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Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Bad move

The Daily Cal has an editorial that opposes emotions or something. People continue to bitch about the Affirmative Action Bake Sale, and I fail to see why. I thought it did an excellent job of illustrating the objection that many people have to affirmative action. The point of it remains more or less uncontested to date, as the only thing people bitch about is that it is "provocative" or some crap. Anyway, this editorial complains about a non-Cal "Hey, look at the cartoons, and then look at the anti-semitic cartoons from the Middle East" thingie. Apparently, this is a big no-no, because it might force people to explain why "It's okay when Muslims do it."

This is no longer about free speech. Anyone who wants to view the cartoons can find them online and the media has provided ample written description. By posting the originals, the group proves it is more interested in eliciting emotional responses, not reasoned ones.

Ah, right, reasoned responses. I figure reasoned responses would be quite effective against many of the reasoned protests that have taken place. The idea that something only speaks to emotions is hardly a criticism. A lot of things speak only to emotions. Emotions are a pretty fucking important part of us.

The real danger here, though, is that The Daily Cal is setting a dangerous standard that all valid commentary must be elicit "reasoned responses," or else it is useless. One has to wonder if Daily Cal editorials would live up to such a standard if it was ever implemented.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/28/2006 06:02:00 PM #
Comments (6)
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Readers are teh dumbz0r

Mary McAfee stands up for Sandoval with an impressive defense.

He was not in a dream world — he was gallantly holding on to the dream of world peace.

Uh... that sounds a lot like a dream world, actually.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/28/2006 12:36:00 PM #
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That's the civic spirit

Oh noes!

A brief survey by Muni at four locations found more than 50 percent of riders jumped on its vehicles without plunking down the fare — numbers that stunned city officials and again raised problems with fare collection at the cash-strapped agency.

Muni officials were quick to caution the figures were a "snapshot" that do not represent the system as a whole, claiming the overall fare-evasion rate on the system is actually between 10 percent and 20 percent. The transit agency loses roughly $16 million to $24 million a year in unpaid fares, officials said.

The reason given for the 10-20% number: "More politically acceptable." (Actually, no reason was given, but that seems to be the idea) That's some fine studying, folks. You wonder why they even bother to do the surveys if they're just going to toss the data if it doesn't agree with what they want to hear.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/28/2006 12:28:00 PM #
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. . .

I forgot to mention this. There was a Daily Cal article on it but (sit down for what I'm about to say) the Daily Cal website appears to be down. Blah blah discrimination blah. I don't know anything about the accuracy of these claims, as I've never been to Spenger's Fresh Fish. I wasn't aware it existed, actually.

To illustrate the prejudicial attitude, the complaint alleges that at a management meeting in November 2004, the company’s vice president "specified the kind of people corporate wanted in the front of the restaurant are 'bubbly blondes with long legs.'"

This was pretty surprising. Not in that that's what the management wanted, because that's the way most restaurants work. I was surprised that this was one of the complaints. I guess you could argue that the term "blonde" implies white, but they could just as well have been referring to the stereotype, and said "we want pretty chicks who are stupidly chatty all the time," which isn't anything unusual. I guess you could also argue that it was discriminatory against ugly people, but a lot of places are.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/28/2006 12:22:00 PM #
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Monday, February 27, 2006
English? Unfair!!!

Sigh. Suppose you don't speak English. Suppose you can't get a diploma. Suppose you want to function in American society. Which of these two problems should you remedy first?

"I need a diploma," said Iris [Padilla], a chestnut-haired girl who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the Mexican state of Jalisco. "I want it. I deserve it. I've been going to school and studying. I want to have a profession."

Want to have a profession here in this country? There's a little obstacle you need to surmount. Even if you live in a home where everyone speaks Spanish, that doesn't make it the responsibility of everyone else to pick up the slack to make you comfortable.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/27/2006 03:27:00 PM #
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Sunday, February 26, 2006
Haha! Death is scary!

Here's a convenient demonstration of the "eww, reality" mentality of Bay Area types.

I have never heard of open-field coursing. As with most sports, I'm not sure I see the point. That said, consider the complaints of Diane Allevato and Karen Wilson, who are, of course, women.

Participants defend this as a sport, one in which dogs follow their "natural instincts."

This doesn't strike me as particularly relevant as to whether it is or is not a sport. Is football a sport? Do people have a natural instinct to play it?

But what we are discussing here is really human, not canine, behavior. This is a human evil, mere entertainment for the people involved. Greyhounds are a breed of gentle giants -- they are not a breed out for blood. They love to run, but not to attack.

It takes guts for them to claim that the "natural order of things" is for animals to be so artificially bred for specific purposes, but that it suddenly becomes unnatural when one of those purposes reflects the pre-breeding situation.

Only people would turn dogs into killers, just as people have historically turned roosters and other animals against each other for sport.

Uh... before people, dogs were not killers?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/26/2006 03:42:00 PM #
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Saturday, February 25, 2006
You lose!

Letters on deadness:

Arnold Ownes points out how full of shit the "evidence of failed lethal injection" folks are.

John Tanghe points out that a drug used to kill dudes is not used on animals.

Shockingly, pancuronium bromide is one of the drugs California routinely uses in executing human beings. Indeed, this disturbing fact aptly summarizes the barbaric nature of lethal injection. Sadly, the state of California treats people worse than animals.

Well, to be slightly more accurate, the state of California treats brutal murderers worse than animals. I think I can sleep at night with that.

Benjamin Runkle is apparently proud of cowardice on the cartoons.

That so many people have already died, that extremist sentiment has already been inflamed, should be enough to justify the decision of The Chronicle and other newspapers.

It is enough to say that "we have been cowed."

The majority of Americans have access to the Internet, where images of the cartoons are fairly easy to discover and so can search out these images if they so choose.

One could argue the entire newspaper away like this.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/25/2006 12:57:00 PM #
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Friday, February 24, 2006

Looks like Jesse Arreguin peed in Alan Lightfeldt's Cheerios.

...one formerly prominent public official-Jesse Arreguin-voiced his discontent...

Ouch. Formerly prominent. Wait... is that even an insult? Or does it even make sense?

Arreguin's statements are as inaccurate as they are shameful in their cowardice. Instead of attempting to channel his new-found concerns to productive use, he reverts to casting hallow claims that services will be cut.

Coward!!! You aren't man enough to use the word "hallow," possibly without even looking it up.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/24/2006 03:06:00 PM #
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Oops, my green is showing

Oh, noes! Computerized MCAT!

Kaplan testing strategies are adapting to the computer-based test, but [Amjed Mustafa] said students who rely on traditional testing environments may have a hard time adjusting to the updated exam.

That's the kind of doctor we want: The kind that can only peform in a very specific environment and cannot adapt.

"I think it's good because it's a shorter test and less stressful," said sophomore Michael Cheng, a molecular and cell biology major. "What people know will be tested rather than if they can hold up for eight hours."

Holding up for eight hours is actually a pretty useful medical skill. In fact, it's probably more useful than the detailed knowledge on the test.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/24/2006 03:02:00 PM #
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Thank you Sir, may I have another?

Well, we approved the fucking of ourselves. We should be very proud.

At least we kept the Career Center from fucking us over.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/24/2006 03:00:00 PM #
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Thursday, February 23, 2006
People who disagree with me are dumb

As a corollary, Dr. Mel Blaustein is dumb for supporting a suicide barrier. Check out this impressive and convincing comment:

Barriers, like gun prevention, work.

That's an interesting comparison to use.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/23/2006 07:38:00 PM #
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Uh oh

Ignorant Poltician alert!

Carole Migden is angry at Wal-Mart for taking advantage of the safety net that the legislature put out.

By far, the most egregious cases are those where California's largest and most profitable corporations are not providing health coverage to their employees, instead shifting the burden to our financially strapped state safety net — while stockholders pocket the savings.

It's interesting, but not surprising, the way this blame is pointed. The government puts out a safety net. A corporation decides to use it. That's what happens when you offer free stuff. Yet instead of blasting the legislature's incompetence for putting these services out there when they didn't want them used, Migden bitches about Wal-Mart doing exactly what anyone should do in the situation.

Now, to solve the problem, she isn't going to make it so that Wal-Mart can't use the safety net. She's going to make it so that Wal-Mart has to pay for its own. That is, instead of offering free stuff and saying "Hey, you can't use it," she wants to offer free stuff, and then say "Hey, you have to offer the same free stuff, or we'll come with guns and seize your property and throw you in jail." Way to govern like an adult.

Sadly, people eat this stuff up. They're impressed that Migden is "standing up" to the big bad corporation, rather than having the balls to deal with the people who are to blame.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/23/2006 12:12:00 PM #
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. . .

Blown again. Money bad!!!

While the senators were not as critical of the regents as they were of [UC Prez Robert Dynes] two weeks ago, they questioned the ability of the regents to oversee the UC system.

[Regent chair Gerald Parsky] acknowledged that the nature of the regents' positions limited the board's abilities.

Because the regents serve as unpaid volunteers, they often have external posts that are time-consuming.

"It's our job to hold the people responsible where we delegated authority," Parsky said. "We can't micromanage the entire university."

Wait... let me get that straight: Parsky "acknowledged" that it wasn't his fault? How big of him.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/23/2006 12:09:00 PM #
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I love increased fees!

The RSF still wants to drink from the cup of student simple-mindedness with a mandatory fee. God forbid the people who actually use the RSF be the ones burdened with its cost.

"Since I use the RSF a lot, it would be cool to have a smaller fee if it was somehow subsidized by a mandatory fee," said senior Paola Santana.

Wow. What a selfish brat. A senior, too, so we're not talking about someone who would actually benefit, but just someone who is selfish by proxy. It would be cool to place the burden on those who don't use it? In the sentence construction above, by the way, we see that a smaller fee wouldn't be cool if it was just smaller. It's only cool because everyone else has to pay it. Seriously, what a piece of shit Paola is.

(I'm in a bad mood, thanks to all these fuckers who want to raise my fees for their own little pet causes so they can assuage their conscience at no cost to themselves, but with cost to the rest of us)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/23/2006 12:02:00 PM #
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. . .

Well, my mistake. Not only is Hatem Bazian a petulant child, he opposes freedom.

In fact, Bazian said, "If it were a rabbi with a bomb on his head, every government in Europe would condemn the newspaper, and rightly it should, but the fact that it was Muslim, it was not seen as wrong."

"And rightly it should" has been added. Now, his point about hypocrisy is boosted a bit by the shameful imprisonment of David Irving, but his support of a world where governments condemn newspapers for their opinions is itself hypocritical, considering how freely he uses his freedom to criticize his government.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/23/2006 09:10:00 AM #
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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Uh oh. Endorsements. Why is the Class Pass good? These people sure don't know.


In fact, all this bang for the buck means higher efficiency and better services for students. With so many improvements, even those who don't take advantage of the Class Pass will be more likely board a bus. It's only fair that students shoulder some of the burden.

Uh... yeah... that's why they pay their $1.75 when they ride the bus, rather than paying in advance a certain amount, regardless of how much each person rides the bus, if at all. It seems that the "per ride" or "determined by individuals" concepts are far more "fair" than the Class Pass.

Even if you don't care for these improvements, the Class Pass still can't be beat. Let's do a little math. Say you ride the bus often enough to warrant buying a 31-day ticket. That's $70 for one month, which means you would pay about $210 per semester for the same service. That's a far cry from a $60 semester-long bus pass.

Now, say you don't ride the bus often enough to warrant buying a 31-day ticket. Say you don't ride the bus more than once a week or so. Should we do a little math? Do we need to point out the obvious? Yes, yes we do. This is The Daily Cal.

Some Greeny has more. Let's look at some of the benefits:

Lowering overall cost of transportation for public transportation users at the university

Also raising overall cost of transportation for foot/bicycle users at the university.

A chance to win an iPod by voting next week!

You can get this chance by voting no. Actually, you can get this chance by voting "Abstain."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/21/2006 12:15:00 PM #
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. . .

Here is a cartoon, apparently criticizing the Gov's power to determine whether an execution should proceed. Strangely, it seems to be criticizing his power to say that a person should die, while it's pretty clear that if the governor's power were to be limited in this matter, these people would still be executed, they just wouldn't be able to ask for clemency.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/21/2006 12:13:00 PM #
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(sticker)I voted

So, I voted on our hideous fee increases today. In case you were wondering, I voted against increasing fees. Sadly, I feel I'm going to be in the minority, at least for the Class Pass. There's some chance the Career Center referendum will fail, mainly because the Class Pass will likely draw a lot of voters who just don't care. Unfortunately, once again, the information provided on the Career Center voting page is heavily biased towards the fee increase. At the top, they list all of the face-to-face services supposedly provided by the Career Center, with some wording that suggests, but doesn't directly state, that passing this fee will improve or create these services. Of course, passing the fee will not improve services, it will only increase crowds now that the lazy, not-particularly-interested people will start to show up.

Finally, our student government tries to do something for students. Since they are the ASUC, though, they fail.

"The advertisements that we have seen in the Daily Cal and the signs in front of the library present only one point of view and make it seem as if the university endorses the referendum," [ASUC Prez Manny Buenrostro] said.

Both [ASUC Academic Affairs Veep Jason Dixson] and Buenrostro pointed to prior elections where they said the sponsor of the referendum presented a more informative, unbiased campaign.

While it's nice for them to raise these issues, they haven't been raised before. They weren't raised for the Temina Madon "Waah, waah, pay fifty bucks a semester, waah" fee increase. You get the impression that they only care about this issue now that something they don't want to see pass is up for vote. It puts them is a piss-poor bargaining position. If, on the other hand, the ASUC had balls and actually stood up for students against fee increases, they could fight to change the process by which the fees are raised, and then they'd have legs to stand on. This picky "Oh, wait, now that it might hurt me I'm opposed" shit just doesn't work.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/21/2006 09:06:00 AM #
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Monday, February 20, 2006
In celebration...

It's not really my job, but I'll point you to this, with the summary comment:

Here we have a credible allegation that an American citizen was attacked, beated and robbed in his own home by agents of a hostile foreign power because of his political views and activities.

Call me a press-hating fascist wingnut, but I think that's a big story. That's a page one, lead for a week, cover-of-Time-and-Newsweek story. Why the hell are you whining yourselves hoarse about how long it took the White House press corps to learn about a minor hunting accident?

I recall seeing this in the Chron as related to the discussion of whether Falun Gong should be allowed into the Chinese New Year parade. I forget which page it was on, but it certainly wasn't on the front one. I do recall wondering "say, isn't this huge news?"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/20/2006 04:42:00 PM #
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Keep digging

Gerardo Sandoval attempts to defend himself.

San Francisco voters have repeatedly shown their support for a less militaristic stance. In the last two years, voters have approved by landslide margins a measure that calls for the United States to withdraw troops from Iraq, and that military recruiters should not be allowed in our public schools.

The positions I expressed on Fox News are solidly in line with these popular positions. I may have taken them to their logical extreme, but I think this is a debate we should not fear or ridicule.

Logical extreme? "Don't go to war in Iraq... NO MILITARY AT ALL!!!ONE!!" Actually, this is the kind of thing that passes for logic in San Francisco.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/20/2006 04:27:00 PM #
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That's genius!

Most people are pretty embarrassed about Gerardo Sandoval, but not Cynthia Gair.

What, the United States without a military? Shocking, absolutely shocking. Of course if a child continually uses a toy to hurt other kids, it's a good idea to take the toy away from the child. If a driver can't seem to drive without running down pedestrians, we probably want to take away his driver's license. If a doctor purposely misleads patients and causes harm to them, by all means, take away the license to practice medicine.

But take away our military? Oh no, not that.

I think the more accurate comparison would be a child who keeps playing with his food. You could take away her food to punish her, but that does raise a small problem.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/20/2006 12:36:00 PM #
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Sunday, February 19, 2006
I hate men!

I assume the feminists are going to be all over this. Right? Right?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/19/2006 02:14:00 PM #
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Saturday, February 18, 2006
Like a child

Gerardo Sandoval's idiocy is even clearer if you see it. Expose the Left has video. He acts like one of those arrogant college students who is so caught up and proud of himself for "winning the argument" that he doesn't even bother to relate to reality. Watch it yourself, you'll see what I mean. He has the dumb grin. He even says "A ha!" when he thinks he nailed one of his interviewers.

He is also referred to as "Geraldo" at one point.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/18/2006 06:11:00 PM #
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Well, duh

Being nice and providing "community aid" does not deter thugs. Shooting them does. Sadly, this is news to San Francisco.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/18/2006 06:08:00 PM #
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Friday, February 17, 2006
Haha! They will be my tools!

Cynthia Marcopulos decides that injured soldiers are her tools for bitching about Dick Cheney.

I urge the VP to visit one of our military hospitals to see if he can relieve his mind of the carnage he has created by lying our country into war -- look at the young soldiers who will never walk again, never see again, who must endure head injuries, post-traumatic stress syndrome and long-term effects of depleted uranium.

I urge Marcopulos to visit one such hospital and spout her claims there. But she may want to read this first.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/17/2006 03:54:00 PM #
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Must... gather... hate...

Hmmm. SF Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval thinks America shouldn't have a military at all. And went on national TV to not only say so, but to say that's the position of San Francisco. Good job, dude. He clarifies, though, that he really meant America should only not have a standing military. That way, when anyone attacks, they'll be fought off by the Coast Guard and local police. Or, I suppose, if the attacker announces its plan to attack and then waits patiently, we can build a military from scratch to respond.

While The Chron considers hunting accidents to be front-page news for days, especially if the person involved doesn't immediately call the New York Times to let them know that a hunting accident has taken place, a national representation of San Francisco like Sandoval's is not front page news. The only reference in today's paper was in an editorial, which describes it as follows:

Then came the rhetorical trap.

Rhetorical trap? A partial but hefty transcript is in the editorial, so take a look yourself and see if you can find the "trap." To me, it looks like both hosts gave Sandoval plenty of ways out.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/17/2006 03:48:00 PM #
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I'll disagree

Hatem Bazian remains a batshit insane child.

The European interpretation of the cartoons as satirical are an example of the lack of sensitivity many Westerners have toward the Muslim community, Bazian said.

While rights to free speech protect insults and hate speech in the West, insults are not protected in Islamic law, making the cartoons a serious offense, he said.

That's why you never see insulting cartoons in Islamic publications. They are always respectful of others, especially Jews.

Europeans also wrongly believe that any time a Muslim acts, they lack the ability to be rational and are just radical Islamists, he said.

All Europeans? Any time a European acts, they lack the ability to be fair to Muslims. Sounds reasonable. (I'll spare the noun-pronoun agreement argument)

In fairness, either of those could be the fault of the writer. This one, however, is not.

While the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, the European community's condemnation of the Muslims' reactions is hypocritical, he said.

"If it were a rabbi with a bomb on his head, every government in Europe would condemn the newspaper, but the fact that it was Muslim, it was not seen as wrong," Bazian said. "It is like Europe is saying 'Do as we say, not as we do.'"

Is he drawing comparisons? Is he seriously comparing the response of Muslims to insulting cartoons to the way other folks respond to insulting cartoons? It's not a hypothetical. We can see those responses every day, and they rarely involve major protests demanding murder, or million dollar bounties. "It is like Europe is saying 'Do as we do, not as Bazian says we do.'"

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/17/2006 03:43:00 PM #
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What did you win

Youths win! At a charity basketball game. How much did they win? Well, look at those packed stands.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/17/2006 03:42:00 PM #
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Thursday, February 16, 2006
Cat! Run!

While I was planning on sitting on this for a while until they get running, it looks like the cat is more or less out of the bag.

Alex Marlow has a blog. Yay! Marlow is connected with the Patriot somehow, and will be hosting one of their talk shows. Yeah, you heard right. I'll review it when it comes out.

Anyway, he has some interesting stuff posted, such as the absurdity of the term African-American as a generic replacement for "black." He also works at the Career Center, and has some stuff to say about the fee.

Now, the only question concerns the location of everyone else's blog. It's easy! Start one today!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/16/2006 07:11:00 PM #
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Wait a second...

On Tuesday, we received an e-mail from Bob the Chancet00. Included are links to the websites supporting each of the two fees that are coming up. Not included are links to the websites opposing them. And, unlike the Temina Madon Suicide Guilt Tax, it's not like these websites don't exist. I found out about this website from the giant full-page ad in the Daily Cal where, true to ASUC form, the website URL is incorrect. (The capitalization is wrong) Good job, ASUC!

Anyway, as the university always supports fee increases, this apparently wasn't worth passing along in the system-wide e-mail. I wonder if, once again, we're going to see the "PRO" argument on the voting website itself.

By the way, check out the Parking and Transportation Class Pass support page. In the section 2006 Class Pass Referendum:

This referendum proposes a seven-year fee structure, continuing the Class Pass through the 2012-13 year. The new Class Pass fee if approved by students will replace the existing Class Pass fee of $37.20 per semester, which will expire after the summer 2006 semester.


This referendum proposes a seven-year fee structure, continuing the Class Pass through the 2012-13 year. The new Class Pass fee if approved by students will replace the existing Class Pass fee of $37.20 per semester, which will expire after the summer 2006 semester.

While those are exactly the same words, they're pulled from two different paragraphs. One thing to note is that the size of the new fee isn't mentioned at all, only that it will replace the old fee (of $37.20 a semester). Of course, the new fee is not $37.20 a semester. It's $58.50 a semester. And then it's $69.50 a semester. And then it's $80.00 a semester.

Beginning in September 2005, a single ride on an AC Transit bus will cost $1.75 per local trip and $3.50 for individual Transbay trips. Monthly passes will cost $70.00 for local trips and $116.00 for Transbay service. Bear Transit campus shuttle rides are currently $0.25 each, with the exception of the hill shuttles, which cost $0.50 per ride. Therefore, the Class Pass, with an annual value of nearly $1,400, is an incredible bargain at a fee about one-twelfth of the regular user cost.

If you're curious where that $1,400 number comes from, I believe it comes from assuming that students were going to buy 12 monthy Transbay passes. So if you were going to buy that, then yeah, it's one-twelfth of the regular user cost. But if you're a normal person, not so much. If you're just looking at AC transit, the cost is more than 33, and less than 34 trips per semester, or around two buses a week (say, a round trip). (If I was one of these people who writes these websites, I'd use the $80.00 fee and calculate that it's really 46 trips, but I'm not an asshole, like fee increase advocates are)

Anyway, buried in text you can find the actual prices in the Proposed Class Pass Fees section, though your eyes are meant to be diverted to the fancy table in the next section, Class Pass Program History, which describes the fee structure for the last four years. Notice that the years aren't labelled 2001-2006, as would make sense, because then it would be clear that these lower prices are not what we're voting for. Instead, they're simply labelled "Year 1" through "Year 4," in hopes that people will be easily duped.

So, yeah, if you want to be an ass and force everyone else to subsidize your probably unnecessary bus riding habits, vote for the Class Pass. Even if it feels free, that doesn't mean it is free. Students have gotten so used to it that they'll probably feel it's necessary, even if they only use the bus once a month or so. That way, AC Transit can fuck us in the ass year after year by constantly increasing the fee, confident that students, many of whom pass the costs on to their parents and don't notice, will keep voting so that their bottle isn't taken away.

(If you can't tell, I'm opposed to it)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/16/2006 04:40:00 PM #
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. . .

Remember AlcoholEdu? I had wondered about what kind of enforcement mechanism was used. I got an unconfirmed response that suggested the university will place an "Academic Hold" on those who do not complete it. If you are an incoming student that has not taken the AlcoholEdu online course, please let us know what kind of evil letters have been sent to you and what horrific impacts it has had on you.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/16/2006 12:24:00 PM #
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Well. For those who like to laugh at Stanford, enjoy. A tree was found drunk during a game. "The person dressed like a tree was acting strangely," said one unnamed source. "Uh, I mean, stranger than being dressed like a tree," she quickly added.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/16/2006 12:14:00 PM #
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I can't help but think this is a joke. Supposedly, the issue is illegal immigration, but some dudes from the Public Policy Institute of California, Mark Baldassare and Hans Johnson, make the point using data that doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigration.

The issue of illegal immigration, based on public opinion polls, tends to rise in bad economic times and fall in boom times. This year, as California is experiencing strong job growth and a state budget with surplus funds, the issue seems to be fading. In our recent polls, just 1 in 10 residents named "legal and illegal immigrants" as the most important issue facing the people of California.

Maybe you should've given the options seperately, then, if you were interested in how people felt on illegal immigration. "More and more people are finding friends among men. In our recent polls, nine out of ten folks said they find friends among 'men and women.'"

Despite the growth of this population and lingering concerns about the costs of providing state services, most Californians have concluded that immigrants -- legal and illegal -- are an integral part of the state's economy. This finding has been consistent in our polling over the past six years. In September, 56 percent held the view that "immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills," while 36 percent described immigrants as "a burden to California because they use public services."

Ever wonder how those numbers might change if you mentioned illegal immigrants specifically? Or would that hurt your thesis? Some research.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/16/2006 09:09:00 AM #
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Not to oversell, but...

Do the people who sing Darwin's praises even know anything about what Darwin did? Eggs:

Charles Darwin changed thinking about the fundamental aspects of reality, turning over previous ways of thinking, said Patrick O' Grady, a UC Berkeley professor in environmental science and policy management.

"What was discredited was a way of thinking about the natural world," he said.

Wow. That's a pretty impressive accomplishment. It sure would've been nice if Darwin had done that. Here's a hint about society: Ways of thinking cannot be shattered by individuals or individual accomplishments. Darwin did the legwork to find evidence for evolutionary theory, and deserves a great deal of credit for that, but giving him individual credit for the theory itself and the way it changed the way people saw the world is just silly.

[IB Prof Kevin Padian] commended the media coverage of the event and said that exposure was the first step to dampening the intelligent-design campaign.

"Well, it's over," he said. "They'll still get a lot of money but they won't be able to get the support of the press."

When did they ever have the support of the press? When did they ever even have the potential to have the support of the press?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/15/2006 11:36:00 AM #
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Uh... dude... ethics?

No large boxes of money were reported stolen during this event. Or... uh... I'm just assuming, and now that I think about it, that might not be safe.

The example picture is captioned:

Graduate student Matthew Pollard and freshman Nour Mardini tied the knot in a mock ceremony on Sproul Plaza yesterday...

Wow. What better example to use than cradle-robbing?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/15/2006 11:35:00 AM #
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Counter Points

On the whole burn things down because of cartoons thingie, we get two points of view in The Daily Cal. Khalid Mansour plays the apologist, while Darren Zook plays the adult. But more interesting, and not available online, is the caption for these op-eds:

Cartoon Controversy

In September, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons, some satirizing Prophet Muhammad. After some Muslims held peaceful protests, a number of papers in Europe republished the cartoons in the name of freedom of expression. Here's what a faculty member and a Muslim student have to say about it.

Let's put aside that the timeline (peaceful protests followed by republishing) is taken directly from the apologist's column. Even if the protests were all peaceful before the other papers republished the cartoons, don't you think it would be at least worth mentioning the violent protests that 'followed'? Also, is it appropriate to refer to the dude as "Prophet Muhammad," as if "Prophet" is his first name?

Interestingly, some of the "peaceful protestors" mentioned by the apologist, "Muslim ambassadors asked to meet with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen," are the dudes who went on tour to provoke outrage.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/14/2006 12:33:00 PM #
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No! Not shame!

The Daily Cal doesn't want ASUC elections to be outsourced to the university because it would be humiliating. The ASUC is always humiliating, though, so I don't see what the problem is.

ASUC takes pride in claiming independence from the university. It owns Eshleman Hall, conducts its own financial affairs and elects its own officials. But handling elections is truly what defines ASUC's independence. Crying for help would only prove that ASUC really isn't as self-sufficient as it would like to think.

Well, there's also the "student fees collected by the university as a condition of enrollment" thing.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/14/2006 12:29:00 PM #
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Oh, give this one another award

Yet another story that looks like it was put together solely for the purpose of the headline pun.

Gelateria Naia owners Bobby Lee, Rick Reynolds and Chris Tan could not be reached for comment Employees of the gelateria refused to comment.

"They had some kind of affiliation, but I really don't know," said Gelateria Naia employee Hector Belmonte.

Yeah, don't blame me for the missing period. But you know, there's a difference between "refusing to comment" and "not knowing shit," and it appears that The Daily Cal doesn't understand that distinction.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/14/2006 12:14:00 PM #
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Is it really journalism if you just hide in a hotel?

"There is no normal interaction between a reporter and ordinary people," [Journalism Dean Orville Schell] said. "It is impossible for Westerners, or even Iraqis, to know much about insurgents."

I'm not sure where this is statement is going. Does that make insurgents "ordinary people"?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/14/2006 12:12:00 PM #
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How sweet.

I have to say, though, I'm troubled by this picture. The dude's pose is fine, but the chick's pose bothers me somehow. That's not the "Hey, this dude just offered me a ring" pose. That's the "Hey, I'm a lesbian ninja vampire and I'm about to pull a katana out from an undisclosed location and take this dude's head off" pose. Or... uh... well, that's what I thought, anyway.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/14/2006 12:10:00 PM #
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Karl Rove wins again!

The Chron gets an E for effort, at least. This article gets points for describing the White House press conference with "kabuki." David Gregory, of NBC, gets angry when Scott McClellan drops a pretty good joke on him. See, when the White House Press Corps asks the same question 50-something times when they already know the answer is "we will not comment on a pending investigation," that's an appropriate use of time. But by no means should the press secretary dismiss a boring, non-newsworthy topic with a joke about how reporters perform for the camera.

Anyway, this is even better. Headlined: "Cheney seemed not to know basic safety rule." Which safety rule?

Be certain of your target and what's around it -- behind it, beside it and under it.

Now, I'll agree that this is an important safety rule. I just don't quite see how anyone could be ignorant of it. I'm sure Cheney knows more about this rule than Tom Stienstra, the writer. So he fucked up. It's not a matter of ignorance. It's not as if had he received "proper training" where someone explained this rule to him, he'd say "Ohhhhhhh! That makes sense. This'll change how I hunt." This story makes about as much sense as saying a driver who carelessly crashes into a car was "unaware of the rule that you should pay attention to where other cars are."

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/14/2006 08:46:00 AM #
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Monday, February 13, 2006
Let me catch my breath

I don't normally comment on things on major blogs. I certainly don't normally comment on comments on major blogs. But this one knocked me off my chair, and it's vaguely related to Berkeley.

Volokh Co-Conspirator Orin Kerr posts a pretty damning critique of Berkeley Law Prof John Yoo.

Commenter Abdul says one of the funniest things ever.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/13/2006 08:31:00 AM #
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Saturday, February 11, 2006
Caught between a bleeding heart and a boner

Uh oh. Some death penalty clemency lawyers are accused of falsifying statements from former jurors. It looks pretty blatant. It seems the next logical step up from gratuitous Nobel Prize nominations. Where are the good liberals going to stand on this?

On the one hand, they have to stand up for the clemency lawyers, and dismiss these as filthy lies from the prosecution.

On the other hand, they have a chance to nail Kenneth Starr.

Decisions, decisions...

Update: A quick Technorati search suggests that humiliating Kenneth Starr is worth letting some dude get executed.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/11/2006 05:54:00 PM #
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Ask the tough questions

Actually, you'd better not.

The Chron interviews that Ahmed Abu Laban dude who went on tour in Muslim countries to try to provoke people by showing them some cartoons that appeared in a Danish newspaper, and some that did not.

So, what about these unknown cartoons? Did The Chron ask about them? You've got to go more than halfway through the article to even find any mention of them, and there's no response from the imam about where they came from. Heck, they're even listed as "of unknown origin," with no mention of this. Did The Chron even ask? They seem to ask the tough questions to their own cops.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/11/2006 12:39:00 PM #
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Friday, February 10, 2006
Investigative Journalism!!!

Where's my award?

Here's an interesting story. It's about the shitty artillery thingie, where that one chick (Meleia Willis-Starbuck) got killed by that one dude (Christopher Lester Hollis) who was trying to kill some other dudes (other dudes) who were arguing with that one chick. Some other dude (Christopher Larry Wilson Jr.) who drove the gun dude to the shooting place plea bargained for a lesser crime in exchange for his testimony. Oh, yeah, and there was some other dude (Gregory Mitchell) napping in the car.

So that's the story. In the paper, if you pick it up, you can see this line:

"That was me," Wilson said Hollis told Mitchell when he returned to Wilson's car. "I just ran them cats off the block."

Now, is "running cats off the block" the kind of vernacular you hear in this century? I don't really know, so if someone could fill me in, that'd be great. The reason I'm pointing this out, though, is because sometimes, The Daily Cal puts articles on its website which are in the middle of the editing process. In this case, at the time I am writing this, you can find the following on the website:

"That was me," Wilson said Hollis told Mitchell when he returned to Wilson's car. "I just ran them cats off the block. (scared them niggers away.")

Hmm. So, explanations? Did the Daily Cal censor a direct quote? Did a Daily Cal staffer inaccurately write down a quote? I know some Daily Cal folk read this, so let's hear some excuses.

Here's what The Chron reports:

Hollis told them, "That was me. Yeah, I just ran those cats off the block. I scared them away," Wilson testified.

There's a misplaced "Yeah," which may have just been left off the quote by The Daily Cal. "I scared them away" corresponds to the parenthetical in The Daily Cal's story, though "niggers" is not present. Note that I'm not suggesting that The Chron is correct, and it's possible that The Chron censored a direct quote as well.

Moving on, here's what AP and The Contra Costa Times report:

Hollis then ran back to the car, got in and told him to drive away, Wilson said. "Chris was like, 'I just scared those dudes away.'"

Uh oh. "Dudes"! And "like"! Well, he may have answered the question twice, so this is probably not a reference to the same quote.

Anyway, did one of the Daily Cal staffers just throw in a gratuitous "niggers" somewhere during the editing process? Or did The Chron make an inaccurate quote?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/10/2006 11:02:00 AM #
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Yay! The Daily Cal stands up for the obvious: Students don't care about city politics. So cork it, poetry boy.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/10/2006 10:53:00 AM #
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
Keeps going

The Chron hasn't dropped its USE OF FORCEOMGGGG!!!! series yet, despite the mounting irony. You see, they spend a lot of time complaining about how the police disciplinary process isn't transparent, and how police officers who screw up don't get fired. Meanwhile, the Chron's gratutitous picture of some guy unrelated to the story has not been explained by the Chron, showing a highly opaque newspaper editing process. There is no indication that the people responsible have been fired or even reprimanded. Yet somehow, we're supposed to trust the Chron to inform us, rather than hunt for awards and pander to an anti-cop audience.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/09/2006 11:54:00 AM #
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In yesterday's piece about Chron editor Phil Bronstein beating police, the individual in the accompanying picture was not Phil Bronstein. It was, in fact, a cat. Beetle Beat regrets the error, but feels that this should not detract from the credibility of the story.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/08/2006 03:39:00 PM #
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Oops again

In a followup, the Examiner reports that Neeley's attorney, Daniel Ray Bacon, was under the impression that the correction would run on the front page today. It apparently did not. Sue! SUE!!!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/08/2006 10:50:00 AM #
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George Machun:

I read Monday's editorial on keeping the United States competitive with more science and math in our schools.

Great start, but you overlooked the fact that we don't have universal health care in this country. All of our nation competitors do and that's the reason we are increasingly not competitive.

When we will we start a real discussion to fix this?

Uh... what? Maybe we should start a real discussion about drawing causations. All of our "nation competitors" are not named The United States of America... let's get on that.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/08/2006 08:24:00 AM #
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Oops, but shh

Here's an interesting story. Some dude was mistakenly identified as a brutalizing cop in a huge front page story, where his picture appeared above the fold. Jack Neeley Jr. is the dude, who isn't a brutalizing cop, but a cab driver and security guard. He claims he's in danger because people who hate the police might attack him.

Notably, though, the story I linked is The Chron's final correction on the issue, it appears. The story is on page A2. While they fucked up and plastered his picture with negative information on the front page above the fold, where even people who don't buy the paper can see it, the corrections have not appeared above the fold, and this one isn't even on the front page. Who sees newspapers in newsracks but doesn't read the entire newspaper? I dunno. Maybe the people Neeley is worried about.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/08/2006 08:14:00 AM #
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Use of pens!

It has come to the attention of Beetle Beat that San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein, pictured below, engages in brutality against police by using his paper to attack them. The attacks are not limited to slanted articles in search of awards, but Bronstein occasionally chases down police officers with a rolled up copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and beats them with it.

See correction: The incorrect photo has been removed.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/07/2006 10:41:00 PM #
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What is it good for?

Then again, you could very well ask the same question about the Career Center.

It's another one of those amazing Fee Referenda. Some idiots want us to spend our money on their idiocy, as usual. This time, they want to move the Career Center "closer to campus." I put that in quotes because it's not actually moving much closer to campus. Right now it's on Bancroft between Oxford and Shattuck, which, I guess, is inconvenient to people who are looking to pick up a career between classes. They want to move it to across the street from Lower Sproul.

What's the price of this move? Well, it starts at $12 a semester (that's two CalPIRG pledges) and will go up to $16 eventually, though none of us will be around to see it. I guess that's pretty smart, now that I think about it. Why not raise fees on other people? Why shouldn't we act like total assholes?

Now, people who go the career center now won't get much out of the move, because they already go. People who don't go probably aren't going to start going, either, since we already pick up careers from our departments, for the most part. So, let's review.

Spend a lot of money.
Get nothing in return.

While I agree that this is the traditional way student fees work, maybe we can vote "NO" just this once.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/07/2006 12:35:00 PM #
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So sad


Maybe I'm missing a reference to some real poem or something somewhere which would make this Deana Sobel cartoon the slightest bit interesting.

Also, we have solutions to ALL OF THE PROBLEMS OF DEMOCRACY EVER!!! by Alexius Wierbinski. It's some whining about campaign donations. Here's the money line:

Special interests' free speech must be limited to informing the electorate, not buying the elections.

Now, you'll pardon me for my ignorance, but I was under the impression that the way people "buy elections" is by "informing the electorate" that they're better than the other guy by spending a bunch of money on advertising. How exactly would these be pulled apart?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/07/2006 12:26:00 PM #
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Want to pick up a white chick? Join the Peace Corps! Actually, I don't think that was the message.

"It was a little difficult to adjust to at first, being that it can get to negative-40 degrees Celsius here, meaning your eyes freeze shut if you blink too long."

Wow! That is cold! Negative 40 degrees! Celsius no less!!!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/07/2006 12:23:00 PM #
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Good call

Riaz Haq says:

The caricatures of Muhammad published in Europe represent and perpetuate the worst form of negative stereotyping of Muslims and Islam in the West.

As one of those who negatively stereotypes Muslim and Islam, and as a Westerner, let me correct Haq. What really perpetuates that is the whole "cutting off heads in the name of Islam" thing. You'd better get on with protesting that.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/07/2006 12:20:00 PM #
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Uh oh

This sounds like a really bad idea.

Let me note that while he's sort of nuts and probably bad for America, I have a fair amount of respect for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Full disclosure: My parents are Iranian) Telling the UN "screw you" and proceeding to develop nuclear weapons - oh, I mean, nuclear energy *cough* - is an exercise in national sovereignty that a national leader should engage in, at least to the extent that retaliation from stronger powers isn't going to occur.

That said, I get the feeling all this particular cartoon episode is going to show is a contrast of how different people react, and the contrast isn't going to make Muslims look good.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/07/2006 08:59:00 AM #
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Monday, February 06, 2006
More fishing

The Chron is letting its reporters fish for awards again with a series on POLICE BRUTALITY!!! Of course, this isn't L.A., so they can only do a series on THE USE OF FORCE!! And, of course, it's not all that bad, so they can only do the story by MAKING SHIT UP, USING RANDOM PICTURES OF UNRELATED PEOPLE, and REFUSING TO REVEAL THE METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS! Sounds impressive. So... uh... seen any cannibals in New Orleans lately?

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/06/2006 11:35:00 AM #
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Solution found

How do you deal with an achievement gap? Apparently you create an education gap so that you can't even compare your students. That way no one will notice the complete failure of the system to educate its students.

Too much math and science! People are coming out of our high schools with too strong of an ability to use numbers, I guess. Yeah, I haven't noticed either, but hey, I'm no education professional.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/06/2006 01:10:00 AM #
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jim Swenson has exactly the same letter today as he had yesterday. I guess it's a print thing, but the online stuff makes the Chron look like, well, The Daily Cal.

I hope James Scott Hudnall's first piece is satire, but I get the sinking feeling that it is not. Apparently, the reason Americans suck at math is that we don't use the metric system.

Example: Using a tape measure, determine how much water a rectangular aquarium will hold, and how much it will weigh. Using the metric system this requires 6th-grade level skills. Using imperial measures it requires 12th-grade chemistry and physics.

Really? 12th-grade? I guess conversion factors that aren't multiples of ten are too hard for some people before they reach 12th grade, but I wouldn't have admitted it.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/05/2006 12:50:00 PM #
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Saturday, February 04, 2006
Letter Jog!


Jim Swenson:

Regarding the inexcusable treatment of Cindy Sheehan during Tuesday's State of the Union T-shirt incident, someone please remind me: Exactly who hates our freedom?

I dunno. Captiol police? Inattentiveness? Women who don't feel that their children should have the right to go fight for their country?

Terry Black insists that conservative intolerance is far worse than liberal intolerance, because some folks once killed a gay guy. But even more importantly, because some folks once killed a gay guy, people shouldn't ever complain about liberal intolerance. This, apparently, is an example of liberal tolerance.

Carl Johnson, Robert Zweben, and Janet Buckley wonder where the Muslim outrage is at murder in the name of Islam. But Hanif Koya explains that "To tarnish, humiliate and degrade a prophet of God under the guise of 'freedom of speech' is the highest degree of immorality." Higher, apparently, than murder.

Speaking of which, they're still pissed, to the point of setting buildings on fire. Here's where a "Religion of Peace" joke is appropriate. I think we should start calling them the "Religion of Children," considering how they respond to what they consider a slight. Lashing out in anger in the general direction of the person who made them feel bad or offended... just as children do.

Souheila Al-Jadda of San Jose said she was not as upset with the Danish newspaper as with other publications that reprinted the caricatures.

"The republishing of it really shows malicious intent by the newspapers in European countries," she said. "I think that in Europe in particular, Muslims have become a minority (that) is looked down upon."

They should be looked down upon, if this is how they behave.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/04/2006 12:48:00 PM #
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Friday, February 03, 2006

I didn't realize the ACLU approached people. Then again, the ACLU's role as a defender of civil liberties hasn't exactly been well-established.

Here's the problem I have with these complaints. Unless some kind of harm can be pointed to, I have a hard time giving a damn. "Oh, no, the government paid attention to these people who claimed they were going to overthrow the government, but then decided there wasn't anything for them to worry about or do." Free speech is not in question if you can speak freely without suffering governmental punishment. You are not being intimidated if there is no threat of action. I'll care once your civil liberties are actually being threatened, rather than when you just want to score political points.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/03/2006 03:29:00 PM #
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

While this sounds like a colossal waste of money, it might at least provoke some fun responses.

"A lot of people are willing to die if they can kill lots of Americans ... You want to make clear that when they come here to die (by attacking the lab), they die for a failure," the blunt-speaking [head of National Nuclear Security Administration Linton Brooks] said at a press conference at Livermore on Thursday, where he unveiled one of the guns.

Yeah, terrorists are going to steal plutonium via full-scale military assault. We'd better protect against that. Also, we have small penises.

But a lab critic called the plan a threat to innocent men, women and children, particularly with the facility located across the street from suburban homes. A better solution would be to investigate ways to remove the plutonium and other weapons-grade nuclear materials from the lab altogether, said Marylia Kelley, head of Tri Valley Cares, a Livermore anti-nuclear group.

"There are residential homes all up and down what is the western perimeter of Livermore lab," Kelley said. "You always see children on their bicycles or skateboards ... people walking their dogs ... You can't just indiscriminately open fire."

Uh... yeah, you can't. I don't think that's what the security plan calls for, though, so that's a pretty irrelevant objection. I like how the 'alternative' just happens to be capitulating to her long-standing demands.

Livermore lab is one of the nation's two nuclear weapons design labs, where, among other things, scientists study plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons. To carry out this task, the lab stores plutonium for research at a site called Building 332.

Hmm... strangely, I get the feeling that publishing that detail wasn't at all necessary for the story.

On Thursday, Brooks said he hadn't decided whether to increase the amount of plutonium stored at the lab. He defended the lab's continuing research on plutonium as essential to ensure that U.S. weapons scientists understand better what he characterized as the "nasty, ugly, complicated stuff with a metallurgy I don't pretend to understand."

There's something about this dude that bugs me. Referring to security as "your guys" in a discussion of strategy didn't help matters. This is stuff you'd expect to see at an online game forum. Maybe they should hire a seperate dude for PR.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/02/2006 10:02:00 PM #
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But it's the Christian fundamentalists who are nuts

Here's an article with another unintentionally funny headline on the front page:

Caricature Outrage Grows

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/02/2006 02:42:00 PM #
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006
High volume

You know you'll find plenty of highly-concentrated stupidity in a place labelled Youth Voices. The topic? The horrendous high school exit exam.

Ianna Vasale gets it, but doesn't want to recognize that:

The common belief for many is that the test is incredibly practical and easy to pass for all students, and those who have trouble with it aren't smart enough to maintain important jobs later in life anyway.

Teens with learning disabilities have an extremely hard time figuring it out.

Folks with learning disabilities aren't smart enough to maintain important jobs later in life anyway, so I think it actually works out pretty well here.

Judy doesn't know how to solve the quadratic equation. Jeff doesn't know how to write an essay that even remotely makes sense. Jill's vocabulary is not large enough to know what "tolerate" means. All OK if they were eighth-graders, but they are not. They are college students.

Without standardized graduating tests such as the California High School Exit Exam, these frightening scenarios might actually come true.

Juliana Rehbein messes up here with the word 'might.' A more appropriate word would be 'have.'

Stirling Lundquist is probably saying something. Let's see if we can puzzle it out. It'll be like a high school exit exam question.

The test is actually designed for the school's benefit, not the student's. Tests such as the California High School Exit Exam are used to judge a school's performance academically and can guarantee more funds. Do these funds affect the students? No. Students are in high school because they have to be, not because they want to be. Do they care if their school receives extra funds for having done well on the exam? No, they do not. So is the test benefiting the student? No, it's benefiting the school. If we truly believe that school is about the student and not the school itself, then of course the answer is no.

The 'answer' here doesn't appear to address any question. What Lundquist does seem to touch on is the fact that standardized tests usually don't matter for students, so they don't try particularly hard to pass them. Making them matter for students is actually a pretty good idea to deal with that problem.

Ben Pack needs to retake the Analogies portion.

Imagine traveling to a foreign planet. You get there and a different language is spoken and there is a different type of mathematics. Now imagine that, to get off that planet, you need to take a test and score high enough.

That situation is real for some people, in a planet called high school. The California High School Exit Exam provides that same challenge to people who speak English as a second language and people who have learning disabilities.

Well, actually, the better analogy would be that you have to take a test and score high enough not to "get off that planet," but rather to "become recognized as a functioning member of that planet."

I do believe that all students have what it takes to complete the test, but it may take some students years to pass. I think it should be reasonable so everyone can get the kind of future they want.

Hey, I want to be supreme ruler of the world. I think tests should be reasonable to allow that. Hopefully, no one else wants the same thing, or else letting everyone get "the kind of future they want" is going to require some serious planet-conquering. Also, everyone is a singular noun. Looks like Ben needs to study the English section.

Bennett Vanleuven knows that the way to talk about high school is to compare it to the founding of a nation.

Independence, individuality and abstract thinking -- these form the foundation of a progressive society. These qualities have been encouraged from the birth of our nation.

Ah, yes, I remember. "Give me abstract thinking or give me death!!!"

It presents a substandard to what is required from an average student; therefore it should not be a requirement to graduate.

Hmm... dictionary.com doesn't seem to think 'substandard' is a noun. It could mean "a standard that is not as high as it should be," but if folks can't pass such a test, I can't help but think they'd have trouble passing "a standard to that stuff," too. Of course, the idea that learning things in pursuit of a goal makes you incapable of engaging in abstract thinking is pretty silly, too.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/01/2006 05:54:00 PM #
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Let's see

Too easy? Maybe. Openly protesting a "fascist regime" and getting positive press coverage? Sure, makes sense.

"This protest is about spurring youth involvement in future political movements," said freshman Stephanie Haaser.

I think this is her way of saying "We got our asses kicked... uh... maybe next time."

The teach-in-which was attended by approximately thirty students and community members-was led by a panel comprised of two UC Berkeley professors and Daniel Ellsberg, who uncovered the Pentagon Papers, documents that revealed that the government had misled the U.S. people about the escalation of the Vietnam war.

Some in attendance compared President Bush's administration with that of former President Nixon.

"Bush's crimes are just as great as those uncovered about Nixon. Right now we are only aware of the tip of the iceberg," Ellsberg said after the discussion.

Yup. It was Nixon that got us into Vietnam.

"It's sad that we're standing in the place where the Free Speech Movement started and people can't be bothered to stop and turn around," said freshman Avalon Johnson.

It's sad that you think the fact that some people who weren't you did something that you didn't do is some kind of justification, nay, obligation, for doing something.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/01/2006 03:53:00 PM #
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No way!

I can't believe this! Recruiters pay attention to school prestige!!!

"Most research looks at the effect of reputation but actually doesn't measure perceptions," said professor Violina Rindova, one of the co-authors of the study.

She said the team was not expecting to find that recruiters often offer higher salaries based on the campus rather than the quality of their education.

Even professors are shocked!!!

Yes, I'm being sarcastic. Who doesn't know this? Does this warrant a study? Is the sun hot? Money for a study!!!

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 2/01/2006 03:45:00 PM #
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