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Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Here's a shocking headline:

"Bush Says 'State of Our Union Is Strong'" Good headlines provide information. But these folks know better. Did he say "God Bless America"? Did he? Did he? Tell me! I have to know, and I need a newspaper to inform me!!!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/31/2006 07:05:00 PM #
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. . .

"Palestinian Politics Don't Faze Students." But what about Swedish politics? Canadian politics?

Senior sociology major Dena Rifahie said that Hamas' victory would probably not speed up the peace process or create an environment conducive to students studying in the region.

"I don't think it will make a difference," Rifahie said. "Even if another party had won, it wouldn't have mattered."

Um... I think that some people are misinterpreting what folks are worried about. See, it's not like folks are predicting "With the election of Hamas, the peace process can move forward and the region can be safer" and it's up to Berkeley students to dismiss that myth. That's sort of backwards.

With turmoil in the Middle East, [Israel-bound Alex Felman] said that his trip will happen at a critical time.

"I think it's important to go at times like this and show your support," he said.

"You can't push us around, Hamas. You may have folks willing to blow themselves up, but we've got some student from Berkeley supporting us. You may as well just give up!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/31/2006 12:17:00 PM #
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Waah! Too hard!

I don't think you can pass an American high school exit examination that you can take six times as some kind of high-pressure life-changing turning point. That doesn't mean The Daily Cal won't try.

"There are so many tests that are low-stakes for students and high for the district. This is one test that is high-stakes for students," said Mark Coplan, spokesperson for the Berkeley Unified School District. "A lot of the kids are frustrated that this is telling them they won't graduate."

Or, alternatively, you can do miserably poor but just not miserably pathetic (or pathetically poor) and still pass and graduate. It's not like these tests ask for a proof of P=NP or something.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/31/2006 12:14:00 PM #
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. . .

This isn't cool at all.

Among the poor jokes told is the one that instructors with strong political biases that appear in their classes welcome debate. Another is that things like the end-of-semester evaluation forms and the tenure track will keep these professors in check. This one is particularly funny because they explain the precise mechanism by which these things cannot possibly keep professors in check (i.e. tenure).

Just as the bill offends the academic system, it is condescending to students. It turns capable adults into helpless victims by assuming that "right-wing" students can't hold their own. Anyone who has seen the vocal Berkeley College Republicans knows right-wing students are more than capable of doing so. If anything, these students should be insulted. We certainly are.

I'm glad to see that the Daily Cal agrees with Debra Saunders, though I can't help but think that maybe they weren't trying to. But unfortunately, while they support Saunders's viewpoint, their argument doesn't really work for their own. After all, you can tell a fellow student to fuck off. Not so much, for professors

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/31/2006 08:59:00 AM #
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Monday, January 30, 2006

Well, up, actually. The Daily Cal website is up, and apparently has been for some time. The 'www.', which all modern websites keep as optional, is not optional for the Daily Cal anymore. Also, Tuesday of last week appears to be mysteriously missing if I just go by chronological order of article number (the 2006 archive section does not exist yet). And I haven't had much luck seeing the idiotic editorial cartoons on their own pages. But hey, at least it's "quasi-up."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2006 09:18:00 PM #
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. . .

Tomorrow is one of those "run around SF whining about Bush until he magically goes away" days. I don't think I'll be going, as I have better things to do, like light my arm on fire.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2006 05:59:00 PM #
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. . .
Well, at least it's not subtle

Patricia Ryan is not subtle about why she wants a filibuster:

It is hard to speak against a judge who comes across with such integrity and intelligence. However, the idea of letting President Bush have the power he seems to be amassing is just too big a mistake.

He's a fine judge, but OMGBUSHEVIL!!!!!

Lisa Braver Moss knows the real reason dudes off themselves: They're too gay!!! How dare someone mention something without mentioning how hard gay people have it? Don't they know the rules?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/30/2006 08:14:00 AM #
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Friday, January 27, 2006
Journalism Award Fishing Friday

Sorry, you won't win any awards with your shocking investigative journalism that discovered that SF spends money on water.

The Chron continues their crusade against paying people money. This time, it's the OMGHUGE severance packages, which essentially amount to a 3-5% higher pay than the number written down. Of course, that wouldn't win awards, so instead they point out the OMGHUGE severance packages that are, well, OMGHUGE because they're 3-5% pay over an entire academic career all paid at once.

The big issue, though, is that the university system is practicing EVIL DEALINGS by "quietly" paying people in agreements that are publicly available. The Chron calls these actions "quiet" (at least twice in this particular article) apparently because no one is tasked with screaming out every government employee's salary from the rooftop of California Hall. Haha, just kidding. The real definition is that you're trying to hide something if you don't pre-emptively tell The Chron. Were you hired without your employer calling The Chron and explaining the exact terms of your employment? Then you were quietly hired under the table.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/27/2006 06:32:00 PM #
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. . .

Dumbness on the op-ed page abounds. Unfortunately, the DC website is in the condition the DC website is usually in.

The cartoon is pretty fucking stupid. It's about government asking to "talk" to people for saying the wrong things. The thing listed for 2006, "You Googled Michael Moore," of course, is nonsense, which sort of makes the eating-Korean-food thing for 2030 pretty stupid. The key to political humor is to make an extrapolation of something that actually happens to the absurd.

Igor Tregub has one of the lamest resignation op-eds I've ever seen, and resignation op-eds are always stupid. It's the unnecessarily long words and "sophisticated" speak that got me. The first paragraph, for example:

When in the course of personal events, it becomes necessary to retain a sense of propriety, one is compelled to make heretofore unthinkable decisions.

This differs greatly from a comment like "Sometimes things happen that make us change our mind." I just can't tell you how.

In a twist, instead of quitting because he didn't get slated, he quit because he's bitter about not getting slated, much like a spurned dude might say "we can't be friends... it's not because you rejected me, it's because I don't think I can act friendly anymore... you know, it's not you, it's me." After reading this piece, I'm glad he didn't get slated, though before this I would've supported it.

Update: Igor has some stuff to add in comments. See here. It doesn't change a whole lot, but it does put the "199% is a defecit" comment in a context that makes sense.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/27/2006 02:31:00 PM #
Comments (2)
. . .

Yes, it's a Chron editorial complaining about arrogance.

"What you have now is a tremendous distrust," [Rep. Ellen Tauscher] said in a telephone interview Thursday. "Something is going to blow. This is the type of absolutism that created the Boston Tea Party, where people felt they had no way to petition their government, that government would not listen."

One difference between this situation and America's time as British colonies is that the fact that America was British colonies actually mattered to some Americans. It becomes much tougher to "Boston Tea Party" when the "problem" just doesn't affect people.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/27/2006 10:33:00 AM #
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

This story is headlined on MSN's front page:

"Daly shoots 69 with wife in jail"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/26/2006 06:22:00 PM #
Comments (1)
. . .
How cute

Hey, look... a woman trying to understand men. See, men commit suicide a lot more often. Apparently, this is something that people should be concerned about.

Some will argue that these statistics don't tell the whole story and are even misleading. And to some extent, they would be right. Girls and women attempt suicide at much higher rates than boys and men. So there is good reason to be concerned about girls, too.

But most girls and women, fortunately, survive. They live to tell about it. They can get counseling and address the problems that made them suicidal. They survive, in great part, because they choose methods -- taking pills or cutting themselves -- that allow for rescue or a change of heart, methods that often simply fall short of completing the job. Boys and men tend to use guns or ropes, which result in a much higher "completion rate," to use the experts' language.

Haha! Women suck at killing themselves! Need help opening the pickle jar, too?

Blah blah usual stuff about how men don't seek help because it's "not manly." Interestingly, Joan Ryan answers her own question about why nobody cares that a lot of men kill themselves. Women are too busy being feminists, and men know that their fellow men don't want their help. Women, on the other hand, seem to think that men really do want help, but don't feel like they can ask for it in this society. She's wrong, of course. We really don't want help. It's part of our existence. To take that from us in the name of "mental health" or some crap is essentially taking part of our identity. Sorry, ladies, we'll pick a higher suicide rate over becoming women. (Obligatory dig at Temina Madon: We'll also pick it over paying your stupid guilt fee.)

At home and at school, we need to teach boys -- and reinforce for girls -- that the brain needs tending just as the body does, and that when brains get sick, they need doctors to help them heal.

I don't think drawing the analogy to seeing a doctor for the body is the right way to convince men to go see a shrink. We don't go to the doctor in huge numbers either, you know.

And maybe more of our sons will live long enough to pass along those lessons to their sons.

There's no shortage of dudes in this world. I say let natural selection take care of it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/26/2006 12:11:00 PM #
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. . .

On fighting bigotry with signs: Carole Simon Mills thinks that those teachers who objected for religious reasons should be fired.

In this country, when someone's religious beliefs infringe on someone else's civil rights, the religious beliefs must give way.

Just so that no one is confused, Mills is claiming that having this sign posted in classrooms is a civil right.

And here are the somewhat more sensible details about the black schools I mentioned yesterday. It's not exactly clear to me how creating a district for poor people would help their education, and seceeding over a lack of Black History Month activities seems a little drastic, but meh.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/26/2006 11:56:00 AM #
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Gimme back your money, bitch!

Ha ha. Outgoing SF School Superintendant Arlene Ackerman, chased out of town for the crime of improving schools, is now being asked to give back the money she received through a contract agreed upon by both parties. After the school board agreed to give her severance pay as they forced her out of the position, the Board of Supervisors wants her to give the money back, because the city has treated her so well, or something.

Why? Well, the city has problems funding its schools. The BoS wants folks to believe that the problem is the $375,000 Ackerman got, rather than the fact that the school board absolutely refuses to take the necessary actions (closing schools) to maintain financial stability, because it's politically uncomfortable.

But others said it was inappropriate for Ackerman to be paid such a large amount. "These kinds of guarantees that corporate America has gotten used to should not be in the public sector," argued [councildude Jake McGoldrick]. [Other councildude Sean Elsbernd] noted that Ackerman already was being paid a high annual salary. "She was extremely well compensated," he said. "I strongly support this resolution."

Well, hey, she has too much money, and here's a gratuitous jab at "corporate America," so give us back the money that was agreed upon in a contract! And we're only arguing about this because the money is getting paid, rather than arguing about it when the contract was signed, because that's the way we do things in politics.

The Examiner has a way of being a little too brief on some things. For example:

Charlie Walker, a prominent African-American activist, said it was wrong for supervisors to target Ackerman, The City's first African-American superintendent. He also suggested The City should set up separate schools for African-Americans.

"I wish you would leave Mrs. Ackerman alone," Walker said.

Seperate but equal, I'm sure.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/25/2006 03:45:00 PM #
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. . .
Can't blame the criminal? Just blame someone else

Here's an interesting approach to criminality. When groups commit crimes, other people should be directly taxed for those crimes.

"All you have to do is look around the corridors of this city to see why this fee is necessary," said [Councildude Larry Reid], who represents East Oakland. "You can't control the customers who have no sense of cleanliness. They just throw their trash in the streets. Someone needs to be held accountable."

And since we can't hold the responsible parties accountable, we'll just hold businesses accountable. What are they going to do, move?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/25/2006 03:43:00 PM #
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. . .
Signs are the answer

So... you think these will work?

Art teacher Tom Laughlin, who is gay and who oversaw the poster's design by students in the Gay-Straight Alliance, said he was surprised by the level of intolerance for homosexuality that he perceived when he started teaching at the high school five years ago. He said he recognized that it was critical when a student called him a "fag."

"There was a real need to do this," he said. "A lot of students didn't know about gay people in general."

Gay art teachers? What's the world coming to? My question to this dude, though, is whether he really thinks that a sign is going to solve the problem about folks not knowing about gay people. It's not even addressed to straight folks.

Everyone knows the real way to deter assholishness in schools is to make sure everyone is aware that the school actively supports the victim in question. It's the same reason why everyone loves teachers' pets.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/25/2006 03:36:00 PM #
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Actually, down. The Daily Cal website is doing its thing, so I can't say much about the dumb things people said today. And boy did they say dumb things. There are some complaints about UC having the labs. I want to see another Rick Sterling piece. Rick Sterling twice explained confidently how Texas was going to get the Los Alamos lab because of some grand conspiracy or something. It should be fun to see what he has to say now.

SoT columnist Mindy Friedman says:

[Some guy] reported a "broad consensus for programs that promote birth control and sex education - support across racial and ethnic and regional and political categories to make birth control accessible and available" to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Please, please, God PLEASE don't let the Chronicle have any kids!

News in Brief reports that some kids robbed EBGames on Shattuck and stole some PSPs. This guy has "happen[ed] to have come into an extra PSP video game system" and is selling it for cash only.

And Ryan Gorcey from sports says:

Free grades.

Late finals.

Preferential treatment.

The earliest pick of the easiest classes.

All of these - and more - are the perceived benefits of playing Division I athletics.

Ask any student on campus. Chances are that he or she will probably have a preconceived notion of what extra benefits Cal's student-athletes get for donning the blue and gold.

And chances are, they'd be wrong.

What an intro. It turns out, though, that the rest of the article is an explanation of how those notions are actually exactly right.

All of the following are mentioned in the article:

They get tutoring and their own place to study.

They can get exams deferred or specially arranged because of conflicts with the games.

They get their own academic advisors.

They get to sign up for classes through Tele-BEARS before everyone else.

It sounds like all those preconceived notions weren't that wrong after all.

The rest is a sad story about how people who do more things, like athletics, have to work harder than people who do less things. Wow. I'm in tears here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/24/2006 05:55:00 PM #
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. . .
Another letter sprint

Again from the Chron:

Joeann Edmonds:

Now anyone who knows this president, absolutely knows he is incapable of answering, in such detail, any questions of national or world importance.

That turns out to be true of all politicians, actually. It's usually a good idea to write down important stuff before you say it, so you have a chance to double-check what you say. The last thing we want is a national leader ad-libbing.

Jerry Courtney:

Because Google is not going to turn over the files of its subscribers to President Bush, I call upon all red-blooded Americans to voluntarily surrender to the FBI a list of Web sites they've visited in the past five years.

If you are white, haven't taught evolution, had an abortion, helped the homeless or worked for peace, you probably have nothing to worry about.

Hope Bush doesn't find out that I write letters to the editor of The Chronicle.

Yeah, keep flattering yourself. I'm sure the administration cares. What is wrong with these people? Do they really think their whining strikes such fear into the heart of the government?

Martin Russell:

One of the central themes in "Brokeback Mountain" is significant by its absence from Pati Poblete's social commentary ("Why some men won't go for 'Broke,'" Jan. 23). The theme, of course, is intolerance, the kind of savage reaction to love between people of the same sex that led to tragedies such as the murder of Matthew Shepherd.

The kind of intolerance that makes men shy away from seeing an extraordinary film, superbly acted and directed. A film that might even make men weep.

The theme that Poblete suggested was, amazingly enough, that men don't want to see romance films. How dare she say that without bitching about intolerance and murder? Anything that has anything to do with gay people must include commentary about such things. Only by doing so will gay people be treated like people.

So let's see... it's a romance film where neither of the romancers are hot women, and it could make men cry... but that's not the real reason why straight men don't want to see it. That reason isn't politically valuable enough.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/24/2006 10:38:00 AM #
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Friday, January 20, 2006

Well, no.

Berkeley has no obligation to fund private organizations with its citizens' tax dollars. What the city does have is an obligation to ensure its money only goes to groups that follow its regulations. The Berkeley Sea Scouts are a private club, and if they want to maintain their own practices, they're free to continue to do so-just not with city money.

We aren't talking about practices. No one is claiming that the Sea Scouts discriminate. We're talking about the opinions expressed (i.e. disavowing a Boy Scouts policy). That's why it's a First Amendment issue.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/20/2006 10:06:00 AM #
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Ah, the phantom amendment

A Chron Letter Sprint!

Eva Sheppard Wolf quotes the ninth amendment as the source for the privacy right. The ninth amendment is one of those amendments that you quote whenever you feel like it. In any case I did a quick search and couldn't find her letter complaining about the S.F. gun ban.

Maureen Natishyn is one of those supergeniuses who sees what we don't:

In addition, however, I have a question for all Americans: What on earth makes anybody here in the United States think that this weapon wouldn't be used by our own brainwashed military on those of us who disagree with the criminal-element running the White House?

Yeah... I'd normally put the burden of proof ("What makes you think...?") on the folks suggesting that this was the plan of action, but hey, what do I know? And even if I did believe this was the plan, I would definitely not open my mouth about it, considering what the consequences are.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/20/2006 09:23:00 AM #
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Thursday, January 19, 2006
Noooo! Not something else!!!

Polygamy! I remain confused about the horrendous reaction people have to it. Why does it get listed with bestiality? I recall, when I was a younger dude who was just coming into his ideological views, being shocked that polygamy was illegal long before I was shocked that gay marriage was illegal, though this is partly because gay folk don't make a big splash in Kansas. "What the hell business is it of the government how many folks folk marry?"

I continue to laugh at how gay marriage advocates continue to dismiss polygamy using the exact same arguments that gay marriage opponents use to dismiss gay marriage.

Brad Luna of the Human Rights Campaign, which supports same-sex marriage, finds any linkage of polygamy to same-sex marriage "offensive." He warned against reading too much into one Canadian study. In the United States, he said, "two people is the defining element in our system of government on contractual marriage."

One man and one woman is the defining element... no, wait! That's totally different! Really!

Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-S.F., who has pushed for same-sex marriage in California, noted, "a unique nature of a relationship with two. If you go beyond two, you can't draw a line anywhere else that isn't arbitrary."

The line at two sounds pretty arbitrary, too. "Unique nature of a relationship"? Is that a legal term? Frankly, I'd find a relationship between a dude and a baboon to be pretty unique. A dude with a baboons and an elephant even more so.

Then there's some stuff about "unequal relationships," as if marriage is an equal one. Would it be okay for two dudes and two chicks to get married all together? No inequality there.

The Washington Times interviewed polygamous Mormons, who argued they lead happy, harmonious lives. That may be, but the practice is poison for cultures at large. Rich men marry many wives. Poor men do not. Women have few opportunities and limited rights. It can't be good for the kids.

Rich men do a lot of things that poor men don't. And poison for cultures? Bad for kids? That sure sounds familiar from the gay marriage debate... Why not criminalize taking away the rights of women, rather than criminalizing doing something that some folk associate with it?

If you want to keep the government out of family life, don't legalize marriages that, when they dissolve, split property (and kids) between one husband and three wives.

Actually, if you want to keep the government out of family life, don't legalize marriages at all. Instead, keep the government out of family life. I don't see how a government intervention between two people is not the government sticking its nose in family life while between four people it is.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/19/2006 08:48:00 AM #
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. . .
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Conservative Alumni Groups Strike Again!

Witch Hunt!!!

Some conservatives want proof of overliberalism or something in the classroom. So they want students to tape lectures and show them.

First off, this is pretty clearly a violation of intellectual property rules. You can't tape record a lecture for that purpose, and you sure as hell can't sell it.

But that argument is only mentioned in passing, behind all the other crazed loony-type arguments.

Some of the group's targets accuse it of conducting a witch-hunt.

"Any sober, concerned citizen would look at this and see right through it as a reactionary form of McCarthyism," said education professor Peter McLaren, whom the associated named as No. 1 on its "The Dirty Thirty: Ranking the Worst of the Worst."

A reactionary form of McCarthyism!!! Different than the original! Look here, prof-dudes. If there's something you don't want people in general to know you said on the public dime in the university system...... don't say it. Why all the panic and whining? After, all, according to the very next paragraph:

"Any decent American is going to see through this kind of right-wing propaganda. I just find it has no credibility."

See? Nothing to worry about, right? Why bother throwing a fit? "Ah, but victimhood is so fun... no, wait, I didn't say that, don't tell people I said that!!!!!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/18/2006 03:23:00 PM #
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. . .
Oooh, scandal

Okay, maybe not. If I'm reading the editor's note on the end here correctly, Harmon Leon's "Infiltrator" column has been kicked from the paper for some wrongdoing, I think, though I can't tell the details from the note. I never particularly liked the column, since it was mostly "Wow, look how much of an asshole I can be" stuff. I like the Apologist far better, because it's more consistently funny.

Anyway, can anyone decipher the editor's note?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/18/2006 10:28:00 AM #
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. . .

Let's compare who wants Alito confirmed, and who doesn't, in The Chron:

Reasons given for having Alito confirmed:

"Commitment to rule of law."
"Impressive command of the Constitution and various milestone cases."

Reasons given for not having Alito confirmed:

Could possibly, maybe, not throw a fit about wiretappings by prez, might possibly consider Roe vs. Wade to be a court case instead of a biblical law, has a small but nonzero probability of not leaving civil rights in the hands of Congress.


Might possibly exercise the power granted to the courts in the Constitution, rather than doing exactly as I say.

Too white and male.

I dunno... I think I'm going to have to side with the pro-Alitos on this one. By the way, concerns about "unchecked power of the president" are pretty funny. The assumption seems to be that while the president will be doing his fascist takeover of the country and ignoring the demands of the legislature, he could be brought to a screeching halt by the Supreme Court. "Gavel Power... ACTIVATE!!!"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/18/2006 07:49:00 AM #
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The Daily Chron?

Ignacio Chapela responds to a Chron article by writing The Daily Cal. His main argument seems to be "David Lazarus says this!!!" Blah blah UC is corrupt and terrible and evil and that's why I spent a huge amount of effort to get tenure so I could stay here.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/17/2006 06:01:00 PM #
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. . .
How did you vote?

UC REGENTS! DIVEST! WOOO! The Daily Cal tells us how some students cast their vote. That's seriously what they captioned these two pieces. While the case can be made that the description is appropriate for Adam Rosenthal, these other two folks, Jason Miller and Ismail Abdel-Rasoul aren't part of the Regents, so don't cast their vote at all.

I tend to be opposed to divestment beause of my feelings on how government agencies should only do what they are built to do, which takes the divestment decision out of the hands of the Regents and puts it in the hands of the state legislature. But whatever, the argument means nothing to the "use everything in government to get my way, and screw everyone else" folks.

Both of these pieces quote a bunch of people's opinions as arguments, which strongly suggests that they have no original thought of their own.

For the first time in history, the U.S. Congress, State Department, and executive branch have all declared that an ongoing massacre amounts to genocide and that the Sudanese government is directly responsible.

The State Department and the executive branch? Wow! The only thing that could've made this stronger was if the legislative branch was on board.

But whatever, the pro-divestment piece looks like world-class literature compared to the anti-divestment piece. To start with, Ismail is a student at UC Davis and refers to the Sudanese facing the situation as "we." And you know it'll just be going downhill from the opener:

The tragedy of Darfur, for all of us Sudanese, is and will remain a deep scar for years to come. The causes and roots of the conflict are, however, complex and intertwined.

Next we get into an individual-clause analysis. Whee.

The proposal contains a precarious clause: "a policy of divestment from a foreign government shall be adopted by the University only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide." What this proposal consequently does is ignore the findings of many other international bodies and leaves it solely up to the U.S. government to be the "moral compass" of the public.

Because it's important that UC be a slave to not just non-Californians, but to non-Americans. Only then can it represent the needs of... uh... some folks from a certain area I'll decline to name. No, no, it doesn't rhyme with Palifornia...

The fact that the U.S. government alone has declared Darfur a 'genocide," thus contradicting the investigative reports of the U.N., European Union, African Union and Doctors without Borders, should raise legitimate questions.

If there's an objective champion of justice out there, it's the U.N.

The Guardian's journalist, Peter Hallward, wrote: "Bush's opportunity to adopt an election-season cause (in 2004) that can appeal simultaneously to fundamentalist Christians, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, multilateralist liberals and the altruistic 'left' ... (was) ...too tempting to pass up."

Wait, wait, are you saying that Bush did something just about every American wanted him to do? That's not the way democracy should work!!!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/17/2006 05:46:00 PM #
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. . .

The Sea Scouts thing is more interesting than I thought. The Sea Scouts could've gotten their free berth by "disavowing" the Boy Scouts anti-gay policies. No one seems to argue that the Sea Scouts actually discriminate. Instead, it is the responsibility of those who want free stuff from the government to actively disavow activities that they don't engage in based solely on associations. I can imagine quite a can of worms that could open.

Berkeley City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque said the city has not violated the First Amendment rights of the Berkeley Sea Scouts.

"We understand you have the First Amendment right to belong to discriminatory clubs," she said. "Our position is simply that you do not have the right to finance private discriminatory clubs on the taxpayer's dime."

Uh oh. You should just shut up. This is not a question of financing private discriminatory clubs. It's a question of financing private non-discriminatory clubs that are associated with private discriminatory clubs.

In 1997 the city council passed a resolution that granted free berths only to those community organizations that act in accordance with the city's non-discrimination policies.

Except the Sea Scouts do act in accordance with those policies, they just don't actively disavow those who don't.

Albuquerque said that the city not only has the right but is obligated to fund only those groups whose policies coincide with the city's.

"The very nature of government is to decide what is good public policy," Albuquerque said. "If the government is not allowed to decide what to fund, what is the point of electing anyone in the first place?"

I told you to just shut up. The city government apparently should have the right to decide which viewpoints to fund, if Albuquerque is to be believed. Call me crazy, but having the government decide which viewpoints are to be facilitated based solely on the political opinions held in speech, (or, in this case, lack thereof), rankles my First Amendment bone.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/17/2006 03:47:00 PM #
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. . .
C'mon... just say it...

"Why Alito is the wrong choice"... don't be shy... we all know you want to say it... we all know you're thinking it... it makes more sense than what you're writing... just say "because Bush picked him."

He is the wrong choice to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the nation's highest court.

In some ways, Alito's taciturn approach to questions about the great constitutional issues of our time was similar to that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. But the distinction between the history of the two judges -- and the role of the justice they were nominated to replace -- are important.

It is important to always nominate a justice exactly like the one that is being replaced, apparently.

Of the two, Alito had far more explaining to do about his past, and his answers fell short of satisfying concerns about his record of advocating repeal of Roe vs. Wade, highlighting his membership in a Princeton alumni group with retrograde views of women and minorities and all too frequently siding with government and businesses against individuals seeking redress.

Only The Chron could believe these issues, especially the Princeton thingie, are still standing strong.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/17/2006 03:44:00 PM #
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I can fly high!

Carolyn Doelling knows how to give an inspirational speech. "No matter what you do, your life will always suck." I know hearing that from my mother would make me want to lead a good life.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/17/2006 03:42:00 PM #
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Monday, January 16, 2006
Don't be absurd

The Chron is going to complain about absurdities in the execution of some other guy, Clarence Ray Allen. Let's see if they actually score any anti-death penalty points.

Allen, who suffered a heart attack on Sept. 2, would be dead already without the efforts of the prison medical staff to save him.

Thesis? Apparently, they shouldn't have even bothered to save his life. I know The Chron would've cheered that decision in various alternate realities. Actual reality, though? Ha.

Unlike Stanley Tookie Williams, the Crips gang founder who was executed by lethal injection on Dec. 13, Allen has not attracted a phalanx of celebrities to his cause.

This somehow makes Allen's execution more absurd?

There seems to be little doubt about Allen's guilt or the rottenness of his crimes. He was sent to prison for his role in the 1974 killing of his son's 17-year-old girlfriend, a potential witness against Allen in a market burglary. From prison, he was convicted in connection with the 1980 slayings of three people, including a man who had testified against him in the original murder case.

Okay, keep in mind that second crime as you continue.

Clarence Ray Allen is a despicable, barbaric character. He belongs in prison. But Californians will not wait for a natural end to his sorry life.

Remember, he ordered murders from prison. Waiting is definitely the right way to approach this.

Consider this: Allen was responsible for one killing when there was no death penalty in California -- and three more after it was reinstated.

This is supposed to be an argument about deterrence, but if you read it closely, had they executed him quickly and efficiently, those three more folks wouldn't have died. Go deterrence! Instead, in a system where he couldn't be executed, he was allowed to live and kill more people. Absurd indeed.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/16/2006 01:12:00 PM #
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Saturday, January 14, 2006
You fail at life

Geez, teach your kids some manners. If he's going to kill himself, at least teach him to have the decency to deliver the killing blow himself, rather than pinning it on someone else's conscience. We're not going to feel sorry that people bullied you if you're going to do it right back to someone who's never done anything to you.

You can tell by the article that, unlike some folks who kill themselves, this dude doesn't even have the requisite "but he was such a nice kid and it's terrible that he died" folks talking about him. Most folks are saying "Yeah, it figures," while even his parents just say "hey, at least we got some organs out of the deal." Even the cop-haters seem to be steering clear.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/14/2006 12:52:00 PM #
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Friday, January 13, 2006

That's got to be hard on the ol' ego. Kidnapped and nobody notices.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/13/2006 06:00:00 PM #
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Woo! Vacation over!

Okay, I'm back from a delightful vacation of doing as little as humanly possible (the best kind), and to bring me back is, impossibly, stupid statements by liberal activists. Shocking, I know.

BART has apparently put up paid anti-abortion ads. The rest is all downhill.

"I think every woman has noticed them," said Suzanne "Sam" Joi, a member of Code Pink, a social justice and anti-war group. "I couldn't believe BART would allow something like this. Why are they doing this?"

God forbid BART allow people who disagree with me buy ad space. And we haven't even gotten to the fact that BART is a government agency so it can't discriminate based on viewpoint. I wonder if she feels the same way about anti-war ads...

By the way, if you read the descriptions, they aren't all that horrendous. This isn't dead-fetus-picture-waving. It's trying to convince people that fetuses are people too.

Abortion-rights activists are responding differently, calling the ads misleading, manipulative and part of an effort to undermine the pro-choice movement in the Bay Area.

Um... yeah, that is what they're for. Much like the anti-war stuff is an effort to undermine the pro-war actions, or union ads are an effort to undermine attempts to harm the union, or all viewpoint ads are efforts to undermine opposing viewpoints. By the way, it's also like how the activists' bitching is an effort to undermine the anti-abortion movement in the Bay Area. But I think the idea that this is some kind of argument worth reporting says more about Michael Cabanatuan than it does about anyone else.

"They're calling for the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, which will lead to the slaughter of women," said Elizabeth Creely of the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, referring to fears of unsafe, back-alley abortions if the procedure were illegal.

But it's the anti-abortion ads that are misleading and manipulative.

Note: I should mention that the IndyBay folks feel that some anti-war ads were unfairly rejected. I don't know which ads these were, or why they were rejected, so I can't comment. If someone can point me to these ads, please do.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 1/13/2006 12:22:00 PM #
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