read the article if you like, but the summary is that women now need to give one fewer blowjob for each promotion.

The gender gaps change the dating game. This is the followup to yesterday's article which left me wondering "Why are they mentioning a gender gap without mentioning sex and its sattelites, which is the only aspect of it that matters to college students."

This particular white male is open to relationships with women from all races, by the way, and is currently single.

Regent meeting gets protested. As usual, the protesters are entirely irrelevant to decisions made, including this 5th year economics student who failed to develop a four-year plan for graduation. They should give a grade for that. I'm willing to accept the argument that "I couldn't go to class full-time because I have to work to make money," but then you'd have to wonder why he has enough free time to attend fruitless protests.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/20/2003 12:07:00 PM #
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. . .


If you go there fast enough, you can see
MSN report that "Hunderds" were hurt in the bombing.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/20/2003 11:55:00 AM #
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. . .
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ever have one of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days when you realized that getting paid $20 an hour for unskilled labor just wasn't enough? I sure haven't.

But Aneesah Shelbourne has.

Aneesah Shelbourne, a checker at the Oakland store, said that even though she makes $19.08 an hour, she works only 24 to 32 a week. A single mother, she says she couldn’t afford the possible $95 additional payments to cover herself and her two daughters.

And if you think she has it bad now, just think how poor she was when she couldn't afford condoms.

Note to all potential employees of anyone: If you don't work 40 hours a week, you aren't going to be compensated for working 40 hours a week, nor should you be. Also, if you're making a buck every three minutes for unskilled labor, don't bitch about it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/18/2003 11:59:00 AM #
Comments (0)
. . .

Studies make you stupid

I should've mentioned
this yesterday, but I was laughing so hard I couldn't type.

The study supposedly suggests that bigotry makes you stupid, according to the headline. The researchers used a "bigotry meter" (they have the technical crap in the article, my guess is that their bigotry meter detects something wholly different) and then make folks think. Supposedly, those who were bigoted did poorly on thinking and such.

Unfortunately, the study leads to no such conclusion. What they found was nothing about bigotry's effect on the brain, but rather the effect of folks trying to control their thinking so that they don't have negative thoughts about demographic groups they're not supposed to have negative thoughts about. What the headline should've read was "Political Correctness makes you stupid."

Notably, the study was only done on whites. They should've done it on blacks, as well, but they were probably taxing their brain by trying not to have negative thoughts about them that it slipped their minds.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/18/2003 09:15:00 AM #
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. . .
Monday, November 17, 2003

Did I mention


Ask a group of people to evaluate one another anonymously, and you will witness breathtaking racism. Hence the concept for Hot or Not (www.hotornot.com), one of America’s leading personal ad services, which asks users to rate participants on a 1-10 level. Last week, we explored the attenuating circumstances leading to personals addiction; this week promises less sympathy and more haughty judgment. It is telling that the society making up Hot or Not treats most harshly the race of its own founders (two Asian Berkeley alumni), and favors, or rather worships, unblemished blondes, most likely to score in the high nines.

Mack is clearly not in on the cultural joke. This is what happens when you have a complete outsider try to make broad statements about a culture. Welcome to the internet, Mack. Those of us who actually do participate in this culture without our accusatory eyes looking for flaws left and right understand the humor of it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/17/2003 10:59:00 PM #
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. . .
Saturday, November 15, 2003

An anti-abortion success?

This article, about a construction guy who led a boycott which prevented a contractor from comlpeting a Planned Parenthood building, is interesting in several ways.

For one, a boycott actually accomplished something. That never happens in Berkeley.

Second, it's a success by anti-abortion groups which isn't illegal, and doesn't involve lawmaking. While I tend to sympathize with anti-abortionists opinions, I usually get pretty disgusted at the ways the fight their fight (from the violent to the legislative). For once, real pressure is brought in a peaceful and non-authoritative manner, and something is accomplished. Heart-warming, really.

Plus this ironic fact: Planned Parenthood is most famous for their efforts to plan not to have parenthood. Go figure.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/15/2003 02:21:00 PM #
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. . .
Friday, November 14, 2003

Strike 6?

Some union folks write an article condemning UC labor practices. But they write it as if they're impartial advisors referring to "unrest" which is out of their control.

UC must cease going down its present path. It needs to truly improve its labor relations and desist from committing unfair labor practices. It also needs to leave the current “no strikes/no lockout” language in the union agreements that still have this clause as well as meet with the UAW to settle the contracts immediately. To do otherwise risks further unrest.

How stupid is that? How about "if you do otherwise, we'll strike some more"? No, no, it's inevitable, really. We have nothing to do with it. We're the union.

In the last three years, there have been four unfair labor practice strikes and two threatened unfair labor practice strikes at the university, involving a total of four unions. They collectively represent 40,000 workers, or 60 percent of the unionized workforce at UC. These strikes, undertaken to protest the university’s unlawful behavior, were very disruptive to the campuses and to students’ education.

Which is obviously 100% the fault of the university. Strikes are a force of nature, you see. We, the union, have nothing to do with them.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/14/2003 03:35:00 PM #
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. . .
Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Human Side

The Daily Cal goes off to present "the human side" again, this time in the case of some
musician kid. We all know what happens when the Daily Cal tries to present the human side (and you know I'm going to refer to "Silence, Wishes, and the Torment of War"), but this time the article's not even about a student. Nor could it possibly be construed to relate to students in even the slightest of ways, as city politics does. Keep on bringing on that vital news, Daily Cal. We'd be lost without it.

“I can’t imagine my life without music,” the 12-year-old Berkeley resident says with a smile, revealing his silver braces.

Do braces really come in any other colors?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/13/2003 11:58:00 AM #
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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Silly rabbit

There's a clever little
letter to the editor in this week's East Bay Express, (sixth one down, "Cast off your ideological leash," Kenneth James) which includes this interesting tidbit of truth:

I think what lends to the cynicism non-Berkeleyites feel toward Berkeley is the pretentiousness of Berkeley's views of itself as utterly educated, enlightened, sophisticated, etc., when people in Berkeley are just as prone to their passions, biases, and small-town chauvinisms as all other human beings.

Truer words have been spoken, but this is somewhere above the 93rd percentile.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/12/2003 04:57:00 PM #
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. . .

Showed him the light

A security guard is facing assault charges for responding to a punch with a
metal flashlight to the head. Says Berkeley police officer Kevin Schofield: "Hitting someone in the head with a metal flashlight is not a reasonable response to being punched."

That's news to me, actually. I could understand "hanging someone upside down while you skin them alive and pull out their fingernails is not a reasonable response to being punched," or even "shooting someone in the face with a shotgun is not a reasonable response to being punched," but "whacking someone on the head with whatever object is handy is not a reasonable response to being punched" seems to use a very narrow definition of "reasonable." What if he isn't trained in unarmed combat? "Sorry, you'll just have to get the crap beaten out of you."

In general, I'm rather unsympathetic to people who attack other people and then get their asses kicked. But maybe that's just me.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/12/2003 04:50:00 PM #
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. . .
Monday, November 10, 2003

How much do you love Dennis?

Hey, look, Dennis Kucinich is looking for a ladyfriend. It's time to ask you female Kucinich supporters: Just how much do you love Dennis?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/10/2003 02:49:00 PM #
Comments (0)
. . .

And look, it's Mack whining about relationships!

Mack has the gall to blame his failure at landing a relationship on his race. What a cop-out.

This loser entered the personals world upon realizing that my paltry 100-person high school would never yield the dream date I should’ve already obtained had I belonged to a normal demographic.

Gee, maybe if you didn't immediately try to blame everything on everybody else at the slightest sign of difficulty, folks'd like you more. Maybe. But sure, cry racism.

Our leaders may condemn personal ads, but everyone knows they’re the inevitable choice of the downtrodden.

Um. Um. Um. Which leaders have been bashing personal ads? George Bush on personal ads: "We must defeat the axis of evil. Online dating, internet chatting, and personal ads." Is Mack going to claim something about "cultural leaders who control us all through subconscious etcetera"? I'm sure it's their fault you feel stupid for turning to the personals.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/10/2003 02:36:00 PM #
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. . .

Oho! Score!

Bad times for protesters. No more lawyers speaking for students, no more open hearings, and no more mock trials. The university looks poised to lay the authoritative smack down on protesters (though, in my opinion, the revisions will never get by the Academic Senate).

I have a strong objection to the title of this piece, however: "Code of Conduct Revisions Curb Students’ Rights." This is far too oversimplified. While it does curb some students' rights during hearings, it also encourages and protects students' educational rights, specifically those who take classes in Wheeler Hall during protest season.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/10/2003 02:32:00 PM #
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. . .
Saturday, November 08, 2003

Let's talk about de-sex

Abortion is a fun topic. It's fun because no matter how much anybody argues, the only two results are that a person's mind doesn't change, or that person says "Screw this all, none of it makes any sense." Which makes arguing about it all the more fun.

The death penalty used to be my favorite fun topic, which is pretty much the same, but that didn't lead to the "YOU HATE WOMEN" screeches, and the "Conservatives have nothing better to do than to try to restrict women" arguments.

The SF Chronicle has some interesting letters on the topic.

Let me be very clear: No one owns my life or the life of my daughter.

But, by claiming you think mothers have abortion rights, then apparently you do own the life of your daughter. I dunno if I can agree with that. With the possible exception of Toni Morrison, most folks have a problem with infanticide.

I was surprised to see so many pro-choice Democrats signing on to the "partial-birth'' abortion law. What was the reasoning behind this? Then I realized that if the Republicans had wanted to write a law that would hold up in court, they could have. The fact they chose to write a law that mirrored a Nebraska law struck down three years ago told me they were not serious, and the Democrats knew it.

That's an interesting take, and it may very well be true.

The women of America need to wake up and vote or their choice to be a parent (or not) will be out of their hands.

Actually, that choice is already in your hands, or, perhaps more accurately, between your legs. If only there was some magical pill women could take which would keep them from getting pregnant even with frequent sex. If only.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/08/2003 05:06:00 PM #
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. . .
Friday, November 07, 2003

Just for Rebecca

RCB raises a very legitimate criticism of this website. That is, it's pretty focused on bashing either The Daily Cal or the characters in its stories. It's really just a product of laziness. Between grad school applications, undergrad school class-doing, and backflips, there's not a whole lot of time for me to do the fun stuff. So there.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/07/2003 05:16:00 PM #
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. . .

Oh, if only

It's the homeless!

City officials said they will use the study’s finding to help target services including shelters, health care and food programs for the homeless as well as to devise ways to decrease homelessness.

Oh, oh, I think I found a way to decrease homelessness!

"Jim will use the information to more efficiently beat himself in the face with a baseball bat as well as to determine methods of treating his growing headache."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/07/2003 03:24:00 PM #
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. . .

Conservatives last!

Flag me a river.

The editors maintain that since there are other pressing issues to deal with, it is acceptable to violate the law on something as apparently trifling as protecting the symbols of US society within our public institutions. Using this logic, we could rationalize never complying with any laws with which we do not agree. Whatever issue citizens raise, indifferent administrators and their enablers could cite some other more pressing concerns as justification for inaction.

That's the intelligent paragraph of the letter. I mentioned as much when I whined about this earlier. But, instead of quitting while he's ahead, John Pavliga continues:

...we expect that they will accept such displays as a basic element of society, as they will liberty, equality, and democracy.

Maybe, but you would have to argue that such displays really should be an element of society, as do liberty, equality, and democracy. (Which are three horribly contradictory concepts, I might add) I can't say that I see the point.

Remove the flags and we increase the distance between our young citizens and the larger society, its institutions, and its democratic values.

With the things students are taught nowadays, the flag should be the least of your worries here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/07/2003 01:39:00 PM #
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. . .

The Nengos are coming!

This op-ed from some Nengos asserts that people who oppose affirmative action do it simply because they're mean. Way to add to discourse.

Many of these students have survived enormous personal hardship. One girl has moved 10 times in her junior and senior years because her mother is manic depressive. Another has been diagnosed with breast cancer, while her mother recovers from drug addiction. A third, a sophomore being raised by her grandparents, is class president, cheerleader, sings in her school choir and sits on the school site council, while maintaining a 3.5 grade point average. These unbelievable youth breathe walk and dream of going to college.

Boys, however, do not deserve mention.

We have the position championed by minority representatives within the Anti-Affirmative Action camp.

Yes, that horrible minority, which, of course, always wins when it comes to polls and voting.

In the mean time, the lack of willingness to deal honestly with the divide between schools in working and middle class neighborhoods in the United States is running rampant. Neglect and budget slashing fall heavily on urban schools, the last to see the money from boom times and the first to see it go in a down turn.

Which is why it is important to improve schools. Oh, wait, were we arguing about affirmative action?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/07/2003 01:34:00 PM #
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. . .

Women, children, and editorial staffs first!

Money is bad! Or something. The editorial says, effectively, trying to get rid of old teachers to replace with cheaper, newer teachers will harm education too much to justify it. They don't provide an alternative for money-keeping, but that's beside the point. The stupidest thing they say in the article is:

While it might be financially savvy to only try to retain the professors that earn the least, there is a justifiable reason certain professors make more money than others—their contributions to the campus, through both research and experience, make them a valuable investment.

I don't know which classes the editorial staff took, but old teachers are horrible. The longer they teach, the more they suck at it. Really. Old teachers have little routines which seem to be specifically designed to make it harder for students to get anything out of the class, while newer teachers actually know how to teach.

As far as research goes, maybe have the experience, but generally, old people have old ideas, and aren't as willing to accept the changing priorities and issues as newer researchers are. Old people have more experience driving too, you know.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/07/2003 01:31:00 PM #
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Suprisingly enough, the most intelligent/entertaining part of today's opinion page is an
editorial cartoon from Jon Fischer. The rest of the page is three articles of crap and a cartoon about the university being a rhinoceros. Or something.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/07/2003 01:27:00 PM #
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Thursday, November 06, 2003

Oh, right

Anyone know why the Daily Cal came out so late today? I missed my morning entertainment.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/06/2003 07:09:00 PM #
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Go business!

David Mourra notices that book publishers charge the amount that purchasers are willing to spend. And calls it a travesty of justice. Yeah.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/06/2003 06:50:00 PM #
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Way to go philosophy

Philosophy classes are getting restricted to majors only. Once again, philosophy reaffirms its status as completely useless for use anywhere except in philosophy departments. At least now they don't pretend like it matters.

Bad times for minor students, though. Minors need five upper division philosophy courses, which is a lot larger than zero, which is the number they can take now.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/06/2003 06:48:00 PM #
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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Holy crap! It's an accomplishment in the ASUC!

Er... almost an accomplishment... well, at least an idea which could possibly lead to an accomplishment.

Prez Primm is trying to start
a campus TV station, which is probably a bad idea, not worth the effort. But he also wants to have the ASUC meetings videotaped or broadcast or something, which is actually a good idea, and I hope it works out. Not that I'd watch.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/05/2003 02:00:00 PM #
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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

On a note

Ronald Cruz says:

The campaign for Connerly’s removal from the UC Regents is gaining real, not symbolic, support from broad sectors of the campus and the state, including the ASUC, because it is one that cuts to the heart of the future of the University of California system.

Well, if the ASUC says so, it must be right! And the ASUC's support is "real, not symbolic."

Whether you can find people to support your cause or not hardly decides whether your cause is just or not. I could find people to support any cause at all, including opposite ones.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/04/2003 12:18:00 PM #
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Bomb me a river

Noo! Nuclear! Our good editorial staff at the Daily Cal says of a proposed name change for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to be named after Edward Teller, nuclear guy who did some stuff and defended nukes.

Ernest Lawrence was appointed the first head of the lab after inventing the cyclotron. Renaming the lab would essentially ignore his numerous contributions to the scientific community.

Well, you could easily argue that not renaming the lab would essentially ignore Teller's numerous contributions to the scientific community. You can't name everything after everyone.

“Edward Teller was the model for Dr. Strangelove, and Dr. Strangelove is a symbol that everyone recognizes as a symbol of the danger and insanity of nuclear weapons,” said Jacqueline Cabasso, the executive director of Western States Legal Foundation, an anti-nuclear group, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Yep, those dangerous nuclear weapons. Thanks to the continued research of nuclear weapons since World War II, huge numbers have lost their lives from them. . . Gee, I hope I'm not getting my facts wrong.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/04/2003 12:14:00 PM #
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Today's rape story brought to you by...

Well, I'll be darned,
alcohol again! I totally didn't see that one coming.

The Daily Californian is not releasing the suspect’s identity because he has not been formally charged.

Wow, way to actually have some integrity. Hopefully they don't release his identity after he's formally charged, either.

Meanwhile, Norton Hall residents said they have been left in the dark about what actually occurred Sunday, getting most of their information from the rumors circulating through their residence hall.

“I think it might be nice if we could hear from someone what’s going on,” said UC Berkeley freshman Vanessa Rancano, who lives on the floor where the rape allegedly took place.

Yeah, it would be nice, except that it's none of your damn business.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/04/2003 12:04:00 PM #
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Monday, November 03, 2003

And then...

One of my nutty environmentalist friends made a similar argument how I should respect Mother Earth. Well, I say, "No way." She's such a whore... anyone who spawns more than one child a year from different parents is a serious slut, and Mother Earth has even the sluttiest sluts beat in every way.

It's not like she wanted me. Do you think she went through any special effort on my part? No, I was just a product of coincidence, and Mother Earth couldn't have cared less.

Mother Earth could suck my balls, but she's a bit too busy spawning hundreds of other uncared-for creations.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/03/2003 06:25:00 PM #
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So, I was walking down the street...

Some crazy guy with insane opinions (Hi dad!) once told me that I should care about the environment and the world, so I can make it a better place for future generations.

Which raises the obvious question: "What have future generations ever done for me?" I mean, by definition, they haven't done anything at all for me. Yeah, sure, maybe my descendents will revere and honor me for my great work in the distant future, but I'll be a little bit too dead to benefit from it. If anything, I should destroy the world out of spite for future generations, because if I'm in any way representative of my generation, we've been making life hellish for our still-living ancestors.

Future generations can get bent. I'll let Arnold deal with them.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/03/2003 06:23:00 PM #
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It's a Kennedy!

Developer Patrick Kennedy, that is. He wants to use space in his Gaia building for a jazz club, in accordance with some agreement with the city that he'd provide space for cultural activites.

But City Councilmember Dona Spring is questioning if a for-profit, nightclub that serves alcohol really fulfills the agreement.

Before the zoning adjustments board approved a permit for the club, it had reservations over whether the club was “really what was meant by a cultural use,” Spring added.

Who wants to wager that she'd never even come close to raising the issue if it was anybody but Kennedy? Well, I guess jazz isn't culture. Sucks to be you, jazz fans. Or maybe it's the non-profit part that sticks in her wheelchair spokes. Because nothing cultural is for profit... well, except for just about everything cultural which occupies a building. Is it the alcohol? I should hope not. Alcohol is, after all, the staple of American culture.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/03/2003 06:10:00 PM #
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SAT your ass down

Hey, look,
more dolts! This time it's that good ol' fashioned SAT crap.

I was expecting Regent Moores to shut the hell up, after the reaction he got for reporting on the crappy SAT scores of some admittees (admittedly not a huge deal in itself), but it turns out he has more spine than I gave him credit for. He strikes back with a report on how those students with crappy SAT scores are doing crappier, which actually does matter.

The report “continues to contain misleading data and draws incorrect conclusions about the UC Berkeley freshman admissions process,” UC Berkeley officials responded.

I didn't see enough of this response to make me comfortable. I'd've appreciated more statements about what is misleading and what conclusions are indirect than this blanket statement. So let's go to the arguments:

Moores: "...students who scored poorly on the SATs were twice as likely to drop out..."

Response A: "Low-scoring students left for personal or financial reasons rather than poor academic performance."

Me: Well, that may be true, but it doesn't change a whole lot. Keep in mind the reason why we even measure the number of students dropping out: admitting dropouts is a serious waste of resources. So if people with low SAT scores have a higher chance of dropping out, whatever their reason, we ought to consider it.

Response B: "More than 90 percent returned this semester, compared to 95 percent of the entire 2002 freshman class."

That's why Moores said "twice as likely to drop out." Ten is twice five.

Moores: "students who scored poorly on the SATs... were three times as likely to lack "good academic standing.""

Response: Oops, guess either the Daily Cal decided we didn't want to hear it, or the response felt their blanket, unsupported statement addressed the problem. (note to Daily Cal: Please please please inform us of things. It'd be a really handy thing to read in a newspaper. You know, news.)

Moores: "The low-scoring students on average had a freshman-year GPA half a point lower than the entire class."

Response: Same as above.

Me: Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. I could've sworn that SAT had no correlation with GPA, according to some study. Oh, well.

Conclusions: Not a whole lot without more information. Wait for more "Oh, it's self-evident" arguments on both sides.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/03/2003 06:06:00 PM #
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Go Kucinich!

What another dolt. He talks as if he actually has a chance of winning.

Kucinich hasn’t yet been able to attract what he sees as a critical part of his candidacy—youth. Instead, the most organized student group on the UC Berkeley campus supports another Democratic presidential candidate: Howard Dean.

Gee, I wonder why that is. Oh, that's right, "a vote for Dean actually matters."

"But people, when they hear my message, they know that my candidacy is about real change. It’s about fundamental change. If people want to really change this system, I think young people resonate with that and I think they’re going to end up supporting my candidacy."

Well, maybe if life sucked for us young people, he'd have a point. But it really doesn't. I don't see why we would "want to really change the system."

"It is time to see peace as inevitable, not war."

It's time to see peace as inevitable, not to see it as war. But if you were seeing peace as war, you probably have other philosophical problems to deal with.

Kucinich speaking on Barbara Lee as vice president:

"Absolutely she’d be considered. She’s one of the most talented people in the Congress. … I haven’t told her that though. So, you know, keep it secret."

Kucinich thinking on Barbara Lee as vice president:

"Haha! A woman in politics! That's rich. Oh, man. Good stuff."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/03/2003 05:55:00 PM #
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Big News!

Mehammed Mack is a dolt! Well, okay, I may have mentioned that before. But it's Monday, so hi ho.

It sucks being a gay Palestinian in Israel.

Didja' see that? Eight words! It makes you wonder how Mack took so many hundred to say the same thing.

Now, we all know personal narrative stories are boring, but Mack one-ups us on boredom: He gives a narrative of someone else's story summarized from a movie. Wow. Way to bring in an individual perspective there.

One night, while watching a movie with his mother and best friend Hashim, he chanced onto his first gay experience: with the excuse of the cold, Mahmoud and friend nuzzled ever closer, and then kissed. Mom, who was already drowsy, went up to bed, and the boys got rid of their virginity.

Geez, he makes it seem like they just stumbled into it. Maybe Mack's counting oral sex, or maybe they had the requisite lube just laying around.

Neither suspected their homosexuality, yet felt confirmed in it after that night...

It's not a confirmation if you don't suspect it in the first place. It's a revelation. "Bob was not suspected of guilt, yet the investigation confirmed that he was guilty." Oh, yeah.

...police offered Hashim two options: give us the names of every gay Palestinian you know, or we’ll tell your family about you. The Israeli police employ this tactic because gay Palestinians make the best collaborators: pressured into a vulnerable secrecy, they can be forced to perform any bidding if one threatens to “out” them.

Because the Israeli police have nothing better to do than to find gay Palestinians. I dunno, maybe they do have a reason for wanting to find all the gay Palestinians. If so, someone please inform me. I don't generally buy the "just because they're evil" argument. You'd think, having huge control over him, they'd ask him something about terrorists or some such, or maybe hire him as a spy. But no, they just wanted to find gay Palestinians.

Also, this goes into the "foreign countries suck" file.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/03/2003 05:50:00 PM #
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